TOWNSHIP PLANNING BOARD/BOARD OF
195 Changebridge Road,
WORKSHOP MINUTES OF APRIL
17, 2008 - 7:00PM Start
I. ROLL CALL –
Mr. Maggio- absent Mr. Karkowsky - present
Ms. Kull - present Mr. Daughtry - absent
Ms. Nielson - present Mr. Visco - present
Mr. Lipari - present Mr. Lewis - present
Mr. Hines - absent Mr. Canning (alt#2) - present
Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present
ROLL CALL –
Board of Adjustment
Cartine - absent James
Marinello - present
- present Donald
Kanoff - absent
Buraszeski - present Deane
Driscoll - present
Moore - present Carl
DiPiazza -= Alt #1 - present
Ken Shirkey – Alt #2 - present
Also Present: Joseph
William Denzler, Planner
Bastone, Township Administrator
Barile, Township Engineer
Mazzaccaro, Water & Sewer & Public Works Director
Brewer, Assistant Administrator
STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
Workshop Meeting - informal
discussion on common interests in land use development issues
uses/rezoning/COAH, master plan/re-exam
Joe Burgis discussed the process as it relates to the zoning
board and master plan as it relates to involvement with the master plan and how
it works as to negative and positive criteria.
What was found out was that most master plan does not give details to
Board members as to what the intent is.
It gives data background, and very little more than mapping and
generalized goals and objectives. He
indicated in his development of updating master plan, he is considering
flipping the order to set the tone to where this community should go.
Historically the master plan affirms and promotes the
purposes of the land use laws. This
document is used generally for support and justification of the use
variance. This document is what is
relied upon by the zoning board members and how they relate to their reviews of
the use request and/or granting of variances.
Mr. Burgis recited issues in other townships and how they
may relate to our community’s issue.
There are policy statements as to why certain zoning regulations
represent bad planning statements. When
an applicant comes before a Board, the document will now create the need as to ‘why’
vs. ‘grant’ of relief of an ordinance.
What kind of language
may be imposed in a master plan so that the Planning Board may be able to offer
guidance? Mr. Denzler indicated the Board
of Adjustment is dealing with a lot of simple bulk variances and a lot of steep
slope applications, and at this level, on the environmental end, this area of
the code should be tightened. The other
issue is the Mom and pop expansion of existing dwellings and vacant lands, and
he sees a lot of requests coming in for variances similar to putting 10 lbs in
a five pound lot.
Commercial end is more relative to church and at this level
the Board gets into traffic concerns.
The Board also saw some multi family use variances but this case that
was approved had logic to it, and actually reduced the total number of
dwellings from existing use.
Mr. White also noted we have several use variances pending
under review for completeness noting the Lowe’s application and Kid’s R us
application. Mr. Denzler felt that if
the Planning Board is looking for zone changes in any area especially these
areas, it is good to know about this now.
Mr. Burgis asked as to what kind of argument is being presented as the
compelling reason for approval by a Board.
Mr. Denzler indicated that there is usually a redevelopment of a pending
site mentioning the Anton property in
as an example. Mr. Burgis asked for any
input as to what kind of language should be considered in the residential
ordinance to help Board of Adjustment deal with the environmental and coverage
variances. After general discussion, Mr.
Burgis indicated he would look to set criteria with standards and this should help
in going forth with deliberations, and can also build in some kind of test as
to what we mean by a benefit to the community.
Jerry Hug noted that on new application and new home
building, we find the builders push it as far it can go leaving no room for
future decks. On top of this we have
several applications that have built large homes without garages. There should be something in text that says a
garage has to be built. Mr. Burgis noted you can’t force a resident to
build a garage.
He indicated he brought up an idea about a year ago about
decks. He believes every house in
Montville should have a
right to a deck. A deck of approximately
240 sq. ft. should be excluded in building lot coverage as long as long as it
doesn’t create new variances. By having
open deck of 240 sq. ft. is proper for every town and this size deck shouldn’t
be included in building coverage offering this concept to Mr. Burgis and the
Planning Board. Mr. Burgis asked if
perhaps the issue of building lot coverage is too little. Mr. Hug felt we should have a deck not
included in building lot coverage. Another
concern voiced was the issue of mega mansions in smaller neighborhoods.
Mr. Speciale noted that the deck is included in building lot
coverage. Residents shouldn’t have to
spend that much money to go without a deck and/or expend the cost.
Mr. Marinello summarized indicating that any changes made as
it relates to the impervious coverage issue as well as the rationale tying back
to an aquifer would help the Board of Adjustment. On the traffic subject, he voiced concerns
about traffic engineer and testimony. He
feels we should put the strongest language on a rationale zoning plan with flow
for these businesses and homeowners. He
would like to see the board shopping issues halted. We should also look at pre-existing
nonconforming lots. We should take the
word out of hardships also. This lends
to confusion by the applicant as to what a hardship is. Mr. Burgis indicated he can do this thru the
master plan amendment.
Thomas Buraszeski discussed the impervious coverage,
subdivisions created and how do other municipalities look at driveways and
access to a dwelling, and can it be looked at in lieu of impervious coverage
noting some of these lots created have extremely long driveways that lend to
impervious coverage issue. Mr. Burgis
indicated the only time he sees this is areas where there are large lot
developments. Mr. Denzler indicated this
goes to justification for granting of a variance. Mr. Burgis thought that perhaps we could also
impose a disturbed area coverage to assist on these issues..
Russ Lipari asked if this approach respond to large homes
and the destruction of smaller neighborhood.
Everyone has a certain view of the McMansions and what its main concern is. Mr. Burgis you couldn’t restrict it but you
can develop ways to soften the affect, such as develop designs requirements
that indicate the house should have varying rooflines and perhaps mandate
porches in front of houses. This tends
to break up the box look.
Carl DiPiazzi: asked
if there was a way to respond to this in master plan. Mr. Burgis indicated the master plan doesn’t
address this, but a zoning ordinance can mandate that you can locate garages,
etc. in a certain way.
Mr. Kawkosky: how to
you handle a house out of character, noting this has happened where there is a large
home in the neighborhood that changes the character of area. Mr. Burgis noted iit is a problem and you
can do it in a limited fashion. Unless
you have a historic character/ordinance to the neighborhood, it is hard pressed
to stop it.
Jerry Hug: what aboutoops issues mentioning some cases
where people built outside their approvals and/or never applied for a
permit. Mr. Burgis recited that you can force
people to remove what they are in variance.
Mr. Karkowsky noted that the master plan is a blue print and
our ordinances are what control the development.
Discussion ensued on Rt. 46 studies and big box. Mrs. Nielson indicated that the Planning
Board looks at land use issues while the Township Committee looks at costs of
revenue to the township.
Thomas Buraszeski asked about master plan process in view of
the zoning discussions going on. Mr.
Burgis reviewed the process as it relates to master plan noting that legislation
recognizes policy group vs. political group.
What is highest and best use:
this is not a board’s concern, and we should look to the appropriate
Mr. Burgis reviewed COAH and its revised third round rule
which is requiring every municipality to adopt housing plans. COAH have until June 2nd to adopt
regulations. It is important for zoning
board members and residential/commercial to recognize that every thing will
generate a housing obligation on the township, repeating the COAH requirements.
When asked if we could adopt a growth fair share ordinance to respond to these
on going applications, Mr. Burgis indicated that the rules do not allow us to
adopt growth fair share ordinances.
Gary Lewis: that mandatory contribution may hurt township
and township is left holding bag and it is a lose/lose situation. This is a policy the township needs to form
so both boards need to operate. Township
has option of making them build the units.
Thomas Buraszeski asked planner to define affordable housing. Mr. Burgis explained the income limits. What can be done to address concerns? There are certain agreements where townships
can ship out under an RCA. Not sure if
there would be votes to allow this to happen.
Mr. Mazzaccaro: what
is process going forward in terms of periodic meetings and would the board get
input and advice from various utilities and other agencies? Mr. Burgis indicated we are required to
provide the periodic review by early 09 to meet law. You have to do re-examination every 6
years. This gives leisure for full blown
master plan and he envisions 1 ½ years for master plan process. The Planning Board will be holding
informational workshops and will bring in zoning board for specific issues. He
noted the Board also discussed having informational meetings in different
sections of town to discuss problems in this area. Mr. Mazzaccaro asked if we will ask for local
business leaders to participate and will the periodic re-examination involve these
types of meetings? Mr. Burgis indicated
the re-ex will be a pro format document except for the fact that we are looking
at three specific areas where rezoning requests are on file. The different elements of a master plan
Mr. Marinello asked if we have brownfields and did we
adequately address this? Mr. Canning
noted there are grant monies for this aspect.
Mr. Burgis knew of none that existed in our community.
Also briefly discussed was the Highlands Plan: whether we opt in or not, and what is
happening at this level.
Other discussion items covered issues such as on resolutions
by the Board of Adjustment, the attorney for board always puts a clause in
there that says ‘based on municipal township engineer review’ and asked Mr.
Barile is this was a problem in his office.
sometimes there is a problem. Doesn’t
feel this occurs on simple applications, and thinks in some case more attention
has to been given to drainage/grading at board level, but feels the issue can
be addressed by more coordination between board engineer and zoning board
engineer as to whether or not grading plans are needed.
Mr. Marinello feels this issue has more to do with the
monies expended. Mr. Lewis indicated you
have to get grading approval whether you need it or not. Joe Serecchia voiced concerns on ways the driveway
is built since he has concerns with access on some of the driveways built..
Deane Driscoll voiced concerns on fencing noting an instance
on Stiles Lane where we required a good looking fence vs. a chain link fence,
and now there is security problems since there is no way of patrolling it. Before we go forward on making exceptions, we
should make it subject to health and safety exceptions that we need to look
Mayor elaborated on the same type of vision for going
forward with this town summarizing goals and how the two boards should and
could work together, also summarizing the rezoning studies upcoming for age
Mrs. White reviewed the use of liaison appointments and how this
function aids the municipal review process, as well as the required reports
list which is used to guide the boards on all outside and in house agency
needs. She also indicated the Planning
Board works with use of limit of disturbance issues, use of conservation
easements, and tree cutting requirements are clearly marked, all of which may
help the Board of Adjustment on their review process. The township has streetscape policies and
both boards should continue to work together to set this character along
corridors. Finally, since the question
is raised, neither board is the inspection agency for the development of an
approved site. This is under the
Township Engineer’s office jurisdiction.
After adoption of resolution, all other items of construction are
monitored by engineering offices.
Mr. Karkowsky and Mr. Marinello indicated they thought these
types of meetings are good to share and explore areas informally, and
appreciated all board members coming out.
Mrs. Nielson also thanked all members and also expressed support for
continued joint meetings. Meeting
Linda M. White