Planning Board Minutes from 08/23/2007
 

Borough of Kenilworth

Planning Board Minutes

August 23, 2007

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meetings Act requirements: The schedule of meetings is on file in the Borough Clerks office, was posted on the bulletin board, and has been mailed to the Cranford Chronicle, the Kenilworth Leader, and the Star Ledger.  All present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Minutes from July 26, 2007 were approved. Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary and the Board Attorney.

Roll Call:  Present:  Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Michitsch, Mr. Beninati, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Corcione, Mr. Schielke, Mr. Dick, and Mr. Mancino.  Absent:  Mr. Soos, Mr. David, Mr. Deluca, Mr. Peters, and Mr. Pantina.

Communications:  Mr. Beninati had distributed a letter from Pet Smart; Mr. Lane, Board Attorney, will review this and give his opinion.

New Business:  Application #289-1 (revised), Union Baptist Church, 350 Sheridan Avenue, Block 10, Lot 5, a variance for an addition on a pre-existing, non-conforming front.  Mr. Gary Goodman, Attorney for the United Baptist Church, said the Church wishes to add classroom space for computer education.  They seek a front yard setback variance and a parking variance.  The church presently leases part of North 14th Street (a paper street) from the Borough. 

Sworn in:  Pastor John Smith.  He said the church is 85 years old, and presently has 80 parishioners.  The church was burned in 1965 and rebuilt.  The present structure must be updated (restrooms, training facilities, etc.)  Former Mayor Tripodi and the Borough Council (in June, 1996) leased the adjacent “paper street” for $1 per year for 25 years (cancelable by the Borough with a 60 day notice) to be used for parking for church functions.  This area must be maintained and insured by the church. 

Sworn in:  Trustee Gregor Smith.  He will check with the insurance policy for coverage.

Mr. Cirillo asked how many days per week would the three classrooms be in use.  At present, this has not been decided.  The trustee said there are eighteen youth in the church and they need a Sunday school classroom.  One room would have a Food Bank storage area.  The Fellowship Hall seats 164 people. Mr. Lane said Weddings and Funerals are part of Church services, but a reception party may not be considered a “church function”.   Rev Smith said some light refreshments may be served, but does not rent out the hall, or have paid catering, or alcohol.  There will not be a nursery school.

Mr. O’Malley said the leased part of the paper street (13th) extends to Lafayette Street (broken by a creek).   Part of this property must allow free access to the nearby industry.

Tim Duffy, Attorney for Brent Materials, asked if the church would have a problem with Brent Materials using the unpaved easement portion of this “paper street”.  His client will sub-let that part of the street. Vehicles cannot cross the creek. 

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Brent Materials is not challenging the church expansion with the condition that the applicant will provide a sub-lease with Brent Material Company for the portion of N. 13th street north of the creek, as well as a conditional sub-lease for the portion of N. 13th street south of the creek for access on a 24 hour notice.

 Sworn in: Richard Gardner, a Brent Materials representative.  He said they will not store materials or expand on this part of the paper street.  It will be used for access only.   

Mr. Lane said the request is for a parking variance.  Presently there are 164 seats; 55 parking spaces would be necessary.  Thirty-one spaces could be provided. 

Mr. Duffy, attorney for Brent Materials, said his client needs to use part of the church property adjacent to the paper road (behind the church).  The company wants access to a lot they own that goes onto the south part of the (paper) street.  The church accepts this proposal with advance notice.  Mr. Mancino said the church can add parking spaces by paving 15’ to the creek.  Mr. Swayze said this may add two parking spaces on each side, but may trigger a “wetland permit”.

Sworn in: Michael Spillane, engineer on behalf of the church.  He said the area to be paved would add four spaces, but would cause flooding to the Brent Materials parking lot.  Mr. Swayze said there are 55 spaces required. There is no parking on the site. The representative said part of Brents’ land could be sold to the church to add spaces. 

 

Mr. Spillane described the architectural plan for the addition.  He said it is 687 square feet and one story above the basement.  There will be 31 parking spaces (with handicapped spaces).  The pre existing setback is 15.10 ft. (25’ is required).  The drawings should be updated showing removal of an extension in the rear.  The plans must also indicate the correct zone data.  They are not within stream encroachment.  The site lighting is at the entrance and will stay the same.  Access is ADA approved.  The Borough engineer requests will be complied with (see page 5 of engineer report).  There will be no detrimental impact on the neighborhood.  Mr. Mancino the side yard is 15’, and the new addition will change the setback to 5’ (see R-3 zone: 5’ is the minimum requirement).  He proposed a fence in the wooded rear and side yards as a protection.  The existing cyclone fence on one side is owned by Brent Materials.  Mr. Mancino proposed a fence with extra lighting from Brent Materials to the back of the church.  Pastor Smith said safety is not a problem and does not think this would be necessary.  The engineer said small lights could be placed and re-directed in a manner to not annoy neighbors.  This could be worked out between Mr. Swayze and the church. 

Sworn in:  Mr. Michio Sanga, architect.  He said the concrete walkway from the parking area to the entrance will be extended. The door and step will not increase the proposed variance request.  The engineer for the church will make all plans agree and include the requirements of the July 11 letter (from the Borough engineer) as a condition of approval. Mr. Duffy asked to include as a condition of approval: the $1 sub-lease of the “Paper Street” (for the remainder of the Borough agreement) and at least a 24 hour period of notification to transverse Brent Materials vehicles (on the South side of this street). 

Sworn in:  Mr. Frank Pugliese, contractor.  He and the neighbors approve of the new plans for the church.

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Mr. Cirillo requested a vote be taken.  Mr. Beninati moved the application be accepted, and Mr. Mancino 2nd with the following requirements (read by Mr. Lane): 

1.  Applicant must submit new plans and must conform to letter of the Borough engineer, dated July 11, 2007.

2.  The sub-lease be submitted to the Board Attorney for review (of the “paper street”)

3.  A notation that access to the South side of this street be permitted to Brent Materials on a 24 hour notice.

3.  Re-addressing the rear yard setback by removing a “bump” shown on the plans.

4.  Lighting will be discussed with our Borough engineer.

5.  The church must provide an Insurance policy with the Borough as “additionally insured”.

6.  Any fee-involved activity is prohibited (rental or catering); and only church-related activities be allowed.

The proposed fencing will not be a requirement, and the lighting will be discussed with Mr. Swayze.  The Borough engineer will review the existing lights and landscaping proposals.  All in favor:  Mr. Corcione, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Schielke, Mr. Dick, Mr. Mancino, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Michitsch, and Mr. Cirillo.

Other Business:  In response to a request made by Mr. Mancino at a prior meeting, the Board was given a letter from Mr. Lane stating that a Resolution for Denial is a requirement. 

RE: Building Official and Zoning Official:  Mr. Lane gave a letter to the Borough Council, requesting an increase of hours for the Code Official.

Mr. Mancino asked Mr. Lane to research the duties of the Mayors Designee.  Mr. Lane believes the Designee can vote in the absence of the Mayor.  Mr. Mancino wants clarification of the duties of the Mayors’ designee.

Mr. Mancino also recommends an Ordinance be passed on odd-sized lots.  He suggested the side yard be a minimum of 10 %.  He also suggested a concrete front yard setback should be prohibited.  Mr. Michitsch will prepare a proposal at the next work session and give it to the Borough Attorney.  Mr. Lane suggested the lot setbacks be a minimum of 10%, and no less than 5’, with 25% or 35% impervious surface.

Comments for the Good of the Board:  Sworn in:  Joanne Dillon, 308 Faitoute Avenue, made a comment RE 693 Fairfield Avenue.  She is upset by this structure, approved by the Board, saying it is oversized.  She referred the Minutes of the October 26, 2006 meeting.  She was unable to come to the meetings, at the time it was being heard by the Board.  The house is 63’ wide 2-family house.  The house looks like a 5-family house.  It was approved to be 29’ high.  A statement was made that there are 2-family houses on the street, and this is incorrect.  There is only one 2-family house on that side of the street.  The previous house was probably one-half the size of the new one.  It looks as if the roof is exceeding the height requirement. 

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Mr. O’Malley said the Code Official was at the site two times and required the roof to be lowered.  It was initially lowered, but not enough to meet the zone code.  He said technically, the zoning of this site could have allowed a commercial building.  The Board felt a house would be better suited for the area than a commercial building. 

Mrs. Dillon said parking and traffic is difficult.  She asked the Board to be consistent and address lot coverage.  Other houses were not approved because they were oversized.  The neighbors are concerned this will become more than a 2-family house, and will be carefully watching the house that this will not happen.

Mr. Frank Pugliese, Builder, previously sued the town, and won, to allow him to build a Duplex house. At the time he submitted this application, the new ordinance prohibiting Duplex housing was in discussion, and an ordinance was not in place at that time. 

He said on 12th Street, a resident was denied the porch for one inch differential. 

He questioned the Board on their decisions.

At 10:35, a motion to adjourn was made and approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary

 



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