Planning Board Subcommittee minutes 7-14-09 Print E-mail




Mr. Karkowsky – present          

Ms. Nielson - present                           

Mr. Lipari - present      

Mr. Visco - present       


Board of Ed/Fire Commissioners on River Road courtesy review of proposed renovation of 86 River Road

Present:  Charles Grau, Board of Ed

               Jon Alin, Board of Ed

                 Jim Tevis, Business Administrator

                 David Ruitenberg, Esq. – Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Zitomer

                 Greg Somjen, Architect & Jos. C. Pjura, Assoc. – Parette Somjen                              Architects

Mr. Somjen indicated that there is a cap as to the amount of monies the Board of Ed can use in renovating the existing building, indicating they will take 2/3 of building, and the other 1/3 would be the fire department’s responsibility.  In the beginning of the project, the township administrator, Frank Bastone, indicated that the Township Committee asked that these entities coordinate the renovation and occupancy of the building together. 

The architect for the fire department, Lawrence Korinda, presented some sketches which indicated slopes roof designs, but shortly there after, there was a dividing line established and each entity worked separately

The fire department is putting on a truss roof and re-stucco to the façade they will occupy, while the Board of Ed will patch and repaint with the same colors.

Mr.Somjen indicated that they do not have the monies to install a truss roof, nor do they have the time explaining the constraints on the bid process.  As to the monies, they have agreed to put $10,000 each year into account for maintenance, up to $100,000; lease with township is $1 per year for a ten year period.  They went to citizens with the amount they anticipated for renovation, and they cannot acquire any further funds.  The bid process must be complete no later than August 24th.  

The Board of Ed plans reviewed indicated office layouts; there are no parking improvements proposed, and no major improvements.  Several windows may be changed, though.

They have taken a conservative approach to the façade and will match the colors, but will paint not refinish.  They will repair where necessary before repainting.

Board members voiced concerns over the lack of upgrade to the building noting this is a very focal location in the community, a busy intersection, and is adjacent to busy baseball fields and garden center.  The members voiced that they had hoped that the entire building would be addressed since this a very old building and is in serious need of upgrades to the façade and surrounding areas.

The Board representatives were also informed that it is customary for the Design Review Committee to also review this type of site, and would like the opportunity to have their input. 

Concerns voiced on flat building as to location of HVAC and visibility of rooftop appurtenances.  Mr. Somjen understood the concern, and indicated that he would look at this issue for screening purposes. 

The Board’s business administrator, Bill Tevis indicated that any additional work would have to be looked at and put into a budget at board level. 

Other site improvements commonly asked for by the Planning Board on all of site plans are:  decorative streescape lighting and signage.  Were any proposed?  Mr. Somjen indicated that they are proposing no other changes to site.

Concerns voiced by members as to building lines not matching up properly, has this been reviewed yet?  Mr. Somjen indicated he met with Fire Dept. architect in past, but not recently.  He broght these concerns of roof ‘connection’ to the attention of the Fire Department’s Architect who indicated these concerns would be addressed in the Fire Department drawings. 

After a lengthy discussion about needing to make sure all of these construction details and/or lack of them are addressed, and since time is a problem, this being on the Planning Board schedule for July 23rd, the subcommittee asked if the Board of Ed could meet with the Planning Board subcommittee again and Mrs. White would coordinate having the Fire Dept. and his architect present so that we can have a better opportunity to review them against each other before the Board meeting July 23rd.  Mrs. White was asked to invite Mike Karlan from the DRC, and if the Construction Official is able to make it, would be good.  Those that are involved in decision making at both levels should be present. 

Mr. Somjen indicated he would check, but Tuesday July 21st at 8:30AM looked good for this meeting and would confirm.  Mrs. White to coordinate other parties (LW note:  this meeting was firmed up with all parties confirmed to attend).

PMISC09-24 Mr. – 101 Rt. 46 unit 134 – B: 181, L: 1 – retail toys and chocolate sales and kids birthday parties – 4 employees – hours of operation 9am-9pm Mon-Sun – signage in compliance with approved theme (Anton) – Concerns on Parking

Present:  Mike Lahue, owner and Nick Turi, tenant

Mr. Lahue explained that the tenant operation is done mainly over the internet, but the national headquarters needed identity so this area was leased for that reason.

Mr. Turi indicated he would be storing train sets, and the types of parties he would hold would be one at a time.  There wouldn’t be a need for a lot of parking for the toys since as stipulated, most is over the internet.  He is trying the parties would be for 2 yr to 6 yr olds to supplement the activity, noting that his busy season is obviously the few months prior to Christmas, but that it is not a lot of retail activity involved.  There is an additional 50-60 parking spaces behind the facility which can be utilized for overflow if needed, but there was never a problem, stated by Mr. Lahue, with Gymboree which had a larger amount of children and activities. 

The sign proposed is multi-colored.  Mr. Lahue indicated this building does not have a sign theme, and the coloring is similar to that of Gymboree’s.  Subcommittee had no objection and in a Motion made by:  Mr. Karkowsky, seconded by Mr. Visco, waiver was approved subject to compliance with use letter, testimony offered, and all agency findings.

Suppa’s - B: 162, L: 7 - 16 Rt. 46 - Zoning: B3- Route 46 and Old Bloomfield Avenue – Comedy Night – Discussion on use of banquet hall as nightclub

Present:  Steve Schepis, Esq. & Vinny Suppa, owner

The issue of having comedy clubs discussed.  Board members voiced concerns of a nightclub activity and this atmosphere and use is not permitted.  Mr. Suppa indicated he felt it was more of a banquet activity since it is set up more like a banquet party.  He was hoping to do this once a month on either a Friday or a Saturday.  There are usually two comedians, and this involves a dinner as part of price.  There is no alcohol license on site. 

Discussion ensued that perhaps this type of activity may not be a nightclub use in view of absence of a liquor license, but that the Township does not want to see other restaurants deciding that this is a viable way to increase their business activities which will then erode into the nightclub atmosphere that resulted years prior in several restaurants being closed down for expansion of their use.

It was decided that Mr. Schepis file a waiver, and that this issue would be reviewed by the board attorney, planner, police and fire department.  The Board will discuss it if this is filed in time with the entire Planning Board at their next meeting, or shortly thereafter at a future agenda meeting.  Mr. Schepis indicated he wouldn’t make the July 23rd meeting but would be ready for the August 13th Planning Board meeting.

George’s VW – Update from review of as built & calculations for impervious coverage

Mrs. White indicated her calculations of impervious finds that there is 200 sq. ft. more coverage than previously approved.  Concerns voiced about this, and that the owner must remove the 200 sq. ft. in order to be in compliance with prior approval, or come back to the Board with an amended application to address the excess coverage (trailer for storage).  Mrs. White will have Mr. Petrillo address since it continues to be an open issue at court.  It was also requested that owner remove the junk cars from the flatbed since this is not a junkyard use and it creates blight to the area. 

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. White

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 August 2009 )
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