ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
MINUTES OF AUGUST 6, 2008
Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road
8:00PM Regular Meeting
STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
Stated for the record.
Buraszeski - Present
Kanoff - Present
James Marinello- Absent
Driscoll - Present
Carl DiPiazza (Alt #1) - Present
Cartine - Present
Kenneth Shirkey (Alt #2) - Present
Hug - Present
Also Present: William Denzler, Planner
Hank Huelsebusch, Engineer
Bruce Ackerman, Esq.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Stated for the record
Paradise – 71
Horseneck Rd. – B: 140, L: 1 – front setback
variance for addition to single family home on a corner lot 13.5’ proposed
where 26.5’ is existing and 50’ is required. TENTATIVE
NOTICE REQUIRED TO 9/3/08
Forte, Jerry – 28
Abbott Rd. – B: 39.7, L:86.2 – disturbance of
slopes for construction of in ground pool ACT
*RESCHEDULED WITH NOTICE TO NEIGHBORS REQUIRED AND
NEWSPAPER NOTICE CARRIED TO 9/3/08
Feather - B: 155, L: 8
– 86 Konner Ave. – variance for rear setback of
43.45’ (existing and proposed) where 50’ required for 2nd story
addition - Notice Acceptable ACT
Present on behalf of the applicant: Larry Feather, Applicant
Mr. Feather, applicant – sworn
Requesting a variance of a rear setback of 43.45’ where 50’ is existing
and proposed for a 2nd story addition. Mr. Cartine – The addition will be no further
into the rear yard as the original house is constructed? Mr. Feather – Correct. Mr. Cartine – Can you put the addition
anywhere else on the lot with out requiring a variance? Mr. Feather- It is an addition to a bedroom,
it would take up driveway space if placed elsewhere, it is just going up on the
existing part of the house.
Mr. Denzler – The expansion is finishing off the 2nd story
over the garage, do you see any impact to the neighboring property? Mr. Feather – I spoke to the neighbor and
they indicated that they did not have any problem with the addition; the house
is approximately 70’ from the property line.
Exhibit marked in
– photos of the neighboring properties (8 pages)
Mr. Denzler – The house is not parallel to the property line thus the
need for the variance.
Mr. Feather reviewed the photos for the board. The addition is going over the garage and
will not go beyond the setback that exists.
Open to public – none – closed
Mr. Buraszeski – What about the chimney? Mr. Feather – The chimney will be removed and
a vent will be installed.
Mr. Cartine – There will be no further encroachment to the existing
setback, no further building or impervious coverage.
Motion to approve the application, no detriments to public good, not
out of character with existing homes made by: Mr. Driscoll; Second by: Mr. Hug;
Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Kanoff, Driscoll, Hug, DiPiazza , Shirkey, Cartine
ZMISC01-08 Photos by Ginny – 322 Changebridge Rd. – B: 156, L: 32.02 –
1,248 s.f. retail photo store – 2 employees – hours of operation 8am-6pm
Mon-Sat (Chux Landscaping)
Present on behalf of the applicant: Chuck Baldissard, owner of the
Mr. Baldissard – We wish to lease out and existing retail space to a
photographer. The garden center will
have an outside cashier if needed and the entire section will be for the
photography studio. Dr. Kanoff – Will
the florist still be there? Mr. Baldissard
– The florist will remain in the front of the building. Mr. Driscoll – What about Springbrook? Mr. Baldissard – Springbrook will close. Mr. Cartine – Will there be developing of
photos? Mr. Baldissard – No, they do it
by computers. We are adding a 1’x4’ sign
under the existing signs. I have enough
square footage to do that. Mr. Denzler –
I was initially concerned with parking, but there was no parking variance
granted so there is no issue with parking.
Open to public – none - closed
Mr. Baldissard – The retail landscaping will close Sunday.
Motion to approve the application made by: Driscoll; Second by: Hug; Roll
call: Yes - Buraszeski, Kanoff, Driscoll, Hug, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Cartine
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
& 6/4/08 - Eligible: Mr.
Buraszeski, Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. Moore, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Cartine ACT
Present on behalf of the applicant: Steven Schepis, Esq.; Mark Walker,
PE, Waldemar Ptaszek, applicant
Mr. Buraszeski & Mr.
DiPiazza certified to the 6/3/08 hearing.
Mr. Schepis – At the last hearing Mr. Pearce indicated that he needed
40 more minutes to conclude his testimony and summation so we will allow that
to happen. Mr. Ackerman – You various
documents attached to your letter of
July 17th of a comparison of the house adjacent to the site
and size issues, these documents are not in evidence and you should have some
testimony to these documents. Mr.
Schepis- Mr. Ptaszek having retrieved those plans from the building department
can testify. The meeting turned over to
Mr. Pearce – Every time Mr. Schepis submits additional information at
the last minute and I don’t find a 40 minute time period is fair. This board has asked for square footage
information to be submitted to this board and that has not done it. I have submitted information to the board on
size of houses in the area and Mr. Marieniess will testify to it. Mr. Schepis does not compare the size of the
proposed house to the McNally house. All
of the people in this room are here against the application. The Ptaszek’s sent out an email that has
brought out more people that now need to testify. While on vacation I had a legal response
submitted to Mr. Ackerman dated August 1st which I have not
reviewed. I will address the issues
this evening but 40 minutes may not be enough.
Mr. Mikowski – 23
Rockledge Rd. - previously sworn
My home was constructed in the early 1900’s, later I added a 440 s.f.
addition. Mr. Schepis alleges that my
house is over 5,000 s.f. of useable
space which completely misrepresents the facts.
After the addition my house has 3,554 s.f. of useable space verified by
the tax records of Montville
Township. The basement has 6’ 9” height, it is not
useable space and is not finished. The basement also does not have
windows. The house is basically a
3,000 s.f. house. I object to the
quantity of fill and amount of retaining walls by house. My house was carved down to the existing
slope. The walls on my lot do not
support my house, they are used for control of the erosion. If he used the existing slope and carved into
the existing slope the neighbors would not be so upset.
Exhibit marked in
- 9 pages of photos
Mr. Mikowski reviewed photos for the board.
Mr. Hug – If I was looking at the picture in Mr. Schepis’ letter of
7/17/07 is that an accurate picture of your house? Mr. Mikowski – Yes. Mr. Hug – It is 3 floors? Mr. Mikowski – The basement is not useable it
is 6’ high. Mr. Hug – What size is the
basement? Mr. Mikowski 4,000 s.f. Mr. Ackerman – Is there a bathroom? Mr. Mikowski – Yes but it has been there since
1926. There is also a TV that the
children watch. Dr. Kanoff - So it is
being used? Mr. Mikowski – Yes. Mr. Hug – How big is your house? Mr. Mikowski – The total area with garages is
7,229 s.f., the useable area is 3,224 s.f., but I would say that my house is 2
½ stories. If Mr. Ptaszek made a 2 ½ story
house it would be ok. From my point of
view his house is 3 ½ stories. There are
no retaining walls on my property that support any structure; they are used for
erosion control. My lot is 3 times bigger
than the applicant’s. Very few houses in
built on controlled fill. If Mr. Ptaszek
used the same principal in constructing his house as the neighboring houses he
will preserve the neighborhood. Mr.
McNally’s house is 3,024 s.f. plus garage and space under garage for a total of
3,648 s.f. In 1980 when Mr. Ptaszek
submitted his original design it was very close to Mr. McNally’s. Mr. McNally’s house is 2 stories and one
story buried underground. We do not live
in Pine Brook where everyone mows their lawn we live in the woods.
Mr. Hug – Is this not the 2nd road into Lake Valhalla? Is there not trees between the roads? Mr. Mikoski – It is a fact that this house
will stick out like a sore thumb. Mr.
Hug – At the height of Rockledge
Road is the proposed Ptaszek residence higher than
your house? His house is 33’ where yours
is 32’. Mr. Mikowski – His driveway will
be 14’ above Rockledge Rd. The height of the house will be seen 14’
above the McNally’s. Mr. Hug – I drove
up there today and there are houses higher than McNally’s. Mr. Hug – I can’t see your house through
the trees in the picture you submitted but you say that the Ptaszek house will
stick out and be seen from the lake? Mr.
Mikowski – Yes, the house will be above the remaining tree line. Mr. Huelsebusch - According to your exhibit
your house is higher than the Ptaszek house.
I did not draw the exhibit. Mr.
Cartine – If the house was smaller, the 2 same variances requested will still
exists. Would you be in favor of a
smaller house with the same 2 variances?
Mr. Mikowski – I would be in favor if the house was smaller and in
character with the neighborhood. Mr.
Pearce – The earlier plan had a significantly lower house height and no
retaining walls and the neighbors like that plan. Mr.
Huelsebusch – All my reports are based on engineering issues, there were
statements made by Mr. Pearce that were not true, there was a big retaining
wall in the 1988 plan that was bigger than requested today and the driveway was
at 20% slope which would cause more water problems than what is proposed.
Exhibit marked in
– view of Ptaszek property from the rear showing 4 views from the 1988 approval
Mr. Hug – According to the previous approval it indicates 45’ where the
new proposal is 33’ height in height so the scales are off on the exhibit. I am concerned with the character of the
neighborhood and the neighbors, how far is it from their house to your house? Mr. Mikowski – Over 100’. Mr. Hug – What will
be the impact to your house? Mr.
Mikowski – My property will be under shadow from 11am to afternoon, the shadow
at 3pm will be over my home during different seasons, my empty lot will be
deprived of light, it does not matter if it is empty lot or my house.
Mr. Pearce – The 2007 plan shows many trees to be removed where the
1988 plan shows very little trees to be removed. Mr. Huelsebusch – The 1988 approval does not
show the septic plan that would require removal of trees also. Mr. Huelsebusch – There is a distortion on
these maps since the property is shown further back than the other. Mr. Mikowski – It is the town’s plan, it is not
my issue that it may be distorted. Mr.
Pearce – The plan indicates that virtually all the trees will be removed in the
rear of the property. Mr. Huelsebusch –
No, they are saving some trees, they are not eliminating all the trees. There is a conservation easement that the
applicant is giving in the rear of the property.
Mr. Schepis – I have reviewed the chart prepared, who at the town
prepared it? Mr. Mikowski – I did not
prepare it, I just know it is a township record. Mr. Schepis – The square footage shown on this
plan does not add up to what you say the square footage of your house is. Mr. Schepis – Attached to my memo of July 17th
are the plans shown on your property accurate?
Mr. Mikowski – Yes they are my plans.
A-10 Mr. Schepis
Mr. Schepis – The plans indicate the 1988 plan in your Power Point
exhibit shows 45’? Mr. Mikowski – It is
only what is taken from the town plans.
Mr. Schepis – It is fair to say that the proposed application is 10’
lower than what was approved in 1988.
Mr. Schepis – Is it accurate that you have a pre-existing non-conforming
setback? Mr. Mikowksi – It was done in
1926, it is the town’s fault. Mr.
Schepis – Your architect shows approximately 5,700 s.f. is that accurate for
floor area? Mr. Mikowski- Yes.
Mr. Bob Mareiniss -22
Lakeshore Drive - sworn
I am immediately below and behind the proposed house. I compiled a document with surrounding
properties and the square footage of those houses. I went to the assessor’s office and asked for
the tax records for each lot.
Exhibit O-14 – tax
records of each lot on appendix D1 28 pages
Mr. Mareiniss – Chart shows ratio of floor to lot area for the
lots. Mr. Ackerman – On only the
applicant’s lot you included the basement and not one of the other lots did you
include the basement area. Mr. Mareiniss
– I have not reviewed this in awhile.
Mr. Hug – Are you stating that in all these homes there are no finished
basements? Mr. Mareiniss – I did not go
into the houses. Mr. Hug – Is there a
coverage problem here? Mr. Denzler – No
there is no building or lot coverage variance required. Mr. Hug – If there is no coverage problem
then we can’t consider floor area ratio.
Mr. Hug – What is the distance from the rear of the proposed house to
your home? Mr. Mareiniss – I would
imagine it would block the sun but am concerned with the fill that would be
required to build this home. Mr.
DiPiazza – Do you have tree buffer in the rear of your property? Mr. Mareiniss – I have short evergreens.
Frank McNally – 19 Rockledge Rd. -
My property is next to the applicant’s property. My home will be 30’ away. From my deck I will look at a retaining
wall. It will affect the light air and
open space of my house and property directly.
This proposal is out of character with the neighborhood.
Mr. Hug- Along Rockledge Road there are colonials closer to the road
that are higher than the lower homes along that street which would probably
have the same impact as the proposal.
Mr. McNally – The height of the rooflines along that road does not
differ more than 6’ in overall elevation, not as to the elevation of the road
each of the houses adjacent to this property are built into the slope. I have no basement.
Open to the public not represented by Mr. Pearce were requested to step
John Regan – 19 Washington
Ct - sworn
I live in Towaco but I am a member of Lake Valhalla. This is an undersized lot, the structure
should comply to the lot size. We are trying
to maintain the character of the neighborhood.
Andy Kalfus – 5 Rockledge
Rd. - sworn
I live in a colonial on Rockledge with full basement next to a
contemporary without a basement. My
roofline is about even with the 2 story contemporary up the street. Concerned with this house being higher than
all the other houses. Want to keep the
sight line as it is now.
John Murphy – 30
Stonybrook Rd - sworn
Concerned with the change in the character of the neighborhood. Concerned that this would set a
precedent. No one is paying attention to
if this application is a good site for this project.
Jeff Weinflash – 51
Stoneybrook Rd - sworn
Prefer the 1988 plan where the house is built into the land even with a
Doug Johnson – 18
Rockledge Rd. - sworn
Concerned with the amount of construction vehicles used to construct
this property will be dangerous to my children.
Anthony Angelini – 38
Virginia Rd. - sworn
Introduced himself as the new VCA liaison to the Board of Adjustment.
Mr. McGaffney - sworn
Not in favor of the application
Mr. Huelsebusch – The 1988 plan shows that the top of the roof is 5’
higher than the proposed plan.
Mr. Schepis – Mark Walker was previously sworn on this application.
Mr. Walker – The number of trees to be removed is 30 that are 4” or
greater in size. Mr. Hug – How many
exist? Mr. Walker – 41. There is a 50’
conservation easement proposed and the applicant will agree to supplement the
trees in that area. There was a
landscape plan submitted a year ago to the board. To the garage of the McNally home the
Ptaszek home will be 35’ away. From the
deck on Mr. McNally’s home there is 45’ to the Ptaszek house. The 1988 plan showed the house 33.7’ from the
existing right of way line and there was a deck proposed that was even
closer. A conforming house would
require a 20% driveway, a 10’ high wall and more disturbances to the rear of
Mr. Hug – In your opinion does it pose a problem of light air and open
space to neighboring properties? Mr.
Denzler – In my opinion it does not.
Dr. Kanoff – Do you feel runoff will be a problem. Mr. Huelsebusch – I would suggest a
geotechnical engineer be on site during construction, and once constructed, the
runoff will be less than exists. There
are safeguards in Mr. Walker’s plan that will prevent problems from
Mr. Pearce – I submit a letter from my office dated 8-6-08 which was
given to Mr. Ackerman earlier today. The
applicant is to be the one to prove the burden of proof and the applicant has
not provided a burden of proof. The
proofs in Mr. Schepis’ letter are related to pools, this is not a pool. Commons vs Westwood case shows a smaller
house on a small lot and was overturned.
Mr. Mikowski did not walk away from the request for purchase of land,
the applicant wanted 1,000 s.f. more land for $10,000 more. They did not give the burden of proof that
they tried to buy adjoining land. They
can build a much smaller conforming house on this property. They are taking
down 30 out of 41 trees on the property.
This is the smallest lot in this area.
This house is far too big for this particular property.
Mr. Pearce - I disagree with the experts that this application does not
require a height variance. By covering ½
a foundation with fill does not change it from a 3 story to a 2 story. The applicants own experts contradict each
others testimony. The applicant did not
supply back up to Mr. Walker’s testimony that the footprints of the surrounding
houses were bigger. Mr. Pearce - Mr.
Walker indicated that there would be no negative impact to the neighborhood but
there will be removal of 30 trees, 150 plus trucks of soil, etc. The applicant did not supply information that
Board asked for. If you approve
this application it will set precedence for people to be able to build 5,000
s.f. homes on .4 acre lots. The
application should be denied due to the size of the house as it relates to the
Mr. Schepis – This lot predates the zoning ordinances. We submitted Mr.
Ptaszek’s attempts at purchasing property which would not change the need for
steep slopes. There was an enhanced
setback and conservation easement in the negotiations with Mr. Mikowski making
only about 30 s.f. of the land useable. I reviewed the case that counsel submitted; it
is a law division case in another county.
Mr. Steck’s report provided all the square footage of the houses along
the street with footprints of all the houses. A-3 also shows the neighboring houses with
footprints. We are not asking for
building or impervious coverage variances.
The application meets the township ordinances for coverage. Mr. Mikowski’s architectural plans shows
5,700 s.f. of useable area where he testified to 3,400 s.f.
Mr. Schepis reviewed previous resolution of approval on this
property. The Board made the
determination that the lot can be approved for variances for construction due
to the constraints of the property topographically. The slopes are the slopes, the lot is
topographically challenged. The proposed
home has a greater front setback and a greater rear setback. The applicant proposes a 50’ conservation
easement with additional landscaping to be added to further add to buffering. There will be a decrease in overall
runoff. The applicant will satisfy all
the Board Engineer’s concerns. The
objector did not submit any engineering testimony. The applicant will comply with all required
reports requested on this application.
Mr. Denzler reviewed the relief the applicant is requesting for the
board. Front setback, wall height due to
3’ high safety railing on top of 6’ high wall which will be mitigated by
landscaping, design waivers for driveway slope, development within steep slopes
and for different categories of steep slopes.
Mr. Buraszeski – Is the fill to avoid a variance for height? Mr. Denzler – It may be but if you do not put
in the fill there will be design problems.
Mr. Huelsebusch – On page 7 of the power point exhibit the new plan is
distorted by at least 40% to the 1988 approval.
The present request is only 15’ wider than the 1988 approval. The comparison is not accurate.
Mr. Cartine – The property is difficult to build on due to slopes. People cannot be deprived of their right to
build. When a house is built trees come
down. The chart tended not to include
basement square footage in any house except the applicant’s. Mr. Mikowski indicated that he would accept
the variances requested but not this house.
There does not seem to be a reason why this cannot be built.
Mr. Hug – Even if the applicant purchased additional land, variances
would be required. The fact that this
home does not conform to the houses built in the 1920’s is a fact of life. If the application is denied I believe that
it would not hold up in court. I am not
willing to put this town in a position to spend $15,000 on a case that I do not
believe will be won. I remember the
Gelvan house was testified to that it would be a detriment to Lake Valhalla
and the exhibits do not even show that house being visible during fall
Motion to approve the application subject to geotechnical engineer on
site during construction, additional buffering within the conservation easement
area, all require reports and all professional reports, no detriment to zone
plan, water runoff will be improved, a developers agreement shall be entered
into as it relates to make sure that any damage to Rockledge Road during soil
movement be repaired by the applicant, made by: Hug; Second by: Driscoll; Roll
call: Yes - Mr.
Driscoll, Mr. Hug, Mr. DiPiazza, Mr. Shirkey, Mr. Cartine, No - Mr. Buraszeski
& Dr. Kanoff
of July 2, 2008 - Eligible: Moore,
Kanoff, Driscoll, Cartine, Hug, Buraszeski, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello
Mr. Buraszeski - On page 2
change “not” to “no” longer have a deck.
Motion to adopt as amended made
by: Dr. Kanoff, Second by: Mr. Driscoll, Roll call: Yes- Dr. Kanoff, Mr. Cartine, Mr.
Driscoll, Mr. Shirkey
Bricker & Assoc. – Trust
for: $875, $250, $3,750, $250, $406.25, $531.25, $500, $312.50, $593.75,
Omland Engineering – Trust
Pashman, Stein – O/E for:
$243.75; Trust for: $468.75, $781.25, $593.75, $343.75, $343.75
William Denzler & Assoc.
– Trust for: $156.25, $31.25, $31.25, $343.75, $125, $156.25, $250, $406.25,
$687.50, $62.50, $312.50, $ 250, $312.50, $31.25, $31.25, $125, $31.25, $500,
Motion to approve made by:
Dr. Kanoff, Second by: Mr. Hug, Roll call: Unanimous
ZC12-08 Grossman - B: 139, L: 15 – 26 East Cheryl Rd. – variance for
side yard of 17’ vs 20’ required; combined side yards of 45.3’ existing and
proposed where 50.87’ required for addition to single family home – Approval Resolution – Eligible: Moore, Kanoff, Cartine, Driscoll,
DiPiazza, Buraszeski, Marinello
Motion to adopt made by: Mr.
Driscoll; Second by: Dr. Kanoff; Roll call:
Cartine, Driscoll, Buraszeski, DiPiazza
ZSPP/F27-05-31-06 DAB Associates – 43
Bellows Ln. – B: 41, L: 15 – extension of time
request for Use variance From June 7, 2008 to March 5, 2009 – Granted –
Eligible: Moore, Kanoff, Cartine, Driscoll, Buraszeski, Marinello
Motion to adopt made by: Mr.
Driscoll; Second by: Dr. Kanoff; Roll call:
Cartine, Driscoll, Buraszeski, Shirkey
ZSPF11-96-14-08 Dunkin Donuts – 38 Rt. 46W – B: 176, L: 4.2 – request for change of
– extension of existing hours of 5am-midnight to 24 hours from March 1st
to October 31st and request to sell soft serve ice cream – requested
to withdraw without prejudice.
The Board Secretary indicated
that the applicant requested the application be withdrawn without prejudice.
ZC05-06 Lazo - B: 111, L: 12 - 32 Alpine Rd – request for
extension of approvals from August 2, 2008 to August 1, 2009
Motion to grant extension
made by: Mr. Buraszeski; Second by: Mr. Driscoll; Roll call: Yes - Kanoff,
Cartine, Hug, Driscoll, Buraszeski, Shirkey
There being no further business there was a motion to
unanimously adjourn made by Mr. Driscoll, Seconded by: Mr. Cartine; Roll call –
Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board
meeting of September 3, 2008.
Linda M. White, Sec.
Certified to 6/4/08 hearing
Certified to 6/4/08 hearing