PB Minutes 1-25-07 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start

195 Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building



Mr. Rosellini - absent                          Mr. Karkowsky - present   

Ms. Kull - present                                Mr. Daughtry - present

Ms. Nielson - present                          Mr. Visco – present

Mr. Lipari - absent                               Mr. Lewis - present

Mr. Hines - present                              Mr. Witty (alt#2) – present

                                                                Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present







Deborah Nielson:  discussed the request from Township Committee for a joint meeting w/Planning Board members to have board’s professional present an overview of Highlands legislation, Impact and COAH issues.  Date established was 2-22-07 with an early meeting start of 6:30PM.  Linda White was requested to invite the Board of Adjustment, Environmental Commission, Housing, EDC and any other agencies that may find these subjects of interest.  

Gary Lewis:  do we want to have the Highlands staff available at this time?  Deborah Nielson:  at this time, she thinks the planning board staff should present their overview and asked that the board’s professional present a synopsis of what they intend to present prior to this special meeting. These are general issues facing our community.   We should also put this on our website to let residents know. 





Rezoning Hearing re:  Hook Mountain Associates – Old Bloomfield Avenue – Carried from 9-28-06 & 11-06-06 & 1-25-07

Rescheduled to: 2-8-07 – applicant’s request

Rezoning - GI Auto site -carried from 9-14-06 and agenda of 10-26-06 & agenda of 11-20-06

Reschedule to: 3-8-07 – applicant’s request

Wellhead Protection Ordinance – Recommendation from Environmental Commission

Stan Omland, PE indicated that there is some changes that he feels needs to be made to this revision.  He talked with Charles Perry on these issues in a conference call yesterday.  Linda White indicated that she would put this back on the agenda for 2-8-07.  $1,000 should be designated to deal with finalizing this at Stan Omland, PE’s level.  This amount was not included into the budget since it was thought that Mr. Perry would have all recommendations offered by Adrian Humbert, AICP and Stan Omland, PE incorporated.  Attorney review is also needed to make sure that there it is in compliance and not in conflict with zoning/ordinances.  Ms. White indicated that the Township Attorney will have to review this and since it was thought this project was complete, would also have to develop it into ordinance form.  Mr. Lewis indicated he would want the Board of Health’s report since this enforcement is under their level.  Mr. Omland voiced concerns as to how it would work when there was a development application involved.  Required Reports, per Linda White, on development applications involve Board of Health.  Deborah Nielson:  wants to have this done since Environmental Commission wants it introduced. 

Stan Omland, PE:  he would take the document draft sent by Charles Perry, make and coordinate critical water resources ordinance comments as well as recent stormwater management report just recently adopted into his final draft.  He will take the document and prepare it for ordinance development.  Motion:  recommended we allocate $1,000 for Wellhead protection ordinance under OE for Stan Omland’s services.  Mrs. White will encumber in budget and advise Township Committee.  Roll call vote: unanimous

                                                                Reschedule to: 2-8-07

Amendment to R27D Zone – Child Care Use

Linda White summarized that this type of activity is a not a permitted conditional use and that although we were hoping to address changes along the Changebridge corridor, since the traffic study at the county is still outstanding, and this change was something that years prior Adrian Humbert, AICP felt would not be a problem considering as permitted, she asked if the Planning Board would have a problem if we looked at these issues outside an entire corridor review.  Rezoning request has escrow – Motion to authorize Joe Burgis to proceed to review this made by Deborah Nielson, Seconded by: John Visco

Roll call vote: unanimous

                                                                Reschedule to: 2-8-07

Towaco Center – Scheduling Discussions – Tentative scheduling set for first meeting in March – 3/8/07

Height Ordinance

Linda White summarized.  In the past we had a footnote that called for one elevation to be no ‘higher’ than 40’.  This footnote still exists in the industrial zone, but has been eliminated from the residential zones.  This happened sometime in l995.  She indicated she asked Mr. Burgis to review this ordinance again since there have been some concerns about certain homes having excessive heights on some elevations and still meeting grades.

Deborah Nielson:  get estimate from planner. He indicated he would agree to cap this review at 6 hours. Gary Lewis:  suggested this could be accomplished by changing this code to measure the height at the highest point of the roof from grade plane and then consider no more than 5’ any point higher than that elevation. There is some draft comments already offered that was sent to Joe Burgis.  Motion to appropriate 6 hours $ 120 for this task made by: Deborah Nielson, second Larry Hines – requested review report for 2-8-07 Roll call vote: unanimous

Rezoning Discussion – Rt. 46/All Brand

Linda White summarized indicating that this area is an area we had looked at for rezoning in the future.  She indicated that she had spoke with the owners hoping to meet with them on possible redevelopment with no success.  Mr. Burgis to present a cost proposal for this rezoning review.  Reschedule for 2/8/07

Development of Ordinance Regulating placement of Detention Basins on individual lots

Stan Omland, PE summarized indicating that there are several towns that do have ordinances and that we should consider some policy decisions and controls that we would like to see.  Will need cost proposal from Stan Omland, PE in order to proceed.  Reschedule for 2-8-07

Highlands – Extension Resolution  - reschedule in future in view of Highlands granting 90 extension at this time.






Letter re: Rt. 80 Noise Barriers  - Linda White indicated that she received this letter from the Township Administrator and thought Planning Board should be made aware.  Mr. Daughtry summarized the DOT meeting as it relates to this issue.  There are three locations in the immediate area, and those immediately affecting is the property along Rt. 80 and Maple Avenue.  As noted, there is an application in this area for occupancy for an existing building for Hook Mtn. generating noise.  State is proposing this, but their process takes several years, and there is no funding.  There is 300-400’ along Maple in this area.  There is a public meeting that is taking place in Parsippany.  No date set.  The earliest construction date would be 2011.  When additional information becomes available, will pass along.  Linda White indicated information was faxed to Winebow.  No additional information has been received from Winebow since last meeting.  They will be proposing a 300’ long 15’ sound wall along Maple.  They were hoping to be heard on Feb. 8th agenda, but Linda White reminded board that we have other Carried Over hearings promised due to their matters being taken off prior agenda schedules without hearings due to time constraints.  She will put them if they have their notices and paperwork in order on but voiced this concern with 2/8/07 schedule previously set.


Minutes of 1-11-07 – Roll call vote: Ladis Karkowsky, Marie Kull, Deborah Nielson, John Visco, Gary Lewis, John Rosellini, Russ Lipari, Art Daughtry, Larry Hines, Anthony Speciale and Leigh Witty

Subcommittee minutes of 1-18-07 – Ladis Karkowsky, Deborah Nielson, John Rosellini, John Visco

Motion made by:  Marie Kull

Seconded by:  Tony Speciale


Omland Engineering – O/E for: $690; Trust for: $90; $780, $60, $360, $150, $1,350

Adrian Humbert Assoc. – Trust for: $336

Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $320

Motion made by: John Visco

Seconded by: Marie Kull

Roll call vote: Unanimous




PSPP/F04-11 - GIANCATERINO, PAUL - Rt. 202/287 – B: 55, L: 1 – office building - Notice acceptable – Carried from: 1-12-06 - Eligible:  Ladis Karkowsky, John Visco, Mr. Rosellini, Marie Kull, Deborah Nielson, Russ Lipari, Jim Glick, Gary Lewis, Alt#2 Leigh Witty, Tony Speciale Tony Speciale  $0 escrow deposit                                                  ACT BY:  3-08-07

Gary Lewis:  note on the agenda for Giancanterino indicates 0 funds on deposit.  Michael Carroll, Esq.:  explained about delaying applicant due to monies not on deposit, and board will deal with it at the time of hearing, secretary cannot take off schedule for this deficiency. 

Rescheduled to: 3-8-07 w/notice - Applicant’s request

PMSP/F00-25-06-03 – BRIANNA ESTATES – Block: 125.05, L: 13/14 – Horseneck Road – Preliminary and Final Major Subdivision – 6 lots and detention lot - Notice Acceptable & Carried from hearing of 11-06-06.  Eligible voters:  Ladis Karkowsky, Marie Kull, Deborah Nielson, John Visco, Gary Lewis, Jim Glick, Larry Hines, Leigh Witty, Art Daughtry, Tony Speciale                                                                                               ACT BY: 3/09/07

Rescheduled to: 3-8-07 w/notice - Applicant’s request


PSPP/F98-13-06-17 – RAIA - 5 Changebridge Rd. - B: 59.02, L: 27 – amended site plan w/ variance signage – Carried from 1-11-07 w/notice                                                                                                                                 ACT BY: 3/17/07


Tom DiPiazzi, Esq. – thanked the board for being extremely courteous to the applicant, and understands sign applications are always sensitive.  Tried to present the sign application in a way where it would help customers and help applicant, and will agree it won’t negatively impact viewscape.  Will try to prove this.  Burgis report very thorough, and will be used as guide.

 Board professionals sworn by Michael Carroll, Esq.   The following applicant’s professionals were also sworn by Michael Carroll, Esq. 

William Paterson, Director of Real Estate

Kim Patton, Regional Manager

Paul Bauman, PE/PP – serving as planner

Ms. Patton:  history given.  Opened November 95.  Operators receive comments and went to corporate.  Customers indicated that they live in neighborhood, or travel past this area, and don’t realize that it is self-storage since you can’t see the self-storage doors on the sides. 

A1 dated 1-25-07 – Valpak coupon for RAIA – marked into evidence

Testified that she feels lack of signage is affecting business, explaining why, also noting there are 2 UHauls on this site and very often no one knows this either.  They use the Valpak coupons for advertising.     She explored occupancy rates, noting right now there is 82% occupancy, and they like to shoot for 93% occupancy. 

The present sign has a logo with RAIA in large block letters in teal with self-storage in smaller letters.  The color of the sign is the teal.  Ladis Karkowsky:  the town worked hard on the color theme.  This application took a long time with multiple variances and township bent over backwards.  Deborah Nielson:  why not make the lettering larger for self-storage.

Mr. DiPiazzi:  there is a problem with landscaping in front of the sign.  Coming off of Rt. 202, you can’t see the building and/or the sign at the driveway.  Linda White:  landscaping was a requirement of the Planning Board.   You can’t remove but you can maintain.

Marie Kull:  if you are at 82% occupancy, do you think new signage would increase occupancy to 93%.  How would sign help?  Ms. Patton:  When people come in, they knew this was self-storage.    When first built, there was no competition.  Other site developed in the area after this, and feels these have taken business away, especially Parsippany.  People driving by they see self-storage; they remember this when they need this.  Industry targets 93%. 

Ms. Patton:  this was fastest rental facility, noting that they were up to 94% in March 2005.  Deborah Nielson:  was it just last year that it dropped and was it more in line with the development of other similar facilities? 

Mr. Burgis:  Principal issue appears to be getting message out that there is self-storage at this site.  Asked of Mr. DiPiazzi:  it appears owner indicates he needs to have new sign flush with building then how would this location address visibility differently?

Mr. Hines:  percentage of business from Montville Township?  Ms. Patton:  around 25% total of Montville residents.  Mr. Hines:  could drop in marketing be the marketing program?  Ms. Patton:  no, have been consistent with marketing.  Only thing changed is Independent News.  Mr. Hines:  any direct mail?  Ms. Patton:  only with Neighbor News.

Mr. Daughtry:  can’t understand how a sign regardless of illumination that is perpendicular is going to change anyone coming off Rt. 202 to see this structure regardless of type of sign since it isn’t facing corridor.  Landscaping may need to be pruned but the landscaping on site is what the Board required.  Ms. Patton:  when people drive by, first thing you look at is the building.

Ms. Nielson:  consider checking with publisher of newspapers, but thinks these newspapers only reaches 60% of the township residents noting the Montville Messenger reaches all residents.

Gary Lewis:  need to have some sense from applicant as to ‘branding’ ‘new business generation, and or ‘marketing’.  Heard mentioned in same context.  Want to see this focused more.

Marie Kull:  any customers from Lincoln Park?  Ms. Patton:  yes, and they know self-storage are here.  Some come from yellow pages, acknowledging they don’t get as much drive-by from other facilities. 

Ladis Karkowsky:  this seems more like a marketing issue.  Deborah Nielson:  in 2005, marketing was working at some point in time, and customers know they are there.

Larry Hines:  what is percentage of business from drive-by facilities?  Ms. Patton:  30%.

Mahwah location is 50%. 

Deborah Nielson:  supplemental signages in windows are a violation.

Bill Paterson:  worked for 19 years in charge of property management and part of the process before this board helping to design and construct building in Montville.

Designed sign was created as a partnership but feels they now need the sign to ‘jump’ out.  Other signs at other locations are red/black, and would like to have this color on this building to the sign face here and requested it to be backlit. 

Ladis Karkowsky:  board is not in favor at that time.  Linda White summarized prior review process and colors and the amount of hearings coordinated between this site and site across the street as it relates to the green/color theme.  Landscaping can be maintained.  Mr. Paterson indicated that the trees constructed are ornamentals. 

Following exhibits marked in:

A2 dated 1-25-07 – facing building from Changebridge Road dated today

A3 dated 1-25-07 – this development across from existing facility with project at closest building – tennis court  

A4 dated 1-25-07 is across street from Changebridge at Montville at their parallel in the middle of Changebridge Road.   

A5 dated on Changebridge looking north – south of the site dated 1-25-07

A6 dated 1-25-07 looking south from Changebridge about 150 yards from northern property line.

Tract 2

Marie Kull:  going on left on rt. 202, she sees no trouble seeing sign.  Mr. Patterson:  tried to project viewscape.  Mr. Patterson:  understand comments on making left, but making right on 202, by the time you accelerate, you are on top of the building.

Mr. Burgis:  one issue is that of identification.  If they want to identification, they can flip the sign and have RAIA smaller and outside storage larger and that change would address this issue. 

The other issue is the line of sight issue for the sign to enhance the signage, and this is a matter of trimming the landscaping on the property.  Have to show there are physical features on inability to meet code, and planner has to address this issue as part of his testimony.  He must approach this in testimony in view of bulk variances, there most be public benefit, and must address negative criteria. 

Opened to public…

Steve Samitt, Treasurer of Changebridge at Montville:  people do not know it is self-storage, but everyone knows RAIA and most all give directions that say when you pass RAIA’s, you pass this condo development, noting he feels this sign is visible.    Mr. Sammit  - sworn by Michael Carroll, Esq. 

Traffic past building, if you look at building, isn’t it true there is an extra lane near RAIA and street is larger there?  There is additional room there. 

Height of the sign was agreed upon at this time.  Don’t think this sign should be raised.

Discussed exhibits presented as to where they were taken and why.  Noting:  Photos and elevation – some from parking lot from tennis court.  Another one from basis to the left in direction facing hill and was dead center.  These are two lowest points in condominium, and this can be seen as a good part.  Deborah Nielson:  are you representing association.  Mr. Sammit: no

Steven Etzi, President of Changebridge Montville Association.  – Question on notice addressed by Linda White.  Notice is in order.  Again indicated that they use RAIA as a point for direction.  Would like to confirm the location of photo.  Came in Kayhart and is the lowest point in the development.  There are opportunities that new signage can be proposed and would like to see some ideas. 

VP of Changebridge:  Don’t feel it is needed. Should work with sign you have and should remove paper signs in window that are in violation.  Ms. White summarized the various variances granted to this site noting concessions made by applicant at that time, as well as board.   

Mr. Patterson:  They are requesting that the board allows them their logo colors noting that they want black with red and illuminated signage.  Deborah Nielson:  feels all testimony from prior approval document should be copied and given to board members since she feels the original approval documents would give information to the members to help them in deciding this request. 

Mr. Karkowsky indicated he felt we should look for a consensus of the board on colors.  General discussion ensued. Mr. Daughtry indicated he wanted clarification since it appears that according to the sign ordinance, there are certain allowances for colors.  Applicant asked for a five-minute recess.  Gary Lewis:  indicated that he is not sold on the branding issue, but is not unsympathetic for people traveling, and not seeing site:  have they considered entrance signs near driveway, and would prefer a safety related sign to serve at entrance to slow down.  Is not convinced on marketing/branding

5 minute Recess

Tony Speciale:  asked homeowner’s association if they had a problem with another sign and/or the colors if it were red and black.  Mr. Karkowsky indicated that the Board has approved this sign theme from prior approval and that the Board would address this color theme as part of their deliberations.  Mrs. White summarized the development of the adjacent Exxon property.

Applicant indicated that there were good suggestions and indicated that they thought that perhaps new mushroom lighting for egress and ingress may work, along with trimming trees and changing the lettering to make somewhat larger under ordinance vs requesting it a variance.  They would also like to outline their lettering with black and darkening teal and switch position and enlarge existing letters across façade per code requirements.  Planning Board would like to see these revisions.  It was decided to carry this to the March 8th meeting, and applicant advised to get in these revisions no less than ten days prior to meeting, asking for more than that as courtesy to condo association.

Motion made by:  Deborah Nielson

Seconded by: Gary Lewis

Roll call vote: unanimous

Sworn by Michael Carroll, Esq.  – Bob Levchik, 9 Century Court, Garden State Parkway comes northbound.  If you are traveling northbound, you can see it clear, especially at 4 to 6.  Work at high school, and get into conversations about approach, and as Mr. Sammit said, when described, people indicate where and this place is used for locating.  Appreciative of the board for the appearance of this building, but take issue with Mr. Sammit as far as the good neighbor.  There is a problem with alarm system, and solution is to tell their central station not to report alarms to the police dept.  Have gone off many times, and it is after midnight.  Does not feel they are a good neighbor.  The issue of the color of the sign, the board did a great job with Commerce Bank, and this is not a normal bank so know what the image is.  Did a great job in encouraging building the building shown.  There business is terrific.  By changing this sign, they have not reached occupancy that they would like to have so their solution is to brighten the area.  Fear is that we commercialize it.  Cannot see facility from unit.  Do not want to commercialize the area.  Ladis Karkowsky:  have looked at this. 

Appreciate that the prior colors/testimony should be established.  Reason they are not red/black is due to this board.  Application rescheduled to March 8th

Motion to adjourn unanimously in a motion by Gary Lewis, Seconded by: Deborah Nielson

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

Certified to 1-12-06

Certified to 1-12-06

Certified to 11-06-06

Certified to 11-06-06


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