Board of Adjustment minutes 6-4-08 Print E-mail



Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road

8:00PM Regular Meeting


Stated for the record.


Richard Moore – Present                                    Thomas Buraszeski – Absent

Donald Kanoff – Present                                    James Marinello – Present

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

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 rescheduled with new notice required to 9/3/08:

ZC17-07 Malanga, William - B: 43, L: 4.01 – 4 Benefly Rd. – accessory structure setbacks; rear

setback 17.48’ vs 20’; side setback of 9.21’ vs 20’ detached garage           ACT BY: 7/14/08


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

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 & 4/2/08 -  Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Cartine                                       ACT BY: 6/5/08

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

Mr. Cartine – The objector is given 40 minutes for testimony and then the public will be allowed to speak for 20 minutes.  If any resident is represented by you, Mr. Pearce, they will not be allotted time to speak, that is what you are here for.  What is remaining in your testimony?

Mr. Pearce, Esq for the opposition. – We will have the completion of Mr. Hudasko’s report and then reply to recent comments from Mr. Schepis. 

Dennis Hudasko, PP – previously sworn

Requested a list of his exhibits that were marked in and the board secretary repeated the previous exhibits that were marked into the record. 

Mr. Pearce – We have submitted signed and sealed plans by Mr. Garrett that Mr. Schepis questioned at a previous hearing. 

Mr. Hudasko – In my opinion a variance is required for a 3 ½ story building for this application.  The basement on this application does not meet the definition of a cellar.  Cellars are usually for storage not living area.  That lowest

Page 2


floor should be counted as a story.  Mr. Ackerman asked Mr. Denzler for his opinion of Mr. Hudasko’s interpretation.  Mr. Denzler – I disagree with Mr. Hudasko, the height of the building meets the Township ordinances for stories.   Mr. Hudasko – The slope of the driveway will accelerate the flow of runoff which will cause erosion.  This would cause substantial public detriment.  The retaining wall is not in compliance with your code and will cause detriment to the grading and the Terra forming and will do harm to the code itself.  Mr. Huelsebusch – That is an engineering concern and he is not an engineer.  On this particular site there is a severe sight distance problem and if we allowed the applicant to have a steeper driveway it would be a safety issue.   Mr. Hudasko – The fundamental presence of the zoning code is to protect the surrounding area.    Mr. Hudasko – The slopes make the 2 sides of the street to have different character.  On the downside of the street, there are smaller homes that are generally uniformly arranged. 

                Exhibit O10 – aerial photo from the GIS mapping from DEP

Mr. Ackerman – Where is the site located on this map.  Mr. Hudasko – It is not on there.  Mr. Ackerman – So what is the relevance?  Mr. Hudasko – To show that the area is uniform. 

                Exhibit O11 – map showing elevation line highlighted

Mr. Hudasko – O11 shows how far forward the house is placed.  Example of what the applicant should have provided to show a true depiction of what is proposed.  This proposal violates the area character.  The massive terra forming that will be done.  The house would be at a higher elevation than all the other houses on the street.  This will be a mega structure that would be built beyond any construction that I have seen in the Lake Valhalla area.  Mr. Huelsebusch – You said that the footprints in the area are larger than the proposed house, it does not look larger than the houses next to it.  Mr. Hudasko – I suggest that the board ask for the scale since the scale was off in Mr. Steck’s report.  Mr. Pearce – The board previously asked the applicant to come back with those numbers and they have not done that to date.  Mr. Hudasko – I noticed that the building in Mr. Steck’s report was drawn backwards so I checked the scale and it was off.   Mr. Ackerman – What is the footprint?  Mr. Huelsebusch – Approximately 2,300 s.f.  Mr. Hug – What is the footprint of the neighboring houses on that side of the road.  Mr. Hudasko – That is not my expertise.  Mr. Hug – But you testified that it was larger?  Mr. Hudasko – I reviewed the tax records.  Mr. Hug – What is the square footage of the neighboring houses?  Mr. Hudasko – I do not know.  Mr. Hug – Did you not review the tax records?  Mr. Hudasko – Yes but I don’t want to waste our few precious moments on this issue.     Mr. Pearce – I have information on that but it is the applicants’ responsibility to supply the information.  Mr. Cartine – If you have the facts why not submit it? Mr. Pearce – It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit the information as requested by the Board.  

Mr. Hudasko – The substance of my testimony is that Mr. Steck’s report shows the house being grossly larger than the area, the scale is not correct and their height calculations are not correct.   The variances only allow for a special allowance for the applicant.  This variance should not be granted because the applicant has not exhausted its remedies since he has not purchased additional land from the neighbor to alleviate the variances requested.  There were a number of comments on my report by the applicant.  There is no logic or alternative rational from these comments and it was done by an engineer commenting on a planners report so he is not qualified.  There is no right for anyone in this town to dig a hole as big as they like or build a mound as larger as they like.  It is a clear separate choice.  If you lower the wall by 3’ to meet the ordinance then the applicant cannot meet the side yard setback.  The applicant has not responded to the need for a variance in #5 of my report he said he meets some other code not Montville’s code; he is quoting an international code.  Mr. Ackerman - The applicant states that they meet Montville’s code as well as the International Residential Code.  Mr. Hudasko – Bulleted comments in his report as previously testified to before the board.  Mr. Ackerman – Your bullet comments are the same as the testimony.  Mr. Hudasko – Obviously Mr. Walker did not understand my report due to his response to my report.    Mr. Hudasko was allowed to complete his bulleted remarks and his testimony was concluded.

Mr. Huelsebusch – He made a statement on the 10% slope of the driveway, that is an engineering issue not a planning issues.  Mr. Denzler – There is no building height issue, disagree that this is a terra forming operation; the application presented by the applicant represents the township requirements. 

Open to Public for those residents not represented by Mr. Pearce

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Mr. Doench - sworn

Not in favor of the application. 

Bill Trautman – 14 Rockledge Rd. - sworn

There is a question as to whether there is enough water in the area to support this application.  The yield of the wells along Rockledge runs around ½ gallon to 10 gallons per minute.  This lot would be built very close to the well at 13 Rockledge Rd.  This could cause trouble with water to 4 or 5 other neighbors

Sue Trautman – 14 Rockledge Rd. – sown

47 Lenape Drive has a huge amount of fill dumped on the property and a storm came and washed a good amount of fill into Lake Valhalla.  Lake Valhalla will have to spend a lot of money to dredge that fill out of the lake.  Any construction above the existing homes will cause water problems to the lower homes. 

Kathy Fisher – 49 Rockledge - sworn

There are deed restrictions that run with the land.  There are covenants on removal of dirt.  There are to be no fence or structures on the properties.

John Regan – sworn

Grew up on Lake Valhalla and now live in Towaco.  The footprint is not the real concern here it is the height of the building that is the concern.  It is a peaceful area.  The structure proposed will be an eyesore to the neighbors and to the people at the lake itself.  Mr. Cartine – Do you live in the area?  Mr. Regan – I grew up there but I am a member.

Janelle Cristman – member of Valhalla Civic Association - sworn

Concerned with a building that does not conform to the community.  There is a restriction on construction to maintain the pristine appearance of the lake.  The house should conform to the other buildings in the area.  Also I am concerned with traffic safety in that area. 

Oxsana Dziadiw - sworn

Concerned that there be some sensibility for the quality of the area.  Request the board look at the scope of the environment. 

Bill Kelly – 16 Rockledge Rd. - sworn

Who will maintain the traffic control device?  Is it common for residential home to have one of these devices? 

Jerry Abere – 47 Rockledge Rd. – sworn

Concerned with the traffic safety by the hump in the road. 

Closed to public

Mr. Hug – Is there a way the applicant can get together with the neighboring property owner to purchase an easement to alleviate the driveway issue.    Mr. Cartine – Something is going to be built there sooner or later.  It would be nice if there was some kind of concession.  Mr. Cartine – Mr. Schepis are you done with your case?  Mr. Schepis – I am not sure Mr. Pearce is done.  Mr. Pearce – Mr. Marieneiss will need 15 minutes and my closing statement will need ½ hour.  Mr. Schepis – When is the next hearing.  Discussion ensued on the next available hearing date.

The application was carried with notice preserved to 8/6/08 with an extension of time to act to 8/7/07


NOTE: Mr. Marinello resumed the chair

Track 2

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 – Notice Acceptable                                                                       ACT BY: 6/5/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: David Schachman, applicant

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David Schachman – sworn

I hired a pool contractor to install the pool and was deceived.  I was naïve and I had him handle the permits and the as-builts.  He did what I wanted him to do and he said he was doing it legally.  Mr. Marinello – What have you done since you found out about the variances.  I have not done anything; I would like it to remain as constructed.  There is no drainage issue.  My neighbors are here to testify.  Mr. Ackerman – What is special about your property that would allow for us to grant a variance on the property if you came here before the improvements were installed and how would you justify it.  Mr. Schachman – The area around the pool is to allow for the pool cover and the other area is for entertainment purposes.    Mr. Denzler - The construction file shows conforming coverage and the as built indicates a variance.  There was expansion around the pool and deck area.  Have you done any comparison as to what was built and what is in the area?  Mr. Schachman – We all have similar sized pools and patios, but I have more area around the pool.  Mr. Huelsebusch – A drywell would be required.

Open to public

David Cherkoff - sworn

The job done is beautiful.  There is no drainage problem to my property.  I do not see any puddles in his back yard. 

Eddio Zanpaglione – 33 Kanouse Ln. – sworn

Job was completed in May 2007, my property lies below his and I have no water problems.  The property behind us is unoccupied.

Public portion closed

Mr. Cartine – Is there some type of reduction of the impervious coverage that can be done to make it more amenable?  Are there other pools in the neighborhood that have similar building coverage?  Mr. Denzler –If the angled right side of the raised patio was removed then the building coverage would be met.  To meet the impervious coverage ordinance, removal of the turnaround area would be required.  Mr. Huelsebusch – They have 2 turnaround areas. 

Mr. Marinello – Impervious coverage variances are taken seriously before this board.  We have always required applicants to do something that is reasonable.  Mr. Cartine – If the turnaround would be removed in the front how much would be recaptured on impervious coverage?  Mr. Denzler – Almost 600 s.f. so the walkway could be extended and the front turnaround could be removed.  Mr. Schachman – If I have to take something off I would agree to that.  Mr. Marinello – We are not as concerned with the raised patio as the impervious coverage. 

Motion to approve the applicant’s request for a variance for building coverage because it is de minimus and that the impervious coverage must comply with the ordinance made by:  Mr. Cartine; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Track 3

ZC05-08 Armenti, Gary – 1 Sunrise Way – B: 130, L: 20 – construction of an addition on existing single family home; front yard setback of 39.3’ vs 50’ along Pine Brook Rd – Notice Acceptable                             

ACT BY: 7/17/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: Gary Armenti, Applicant

Mr. Armenti -sworn

My house is a rather small house and we have 3 daughters.  We cannot put the addition out the back since the kitchen is located there.  We are on a corner lot so we have to meet 2 front yard requirements.  If we were not on a corner lot we would not be here.  Mr. Denzler – The front setback requirement on a corner lot to the Pine Brook Rd side requires a variance.  What alternatives were considered?  Mr. Armenti – If the addition was constructed to the rear of the house there would have to be an undersized hallway to connect the addition. Mr. Marinello- Would the addition cause a visual problem. Mr. Denzler – No but if approved would request a condition that only one story addition could be built.  Recommend a turnaround area and they would still meet requirements for coverage.   Mr. Huelsebusch – Does the new plan show the driveway saving the tree?  Mr. Armenti – Yes and there is a K turn

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included.  Mr. Huelsebusch – Recommend a grading plan by a surveyor or engineer be submitted.  I believe it can be done.    Mr. Armenti indicated he had a grading plan and showed it to the board professionals.  The professionals did not have this plan prior to the meeting for a complete review.

Open to public – none – closed

Mr. Hug – I visited the site and this is a better zoning alternative.

Motion to approve the application  subject to a grading plan submitted to engineering department, drywell to be installed, turnaround area, and limit the addition to one story made by:  Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Track 4

ZC24-07 Kroll, John – 75 Passaic Valley Rd – B: 124.3, L: 13 – addition to single family residence variance for front setback of 30.1’ (existing and proposed) where 50’ required – Notice Acceptable

                                                                                                                                                ACT BY: 7/25/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: John Kroll, applicant

John Kroll – sworn

We purchased the property a couple of years ago.  There is an existing non-conforming front setback.   We are trying to conform to the character of the neighborhood.  Since we are going up on the existing setback a variance is required.  Mr. Denzler – 50’ is required in the zone and 30.1’ exists.  Variance required due to 2nd floor addition, the majority of the addition is conforming.  Mr. Marinello – Is the setback consistent with the other houses in the neighborhood.  Mr. Denzler – Yes.  Mr. Denzler – The size of the house is consistent with the neighboring properties.  Not out of character with the neighborhood. 

Mr. Huelsebusch – There are 4 trees that need to be removed to improve site distance, note to be added to the plan regarding the drywell and any underground storage tanks must be removed.

Open to public

Rudy Tipner – 79 Passaic Valley Rd. -sworn

I think that the application is a major improvement to the area.

Closed to public

Motion to approve the application subject to removal of 4 trees for sight distance to be reviewed and approved by board engineer , add note to plan as to location of drywell, removal of underground storage tanks, enhancement to neighborhood and not further increasing existing setback made by: Dr. Kanoff; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello

Track 5

ZSPP/FDC33-06-02-08 Casha, Lawrence & Debra – 115 Horseneck Rd. – B: 139.03, L: 7.03 – amended preliminary and final site plan/use/bulk variances in order to occupy 1,367 s.f. of basement level of existing 2 story office building – FAR of 27.23% where 25% is allowed; off street parking of 80 spaces (existing & proposed) where 104 required – Notice Acceptable                                                              ACT BY: 8/17/08

Present on behalf of the applicant: Geoff Evans, Esq.; Larry Casha, Esq.; Joseph Mianecki, PE; David Bauman, PP

Lawrence Casha, applicant - sworn

Geoffrey Evans, Esq. – Requesting 2 variances, 1 for FAR and 1 for parking. What are the changes to the building?

Mr. Casha – There are no changes to the building exterior.  One existing tenant has employees doubled up in offices and they would like additional offices.  We would like to build out a portion of the westerly side of the lower portion of the building.  The area is sprinkled and there are 2 fire stairwells and an elevator.  I apologize for not appearing at the last application hearing.  We can address the concerns of the board from the last application.  We have made

Page 6


substantial changes to the plan that was previously reviewed.  The FAR variance requested is smaller.  We will meet all building and fire codes.  Mr. Evans – An issue was raised at the last hearing about the parking on site. 

                Exhibit marked in

                                A1 – summary of parking results on the property done by Mr. Casha

Mr. Casha – During the entire months of April and May and on June 3rd on odd number work days we did a time study as to open parking on site.  These are peak months for us.  Since the township does not allow parking along side streets for the high school they were parking in my lot. I have spoken to the principal and I have not had a problem since.  Spectators for the baseball games also park in my lot.  I have added those cars in my counts into my report.  There are currently 80 spaces and we have the ability to put in 15 more spots which are currently grass.  There is plenty of spaces on site now but will install additional 15 spaces if the board requires.  The lowest number of open spaces during the time the counts were done was 21 parking spaces.  The average number of open spaces without the 15 banked statements was 31 open spaces.     

Sharon Daniels – Tenant at 115 Horseneck rd. – sworn

Founder of Diligent Partners.  We are a software service company.  The Montville office is our financial department.  Would like to occupy the new space as well as the current space.  We need additional meeting space and storage space.  There would be no more additional need for parking since there will not be additional employees.  Mr. Ackerman – Do you have a limit to the number of people that the basement area would use?  Mr. Casha – I do not intend to overcrowd, there will not be additional employees.

Michael Duddy –sworn

Tenant in the building since it opened.  No problem with finding parking for my patients or employees. 

Joseph Mianecki, PE – sworn

Reviewed the variances requested.  FAR of 27.23% where 25% allowed.  Propose 95 spaces where 104 required.  Planning Board was concerned with stormwater management at the time so we were allowed to bank the 15 spaces.  Do not find any of the traffic counts done by Mr. Casha to be out of character.  If the property was not subdivided then an FAR variance would not be required.  The original plan was to have the 2 buildings on one lot. 

Mr. Marinello – Do you have a copy of the shared parking agreement?  Mr. Evans – Yes.

Mr. Denzler – Reviewed the variances for the board.  There is a 600 s.f. reduction from the previous request.  Recommend that the 15 banked parking spaces be constructed or have the traffic safety officer decide if the spots need to be installed at a later time.  The peak hours were not done during the peak hours of the bank.  I think the site can accommodate the additional office space.  Mr. Casha – The parking decreases during lunchtime because everyone in our building is going out to lunch.

Paul Bauman, PP - sworn

The proposal will not be a detriment to the zoning ordinance.  There is no change to the exterior of the building, no change in parking, no change to neighborhood.  There is a surplus of parking on site.  Applicant will add additional 15 parking spaces if the board required.     The shared parking agreement is unusual and new to the township.  It is safer to have the employees spread out instead of the current overcrowded condition.  We are not changing the occupancy on site. 

                A2 – shared parking agreement with Lakeland Bank

Mr. Huelsebusch - I happened to be on site in May and there was only about 12-15 open spaces on site.  I recommend that the 15 spaces be installed

Open to public – none

Mr. Driscoll – I spoke to the vice principal and he stated that some of the students were using Mr. Casha’s parking lot.  In my opinion, I think you should continue to bank the spaces or at least a part of them; it would ruin the landscaping on the site.  Use maybe 5-7 spaces and leave it up to the traffic safety officer to decide if additional spaces are require. Mr. Casha – Would like to keep the spaces banked now and if the traffic safety officer said we need to build the spaces we would.  Do you agree to comply with the number of employees (6) previously approved by the planning board when the applicant applied for in the waiver of site plan for tenancy in this building?  Mr.

Page 7


Casha – Do not remember a number of employees restricted on this tenant, there are 10-15 employees.  Mr. Marinello – This is not a complete parking agreement, our attorney needs to review the remainder of the agreement.  Mr. Cartine – Should be allowed to use the number of people allowed by building code in the basement. 

Motion to approve the application, the FAR is de minimus, no increase in size of building, increasing the amount of space that is occupied, if not subdivided there would not be a FAR issue, there is a shared agreement for parking, unless traffic safety requires additional parking not to be installed, subject to access by township officials to inspect, subject to review by board attorney of the shared parking agreement made by: Mr. Hug; Second by: Mr. Driscoll
Roll call: Yes - Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. Shirkey, No - Mr. Marinello


Minutes of May 7, 2008 - Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Dr. Kanoff, Second by: Mr. Driscoll, Roll call: Yes- Mr. Driscoll, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Moore, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Marinello


                Pashman, Stein – O/E for: $200, $281.25; Trust for: $343.75, $725, $93.75, $437.50, $125, $125

                William Denzler & Assoc. – O/E for: $312.50, $62.50, $187.50, Trust for: $312.50, $312.50, $312.50,

$437.50, $375, $218.75, $125, $1,000.00, $62.50, $93.75, $93.75, $187.50, $218.75

                Bricker & Assoc – O/E for: $250; Trust for: $375, $500, $312.50, $750, $562.50, $875, $1,250.00, $406.25

                Omland Engineering – Trust for: $506.25

                Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $165

                Anderson & Denzler – Trust for: $67.50

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


ZC03-08 Mason – 12 Lenape Dr. – B: 9, L: 27 – construction of a one story addition and deck –

variance for side setback of 13’ (2.97’ exists) vs 20’      Approval Resolution – Eligible: Mr.

Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Cartine; Second by: Mr.  Driscoll; Roll call:  Yes – Kanoff, Driscoll, Cartine, Moore

ZC16-07A Bassil – 2 Herrman Way – B: 82.11, L: 8 – rear setback of 38.4’ where 75’ required for sunroom addition – Approval resolution – Eligible: Mr. Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr. Cartine; Roll call:  Yes – Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello

ZSPP/FCD/ZMN35-06 – Anton Co. – 1275 Bloomfield Ave. – B: 181, L: 1 – request for one year extension of approvals until November 7, 2008 - Granted

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr.  Moore; Roll call:  Yes – Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello

ZC02-07 – Marilyn Bott – B: 28, L: 13 – 122 Jacksonville Road – Request for a one year extension to construct house until June 5, 2009 - Granted

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr. Moore; Roll call:  Yes – Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello

Page 8


Z/FSPDC23-02 -Morris Plaza - B: 57.01, L: 6 - 350 Main Rd. – request for extension of approvals to June 4, 2009 - Granted

Motion to adopt made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr. Moore; Roll call:  Yes – Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Cartine, Mr. Moore, Mr. Marinello





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

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Grogaard

Recording Secretary

Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board meeting of July 2, 2008.


Linda M. White, Sec.


Absent with explanation

Absent with explanation

Last Updated ( Monday, 07 July 2008 )
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