4-2-08 BoA minutes Print E-mail




Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road

8:00PM Regular Meeting


Stated for the record.


Richard Moore – Present                                    Thomas Buraszeski – Present

Donald Kanoff – Present                                   James Marinello – Present

Deane Driscoll – Present                                    Carl DiPiazza (Alt #1) – Present

Maury Cartine– Present                                     Kenneth Shirkey (Alt #2) – Present

Gerard Hug – Present

Also Present:        William Denzler, Planner

                                Hank Huelsebusch, Engineer

                                Bruce Ackerman, Esq.



Stated for the record

The following application was carried w/notice preserved to 5/7/08:

ZSPP/FDC10-89-29-06 Hook Mountain Care Center – Hook Mountain Rd. - B: 159, L: 4 - preliminary/final site plan/use variance/bulk variances for construction of a 4 story, 75,538 s.f. Assisted living facility containing 120 nursing beds and 60- residential health care beds. Use variances required for height and use not permitted in zone. Bulk relief requested for maximum building coverage, total lot impervious coverage, wall heights and signage, along with disturbance of steep slopes and off-street parking setbacks. Carried with notice from 7/5/07, 9/5/0,  11/29/07 & 3/5/08  – Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll[1], Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello                                                             ACT BY: 5/8/08

The following application was carried w/notice required to 6/4/08:

ZC25-07 Schachman, David - B: 59.01, L: 8.03 – 35 Kanouse Ln. – maximum building coverage

of 3,273 s.f. where 3,226 s.f. is allowed; maximum impervious coverage of 6,941 s.f. where 6,452

s.f. is allowed for pool patio/walkway                                                             ACT BY: 6/5/08



NOTE: Mr. Marinello stepped down on the following application and Mr. Cartine assumed the chair:

Page 2


ZC18-03 Ptaszek, Waldemar - 21 Rockledge Rd. – B: 13, L: 22 – construction of a single-family residence – variances for lot size 18,564 s.f. vs 27,000 s.f.; front setback 25.2’ vs 50’; wall/fence height 9’ vs 6’; design exception driveway slopes exceed 10%; development within steep slopes;; slope regulation in environmentally sensitive area – Carried w/notice from 5/3/06; New notice acceptable 4/27/07, carried with notice from 7/5/07, 9/5/07 & 2/6/08 -  Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey                                                                                                                                                              ACT BY: 4/3/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq.; Waldemar Ptaszek, Marc Walker, PE

Mr. Schepis – This is a continued hearing for an application for construction of a single family home.  We left off with the objectors witnesses. They have a professional planner as a witness this evening and then we would like to do a brief rebuttal.

Randy Pearce, Esq for objectors. At the last meeting I provided the board with Mr. Hudacskos’ resume and will provide his expertise in planning and zoning.  I have a letter from Mr. Hudacsko that will help to follow specific issues. 

                Exhibit O7 – outline of Planner’s testimony

Dennis Hudacsko, PP for objector - sworn

I have reviewed the pending application. I have conducted a field study of the property.  My client, Mr. Mareiness, had concerns related to the bulk and height of the building.  I have reviewed the codes, statutes and reports prepared by the board professionals. I have come to the conclusion that there are many variances that have not been applied for or noticed. 

                O8 – outline of citations for withholding approval of application

Mr. Hudacsko – Terraforming is not permitted by right. Terraforming is the altering of the earth.  Our statute includes any mining, excavation or land fill. This is in broad terms and I believe would include development of a site.  When altering grades at this scale it causes terraforming.  The soil will be brought from off site.  This is a fill operation, since there is no home existing, that on which the ultimate development will be a home.  The Board should look at the terraforming separate from the house and see if it would be allowed.  I have found many violations from the township codes as it relates to terraforming. There is no specific provision as to allowing fill to be brought on site in the ordinances.  Walls are being constructed to hold added soil.  This is creating a situation that will increase erosion.  There is no structure below the wall that is to be protected.  These are not retaining wall as it relates to the law.  These are terrace walls.  The walls serve a purpose that the code does not provide for.  The application would need a use variance because it is a fill operation separate from the house. 

Mr. Pearce – The application should be denied based on the fact that the applicant has not acquired adjacent property to alleviate the variances for construction.  Negotiations were conducted to purchase 50’ from the neighbor. They initially were going to buy the 50’ for $50,000 and went to purchasing the entire property for that amount which was not accepted by my client. 

Mr. Hudacsko – The other area that spins out of this is that this lot is an uncompleted lot from a previous subdivision, but does require compliance with design standards since this is a subdivision that is being modified.  This is an alteration of a subdivision.  There is 4 other variances not applied for.  Terrain changes near homes, 6’ height limit on walls and a requirement for safety fences, multiple walls are aggregated when situated less than 10’ apart.   The height of the building was not calculated accurately.  The evidence provided does not accurately show the board what is actually occurring.

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                O9 – profile drawn by Mr. Hudacsko of terraforming

Mr. Hudacsko – This is a planning illustration.   It shows the existing soil profile in brown and terraforming in orange.  Orange crosshatch is extension of terraforming.  Yellow shows the 3 levels of the building.  The left corner of the building is the sole contact of the building to the natural terrain.  It is not a terrain alteration to fit around the building; it is a building that defies gravity with fill holding it up. 

Mr. Hug stated that any reports from either side should be submitted to the board prior to the meeting night.  It is unfair to the board to submit large documents the night of a hearing.  The board is not given the opportunity to review it in a more diligent manner. 

Mr. Cartine – I reviewed our ordinances and did not find anything in the statutes as it relates to terraforming. I would like you to submit information on how terraforming ties into this application and the statutes that go hand in hand as it relates to the application.

Due to time constraints the application was carried with notice preserved to June 4, 2008 and an extension of time to act to June 5th

NOTE: Mr. Marinello resumes the chair

Track 2

ZC24-06 Kapitula – 10 Old Ln. – B: 21.01, L: 35.04 – construction of a single family home on a vacant lot variance requested maximum wall height of 10’ where 6’ allowed and slopes  - carried with notice from 12/5/07 & 3/5/08 - Eligible: Kanoff, Driscoll[2], Buraszeski, Cartine, Hug, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello                                                                    ACT BY: 4/3/08

Mr. Driscoll certified to the 3/5/08 hearing.

Present on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq.; Frank Matarazzo, PE, PP

Bernard Berkowitz, Esq. for the opposition

John Thonet, Planner; Environmental Engineer for the opposition - sworn

Mr. Berkowitz – A report was submitted previously.  The board secretary indicated that the land use office received the report yesterday and the board received it this evening.

Mr. Marinello – The members of the board received the report tonight and have not had the opportunity to review it. Mr. Hug – Last month the applicant requested a yes or no vote.  The objector stood up and said they were not heard.  We gave you the opportunity to come back this month with your expert and we received the report tonight.  For us to make a decision without reviewing the report is unfair to the board.  Mr. Marinello – We will have to take into consideration whether or not we have received enough information.

                O1 – colorized version of the applicants grading and utility plan revised February 2008

                O2 – colorized version of existing conditions map applicant’s revised February 2008

Mr. Thonet – Colored in steep slopes 25% or greater on grading plan.  The only types of uses permitted to building in that steep of a slope is a road, utility easement or driveway.  The vast majority of the

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development on this lot is in that steep slope area which is expressly prohibited by the township ordinances.  There is no reason why the stormwater management system cannot be built underneath the driveway.  It should not be put in the steep slope area.   If the system is put closer to the road it could accept 80% of the runoff from the property.  The stormwater management system was developed incorrectly.  It should be located on the down hill side of the septic system.  The best location for the house would be to the rear of the property in the location where the grade is at 16% where 15% is allowed by ordinance.

Mr. Thonet - The applicant did not take into consideration the runoff that comes from offsite that will go into that facility, during a storm it will overfill and run down Old Lane.  The facility is not properly designed and you do not have any documentation today that shows that there would not be additional runoff.  The retaining walls all have under drainage.  There is a 4” PVC pipe that will be tied into the stormwater system.  There is 12-13’ cuts to make the back yard.  There is no analysis as to what the water table is.  The system will remain filled with water and when a storm comes it will overflow.  No studies done on how fast water will come into the system.

Mr. Thonet - The applicant cannot show that there is no detriment to public good.  The applicant says that the impervious coverage meets the ordinance. The project as proposed requires a variance.  Mr. Denzler suggested that the patio area and walkway, if changed to pavers, receives a reduction and a variance would not be required.  It is not enough, no one has taken into consideration the impervious coverage from the retaining walls.  When you add up the retaining walls there is an additional 1,200 s.f. of impervious coverage.  This is another variance that has not been noticed.  This cannot be addressed with pavers. 

Mr. Thonet - The drainage system will not work.  The applicant used the wrong rainfall data.  The numbers in his hydro geologic model are different than what are shown on the plan.  The applicant used the wrong soil type which throws off all your hydro geologic studies. The neighbors have complained about the run off from the site as it exists. 

Mr. Marinello – Mr. Schepis do you have any questions for this witness?  Mr. Schepis – No. 

Mr. Denzler – Did you review the previous resolution on of denial for the previous application. Mr. Thonet – I did. Mr. Denzler – What was the recommendation of the board for the location of the house?  Mr. Thonet - It was recommended that the house was moved closer and I agree with that recommendation.  Mr. Thonet – The ideal location for the house is lower for 2 reasons, first, in this corner of the property, there are steeply sloping but not as steeply sloping and it is closer to the road so you do not have to go deep into the property to develop it.  Mr. Thonet – I understand that they did percs and located the house to the proper distance away from where the septic system would be.  I think moving the house closer to the road and to the left would be a better proposal than what is proposed now because they would be disturbing less slopes.  Mr. Denzler – I disagree that the retaining walls be included as impervious coverage, the land use office, zoning office, planning board and this board has historically not counted walls in impervious coverage.  The reason for that is in the design of a retaining wall there is infiltration built into it.  It is the policy of the Township to not count retaining walls in the impervious coverage calculations.  The impervious coverage was reduced by use of the pavers and there was a balcony that was double counted on the plan that is why there are different numbers. 

Mr. Huelsebusch – You said that the dry wells would be better suited closer to the roadway are you aware that drywell must be at least 50’ from a septic system.  Mr. Thonet – Yes, but they could move it into the roadway and still be 50’ away.  Mr. Huelsebusch – I do not believe that if you put it under the driveway it will accept more runoff.  The engineer did soil testing to find the best location for the drywells.  There are limitations on the site so the drywells were located as shown.  As it relates to the off site runoff that Mr. Thonet is talking about, the ordinance does not require the applicant to consider off site runoff.  The off site runoff would go into Old Lane as allowed.  The applicant would be installing systems to catch sheet runoff. If house was located closer to road, there would be a more difficult time catching runoff from the site. There is no evidence of a fresh water conditions. 

Page 5


Open to public for this witness



Mr. Cartine – If the house was built closer to the road would it be in alignment with the other houses in the neighborhood. Mr. Thonet – It would be consistent with the neighborhood.  But there is room to wind the driveway up and put house further up on site.   Dr. Kanoff – Mr. Huelsebusch are you comfortable that the stormwater system as proposed will be adequate for this proposal. Mr. Huelsebusch – Yes.  Mr. Cartine – Where does the house belong on the lot?  Mr. Denzler - If put in the upper corner like Mr. Thonet suggests they would need an impervious coverage variance and it would be determined to be res judicata. Mr. Thonet – Retaining walls are included in impervious coverage, it is in the Highlands’ regulations, the DEP regulations and is part of your ordinances. Retaining walls are considered structures which are impervious.

Mr. Schepis – There is only one variance that the applicant is seeking, it is a 4’ high safety fence on top of a 6’ high retaining wall.  The neighbor has a 10 ½’ overall height on wall/fence.   Design exception required for slopes.  The property was created by subdivision in 1984.  The Planning Board created this lot knowing that the building envelope was steep.  Steep slope ordinance came into effect about 1999. This house is smaller than the houses in the neighborhood.  Mr. Schepis read the impervious coverage ordinance into the record.  The township does not consider retaining walls as impervious coverage.  Mr. Schepis - Mr. Denzler’s interpretation is the accurate interpretation.  The applicant has made plan modifications as requested by the board professionals.  Request approval for variance and design exceptions as applied for by the applicant. 

Closed to public

Mr. Cartine – Do not believe that the run off will be exacerbated by the development, looks like it would be improved.  It does not seem that there would be additional water that does not already exist. Mr. Marinello – The run off problems in the area exist, these lots were approved by the Planning Board.   

Motion to approve the application, there is a hardship to the property due to slopes on the property, in the previous application the board requested that the house be brought forward and this plan shows the house forward on the lot, the application is consistent with the neighborhood, the applicant will not exacerbate the runoff problems that already exist made by: Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call:  Yes - Kanoff, Driscoll, Buraszeski, Cartine, Hug, Moore, Marinello                           

Track 3


ZC23-07 Stitzel, Jeffrey – 61 Main Rd – B: 51.02, L: 17 – demolition of existing home and

construction of a new home rear setback of 25.7’ vs 40’ – Notice Acceptable   ACT BY: 6/11/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: Geoffrey Evans, Esq.; Jeffrey Stitzel; Mark Palus, PE

Mr. Evans – This is an application is for demolition of existing home and construction of new home. There is currently a front setback variance that will no be longer required.  Requesting a rear setback of 25.7’ where 40’ required.

Mark Palus, PE - sworn

Propose to demolish the existing dwelling which has a front setback of 19.4’ and a detached garage which will be removed.   Construct a new single family home which will meet all ordinances with the exception of the rear setback.  Relocated the driveway to the eastern side of the property.  There is no sight distance where the driveway exists, by moving it, there is about 250’ of sight distance.  This is the safest location on the property.  The lot is narrow.  In order to meet the ordinance the house would have to be built at 22’

Page 6


deep which is not in character with the neighborhood or any neighborhood in the community. Moved the house 16’ back from Main Rd and the rear yard was only increased by 6’.   Propose a longer narrower

home to fit the property.  There is a detached garage that services lot 18 behind this property, there is no home located behind the property, and it is located to the side of this property. 

Mr. Jeffrey Stitzel, applicant - sworn 

Trying to make the ingress and egress to the site safe.  The existing driveway creates a challenge to get onto Rt. 202.  The current structure is in grave disrepair as it exists.  

                A1 – artist rendering of proposed home

Mr. Stitzel – Designed the house to minimize the depth of the house.  Mr. Denzler- What is the size of the proposed house?  Mr. Stitzel – 3,500 s.f.  Mr. Denzler- Does a 3,500 s.f. house fit in the neighborhood.  Mr. Stitzel – It fits with the Cooks Farm neighborhood.  Mr. Denzler – If you removed the front porch would it fit in the front and the rear?  Mr. Denzler- Do you intend to have a garage, this house is not proposing one?  Mr. Stitzel – Do not intend on having a garage.  Mr. Denzler – Wouldn’t a grassed rear yard be less of an impact to the neighboring properties?  Mr. Stitzel – There is no one behind me.  Mr. Denzler – That is still usable area for lot 18.  Mr. Stitzel – That is correct.  Mr. Palus – A variance would still be required without the porch and the porch adds character to the house.  Mr. Denzler – Could landscaping be provided along lot 18?  Mr. Stitzel – Yes.  Mr. Huelsebusch – My report requested location of 3 cars and how they would be parked onsite.  Mr. Palus – We intend to modify the driveway slightly, make is shorter in one area and wider in another.  Mr. Evans - The applicant will maintain the existing retaining wall.

Open to public

Mike Campione 4 Montville Ave - sworn

The proposed house does not fit in with the neighborhood.  Concerned with cars in the rear of the house and the headlights coming into my house.  Mr. Palus – The closest point of the proposed house is 105’ from Mr. Campione’s property. Mr. Campione – Do not believe this house is in major disrepair, it can be restored.  This house does not fit the lot, it would be an eyesore, and there is no other house like this in the neighborhood. 

Mr. Hug – Concerned that somewhere down the line someone will come back to this board and ask for a garage.  Mr. DiPiazza – Question as it relates to Mr. Denzler’s report and testimony on building height.  Mr. Palus – The building height is shown at 28’ where 35’ required.  Mr. Denzler- I want the correct calculations on the plans so there is no question in the future.  Mr. Palus will provide.

Mr. Driscoll – Do you intend to live in this home.  Mr. Stitzel – Yes, absolutely.  Mr. Buraszeski – Is it possible to remove the jut out section of the portico and add additional parking instead. 

Mr. Evans – Do you have plantings along the rear of your lot?  Mr. Campione – 5’ Norway Spruce.  Mr. Evans – Did you recently build a 6’ fence?  Mr. Campione - Yes. 

Mr. Hug- This home has a substantial footprint with no garage.  Mr. Evans – We meet building and impervious coverage ordinances.

Closed to public

Mr. Cartine – The driveway in the back seems unnecessary, the home seems large for the lot, not garage, small setback.

Page 7


Motion to deny the application, the development described is large; the rear setback is exacerbated by the location of the driveway, objectionable to neighbors, not in keeping with zoning ordinance made by: Mr. Cartine; Second by: Mr. Buraszeski; Roll call:  Yes - Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug; No - Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello

Track 4

ZC16-07 Bassil – 2 Herrman Way – B: 82.11, L: 8 – rear setback of 38.4’ where 75’ required; impervious coverage of 6,438 s.f. where 6,000 s.f. allowed and building coverage of 3,202 s.f. where 3,000 allowed – Notice Acceptable                                                           ACT BY: 7/8/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: Marlene & Ghassan Bassil, applicant

Mr. & Ms. Bassil, applicants - sworn

Would like to place sunroom on existing deck, a 5’x15’ portion is outside of existing deck.  We bought the house as it exists.  6,299 s.f. impervious coverage exists.  Will be an improvement to the property and neighborhood.  No negative impact to neighborhood.

Mr. Denzler – Rear setback is 38.4’ existing and proposed; building coverage 3,063 s.f. existing and 3,202 s.f. proposed where 3,000 s.f. allowed; impervious coverage 6,299 s.f. exists, 6,438 s.f. proposed, where 6,000 s.f. is allowed.  What hardship exists on the property?  Mr. Bassil – If placed anywhere else on property it will create more of a building and impervious coverage variance.  Mr. Hug – Are you using the entire deck?  Ms. Bassil – No, part of the deck. 

                A1 – 5/21/07 John Anthony Ferraro plan

                A2 – photos of existing home

                A3 – brochure of sunroom

Open to public – none - closed

Mr. Hug – Visited the site.  I believe that certain portions of decks not be required in building coverage.

Mr. Huelsebusch – A drywell will be required unless certification from engineer that no additional runoff as it relates to construction.  Any underground storage tanks will have to be removed.

Motion to approve the application, will improve the beauty of the neighborhood, other homes in the neighborhood have covered porches, subject to engineer’s conditions made by: Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Moore; Roll call: Yes - Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello; No - Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine

Motion fails, the application is denied


Minutes of March 5, 2008 - Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Buraszeski, Second by: Mr. Hug, Roll call: Yes- Kanoff, Cartine, Moore, DiPiazza, Hug, Buraszeski, Shirkey, Marinello

Page 8



William Denzler & Assoc. – O/E for: $62.50; Trust for: $31.25, $125, $156.25, $312.50, $562.50,

$343.75, $312.50, $250, $31.25, $156.25, $62.50, $312.50, $375

Bricker & Assoc. – Trust for: $1,750, $750, $281.25, $625

Pashman Stein – O/E for: $187.50; Trust for: $93.10, $343.75, $525

Motion to approve made by: Dr. Kanoff, Second by: Mr. Hug, Roll call: Unanimous




Mr. Buraszeski stepped down

ZSPP/F27-05-31-06 DAB Associates – 43 Bellows Ln. – B: 41, L: 15 – pre/final site plan 6 unit town homes – variances for impervious coverage 17,649 s.f. vs 13,300 s.f. allowed, parking setback to street 11’ vs 25’, environmentally sensitive areas regulation of slopes – Approved – Eligible: Kanoff, Cartine, Hug, Buraszeski, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello

Mr. Ackerman – There was a recommended change regarding the whereas section.  Would like to make it clear that the applicant previously requested a design exception to allow fencing around detention basin. The new wording will state that the applicant agreed to a 4’ high fence around the detention basin.

Note: Mr. Buraszeski returned

Motion to adopt as amended made by: Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Buraszeski; Roll call:  Yes – Kanoff, Cartine, Hug, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey; Abstain - Buraszeski, Marinello

ZC30-06 Ambrose - B: 106, L: 20 – 30 Barney Rd – addition to single family home variance for front setback of 32’ vs 45’ required; rear setback of 46.42’ vs  50’ required; side setback of 14.9’

vs 16.3’ required; combined setbacks of 32.8 vs 35.1’ required – Approved – Eligible: Kanoff, Cartine, Hug, Buraszeski, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Buraszeski; Roll call: Yes – Kanoff, Cartine, Hug, Buraszeski, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey; Abstain - Marinello abstain


ZC34-08 Voss – 2 Craig Ct. – B: 125.2, L: 17 - request for extension of approvals from 7/5/08 to 7/5/09

Secretary stated that due to health issues and getting contractors the applicant is requesting a one year extension of approvals.

Mr. Denzler – There is no changes to the zoning in the area.

Motion to grant 1 year extension made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr. Hug; Roll call: Yes - Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Page 9


ZC39-04 Carver – 32 Michelle Way – B: 163, L: 1.33 – request for extension of approvals to April 2, 2009

Mr. Denzler – there is no changes to the zoning in the area.

Motion to grant 1 year extension made by: Mr. Buraszeski; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Mr. Marinello stated that there is a joint meeting of the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment scheduled for April 17th at 7pm.  Mr. Cartine stated that he cannot attend.

Please fill out your ethics forms and return to the clerk.

Consider handout with application package explaining C1 and C2 variances and what has to be proven.

There being no further business there was a motion to unanimously adjourn made by Mr. Hug, Seconded by: Mr. Cartine; Roll call – Unanimous

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Grogaard

Recording Secretary

Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board meeting of May 7, 2008.


Linda M. White, Sec.


[1]Certified to 3/5/08 hearing

[2] Certified to 3/5/08 hearing


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 May 2008 )
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