Planning Board Minutes 2-24-11 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building

MINUTES OF THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2011                              

No New Business to be Conducted Past l0: 00PM

Russ Lipari welcomed everyone to the Montville Township Planning Board hearing of February 24, 2011 commencing at 7:30 p.m.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE - performed                                            





Board Members:

Mr. Maggio - present                                         Mr. Karkowsky - present

Mr. Sandham- entrance noted                            Ms. Nielson - entrance noted                            

Mr. Lipari, Chair - present                                 Mr. Lewis, Vice Chair - (AE)

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

Mr. Visco - present                                           Mr. Tobias (alt#2) - present

Mr. Canning - present

Board Professionals:

Board Attorney:                        Michael Carroll, Esq. - present

Board Engineer:            Stanley Omland, PE, Omland Engineering - present

Board Planner:              Joseph Burgis, PP, AICP, Burgis Associates - present




Board of Adjustment

– Gary Lewis   (AE - not reported)

Board of Health

–        Larry Tobias

Mr. Tobias reported that at the January 10 board meeting, illegally dumped tires were removed near Route 287 near to Waughaw Road by the Mosquito Commission; there is a new bed bug strategy utilizing slugs; the board approved a new fitness center at 2 Changebridge Road; Lake Valhalla Club’s plans were evaluated; a new contract with Lincoln park contract for health inspector services was discussed; Camp Dawson is testing below acceptable levels for lead; at the reorganization meeting Mr. Perry was appointed president and professional staff took a pay cut

Environmental Commission

– Vic Canning  (no report)

Water & Sewer

– Arthur Maggio  (no report)

Historic Preservation Commission

– John Visco  (no report)

Design Review Committee

– Deb Nielson   (no report)

Site Plan/Subdivision Committee –

Russ Lipari Chair, Ladis Karkowsky, Deborah Nielson, & John Visco (alt)  (no report)    

Economic Development Committee –

Jim Sandham, Tony Speciale 

Mr. Speciale reported that the EDC was investigating the feasibility of a farmers market in town.

Open Space Committee –

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deb Nielson & Jim Sandham (no report)

Master Plan/COAH 3rd Round –

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deborah Nielson, Gary Lewis & John Visco (alt) (no report)

Cross Acceptance Committee –

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari   (no report)

Highlands Legislation Review Committee –

Gary Lewis (no report)

Fire Department Districts –        (no report)

Russ Lipari – Towaco;

Tony Speciale for Pine Brook,

Art Maggio for Montville

**Mayor Sandham entered 7:35 p.m. 




Open to public discussion

Close to public discussion

Motion:  Tony Speciale

Second: John Visco

All in favor by voice vote



Mr. Lipari asked if the Board would like to discuss anything not on the agenda. 

Ladis Karkowsky asked board members to ride around town to see if people are violating the ordinance.  He asked Ms. Hunscher to investigate whether the scaffolding for the Columbia Inn could be removed prior to their approval.  He asked if the scaffolding had been erected prior to their applying for a permit.  Ms. Hunscher indicated that they had made application for a site plan waiver to the Zoning Board of Adjustment a few weeks ago and would be scheduled for either the March or April agenda. 

**Ms. Nielson entered 7:45 p.m.


Discussion regarding additional budget allocated to planning for FY 2011.

Ms. Hunscher gave an overview of the proposed additional budget items that she would like the Board to discuss and recommend to the Township Committee. She indicated that the proposed discretionary budget for 2011 is half the amount from 2010.  She understand that in this budgetary climate it is important to be careful with expenditures, but there may be some required planning work that will cost more than the amount allocated. 

COAH line item - Mr. Sandham asked Joe Burgis to discuss the possibility of having to prepare a new COAH plan.  Mr. Burgis and Mr. Carroll commented that COAH is up in the air due to court challenges and legislation that has been withdrawn to address the affordable housing obligation.  Additionally, no one knows what the final numbers will be since the formula is unknown.  COAH is supposedly working on the obligations and also revisions to procedures.  This may last into 2012 or beyond, but Joe thinks there may be an obligation to begin work on the plan in 2011. 

Fogelson rezoning request line item - Ladis does not want to be held libel for rezoning request.  Mr. Canning agrees with Ladis.  Mr. Speciale agrees with Ladis.  Mr. Tobias asked Joe why we included it in budget. Joe said the resident had asked for the rezoning to be considered at the public hearing.  Mr. Sandham indicated that this request was an outcropping of the master plan and that it should be reconsidered without cost to the property owner. Mr. Hines concurs with Ladis.  Mr. Visco indicates that the property was discussed by the master plan subcommittee and a decision was made for it not to be rezoned.  He indicated that a person can challenge the rezoning with own money.  Mr. Karkowsky said it has been zoned residential all along and the committee just agreed to keep it the same.  Mr. Maggio discussed that the person had spoken previously about the property.  Mr. Lipari indicated that there were a few applicants interested in the property in the past.  Ms. Nielson clarified and said that the property owner had sent correspondence in 2009 which did not reach the subcommittee.  She feels that the fee was substantial to prepare the master plan and all areas were looked at in depth and if there were questions during the hearing process, no extra fees or in depth study required. 

Mr. Tobias asked about precedence in challenging master plan.  Mr. Carroll said that master plan creation is discretionary, but the applicant can only challenge ordinance, not master plan.

Ms. Nielson suggested that subcommittee reevaluate at 3/23 master plan subcommittee meeting gin March.  Ms. Hunscher will add to agenda.  Mr. Burgis volunteered to prepare a brief direct memo at no extra charge. 

Mr. Lipari recited an excerpt from Cox that suggests communities set up a rezoning process.  Ms Hunscher indicated that Montville has this process in place.  Mr. Burgis indicated that this case is distinguishable because the request occurred at master plan public hearing and no other resident will be able to request gratis evaluation of their zoning.  Mr. Sandham suggested notifying the Fogelsons to attend the next subcommittee meeting.  Property owner can attend and listen, but cannot participate or lobby subcommittee. 

Mr. Canning objected to expending the monies to prepare a new housing plan given the flux that COAH is in. 

A motion was made by Mr. Visco to approve additional budget amount without the $2,000 and with the understanding that the entirety of the $12,000 may not be all used.  Mr. Hines seconded indicating that the total would then be $19,000.00.

Roll call:

Yes - Mr. Maggio, Mr. Karkowsky, Ms. Nielson, Lipari, Mr. Hines, Mr. Speciale (alt#1), Mr. Visco, Mr. Tobias (alt#2)

No - Mr. Canning, Mr. Sandham



PMISC11-04 Millea Bros – 321 Changebridge Rd. – B: 160.2, L: 18 – 6,200 s.f. warehouse of furniture and decorations – hours of operation 9am-5pm Mon-Sat – 2 employees – no outdoor storage of vehicles – no signage requested (RBR)

See Jazzercise below

PMISC11-05 Jazzercise – 321 Changebridge Rd. – B: 160.2, L: 18 – 2,657 s.f.  - recreation – hours of operation 8am-8pm Mon-Thurs; Fri 8am-7pm; Sat 8am-11am; Sun 8am-11am & 3pm-5pm – 15 employees – no outdoor storage of vehicles – no signage requested (RBR)

321 Changebridge Rd - Ms. Hunscher gave an overview of the tenancy approvals for this site.  The waiver applications are for two new tenants -Millea Bros and Jazzercise.  Ms. Dougherty, attorney for the applicant, discussed hardships that have plagued the property, including a number tenants not taking possession of the leased areas or other businesses going under financially.  She indicated that the applicants have made upgrades to the property mainly to the building.  She acknowledged that the applicant has not been as diligent providing status reports, as required by the board approval, to the Land Use office.   The Township attorney has provided a draft of developer’s agreement, which will be competed once Omland reviews the cost estimate.  

Omland’s review of status of plans per approval, bond estimate, and also county approval are still needed.  Ms. Dougherty indicated that for practical reasons, not legal reasons, the applicant is appearing before the board.  The applicant needs to tenant the building in order to apply for financing.  The bank needs a 50% occupied confirmation to consider the construction loan.

The applicant is asking board to consider that 6 tenants were approved with parking and currently there are  50% less there than what was approved. The applicant is asking for two tenants - one is a warehouse - one is Jazzercise, which will still require less parking than prior approvals.

Ms. Dougherty explained that a timeframe for completion is not possible to provide.  Mr. Karkowsky wants to hear from professionals.  Mr. Visco wants updates for good faith effort that applicant is trying to make efforts. 

Mr. Omland presented a highlighted version of the approved plan that indicated what has been constructed and what has not been constructed.  He said communication an issue all along.  There are more building mounted lights than approved - 16 on and 6 were approved.  This lighting does not service parking away from building.  He is concerned about public safety due to insufficient lighting for night use.  Handicap accessible spaces with signage, were not installed, because new parking not constructed.  One handicap accessible space could be built.  No ROW improvements on Changebridge including sidewalk and lighting have been installed. 

There is currently a $10K cash deposit with the municipality.  Not classified as a bond, but functioning as one.  Me. Omland indicates that a $200K estimate for all improvements and a performance bond in this amount would be required.  He suggests Mr. Carroll weigh in on bonding and discuss revoking CO if improvements not constructed.  Enforcement is an issue.

Mr. Carroll - CO cannot be revoked as enforcement action, but zoning officer can file notice of violation of violation of site plan approval and issue summons.  Waivers are not provided for in MLUL; typically tenancy is not permitted until all improvements are built.  Montville has chosen to allow tenants to occupy building before construction complete, which is ok, but some assurance of construction completion is a good idea.

Outside approval reviews discussed my Mr. Omland include NJDEP approval granted in December 2009.  Ms. Nielson asked Ms. Dougherty to clarify permit situation.  Ms. Dougherty explained that in December 09 permit was issued with condition that deed of dedication be agreed to.  This has taken some time given the back and forth with the County.  It was finally resolved this December 10.  County letters expected within the week for approval.

Ms. Nielson voiced concern about parking location in proximity to operating tenancy and lighting at night

Mr. Omland indicated that certain improvements could be made to the property to satisfy issues of safety that would not offend DEP permits or require that the applicant wait for the developer’s agreement to be signed.  Although the entire site is in the flood plain, work can be performed in the flood plain.  Conduit and a light pole that can be installed. 

Mr. Ladis expressed reservations about improvements ever being constructed.  Mr. Lipari asked why improvements made when revenue was coming in.  Ms. Dougherty says they will be willing to install two pole lights.  Stan says site needs permits in place prior to starting any additional work

Break 9 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. for applicant to deliberate

Applicant agrees to:

1)      Light installation - one pole on right side on pedestal with no issues as to location with DEP

2)      existing pole on left side and additional light same type of fixture

3)      striping of handicap space front and side 45 to 60 days

4)      release bond 10K will post 100K exchange.  Bond merged with 200K total bond for municipality (replaced)

The board was polled and found that the waivers, as long as certain conditions were met including a timeline for construction and debris removal, were acceptable to be approved. 


Mr. Carroll suggested to the applicant that Ms. Dougherty draft a letter that will have a contractual tone addressing all items the applicant agrees to conform to and provide as conditions of these waiver of site plans being granted.  Ms. Dougherty will supply letter to Stan and Ms. Hunscher for their review.  The letter will also include a prospective timeline for completion of the improvements and will incorporate anticipated time that securing financing will take.

Mr. Omland indicates that he anticipates, in his opinion and from experience, that it will take 1 month to garner DEP approval, 1 week to get affidavit of compliance in order, two months to secure developer’s agreement, and suggests a one month buffer in case anything takes longer. Total is 3 months.  For the construction schedule, Ms. Dougherty indicates it can take four months to secure financing and depending on weather the construction will go relatively quickly.  Mr. Lipari suggested a limit of one (1) year to complete construction.

Motion to approve site plan waivers for Jazzercise and Millea Bros with conditions described above.  Applicant’s attorney to provide letter outlining agreement:  Mr. Hines

Second: Mr. Sandham

Roll Call: 

Yes - Mr. Maggio, Mr. Karkowsky, , Mr. Sandham, Ms. Nielson, Lipari, Mr. Hines, Mr. Speciale (alt#1), Mr. Visco, Mr. Tobias (alt#2)

Abstain - Mr. Canning

PMISC11-09 Lindeblad Piano – 101 Rt. 46E Bldg 14 Unit 127 – B: 181, L: 1 – 1,480 s.f. existing showroom for pianos to be used for piano lessons - currently in units 124, 125, 126 & 127 – no other change to existing use. (Rensellear)


Motion to approve: Mr. Karkowsky

Second: Mr. Visco

Roll call:  All in favor by voice vote



Burgis Assoc. – $101.25

Michael Carroll, Esq. –

Omland Engineering – $67.50, $945

Johnson, Murphy – $420

Motion to approve: Mr. Visco

Second: Mr. Sandham

All in favor by voice vote


PSPP/FC09-10 Trinity Baptist Church – 160 Changebridge Rd. – B: 124, L: 12.3 – Prel/Final Site Plan with variances – request for a change in a condition of the resolution. Eligible – Mr. Maggio, Mr. Karkowsky, Mr. Sandham, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Lipari, Mr. Lewis Mr. Hines, Mr. Speciale (alt#1)Mr. Visco, Mr. Tobias (alt#2), Mr. Canning - GRANTED

Carried from February 10, 2011.

Ms. Hunscher indicated that Mr. Scangarella, Esq, attorney for the applicant, had withdrawn his objection to the wording of the resolution.

Motion to approve: Mr. Karkowsky

Second: Mr. Hines

All in favor: unanimous; Mr. Lewis (AE)




Minutes of Planning Board Subcommittee January 20, 2011 - eligible: Mr. Karkowsky, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Visco

Minutes of Planning Board February 10, 2011 – eligible: Mr. Maggio, Mr. Karkowsky, Mr. Sandham Ms. Nielson, Mr. Lipari, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Hines, Mr. Visco, Mr. Tobias (alt#2)

Minutes of Master Plan Subcommittee January 13, 2011 - Eligible:  Mr. Lewis, Mr. Lipari, Mr. Visco, Mr. Karkowsky.

Approval of minutes carried to 3/10/11 hearing.



Mr. Omland indicated that Ms. Hunscher had given him the NJDEP permit applications for Lowes, which is a BOA application.  He was not sure why they had waited so long to apply, but the applications have been submitted.




Mr. Carroll provided an update on the COAH status in the courts.  The most recent update is that the court has asked COAH to revise their procedures. 














Hearing adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Motion to adjourn: Mr. Sandham

Second: Mr. Visco

Respectfully submitted,

Meghan Hunscher, PP

Principal Planner

Planning Board Secretary

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 March 2011 )
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