ZONING BOARD OF
MINUTES OF JULY 6, 2011
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.
STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
Stated for the record.
Moore - Present
Thomas Buraszeski - Present
Kanoff - Present
James Marinello - Present
Deane Driscoll - Present Keith Olsen (Alt #1) - Present
Shirkey – Entrance Noted John Petrozzino
(Alt #2) - Present
Hug - Present
Also Present: Joseph Burgis, Planner - present
Stanley Omland, Engineer - present
Bruce Ackerman, Esq. - present
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Stated for the record
Chairman Marinello opened the
hearing for public comment. Seeing no
one wanting to be heard, Chairman Marinello closed the public portion.
Mr. Schepis agreed to allow
the residential application to go before the Lake Valhalla Club application.
The following application was
carried with notice preserved to 8/3/11:
ZMS/D4-10 – Patel – 299 Changebridge Rd. – B: 160.2, L: 15 & 17 – 2nd
story addition to home in industrial zone/front setback/lot line change – carried w/ notice from
4/6/1, 5/4/11 & 6/1/11 – Eligible: Buraszeski,
Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff,
Olsen, Petrozzino, Marinello ACT
ZC5-11 Gray, Melissa – 6 Fawn
Dr. – B: 125.4, L: 1 – variances for side setback
and building coverage for addition and deck – Notice Acceptable ACT
Present on behalf of the
applicant: Melissa Gray, applicant
Ms. Gray - sworn
Ms. Gray indicated that she
wanted to have a main floor bedroom so she could retire in this house. The lot is oddly shaped. Only a corner of the addition would be in the
setback. The other variance is for lot
coverage. Mr. Burgis – Explained the proofs the
applicant must testify to in order to meet the criteria for the variance.
Steven Lataro, AIA – sworn –
reviewed credentials, but since they had not been submitted in advance, the
board accepted Mr. Lataro as a factual witness only.
Mr. Lataro – The applicant is
proposing a one-story addition that does not meet the side setback. The lot is irregularly shaped, so that it does
not have a true rear yard. Requesting a
lot coverage variance of 411 s.f. The
lot coverage variance request is minimal.
No detriment to neighbors. Proposes
installation of storm water management controls. Mr. Burgis – Can the deck be shifted
westerly. Mr. Lataro – Only 8’ of the
corner of the addition is in the setback, the walk in closet portion. The addition cannot be laid out any other way
and remain functional. Mr. Omland – Do
you have a basement? Ms. Gray – It’s a
split level and we have a crawl space.
Mr. Omland – Do you have a sump pump?
Ms. Gray – No. Mr. Omland –
Condition that the pits be dry before purchasing and installing drywells, but,
comfortable that the applicant can either do 4 drywells at shallower depth or a
rain garden if the soil test comes back wet.
Mr. Omland to have someone on site to verify that the test pit is dry
Open to public – none
Mr. Hug – How is this a 1%
increase in lot coverage? Mr. Lataro –
The existing lot is 10% plus proposed makes it 11%. Mr. Marinello – I understand the irregular
shaped lot and the setback, but I do not understand the necessity for the
building coverage variance. Ms. Gray –
We did not feel the need to go up, since we are looking to have a master
bedroom on the 1st floor. We
are not doing the addition just to make the house larger, we are trying to make
it more functional as we get older. Mr.
Buraszeski – What is the height of the addition? Mr. Lataro – 17’ to the mean point of the
roof, the new roof will not go higher than the existing roof, we are also
putting on a new roof, installing new windows and new siding.
Mr. Buraszeski – Instead of
doing a continuous line on the addition, can you indent the structure from Sunset
to make it more visually pleasing? Mr.
Lataro – That is possible. Mr.
Buraszeski – Does it cause an issue with the roofline at all? Mr. Lataro – I believe it can be done. Mr. Buraszeski – It would also help minimize the
building coverage and setback variances requested.
Mr. Marinello – Will the
addition be obtrusive to people driving by on Sunset? Mr. Burgis – It is only an 8’ area within the
setback. Mr. Marinello – If there was a
2’-3’ cut, what would it do to the building coverage? Mr. Burgis – It would reduce the visual
Closed to public
Mr. Hug – I have a problem
with the size and location of the addition.
The sunroom is too large. Mr.
Driscoll – It would be close to the fence in the rear of the property. Mr. Hug – Would like to give the applicant a
chance to come back with a new design.
Mr. Marinello – You would need to come back with strong proofs that this
cannot be built without the need of the variance. Applicant agreed.
Carried with notice to
Minutes of June 16, 2011
Eligible: Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Olsen, Petrozzino,
to approve made by Buraszeski, seconded by Driscoll; Roll call: Yes – Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Moore, Olsen, Petrozzino
Pashman Stein – Trust for:
$459, $519.75, $925
Burgis Associates – Trust
for: $270, $303.75, $270, $236.25, $337.50, $405
Omland Engineering – Trust
for: $213.75, $33.75, $397.50, $540, $337.50,$281.25
Motion to approve made by Kanoff, seconded by
Driscoll; Roll call: Unanimous
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 –
Eligible: Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Marinello - Approval
Motion to approve made by
Buraszeski, seconded by Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll,
Kanoff, Moore, Marinello
Mr. Marinello and Dr. Kanoff
left the meeting.
Mr. Buraszeski assumed the
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 & 6/16/11 – Eligible:
on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq.; Perry Bonadies, General Manager;
Adrian Humbert, PP, Planner; David Bornstein, resident; William Troutman,
Mr. Schepis – I have one fact
witness before the Planner testifies.
David Bornstein, 6 Cheyenne Dr. –
I have been a member of the
club for 6-8 months and waited 2 years to become a member. Mr. Buraszeski – We were expecting the
Planner this evening. Mr. Schepis –
Wanted to bring someone with a positive voice on the application. Mr. Bornstein – The weddings and parties do
not affect me as a member and it keeps the dues down. The bathroom is a good idea so people do not
relieve themselves in the woods. Mr.
Buraszeski – How far are you from the club?
Mr. Bornstein – A few blocks away.
Open to public for questions
of this witness.
Donald Bauman – previously
Are you aware of the port-a-john
by the softball fields? Mr. Bornstein –
Note: Mr. Shirkey enters
Exhibit marked in:
A-16 memo re: frame tent structure
Mr. Schepis indicated that
Mr. Laird, the Construction Official had no problem with the tent structure
frame remaining all year round. Mr.
Ackerman – Mr. Laird will not be the final decision maker as to the
interpretation of the zoning ordinance, the Board of Adjustment serves that
Adrian Humbert, PP – sworn –
I met with the board
professionals initially and reviewed the permitted and non-permitted work done
on site. I have reviewed the site along with aerial photos that were prepared
over time. Improvements proposed are
cottage renovation including interior space for men’s and women’s bathrooms, 2
outdoor showers and a fence, for the sand area on site presently used as volley
ball court be considered two volleyball courts, propose 10’ poles with a hoistable
net near the volleyball courts for safety reasons, tent structure to remain, new
vestibule with entrance protective device, small guardhouse structure, 25 s.f.
footprint and is 10’6” high in front of clubhouse, 2 employee parking spaces by the maintenance
shed and a 4’ fence near the shed. Removal
of outdoor storage near the maintenance shed.
9 parking spaces proposed east of the Tennis Courts. Relocate above ground propane tanks 25’ to the
south to provide sufficient back up space for parking spaces, guide rail proposed, 11 spaces
proposed in this area, 2’ high retaining wall to west side of tennis courts for
stabilization of slope in that area. 9
parking spaces proposed on gravel north of the maintenance shed plus 2 concrete
bollards in 3 locations to protect utility poles, wood guide rail to define
spaces. Light poles associated with
parking along gravel traveled way. New
indoor bathroom proposed in pavilion building.
In the grove area, the proposal is for 45 overflow parking spaces with a
wood guide rail and evergreen planting screen as well as lighting
installed. Concrete barrier proposed to
make sure it remains pedestrian bridge. Overflow
parking to be included in the softball field adjacent to the existing
club. 9 overflow parking spaces
adjacent to the south side of the tennis courts.
Mr. Humbert – 15
gravel spaces with wheel stops were approved along Club Drive in 2006. The height of the existing tennis and soft
ball fence was approved by the Planning Board from 12’-16’ in height in
2002. In 2001, the renovation of the
warming hut and relocation of 1 platform tennis court and addition of 1
platform tennis court was approved by the Planning Board. The clubhouse expansion was approved by the
Board of Adjustment in 2007. Mr. Humbert
reviewed the improvements for the board.
Mr. Humbert - Improvements made to the site without
approval include a deck by paddle tennis courts, fire pit, expanded gravel
walkways, paver areas, relocated lifeguard shed, paver patio at that shed, 4
gravel parking spaces, light at east end of pavilion building, 4’ & 6’
fencing, and a railroad tie wall.
Mr. Humbert – Relief
requested, D variance for expansion for a legal non-conforming use, accessory
structure (tent) at a location less than 10’ from a principal building,
accessory structure in front yard for renovated vacant cottage, deck addition,
volley ball courts with hoistable net and gate house, fence height of 6’ in
front yard, impervious coverage 159,012 s.f. where 13,300 s.f. allowed with an
increase of 1,539 s.f. over existing site coverage. The board previously approved an impervious
coverage of 123,055 s.f. in 2006. The
disparity in amounts comes from -- in the 2007 site plan the applicant
calculated its impervious coverage based on the impervious coverage east of
Crooked Brook and the west portion of Crooked Brook was not shown on that site
plan at that time and not included in the application.
Mr. Humbert – Reviewed zoning
history. In 1952, the club was placed in
the residential and farm zone, and it was a permitted use until 1957 where
non-profit clubs were allowed with special exceptions. So it changed from a permitted use to a
conditional use. Mr. Humbert reviewed
the special exceptions for the board and restrictions on its use. In 1961, the club became a prohibited use in
all zones. In 2010 the Land Use Plan
Element proposes the Lake Valhalla Club a permitted use with a zoning ordinance
to be created to limit the expansion and uses on the property. The zoning ordinance has not yet been
Mr. Humbert – The temporary tent
structure has been in use for about 5 years, relief sought is a 10’ setback
from the clubhouse and to make it a permanent improvement. It is a convenience for the members and
guests. It is a place where food is
served and eaten. The tent is a logical
adjunct to outside recreational
activities, which promotes
public health and safety for the members of the club. The gatehouse will be a beneficial use to
guide guests and maintain a safe traffic flow, it is more attractive than the
card table and umbrella that currently exists, and will help avoid
congestion. The 2 volleyball courts are
currently functioning, seeking approval for volley ball nets and 10’ high
hoistable net. The height is required
for safety reasons. Cottage building is to
be renovated for bathrooms, yacht club space, lockers, and 2 outdoor
showers. 93% of the members are Township
Mr. Humbert – The Club has
been granted municipal approvals over the years. The Township is working on bringing it back
as a permitted use with its new master plan.
The recreational activities of the club serve the general welfare of the
public. The recreation master plan
indicates there is a shortage of volleyball courts within the township. The proposal has no negative impact to zone
plan or zoning ordinance. There is a
high degree of community benefit with this proposal.
Mr. Humbert – The grove
parking is to be valet and employee parking.
It is a gravel area; parking can be identified without striping by
marking spaces with reflector tape. The
purpose is to avoid parking on the streets.
This would be a beneficial use.
The ball field parking would be managed by the club or a Township police
officer for the use 3-4 times a year for specific dates to avoid parking on the
streets. Would expect that the lighting
by the grove would only be on when the spaces are being used and that they
would be directed downward to decrease light spillage.
To keep the planning
testimony in one portion of the hearing, the Board permitted the objectors’
planner to testify out of turn. Cross-examination
would follow next meeting. Josh Mann,
Esq introduced the objectors’ Planner.
Jason Kasler, PP – sworn –
Mr. Hug – We have specific
rules that resumes must be submitted prior to the board hearing. Mr. Buraszeski – We will allow it this
evening in order to move the application forward.
Mr. Kasler – There was no
justification for a D1 variance from Mr. Humbert’s testimony. In my opinion, a D1 variance is necessary and
there is a significant legal difference between D1 and D2 variances. The expansion is far beyond an expansion of a
non-conforming use. It must be
considered a new use. The expansion of
the use of the catering hall for non-members and auxiliary members requires a
new use. It is a non-profit running as a
profit catering facility. Weddings for
the membership were previously allowed, but not 2-3 weddings per weekend for
non-members and auxiliary members.
There is nothing that says that since a lake is here there has to be
weddings on the property. If the site
were particularly well suited for this use, then parking on ball fields would
not be required. The volleyball courts
are private, so not all residents can use them.
The applicant does things ahead of time and asks permission later. This is a detriment to the surrounding
area. Do not see catering halls
permitted on residential properties. The
Master Plan zone change has not happened yet, and we do not know what the
restrictions for that zone will be.
Mr. Buraszeski – Mr. Burgis
will submit his review of the testimony next month and then we will ask for
public questions for the witness next month, as well as questions from the
board and its professionals.
Mr. Omland – I have no
engineering questions for Mr. Humbert.
Mr. Schepis – Mr. William Troutman
is here as a factual witness.
Mr. Troutman, 14 Rockledge Rd. -
I have lived on Rockledge Rd. for
42 years and have been a member of the club for about 40 years. When I joined the club, the Grove was a very
active area, now it is used less. Mr.
Ackerman – What is the relevance of this testimony? Mr. Schepis – Mr. Troutman can provide
testimony that he is familiar with
this grove area for the past
40 or 50 years. Mr. Ackerman – The real
issue is parking in the grove. Mr. Schepis
said that the board wanted to know about whether the gravel area existed and
for how long. Mr. Ackerman – The real
issue is whether or not you got a lawful variance previously. Mr. Schepis – The gravel was never shown on
the previous plan, although the gravel was there prior to 1957. Mr. Ackerman – Mr. Humbert indicated that
there was an aerial photo. Mr. Schepis –
Mr. Troutman will tell us that the lights existed and the gravel and the fire
pits. Mr. Ackerman – Do the lights go on
now? Mr. Schepis – No. Mr. Shirkey – Mr. Troutman has not lived here
prior to the zoning ordinance. He has
only been here 40 years.
Exhibit A17 – photos taken by Mr. Bonadies of site in
Mr. Troutman - The photos
reflect the grove area as they exist today.
The grove area with 3 clusters of fire places were there years ago, each
cluster had an orange light above the fire pits. This used to be a very active area for
picnicking. Mr. Ackerman – How long has
it stopped being a picnic area and the lights stopped working. Mr. Troutman – About 25 years ago. Mr. Shirkey – The parking that was taking
place in the grove at that time was used for picnics at the BBQ grills? Mr. Troutman – Yes.
Open to public for this
Gladys Nemirow – previously
Do you recall that every year
the Valhalla Civic Association used the grove every year until 2 years ago? Mr. Troutman – Ok so it was used once a year.
Karen Quinn – previously
The purpose of the grove now
is to dump all the bottles in the middle of the night and the garbage. Mr. Troutman – There are 2 large dumpster in
Closed to public for this
Perry Bonadies – previously
Exhibit A18 – Mr. Bonadies correspondence dated
Mr. Bonadies – The 1st
page shows all parties held at the club no matter what the size. Mr. Hug - So this is to be added to the
information given last month? Mr.
Bonadies – Yes. Mr. Bonadies reviewed
Exhibit A18 for the Board. The purpose
of the parties is that the money goes back into the club for maintenance of the
lake and the dam; there is also regular maintenance of the club and the
Exhibit A19 - approval letter for paddle court in
Mr. Bonadies reviewed the
approval letter for the board. They
moved one court and added one court and approved renovation of warming kitchen.
Mr. Ackerman – Where is the
back up to the parties as requested by the board that shows the parties
actually occurred with that amount of guests.
This is just a summary by a witness.
Mr. Buraszeski – Feels that the summary is sufficient. Mr. Shirkey would like to see the 2 party
lists merged into one list. Other board
questions submitted to counsel last month will be addressed by witnesses of
Application was carried with
notice preserved to 8/3/11
-Morris Plaza - B: 57.01, L: 6 - 350 Main Rd. – request for extension
of approvals until 6/4/12
Chairman asked Board Planner
whether there were any planning considerations that changed so that it would
affect the grant of such an extension request.
The Board Planner did not know of any such issues.
After a brief board
discussion, a Motion to grant extension made by: Hug; Second by: Shirkey; Roll
call: Yes – Buraszeski, Hug, Driscoll, Kanoff, Moore, Shirkey, Petrozzino and Mr. Olsen
Board Liaison Update – Mr. Driscoll discussed the fine against Home Depot for
putting items in the fire lane and Open Space Trails Plan.
Review Fees – Addendum to professional services agreement for landscape review
upon request of Professional Planner in the Land Use Office.
to modify Mr. Burgis’ professional services agreement to allow for landscape
review fees as proposed, made by: Hug; Second by: Moore; Roll call: Unanimous
being no further business the board unanimously adjourned by motion.
Jane Grogaard, Recording Secretary
Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board
meeting of August 3, 2011.
Certified to 5/4/11 hearing
Certified to 5/4/11 hearing
Certified to 3/2/11 & 4/6/11 hearings
Certified to 3/2/11 hearing