Millstone teen puts focus on home numbering rules

By louis c. hochman

MILLSTONE — While Township Committee members have expressed concern over whether they will be able to enforce changes to Millstone’s house numbering ordinance, they now have help from a teen-ager who is working to ensure that homes in his part of town are in compliance.

Allentown High School junior Chris Skeehan, 17, has spent the last month driving around the northeastern section of Millstone looking for homes that violate local regulations.

He began visiting homes not in compliance on March 18 in order to let the owners know what the township’s regulations are.

"I’ve been surveying the area and there’s about 750 homes in it," Skeehan said. "From what I can see, there’s about 250 homes that I will be visiting."

Skeehan’s project coincides with Township Committee efforts to increase the visibility of house numbers so as to improve the response time of emergency services workers, who say they have had difficulty finding homes when responding to calls.

The new ordinance does not change the required size for house numbers, which is 3 inches high, but now mandates they be reflective.

The ordinance also mandates house numbers be visible from at least 40 feet down either side of the street a house faces. In the case of homes set back from the street at least 50 feet, homeowners are required to place the numbers on posts or other fixtures to keep them visible.

"The problem is, it’s really hard for township officials to go around and actually do the work that I’m doing, to enforce these regulations," Skeehan said.

To give homeowners an incentive to follow the regulations, Skeehan will provide them with free black on white house numbers. He will also be posting fliers in public areas to remind people of the regulations and to let them know the free numbers are available.

"That’s a pretty big thing with this project, the publicity work," he said. "People have to know what these regulations are."

Skeehan has taken on this project as part of his application to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank recognized by the Boy Scouts. To complete the application, he must organize a community service project that displays leadership skills.

"I have to have other people in my troop involved," he said. "The number varies, but it’s usually about another six people working with me on this. I’m trying to do everything I possibly can to make these people in compliance except go out and put the numbers on the houses myself."