Borough of Kenilworth
Planning Board Minutes
January 24, 2008
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 December 13, 2007 and January 3, 2008 were approved. Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary and the Board Attorney.
Roll Call: Mr. Lepore, Mr. Beninati, Mayor. Fiamingo, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Leary, Mr. Schielke, Mr. Mancino, and Mr. Cammarota. Absent: Mr. Corcione, Mr. O’Malley, and Mr. Pugliese.
Board Member Questions: Mr. Cirillo questioned Mr. Vitale if the Board has the right to hire their own Engineer. Mr. Mancino said the town engineer (Grotto Engineering) would be compensated by the Planning Board for his duties regarding Board matters. He said the Planning Board need not have the same Engineer as the Borough Engineer. Mr. Beninati said that when a more detailed review and a formal report is required, the services of the Board Engineer are paid from the Applicants’ escrow retainer.
Mr. Mancino stated the position of Board Secretary should receive a monetary compensation; this is allowed by a Land Use Law statute.
He also said the class #2 (Borough employee) Board Member (Mr. Herbert) is not qualified to vote until he becomes the Zoning Officer on March 1. This will be verified via letter from Mr. Jim Cox. The present Zoning Officer is a “contracted official”, and, under the contract by the Township of Union, Mr. Herbert cannot officially do zoning enforcement under the current ordinance. Mr. Vitale suggested the Council could allow for two zoning officers. In Mr. Vitales’ opinion, Mr. Herbert was appointed as the Borough Zoning Official as of January 1, 2008. This was confirmed by the Mayor.
Communications: Mr. Beninati said Mr. Neri requested an extension of time for the hearing of his application (#285B, 25 N. 26th Street) to the February regular meeting. The applicant was unable to notify the area residents in time for the January meeting. The Board approved the extension of time until February.
Other Business: Review of the Storm Water Management Plan. The previous Board engineer from the PMK Group gave an overview of the Plan. The Plan addresses the goals suggested by the DEP. This is a recommended ordinance (a component of the Master Plan) which then goes to the Council to adopt. Mr. Vitale said this would be treated in a way similar to a zoning ordinance. A motion to accept this Plan was made by Mr. Pantina, 2nd by Mr. Candarella. All in favor: Mr. Candarella, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Lepore, Ms. Fiamingo, Mr. Leary, and Mr. Schielke.
NOTE: Mayor Fiamingo and Councilman Candarella were recused from the remainder of the meeting. The Mayor and Councilman may not vote on variances and use variances.
Resolutions: Application #19-07, Petschow, 25 N. 20th Street, Block 81, Lot 7, a garage variance. A motion to accept this Resolution was made by Mr. Schielke, 2nd by Mr. Beninati. Mr. Mancino abstained. The present chairman will sign the Resolution.
New Business: Application #23-07, Pasquale Callelo, 722 Woodland Avenue, Block 156, Lot 21, a Variance for an addition for a pre-existing, non-conforming condition.
Sworn in: Mr. Callelo, who wants to raise the roof and put a garage on the side of the house.
Mr. Pantina said the existing front yard is 15’6” to the porch and 23’ to the foundation. Therefore, the second floor will be 23’ from the front yard setback. Also, the plans must include the roof height to not exceed 30’.
The additional garage will make the side yard setback only 3’ (not 5’).
Mr. Herbert said older homes on the block have detached garages. He said the detached garage would be considered an accessory building and would require only a 3’ side setback. Mr. Herbert suggested the Board grant a partial variance (for the addition only). Mr. Pantina said this 3’ setback applies to an R-1 zone, not an R-2 zone. The Board discussed the possibility of Bifurcating the vote—the first part, would be on the garage, and the second part would be on the addition. Mr. Pantina said the plans should be therefore, modified and all dimensions be clearly marked (height and setbacks). This should be a “Condition of Memorialization”.
Mr. Pantina made a motion to deny the side yard variance, 2nd by Mr. Cirillo. All in favor of denial: Mr. Pantina, Mr. Cirillo, and Mr. Schielke. Opposed to Denial: Mr. Herbert, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Lepore, and Mr. Leary.
A Motion to approve the variance was made by Mr. Herbert, 2nd by Mr. Lepore. All in favor: Mr. Herbert, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Lepore, and Mr. Leary. Opposed: Mr. Pantina, Mr.Cirillo, and Mr. Schielke. The Resolution will be memorialized at the next meeting and the plans must be clearly marked with all dimensions on them.
Application #1-08, Dan Sheridan, 637 Fairfield Avenue, Block 164, Lot 5, a Variance on a pre-existing, non-conforming condition. Sworn in: James Burbano, standing in on behalf of Mr. Sheridan. The existing side yard is 4’7” on the (right) side. There is an existing, non-conforming front yard setback of 24’6”. Mr. Burbano gave the Board members a revision of this front yard condition, leaving a 22’6” setback with the cantilever.
Mr. Pantina suggested the overhang be 1’6” instead of 2’, and the “scale” is incorrect. The applicant will bring plans to correct scale.
Mr. Vitale said the setbacks in other towns consider a “prevailing setback”. Mr. Pantina said the zoning codes should be upheld, and any proposed inconsistencies should be presented to the Planning Board.
Mr. Schielke stated the variance request is for an addition with an existing non-conforming side yard setback of 4’7”, and an existing non-conforming front yard setback of 24’6” , with a 2nd floor cantilever, increasing the setback to 22’6”.
A motion to approve these variances was made by Mr. Schielke, 2nd by Mr. Beninati. All in favor: Mr. Herbert, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Lepore, Mr. Leary, and Mr. Schielke. Opposed: Mr. Pantina and Mr. Cirillo.
Application # 21-07-1 (revised), Mr. John Wilson, 322 Monroe Avenue, Block 25, Lot 14, A Use Variance, --for a 2-family house in a CI zone.
Mr. Joseph Paparo is the attorney for the applicant. This is presently a vacant lot (40’ x 100’)
Sworn in: Mr. James Watson, licensed land surveyor and planner. The CI zone requires a 50’ frontage and depth 100’. The lots along Monroe Avenue vary from 30’ and up. Twenty-seven lots are within 200’ of lot #14. Seventeen of these are two-family and four are one-family (these are not in the CI zone).
Of the lots in the CI zone within 200’ of Lot #14, there are six 2-family and one single family home. Mr. Watson suggested the Use division map should be re-configured. He said the lot does not lend itself to a Commercial zone (because of parking requirements). Mr. Pantina suggested a professional building. (Ordinance. #197-86) requires one parking space for 250’ of office space.
Mr. Beninati said an original plan was to sub-divide Lot #15 and make (lots #13 & #14) usable lots, both being undersized lots. The applicants’ representative replied the three lots are now owned by three separate family members.
Mr. Mancino inquired about the setbacks for corner lots. (Ord. #197-53) requires a minimum setback of 25’ on the side that has the largest right-of-way.
Mr. Watson said the traffic generated by residential use would be less than a commercial use. He quoted a part of the Master Plan to “maintain balanced use of land use”.
Mr. Cirillo asked if the house would face 11th Street, although the address is on Monroe Avenue. The setback from the house to 11th Street is 10’. He said this house would then project 15’ further than any other house on that block.
Mr. Watson said the setback from the house to Monroe Ave. is 15’. There is an entrance on 11th Street, but, by ordinance, the address is on Monroe. (Mr. Herbert said there is no entrance on Monroe Avenue.) On the 11th Street side, there would be a 10’ pavement and an 11’ driveway, providing at least 3 to 6 parking spaces (three being legal spaces, two in the garage and one on the side).
Mr. Watson quoted a zone ordinance (#197-3), for corner lots.
Mr. Vitale said the Applicant is asking the Board to approve the Change of Use, not the architectural drawings. Mr. Watson said only “conceptual plans” are required when requesting a use variance.
Mr. Pantina quoted ordinance #197-15: this stated a clear site area must be maintained. The hedges impede this site area and should be removed.
A motion to deny the request for a Use Variance was made by Mr. Cirillo, 2nd by Mr. Pantina. All in favor of Denial: Mr. Pantina, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Beninati, and Mr. Lepore. Against Denial: Mr. Herbert. Note: Use variances are not voted on by the Mayor, Council members, or Alternates.
Other Business: Mr. Vitale said as long as a non-conforming bulk issue is not intensified or increased, there should be no variance required. If the issue calls for an increase, a variance is necessary. The Mayor and Council could make provisions for a minimum increase, if they desire.
Mr. Mancino requested a special “review stamp” (for police, fire, health department, etc.) be put on all site plans.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.
Janet M. Murphy,
Planning Board Recording Secretary
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