Borough of Kenilworth
Planning Board Minutes
January 22, 2009
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. Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary.
Roll Call: Mr. Lepore, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Pantina, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Sica, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Laurie, Mr. Picerna, and Mr. Cammarota. Excused: Mr. Herbert. NOTE: Mayor, councilmen, and mayors-designee are not eligible to vote on Board of Adjustment matters.
Communications: Ms. Bogus, Board Secretary, read a letter from Board Attorney, Michael Tripodi. RE: Application #07-08, Monroe Ave. LLC, 322 Monroe Ave, Block 24, Lot 14. This letter confirmed the phone conversation with the applicants’ attorney: advising him that Application # 07-08 will be heard at the February 26, 2009 meeting. Subject to confirming the applicants’ affidavits of publication and service are in proper order, no further notification need be given (to carry the meeting to February), since the public will be given notice at the January 22, 2009 meeting. Further, this confirms that the client agrees to extend all the statuary time frames for the Board to hear and decide the application.
Mr. Lepore explained that Application #07-08 is extended to February 26, 2009.
Resolutions: A vote was taken to pay the Board Attorney, Michael Tripodi, on a Salary basis. Mr. Candarella made a motion to approve this, 2nd by Mr. Sica. All in favor.
Application #08-02, LaBruno/Herbert, Corner of Monroe and 17th St., Block 36, Lot 13, a minor sub-division of a 100’ x 100’ lot. A motion was made to approve this resolution. All in favor: Mr. Pugliese, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Lepore, Mr. Candarella, and Mr. Cammarota.
New Business: Application #13-08, Cameron, 445 Sheridan Ave., Block 3, Lot 38, a Use Variance, to convert a single family home in an R-2 zone to a 2-family home.
Sworn in: Mrs. Pat Cameron, 445 Sheridan Avenue. The notifications, newspaper notices, and the application (complete with survey and photos) were marked as exhibits 1, 2, and 3. Mrs. Cameron said the house was used as a “mother/daughter” residence. Her father passed away and her husband has lost his vision; resulting in the loss of two incomes. Her home is on a 100’ x 100’ lot, and other homes in the area are 2-family dwellings. Mr. Pantina asked if each apartment is completely separate. Mr. Pugliese said, according to the zoning codes on a 2-family house, it is not necessary to have more than one egress for the second floor. Mr. O’Connor, Board Engineer, said the building must meet all aspects of the building codes to get a C.O.
Mr. Pantina said to grant a Use Variance, the applicant must show positive criteria, and the hardship goes with the property. The applicant must show positive criteria (ex. beneficial use as financial hardship) and show that it will not negatively impact the surrounding area.
Ms. Bogus stated the following homes appear to be used as multi-family, according to the pictures: 242 N. 18th Street, 209 N. 17th Street, and 221 N. 16th Street.
Mr. Cirillo, who lives on 18th Street, inquired about homes used as 2-family in the area. He said the Zoning Officer should look into multiple family dwellings in the R-2 zones in this area. He asked if the Board grants this variance, could the Resolution be referenced: the home become single-family again upon sale of the dwelling.
At this point, Mr. Lepore left due to a family emergency, and Mr. Pantina will preside as chairman for the remaining part of the meeting. Mr. Picerna will replace the regular member at this time.
The meeting was open to public comments. Mr. Tripodi, Board Attorney, stated five affirmative votes are necessary to pass a use variance, and both positive criteria and negative criteria must be met. The zoning map was viewed, and it was determined the nearest R-3 zone is on 16th Street.
Mr. Pantina suggested the 2-family dwellings on the neighboring streets may have been “grandfathered”.
The applicant stated no physical changes are necessary to convert to a 2-family home. Any future changes must be presented to the Board.
Sworn in: Mr. Cameron. He said the 2nd floor is a living area (a bathroom, two bedrooms, a living room, and kitchen). He asked if a 2nd floor meter is necessary to install. Mr. O’Connor said the Building Department would review the code.
The applicant is willing to sign a legal document stating the home will be returned to a single family status when they sell the house. This could be put into the Resolution. The hearing was now closed to the public. Mr. Cirillo added the applicant should cut back the corner shrubs, as it poses a dangerous situation in the line-of-sight for cars. The Applicant said they will take care of that situation.
A vote was taken with the following stipulations to be stated in the Resolution: Authorization given to the Board Attorney to execute any necessary documents stating the agreement the 2-family status at this dwelling become single-family upon sale of the house and the Applicant must comply with all building and zoning codes. The motion to approve this application to resolution was made by Mr. Sica, 2nd by Ms. Bogus. All in favor: Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Sica, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Laurie, and Mr. Picerna.
Application #3-08, Metro PCS LLC, NY/Bramson, 201 So. 31st St., Block 178, Lot 6, addition of new antennas to an existing cell tower.
Ms. Simone Sinisi, of Price, Meese, Shulman, & D’Arminio, Woodcliff Lake, N. J., is the Attorney for Metro, PCS. Her client wants to co-locate six new antennas on an existing monopole, located at 201 South 31st Street. Four witnesses will testify for Metro.
Sworn in: Gary Musciano, Architect, 240 Cedar Knolls Road, Cedar Knolls, N. J.
His specialty is to design telecommunications infrastructure.
He said the monopole faces Schering-Plough, near the Parkway. It is 35’ deep, and 30’ above ground level. The surrounding 65’ tall trees that make the antennas on the 150’ monopole obscure. Metro proposes to add antennas at 140’ to the pole and four ground equipment cabinets. The installation will comply with all building codes, and the cabinets will be fenced and gated. Mr. Pantina asked if the compound can be accessed by the 10’ wide easement. Mr. Musciano said there is another access and turn around.
Sworn in: Daniel Penesso, 5 Skyline Drive, Hawthorne, N.Y. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering. He has testified in area towns. He said Metro is a new wireless network in the area, and similar to other carriers. They will have a “pay as you go” rate. The month-to-month contract bill can be paid in local stores. He displayed a map (exhibit A-5) that showed the cell tower coverage in Cranford, Union, and surrounding towns. Having antennas in Kenilworth will provide seamless cell phone coverage. Mr. O’Brien inquired about the antenna at nearby 1000 Galloping Hill Road. Mr. Penesso said this is not a “reliable area”, not having enough signal strength.
Sworn in: Mark Nidle, 14 Ridgedale Avenue, Cedar Knolls, N. J. He will witness as a Compliance expert. He referred to a report dated February 28, 2008 (exhibit A-6). It states that all carriers are required to comply with FCC regulations. Verizon and Sprint have antennas on the monopole. At maximum use, this monopole will be well below legal exposure levels. The carriers are licensed within certain “band-widths”.
Sworn in: David Karlebach, 38 E. Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood. N. J., a licensed Planner. He reviewed Mr. O’Brien’s’ report as well as all applications, and maps. He displayed photos of the site in various directions (exhibits A-7, 8, 9). The monopole is in the “I” zone. This requires a Use variance. The applicant suggested this is a “reasonable location” for Metro antennas. His client also needs a Height Variance; the antennas will top out at 142’. A 3’4” proposed side-yard side yard Variance is also required. There is limited space for the cabinets. Four trees are proposed along the edge of the compound. The six antennas will not change the visual site and will have no impact on the surrounding properties.
The Board Engineer agreed with Mr. Karlebach that the site plan waivers are justified.
The attorney for Metro said as a “condition of approval” the debris on the property will be cleaned up by the owners. Metro will comply with any State mandates (concerning the “affordable housing fees”.)
Sworn in: Kevin O’Brien, Planner for the Board. He referred to his report (exhibit B-1) and reviewed the necessary variances. He questioned the “structural integrity”, site lighting, site security (locks), and clean-up.
The 2.5% affordable housing fees stand. He recommended the cabinets and antennas must be removed within one year, upon abandonment of use.
An amended plan should be modified to show the setback should be measured to the equipment, not to the pad and one piece of equipment should be moved .As a result, a side-yard variance is not needed.
Mr. Musciano responded to Mr. O’Brien. He quoted an Engineering Solutions report, dated March 3, 2008 regarding the structural integrity: concluding it has adequate strength. Since Mr. O’Brien and Mr. O’Connor did not have a copy of this report, their review and acceptance of it would be subject to vote approval.
Regarding site lighting, additional 100 watt work lights (two floodlights), that face the equipment would be positioned on free-standing conduits. These should be shown on the plans, along with the above-mentioned change.
Regarding the fenced compound, a combination padlock should be placed on the gate. Also, the gate on the northern side must be locked. When the Metro gate becomes part of the compound, they will guarantee that gate will be locked. Mr. O’Brien said if, upon inspection, the gate is not locked, the client must agree to any fines imposed. He recommends a Borough official check the site for debris and security.
Mr. O’Connor said building permits are required and the client must meet safety structural requirements.
Sworn in: Mr. Richard O’Connor, Grotto Engineering, Board Engineer. He suggested his report of November 6, 2008 be marked as exhibit B-2. He said landscaping is appropriate and should be shown on the plans. Positive drainage should be achieved to the satisfaction of the Borough engineer. The landscaping and drainage must be on the revised plans.
Mr. Tripodi reviewed the conditions of approval, based on the approvals of the Borough Planner and Borough Engineer: 1. The applicant will remove all debris prior to installations. 2. The applicant must comply with the state mandate regarding fees for affordable housing (if the laws change, the applicant must also comply). 3. The equipment must be removed within one year following abandonment. 4. The plan will be amended regarding compliance with the 5’ setback. 5. The structural integrity report will be reviewed by the Borough Engineer and subject to his approval. 6. Switch able conduits with two floodlights must be shown on the plans. 7. The site will be secure, to the extent of their control. 8. The landscaping should be named on the plan, upon the Borough Engineers approval. 9. Modification of the plan must show positive drainage, upon approval of the Engineer. A bond is not necessary.
A motion to approve this application was made by Mr. Sica, 2nd by Mr. Pugliese.
All in favor: Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Sica, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Laurie, and Mr. Picerna.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
Janet M. Murphy, Planning Board Recording Secretary
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