Planning Board Minutes 7-14-11 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building


No New Business to be Conducted Past l0: 00PM

Mr. Lipari welcomed the public and applicants to the Montville Township Planning Board hearing of July 14, 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. Canning - absent

Mr. Hines - present

Mr. Karkowsky - present

Mr. Lewis, Vice Chair - present

Mr. Lipari, Chair - present

Mr. Maggio - excused absence             

Ms. Nielson, Committeewoman - present

Mr. Sandham, Mayor - present                          

Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present

Mr. Tobias (alt#2) - present                  

Mr. Visco - present

Board Professionals: 

Board Attorney:                                    Michael Carroll, Esq. - present

Board Engineer:                        Stanley Omland, PE, Omland Engineering - Not present*

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


*not required to attend


Township Staff


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

Recording Secretary                              Liz Johansen - present



Chairman Lipari swore in professionals.






Board of Adjustment

Gary Lewis  

Mr. Lewis reports that Lake Valhalla Club continues at the BOA, although he was on vacation.

Board of Health

Larry Tobias

Mr. Tobias gave no report.

Environmental Commission

Vic Canning 

Mr. Canning was absent and gave no report.

Water & Sewer

Arthur Maggio 

Mr. Maggio is absent, has no report

Historic Preservation Commission

John Visco 

Mr. Visco states that there have been budget discussions and they may request an increase for 2012.  The Commission has concerns about the construction plans for 21 Brook Valley Road.  Ms. Hunscher is reviewing.

Design Review Committee

Deb Nielson  

No report

Site Plan/Subdivision Committee

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

Mr. Lipari and Mr. Karkowski have no report.

Economic Development Committee

Jim Sandham, Tony Speciale

Mayor Sandham indicates that there is a survey drafted to send to the top 50 businesses in Montville.  Ms. Hunscher will send to the administrator for his review and then to the Township Committee.  The goal is a town hall “meet and greet” to be held by the end of the year.  

Open Space Committee

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deb Nielson & Jim Sandham

Mr. Karkowsky  has no report

Master Plan/COAH 3rd Round

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

Mr. Lewis reports that the committee is on target for draft in the fall for the full board to review. 

Cross Acceptance Committee

Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari  

No report.

Highlands Legislation Review Committee

Gary Lewis

No report.  

Fire Districts                                               Tony Speciale                                 No report

                                                                    Art Maggio                                                       No report

                                                                      Russ Lipari                                                      No report



Discussion of FTP site - Ms. Hunscher gave an overview of the proposed FTP site to be used to store files for all on-going applications and waivers before the board.  Agendas and minutes will still be forwarded.  Mr. Karkowsky expressed consternation that Ms. Hunscher will be instituting this measure for the July 28 hearing and did not consult with the full board first.  He is also upset that she will not be forwarding the other materials via e-mail. Mr. Tobias suggests having a training session to learn how to use the site.  Ms. Hunscher thanked the board for their input and indicated that she will still forward all material via e-mail and use the FTP site as a back-up for those who wish to review files especially for on-going projects.  Mr. Lewis indicates that the advantage of an FTP site is that all materials related to an application are stored in one spot on the server and the board members can access at anytime to review, especially for lengthy applications. 




Mayor Sandham indicated that there was a request at the last Township Committee meeting by the President of the Lake Valhalla Club who inquired as to status of the zoning ordinance progress and requested expedited review of the Lake Recreation Area.  Chairman Lipari said this could be looked into.  Mr. Lewis indicated that this is one of the last remaining sections and that the subcommittee is working expeditiously.  The subcommittee is meeting at least twice a month in order to present full package to the board within the next few months and it may not be prepared any quicker even if segregated.  Also, this section is linked to and affects other sections of the ordinance including parking and coverage.  It’s more work to take a piecemeal approach.  Mr. Lewis indicated that timetable is expected to be early September to bring an ordinance to full Planning Board for review. Chairman Lipari thanked Mr. Lewis for the update. 

Mayor Sandham reports that the Chamber of Commerce will be installing sixteen (16) additional “welcome to Montville” signs at various entrances to the Township and at no cost to the Township.



Landscape Review Fees - Resolution 01-11 - On a motion to approve made by Mr. Karkowsky and seconded by Mr. Visco, the Planning Board unanimously approved amendment to Burgis Associates annual contract with the Board to provide Landscape Architecture Review and Inspection services at $120 an hour.



Chairman Lipari opened the hearing to the public for purposes of discussing any item not on the agenda. 

Seeing no one wishing to be heard, Chairman closed the public hearing. 



**Note witnesses do not have to be sworn for waivers.


PMISC11-23 American Athletics Alpha - 321 Changebridge Road - B: 160.2 L: 18 - owner to owner transfer of gym with sign change (6450s.f.) - hours of operation  5:30am-9pm Mon-Fri: Sat 8am-3pm - 3 employees -no outdoor parking of commercial vehicles; signage proposed consistent with existing theme (black lettering no background). 

Appearing for the application: Ms. Bridgette Saro, attorney, and Mr. Joseph Custode, proposed tenant.


Mr. Karkowsky requested status of Mr. Gaudiosi’s compliance with prior board requirements.  He indicated that he does not feel comfortable voting on any application for this property due to the broken promises of the property owner in the past.  Ms. Hunscher provided an update that the bond has been posted, the escrow paid for Engineering inspection, and the Developer’s Agreement signed.  Additionally, Mr. Lewis indicated that the mound of dirt has been graded per board request.  Ms. Hunscher indicated that she had sent a notice of violation to the property owner regarding this and that she has additional recourse now that the Developer’s Agreement has been signed.  Chairman Lipari states that due to all of these items being met, he felt comfortable asking the board for a vote on this waiver application

Chairman Lipari requested a motion on the waiver.  Mr. Sandham made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Hines. Approved by: Mr. Hines, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Sandham, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Visco;

Opposed by: Mr. Karkowsky.

Abstention: Mr. Lewis, who noted that his son is currently a member of this gym facility.

Motion carried.

PMISC11-24 Johnson Scale - 36 Stiles Lane - B: 149.4 L:4.2 - sales and service of scales - 8 employees - 8am-4:3-pm Mon-Fri - 4 vans no signage requested.

Appearing for the application: Mr. Fortunato Giannetti, property owner, and Mr. Joseph Algieri, prospective tenant 

Mr. Lipari asked whether the pavement will be repaired and Mr. Giannetti indicated that it would.  He also indicated that Johnson Scale will occupy entire premise. 

Chairman Lipari requested a motion on the waiver.  Mr. Hines made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Visco.  Approved by: Mr. Hines, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Sandham, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Visco, Mr. Karkowsky.

Motion carried.

PMISC11-25 Gymboree - 321 Changebridge Road, B: 160.2 l: 18- 2389s.f. parent/child play and learn - 3 employees- 9am-3pm 7 days - Gymboree lettering in compliance will approved theme; requesting approval for logo. 

Appearing for the application: Cynthia Rossini, prospective tenant

Mr. Lewis questioned if there would ever be children there overnight. Ms. Rossini states there will not be any overnight events. Mr. Tobias questioned if there is any evening activity.  Ms. Rossini states they are open one day a week until 7:30pm.  Mr. Lipari questioned if there are any cooking facilities.  Ms. Rossini states no.

Chairman Lipari requested a motion on the waiver.  Mr. Lewis made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Sandham.  Approved by: Mr. Hines, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Sandham, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Visco, Mr. Karkowsky.

Motion carried.

PMISC1-26 Q-Glass - 624 Main Road - B: 39 l:31 - refacing of existing building; no change in current operation.  They are looking to reface the entire building in a brick façade. 

Appearing for the applicant: Crystal, on behalf of Daniel Dotterweich, III, owner.

Mr. Lewis expressed concerns that the Design Review Committee had not reviewed this application prior to being placed on the Planning Board agenda.  Ms. Hunscher indicated that the chair has resigned and she was having difficulty assembling the necessary quorum for the committee to convene. However Ms. Hunscher explained that procedurally the Board can deny the waiver and require that the applicant file a minor site plan and also attend the DRC for review.  Mr. Lewis indicated that any project located within the boundaries of the Towaco Village Center master plan needs to be considered and evaluated in context with this plan.   After a brief discussion, it was decided that Mr. Burgis will review the plan for consistency with the Towaco Center Master Plan and prepare a memo within the week.  Mr. Burgis indicates that the brick façade is generally consistent with plan based on his recollection of the plan. 

Chairman Lipari requested a motion on the waiver.  Mr. Sandham made a motion to approve with conditions stated above, seconded by Mr. Visco.  Approved by: Mr. Hines, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Sandham, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Visco, Mr. Karkowsky.

Motion carried.




Omland Engineering – Trust for:  $742.50, $202.50, $472.50, $270

Motion to approve made by: Mr. Lewis

Seconded by: Mr. Hines

So carried.


There were no Resolutions that came before the board. 



There was no correspondence that came before the board.



Planning Board public hearing - June 23, 2001 Eligible: Mr. Canning, Mr. Karkowsky,  Mr. Lewis, Mr. Lipari, Mr. Maggio, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Visco

Motion made to approve as presented by: Mr. Karkowsky

Seconded by: Ms. Nielson

Motion carried

Planning Board Master Plan subcommittee meeting – June 23, 2011 Eligible: Mr. Lewis, Mr. Lipari, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Visco

Motion made to approve as presented by: Mr. Lewis

Seconded by:  Ms. Nielson

Motion carried

Planning Board Master Plan subcommittee meeting – June 9, 2011 Eligible: Mr. Lewis, Mr. Lipari, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Visco

Motion made to approve as presented: Mr. Lewis

Seconded by:  Ms. Nielson

Motion carried



There were no LOI/ DEP notifications to discuss.




Mr. Burgis and Mr. Carroll discussed the status of COAH.  The Governor signed an executive order to abolish COAH and absorb its duties into the DCA.  The legislature has sixty (60) days to respond.  The 2.5% commercial development impact fee was repealed.

Ms. Hunscher made a request that, per her conversations with the Township Attorney and in light of the recent changes in Trenton related to COAH, the Planning Board reaffirm the recommendation of the residential impact fee ordinance previously forwarded to the Township Committee.

A motion was made by Mr. Lewis to reaffirm the recommendation of the 1% residential impact fee and seconded by Ms. Nielson.  Motion carried by roll call vote 7-0.



There was no old business before the board.


PMS/C11-06 Freedom Group - 2 Changebridge Road - B: 41 l:1 - minor site plan with variances for signage - Notice acceptable.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant: Tom Malman, Esq. with Day Pitney - Attorney; Mr. Michael LaHue, applicant / property owner; Mr. John Janis, sign vendor.

Attorney gave overview of project and called witness Michael LaHue - sworn.  Mr. LaHue states he has owned the building since 1989.  Due to difficulty with visibility of tenants, especially for the building at the rear, he would like to install a larger sign in the same location as the existing monument sign, but provide tenant names with a higher, illuminated sign.  There are 7 tenants in the front building and 6 in the rear building.  The current tenants have been putting out signs and banners on the roadway so customers can find them, which are prohibited under the ordinance. Two buildings are currently located on site.  One building has good visibility on corner property.  The rear building has more limited visibility.  Proposal is to upgrade all of the signs.  Ms. Hunscher contacted Mr. LaHue regarding the temporary illegal signage in the fall of 2010 that was placed along the roadway.  Tenants have struggled with visibility of site for a couple of decades states Mr. LaHue.  Renting is difficult since tenants are upset that there is no signage.  The applicant filed a concept plan initially and this is a modification of the existing three sided monument sign, which is about five (5) feet in height currently.  It is situated to be visible from each roadway (Changebridge and Route 202). 

Mr. LaHue indicates sign will provide clear and safe identification of the site.  Mr. Lewis asked about interior directory signs.  Witness indicates there are existing interior directory signs.  Mr. Lipari asked if the landscaping will be pruned to allow for visibility.  The witness indicates that the landscaping would remain and be pruned.  Mr. Lewis asked witness to make sure that tenants do not place illegal signs on roadway.  Witness agreed to police signs.  Mr. Karkowsky asked about approvals of signs at original approval.  Mr. Lipari indicated that he received the resolutions of approval and there were variances granted.  Mr.  Tobias asked if the rear building has a sign.  Witness indicated yes, but there is no visibility from the roadway of tenants.

Mr. John Janis, sworn, is a representative of the Butler Sign Company.  He is a sign vendor and testified as fact witness.  He presented two exhibits:

Exhibit A-1 - Directory sign illustration

Exhibit A-2 - Site plan indicating location and appearance of existing and proposed signs.

Mr. Janus with Butler Sign Co. gave overview of existing signage on property - five existing.  Proposed sign matches color and architecture of the existing building.  The interior of the sign - the copy- will only be the aspect of the sign that lights up.  No new colors and a three (3) inch letter height to accommodate each tenant in building.  The new sign will be 10’3” from grade, 10’ wide with a green roof.  The top portion of sign will be illuminated from within.  The bottom portion will be lit by landscape lighting.  The current blue signs on the property will be changed to green and cream.  The sign will match the front building in terms of color and general architectural design. The existing exterior lighting would light up the face of the sign.  Chairman Lipari asked what time lights go out.  Mr. LaHue indicates that all lighting goes out at 11 or midnight with the exception of emergency lighting.

Height variance needed for architectural and landscaping to allow for style and readability.  Mr. Tobias asked about why tenants are not in alphabetical order and whether the difference buildings should be color differentiated. Mr. LaHue indicates that all red, white and blue signs will be replaced with green and white. 

Chairman Lipari Opened hearing to the board

Mr. Visco indicates that based on subcommittee discussions, this sign was discussed as a solution to the placement of prohibited temporary signage.   This is also a preferred design to signs at the entranceways.  Mr. Karkowsky indicated that he is in favor of this proposal.

Mr. Burgis indicates that this serves as a directory sign, not directional to entrance into a particular driveway.  He provided a statutory criteria discussion.  C(1) can apply due to size of frontage on the property  and c(2) public benefits test to allow for clear and safe identification of the site. 

Mr. Nielson asked if every space has tenants. Mr. Lahue indicated “no” due to economy.  However he wants to leave enough space if there is a need to subdivide space. 

Chairman Lipari opened the hearing to the Public

Seeing no one wishing to be heard, he closed to Public.

Chairman Lipari requested a motion.  Motion to approve was made by Mr. Lewis who indicates that this sign is important for safety and business visibility.  Motion seconded by Mr. Hines.

Approved by: Mr. Hines, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Nielson, Mr. Sandham, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Visco, Mr. Karkowsky.

Motion carried 7-0 in favor.




There were no concepts before the board.





There being no further business to discuss, on a motion made by Mr. Hines, seconded by Mr. Karkowsky, the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Liz Johansen, Recording Secretary



Meghan Hunscher, Sec.


Last Updated ( Monday, 26 September 2011 )
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