Thursday, December 30, 2010

Birdbath??

No, I have no idea why they call it a birdbath...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let It Snow!


Just in case you hadn't noticed: It snowed on Sunday, the day after Christmas.

We actually have part-time jobs that involve having to go out when most people are home enjoying a snow day.

While horror stories abounded about clogged unplowed roadways, one of us drove home Sunday just after 11 p.m. on snowy but passable roads - state, county, and local. Unfortunately, our vehicle didn't make it quite far enough into the driveway to ensure that it wouldn't get tagged by a passing plow.

So, at midnight - after we discovered that our snow blower was not working - we dug out a space just big enough to get completely into the driveway.

This morning we found that our back-up snow-blower (stored at my in-laws) also wouldn't start.

If it had just snowed one day earlier at least we could have hitched a ride on Santa's sleigh.

Sigh.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boomer Math

I ran across this bit of math trivia earlier in the year, but being mathematically challenged I never got it posted:

The Boomer generation encompasses those born from 1946 to 1964. This year - 2010 - the age spread of the members of this generation is 46-years-old to 64-years-old.

I probably find this fascinating as math just eludes me. It seems as though this should happen again at some point. It can probably be figured out using high school algebra.

You know.
Algebra.
The subject that you took while mumbling "I'll never use this again...why are they making me learn it."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

General Washington Rehearsed???


Tomorrow, December 12th, is the rehearsal day for the 2010 Christmas Day Re-enactment of George Washington Crossing the Delaware. Who knew that Washington rehearsed?

You can meet General Washington and his officers...


And those patriots whose names we may never know...



A lot of locals - even those who have lived here for decades - have never seen the actual re-enactment due to the General planning his attack on the Hessians in Trenton on Christmas Day when most of us have family obligations.

I have attended a Christmas crossing and two rehearsals over the years, but, unless you are an historical purist [which would also mean going there in the middle of the night...which, in this litigious age, isn't going to happen], you are better off going to the rehearsal when they not only re-enact the actual crossing, but have all kinds of activities on the Pennsylvania side - inside and out:



The year we attended the actual Christmas Day crossing, we were stunned by how many foreign visitors were there and how few Americans.

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There is an entry fee on the Pennsylvania side, but it's a great activity for everyone with some education thrown in. Be sure to take your camera. Dress warmly. Activities at Washington Crossing Historic Park on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the crossing at 1 p.m. [weather permitting].

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There are a few sites with information: Bucks Local News and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Friday, December 10, 2010

SONIC Yet Again

Yesterday the Planning Board continued hearing the application seeking approval for a SONIC Restaurant at the corner of Route 206 and Oxford Place.

About 100 audience members crowded the hearing room, most of them residents of the development located to what would be the rear of the proposed restaurant. At least one resident has retained counsel to object to the application.

Gary Dean, the applicant's expert traffic witness, presented extensive information about current traffic numbers and the expected numbers if a SONIC was approved at that location. Following his presentation he answered questions regarding the lot size, parking space size, traffic patterns, patrons cutting through local streets, and snow removal.

SONIC's engineer presented revisions the applicant had made following the last hearing, including those reviewed in the HNJJ's previous post:
"...Subsequent to their last presentation before the board, the applicant has made some revisions to the original design. They would plant 54 new trees and provide a conservation easement on the west side of the lot, where they would also construct a raised berm with a row of evergreens. They would reduce the height of their freestanding light fixtures from 20-feet to 15-feet, construct a sidewalk on the Route 206 side of the lot, and reduce the number of poster display boards on the side of the building from three to two..."

The size of the proposed freestanding sign attracted the most attention - and criticism - from the board members and the township planner. As previously noted, the sign is not in compliance with the township's sign ordinance. Even with their supposed revisions, the sign still exceeds the permitted height by 5-feet. The unchanged 112.3-square-foot face size is almost three times the square-footage allowed by the ordinance and would make it the largest sign in Hillsborough.

Applicant Tom Mascia claimed that the SONIC would not succeed without the sign as presented.

The application has been carried to the Planning Board meeting of January 13th, 2011.

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HNJJ is surprised that the applicant has dug in his heels regarding the freestanding sign. Was he not paying attention?

HNJJ initially wondered why SONIC was interested in the proposed location as there will be a considerable loss of drive-by traffic when the 206 Bypass is completed. Perhaps the applicant is hoping to construct a sign that will be loom so high and large that it will be visible from the new road?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still Sonic


The Hillsborough Township Planning Board will continue hearing the Thomas Mascia/SONIC application this evening.

The applicant is proposing the construction of a SONIC drive-in fast-food restaurant on Route 206 at the corner of Oxford Place on a 1.5-acre site currently housing a karate school. The proposal involves razing the existing building and constructing a 1,818-square-foot building with a drive-through lane, outdoor seating, and 46 parking spaces with 23 of them under a canopy where car-hop service would be provided.

Subsequent to their last presentation before the board, the applicant has made some revisions to the original design. They would plant 54 new trees and provide a conservation easement on the west side of the lot, where they would also construct a raised berm with a row of evergreens. They would reduce the height of their freestanding light fixtures from 20-feet to 15-feet, construct a sidewalk on the Route 206 side of the lot, and reduce the number of poster display boards on the side of the building from three to two.

The applicant has reduced the height of their freestanding sign from 24-feet to 20-feet and added their address, but the sign is still well outside the limits of Hillsborough's sign ordinance. The new height exceeds the township's permitted height by 5-feet while the sign area of 112.3-square-feet is almost three times the square footage allowed by ordinance.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building. The evening's agenda may be viewed here.
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Above photographs show the current lot at the corner of Route 206 and Oxford Place and a SONIC on Route 22.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Shoppes at Woods Tavern Application

This evening the Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear the application of The Shoppes at Woods Tavern - Hillsborough Towne Center Associates for a mixed-use development at the corner of Route 206 and Amwell Road.

Located on a 5.1389-acre lot on the intersection's northwest corner, the proposal (revised on September 21, 2010) includes 27 residential units: 11 one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units, and 2 three-bedroom units.

According to the proposal, the applicant would add one residential unit over the existing retail building on Route 206, retain the existing 2-story office/retail building, add a two-story mixed-use building at the rear of the property with three residential units on the second floor, add a three-story mixed use building at the northerly property line to the rear of the existing building with 20 residential units on the second and third floors,and add a two-story mixed-use building with three residential units on the second floor.

The Board of Adjustment meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building.
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The BOA agenda for this evening can be viewed here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving: TNG

The Thanksgiving decorations prove that it's now
Thanksgiving: The Next Generation!

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We remember family members who are no longer around the table, but the future is represented.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Perennial Mums


As promised in the HNJJ post of November 8th, our chrysanthemums have been planted in a nice row in front of the blueberry bushes.

According to several online sites - and my brother the gardener - they should grow again next year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Township Auction


If you have a need for a tent, a VCR or CD player, sunglasses, a keg, a concrete swan,an oxygen bottle,or, especially, a bicycle, plan on attending Saturday's township auction.

Bicycles always seem to be in oversupply at these auctions, but you sometimes have to think outside the box. Maybe you don't need an entire bicycle, but what about just tires or the special fancy (comfortable?) seat you have always wanted?

While the majority of items on the auction list are from the police department (found/unclaimed stuff), there is an entire section of IT equipment and a few DPW items.

Hillsborough Township's auction of surplus and unclaimed items is being held starting at noon Saturday, November 20th, at the DPW garage on East Mountain Road (next to the YMCA).

The preview starts at 11 a.m.

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The township press release is here and the list of items to be auctioned is here.
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The photographs are from 2008.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

Hillsborough Township's 2nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony was held on November 11th at the Municipal Building. The memorial ceremony was held at the township's Garden of Honor, followed by a reception inside.


The Veterans day Ceremony Contributors were: Zubair & Abdul Chaudary, Abdul Chaudary, R.Ph. & Riffat Chaudary MD, American Home Essentials dba Home Essentials, Dilshad Khawaja & Khalida Khawaja, and Nauman & Attya Chaudary.


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Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hidden Brook Development Application


The Hillsborough Township Planning Board began hearing TJC Development's application seeking approval to build Hidden Brook development off South Woods Road.

The proposed 16-home development would be located on a 22.7-acre lot on the east side of South Woods Road between Sturwood Drive and Township Line Road across from Deer Haven Drive. [The South Woods Soccer field is just to the north.] The site is currently undeveloped, mostly wooded with open field to the north.

As designed, there would be 16 single-family dwellings and one bioretention facility lot [stormwater management facility] on an internal loop road with all access from South Woods Road.

According to their proposal, the homes would be located on minimum one-acre lots and are expected to have an average sales price of $825,000.

The Planning Board began hearing this application at their October 14th meeting, but due to the lateness of the hour it was continued to December 2nd.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cheap Autumn Cheer!


Shop Rite put their chrysanthemums on sale this week for $1.99 each, so we scooped up a bunch in various colors. After having them brighten the kitchen and the porch for a week-or-so, we are going to be planting them in the yard. Many local gardeners seem to plant them every year while they are flowering and then throw them out; I don't know if these plants don't last over the winter or if the homeowners are just wasting beautiful perennials.
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Photographing plants alone is easy...but trying to add a dog...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Home Court Advantage

The Hillsborough Township Planning Board unanimously approved the application of Hillsborough Tennis Plus to construct an indoor tennis facility on Dickerson Road.

The 31,440-square foot building will be located on a 3.6-acre lot on the west side of Dickerson Road between Campbell Road and Dukes Parkway East. The property had previously been approved for a HVAC contractor facility which had never been built.

Variances were granted for minimum lot depth and minimum rear yard setback and a waiver for parking stall size.

The building will contain three tennis courts, locker rooms, a fitness room, sauna, activity room, and offices. There will be 32 parking spaces.

Residents of the adjoining Courtland Development spoke at the October 14th hearing, expressing concerns about traffic, parking, lighting, fencing, buffers, the hours, noise, and tree cutting on the lot. Half-a-dozen residents spoke in favor of the facility.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hillsborough Farm

Halloween week seems like the perfect time to visit Hillsborough Farm Country Market on Hillsborough Road:

Like any modern farm, it has a website.

Monday, October 25, 2010

AVM Eagle Scout Project

During yesterday's huge Playground Build at Ann Van Middlesworth Park, at the other end of the parking lot, a much smaller group labored to complete an Eagle Scout project:

HNJJ doesn't have any further information about this project or its dedicated crew, but thank you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

AVM Universal Playgound Build

This morning was Universal Playground Community Build Day at Ann Van Middlesworth Park:

Over 100 volunteers worked to complete the playground which is designed to be used by all children, with and without special needs.
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Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Keeping Track of Your Stuff


As part of the Learning Happens @ Your Library series, the Somerset County Library System presented Cataloging, Researching, and Evaluating Your Art and Antiques.

The presentation featured Somerset County Surrogate Frank Bruno, Carol Cruickshanks of Rago Auctions in Lambertville, NJ, and Doug Reeder of Somerset Hills Estate Services.

The program presented information about valuing, cataloging, organizing, and disposing of your assets or those of family members. Clear specific information with examples and "how to" information made the job seem less formidable.

This is one of those things that each of us knows is important and that it has to be done...but we put it off. This delay may not have to do with denying our mortality, but more with thinking of the job as huge and not knowing where to start.

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For more information about the Learning Happens @ Your Library programs, go here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HEBDC 15th Social

The Hillsborough Economic and Business Development Commission's 15th Business Social was held this evening at Royce Brook Country Club on Hamilton Road.

There were over 200 local business people registered to attend the event which featured guest speaker Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.

For more information about the HEBDC, go here.
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Photographs courtesy of Susan Gulliford.