Planning Board Minutes 10-28-10 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building


No New Business to be Conducted Past l0: 00PM


Mr. Maggio - entrance noted                Mr. Karkowsky - present

Mr. Sandham – entrance noted Ms. Nielson – entrance noted              

Mr. Lipari - present                              Mr. Lewis - present

Mr. Hines - present                              Mr. Canning - present

Mr. Visco - present                              Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present

                                                            Mr. Tobias (alt#2) - present



Swearing of Professionals

Note: Mr. Sandham entered.



The Board generally discussed the issue of residents living on private roads requesting that the Township take over as private roads due to the expense of constructing them to Township standards and maintaining them. 

The Board generally discussed the reason for the comparably high water and sewer hook-up fees due to debt service. 


Reports from Board Liaisons:

a) Board of Adjustment – Gary Lewis   

Mr. Lewis reported that the ZBA heard testimony on the Holiday at Montville application.  He also indicated that the Master Plan Land Use Element draft will be ready to be presented to the full board at the next hearing of the Planning Board. 

Note: Ms. Nielson entered.   

b) Board of Health – Lawrence Tobias  

Mr. Tobias indicated that the minutes were available for review. 

c) Environmental Commission – Vic Canning  (no comment)

d) Water & Sewer – Arthur Maggio  (no comment)

e) Historic Preservation Commission – John Visco (no comment)

f)  DRC – Deb Nielson   (no comment)

g) Site Plan/Subdivision Committee – Russ Lipari Chair, Ladis Karkowsky, Deborah Nielson, & John Visco (alt)

Mr. Lipari mentioned that Wellco Gas is seeking a new co-tenant.  The PB subcommittee requested that the proposed tenant return to the full board with a site plan.  Mr. Lipari indicated that the COAH Housing subcommittee met to discuss the Fair Share Housing Center’s challenge to the Montville Township Fair Share and Housing Plan.  The recommendation from Mr. Burgis was to agree to mediation, but request a stay until the new rules are adopted in light of the appellate court decision.

j) Economic Development Committee – Tony Speciale (no comment)

k) Open Space Committee – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deb Nielson & Jim Sandham

Mayor Sandham indicated that the Open Space and Recreation Plan is being update to include a trails plan.  John Visco and Deb Nielson attended.  The plan is being prepared by the NJ Land Conservancy.

l) Master Plan/COAH 3rd Round – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deborah Nielson, Gary Lewis & John Visco (alt) (no comment)

m) Cross Acceptance Committee – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari   (no comment)

n) Highlands Legislation Review Committee – Gary Lewis (no comment)

o)  Appointment to Fire Department Districts – Russ Lipari –Towaco; Tony Speciale for Pine Brook, Art Maggio for Montville (no comment)




PMS/C10-06 Lincoln Park Savings Bank – 2 John Henry Dr – B: 137, L: 4 – amended site plan w/variances – approved 8/12/10 – eligible: Karkowsky, Sandham, Nielson, Lewis, Hines, Canning, Visco, Tobias

Motion made by G. Lewis; Seconded by D. Nielson; Roll call Karkowsky, Sandham, Nielson, Lewis, Hines, Canning, Visco, Tobias



Minutes of September 23, 2010 - eligible:  Karkowsky, Sandham, Lewis, Canning, Visco, Tobias

Subcommittee Master Plan Minutes of September 29, 2010 - eligible:  Karkowsky, Nielson, Lipari, Visco, Lewis

Motion made by J. Visco; Seconded by D. Nielson; Roll call unanimous


Anderson & Denzler – Trust for: $138

Omland Engineering – Trust for: $67.50, $438.75, $270, $135, $202.50, $67.50, $525, $371.25, $67.50

Michael Carroll, Esq – Litigation for: $40, $680, $80, $440, $40, $80; Trust for: $1,250, $581.25, $33.75, $101.25, $135, $708.75, $33.75, $135, $67.50, $101.25, $33.75, $33.75

Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $135

Burgis Assoc – Trust for: $202.50

Motion made by J. Sandham; Seconded by D. Nielson; Roll call unanimous


Opened to the public (none)



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 & 9/23/19 meetings                      ACT BY: 10/28/10

Continuation from September hearing.  Present on behalf of the applicant:  Steven Schepis, Esq.; Mark Walker, PE and Anthony Garrett, RA, PP. 

Mr. Schepis, Esq. presented engineering witness, Mr. Marc Walker, sworn. 

Exhibit A-8 was presented dated September 21, 2010.

Mr. Walker testified as to the following updates and revisions since the prior meeting and Omland’s memo of October 19, 2010:

  1. Lighting was added to the porte-cochere.
  2. Added bike rake
  3. Changed grass to gravel pavers
  4. Added curbing around perimeter with openings for stormwater
  5. Crosswalk modifications
  6. Additional lighting is proposed by applicant than what is currently there. 
  7. County letter was received which approved parallel parking on Whitehall Road
  8. Addressed Mr. Omland’s report regarding request for reduction in speed limit and signal modification.  Mr. Walker represented that the County requires an analysis to warrant such changes. 
  9. NJ Transit is agreeable to license the pedestrian bridge for operation to the applicant.  It is still under DAG review and the applicant is negotiating a price.

Note: Mr. Maggio entered.

The Board and professionals had the following questions:

Mr. Omland asked Mr. Walker to confirm that the site distance was not designed in accordinance with the ordinance.  Mr. Walker acknowledged this was the case.

Mr. Sandham had concerns regarding traffic and asked how the County will make a determination as to speed limit reduction and signalization.  Mr. Omland agreed to review the applicant’s report to be prepared by Mr. Desh, PE.

Mr. Burgis indicated that there were ten (10) variances identified, four (4) of which were for signage.  There are also variances for front yard and rear yard setbacks, impervious coverage, height, which is a “c” bulk variance, parking – amount and setback.  There is also an outstanding affordable housing obligation that the applicant needs to address. 

Mr. Garrett, registered architect and planner, was sworn.  He is employed by the Billows Group in Ridgefield Park, NJ. 

Exhibit A-9 photo array from a few months ago of existing conditions of site and surroundings.

He gave a brief overview of the project and indicated that the genesis of the project embraces the intent of the master plan.  He envisioned framing the south side of the “square” and that historic photos show infill growth in the area. 

Mr. Garrett gave an overview of the variances and discussed how the impervious coverage was in excess by approximately 5%.  He indicated that this was not the most intensive use for a sewered site and that the proposed sustainable features of the proposed design justify the variance since the site will function better in the post-built condition than the pre-built condition.  The project will be USGBC LEED registered. 

Mr. Garrett testified that in his opinion shared parking is justified due to the mixed-use nature of the project and that providing off-site, on-street parking was a creative solution to address the deficiency and justify the variance. (58 parking spaces are provided on-site, whereas 95 spaces are required). 

Mr. Garrett testified that the granting of the variances requested were justified under both the c(1) “hardship” and c(2) “better zoning alternative” criteria of the statute.  The narrowness of the site necessitates yard variances for the productive use of the property.  Regarding the steep slopes, they are manmade conditions and the overall site design will improve infiltration.  The proposed pedestrian crossing, handicap spaces, and the safety handrail on the retaining wall are all benefits that accrue from the granting of variances.   

Exhibit A-10 is a colored rendering of the architectural plan

Mr. Garrett then addressed signs as necessary for the clear and safe identification of the site, including the number of signs and the freestanding sign.  The only letter height variance is for the “S” in Rails. 

The height variance is due to the topography of the sloped site and the need to obscure the mechanical equipment on the roof.

The Board and professionals had the following questions:

Mr. Lewis had concerns regarding the proliferation of signage and visibility of signage to those walking under the roof are an ear the retail stores.  The applicant offered to make the signage double sided and also make sure retail tenants are aware of the sign ordinance and policy of the town.

Mr. Burgis expressed some concerns regarding a proposed freestanding sign, since the intent of the Towaco Master Plan was to encourage development close to the street. 

Mr. Omland had concerns about maintenance of landscaping, use of seed versus sod, and placement of benches. 

Open to the public (none)


Board discussion of proposed conditions of approval include:

  1. Board requires County comments on outstanding items
  2. Applicant will prepare analysis / warrant study and agreed to provide pro rata share toward improvements if County finds they are necessary.  Mr. Desh PE will prepare and will look at crosswalk lighting.  Mr. Omland will review.
  3. Mr. Omland requested a list of total variances and waivers requested
  4. Mr. Omland requested clarification of pavers proposed – grass or gravel.
  5. Applicant will comply with Burgis Associate’s comments regarding landscaping.
  6. Applicant agrees to comply with affordable housing requirement as law requires in effect at time of issuance of building permit.  A 20% set aside would necessitate the provision of one affordable unit.
  7. Mr. Omland requested that a copy of the architectural renderings be supplied at reduced size to store in file. 
  8. The functioning the valet system is a matter of enforcement and if the Zoning Officer that the applicant is not meeting this requirement, the applicant must reappear before the board. 
  9. Applicant agrees to post a performance bond to address replacement landscaping if necessary.  

The applicant expressed concern at the total fee required for the water and sewer hook-up. 

Mr. Lipari requested that the professionals were satisfied with the application.  Mr. Burgis indicated that in his opinion the justification for the variance proofs were met and Mr. Omland was satisfied with the site plan changes and conditions of approval.

Motion to approve made by R. Lipari; Seconded by G. Lewis; Roll call Ladis Karkowsky, Victor Canning, John Visco, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio, Russ Lipari, Jim Sandham, Larry Hines, Tony Speciale, Alt, Larry Tobias




Meeting adjourned unanimously in a Motion made by Mr. Sandham; Seconded by Mr. Visco.

Respectfully submitted,

Meghan Hunscher

Meghan Hunscher


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 November 2010 )
< Prev   Next >
Joomla School Template by Joomlashack