Planning Board Minutes from 12/14/2006
 

Borough of Kenilworth

Planning Board Minutes

December 14, 2006

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meetings Act requirements and the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Minutes from November 16, 2006 were approved.  Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary and the Board Attorney.

Roll call:  Present:  Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Peters, Mr. Candarella, Mr. O’Malley, and Mr. Schielke. Mr. Corcione arrived later.  Absent:  Mr. David, Mr. Soos, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Laudati, and Mr. Russo.

Resolutions:  Application #35-06, Laurie, 412 Coolidge Drive, Block 108, Lot 12, Variance to replace existing front porch roof.  Mr. Candarella made a motion to approve this Resolution, 2nd by Mr. Peters.  All in favor:  Mr. Peters, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, and Mr. Cirillo.

Application #302, Haag, RE: 24 No. 20th Street, Block 80, Lot 18, Site Plan and bulk variance to rebuild a fire-damaged restaurant.  A discussion of the necessity of a third floor alternative egress ensued.  Mr. Peters, under code, said a separate means of egress is required only if the property is approved as a three-family residence.  The Haag application is not a three-family residence.  Mr. Candarella made a motion to approve this Resolution, 2nd by Mr. Beninati.  All in favor:  Mr. Peters, Mr. Corcione, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Beninati, and Mr. Cirillo.  Opposed:  Mr. Michitsch.

Old Business:  Application # 300, Neri/Brahmatt, RE:  131 So. 31st Street, Block 179, Lots 4 and 5, a Variance and a Change of Use/Banquet Hall in an Industrial Zone.

Until he arrives, Mr. Fruchter will represent the applicant in lieu of Mr. Butler.  In light of Mr. Butler’s absence, Mr. Cirillo called for a 10-minute recess.

Mr. Swayze, Borough Engineer, stated he met with representatives of Mr. Neri (Parker and Stewart). 

He received revised plans on December 5, 2006.  Mr. Butler addressed a majority of the engineering concerns.  The applicant is treating this as an amended Site Plan.

Mr. Swayze suggested the following:

1.  The Board review past Resolutions concerning this site to see if any variances are applicable.

2.  The parking ordinances require 198 parking spaces, and the applicant is providing 136 spaces. 

3.  Storm water management is still an open item to be addressed by the applicants’ engineer.

4.  He is unsure if the Fire Department reviewed this application, and did not have those comments.

5.  There are minor concerns about the loading zone impact on traffic.

6.  He is concerned with the future use of Lot 6, and if traffic will be closed off, or will traffic have access.

7.  The Borough engineer needs one, complete, coherent, bound set of drawings.

Page 2

Application #300, continued

Mr. Fraser, Borough Attorney, suggested Mr. Butler may wish to address most of these issues, and he should arrive soon.  Concerning the parking issue, Mr. Fruchter stated there is a progressive attitude for “shared parking” in many municipalities.  He suggested a waiver to have multiple uses (office and restaurant) for a parking lot, and duplicity of utilization: daytime, night time, and weekend use.

Mr. Butler, Applicants’ Attorney, feels it is not incumbent on his client to verify previous approvals, since the structure is already built.  Mr. Michitsch suggested the applicants’ attorney comply with the engineers’ request.  Mr. Butler will try to produce the documents from the original site plan.  Mr. Fraser explained that Mr. Butler is asking to proceed by way of an “amended” site plan.  If the client wants to re-apply with a new site plan application, then it would not be necessary to produce that former site plan.  At present, the applicant is requesting an amendment to a prior approval.  Therefore, it is incumbent on the applicant to produce that prior approval. 

Mr. Terry Parker, Architect for Mr. Neri, said the PMK notes (concerning parking requirements) were not consistent with the applicants’ calculations.  He referred to the letter of December 7, from PMK Group.  He said there is no “fixed seating” in the banquet hall.  Therefore, one space for every three “fixed” seats does not apply to this situation.  The Banquet Hall is 4,870 square feet. He noted the occupancy load that is required by the State Uniform Construction Code.  The engineer calculated one person for every five square feet of floor space.   Space for actual footage (with tables and chairs) would be one person for every fifteen square feet.  Divide 4,870 square feet by fifteen square feet equals approximately 325 people.  Mr. Michitsch said his drawing calls for 360 people.  Mr. Parker said he may not have the most recent drawings.  The Board Attorney asked Mr. Parker if there were any physical changes to the plans that would account for the capacity reduction.

Mr. Parker totaled the calculations:  The twenty-five employees are not required to have parking spaces. The restaurant capacity is seventy-six patrons.  Adding 76 restaurant patrons to 330 banquet hall patrons equals 406 people, divided by three people per parking area results in 136 parking spaces. Mr. Parker said the plan allows for 160 parking spaces.

Mr. Parker said the original suggestion of 360 patrons was in error.  Mr. Cirillo said that on July 27, Mr. Neri stated 200 parking spaces would be available.  Mr. Swayze calculated about 198 spaces are needed (includes more parking for patrons, 8 spaces for patrons on the outside deck, 25 spaces for office use, 15 spaces for the warehouse).  Mr. Fraser asked the engineer, without the offices and warehouse use, would 160 spaces be enough for the patrons of the restaurant and banquet hall.  Mr. Swayze agreed that “different uses at different times” could be taken into consideration. 

Mr. Parker quoted code #197-82, “Multiple Use Requirements”.  A reviewing Board may allow a specific number of parking spaces, not to exceed 30% of the total parking spaces designated for the joint use ….if peak periods of use do not coincide.  Mr. Fraser suggested, if the issue is factual, the applicant could produce factual testimony to support the contention the areas in use will not conflict in terms of parking demands.

Page 3, Application #300, continued

 Mr. Parker said the restaurant will be in operation with the office hours.  The restaurant and catering hall will be open at the same time periodically. Mr. Cirillo asked about plans for Valet parking.  The response was affirmative. 

Mr. Thomas Romans, attorney for the Kenilworth Inn, asked if the applicant would be using any parking along 31st Street.  Mr. Parker stated the 160 parking spaces in discussion did not include parking on 31st Street

Mr. Peters asked if the applicant intends to set the “occupancy load” to not exceed 330 persons in the Banquet Hall and 76 persons in the Restaurant.

Mr. Fraser suggested a “condition of approval” be that the maximum occupancy be no more than 330 Banquet hall clients and 76 restaurant clients; these figures must to be displayed and posted in each area of use.  Also, any banquet over 200 clients must have valet parking. 

Mr. Cirillo stated comment #29 (of the December 12 letter) requires the existing fence located along the westerly property line be removed.  Mr. Parker agreed.  Mr. Cirillo noted comment #37, the “catch basin”, is not shown on the site plan.  Mr. Parker said the catch basin will be relocated by the engineer outside the landscape area.  He said there will be two catch basins: one on the southeast side and one on the southwest side. Water will run down trench drains along the driveway.  Mr. Fraser suggested this is engineering testimony; Mr. Parker is not an engineer.  He suggested Mr. Swayze have an opportunity to address the drainage concerns.  Mr. Swayze commented new seepage pits may be needed and the existing seepage pits be checked for their condition. He is waiting for calculations from the applicants’ engineer.   Mr. Butler said water on the south east side will drain to an inlet leading to a manhole on Clinton Avenue.  On the eastern property line, water will drain via an inlet to a basin located near the rear of the Kenilworth Inn.  The drainage calculations should be subject to the approval of the PMK Group (Borough Engineer). 

Mr. Fraser asked the applicant to submit a complete bound set of drawings.  The attorney agreed.  Mr. Parker addressed the issue of the loading zone; it will not block access to the parking lot because it is near a 24’ aisle.  Mr. Neri stated: access to Lot 6 will be at Market Street via railroad property or through the vacated portion of So. 31st Street.

Regarding the drainage issue, Mr. Romans, representing the Kenilworth Inn, asked if part of 31st Street would be dug up.  Mr. Neri said some drains may be in place, and depending on the specifications, some part of the road will be dug up.  Mr. Romans reminded Mr. Neri the Kenilworth Inn uses part of the street for parking.  Mr. Neri replied some part of 31st Street will be dug up for a trench drain. 

Mr. Fraser suggested the applicant comply with any requests the Fire Department may issue.  Mr. Butler agreed.  This will be a condition of approval.  Mr. Michitsch asked who owns Clinton Avenue.  Mr. Peters stated that, based on the Tax Maps and other information, the portion of Clinton Avenue, in front of the subject property is still Clinton Avenue; and from that point further, is owned (leased) by the A & P.

 Sworn in:  Ms. Judy Knap, (Director of National Development) of A & P. She has a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering. She stated the A & P has a long term lease on the property in question that is owned by Benenson Developers.

Page 4

Application #300, continued.

She is authorized to speak on behalf of both Benenson and A&P.  A portion of the vacated Clinton Avenue is Railroad property, and the remaining portion is A & P (leased) property.  A & P has a concern for the liability aspect.  Patrons (of the Banquet Hall/Restaurant) utilizing access (from Market Street to 31st Street) creates a large liability and safety concern for the A & P.

 Mr. Candarella reminded the Board about the traffic study (given by the applicant) directed the Banquet Hall traffic to enter via Market Street, crossing through A & P property, to the Hall.  Ms. Knap presented an old survey (1957) showing ownership.  This was marked as an exhibit.  Her client (A & P) objects to this proposal. If an accident occurs, the owner (Len Kreppel) and the A & P will be held responsible.  The lease, signed five years ago, is for thirty years.  Mr. Michitsch said it was incumbent upon the applicant to prove the client has the right to use that property (that crosses over the A & P parking lot from Market Street to 31st Street).  Mr. Cirillo stated the A & P does not approve.  Mr. Fraser said the question is: can the applicant establish the right to use this property and can the applicant substantiate that right to the Planning Board?  Mr. Butler said there is no gate or cones prohibiting (vehicles) from crossing over this property.  Therefore, it may be considered public access.  Mr. Fraser said the applicant could be given the right to produce some rebuttal evidence to the A & P issue, before final consideration. 

After discussion with his client, Mr. Butler said this matter is critical and requested a delay until the next session (January 25, 2007).  Mr. Cirillo said there will be several new members on the Board.  Mr. Fraser said the new members (or absent members) may listen to the tapes; this could qualify those members to vote at the next session.  Mr. Michitsch said there have been four different plans, and several scheduled hearings, and he is not in favor of postponing this issue.  Mr. Romans, attorney, sent a letter to the town clerk (about three months ago) inquiring about ownership of that section (crossing A & P parking lot).  Mr. Beninati made a motion to postpone, 2nd by Mr. Corcione.  All in favor of postponement:  Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Corcione, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Cirillo.  Opposed:  Mr. Michitsch.  There is no need for further notice to be carried to the January 25, 2007 meeting.  Mr. Fraser suggested a correct, complete set of plans be presented to each member of the Board prior to the next meeting. Mr. O’Malley suggested all of the Engineers’ requirements be addressed by the applicant and approved by Mr. Swayze.  Mr. Anthony Longano, Manager of the Kenilworth Inn, had a question concerning Lot 6.  This concern must be presented at the next meeting.

At this point, motion was made and approved to go into an Executive Session. 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary



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