Planning Board Minutes 7-24-08 Print E-mail


7:30 PM Start



Mr. Maggio  - present               Mr. Karkowsky - absent        

Ms. Kull - present                    Mr. Daughtry - present

Ms. Nielson - present               Mr. Visco - present

Mr. Lipari - absent                 Mr. Lewis – present

Mr. Hines - absent                 Mr. Canning (alt#2) - present

                                                Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present

Also Present:

Stan Omland, PE

Michael Carroll, Esq.

Joe Burgis, Planner








          Housing Element/COAH/Master Plan – Update – Mrs. White noted the ordinance on allocation of funds to start this work was adopted by the Township Committee on July 22nd, so the funds are now there.  Mr. Burgis and Ms. White will meet and set up schedules.  Mrs. White asked if we will be required to adopt the housing element before end of year in view of litigation pending.  This issue will be explored in greater depth once schedules are coordinated as indicated.  Mr. Burgis indicated regardless of whether or not the Township opts into COAH, you are still subject to adoption of a Housing Element.

          Mrs. White noted that the 9/25/08 Planning Board schedule is set for discussion and review of the Aged Restricted Rezoning Requests received.  She also indicated she met with the County on the SWP/state mapping on sewer/water management.  Regulations were adopted and mapping is now being worked on.  She indicated that this element appears to be something that should be put in front of rezoning reviews or reviewed as part of since based on this meeting, some of the mapping areas may affect development. 

Gary Lewis asked Mr. Burgis about imposition of permit fees and if we are in a plan under COAH, can we adopt an impact fee ordinance.  Mr. Burgis indicated that it cannot be done this way.  Right now the 2.5% fee taken at Construction is transferred into an urban fund.  Mr. Burgis indicated that he understands if you are compliant with COAH regulations, you can get some monies back.  Mr. Carroll indicated this aspect should be discussed with municipal attorney. 

Mr. Canning asked about COAH asking for clarification on the collecting of impact fees.  Mr. Burgis reviewed summarizing that for this community we need to take the 2.5% fee on industrial/commercial permits now.

          Environmental Commission Meeting – Highlands & ANJEC –          Invitation to Planning Board -        9/17/08 – 7PM

Mrs. White indicated that the chair set this meeting up and issued an open invite.  Discussion ensued.  The Planning Board intended to host this meeting with the Highlands in the fall since they are required to comply with Highlands/development issues at that level, and asked Mrs. White to discuss cancelling Highlands’s appearance at Environmental Commission to reschedule to Planning Board agenda in October.  Mrs. White will coordinate and resolve.

Mrs. White indicated that at the July 22nd meeting of the Township Committee, a draft new height ordinance was referred to the Planning Board from Township Committee and asked the Planning Board to review this.  Mrs. White transmitted draft to Mr. Burgis and asked he had an opportunity to review this. 

Mr. Burgis reminded Planning Board that we adopted a new height ordinance last year around this time to deal with some of the issues of lot grading and height at that time.  He indicated three items of concern about items in this draft ordinance review.  He noted the wording too vague in that it provided wording that indicated alterations which are visual salient are not permitted with site plan approval.  As indicated in the past, zoning ordinances have to be specific and must have standards that have clarity to them.  It would be difficult to determine ‘visually salient’ to someone.  It is not a standard that is measurable, and therefore not a zone regulation.

It also talks about site plan or subdivision approval to comply with the ordinance.  One or two family dwellings are not subject to subdivision or site plan.  Single Family lots are not subject to that process.

Alterations to grades should not be permitted to alter height regulations was another area.  He has seen ordinances respond to this but in limited conditions, since the question that comes into play is what or where is ‘pre-existing’ grade.  At what point do you look at what is an existing grade?

He indicated he saw no problem with redefining cellar for the purpose of ordinance.  This wording could be adjusted.  But this issue isn’t worth changing our ordinance for. 

Ms. Nielson indicated this draft ordinance was shown to Township Committee due to under sized lots, and that the size of the houses exceeds the developments existing in some existing lots.  Are there some changes that would safeguard any neighborhoods to control the demolition and redevelopment of a McMansions? 

Mr. Burgis:  there may be ways to address this.  He indicated that clearly there is a Board of Adjustment application pending, stressing that this board is not empowered to get involved in this.  In a very general way, though, there can ordinances drafted that will address concerns voiced, but this height ordinance draft will not work. 

He indicated that the Planning Board and the Township Committee could though direct development of an ordinance to deal with isolated lots and/or isolated lots where demolitions may exist with larger homes.  Ms. Nielson indicated that this issue was visited by the Board several times, and the Board couldn’t come up to a consensus on it.  .

Mr. Lewis asked Mrs. White if we require a house is demolished and rebuilt, is a grading permit required. These grading plans reflect existing topo.  He indicated the height of new structure can be measured from existing grade as shown on lot grading plan, and he has an ordinance that may work that he will fax to Mr. Burgis.  Board requested Mr. Burgis to present a proposal to the Planning Board for review of this section of ordinance.  Mrs. White will review with Planning Board at the August 13th meeting of Planning Board. 


PMISC08-26 Westport Corp – 331 Changebridge Rd. – B: 160.02, L: 23 – change warehouse space to office – no additional employees – Existing 21,503,523 s.f. warehouse – propose 1,755 s.f. office space for a result of 23,258 s.f. office/128,768 s.f. warehouse – no change in operation

Motion made by:  to grant waiver subject to compliance with agency findings, use letter and sign theme approval as stipulated by Art Daughtry, seconded by Art Maggio

PMISC08-27 Montville Hot Bagels & Deli – 1 John Henry Dr. – B: 135, L: 5 – 4 – Bagel bakery & deli – 4 employees – 5am-6pm – 7 days – no signage requested at this time – no tables

Mrs. White summarized past reviews made by this site by Planning Board for Subway tenancy.  Ms. Kull asked what can be done about parking? 

Present:  Andrew Guerin, tenant

Mrs. White summarized that this was scheduled for courtesy to discuss whether or not the Planning Board would allow this use to move in under a waiver.  She indicated that the owner’s representative is present, as well as tenant.  The use is a permitted use as a bagel, deli and bakery but the concern again is the upgrading of lot/building.  Mrs. White indicated that there is a plan from the owner to completely upgrade the interior and exterior of the building. 

Mrs. Nielson asked about the Dumpster on property which is presently not screened on this property, how would that be addressed.  Mr. Guerin indicated that they will enclose this. 

Mrs. Nielson asked what of HVAC systems?  Where would they be located?  If on the roof, they would need to be screened. 

Mr.  Daughtry asked if there is a possible way to get another exit that can be installed.  Tony Speciale indicated that there is a wall and grade drops down on John Henry Drive. 

Board would like to see this reviewed and if there is a way to enhance parking and circulation, this would be an asset to the owner and community. 

Chris Vicco, Heller Group representative of owner

Mr. Vicco asked about upgrading just building.  A copy of his proposal was distributed which reflected a marked improvement of this site.  After a general discussion, it was indicated that there was no objection to the granting of the tenancy with no occupancy until site plan approval was received.  Motion made by:  Art Daughtry, seconded by Deb Nielson, unanimously accepted.

PMISC08-28 Ricoh – 19 Chapin Rd. – B: 184, L: 7.02 – conversion of 2,128 s.f. of storage space to a climate controlled software and equipment test area and demo room – no change in number of employees – no change in operation –

Mrs. White summarized.  This waiver was approved unanimously in a Motion made by:  Gary Lewis, seconded by Art Daughtry subject to compliance with agency findings, use letter and sign theme.


PMSP/F07-10 - K & K DEVELOPERS, Inc., Major Subdivision – 10 Woodmont Road, Block: 159, L: 6 – 10.2 acre parcel into 11 lots (Ten SF) – R27A Zone – Approved 6-26-08 Eligible:  Art Maggio, Ladis Karkowsky, Deb Nielson, Russ Lipari, Larry Hines, Art Daughtry, Gary Lewis

Motion made by:  Art Daughtry seconded by: Art Maggio

Roll call:  Deb Nielson, Art Maggio, Art Daughtry and Gary Lewis – unanimous





Minutes of 6/26/08 – Ladis Karkowsky, Deb Nielson, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio , Russ Lipari, Art Daughtry , Larry Hines, Anthony Speciale

          Subcommittee Minutes of 6-05-08 Eligible:  Russ Lipari, Ladis          Karkowsky, Art Daughtry and John Visco

          Subcommittee Minutes of 7-10-08 Eligible: Russ Lipari, Ladis Karkowsky, Art Daughtry, John Visco, Deb Nielson  

Adopted unanimously in a Motion made by: Art Daughtry and seconded by Deb Nielson


          Omland Engineering – O/E for: $67.50, $67.50, $405, $660, $540,

$675, $573.75, $1,080.00, $33.75, $101.25

          Michael Carroll, Esq. – Trust for: $33.75, $708.75, $945, $67.50

          Burgis Assoc. – O/E for: $270, $210, $435; Trust for: $420, $30,

$420, $90

Adopted unanimously in a Motion made by: Art Daughtry and seconded by Deb Nielson






          PSPP/FC08-08 Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit          – 70 River Rd. – B: 76, L: 12.01 – pre/final site plan for      construction of parsonage – Notice Acceptable    

(Note:   Vic Canning stepped down from this hearing)

Board professionals sworn

Richard Kozel, Esq.

Mrs. White summarized:  applicant submitted application for preliminary and final site plan and proposes to construct a two story parsonage on the site of existing church.  Property is on river Road and in R43A zone and is a permitted use.  Variances required for exceeding the maximum permitted building and impervious coverage and a design waiver for exceeding maximum driveway slope in front of garage.

Mr. Kozel explained the parsonage will be accessed via new 12’ driveways off existing parking area, and they will include proposed upgrades in landscaping and stormwater management.  They will not touch existing conservation easement at rear.

Sidewalks discussed.  Ms. Nielson noted there were citizen concerns raised with this area and sidewalk beyond church near Rockaway River section.  Is there a need or desire to have sidewalks in front of the church?  Mr. Burgis indicated he meant from the dwelling to the church for a sidewalk.  Is there a need for sidewalks in the front?  Mr. Kozel indicated that sidewalks are already required for entire frontage as part of the subdivision. 

Ms. Nielson: was the ordinance ever finalized requiring homes to face front of the street.  Mr. Burgis indicated it was not but given nature of this lot behind the church, this is not as critical.  Discussion ensued.  Mr. Burgis indicated he didn’t really feel strongly about this need.  Not required.  Applicant did agree to comply with planner’s report.

Mr. Omland discussed his concerns noting that the previously height ordinance we discussed if adopted would actually render this plan non-conforming since the house is raised 10’ off groundwater, which brings height up to 35’ .  Mr. Omland didn’t look to see if elevating dwelling at 10’ would affect Meadows Lane viewscape, but indicated wood buffer must remain. Any new ordinance adopted on grade requirements will require this to be built at approved tonight. 

Mr. Omland also indicated soils testing must be conducted prior to release of building permit. 


David Fantina, PE

No soils testing done.  He was engineer on Moore’s subdivision.  He will conduct some testing. 

There will be no tree cutting since this wooded area is contained within a Conservation easement. 

Deb Nielson asked about the amount of fill being brought to site?  Applicant advised that he will need to supply soil quantities and if necessary may need soil movement permit from Township Committee.

Ms. Nielson asked if there will be windows in raised basement since plans reflect there are none.

Sworn - Vincent Cirri, builder

He indicated that they have not proceeded with a foundation plan yet.    Right now, it reflects four feet exposed foundation.  He clarified that this will be unfinished basement space.

Gary Lewis asked if it is safe to say delivery of the module will have access to the church parking lot.  This approval will be made subject to compliance with all agency findings, especially that of the Traffic Safety officer for movement of modular thru community.   

Mr. Burgis indicated that the concrete exposed foundation will have landscaping plantings to buffer it.  

Opened to public…. Hearing none


Motion made by:  made by Mr. Daughtry, seconded by Mr. Lewis to grant preliminary and final site plan approval as well as the requested variances and waivers, with the applicant agreeing to comply with all testimony of record, compliance with the board’s professional reports rendered to the record, normal applicable provisions of site plan approval.  Roll call: John Visco, Deb Nielson, Art Daughtry, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio, Tony Speciale, Ms. Kull – Yes

Note:  Mr. Canning returned

          C & C Riverside Drive Associates, LLC – Riverside Drive

          Block 182, Lot 7 – Amended Site Plan –Reconfigure of interior        portion of    existing building to accommodate additional tenants       and site plan approval to make minor changes to the parking,     loading, landscaping and points of   ingress/egress to the     building                                                      ACT BY: 10-29-08

Present:  Mark Falender, Esq., Jos. Marra, Architect

Mrs. White summarized meetings held with subcommittee on modification to the interior/exterior for loading docks to allow enhanced marketing for office/industrial/corporate use.

Mr. Marra - Sworn

Mr. Marra reviewed the professional reports rendered.  He indicated his revisions submitted indicate he has upgraded the site to reflect compliance with Mr. Omland’s report.  Mr. Marra reviewed these changes.  He felt that the plans adequately reflect report issued by Mr. Burgis.  He indicated he would address loading comments offered in Mr. Omland’s report.  Revised drawings are dated July 11th; Mr. Omland’s report dated July 24th.       Mr. Marra reviewed changes to the site, handicap accessibility and parking. 

No comments offered from Mr. Burgis

Mr. Omland indicated his concerns are related to items 3 and 4 of his report.  He indicated he understood that these were new entry doors proposed and wanted assurance that some elevations are provided to ensure accessibility.  He mentioned in plans resubmitted, there was mention of a pending topo survey.  This document will confirm that there is compliance with ADA. 

Also:  on right hand side of drawing, plan reflects two handicap spacing, but he sees no ADA access.  This should be located to a more sensible location for entry points.  Mr. Marra indicated that the two spaces being referred to can be relocated across from entrance which is accessible.  The other spaces added were as close and practical to new proposed entrances.  Tenant space 2 has a new egress door.  Applicant is installing a new curve ramp that will serve to take care of 2 and 3A.  The Handicap space is 10 spaces away across from an existing handicap entrance.  This is a curb ramp and handicap entrance.  Number of parking spaces and required number of handicap spaces are in compliance and architect did try to locate them as accessible.  The spaces on north east upper left hand corner can be moved (2 of them).  Board engineer and applicant’s professional will work on this issue to resolve. 

Topo map and curb work:  no drainage problems should be encountered and will be addressed before construction.  Applicant will submit topo survey.   

Art Maggio asked if one tenant uses 6 loading bays.  Architectural plans are split between two tenants 2B gets 2; tenant get 3 and tenant 4 gets 2.  There will be no 24’ trucks in this area, and no interruptions to travel aisle.

Sign theme: Existing pylon sign will be used

Small dumpsters exist and a small compactor is used. 

All tenants have handicap access and this plan is being finalized by the State and is working with construction drawings.

Deb Nielson noted we now have ability to review in house.  As tenants come in, they then may be able to go under local review. 

Tony Speciale:  asked for confirmation that there will be a total of 8 tenants noting there is a partial 2nd floor.  Location of dumpsters discussed:  One is in loading bay at rear of building and second one is Medco space.  These are the only one on site at this time.  Applicant acknowledges they will be subject to fire prevention bureau and will meet fire codes.  Building will be fully sprinkled.

Open to public in a Motion made by:  Gary Lewis, seconded by Deb Nielson, hearing none closed.

Motion made by: Art Daughtry, seconded by Deb Nielson to grant amended final site plan and existing variances as noted, subject to compliance with all agency findings, resolution of the ADA parking areas indicated with Mr. Omland, compliance with all testimony offered, topo survey to be submitted, normal applicable provisions of site plan approval.   Roll call: John Visco, Deb Nielson, Art Daughtry, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio, Tony Speciale, Ms. Kull & Vic Canning – Yes


Deb Nielson indicated there are residents in the rear that haven’t come forward asking them if they had any comments for Planning Board.   She indicated that these residents were here during the public portion of meeting and perhaps didn’t understand they could offer comments at that time.

Bob Moranus, Lakeview Drive

Mr. Moranus indicated that the height ordinance discussed earlier was given to Townships Committee as a result of specific concerns from residents in Lake Valhalla as to intrusion into a home theme and development on lots that have severe topographic conditions, needing fill to terrace for building purposes.  Mr. Burgis indicated that in writing a zoning ordinance, wording must be specific, and that the words used in a draft given to the township committee were not.  Mr. Moranus asked for Board’s summary of what they will be looking at.  Mrs. White indicated that the planner will give a proposal to Planning Board as to his review costs for development of an ordinance that will respond to the non-conforming lot development as well as development on smaller lots and/or in fill lots that may be conforming by demolition with new McMansions.  General discussion ensued. 

Meeting unanimously adjourned in a Motion made by:  Gary Lewis and seconded by Deb Nielson  

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

With explanation

With explanation

With explanation


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