Board of Ajustment Minutes 6-16-11 Print E-mail




Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road

8:00PM Regular Meeting

NOTE: No New Business to be conducted past 10:30 P.M.

Chairman Marinello welcomed the applicants and residents to the hearing and requested that everyone either turn off or silence their cell phones. 


Stated for the record.


Richard Moore - Present                     Thomas Buraszeski - Present

Donald Kanoff - Present                     James Marinello - Present

Deane Driscoll - Present                     Keith Olsen (Alt #1) - Present

Kenneth Shirkey - Present                  John Petrozzino (Alt #2) - Present

Gerard Hug - Present

Also Present:        Joseph Burgis, Planner - present

                                Stanley Omland, Engineer - present

                                Bruce Ackerman, Esq. - present


Stated for the record


The following application was carried with 200’ notice preserved and newspaper notice required to 8/3/11:

ZC6-11 – Dharmakeerthi – 42 Crescent Rd – B: 148, L: 10 – side setback/sides combined/front setback for addition                                                                                   ACT BY: 9/23/11


Chairman Marinello opened the hearing for public comment.  Seeing no one wanting to be heard, Chairman Marinello closed the public portion.

ZC36-09-7-11 –Marotto, Vincent – B: 71, L: 11 – 15 Millers Ln. – request for a change in the conditions of the resolution as it relates to storm water management – Carried w/notice from 6/1/11 – eligible: Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Olsen, Petrozzino, Marinello                                                                                                                                             ACT BY: 9/30/11

Present on behalf of the applicant: Vincent Marotto & Lisa Marotto, applicants; Matthew Clark, PE

Ms. Marotto, applicant – previously sworn

Ms. Marotto - Provided a summary of the changes proposed to the plans since June 1, which was their last appearance.  She indicated that they decided to revert back to driveway improvements originally suggested by the board, which includes keeping the existing driveway and installing a K-turn.

Matthew Clark, PE – previously sworn

Mr. Clark indicated that they revised the impervious numbers, which represents a reduction in coverage.  Applicant has agreed to provide a contribution to a fund to swap out curb pieces for environmental curbing.  The location of K-turn has been turned back into property in the event there is any future widening to road.

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Mr. Marinello asked Mr. Omland to clarify alternatives to dry well due to high water table.  Mr. Omland explained to board and public that despite small increase in run-off, the obligation under design standard is to provide mitigation.  This cannot be provided on-site.  Another means includes installation of environmental curb pieces in an attempt to provide improved storm water management to the community.  This cannot be done on site but will be done within the immediate area.

Mr. Burgis indicated that applicant does not exceed impervious coverage.  The existing driveway is preferred in relation to distance from intersection as previously proposed.

Chairman Marinello opened hearing to the public - none

Mr. Shirkey asked Mr. Omland to confirm that the applicant agrees.  Mr. Hug asked about cost to applicant.  Mr. Omland indicates less than $500.00.  Chairman Marinello asked Mr. Omland to make sure that this addition will not increase run-off hazards.   Mr. Omland said that this is less than one CFS, therefore it will have minimal if not unperceivable impact.  This area is low lying and has existing drainage issues. Mr. Ackerman asked whether any driveway would be located on Millers Lane.  Mr. Clark indicated that no change will be done to the driveway existing on Millers with the exception of the K-Turn.  Mr. Buraszeski asked how often this type of curb swapping occurs.  Mr. Omland said Mr. Barile, Township Engineer, would know better how often, but this should be encouraged if the applicant cannot provide on-site mitigation and it is an environmental benefit. 

Chairman Marinello closed the public portion of hearing and asked board for input or motion.  Mr. Buraszeski is in favor, but asked board members for thoughts on curb-swapping.  Mr. Hug feels $500 is not too onerous to request.  Chairman Marinello feels it is a reasonable condition. 

Mr. Marinello complemented applicant on making efforts to conform to the board’s suggestions. 

Motion to approve application as presented with condition of contribution not to exceed $500 for curb-swapping to mitigate storm water impact due to high water table on motion made by: Buraszeski; Second by: Hug; Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Marinello


Minutes of June 1, 2011 Eligible: Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Olsen, Petrozzino, Marinello

Motion to approve made by Buraszeski, seconded by Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Olsen, Petrozzino, Marinello


Pashman Stein – Trust for: $317.25

Burgis Assoc. – Trust for: $270, $742.50, $270, $506.25, $135

Omland Engineering - Trust for: $506.25, $67.50, $337.50, $270, $337.50, $540, $405

Anderson & Denzler – Trust for: $140


Motion to approve made by Kanoff, seconded by Driscoll; Roll call: Unanimous


ZC33-08 - Fille - B: 106, L: 8 - 19 Redding Pl. – request for 1 year extension to 6/2/12 - GRANTED

Motion to approve made by Buraszeski, seconded by Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Marinello

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Mr. Marinello and Dr. Kanoff left the meeting. Dr. Kanoff recused himself from the following application.

Mr. Buraszeski assumed the chair.

ZSPP/FCD25-06-05-09 Lake Valhalla Club – Vista Rd. – B: 11, L: 29 - preliminary/final site plan/Use & Bulk relief and design waivers  – first hearing 11/4/09, carried with notice from 12/1/10,  3/2/, 4/6/11, 5/4/1, &6/1/11  – Eligible: Buraszeski, Driscoll[1], Hug[2], Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey , Olsen[3], Petrozzino                                                                        ACT BY: 6/17/11

Present on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq.; Carl Schafer, resident; Perry Bonadies, General Manager; Adrian Humbert, PP, Planner.

Mr. Schepis indicated that he submitted two documents prior to this evening’s hearing including insurance and roster of members.  Mr. Schepis stated that the Construction Official did an inspection on the 2nd floor of the clubhouse and there were no improvements done that the Township did not know about.  Mr. Ackerman asked that Mr. Schepis have his witnesses discuss the exhibits so that they may be entered into the record.  Mr. Schepis stated that the tent did not need a construction permit and the Construction Official had given him the regulations about the tent being allowed to stay up 180 days a year.  The tent was there in 2006 when the applicant came for site plan approval but was not shown on the site plan.

Carl Schafer – 7 Hathaway Lane – presented as fact witness – sworn

Mr. Buraszeski asked Mr. Schepis what Mr. Shafer was testifying as.  Mr. Schepis indicated that the witness was testifying as a resident.    Mr. Schepis asked about Mr. Schafer’s residence’s vicinity to the ball field.  Mr. Schafer indicated that he moved to the area due to the lake and the neighborhood.  Mr. Schafer indicated that he is a member of the club.  Mr. Schafer indicated that he knew that the club hosted weddings prior to moving into the neighborhood and indicated that members are still able to use the facility during weddings and other events.  Mr. Schafer indicates that parking on the ball field is preferred, in his opinion as a resident, and a better alternative than parking on the street.  Additional overflow parking is along the tennis courts from his experience.

Mr. Buraszeski opened the meeting to the public for this witness.

 Mr. Hug asked the witness what problems he has experienced during weddings.  Mr. Schafer indicates that parking along the street is an issue.  Mr. Moore asked if Mr. Schafer has had to call the police.  Mr. Schafer stated that he had to call the police twice when people parked in front of his driveway. 

Mr. Mann, attorney for objectors, asked Mr. Schafer if he has another home.  Mr. Shafer indicated he had a boat down the shore that he spends about 9 weeks out of the year at. 

Mr. Bauman, Lake Shore Drive and previously sworn, asked Mr. Schafer how long he lived on Hathaway.  Mr. Schafer indicated he has lived there for six (6) years.  Mr. Bauman challenged the credibility of the

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witness.  Mr. Buraszeski reminded Mr. Bauman that questions only were allowed during this portion and that Mr. Bauman will have an opportunity to present comments at a later time.

Karen Quinn – 8 Hathaway Lane- sworn

Ms. Quinn made statements regarding Mr. Schafer not caring what occurs in the neighborhood since he spends a lot of time out of town.  Mr. Ackerman reminded her that this was the time for questions and comments will be allowed later in the proceedings.   

Ken Nemeth – previously sworn.  Asked Mr. Schafer if his wife or children participate on any Club teams.  Mr. Schafer said they do not.  Mr. Nemeth asked Mr. Schafer if he was aware that people from out of Montville participate in organized sports at the Club.  Mr. Schafer said he was not aware of this.

Mr. Schepis called Mr. Perry Bonadies as a witness. 

Mr. Bonadies, General Manager of the Lake Valhalla Club– sworn. 

Described duties including overseeing day-to-day operation of Club since 1987.  Mr. Bonadies testified that a large kitchen was necessary for an a la carte restaurant.  The improvements to the restaurant, which were previously approved by the board, then allowed for more efficient service.  The Club requires a lot of upkeep (e.g. dam, water quality, repair of buildings).

Mr. Schepis presented exhibit A-13 as copy of roster that lists approximately 400 families, 1,582 members total, with addresses.  Members come from a variety of communities in addition to Montville (i.e. Boonton, Rockaway).  93% of membership is residents of Montville.  In actual numbers, 374 families live in Montville, 27 do not reside in Montville.  The exhibit also shows that there has been an increase in a la carte dinners being served over the past ten years.  Mr. Bonadies.  The Club provides a monthly newsletter that announces the social functions.  Summer is an important time for membership usage.    Activities included in the newsletter are restricted to members.  Functions are held to offset cost of membership, for example Saturday night weddings.  Some weddings occur Sunday, but most are on Saturday. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to parking situation.  Mr. Bonadies replied that the softball field is needed for Memorial Day, beach party and Labor Day.  If a wedding occurs, the majority of parking for guests is in the main parking lot.  Even with 270 people, 30 or 40 cars park and the rest use shuttle services.  If there is overlap with members, it is for a short amount of time.  Employees used to park across the street and now park by the maintenance garages due to disturbances to neighbors.  The exhibit also shows the amount of weddings and bar mitzvahs.  Mr. Bonadies testified that years ago there were more weddings taking place on the property than currently due to the increased usage of the Club by members, which has caused Mr. Bonadies to reduce the number of weddings.  The average number of attendees is 120 for a wedding.   

Mr. Schepis requested that Mr. Bonadies to explain the $1500 auxiliary membership.  Mr. Bonadies indicated that the auditors recommended that the auxiliary membership be formed to maintain the non-profit status of the Club.  These are extended to those wishing to have weddings, for example, at the Club.  The auxiliary membership is a limited membership allowing privileges to the restaurant and bar. Mr. Bonadies testified that very few of the auxiliary members visit the restaurant.  Currently there are 58 auxiliary members.  The membership lasts for a year and then must be renewed. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to the insurance coverage provided to the Club.  Mr. Bonadies indicated that this handout accurately reflects the insurance held by the Club.  Marked as Exhibit A-14.

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify about the purchase of the tent structure erected on the property attached to the club building.  Exhibit A-15 is letter from Brian Laird, Construction Official, and receipt of purchase of tent.  Mr. Laird indicated that tent did not require a building permit, based on certain conditions. The structure is permanent, but the tarp is temporary and is removed during winter months.

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Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to indicate on the plans the location of the bridal suite.  Mr. Bonadies indicates that is it located over the main entrance and not connected to the offices.  Must be accessed through main ballroom.  Room is 10’ x 20’ in area.  The refurbishment of the bridal suite consisted of new wallpaper, but it was not expanded in any way.  Most brides do not use to get ready.  80% of the use of the area is for bands or DJs to perform. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to the modifications of the cottage proposed.  Mr. Bonadies indicated that bathrooms are needed and this is where they would be located. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to use of ball field for parking.  Includes the three holidays, particularly Memorial Day, Labor Day and a beach party.  Mr. Bonadies indicates that parking is organized and no issues based on his knowledge have occurred.  He would be willing to have a police officer direct traffic.  Additional parking would be on the east side near the paddle courts, but not beyond the Crooked Brook.  The Grove would also provide overflow, but Mr. Bonadies would accept as a condition to limit parking to employees or valet parking.

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to the other elements on the property.  Mr. Bonadies testified that patios have been added and improved for safety and uniformity to make ground more even.  Snack facilities are leased to vendors.  Bathrooms are needed near this snack area.  The guard / gate house is important to replace the existing temporary table and umbrella for check-ins.  It would accommodate security guard or valet and provide shelter. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Bonadies to testify as to staff.  Mr. Bonadies testified that full maintenance staff totals 10; 20 in kitchen staff; 25 to 30 wait staff (in total, work in shifts); and security staff May to November to walk grounds. 

Mr. Schepis indicted that he concluded the witness’s testimony.

Mr. Buraszeski opened up the question to the professionals.  Mr. Burgis asked Mr. Bonadies if he is willing to limit the number of weddings to a specified amount.  Mr. Bonadies indicated that in his opinion there would be little impact from weddings if increased over time since he feels the number of dinners has the largest impact in terms of business of Club.  Mr. Burgis advised the board to explore the impact on neighborhood of a certain cap on number of weddings. 

Mr. Buraszeski opened up questioning to the board.  Mr. Petrozzino asked the purpose of the auxiliary membership and in particular weddings is to offset cost of any increase in membership and if any income is retained.  Mr. Bonadies indicated all the money goes back into the club, we use the money toward maintenance, the dam, housing grounds, roofs, etc. 

Mr. Olsen asked about parking and where guests are directed to park.  Mr. Bonadies responded that the parking is at the main lot. Mr. Olsen indicates that there should be a plan if the main lot is full due to member events.  Is the tent up for less than 180 days a year?  Mr. Bonadies: Yes.  Mr. Olsen asked about the number of events and how they have increased over time.  Mr. Bonadies agreed that the 50% increase per year is a trend.  Mr. Bonadies indicated that as membership grew, so did expenses, and the number of weddings were increased as membership grew to offset membership fees.  Mr. Olsen:  Do improvements to property allow for more events at club?  Mr. Bonadies: No.

Mr. Moore asked the witness about the decision-making process for the installations to date done without approval.  The witness responded that he, in concert with the board, make decisions as to physical improvements.  The kids snack area was muddy so we made it safer by putting a stone wall up so they would stay away from the grill area.  Volley ball courts were moved and did not know that a permit was required; we had a septic system that needed to be removed.  Mr. Schepis - The court was shown on the

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2006 site plan as big sand area.  Mr. Bonadies – There were existing fences that were made 1 ½’ higher for safety purposes.  The lifeguard house was moved because it was in front of the club, it was unsightly and animals were living in it.  It was moved closer the water.  Added concrete wheel stops to stop the members from parking on the grass.  By the brook the railroad tie wall existed; we replaced it to clean it up.  Mr. Moore – You have made a lot of improvements that you should have come to the Township for approvals. 

Mr. Bonadies – There will be a microwave and a small fridge in the cabin.  No major cooking proposed.  Mr. Buraszeski – For the auxiliary members does the $1,500 come off the price of the wedding or event.  Mr. Bonadies – Yes.  Mr. Buraszeski – You leave the frame of the tent up currently?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes. 

Mr. Buraszeski – Do you benefit financially with more large parties.  Mr. Bonadies – The Board will give me a bonus if I do more social events.  Mr. Ackerman – You testified before you complied with the conditions of the Construction Official as it relates to the tent..  Mr. Bonadies  - Yes.  Mr. Ackerman – The condition states that the tent not be left up more than 180 days a year and did you not just testify that you leave the frame up?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes.  Mr. Ackerman - Did you understand that a temporary structure means that the structure is to be removed?  Mr. Bonadies – We will do that in the future.  You could not see the framing but if that is one of the conditions then we will comply.  Mr. Ackerman – So the conditions are not met per Mr. Laird’s memo.  Mr. Ackerman – How many weddings in October and what are the hours?  Mr. Bonadies - 15 weddings, 2 on a Saturday 11:30am-5pm and 6pm-11pm.  Mr. Ackerman – 2 on Sunday?  Mr. Bonadies – No, 1 on Sunday, occasionally 2 during September and October.  Mr. Ackerman – So how do you get 15 in a month?  Mr. Bonadies – 5 weekends in October. 

Mr. Ackerman – Did you change your certificate of incorporation for 400 families since the by-laws allowed for 325 members?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes.  Mr. Ackerman – Did you ask for a variance to increase your membership.  Mr. Bonadies – No.  Mr. Hug – How many staff members are on site during a wedding.  Mr. Bonadies – About 15 for weddings, a lot more required for ala carte dinners.  Mr. Bonadies – As a general practice we do not do daytime weddings in the summer.  Mr. Hug – Where do the staff park?  Mr. Bonadies – By the maintenance garage and going towards the snack bar towards the dam.  Mr. Shirkey – You were concerned with building permits for the tent structure when you have to drop $16,000.  Everything you do to a structure that is commercially operated needs a permit.  Mr. Shirkey – There is no food preparation at the cabin?  Mr. Bonadies – No, it is not planned to be used as a snack bar. 

Mr. Bonadies - Saturday during the day is not a busy time at the club compared to Sunday and during the week.  Mr. Shirkey – Where do you see the club in 10 years?  Mr. Bonadies – Exactly where it is today, the members do not want to increase the membership.  Mr. Shirkey – Would like the balance of parties from the auxiliary membership list.  Mr. Schepis – So you want a complete list of all the parties from 2010-2011 with the type of membership shown.  Mr. Hug – So the auxiliary membership fee is a deposit.  Mr. Bonadies – It is shown on the bill as a membership fee, I could inflate the pricing to receive the $1,500 either way.    

Discussion ensued on the impervious coverage.  Mr. Schepis indicated that the applicant’s Planner will deal with that issue.  Mr. Buraszeski – Your 2006 approval requires valet parking and now you say that Lt. Peterson does not require valet parking, are you requesting relief from that condition?  Mr. Schepis – Lt. Peterson agreed to an officer to be placed on site to help guide people during the 3 large events during the year and it worked during Memorial Day weekend.  Mr. Buraszeski – Do you do valet at other large events?  Mr. Bonadies – On some of them but most do not need valet parking.

Open to public

Josh Mann, Esq. – Do you receive commissions for weddings?  Mr. Bonadies – Nothing in the contract, but I guess I could.  Mr. Mann – Have you received any commissions for any weddings?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes. 

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Mr. Mann – When someone wants to do a wedding how does it work?  Mr. Bonadies – I become the wedding planner.  Mr. Mann – Do any members of the board have relatives that are vendors on your vendor list?  Mr. Bonadies – No we try to stay away from that.  Mr. Mann – Is there a hard and fast time set to end a wedding?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes it is in the contract.  Mr. Mann – Can the time be extended for a fee?  Mr. Bonadies – Yes but it does not happen often.  Discussion ensued on recent events of more than 60 people.  A list will be submitted to the board.  Mr. Mann – The reason for the weddings is to keep the membership dues down.  Mr. Bonadies – It is one of many reasons.

Dennis O’Brien – previously sworn

When is the current usage of high numbers of weddings compared to?  Mr. Bonadies – In the 1990s we had a high number of weddings before the kitchen was improved.  Mr. O’Brien – Then if you could handle the same number of weddings, why expand the kitchen?  Mr. Bonadies – We did it for the members.  Mr. O’Brien – Do the house members pay the same amount as the auxiliary members?  Mr. Bonadies – No the house members pay additional monthly fees.  Mr. O’Brien – Do you agree that the auxiliary membership really is not a membership of the club.  They do not share in the same privileges as the house members and they only use the club once for the year for their event.  Mr. Bonadies – When you put it that way then yes.  Mr. O’Brien – If you use the club for non-members for more than 15% of the revenues you are in violation of your non-profit status.  Mr. Bonadies – I have people above me that say we are not in violation.  Mr. O’Brien – Do you realize that the club cannot hold it out for goods and services to the general public or you are in violation of the non-profit status.  You indicated earlier that you advertise to the general public for weddings and parties.  Mr. Bonadies – That is not my line of expertise. 

Ken Nemeth – previously sworn

Does your insurance cover pollution?  Mr. Bonadies – Will get back to you on that.  Mr. Nemeth – Underneath the gravel from the garbage area to the road what was there?  Mr. Bonadies – There was nothing under the gravel, it’s not paved and we have not dumped gravel down there in at least 24 years.  Mr. Nemeth – What was the dump trucks doing there this weekend?  Mr. Bonadies – They were fixing potholes in the parking lot. 

Donald Bauman – previously sworn

Have you received the violation that the paddle ball court lights are on past 10pm?  Mr. Bonadies – I have received 1 complaint. 

Gladys Nemirow – previously sworn

The club was not falling apart when you came.  Mr. Bonadies – When I said falling apart, I was discussing the interior.  Ms. Nemirow – The interior was done before you got there.  Ms. Nemirow – Since the restaurant was open Saturday night was always the busiest night.  Does the bar make money?  Mr. Bonadies – Some money, but its relative, the bar is only open a few days a week and not open to the public.  Ms. Nemirow – We were under the understanding that the bar did not make money. 

Diane List – previously sworn

Did you say the staff would not park in the grove?  Mr. Bonadies – No, I would like them to park in the grove.  Ms. List – Will there be lighting?  Mr. Bonadies – We would like lights if there is parking in the grove, would like employee parking in the grove and valet parking 3 times a week on occasion.  Ms. List – I do not want parking in the grove. 

The application was carried with notice preserved to the 7/6/11 agenda with an extension of time to 8/31/11. 



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Planning Board Liaison Update – Mr. Driscoll

The Home Depot received a notice of violation for storage of product in front of the store. 

There being no further business the board unanimously adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Grogaard, Recording Secretary

Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board meeting of July 6, 2011.


Meghan Hunscher, Sec.

[1] Certified to 5/4/11 hearing

[2] Certified to 3/2/11 & 4/6/11 hearings

[3] Certified to 3/2/11 hearing


Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 July 2011 )
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