MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP PLANNING BOARD
7:30 PM Start
Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building
Minutes of October 22,
No New Business to be
Conducted Past l0: 00PM
present Mr. Karkowsky
Mr. Sandham - present Ms. Nielson -
Mr. Lipari - present Mr. Lewis -
Mr. Hines - present Mr. Canning -
Mr. Visco – present Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present
Tobias (alt#2) – present
Stan Omland, PE
Michael Carroll, Esq.
Joe Burgis, Planner
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
Highlands – Continued discussions
& Recommendation to Township Committee on
Opting in/Out of Highlands
Burgis indicated tonight’s meeting is the culmination of step one of Highlands process.
The Board has been reviewing the benefits of opting in or not opting
into the Highlands, and reviewed 453 pages of plan, master plan, 2004
regulations, supplemental regulations, and prepared five of the seven modules
that the Highlands required as part of this process.
this process of preparing these modules in the Highland’s eye is a tool they feel would help
lead to a conclusion as to whether or not to opt in the regional master
plan. What we found was pages and pages
of documents to read adding more to the confusion. Subsequently the master plan subcommittee
requested a development of a matrix summarizing the various documents allowing
our municipality to narrow down the scope of those issues that are most
municipality is broken down into two categories: 28% of township in the Preservation area with
remaining portion in planning area. You
are obligated to opt into the Preservation area; there is no choice in this
question. This is the decision that has
to be done by Dec. 8th. In planning area, you are not obligated to
opt in or not and you can do this at any time, but it was urged that this
decision be made at the same time. The Matrix
prepared identified the plus and minus of each of the options. After summarizing the various components, Mr.
Burgis indicated to garner input from all, the township requested each of the
committees and agencies we work with report on this, and received their input
on the planning area issue:
– recommending opting in
– recommending opting in with a 3:2 vote
& EDC – recommended not to opt in
& Sewer – recommend opting out
Engineer – recommended opting out
of Open Space – opt out (nothing received from entire committee)
of Health – no comment
obligation at this board is to make a recommendation to the Township
Committee. Ms. Nielson indicated that
the Township Committee will be conducting this meeting on November 10th
to give a presentation to the community and to those remaining committee
members that do not serve on this board.
Mr. Burgis indicated he will present a more in depth presentation at that
level at that time.
Tobias: talked about tax revenues and
having additional affordable housing, and what would be the potential negative
or positive impact of having additional affordable housing in town for opting
in or out. Mr. Burgis: it is not just the impact of the affordable
housing number, but the affordable housing number can be multiplied by a
certain number and you may need to zone 5x that number to accomplish that
the COAH number noted as 316, you eliminate the credit/surplus we already have,
our actual need is closer to 82, If you
take that number, and multiply housing by at least five times in order to
achieve the affordable housing need you could come up with over 400 more units due to density.
continued on the type of housing and that the type of ownership. Mr. Burgis indicated this isn’t the issue. The reality of this is you would be obligated
to incorporate a number of market units in order to get the affordable and look
at your zoning in order to achieve this.
also indicated that the township could always choose to build 100% of the housing
COAH needs to get it done, and then there is no density needed. He also indicated that environmental issues trump
housing, and therefore Highlands trumps COAH
and can eliminate the affordable need.
He stressed we do have affordable housing built in this municipality and
that these credits as well as the Highlands data already gathered can be used
to reduce this number lower.
Sandham: if we don’t opt in, our
additional units is 82, and we have these 284 units credit, and an executive
order trumps affordable housing, why wouldn’t this be to our benefit if in fact
we adopted similar ordinances protecting the environment? Mr. Burgis believes
that if you used all of the environmental studies undertaken and used this to
seek a downward adjustment of number, that this would be supported.
Omland: the only addition to this is
Township is barred from
imposing wetland regulations that exceed DEP, so the larger buffers cannot be
established except under those limitations imposed by DEP. Mr. Burgis noted the vernal pool buffers is the largest deviation,
noting that the Highlands only reflected 1 vernal pool located in the Preservation
area, and this buffer would remain since it is under the Highlands.
Tobias: did we validate this number; do
we know if there are more? Mr.
Omland: there is one today but doesn’t
mean that there couldn’t be more that isn’t reported or smaller than what was
found on Highland’s
Gary Lewis: as Highlands’s
subcommittee chair, he noted that this review offered a terrific educational experience
in understanding the environment, and one of the things we gain is the mapping
and data we now have for our community. He
indicated he knows the environmental commission wants the NRI updated, and we
do know that we are far down this path on updating this document regardless of
our decision. This is a positive.
part on this issue. He noted he was
involved in a regional plan study some years back which supported a cross
acceptance plan. He supported this
concept at that time, but the difference is that compared to this study, you could
go to local acceptance of your approach in achieving certain goals. No one said ‘adopt this’. This state planning concept wasn’t like that. They just wanted to know ‘how are you getting
there’, and the township made the ultimate decisions.
plan is the polar opposite of this: this
is his issue. What was learned most from
this is that we can do 80% of what the Highlands say based on what was said
without signing on to any of these restrictions and/or controls and still have
a say over what we can do in our community.
This is certainly not anti environment, it is just being smart. He acknowledged he was grateful to the
Environmental Commission in giving us the wisdom, but in reading the comments
they have, he felt we are close already as to what they have.
to the matrix: he congratulated Mr.
Burgis on this excellent planning tool and extended his appreciation to the Highlands
for allowing us to use this vs. reviewing the extensive studies that were
required to make a decision. All in all, he does not think this town can be
painted as anti environment by not opting in the planning area, since we are
updating the master plan, and can strengthen the ordinances the same way as the
To get a tag that you didn’t opt in is not fair to this community,
should this be our ultimate findings.
Karkowsky also expressed his appreciation to all of the members of the Highlands subcommittee noting that these members extended
innumerous hours of time meeting on this important issue, and that many times
our residents are not aware of all of the time our volunteers give to this
for public comments…
Quattrone 4 Majorca Road, Towaco – at the last meeting, questions was put to
Mr. Burgis as to what the costs were in conjunction with ratable issue? Did you
prepare this answer? Mr. Burgis: we did do an analysis as to what the revenue
gain would be for opting in and opting out. What was not done was a lot by lot basis. This would
be outside Highland’s
grant and would take up to six month studies for this.
the Board aware of the grants that are available under this program up to $100,000
for this? Mr. Burgis: we had a $15,000 for initial assessment, and
then an additional $50,000 to do various planning studies. They will provide ‘up to’ $50,000 more if you
need to complete certain studies. The
tax studies that were asked to do is not part of the plan conformance module
studies, and what was done was to look at tax assessment in accordance with
guidelines, and this board did not expend additional taxpayer monies.
Quattrone asked to read an article from October 20th in the
newspaper on Mr. Burgis response to a question when interviewed for Mahwah’s
decision to opt in. Mr. Karkowsky noted
that this is in another town and not relevant to our community. Each town has different issues.
Quattrone stated that there is a tremendous amount of Highlands’s
monies available and continued elaborating on the monies available that would
be lost. Mr. Burgis indicated the township
is required to opt in and has no choice in Preservation area. We can request and will be permitted to seek
grant monies for this area. Those monies
will be utilized to bring our ordinances into compliance on state
Quattrone noted concerns as to COAH apartments and impact to school system,
indicating it didn’t matter what style of housing it is, noting it would be
apartments, and that you are at risk of increasing school tax dollars. In Towaco, she indicated that the school can
not handle any further students. This
needs to be looked at and the issue is how you are going to lower your
taxes. If you develop more affordable
housing, you risk more taxes.
Lewis: if we take development including
non residential development out of play by adopting environmental constraints
that make it impossible, what do you think the impact to municipal taxes will be? If we opt in and have no development, what
will be the impact on municipal taxes be if a town has 0-growth?
Quattrone referred to minutes of a subcommittee meeting of the Planning Board
meeting of 2/12/08 reading that the committee discussed the Highlands
legislative and commenting that this legislative may be the demise of
development, feeling the decision was made at that time.
Gannon, 6 Lakeview drive.
revenue expectation, is this is for future developments. Mr. Burgis replied affirmatively.
indicated he has been attending these subcommittee meetings and the Planning
Board meetings, and he feels by sitting thru these meetings, we asked the right
questions, looking at the concerns we may have as to short and long term
impacts. He mentioned this previously
noting that with the Highlands Act saying this devil is in the details, and getting to the details is the
issue. He asked how compliant are we
today and how close are we in our master plan?
thru the matrix, there are lots of costs annually that will be incurred in the Highlands, requiring updates to documents, asking if the
cost of opting in has been determined annually and would there be grants for
this annual requirement. Mr. Burgis
indicated in preparing documents, there is a total of 50,000 to complete all of
the modules. In some cases, this amount be
increased but you must be prepared with details as to why.
costs may be nominal, with additional costs of $30 to $40 thousand, and notices
wording is we ‘may’ get grants. What if
there is an issue of funding, and where this funding will come from, and does
state legislation appropriate that.
Burgis: They are also talking about a number
of alternatives to achieve this, but nothing is in place. This is a consideration and if there are no
funds. Other than original grants for
studies, there are no others. There is
no funding at this time.
Carroll: confirmed that the State of NJ is 8 billion dollars
in the hole and as one of our legislators he would be surprised noting that the
legislator’s spent hours and hours looking at every funding source and there is
still 8 Billion dollars deficient in our state.
Feels it is impossible, but perhaps it may be a priority in next administration.
we don’t opt in now, opt in later, what are ramifications either way? Do we pay back monies? Mr. Karkowsky: we discussed this. Mr. Burgis:
depends on municipality, we should sit back and see if funding
materializes and if so, perhaps we may want to reconsider. Those that have opted in have such a large
COAH requirement, that they choose this way of not dealing with that
issue. He explained some of the
requirements that will occur, especially local control on certain variances if
you opted in.
to the revenues: what is level of
maintaining this and what is the net balance of the difference of these
two. Discussion ensued.
Sandham: the different on opting in or
opting out was discussed. He indicating
that if you get 14.5 M in revenue with 2/3 of that going to Board of Ed, you
can still afford 800 children without an impact to our school system.
O’Brien: we were (HPRC) sent the matrix
on line to examine. The matrix we saw,
who developed this? Mr. Karkowsky
indicated this was developed by people that are employed by Planning
Board. He asked if another town could
have a matrix that has different items in different category. Mr. Burgis:
elaborated indicating that the State gave us the task of preparing 7
different studies with numerous pages, and what was attempted to do was to
develop this for our community. Other
towns may have different matrix, and we believe that this is a lead that other
townships haven’t done this. It is
conceivable other communities may have other areas different. Mr. Visco:
as a committee, it was impossible to respond to what we needed to know,
there was too much information, and we wanted critical areas highlighted for us
since we needed to make decisions. We created
this for our town - only for Montville. Mr. Lewis:
this was put on website for this reason, it affects everyone in this
community and we wanted people to see what your board looked at as the ‘decision
we do opt out, all the regulations or concepts that the state has, like a
vernal pool, do we still have to abide.
Mr. Burgis: in the preservation
area, we have to follow the Highland’s
regs. In the planning areas, you will
follow what Montville decides for Montville. We have some degree of control in developing
Nielson: map is displayed reviewing the
location of the aquifer in relationship to the preservation and planning
area. The aquifer is half in and half
out of Preservation area.
Tobias: relative to Highland
and the matrix, did you receive any feedback from the Highlands
commission itself regarding the matrix.
Mr. Burgis indicated the discussion with the matrix was substance for Montville review. The only time Highlands
discusses items with him would be on technical comments.
Walker, Forest Place
– Towaco – requested confirmation that the aquifer part in and part out. Ms. Nielson:
to public – Motion made by: Russ Lipari
Seconded by: John Visco
Lipari: Motion made by: made to opt out of the Highlands Planning
region, reading into the record a statement he has prepared as a result of his
involvement in this decision making process:
‘The Planning Board involved many
agencies, committees, department heads, planners and engineers in the study of
the Highlands. We, as the Planning Board, have
determined, that based on an evaluation
of the pros and cons, which our community would be better served by NOT opting
into the Highlands in the Planning area.
We are already subject to the Highlands
regulations within the Preservation area which encompasses 28% of the
municipality. Opting in to the remaining areas in the community does not
appear to offer us as much benefit as it does detriment. There are really very few remaining areas for
build out in the Township, and feel that the opportunity of being able to
receive future estimated tax revenues of possibly up to 16.6 million vs. 2.1
million is something that we must look at very seriously. It will be
difficult to maintain the quality of life we currently offer our residents if
we have nothing to offset increasing yearly taxes.
Our Township has always been a pioneer
in developing ordinances to protect our environmental sensitive lands, and have
in place many important and effective environmental ordinances like the
Critical Water Zone, the Wellhead Protection Ordinance, Steep Slope Ordinance,
and storm water management ordinances; additionally very restrictive DEP
requirements exist today which equal the Highlands ordinances. Montville has an NRI in
place, although in need of an update. The Highlands grant will
facilitate the update of this document in the Highlands
Preservation area. The Planning Board has already addressed the need to
update this document during their on going Master Plan process.
Funding for the Master Plan is already in place. Our zoning
and land use ordinances will be updated by end of 2010
Are we proactive in protecting a
watershed? Yes, our home rule and decision making abilities are exemplary
in providing ways to protect water quality and water source. Why then do
those towns outside of the Highlands have the
right to ‘unlimited’ growth with no controls while using our watershed without
restrictions that would be imposed on homeowners for those residents that have
septic are excessive. We should never look to burden our taxpayer
with more expense and financial burdens, especially in today’s economic
Our community has done well on their own
in protection of this critical resource, our history proves that. We have
hired many environmental experts, hydro-geological experts and have developed
many studies that support we are yielding the success few others can boast in
protecting our watershed and our community. Being listed twice as the
community to live in speaks well of our job. No third party can care like
we do about Montville. The town has cutting-edge ordinances existing
This position of many of our department
heads and reporting agencies, including those of the Township Engineer, the
Water & Sewer Department, the Chamber of Commerce
and Economic Development Committee all support opting out.
With this, I move that we opt out of the
highlands at this time, since as we all know; there is no penalty nor
prohibition of opting in or out in the future.’
Lewis: seconded this Motion noting this
is not a decision taken lightly, that this is the third Planning Board hearing
on this issue. When first coming here
several years ago, he was surprised at what this community does to site plan applicants,
never seeing the type of review this board conducts in two other boards that he
sat on. This board reviews a development
application in depth as well as the strenuous reviews that the subcommittee
takes. From his experience with this
board to opt out of planning area does not protect this township more than what
we do now.
recommends that they adopt a resolution for opting in within the Highland’s preservation
region but Opt out of the Highlands Planning Region in for preservation and out
for planning but recommend that this matter be decided by the Dec. 8th
Maggio: the one thing we talked about
was economic development and ratable and taxes and school taxes go up, we have
nothing to offset this. The main thing
is ratables in town and by limiting ratables, you have no way to subsidize the burden
of the school board, and this is a major concern.
of the town, you lose control of the town; you just don’t have your rights to decide. There are good things that came out of
this: we are updating our master plan
and think this document will be one of the top notched in the area based on the
areas we already investigated. This
process was good process for us.
final thing is the uncertainly in the white house: we have no idea what the rules will be. I do not want to go into a game, without
knowing the rules, and we can opt in later if we want to help the town, but I
think it best we stay on the sidelines and wait.
thing, a lot of good comments came in from our residents, but it would have
been more effective if these comments were more focused on the issues.
Sandham: I don’t think anyone in this
room disagrees with the concept of the highlands and protection of water, but I
think the plan is flawed. There is a presumption
of validity, but in the long run, short term financial opting on this presumption
all the while, short term financial benefits outweigh the large annual negative
impacts to this community. Nobody knows our community better than we do. With the COAH units and the lobby to opt
in/opt in, to abstain on this important issue and to see an officer of a democratic
club speak out against affordable housing, I am not convinced this is right
plan for our community. We can cherry
pick right things we want and put these things in place, and we want in the
future, we can still want to opt in.
Nielson: thank you and the professionals
for dissecting regulations and interpretations of regulations which were
extensive. Having sat on the Planning
Board for 14 years and the Township Committee for four year, I can say that
Montville has done an exemplary job protecting our township, the aquifer,
especially cognizant of this on the Towaco Center ordinances, and who ever sits
at any board in this town will make the right decision, and I will vote to opt
out on these issues. My vote as a
Planning Board member is not to be construed that my vote is predetermined to
opt in or opt out at the Township Committee level. If there is information and/or government
changes and new executive orders that may impact our town, I will consider them
at that time when I made my decision at that level.
Tobias: should the resolution we send have
wording about opting in perhaps in future.
Mr. Karkowsky: the resolution
should be firm on the position of this board, opt in Preservation, out in
planning region area.
Canning: the comments voiced this
evening echo what he said to the environmental commission. He also served on several Planning Boards in
other communities and has seen how a community is run poorly and where I chose
to live is the best run community.
Since he runs a community, he feels he can say this with a sense of
confidence. We have an educated
community, we have extensive amount of citizens that serve on this board and
committees are very educated and caring, and he can tell you that when first
sitting on this board, he too was shocked at the extensiveness of questions that
were asked during every development application, even on waivers. He had some experiences in some communities
where they were done in an application in fifteen minutes. This community is active and very involved
and sees no benefit to opting into the Highland’s
Planning region: we can create laws just
as restricted but it is up to us to make this decision. This township has been run very well and
appreciates these efforts and also moves to opt out supporting the motion.
call: Russ Lipari, Deb Nielson, Gary
Lewis, John Visco, Larry Hines, Jim Sandham, Art Maggio, Vic Canning &
Ladis Karkowsky – Yes
Tony Speciale & Larry Tobias called (although not required) Yes
call vote: Unanimous
from Board Liaisons: ( No reports given)
Board of Adjustment – Larry
of Health – Lawrence
Commission – Vic Canning
& Sewer – Arthur Maggio
Historic Preservation Commission –
– Deb Nielson
Site Plan/Subdivision Committee – Russ Lipari Chair
Regional Drainage Study Committee – Russ Lipari, Ladis
& Traffic Subcommittee – Russ Lipari
Economic Development Committee –
Gary Lewis, Tony Speciale
Open Space Committee – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ
Lipari, Deb Nielson
Master Plan/COAH 3rd
Round – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deborah Nielson, Gary Lewis & John Visco (alt)
Cross Acceptance Committee – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ
Highlands Legislation Review
Committee – Gary Lewis
Appointment to Fire Department Districts – Russ Lipari Towaco; Tony Speciale for Pine Brook, Art Maggio for Montville
National Cartridge Supply – 43 Rt. 46 Suite 706 – B: 183, L: 6 – office (1,800 s.f.)
for wholesale laser printing supplies – 5 employees – 8am-6:30pm Mon-Fri –
signage to be in compliance with approved theme (First Industrial)
Motion made by: Gary Lewis
Approved subject to compliance with use
letter, sign theme and agency findings.
– 13 Hook Mountain Rd. – B: 175, L: 4 – amended site plan with variances
–Approval Resolution – Eligible: Ladis Karkowsky,
Deb Nielson, Victor
Canning, Larry Tobias, Gary Lewis,
Jim Sandham, John
Visco, Tony Speciale – rescheduled to 11/12/09
Minutes of 10-8-09 – Gary
Lewis, Deb Nielson, John Visco,
Russ Lipari, Tony Speciale, Larry Tobias, Jim Sandham, Vic
Canning, Ladis Karkowsky, John Visco
Minutes of 10-6-09 – Gary
Lewis, Deb Nielson, John Visco,
Motion made by: : John Visco
Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $231.25, $150
Burgis Assoc. – Trust for: $62.50
Omland Engineering – Trust for: $ $202.50,
Michael Carroll, Esq. – Trust for: $168.75,
Motion made by: Larry Hines
BUSINESS (Applications below carried to the dates indicated)
**PMSP/F08-BORNSTEIN, DAVID – 73 Horseneck – 15 Woodland, B:139.06, L: 17 & 18
– Major subdivision involving extension of Woodland to Horseneck Road- Variances: lot frontage & min. lot width at
street and bldg. setback line for lot
17.01 – Notice Acceptable & rescheduled
from agenda of 4/16/09 & 5/14/09 &
public hearing of 6-25-09 & 7-23-09, 9/10/09
Eligible: Ladis Karkowsky()Deb Nielson, Victor
Canning, Larry Tobias, Gary Lewis, Art Maggio,
Tony Special, Jim Sandham(), John Visco, Larry Hines, Russ
with notice to: 11/12/09
**CESARE STEFANELLI – Soil Movement Hearing - BL 59.01, L: 8.05 & 8.08
– (Montville Acres) – River Road – Notice acceptable & carried from 8/13/09
& 9/10/09 - Eligible: Russ Lipari,
Deb Nielson, Gary Lewis,
Lawrence Tobias, Larry Hines, John Visco, Victor Canning, Jim Sandham, Tony Speciale, Ladis Karkowsky, Art Maggio
**Carried with notice to: 11/12/09
-08-03 – PINEBROOK INVESTMENT (Shoppes @ Montville) Block: 162, Lot: 3, 4, 6, 7 –
Old Bloomfield & Rt. 46 –Notice Acceptable& Eligible voters from 10-6-08 & 1/22/09 schedule – Ladis Karkowsky, Deb
Nielson, John Visco,
Russ Lipari, Larry Hines, Art
Maggio, Tony Speciale and Vic Canning ACT
with new notice required to: 1/28/10
made by: John Visco
by: Gary Lewis
to adjourn unanimously accepted made by John Visco, seconded by Gary Lewis.
certify to 7/23/09 missed hearing
certify to missed hearing of 9/10/09
certify to 7/23/09 missed hearing
certify to missed hearing of 9/10/09