Board of Adjustment 6-3-09 minutes Print E-mail



JUNE 3, 2009

Montville Municipal Building, 195 Changebridge Road

8:00PM Regular Meeting


Stated for the record.


Richard Moore – Absent                                  Thomas Buraszeski – Present

Donald Kanoff – Present                                   James Marinello – Present

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

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

Gerard Hug – Entrance Noted

Also Present:        William Denzler, Planner

                                Hank Huelsebusch, Engineer

                                Bruce Ackerman, Esq.


Stated for the record

NOTE: Mr. Cartine enters

The following application was carried with notice preserved to 7/1/09:

ZDC28-08 Holiday at Montville – 29 Vreeland Ave.– B: 52.03, L: 19 – variances 31 adult single family housing units – carried with notice from 4-1-09                      ACT BY: 7/14/09


ZSPP/FDC07-08 Lowes (Avila/Nemeth GI Auto) – 85 Bloomfield Ave. – B: 167, L: 28-32; B: 178, L: 3; B: 179, L: 1 – pre/final site plan/use variance/bulk variances for construction of Lowe’s Home Improvement Center and mixed use retail building – Carried w/notice from 11/5/08, 12/3/08, 1/7/09, 3/4/09, & 4/1/09 – Eligible: Buraszeski, Kanoff, Driscoll, Hug, Cartine, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello  ACT BY: 6/4/09

Present on behalf of the applicant: James Kelly, Esq., Kevin Boswell, PE; Paul Phillips, PP

Mr. Kelly – We have the project planner this evening then a brief summary. 

Paul Phillips, PP – sworn

Have reviewed the plans, inspected the property, reviewed the ordinance and master plan and have reviewed the board professional reports.  The property is located in the B-6 zone, which was a recently created zone in 2007.  The zone specifically mandates a hotel in this zone which is the reason for the D variance.  A portion of the tract is within 800’ of the floodplain area and is not being preserved to the 800’ so variance required.  Other bulk variances are being sought on this application. 

Mr. Phillips - This is a prime redevelopment tract but not ideal for an office redevelopment site.  Hotels are not typically part of retail development projects.  Corporate type hotels are generated by a growing economy.  There is synergy between hotels and corporate office sites but there is not synergy between retail development and hotel use. 

Mr. Phillips - The other major use permitted by the B-6 zoning is age restricted housing. This segment of the housing market is saturated.  Developers with approvals are seeking to have these type of restrictions lifted.  There is a variance required for single retail user with a footprint of more than 40,000 s.f.  You typically find that smaller retail users are the ones closing down not the larger retail users.  This is a large site, the users are still active in the market, and they can anchor a large project as envisioned in a large zone.  It has highway access, can provide suitable buffers to the Passaic River and residential neighbors bordering the property.  This user can take on the environmental cleanup of the site.  The benefits outweigh the detriments.  It would promote the public welfare.  It would provide a more desirable visual environment than what exists.  This project would have more restrictive hours of operation; would have less of a visual impact and less sewer and water demands than a hotel.  The lighting stanchions would be kept at 15’ to have less of an impact on surrounding properties.  The standard that 800’ from the Passaic River must be preserved is onerous.  The applicant will preserve 600+ from the Passaic River.  There will be no impact floodplain or wetlands.  Variance required from this standard.  There was a building height variance requested but do not believe we need that any longer.  It was for the parapet and there is an exception to that standard for decorative features.  Setback relief required; trying to locate the building farthest from the residential properties.  Setback a street line required.  The internal roadway setback is short by a few feet, and is a de minimus variance.   Parking rows, don’t have an island for every 20 spaces.  Parking area will have a lot more green space.  Building design standards, 100’ building offsets.    Building will have cuts, ornamental features, built for downtown type area; will break up mass of façade.  The applicant is providing substantial additional green space.  Wall height variance requested of 20’ proposed vs. 6’ allowed based on the Route 46 widening and the new access to the site.  Signage variances required.  There were no specific sign regulations in place when they adopted this zone.  Freestanding sign proposed at site entrance.  3 signs on Lowe’s building proposed, not obtrusive, setback from the public view; 2 tenant signs proposed for smaller retail building. 

Mr. Denzler – There is not a need for the building height variance.  Use variance required because hotel not associated with retail element on this site.  Doesn’t this development present a 3rd defacto for the zoning on this site?  The bulk variances are resulting from the proposed use of the property.  Mr. Phillips – No, believe it is based on the open space requirement etc.  Believe that there would be variances required even if a hotel was proposed.  The applicant does not have a FAR variance.  They are going to put in a cul-de-sac on Maple Avenue and develop further away from the residential area.  Mr. Denzler – Affordable housing obligation?  Mr. Phillips – The applicant would be subject to the 2 ½% non-residential fees.

Open to public

Henry Bernstein - sworn

I am curious about the tax revenues to the township. I am curious about the employment opportunities.  Mr. Ackerman – The board cannot decide an application based on tax revenue and the applicant has alluded to employment opportunities for the area. 

David Rosania – 78 Old Bloomfield Ave. – sworn

As a business owner in the area I am in favor of the application.

Keith Olsen – previously sworn

I understand that Lowes will put a cul-de-sac on Maple.  The issue is the cut through people use through John Street.  I would like something done to mitigate the cut through traffic to Route 80.  Mr. Marinello – It is outside the applicant’s jurisdiction since he does not own the land.  Mr. Ackerman – Even the cul-de-sac proposal is subject to approval by the Township Committee.  Mr. Olsen – What will happen to the property that has the house proposed to be demolished.  Mr. Kelly – The existing parking area outside the site would be part of the cul-de-sac, trees will be planted where the house is proposed to be removed.   Mr. Olsen – Will the signs on the smaller retail building face the residences?  Mr. Phillips – No they will face the highway. 

Sylvia Wallach – previously sworn

I am concerned with the cut through traffic down John Street.

Art Weber – previously sworn

                O-1 – Letter of 6/20/05 addressed to NJDOT by Mayor Marie Cetrulo

Mr. Weber – The county doesn’t care about what is put in there, the cul-de-sac can be put in there but it is up to the Township Committee.  If this goes through we would like to see the cul-de-sac or just make John Street and Mary Drive one-way.

Michael McCully – previously sworn

It is important to put in the cul-de-sac to make the neighborhood safer.

Michael Romanelli – sworn

I am in support of the Lowe’s application; it would be a great addition to the area.

Sharon Van Duyne, Old Bloomfield Ave. – sworn

I am in favor of the Lowe’s application.

Mr Cartine – We make decisions that affect the township forever, if this user was to fold what would you see happening in the future.  Mr. Phillips – It would be put on the market, there would be some non-residential users that could use the site, and it would be converted to other retail use.  The property owner would re-tenant the building. 

Mr. Hug – Who is the ultimate owner of the property?  Mr. Kelly – The proposal is for the 2 buildings to be leased by the current property owner.  Mr. Hug – We talk about truck delivery, garbage pick up, how many tenants; I would like to see an agreement between Lowes and the property owner for me to be comfortable in voting on this application.  I would like to see in writing that Lowes is the anchor and their lease agreements.  Mr. Marinello – Lowes does not have control over deliveries, etc for the 2nd building.  Mr. Buraszeski – Any tenant that moves into that building must come back before one of the boards for tenancy approvals.  Mr. Ackerman – Can you provide a contractual agreement for Lowes.  Mr. Hug – Would the applicant proceed on the project without the 2nd building.  Mr. Kelly – No, this is a difficult site to redevelop and the cost of same warrants this type of development.  Mr. Hug – If the 2nd building was smaller, 30,000 as opposed to 40,000, would that relieve some of the variances requested?  Mr. Phillips – No, I don’t think the 2nd building is too intense for this site.    The setbacks are providing for keeping the buildings away from the residential properties and the applicant is keeping a large amount of open space on the site.  Mr. Hug – Will the applicant agree that there would not be more than 2 tenants in the 2nd building.  Mr. Kelly – I believe the applicant would like to keep 3, since that number is real to the market.

Mr. Buraszeski – The hours of operation are to be Mon-Sat 6am to 10pm and sun 7am-6pm?  Mr. Kelly – Yes.  Mr. Shirkey – The 18’ structural wall, can it be staged with plantings?  Mr. Boswell – There is a terracing within it, we are trying to open up the area for the stormwater management basin, the areas are to be planted with large trees to help cover that wall.  Mr. Kelly – Mr. Bolger indicates that he may have misspoken at the previous hearing; the regular hours of operation for Sunday are 7am to 8pm and would like to change that for the record. 

Mr. Kelly – Summed up testimony for the Board.  The redevelopment of the site is to remove an undesirable use of the property.  22 acres to be designated open space.  Buffering proposed between site and residential neighborhood.  The proposal is smaller in mass than if a hotel would be proposed.  Impervious area would be more if hotel proposed, parking less than if hotel proposed, and building height lower than hotel, and total building coverage would be less than if hotel proposed.  This proposal is reasonable and works for this site.  There would be less water usage.  There would be less of a visual impact.  There would be less hours of operation than a hotel.  Less light impact than a hotel use.  There would be less traffic vs. the as of right plan.  Applicant is scheduled to meet with the Design Review Committee.  NJDOT will assess the impact of other intersections.  If approved we will work with the board attorney to make sure all conditions are within the resolution. 

Mr. Hug – Is the previous proposal for upgrading the park still viable?  Mr. Kelly – We felt that the money proposed for that would be better used for the cul-de-sac so the applicant would agree to use that money how the Township feels best fit, either the cul-de-sac or renovation of the park. 

Closed to public

Mr. Buraszeski – I think the way the building is configured it does allow for other users to use the building if this user should go under.  Mr. Hug – I think that this site does lend itself to big box.  Mr. Marinello – The variances are impacted by the 2nd building, no 2nd building no multiple signage for that use.  We need to satisfy ourselves that we are dealing as a variance and we are not rezoning the property. 

Mr. Ackerman – There are ways that we can control traffic but it has to be in a resolution.  It is up to the board to deem what those conditions are to be as part of the resolution.  Mr. Cartine – I believe the cul-de-sac issue should be resolved by the Township Committee before this application is voted upon.  There is no guarantee that the township will approve the cul-de-sac.  They are entitled to have protection from massive amounts of traffic on their streets.  I don’t know why the Township Committee made this a hotel zone, but the 2nd building is overkill, will make traffic a little bit worse than Lowes itself.  Mr Marinello – If we do nothing then there will be no cul-de-sac, the same as if there was a hotel or if it left as salvage yard there would still not be a cul-de-sac.  I find the 2nd building to be a distraction; some variances would go out the window if the board agreed that the 2nd building not be approved.  Mr. Cartine – The Township Committee meets twice a month and it shouldn’t take long for a resolution is adopted on the cul-de-sac issue.  I would be a lot closer to a vote if the cul-de-sac issue was dealt with and the applicant be carried until that issue rectified.  Mr. Hug – I believe that the 2nd building not a distraction and believe that it would be easier to rent out with a major user like Lowes on site.  Mr. Buraszeski – The area has already been approved for multiple use buildings correct?  Mr. Denzler – Yes. 

Mr. Kelly – If acceptable to the board, the applicant would bond for the cul-de-sac.  We will bond the cul-de-sac and the dead end at the other end of Maple subject to Township Committee approval.  If the Township Committee wants to use that money for a park instead, then that is fine.

The Board discussed the following proposed conditions if an approval of the application is considered.   The Board would prefer a conservation easement on the environmentally constrained/wetland areas instead of a preservation area as well as the areas that are being reinvigorated ie parking area and demolished building; the cul-de-sac and dead end bonding be a condition of the resolution; Chapin Road to be vacated subject to the Township Committee action and a one-way action to be imposed; no trucks on Bloomfield Avenue up to Chapin Road; hours of operation request to change Sunday to 7am to 8pm as opposed to 6pm as previously testified to; the second building to be of the same design as the Lowes building; hours of operation to apply to entire site; subject to Design Review Committee review and report; restriction of no pallets outdoors and no storage or sales outdoors; the applicant is to control truck traffic and garbage pickup; try to maximize green building methods to the extent possible and economically feasible; restriction that lighting go off at night with exception of necessary security lighting; no truck idling, garbage pickup, loading dock doors opening and closing and back up beepers outside of the hours of 8am to 8pm; no garbage pickup on Sunday; subject to a Developers Agreement being entered into with the Township; no approval of soil removal applicant must come back for that; all other standard site plan conditions.

Motion to approve the application based upon the above mentioned conditions, all standard site plan conditions, made by: Driscoll; Second by: Kanoff; Roll call: Yes - Buraszeski, Kanoff, Driscoll, Hug, Cartine, DiPiazza, No - Marinello

Track 2


ZC30-08 Sabbatino – 85 Jacksonville Rd. – B: 32, L: 1- variance for accessory structure addition in front yard – Notice Acceptable                                                                  ACT BY: 6/4/09

Present on behalf of the applicant: Mr. Schepis, Esq.; Mr. Sabbatino, applicant

Mr. Schepis – The property is located on corner of Jacksonville and old Jacksonville which is a substandard right of way.  There is an existing barn that is designated as historic, which is 12’ from the right of way.  The application meets all zoning standards with the exception of accessory structure in front yard.

                A1 – photo of barn and 2 car garage taken in 1976

Mr. Sabbatino – sworn

The garage addition is partially constructed.  I asked my maintenance crew to investigate structural defects of the garage; upon return from being away I found the addition half done and Mr. Laird on site shutting the project down. 

                A2 – photos of barn and garage addition from old Jacksonville and into old Jacksonville

Mr. Sabbatino – Reviewed the photos for the Board.  I have met with the HPRC in conjunction with this application.  A memo dated 3/23/09 has been issued, I have agreed to their conditions. 

Mr. Denzler – The variance requested is for accessory structure in the front yard. See no substantial detriment to neighboring properties or zoning ordinance. 

Mr. Huelsebusch – Does the applicant agree to comply with my memo of 1/16/09.  Drywells will be required or engineer certification that there would be no further runoff, subject to the approval of the Engineering Department.  Mr. Schepis - We will meet the ordinance by one mean or another.  Mr. Huelsebusch – Was there any disturbance of steep slopes?  Mr. Sabbatineo – No, there was no grading of the property.  Mr. Huelsebusch – Will you install a guiderail?  Mr. Sabbatino – Agreed to guiderail.  Mr. Schepis – The condition that the oil tank be removed, can we wait until he uses the oil that he recently filled, it is a 1,000 gallon tank.  Mr. Schepis – How about it be a condition that no CO issued until the tank is removed?  Mr. Marinello – That may be a condition if the application is approved.  Mr. Ackerman –Any commercial business conducted on site? Mr. Sabbatino – No.  Mr. Ackerman – Will there be any commercial vehicles stored on site?  Mr. Sabbatino – No.

Open to public – none - closed

Motion to approve the application subject to removal of tank prior to issuance of a CO; applicant agreed to make garage addition look like existing barn made by: Kanoff; Second by: Hug; Roll call: Yes – Cartine, Hug, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, DiPiazza, Marinello

Track 3

ZC34-04 –32-08 - Stathis - B: 24, L: 39 - 8 Bott Ln. – impervious coverage variance maximum permitted impervious lot coverage is 13,300 sq.ft., a non-conforming 17,047 sq.ft. is existing, and where 17,480 sq.ft. is proposed.  Notice Acceptable          ACT BY: 7/11/09

Present on behalf of the applicant: Michael Rubin Esq.; James Stathis, applicant; Anthony Garrett, AIA, PP

Mr. Rubin – The applicant requests to construct a 2 story addition to rear of the existing dwelling.  The variance requested is for impervious coverage.  The applicant was previously before the Board for an outdoor recreational area.

Mr. Stathis – sworn

Here to correct some architectural mistakes that I made when I designed the house in 1998.  No neighbor will be able to see the improvements on the property with the exception of one neighbor that may see it during the winter when there is no foliage.  The lot is 4 acres.  The closest neighbor is about 200’ away. 

Anthony Garrett, AIA, PP – sworn

Reviewed the existing site conditions for the Board.  The applicant proposes a 459 s.f. addition to rear of property.  No steep slope intrusion.  The house is 3,200 s.f. existing.  

                A1 – series of photos A-500 dated 5/5/09

Mr. Garrett – Reviewed the photos for the Board.  The length of the driveway, lower half is about 4,700 s.f.; the driveway creates a lot of impervious coverage for this site. 

                A2 – colorized version of key map submitted to board on 5/20/09

Mr. Garrett – A2 is actually a portion of the site plan that has been blown up and colorized and shows how much of the site is in a natural green state and how long the driveway is.  The variance is for impervious coverage of 17, 480 s.f. where 13,300 s.f. is allowed.  The approval in 2005 allowed for 15,310 impervious coverage and at the as-built survey review it indicated more area of impervious coverage had been developed.  What was constructed on the site prior to the as-built was 17,021 s,.f.  A walkway and driveway extension was installed. He was having a traffic issue due to narrowness of the driveway.  The gravel area was replaced with brick pavers and the pool equipment area was enclosed due to safety and it prolongs the life of the pool equipment.  The area of impervious coverage will be 17,480 s.f. if this proposal is built, if the Board allows this application to move forward.


                A3 – Google map dated 6/3/09

Mr. Garrett – There is a significant amount of foliaged area between the neighboring properties.  The granting of the variance would not create a detriment to the neighboring properties, no intrusion of light air and open space, it is a large property, there will be no impact on the adjoining properties as it relates to runoff. 

Mr. Denzler – Does the paver cross section detail meet the Township standards?  Mr. Garrett – Yes.  Mr. Denzler- The 2005 approval granted relief for 15,310 s.f. where the applicant is now seeking 17,480 s.f.

Between the 2005 approval and this proposal the applicant installed impervious coverage of 17,658, that number is without the paver reduction. 

                Exhibit 4 – site plan

Mr. Garrett – Due to terrain of the site, the driveway had to be built in a serpentine manner to get access to the buildable area of the site.  Basically, we are here due to the length of the driveway.  The driveway represents 28% of our total coverage.  Mr. Denzler – Is there any underground storage tanks on the property?  Mr. Garrett – No.  Mr. Denzler – Highlands?  Mr. Garrett –Received an exemption.  Mr. Garrett – Would have to put some type of structure under pavers if additional pavers were to be installed, which then would not meet the Township criteria for pavers.  Mr. Huelsebusch – Subject to drywells or engineer certification no additional runoff.  Mr. Garrett – Will agree to the conditions of your report. 

Open to public

Dave Ungave – 12 Bott Ln – sworn

In favor of the application.

Louis Tenhov – 10 bott ln – sworn

No objection to the application, our driveway is twice as long as his.

Betsy Keck – 16 Bott Ln - sworn

No objection to the application.

Mr. Rubin – Summarized testimony

Mr. Cartine – We gave the applicant an impervious coverage variance previously.  Some walkway/pavers/driveway could come up to reduce the impact that was built beyond what was approved.  Mr. Hug – The hardship that relates to the property is the driveway.  Mr. Cartine – If he built the house addition before the pavilion then there would have been less of an issue.    

Motion to approve the application, hardship to the property as a result of the distance from Bott Lane to the home and the driveway represents more than the amount over coverage, no detriment to public good, zone plan or ordinance made by: Hug; Second by: Buraszeski; Roll call: Yes – Hug, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, DiPiazza, No – Marinello, Cartine


Minutes of May 6, 2009 - Eligible: Buraszeski, Kanoff, Driscoll, Cartine, Moore, DiPiazza, Shirkey, Marinello

Minutes were carried to June hearing.


Bricker & Assoc: Trust for: $500, $2,250

Wm Denzler & Assoc – Trust for: $218.75, $718.75, $187.50, $62.50, $187.50. $375, $250, $93.75

Pashman Stein – Trust for: $1,631.25, $125, $125, $312.50

Anderson & Denzler – Trust for: $472.50, $67.50

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


ZSPP/FD23-08 Youssef, Eli– 437 Main Rd. – B: 81, L: 2 - Use variance to allow development of a 2-story building consisting of a retail bagel shop - Approved Use Variance Only - Eligible: Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Moore, Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Buraszeski; Second by: Kanoff;  Roll call: Yes –Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski; Abstain - Marinello

ZC2-09 – Lee, Seungja - B: 14, L: 3 - 24 Rockledge Rd. – Building coverage of 2,906 s.f. where

2,761 s.f. allowed/impervious coverage of 5,779 s.f. where 5,522 s.f. for sun room addition  - Approval Resolution – Eligible: Cartine, Hug, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Moore Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Buraszeski; Second by: Driscoll;  Roll call: Yes – Hug, Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Abstain - Marinello

ZC24-08 Potomac Homes – 55 River Rd. – B: 52, L: 64 - variances building coverage and impervious coverage - construction of an exterior stairwell to existing structure - Approval Resolution – Eligible: Cartine, Hug, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Moore, Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Buraszeski; Second by: Driscoll;  Roll call: Yes – Hug, Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Marinello

ZC8-09 Fein, Jason – 11 Margaret Dr. – B: 171. L: 5 – variance for minimum lot size of 10,500

s.f. where 15,000 s.f. required (no change); side yard setback of 7’ (no change); side yard setback of 9’6”  (only adding volume to 2nd floor) where 12’ required; combined sides 17.4’ where 35

 Required (no change) – Approval Resolution – Eligible: Cartine, Hug, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Moore, Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Buraszeski; Second by: Driscoll;  Roll call: Yes – Hug, Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Marinello

ZC34-06 Voss - B: 125.2, L: 17 – 2 Craig Ct. – request for extension of approvals for 6 months to January 5, 2010 – Granted – Eligible: Hug, Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Moore, Marinello

Motion to adopt made by: Driscoll; Second by: Buraszeski;  Roll call: Yes – Hug, Cartine, Kanoff, Buraszeski, Driscoll, Marinello





There being no further business the Board unanimously adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Grogaard

Recording Secretary

Certified true copy of minutes adopted at Zoning Board meeting of July 1, 2009.


Linda M. White, Sec.

With explanation

Certified to 12/3/08 hearing

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 July 2009 )
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