Planning Board Minutes 9-23-10 Print E-mail


195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building



Mr. Maggio      present             Mr. Karkowsky  present         

Mr. Sandham  present              Ms. Nielson      absent 

Mr. Lipari   present                  Mr. Lewis present

Mr. Hines excused                  Mr. Canning present

Mr. Visco  present                         Mr. Speciale1 (alt#1) excused

                                                          Mr. Tobias (alt#2)  present





Chairman Karkowski introduced and welcomed Meghan Hunscher, P.P., new Principal Planner for Montville Township.


Reports from Board Liaisons:

Open Space Committee – Mayor Sandham reports the Township has closed on Starkey property including a check for $2.1 million from Morris County. 50 acres preserved.


PMISC10-36 F S Transportation, Inc – 28 Bloomfield Ave – B: 170, L: 16 – office (1,500 s.f.) for transportation company – hours of operation 7am-4pm Mon-Fri – 3 employees – no outdoor storage – no commercial vehicles – no signage (Carpal)

Motion to approve with standard conditions: Maggio; Second by: Visco; Roll call: Unanimous



PSPP/FC09-09 Pinto Management Group – 147 Changebridge Rd. – B:131, L: 18 – Prel/Final Site Plan – variance – approved 7/8/10 – eligible: Karkowsky, Canning, Nielson, Visco, Lipari, Sandham, Tobias

Motion to adopt made by: Canning; Second by: Tobias; Roll call: Karkowsky, Canning, Visco, Lipari, Sandham, Tobias




PMSP/F03-23 Passaic Valley Estates – 20 Passaic Valley Rd. – B: 82.05, L: 70 – request for extension of approvals to 10/27/11

Motion to grant extension made by: Lipari; Second by: Sandham; Roll call: Unanimous


Minutes of August 12, 2010 - eligible:  Karkowsky, Sandham, Nielson, Lewis, Hines, Canning, Visco, Tobias

Motion to adopt made by: Canning; Second by: Visco; Roll call: Unanimous

Subcommittee Master Plan Minutes of August 11, 2010 - eligible:  Deb Nielson, Gary Lewis, John Visco

Motion to adopt made by: Canning; Second by: Visco; Roll call: Unanimous


Michael Carroll, Esq. – Trust for: $405, $135, $33.75, $33.75

Omland Engineering – Trust for: $67.50, $592.50, $1,316.25, $742.50

Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $120, $105

Burgis Associates – Masterplan: $3,750; $67.50; $641.25; Trust for: $101.25, $776.25, $202.50

Motion to approve: Lipari; Second: Sandham; Roll call: Unanimous




PSPP/FC10-07 RAILS STEAKHOUSE - 8 & 10 Whitehall Road – B: 96, L: 3 & 4 - Site Plan/Variances for development of retail/apartments /restaurant site – Carried w/notice from 6/10/10 – Eligible: Ladis Karkowsky, Victor Canning, John Visco, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio, Russ Lipari, Jim Sandham, Larry Hines, Tony Speciale, Alt, Larry Tobias, Alt #2:  Deb Nielson must certify to 6/10/10 meeting                    ACT BY: 10/8/10

Present on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq; Mark Walker P.E.; James Stathis, Applicant;  Hugo Zavala (Valet consultant); John Desch P.E. (Traffic/parking expert)

Mr. Schepis Re-capped prior hearing status.

Mark. Walker, PE - previously sworn

Presentation resumed with continuing discussion of stormwater management. Project is located above Towaco Aquifer. Mr. Walker described the various project facilities to manage rate of runoff, infiltration and water quality. 100% infiltration rate is required, project provides 200%. Re: water quality requirements, project must have 80% suspended solids removal, Township requires 90%; requirement is met through porous pavement and redirection of other site runoff back through stormwater control facilities.

Regarding  soil movement 2,427 yards (152-175 tandems) will be removed from the site via Whitehall directly to Route 202 towards Lincoln Park or onto Route 287 depending upon final destination. Municipal Engineer has the right to establish permit conditions which the applicant agrees to abide by.

Russ Lipari:  Questioned the number of trucks daily, and were there plans to ‘stack’ tandems while waiting to be loaded. Walker: Normally handled during the pre-construction meeting, at which times the Board’s concerns can be expressed and shared with the parties on site.

Chairman Karkowsky: Inquired of Stan Omland the Board’s role re: the soil movement. Omland: Amount of soil involved here is not significant; Board has the right to see these issues dealt with, enforced by Township Engineer.

Sandham: Safety is the issue…..this is a major Township route. As long as the project sticks to the route agreed to, no issue. Township does not want them on local roads.

Karkowsky: Can we limit times to 10:00 – 2:00? Omland: Be careful to balance the times allowed to let the operation be complete as soon as possible or restrict it which may extend the project times.  Sandham: Get comments from Township Engineer.

Lipari: Appreciates Stan’s comments. This is an area of concern, and wants assurances that people in that area understand what is happening and people are protected.  Karkowsky: Concerned about multiple pre-schools in the area.  Omland: No truck loading within the right-of-way.  Schepis: Will get the file with Engineer’s comments back to the Board.

Walker:  Number of design waivers (6): 1] Slope disturbance: Flat site, but filled on one end and requires disturbance calculation. 15%-20% slope = 95.2% vs 50% allowed (1,949 sq ft); 20%-25% slope = 95.9% vs 33% allowed (1,946 sq ft);  >25% slope = 75.9% vs 0 allowed (5,217sq ft). 2] Disturbance >1’ of property within 5’ of property line (retaining  wall); 3] Unpaved parking area: Valet parking area was proposed with pavers, but based on Board’s comments, gravel pavers will be used instead; 4] Loading in front of a parking space: (6) dedicated residential parking spaces. Deliveries will all be between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.; garbage collection as well. Entire building has trash storage within the building. 5] Parking located within 15’ of a multi-tenant residential, wherein 6’ to handicapped space is proposed. 6]  Signs should have uniform area and height, details will be explained by Planner, Anthony Garrett.

Variances related to project: 1] Retaining wall 9.5’ in height. Maximum height is 6’, but has 3.5’ high safety rail along top. 2] Light pole height maximum of 12’, where 15’ is proposed. Consistent with 15’ fixtures in train parking lot.   3] 12.2’ front yard setback where 20’ is required. Very narrow lot, building shifted as far east as possible to maximize use. 4] 9.7’ rear yard setback proposed where 30’ is required. Site backs up to railroad. 5] Height of 27.4’ proposed where 25’ is allowed, less than 10% above maximum. Garrett will discuss details.6] Impervious coverage maximum is 50%. Original application went from 53% to 55.1% in current form. To mitigate coverage, enhanced stormwater management features have been introduced.

Burgis: Asked if Garrett will  elaborate on the statutory basis for the variances….Walker indicates he will.

Walker:  7] parking variance: 95 required, 58 dedicated on property. To offset, valet service created, plus street parking to be provided on Whitehall to total 95 total spaces.

Karkowsky: Can these spaces be used in the calculation or are they off-site?  Walker: They are off-site, but they do not exist now.  Sandham: How many parallel parking spaces are included in calculation. Eleven

Walker: The valet service adds about 26 spaces. The only time these spaces are needed are peak times for restaurant, which may differ from retail. 35 spaces are required for retail, but many may be available for use by restaurant patrons.  Lipari: 84 spaces provided without counting the parallel spaces on Whitehall. Is there testimony that the street spaces are included in the site demand?  Walker: A variance is required, but the street spaces are part of the formula to reach 95 spaces.  Schepis: The variance is for 84 spaces, does not include any off-site parking, even though it is available.  Karkowsky: How many spaces without valet? 58.  Walker: Without 6 dedicated residential, 52 non-residential spaces provided.

Lipari: The question is whether or not the variance is for only having 58 spaces versus 95 required?  Burgis: The parking variance is for having 58 spaces, they are proposing means to alleviate the shortfall by valet.  Schepis:  Provided rationale and basis for the variance and real-life effects of this type of parking arrangement.  Karkowsky: Parking demand for restaurant calculated based on number of seats (144).

Sandham: Are the sidewalks fully connected between the train station lots and the train station?  Walker: Yes sidewalk to connect, and site to be connected to train station

Omland: 58 spaces include gravel parking which may limit the number of fully conforming spaces to 40. No seating plan presented needs to be very tight to ensure seating and parking align. Asked Walker current status of County  approvals for Whitehall changes. Walker: County on board, no final approvals received yet. Omland: Board cannot make applicant wait for County prior approval, but any approval here must be conditioned on the County improvements.

Tobias: Asked if take-out service will be provided.  Stathis: Take out may be provided to NJ Transit riders.  Walker could not answer. Tobias: Questioned pedestrian crossing across Whitehall at high point and lack of visibility. Crosswalk was added in response to Board professionals.

Burgis: Asked to describe the material to be used at valet parking area. Gravel paver system, sub-base prepared similar to pavers, then gravel pavers roll out like a mat, then covered with 1-1/4 inch stone. Smooth, stable surface to walk on and drive on.  Karkowsky: Questioned why not porous concrete?  Walker: Difficult to modify later if site or uses change.

Omland: Who will be addressing propriety of street parking spaces relative to sight access and closeness to site driveways.  Walker:  Mr. Desch will address street parking.

Chairman Karkowsky opened to public:

Abe Cohen 30 Woodshire Terrace: Questioned the parking and use of NJ Transit parking lot. Lot is never full, even on Friday and Saturday nights.

NJ Transit owns the lot and could change the parking parameters at any time.

Motion to close public portion for this witness made by: Lipari  Second by: Sandham; Roll call: Unanimous

Hugo Zavala (Valet consultant) - sworn:

Been in valet for 16+ years, experience with restaurants, office building, banquet halls, etc.  Reviewed the site for valet parking system. Used Exhibit A-3 to explain. Will use 2 directional signs on sidewalk. 4-man staff, 1 at front entrance to handle incoming and handle claim tickets, 2 drivers to take cars to lot, 1 lot handler to park the vehicles. Traffic will be one way from middle driveway west to minimize conflict. Claimed cars will travel out the far driveway onto Whitehall and then back in via the center driveway. 44 total cars can be parked in the dedicated valet area.  All of the paved spaces will be reserved for the retail shops.

Sandham: Questioned exiting lot out onto Whitehall Road to re-enter lot. Potential safety issue, limited sight distance. Asked that traffic expert comment on that.  Lipari: Any similar restaurants in this area?  Zavala: Suppa’s  Omland: Any banquet facilities? Timing of valet services. Stathis: Based on demand. Most likely Friday and Saturday nights.

Walker: Will modify plan to provide full height curb on westerly end to keep vehicles within established parking area. Durable posts with signs will be provided to demarcate the standard width spaces when no valet is provided.  Omland: Applicant should provide means to contain cars.

Open to public : None

Motion close the public portion for this witness made by: Sandham; Second:  Lipari; Roll call: Unanimous

John Desch P.E. (Traffic/parking expert) – sworn -Accepted as expert.

Investigated in March and April of 2010; prepared 5/28/10 report and supplemental report dated 6/10 responding to Omland comments. Examined size of restaurants, number of stores and residential units, then took normal expected traffic flows and superimposed on local roadways. Examined peak times. Also considered growth rate.

Project traffic then added to calculation. Middle driveway is turn-restricted. Traffic distributed among driveways, then levels of service determined. All driveways result in generally favorable, other than Whitehall and Pinebrook Road. (Level E and F). Does not feel the traffic for this development adds any significant increase to that level of service.

Sight distances considered…current Whitehall speed limit is 45 mph. When lanes are narrowed and parking provided, traffic will be calmed, and speed limit will be recommended to be reduced to 25mph. County seems to be in support. Sight distance still calculated at 45 mph and is adequate.

There is a parking shortfall at the site. Shared parking concepts discussed per the ITE Manual…..all data contained in his report (Tables 6 and 7) for various time periods. Believes the restaurant will be able to use some shared spaces at nearly all times, and restaurant parking will never exceed 90. Valet is also a good approach to addressing that parking need. Commented on concerns of exiting onto Whitehall…..very non-busy time on Whitehall……not a big concern. One-way circulation in parking lot is very important.

Discussed 3-year accident history (11 accidents). Only 1 with injury.

Schepis: Asked about sight distances from most westerly point (>500’ in both direction). Center driveway (with right-turn only restriction) (>500’) if vehicle noses into travelway if parked cars exist; same for easterly driveway.

Visco: Where are limits of proposed on-street parking to the west. There is currently a left-turn lane onto Pine Brook. Questions difficulty of exiting westerly driveway left across 2 lanes of Whitehall.  Minimum required sight distance at westerly driveway exists inside project site.

Lewis: Questioned lighting levels at crosswalks and sidewalks. Additional study to be done  Omland: Suggests that written County status report on driveways, street parking, speed limits, etc. would be very useful to the Board.  Sandham: Interested in consideration of full signal at intersection because of the additional driver and pedestrian movements.

Carried to October 28, 2010. No further notice. Extension granted

Meeting adjourned.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gary Lewis

Acting Secretary


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 November 2010 )
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