MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP PLANNING BOARD
7:30 PM Start
Changebridge Road, Montville Municipal Building
Minutes of February 11,
No New Business to be
Conducted Past l0: 00PM
Mr. Maggio - present Mr. Karkowsky - present
Mr. Sandham - present Ms. Nielson - present
Mr. Lipari - absent Mr. Lewis - present
Mr. Hines - present Mr. Canning - absent
Mr. Visco - present Mr. Speciale (alt#1) - present
Tobias (alt#2) - present
Report from Planning
Board on Quick Chek Use Application @ Board of Adjustment scheduled March 3,
2010. Mrs. White asked if there were any members
interested in participating at the Board of Adjustment for the Quick Chek
should there be a need for members. Mr.
Visco indicted he would be available, and Mr. Lewis indicated if a second
needed, he would also be available. Mr.
Burgis will be at the March 3rd meeting.
members discussed the demolition of the Milan
structure acknowledging that if the applicant removed the existing
non-conformities, wouldn’t we have the opportunity to readdress the site in a
more effective manner. Mr. Carroll
indicated it would require an amended site plan since he did not comply with
the approved plan. Mrs. White notified
the applicant’s attorney when this first occurred. Mike Carroll, Esq. confirmed he is now
subject to a new site plan.
White indicated the construction official has a stop work on this site and that
fines are being imposed. This process is
much more punitive than zoning since it provides for the CO to impose and
collect fines. Gary Lewis encouraged the imposition of fines and enforcement
Nielson brought up the Serafin subdivision noting the same concern: building outside of board approved
plans. This applicant constructed a
closed community type of gate/fencing and pillars and landscaping. Mrs. White noted they are in variance, and
that the applicant was advised to come back to the Planning Board with amended
subdivision to address this element added, apply for the required variances at
the same time that the soil removal hearing so that the board can entertain
this site at one hearing. Applicant was
advised. Mrs. White will also notify
their attorney. No further building
permits will be released by the township until compliance achieved.
noted also with George’s Volkswagen.
Mrs. White indicated this is being addressed by engineering and
Update: Master Plan – Housing Element
Burgis summarized he has been working with the master plan subcommittee putting
the document that is before you this evening, noting there is good news as to
final housing number. COAH has indicated
we have a prior round from 1987 to 1999 of 261 units with a 214 obligation and
determined growth share of additional 316 units. The number at issue is 316, and it is the planner’s
position that after factoring credits in and applying credits to prior credits;
we wind up with additional credits. The 316
number should only be 239, meaning we have 211 left over which would mean that
our remaining number would only be 28 units required in this Third Round
is an especially good thing because we have current zoning and approvals in
place, in the Towaco area which will satisfy our obligation. Having said all that, the issue is will the
State accept this number based on our analysis, to which Mr. Burgis feels we
are on firm footing. Two days ago, the
governor signed an executive order that puts everything on hold, and the
executive order is creation of a task force on the affordable housing issue, as
well as State Planning, COAH regulations and fair housing, state planning, COAH
regulations and this committee has to submit a report in 90 days.
only are they required to present their findings, they have to submit
recommendations for change in COAH Regulation in 90 days. There is a 90 day moratorium for any further
reviews of COAH approval of their ho0using plan. In addition, they cannot take action to
implement their third round regulations during this time period unless DCA
determines that it is necessary. Fair
Share Housing Association signed a notice that they are going to take this to
court on an illegal executive order.
of what this all means to us: we are
technically required to file a draft document with Highlands
by March 1st, and this document before you is that very document
that will be filed. It is appropriate
to file this document. The executive order
also talks about plans filed with COAH for substantiate certification, which
also extends the 90 day period. We were required
to file by June 8th with them.
Mr. Burgis urged that this document is filed with Highlands. It is a benchmark to the townships in
preparing the documents that are required under this grant program. This is a draft document and it is an on
going working document.
board’s attention to two pages: look at page 24 in the table breakdown. This page identifies projects that exist. Total need is 472 credits. We only need 261 to meet prior round, and
growth share after applying 211 excess credits is shifted over to address third
round growth share requirement. These
numbers are summarized on page 28. This
shows some of the excess credit, and the inclusionary developments that our
zoning already contemplates which addresses the 28 unit we will need to supply. We are in a good position.
Burgis also noted there is a Senate bill introduced to eliminate COAH. The township will be the party responsible
vs. a state agency. It also talks to
limited bringing back of regional contributions. We are concurring with Highland’s rule, and this must be submitted
by March lst. No action is needed by
this Board since this document is a requirement of the grant program for Highlands. The subcommittee
wanted to bring this information to you.
Mr. Burgis will be meeting with Township Committee on February 23rd. Secretary will get colored copies of
this report to the Township Committee for that meeting.
Sandham wanted assurances that we met our obligations thru the units we
approved this past year, even though some of them do not have concrete plans at
this time. Mr. Burgis indicated that
this is not a problem that they have until 2018 to build them. We are obligated to zone. We are not involved in construction business.
Nielson asked Mr. Burgis to be prepared to respond to potential questions about
regionalization and selling credits and pros and cons of this concept for the Township
Committee, as well as developing an ordinance to take impact development
fees. This information should be made
very clear at the township committee. Mr.
Burgis discussed the requiring of have to provide for 14 rehab units noting
that COAH regs provide that for rehab you have to show you have financial
ability to fund existing homes that are occupied by owner income qualified families. The regulations require that 50% of this
obligation be set aside for funds of $10,000 per unit which would be $70,000
set-aside by the Township. One way to
generate this monies is to put in a development fee ordinance, which would allow
you to place up to 1 ½ percent on new residential construction. The fee for commercial is removed already. If you don’t do a development fee ordinance,
the township would have to fund monies themselves, and Mr. Burgis indicated
that having done many of similar towns like Montville, it is rare to find those units within a
community for rehabilitation.
Reports from Board
a) Board of Adjustment – Gary Lewis
b) Board of Health – Larry
Tobias – indicated there was a meeting on Monday but he wasn’t able to attend but they were reviewing the Quick
Chek & Tiffany’s applications that night.
They were reviewing Tiffany’s for outside smoking area. Question on Quick Chek: was there diesel involved? Also asked:
on these cases where applicants are receiving approvals and violating
them, is there a way we can take some kind of a ‘default’ bond? Mr. Carroll indicated negatively but noted we
could take performance and restoration monies, but that they have to be
c) Environmental Commission – Vic
Water & Sewer – Arthur Maggio
e) Historic Preservation Commission
– John Visco - Mrs. White indicated
she met with Mike O’Brien, and sent all of the documents that were developed
over past year for HPRC as well as minutes, agenda schedules and some open
items. He is looking forward to steering
this committee and working with our boards.
f) DRC – Deb Nielson
g) Site Plan/Subdivision Committee –
Russ Lipari Chair, Ladis Karkowsky, Deborah
Nielson, & John Visco (alt)
Economic Development Committee – Tony Speciale
k) Open Space Committee – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ
Lipari, Deb Nielson & Jim Sandham
l) Master Plan/COAH 3rd
Round – Ladis Karkowsky, Russ Lipari, Deborah Nielson, Gary Lewis
& John Visco (alt)
m) Cross Acceptance Committee – Lad is
Karkowsky, Russ Lipari
Legislation Review Committee – Gary Lewis
Appointment to Fire Department Districts – Russ
Lipari –Towaco; Tony Speciale
for Pine Brook, Art Maggio for Montville
– 10 Old Bloomfield Ave.
– B: 160.1, L: 10 – office (3,500 s.f.)/warehouse (2,500 s.f.)/Lab (6,300 s.f.) for research and development of generic
pharmaceuticals, not for human consumption – 8am-5pm Mon-Fri – 30 employees – signage
to be in conformance with approved theme (SK. Realty) (prior occupant Elusys –
same business operations)
Approved unanimously subject to use letter and
sign theme in a Motion made by: by Mr.
Tobias and seconded by Mr. Maggio.
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 – Approved 12/10/09 Eligible:
Ladis Karkowsky, Deb Nielson, Victor Canning, Gary
Lewis, Art Maggio, Tony Special, Jim
Sandham, Larry Hines, Russ Lipari
made by: Deb Nielson
by: Tony Special
Sharpe Health & Fitness – Indian Ln
– B: 32, L: 24.1 – extension of final site plan approvals from August 9, 2009
to August 9, 2010
made by: Gary
by: John Visco
Minutes of 2-2-10 subcommittee: Eligible:
John Visco, Deb Nielson, Ladis Karkowsky,
And Gary Lewis
Minutes of 1-10-10 Regular meeting - Larry Hines absent
Minutes of 1-21-10 subcommittee – Eligible: Ladis Karkowsky,
Deb Nielson, Russ Lipari and John Visco
Motion made by:
Seconded by: Deb Nielson
Burgis Associates – Trust for: $343.75;
$531.25, $187.50, 625, $125
Michael Carroll, Esq. – Trust for:
$31.25, $31.25, $31.25, $31.25, $343.75, $93.75, $250.00, $31.25, $31.25, $1,755.00 (Milan),
Omland Engineering – Trust for:
$270, $472.50, $2,092.50 (Pinto), $641.25
Johnson, Murphy – Trust for: $225
Motion made by:
Seconded by: Tony Speciale
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
Steven Schepis, Esq.
Mr. Stefanelli unable to attend due
to an accident in Lowe’s parking lot.
Professionals were sworn
Mrs. White summarized past
activities and meetings held with applicant and the expert hired to perform
soil testing, as well as failure to proceed with soil testing as indicated in
expert’s proposal. Mr. Karkowsky
indicated he is unhappy with the way this is dragging on and it is something that was done without the township’s permission. We tried to work with this applicant, and
wonder why he is coming back to the Planning Board without soil testing. This
Board is involved in soil removal hearing, and involves taking the soil
out. The concern is that there is no
soil testing. Mr. Schepis:
this matter is an issue and to be candid, Mr. Stefanelli has painted
himself into a corner and he doesn’t have the ability financially to effectuate
a removal of the soil in this application.
What broke his back was the estimate secured which was $17,000 that
coupled with months or years to remove the soils. Mr. Karkowsky noted he had the financial
ability to bring in the soils. He used township
property and covered a very important historical rock feature.
Mr. Schepis: Mr. Stefanelli
fell and cannot attend. Difficulty is
finding someone to remove the soil due to location. To remove this volume of soils, Mr.
Stefanelli cannot do it. It is a
terrible thing and he can’t justify what he did, but the only thing that can be
done is to leave it in place and revegetate the area and stabilize lands to
look like rest of slope. Concerns
raised: we have no idea what type of
soils exist here. When you do truckloads
of fill, there is paperwork and what is contained in that fill is supposed to
be marked. Although Mr. Stefanelli had some
certifications, from the lab/expert we hired, there was no one from the
township present to view these soils.
Mr. Karkowsky continued: In
September, this Board saw no reason to go any further without testing. If $17,000 is the issue, are there other
quotes for testing which are less.
Applicant hasn’t offered anything to this board to support something
different. Mr. Schepis: Mr. Stefanelli came up with an estimate of
the same amount at $17,000. Mr.
Omland: when we agreed to have one
expert, this estimate came in at the exact same number.
Mr. Schepis: suggested we
consider allowing the fill to remain in place since Mr. Stefanelli is never
going to be able to remove it. Mr.
Sandham: with all due respect, applicant
needed a soil removal permit, and if the township wasn’t out looking at open
space adjacent to this site, perhaps it might never had been discovered, but
the question is what does the homeowner’s insurance policy cover in this
instance since no one is going to say it can stay in place. It is on land that is to be turned over to
the township. Mr. Schepis: Unless the
township sues him, his insurance won’t pay for anything. If the Township is forced to sue, his defense
Mr. Karkowsky indicated he is not going to change his mind on this
soil removal permit. Mr. Carroll asked
for confirmation that Mr. Stefanelli is not going to test. Mr. Omland:
this is ongoing since September 10th, at which time we worked
out hiring one outside consultant to save monies for Mr. Stefanelli. This consultant came up with a scope of work
well in advance; one of the other consultants gave the same price with all the
same scope. The scope of work was to
come in an environmental analysis of township property with respect to soils in
place, lab results and testing of various constitute.
On November 10th, this proposal was given to applicant,
and since then no answer received. There
is an issue of the historic rock and letters from the State as to worthiness of
preservation and our obligation is to provide application review of soil removal.
There are certain obligations that the applicant must addresses
under our ordinance 2009-17 chapter 12.24.
This ordinance was reviewed for Board all of which responds to the general
safety and welfare of neighborhood. The slopes
are such a steep slope, there is soil erosion; drainage off premises, and some
of the fill would be our detention and drainage is impacted. There is swale. Soils were not stabilized; soils stability
which speaks to angle of slopes which means sliding of hillside and this is in
excess; work was done outside his lot, and trespassing is involved. The land called detention is not ours yet,
and they have to maintain the basin and this is another claim that is separate
from this. These are four or five
specific health issues which are at risk or are not in compliance. There are many other areas: can’t do soil removal in so many feet of a
lot line, and this exceeds property line.
It is unacceptable today. You should
not be bound or guided by what the applicant said, especially not knowing what the
soils consist of.
We have one set of reviews that indicates soils are ok, and one is
from New York which are not using Jersey standards, so we don’t know if this fill is good. We do not know what the sampling frequency
was, and that is why we wanted the environmental consultant to determine what
the soil was. Our expert suggested test
pits of 10 which would involve just testing.
Without that information, you may not be responsive in addressing public
and municipal concerns. Photos presented to Board by Mr. Omland of
site and marked in as O1 2/11/10 consisting of 8 pages with two photographs on
Mr. Lewis indicated he went in from River Road site and the limits of
detention aren’t delineated. It was
spongy back there, and wonders if the drainage facility is working correctly.
Mr. Schepis: applicant
developed a revegetation plan that could be incorporated into the site to
address the concerns of the stability of the soils and revegetation of the
soils. Mr. Omland: what is estimate cost of restoration?
Mark Moore – Green Earth Landscaping, 11 Skyline Drive . Landscape plan – sworn in.
He worked with existing contours and modifications. Mr. Carroll:
wanted to make sure that all testimony is included in this in order to create
the record if this should go to litigation.
Mr. Moore’s plan, marked in as A3– 2/11/10 called Landscaping Plan
He is not a landscape architect.
His goal was to re-establish a natural wooded area, and a sampling of
the lower part of the detention area.
The light green area on south property line as you approach area in rear
is flat and would be crown vetch to hold the soil. Idea of the plantings is that it will attract
wildlife and birds and goal is to have these plants and natural vegetate. Full plant schedule was given to board
members. He felt all of the growth would take three weeks
for entire process to germinate, and the cost would be $25,000 for entire job.
Mr. Moore was asked: are you
top soiling this area? He is amending
the slope around the plants, the plants he proposes will do well in the soils,
and they will have good growth. Mr.
Omland asked: Has Morris County Soils been involved in this matter. Mr. Schepis:
no. Mr. Omland: Proposal may be worthy but it won’t satisfy Morris County
standards, and it would have to met the concerns of Morris County Soils. If there was an intent to leave the site as
is, there should have been feedback from Morris County Soils. Mr. Schepis indicated that they did not contact
them, and Mr. Omland indicated that the soil plan would not meet standard of
Morris County Soil.
Asked of Mr. Schepis: Mr.
Stefanelli would be willing to disturb $25,000 of landscaping with a $17,000
testing procedure since Mr. Schepis indicated if township allowed soil to remain,
he would go forward with testing? It was
indicated that the determination on soil l testing must be done first. Mr. Schepis indicated Mr. Stefanelli was willing
to do testing only if restoration was allowed.
The cost of removal is estimated at $300,000 for removal of soil. This was just removing what was on township
lands, not removing everything, and what lot grading on the original building
permit indicates that there was a great amount of soils beyond approved grading
Mr. Lewis: proposed crown
vetch beyond split rail fence and area is shown as 6300 sq. appears to
correspond of hashed area of soil stabilization plan that is tagged as area of
disturbed rock on municipal land. This
board is in receipt of municipal attorney letter indicated that this soil on
township property is not to stay, and in terms of content of soil movement
property, we are not the landlords, but instructions from Township Committee was
very clear, that this area is off limits and the soil must be removed. Mr. Schepis indicated that since Township
Committee modified the soil movement ordinance, placement is now in exclusive
jurisdiction of this board, and although Township Committee may want this, it
is now this board’s jurisdiction.
Ms. Nielson discussed the amount of fill and the surrounding
areas. There are all sorts of debris out
there, and not sure if the plants can be put into soil. There is material and we are not aware of
what exists there. The Township
Committee tried to cooperate and decided to send the soil movement to the land
use boards. The fact is that the
township could impose fines with the intent to remedy this situation, and it is
an open issue for far too long a period.
Mr. Sandham: this is not
clean fill, there are slabs of concrete, and asked landscape expert as to how
you landscape over a slab of concrete? There
were steel poles coming out of ground.
As a non expert, it is not coming close to what it should be.
Mr. Moore: the concrete
materials would have to be pulled out.
Concern raised: how do you maintain stability of a boulder if you start
moving these concrete parts out since we have no idea how deep this concrete is.
Mr. Omland: Is removal of concrete included in bid. Yes per Mr. Moore. Light green area is all sod area. Mr. Moore indicated the drainage can be
addressed by engineer. He has not given
the board a breakdown as to his costs estimates.
Mr. Maggio: I can share the
story in a similar situation as to planting on concrete. Someone did something similar, and in that
case it worked, but no one knows what is in this soil. This has been going on since September at
this board. Mr. Schepis: if applicant has to remove it, made no sense
to test it.
Mr. Visco: Mr. Stefanelli
took advantage of this township, historic rock and what is being proposed, that
when all is said and done, he is paying the exact amount of monies he would
have to pay if he intended to landscape lot.
He had no cho0ice but to landscape it.
Bottom line is he probably would have spent this money on landfill
landscaping, end up with landscape backyard area, and that this unauthorized
fill should be taken out.
Mr. Sandham: if you did
remove soil, you still have to test soil.
Point is that it has to be tested whether it stays or go. The $17,000 is required.
Mr. Tobias: was he paid to
put it on his property or did he get paid for the fill?
Opened to public:
37 Kanouse – David Schertcoff – didn’t know about this and has concerns
as to whether or not this dirt is safe. He
realizes this is not ok and as knows how the wheels of government turns, and
hearings continue and postponed, at the end of day, it is over a year and we
still don’t know if the dirt is ok. He
feels we should test this soil and send the bill to the owner.
Truth is, debacle is a great word.
This is a mess. The question
is: what do we do to fix it. It needs to work for the neighbors, the look
is terrible, and at the end of the day, regardless of the price, monies not
there to remove the dirt in fill, and it is going to result in litigation two
to three years down the road, this is not good, it doesn’t work. This is not a viable solution. Assuming this dirt is tested and safe
personally is to allow a vegetated plan to move forward on a grading plan that
works on an engineering plan that works, and should engineer can come up with a
plan that works. Put together a
vegetation plan. Urge that there is a
problem solving way to fix this. The
truth is the jurisdiction is not allowed at this board. Test it.
Don’t want to see a problem like this exist for two to three years down
Mr. Karkowsky: most of the
delay is from Mr. Stefanelli and he was given directions and we all feel his
Mr. Sandham: understand
frustration but there is a historic and scientific rock covered. We don’t want this to take 3 years of
litigation, and soil come back with problems, and financial aspect has to be
responded to. The soil should be
removed, and put back into its natural state.
Mr. Stefanelli in a social environment said he is a principal in a title
company, and he knows metes and bounds, and he had to be aware of this. It is a self inflicted wound.
Closed public portion.
Mr. Carroll: if you deny, the Township Committee takes
this over. If this application is
denied, there is no relief granted. They
gave it to us, to decide as to whether or not it should be permitted.
Mr. Karkowsky: do we have ability to test soil and charge it
back to applicant. Mr. Carroll indicated
no. Assuming board denies application,
and we don’t want to allow it as is, you can only say you are not going to
approve. TC can get injunction in court,
or municipal court action for daily fines, and at that point Mr. Stefanelli
defends the case.
Mr. Omland: is there any interest in this matter for third
party, Montville Acres, they are a party to this as well, work has to go on
heir property, has there been any action been brought by Montville Acres. Mr. Carroll:
all people would be joined in common application. If the township was to bring an action, it
would name that party and bring that party in as a named plaintiff, or provide
in the complaint that notice is provided.
It probably wouldn’t name them as defendant, but may be codefendant, and
does happen on occasion.
Mr. Sandham: heard a neighbor talk about potential health
risk to force testing. If you were to
serve as governing body attorney, the action would be to file an injunction
with an order to show cause, and at time to ask judge to order this testing or
alternatively could do this themselves and seek that amount as damages in this
Mr. Lewis: no testing has been done, and it is clear
that this is an over riding concern before soil removal is considered, and
there are areas beyond property line that were former historic rock that are
not proposed in the current permit application to be restored, and no matter
what the applicant proposes for their own site, the fact that there are
township properties that are not proposed for reclamation is a problem, and for
all of the reasons discussed this event, he would vote for disapproval of soil
removal for these reasons. Gary Lewis moved this as a Motion for denial of soil
permit; seconded by Larry Tobias
Roll call: unanimous
Move on this expeditiously to accomplish
Mr. Tobias: potential issues, and should this be referred
also to Board of Health. Ms.
Nielson: township engineer was in
charge, and he should confirm that Board of Health was involved in this review
*PMN09-12 SAIA, SAVATORE - 107 Changebridge Rd. – B: 123, L: 2 – minor
subdivision – Carried with notice from 12/10/09 ACT BY: 5/14/10
to May 13, 2010 Agenda with Notice Preserved and time to act extended
Motion made to carry to agenda of May 13,
2010 by: John Visco
Seconded by: Larry Tobias
Board recognized Ms. Barbara Demerest in
the audience this evening from HPRC, welcoming her and asking if she had any questions/input, and if so, feels free
to bring to this board.
adjourned unanimously in a Motion made by: Art Maggio
by: John Visco
certify to missed hearing of 9/10/09