Planning Board Minutes from 01/27/2005
 

PLANNING BOARD MINUTES

JANUARY 27, 2005

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meeting Act requirements and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Present at roll call:  Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Schultz, Mr. Peters, Mr. Clementi, Mr. Soos, Mr. Deluca, Jr., Mr. Candarella, Mr. Cirillo, and Mr. Russo.  Absent:  Mr. Laudati and Mr. Rappa. The Mayor is attending a League of Municipalities meeting tonight. 

The minutes of January 6, 2005 and December 16, 2004 were approved. Payment of the Attorney and Recording Secretary fees was also approved. 

COMMUNICATIONS: Mr. Beninati read a letter from Bart Chase, Attorney for LOC Development Group, requesting the withdrawal of Application #289. This application  was scheduled to be heard at tonight’s meeting.

   Mr. Beninati also read a letter from MRBS, LLC, 361 Monroe Avenue, Re: a resolution (dated May 22, 2003), requesting a one year extension of time.

Mr. Don Fraser, Board Attorney, stated this approval (for an office building) is good for one year. At this time the approval has, therefore, expired.  Normally, the Board has the discretion to grant a resolution extension for one to three years.  Mr. Fraser suggested the response to MRBS, LLC is that this resolution has already expired and the applicant could re-submit, along with proper legal notices and written application.  The plans and blue prints could be re-submitted.  Mr. Peters suggested our ordinances (on resolutions) may not have tenure. Before responding to MRBS, this situation should be investigated. Mr. Fraser will look into this matter and report this information to the Board by the next meeting.  Mr. Beninati will pull the file on this Resolution and give a copy to Mr. Fraser.  The Board Attorney stated: a key reason for a resolution to have an expiration time is that the surrounding area and the conditions may have changed in the interim, and may not pertain to the present situation. 

RESOLUTIONS:  Application # 280-A, V & R Associates (Paparatto), RE: 748 Lexington Avenue, Block 161, Lots 5, 6, & 11.02 for a Site Plan and Variance, Industry to Warehouse. All in favor:  Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Clementi, Mr. Candarella, and Mr. Russo. 

Application #12-04A Malesz, RE:  129 Park Drive, Block 92, Lot 23, Variance for a Front yard Setback.  A motion to accept the Resolution was made by Mr. Michitsch, 2nd by Mr. Peters.  All in favor:  Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Peters, Mr. Soos, Mr. Clementi, Mr. Candarella, Mr. DeLuca, Jr., and Mr. Russo.

Page 2

Application # 15-04, Scourzo Group, RE: 630 Kingston Avenue, Block 120, Lot 13.01, a variance for a side yard setback.  A motion to accept the Resolution was made by Mr. Russo, 2nd by Mr. Vitale.  All in favor:  Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Peters, Mr. Soos, Mr. Clementi, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Deluca, Jr., and Mr. Russo.

NEW BUSINESS:  Application # 02-05, Siragusa, 35 N. 6th Street, Block 71, Lot 6, a Variance for a Side Yard Air Conditioner.  Sworn in: Mr. Peter Siragusa.  He wants to place an air conditioning unit on the left side (facing the house).  He has small children and, for safety, does not want the unit to be in the rear yard area.  The backyard property is surrounded by a 4’ vinyl fence. Mr. Siragusa will plant bushes to screen the unit.  He has letters from the surrounding neighbors, stating they have no objection to this placement of his air conditioner.  A motion to approve the Application was made by Mr. Vitale, 2nd by Mr. Soos.  All in favor:  Mr. Clementi, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Schultz, Mr. Peters, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Soos, Mr. Deluca, Jr., and Mr. Russo.

A discussion ensued about the number of members of the Board who can vote on applications, other than Use Variance applications.  Nine members may vote. The Alternates, in order of their number (ex. Alt #1 votes first) may vote to replace the absent regular members.  The Mayors Designee (Mr. Russo) may vote in place of the Mayor in his absence.  Regarding Use Variances: only the seven regular members may vote (or an alternate in their absence).  The Mayor (and/or mayor’ designee) and Councilman may not vote on a Use Variance.  A Use Variance needs five affirmative votes to pass.

Application # 01-05, Sullivan, 641 Passaic Avenue, Block 135, Lot 6, a Variance for a front yard setback.  Sworn in:  Frank Sullivan.  His house is 28.95’ from the front edge of his property.  He needs to replace a front porch, because it was deteriorating.  A 25’ front setback is needed as to conform to zoning laws. He needs to come 3 ½ ft into the setback.  It will 1 ½ ft. wider, but not deeper, than the original porch.  The deck will be 5’ deep with an additional 2’ depth for the steps.  His neighbor at 637 Passaic has a deck in front of his house.  He displayed photos of his old porch (exhibits A-1, A-2, and A-3), and the neighbor’s setback infringement.  The original wooden porch (grandfathered) was non-conforming, with no previous variance.  It was then replaced and removed, because the slab was “tilting into the base of the house” and water was coming into the basement.  Mr. Fraser said a variance is necessary because the new porch will be wider, and it will increase the non-conformity and increase the volume of the protrusion. A motion to approve this application to Resolution was made by Mr. Soos, 2nd by Mr. Schultz.  All in favor:  Mr. Clementi, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Schultz, Mr. Peters, Mr. Vitale, Mr. Soos, Mr. Deluca, Jr., and Mr. Russo.

A further discussion was held on Application #289, LOC Development Corp., 515 Springfield Road, Block 11.  It was confirmed that the application for a Variance is withdrawn, not postponed, as per applicants’ request.

Page 3

OTHER BUSINESS:  Mr. Donald Fraser, new Board Attorney, thanked the members for hiring his firm.  Regarding a question of compensation, he understood he is working on a “Consultants’ Basis”, not as an employee of the Borough.  The Attorney can offer his expertise on Applications.  He should submit a voucher and receive a flat fee, approved by the Planning Board, and paid by the Mayor and Council.   Any additional charges, above and beyond the norm, will be billed against an escrow account of the Applicant.

Mr. Michitsch suggested a “tenure clause” should be included in future Resolutions.  Mr. Fraser agreed to look into this matter.

Mr. Vitale made a motion to adjourn at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary



ADS - Applied Dynamic Solutions, LLC ADS, LLC   email webmaster