PB 3-8-12minutes Print E-mail


195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building


No New Business to be Conducted Past l0: 00PM

Chairman Lipari convened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the Montville Township Planning Board hearing and asked everyone to turn off all their cell phones.

Ms. Kehoe took the roll call.

Mr. Tim Braden, Mayor - present
Mr. Gary Lewis, Vice Chairman - present
Mr. Art Maggio – present
Mr. John Visco - present
Mr. Larry Hines – present (entered at 7:52pm)
Mr. Ladis Karkowsky - present
Mr. Don Kostka, Committeeman - present
Mr. Victor Canning - present
Mr. Tony Speciale (alt#1) - present
Mr. Larry Tobias (alt#2) – present
Mr. Russ Lipari, Chairman – present

Also present:
Board Attorney: Michael Carroll, Esq. - present
Board Engineer: Stan Omland, PE, Omland Engineering - present
Board Planner: Joseph Burgis, PP, AICP, Burgis Associates - present
Principal Planner / Secretary: Meghan Hunscher, PP AICP - present
Recording Secretary: Kelley Kehoe - present



Board Attorney Mr. Carroll swore in professionals: Mr, Burgis, Mr. Omland and Ms. Hunscher.


Chairman Lipari asked the Committee members if they have any reports:

Board of Adjustment – Vice Chairman Lewis stated that the regular meeting of March 7 meeting was canceled in favor of the extra meeting scheduled for Thursday March 15.

Board of Health – Mr. Tobias stated that they would be discussing several issues at the March 12 meeting.

Environmental Commission – Mr. Canning had no report, since he was not at the last meeting. Chairman Lipari thanked Mr. Canning for his time, effort and experience that he brought to the Planning Board. He said that this was his last meeting before becoming the Montville Township Administrator. He also thanked the Township Committee for appointing him.

Water & Sewer – Mr. Maggio had no report.

Historic Review Preservation Commission – Mr. Visco said they met on February 27th to discuss the role of HRPC and duties. They are looking to match lists and figure out how they will designate new sites.

Design Review Committee – Deputy Mayor Kostka stated that there was no meeting in February, therefore no report.

Site Plan/Subdivision Committee – Mr. Karkowsky had no report.

Economic Development Committee – Vice Chairman Lewis had no report.

Open Space Committee – Deputy Mayor Kostka had no report.

Master Plan - Vice Chairman Lewis had no report.

Cross Acceptance Committee – No report.

Highlands Legislation Review Committee – Vice Chairman Lewis stated that the Highlands Committee approved our conformance plan. Their new task is to make certain consistency amendments to the Master Plan and zoning ordinance.

Fire Districts – Russ Lipari for Towaco; Tony Speciale for Pine Brook, Art Maggio for Montville - No reports.


Chairman Lipari asked Ms. Hunscher if she had anything to report. She indicated that she has received the packet from the Highlands with the next steps and will be going through that with Mr. Burgis' office in the next week. There is about $38,000 remaining of the $100,000 grant.

Ms. Hunscher also gave an overview of procedures for granting waivers from checklists.


Chairman Lipari opened up meeting to board discussion.

Mr. Speciale - He reported first that the 321 Changebridge Road improvements are beautifying the building and façade and the completion of the grounds will add a tremendous asset to his businesses there. Second, he raised concerns about import of debris at the Romola Enterprises property.  Ms. Hunscher indicated that she will follow up with the Engineering and Health Departments.

Mr. Tobias - No report.

Mr. Canning - No report.

Deputy Mayor Kostka - No report.

Mr. Karkowsky - Commended the Board and Land Use office for all of their efforts, despite the Land Use Advisory Committee, the formation of which he disagreed with.  He indicated he was happy to hear from Ms. Hunscher that there has been positive feedback about the Planning Board and Planning and Zoning Division from applicants and residents.

Mayor Braden - The mayor indicated that the projector's are now working in an effort to have paperless meetings. Now the residents/audience will be able to view what the Committees are talking about. This is going to be for the betterment of to all of our Boards and Committees.

Mr. Maggio - No report.

Mr. Visco - No report.

Mr. Tobias - He requested maybe adding a dimmer switch to the lights for better viewing of the projections.

Chairman Lipari - The chairman indicated that the Township Committee requested the Planning Board to review an amendment to the zoning ordinance with regard to houses of worship.  He also asked Joseph Burgis to provide history to the re-zoning of the area in vicinity of Changebridge Road and Route 202 intersection, the OB-4 zone in particular.  The Chairman indicated that this area has been discussed a number of times. He reiterated that there was a unanimous vote by the Planning Board not to recommend to the governing body any additional rezoning at this location.

He asked Mr. Burgis for the history regarding the property on Rt. 202. He asked if it would be a better approach for more uses at that site. Mr. Burgis explained the greater range of uses are permitted if the roadway is constructed. He gave a brief history of the application for a gas station on the site and the rezoning decision process by the Planning Board, which occurred after the application was withdrawn.  

Chairman Lipari thanked Adam Brewer for his service as the Interim Administrator.


Chairman Lipari requested a motion to open the meeting to the public for discussion of items not on the agenda. On a motion made by Deputy Mayor Kostka and seconded by Mr. Karkowsky, the meeting was opened to the public. All in favor - unanimous.

No discussion.

Chairman Lipari requested a motion to close the meeting to the public for discussion of items not on the agenda. On a motion made by Mr. Visco and seconded by Mr. Hines, the meeting was closed to the public. All in favor - unanimous.


Consistency hearing for proposed amendments to Chapter 230: Land Use and Development Regulations

Chairman Lipari asked Vice Chairman Lewis to introduce and Mr. Burgis to present his memo. Vice Chairman Lewis explained the amendment regulations regarding political signs, farming and decks in lake recreation zones. Mr. Burgis presented his report dated March 5, 2012.

Vice Chairman Lewis offered a motion to find the proposed amendments consistent with the Master Plan.  He requested that the Board Secretary include language reaffirming “in the strongest terms” that the Board’s recommendation of January 26 stands and that there is no recommended additional uses to the OB-4 and OB-5 zones. Chairman Lipari asked fore comments. There were none. The motion was seconded by Mr. Visco. Roll Call - Unanimous.

Reappointment of Board Recording Secretary

Chairman Lipari requested a motion for an extension of the appointment for Recording Secretary, Ms. Kehoe, through December 2012. No discussion. On a motion made by Vice Chairman Lewis and seconded by Mr. Karkowsky, the appointment was extended through December 2012. Roll Call - Unanimous.


PMISC12-07 A. Mason Title – 115 Horseneck Rd. – B: 139.03, L: 7.3 – 376 s.f. office for title company – 3 employees – hours of operation 9am-5pm Mon-Fri – no overnight parking of vehicles – existing signage no change

Chairman Lipari summarized the waiver. On a motion made by Mr. Karkowsky and seconded by Mr. Hines, the waiver was approved. Roll Call - Unanimous.

PMISC12-08 Spallissima Wellness Center – 160 Rt. 202 – B: 56, L: 14 – wellness center (entire building) – 3 employees – hours of operation Tues-Sat 10am-7pm – refacing existing signage – no overnight parking of vehicles – (Canal House)

Ms. Hunscher summarized. She indicated that she spoke with the Township Attorney and although this is a historic property, since there are no proposed external modifications, the HPRC does not need to review. There are also there is sufficient number of spaces at 9 where 6 are needed (2 per station, 3 stations).  On a motion made by Mr. Hines and seconded by Mr. Visco, the waiver was approved. Roll Call - Unanimous.

PMISC12-09 Garden State Landscape Products– 322 Changebridge Rd. – B: 156, L: 32.02 – R-27D – mulch/top soil sales – change in signage requested – 3 employees – M-F 7am-6pm; Sat/Sun 8am-6pm (no deliveries on Sunday) – overnight parking of 2 dump trucks (Chux)

Ms. Hunscher indicated that applicant is requesting to outsource permitted activities. She explained that the proposed operation was consistent with or of lesser intensity than what was approved by resolution in 2000. She indicated that the applicant also proposed to change the content of sign and that there would be some truck activity. She stated the applicant was present if there are any questions. Mr. Karkowsky asked if this was a permitted use.  Ms. Hunscher indicated it was as approved by use variance.

Mr. Tom Fitzsimmons, owner, appeared.  The board members asked questions about operations. Hunscher stated that she met with the owner to ensure that all operations permitted under the use variance and site plan approval granted by the Board of adjustment would be complied with.  Chairman Lipari asked the owner the schedule a date with Ms. Hunscher with the Site Plan Sub Committee. The item was tabled until the subcommittee could convene to review.


Omland Engineering – o/e FOR: $270, Trust for: $202.50, $135, $270, $337.50, $135, $708.75

On a motion made by Vice Chairman Lewis and seconded by Mr. Hines, the invoices were approved. Roll Call - Unanimous.


Approval Resolution for PMN/C12-01 – Sharpe, Steven - 18 Forest Place – B: 109, L: 5 –minor subdivision with variances Eligible: Russ Lipari, Larry Hines, Gary Lewis, Ladis Karkowsky, Tim Braden, Art Maggio, Don Kostka, John Visco, Victor Canning

Ms. Hunscher indicated that there was one change in the resolution regarding the wording change from “conservation easement” to “tree preservation easement.”

On a motion made by Vice Chairman Lewis and seconded by Mr. Kostka, the resolution was approved with the change noted above. Roll Call of Eligibles - Unanimous.


There were no correspondence/extensions/dismissals to come before the board.


Planning Board Hearing - February 23, 2012- eligible: Russ Lipari, Larry Hines, Gary Lewis, Ladis Karkowsky, Tim Braden, Art Maggio, Don Kostka, John Visco, Victor Canning

On a motion made by Mr. Visco and seconded by Mr. Karkowsky, the minutes were approved. Roll Call of Eligibles - Unanimous.


Ms. Hunscher indicated that there are no new NJDEP notifications received since the last meeting and Chairman Lipari asked Mr. Omland if he has a follow-up for the February discussion. He reported on the 186 Pine Brook Road project and his office did a site inspection. There could be issues and the investigation is on-going.


Chairman Lipari asked Mr. Carroll for an update. He indicated that Court rejected Governor Christie's effort to abolish COAH.


There was no old business to come before the board.


Ms. Hunscher indicated that she spoke with Mr. Schepis and that the applicants were amenable to trading places on the agenda.

*** Break from 8:27pm to 8:33pm ***

PMS11-07-12-07 Pizza Hut – 34 Rt. 46W – B: 176, L: 4.02 -

Completeness and waiver hearing; amended minor site plan for expansion of existing façade and new façade sign ACT BY: 4/19/12

Chairman Lipari to ask the applicant to appear.

Mr. Schepis introduced himself and gave overview. He presented an architectural design of the new signage and extension of the façade.  He explained that the applicant needs new signage otherwise the Pizza Hut franchise will not allow him to open his store.  The applicant did not have approval for the signage that the board previously approved since he did not have prior approval of signage from the franchisor. The Board Professionals indicated that the sign is in compliance with the ordinance. 

The board found that the signage and proposed façade modification was in compliance with the ordinance and on a motion made by Mr. Karkowsky and seconded by Mr. Kostka, the applicant was approved. Roll Call - Unanimous.

On a motion made by Mr. Tobias and seconded by Mr. Hines, the completeness was certified. There were no board or public comments. Roll Call - Unanimous

PMN/C12-02 – Weiss Construction - 2 & 4 Bellows Ln. – B: 41, L: 32 - completeness and waiver hearing; minor subdivision with variances – Notice Acceptable ACT BY: 6/4/12

Chairman Lipari to ask applicant to appear. Mr. Carroll swore in experts and applicant including: Joseph Mianecki, Licensed Professional Engineer, Ms. Mia Petrou, Licensed Professional Planner, William Weiss Jr, Principal of Weiss Construction, LLC.  Mr. Steven Schepis, Esq appeared on behalf of applicant.

Mr. Schepis introduced himself and explained the proposal. They are looking to subdivide the property, which currently has two homes on one lot.  Both lots would be undersized for the zone and CWR area, in which the property is located.

Vice Chairman Lewis stated that he felt he could be impartial in his decisions in regards to knowing Mr. Weiss, property owner, through community activities. There were no objections.

Ms. Hunscher asked Mr. Omland to discuss waivers. He listed the waivers and his recommendations. Mr. Burgis concurred.  A motion to approve the waivers was made by Mr. Visco, seconded by Mr. Karkowsky. Roll Call - Unanimous. 

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Mianecki to explain Exhibit A-1 - Colorized Topographic Survey dated June 9 which was a colorized version of the submitted plan and Exhibit A-2 - Minor Subdivision map with coloring which included the right-of-way dedication. Both plans were submitted, but not in colorized version, with original application.

Mr. Mianecki explained the markings and colorings on Exhibit A-1 for Block 41, Lot 32. He described the property and its existing contents and surrounding areas. Property is currently serviced by town sewers and water and has above ground utility wires. Chairman Lipari inquired if they were taking out oil tanks. Mr. Mianecki stated that the property is currently serviced by natural gas. Mr. Schepis said that if anything came up they would agree to remove. Mr. Mianecki also talked about dedicating right-of-way on Mabey Lane for sewer easement.

Mr. Schepis asked about Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Mianecki explained the color codes. Said they were proposing a bi-level home and a colonial home. Mr. Schepis said there was a request from the Township for a dedication from Bellows Lane. Mr. Mianecki explained the dedication details. Also, in addition they are including a dedication on Mabey Lane to include a sanitary sewer easement. Mr. Schepis asked for the significance of the red dotted line. Mr. Schepis asked about the drainage on the property as it currently exists and asked if any test pits on property were conducted. Mr. Mianecki explained. He said yes and the results were a slight to moderate drain, which is consistent with bedrock.  There is currently no storm water drainage on property. He said it drained towards Lincoln Park. Mr. Schepis inquired what improvements would be done. Mr. Mianecki said they would do a rain garden and dry well combination. Question of how it relates to the current percolation. Mr. Mianecki said with improvements, more storm water will be put back into the ground.

Mr. Schepis submitted Exhibit A-3 - historical information related to site - including four (4) attachments. The purpose was to show how the property relates to existing locations and properties and the improvements. Mr. Mianecki said he reviewed the Prime Aquifer study. He summarized the study and how it relates to the property in question.

Mr. Schepis submitted Exhibit A-4 which included maps of 1998 Uhl report from the Water and Sewer Department, in particular colored maps 1, 6, 4, 3. Mr. Mianecki explained Figure # 1 of exhibit map. He showed where the currents wells were located. They are included Towaco Valley drainage basin boundary. Figure # 2 showed the extent of the Towaco Valley Aquifer materials. Figure # 3 showed the registered wells. The four digit number corresponds to the NJGS database. Figure # 4 was a surface geologic map.

Mr. Schepis asked Mr. Mianecki if he had any concerns regarding Mr. Omland’s memo. He did not. Chairman Lipari asked the professionals for comments. Mr. Omland asked about the building setbacks and if the plans that were submitted are final. Mr. Mianecki said that yes they are the final footprints and exact configurations. He was asked if the roof drains were shown. No they were not. There will be roof drains and rain gardens. Mr. Omland asked if they were willing to modify and/or extend the swale if the drainage did not reach rain gardens. Mr. Mianecki stated that yes they would. Asked if outbound corners were set? No, they will determine outbound corners. Asked about drainage flow. Mr. Mianecki explained. Other questions from Mr. Omland included: No proposal to expand? Any increase in flow? No increase was the answer from Mr. Mianecki.  His issues were satisfied except for the two (2) foot ledge at basin. Yes, they will increase the size rain garden. Comments are satisfied along with Engineer provisions. Also, asked applicant to agree to no further subdivision. Chairman Lipari asked if the maps presented were received from the Water & Sewer Department. Yes, they were.

Mr. Burgis summarized his memo and asked about a monetary contribution for sidewalks and shade trees. Applicant agrees to shade trees.  Regarding sidewalks, Mr. Omland said cost would be between $5,000 to $10,000. Mr. Schepis inquired where the money would go. Mr. Burgis said it would go into an overall general fund for town sidewalks. This is what the new ordinance requires. Mr. Omland asked Mr. Mianecki if the homes would have basements. He said number 4 would have a basement.  Mr. Omland asked if the resident would comply with town blasting requirements if necessary. Yes.

Chairman Lipari opened the meeting to questions from the Planning Board members to Mr. Mianecki and Mr. Schepis. Mr. Tobias asked Mr. Omland about the sidewalk requirements. Question about the age of houses, was there any historic significance. Mr. Schepis said no. Mr. Schepis said the requirements of Health Department were met. Mr. Tobias asked in regards to gas lines was there any soil testing done? Mr. Schepis said yes. Chairman Lipari reiterated that they said they would previously stated that they would do if necessary. Deputy Mayor Kostka commented about the sidewalks, only his opinion. Mr. Maggio said they could ultimately put sidewalks in lieu of contributing to the fund.

The meeting was opened for public questions.

Ms. Lisa Casella of 21 Douglas Drive - as an employee of 5 Jacksonville Road. Mr. Carroll said that she could not legally represent the company, but anyone could ask a question. She inquired about the 100 foot buffer. Mr. Mianecki explained that the current buffer was on the commercial property and not on the residential property.

No more questions. The meeting was closed to the public.

Ms. Mia Petrou, Professional Planner, was sworn in. Mr. Schepis explained that this application was also submitted to various agencies. Tom Mazzaccaro from the Water & Sewer Department not only approved, but said that these homes would go along way to help the upgrade of the Bellows Lane neighborhood.

Chairman Lipari asked Mr. Omland if the owner was doing everything he possible he could to protect the Prime Aquifer and promote recharge. He asked if there was anything else that can be done. Mr. Omland said that fact that the applicant was willing to expand the rain garden was in good faith. Any enlargement to the rain garden would help. Vice Chairman Lewis asked about the impervious coverage. Mr. Schepis talked about zoning and said there was an overall goal to reduce impervious coverage to produce more natural percolation. Mr. Schepis stated that this was an unusual situation with this application with two houses already existing on the property without a subdivision. Mr. Tobias asked if the ground slopes towards the prime aquifer. Mr. Schepis said it slopes away from the property towards Bellows Lane toward Lincoln Park.

Ms. Petrou presented exhibits: Exhibit A-5 (photos of 2 and 4 Bellows Lane - photos A through F)  Ms. Petrou explained the six photos and the existing property conditions.

Exhibit A-6 (Aerial Photo) Ms. Petrou said the applicant was looking to demolish the existing structures. Explained proofs required for justification for granting of the variances requested. Mr. Schepis asked a question in regards to the right-of-way dedication of Mabey Lane. Ms. Petrou explained that they meet the ordinance requirements. It is currently a non-conforming lot. Discussed existing overlay requirements, right-of-way dedication and how it relates to the neighborhood.

Exhibit A-7 (Lot Area Analysis) - Ms. Petrou explained the chart. The proposed lots in question are still in the upper lot acreage range in comparison to other lots in the neighborhood. There is a mix of newer and older homes in that area. She stated that the property is the gateway to the neighborhood. The proposed houses would still be in character with the neighborhood. Mr. Schepis asked about zoning. Ms. Petrou said they meet the criteria for compliance requirements of the setbacks. They are proposing more than what is required. Mr. Schepis asked about adjoining properties and buffer requirements. He said it is clear to say that it provides significant open space. Ms. Petrou said that yes, the lot is buildable.

Ms. Petrou addressed the negative criteria. Mr. Schepis questioned the potential if only one house is put on the lot. Ms. Petrou said it would not fit in properly. This application is more consistent with home sizes in neighborhood. Chairman Lipari stated that there were larger houses on Bellows Lane. Ms. Petrou said yes, but nothing in that section of the street.

Chairman Lipari asked if the professionals had any questions. Mr. Burgis asked about c(2) arguments. Ms. Petrou explained. Mr. Omland had no comments. Chairman Lipari opened to Planning Board member questions. Mr. Maggio asked Mr. Omland about basements and if there were issues. Mr. Omland asked Mr. Mianecki if they hit ground water. No. He asked about the depths of the basements. Possible water tables of four feet. Mr. Mianecki explained the main goal of recharge water is the clean water, preserving forestry, natural areas, etc. Vice Chairman Lewis asked why the minimum lot size was reduced under the ordinance for the CWR. Mr. Mianecki said it was for the preservation of open space to promote recharge of the aquifer. Mayor Braden asked if the line was drawn in the wrong place. Mr. Schepis explained the reasoning as he stated to give the Planning Board a level of comfort that whether or not this property owner is in prime aquifer, that there would be no degradation to the environment or the aquifer. Mr. Schepis stated that this property was not in the prime aquifer in his opinion based on engineering testimony and was incorrectly included.

Mayor Braden said the best avenue then would be to come to the Township Committee and ask for a line of the CWR to be redrawn. Mr. Schepis said that unlike other properties; they are the only one with two houses already existing on the property. They are offering no increase on density of property and are going to be an improvement to the neighborhood. Mr. Schepis said the field investigations prove that it is not in the prime aquifer.

Chairman Lipari opened the meeting for public questions. Lance Spencer of 21 Douglas Drive said that he was a frequent hiker in the area and stated that where property backs up to the industrial area, portions of the property are wet and therefore part of the aquifer, in his opinion.

Chairman Lipari closed the meeting to public discussion.

Mr. Schepis referred to the sidewalk issue and stated the property owner; Mr. Weiss agreed to contribute $5000 towards future sidewalk development.

Mr. Tobias said he was in agreement with Mayor Braden to send to the Township Committee to decide if it should be rezoned.

On a motion to deny made by Mr. Karkowsky and seconded by Mr. Visco, this application was denied due concerns regarding the need to protect the aquifer. Roll Call - Vice Chairman Lewis stated that he would support the motion, but they should have gone to the Environmental Commission first for the Commission’s opinion to support requested relief. Mr. Tobias and Deputy Mayor Kostka supported with a reluctant yes. Chairman Lipari suggested the same as Mayor Braden for the applicant to request a line readjusted through the Township Committee. Roll Call - Unanimous.


There were no concepts to come before the board.


There being no further business to discuss Chairman Lipari asked for a motion to adjourn. On a motion made by Mr. Canning and seconded by Mr. Hines, the meeting adjourned at 10:55pm. Roll Call - Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,


Kelley Kehoe, Recording Secretary

Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Planning Board meeting of April 26, 2012


Meghan Hunscher, Sec.


Last Updated ( Monday, 07 May 2012 )
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