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Fanwood Adjustment Board Memorializes Church Resolution


Specially Written for The Times

The Fanwood Board of Adjustment convened briefly last Thursday evening to memorialize one resolution and review correspondence concerning activities sponsored by New Jersey Planning Officials (NJPO), an organization of which the borough is a member. No new applications were scheduled for a public hearing by the board this month.

The resolution confirmed the board’s March 20 approval of an application by the Fanwood Presbyterian Church at Martine and La Grande Avenues for use variances for three signs on the property. George Zhelnik, a church representative and Elder, testified last month that the signs were necessary to identify the church and the Westminster Preschool program there.

Mr. Zhelnik told board members during the public hearing for the application that church administrators wanted to replace two old signs and install a new one in an effort to attract new members to the parish and to designate its preschool program. The new sign, measuring 14.5 square feet, was approved for the church’s front lawn. Its purpose is to identify the church for people traveling west on Martine Avenue.

Officials also gave the church the green light to enlarge an existing sign located on the corner of the property facing east which identifies the church and lists the weekly schedule of services and speakers. The church sought permission to enlarge the sign from 12.3 square feet to 16.3 square feet.

In addition, a sign designating the Westminster Preschool will be erected adjacent to the parking lot to replace the sign for the former Acorn School, which was the previous preschool program operated at the church. Last August, the Fanwood Planning Board gave conditional use approval for the new preschool program at the church as well as a permit for playground equipment.

The Westminster Preschool, a non-profit, weekday program, is held in the church’s Christian education building in the same classrooms which were used for the Acorn School, which had leased the space from the church for many years. The current preschool program enrolls children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 4 years old and features activities such as arts, crafts and music, as well as playground recreation.

Under correspondence, board members turned their attention to two upcoming events presented by the NJPO. They include an educational meeting titled "Reform and Reality -- Site Standards and Other Matters" which is planned for Tuesday, April 29, at the Lincroft Inn in Lincroft, as well as membership and courses for secretaries and land use administrators.

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