Planning Board Minutes 9-8-11 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building


No New Business to be Conducted Past l0: 00PM

Chairman Lipari welcomed the public and applicants to the Montville Township Planning Board hearing of July September 8, 2011 commencing at 7:30 p.m. and asked that all present please turn off all cell phones during the proceedings. 





ROLL CALL - taken by Ms. Johansen

Board Members:

Mr. Maggio - absent                              Mr. Karkowsky - present

Mayor Sandham - present                      Committeewoman Nielson - present                                

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

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

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

Mr. Canning (AE)

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

Township Staff:

Principal Planner / Secretary:     Meghan Hunscher, PP AICP - present

Recording Secretary:                 Liz Johansen - present


SWEARING IN OF PROFESSIONALS - performed by Mr. Carroll





Board of Adjustment

Gary Lewis  

Mr. Lewis is absent. 

Board of Health

Larry Tobias

Ms. Tobias is absent.

Environmental Commission

Vic Canning 

Mr. Canning is absent

Water & Sewer

Arthur Maggio 

Mr. Maggio is absent. 

Historic Preservation Commission

John Visco 

Mr. Visco indicated that the HPRC met on Monday and there was nothing of note.

Design Review Committee

Deb Nielson  

The DRC convened at the end of July to review Mr. Romola’s application, which is before the BOA.  The DRC did not convene in August. 

Site Plan/Subdivision Committee

Russ Lipari Chair, Ladis Karkowsky, Deborah Nielson, & John Visco (alt)

Chairman Lipari reports that the Site Plan Committee convened on August 24 and September 8 to discuss waiver applications.  Mr. Lipari indicated that 51 Stiles has a prospective buyer - a luggage warehouse - called 24/7  

Economic Development Committee

Jim Sandham, Tony Speciale

Open Space Committee

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deb Nielson & Jim Sandham

Master Plan/COAH 3rd Round

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deborah Nielson, Gary Lewis & John Visco (alt)

Chairman Lipari reports that the Master Plan subcommittee met on July 28, Aug 10, and Sept 7 to discuss revisions to the zoning ordinance, including the streetscape ordinance.

Cross Acceptance Committee

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari  

Highlands Legislation Review Committee

Gary Lewis

Mr. Lewis is absent.

Fire Department Districts

Russ Lipari – Towaco;

Tony Speciale for Pine Brook;

Art Maggio for Montville


Ms. Hunscher reports that the BOA heard two residential applications in August.  The Lake Valhalla Club did not appear in August and subsequently withdrew its application prior to the September hearing. 

Discussion re: Tree Fund

Ms. Hunscher indicated that she has had discussions with Chairman Lipari, the Chair of the Environmental Commission, and Mr. Mazzaccaro, Director of the DPW, and they are all supportive of a dedicated tree fund to support the planting of new trees within Montville.  The funding source will be, at least initially, from fees collected for tree removal permits.  The Environmental Commission has also reviewed the ordinance and will be providing further suggestions.

Ms. Hunscher reports that two members have resigned due to relocation out of town. 




Mr. Karkowsky expressed disappointment at the Township Committee for voting against the residential development fee ordinance.  He acknowledged that Mayor Sandham and Ms. Nielson were supportive of the efforts.  Mr. Lipari concurred.  He wished that there would have been guidance from the Committee as to which direction to proceed.  He cited a letter from the Committee dated March 2007 when Ms. Nielson was mayor, indicating that the Township Committee supported the Planning Board efforts in this regard.  There was no indication subsequent to this letter that the Committee would proceed in a different direction.   Mr. Burgis indicated that the affordable housing obligation will not go away despite the abolition of COAH.  He indicated that it is unlikely that the rehabilitation obligation will be removed as part of the formula to provide affordable housing.  Mr. Burgis indicated that if a fee ordinance is not approved, other means either through the general fund or potentially through grants to fund the rehabilitation component. 




Chairman Lipari opened the meeting to the public for comment on any item not on the agenda.  Al Puleo appeared representing the Lake Valhalla Club.  He is requesting whether the Lake Valhalla Club could have input on the development of the ordinance draft.  Mr. Lipari indicated that he would have an opportunity to participate during the public session.

**Note: Mr. Maggio entered. 

Mr. Hines asked how many members belonged to the Club.  Mr. Puleo indicated that 400 families were members for a total of 1600 individuals.  


There was no Planning Business to come before the board. 


There are no waivers to come before the board.


Omland Engineering – Trust for: $607.50, $67.50

Burgis Assoc – Trust for: $438.75, $67.50

Anderson & Denzler – Trust for: $140

Michael Carroll, Esq. – Trust for: $67.50. $405, $472.50, $33.75, $67.50

On a motion made by                 , and seconded by          , invoices unanimously approved as presented. 


There were no resolutions to come before the board.



There was no correspondence to come before the board.


Planning Board Hearing – July 28, 2011 To be voted on at September 22, 2011 meeting. 


There is no LOI/DEP notifications to discuss.




The Legislation is not in session as noted by Mr. Carroll. 




There was no old business to come before the board.



PMS/C11-07 – Pizza Hut - 34 Rt. 46W – B: 176, L: 4.2 – minor site plan with variances - Notice Acceptable

ACT BY: 12/24/11


Appearing for application:  Mr. Steve Schepis, attorney for the applicant; Mr. Edward Kloss, applicant / property owner; Michael Napolitan, licensed architect and planner; Ms. Mia Petrou, PP AICP - planner;

Mr. Kloss, sworn, testified about history of property.  The application proposes to subdivide the existing Crib City furniture store to include a take-out Pizza Hut.  Mr. Kloss indicates that restaurant in particular is a good tenant since the Internet is causing furniture stores to disappear.   Mr. Kloss indicates that parking is sufficient due to non-coincidental peak hours of each establishment.

Mr. Lipari asked if the board had any questions.  Seeing none, he asked the professionals if they had questions.


Mr. Burgis asked if there is a recorded document that formalizes the cross-access easement. Mr. Schepis indicated that there is a document.  Mr. Speciale asked whether Pizza Hut has lunch business.  Mr. Kloss indicates there is a small lunch business for delivery. 

Mr. Napolitan, architect, was sworn in.  He presented his credentials and the board accepted him as an expert witness.  He presented a plan set to convert 1100 sf from retail furniture to take out pizza.  Façade changes include one sign.  No new doors or windows are proposed.  An emergency exit on the west side of the building is proposed.  No addition proposed.

Ms. Nielson asked whether there was any internal seating.  Mr. Napolitan said no. 

Exhibit A-1 - photo rendering of proposed signage on building

Exhibit A-2 - aerial of property in question

Ms. Mia Petrou, PP AICP, sworn in, licensed planner in NJ.  Ms. Petrou reviewed her credentials.  The board accepted her as an expert witness.  Ms. Petra provided an overview of the property and zoning.  Ms. Petrou gave an overview of the proposed signage as depicted on A-1.  She testified as to the variance proofs required for granting of bulk (c) variances.  In her professional opinion, the statutory burden is met for the granting of the variances is justified by both the c(1) and c(2).  She indicates that clear and safe identification of the site is important, necessitating that the location of the signage, illumination, and size of sign. The public benefits outweigh any detriments.

Ms. Petrou also testified about the requested parking variance.  She pointed out that there is ample parking in vicinity of the building.  She testified that there is sufficient parking due to the non-coincident peak parking for each of the uses on the property. 


Mr. Lipari asked if the board had any questions. Mr. Speciale asked if there is a way to alert customers as to additional available parking.  Mr. Schepis indicated that this was suggested by the Planning Board subcommittee and has since been added to the plans.

Mr. Speciale indicated that at the evening hours there are tractor trailers parked at the rear of the property.  Mr. Schepis indicated that he will speak with the property owner.  Mr. Speciale also indicated that there is overgrowth of shrubbery that may negatively impact safety.  The applicant indicates that he needs to speak with Burlington Coat Factory.

Mr. Visco requested that additional landscaping be added to the site plans to enhance site appearance.  Mr. Burgis’ office would provide input.

Mr. Lipari asked the professionals if they had any questions.  Mr. Burgis indicated that the sign must be measured by the entire sign, including background.  His concern is placement of sign on the wall.  Mr. Kloss indicates that the letters would be channel letters. Ms. Nielson asked that the applicant place the street address on the signage.

Mr. Omland indicates that the sign renderings presented are not signed and sealed by a professional.  They are prepared by a sign vendor.  Mr. Schepis indicates that they are indicated on the architectural plans.  Mr. Napolitan indicates that the dimensions are on the architectural plans.  Mr. Omland has concerns that renderings are submitted without accuracy as to size.  They are also not signed or sealed.  Mr. Lipari requests that Ms. Hunscher make sure that any renderings submitted are signed and sealed by a professional and not a sign vendor. 

Discussion ensured regarding the cross access easement and shared parking arrangement and a need for an updated agreement.  Outcome of discussion was a provision in the Resolution to indicate that if the easement were to be voided, the approval would be void as recommended by Mr. Carroll and agreed to by the applicant. 

Mr. Omland discussed the report prepared by Mr. John Desh, the traffic engineer.  He concurred with the findings of the report. 

Mr. Liapri opened the meeting to the public and seeing none, closed the meeting. 

On a motion by Karkowoksy, seconded by Ms. Nielson, application unanimously approved on roll call.

All in favor:

Opposed:  None

So carried. 




There were no concepts to come before the board.



There being no further business to discuss, on a motion made by sandham, seconded by                the meeting was unanimously adjourned at                      

Respectfully Submitted,

Liz Johansen, Recording Secretary




Meghan Hunscher, Sec.


Last Updated ( Monday, 26 September 2011 )
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