Planning Board Minutes from 5/28/2009
 

Borough of Kenilworth

 May 28, 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. Pantina, Ms. Bogus, Mayor Fiamingo, Councilman Candarella, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Sica, Mr. Laurie, Mr. Picerna, and Mr. Cammarota.  NOTE: Mayor, councilmen, and mayors-designee are not eligible to vote on Board of Adjustment matters.

Communications:  Ms. Bogus said there were no communications to report.

New Business:  Application #308 & 2-09,Townsquare Land Holding/Consolidated Steel & Alum Fence Co, 316 N. 12th Street, Block 9, Lot 1, Site Plan & Variance/ exceeding Maximum lot coverage.  Mr. Stephen Hale is the attorney representing this client.  He said the client wants to place a small addition to the building in the rear of the property, (approximately 2,500 sq. ft.)  Requests of the engineer for fencing and other improvements will be met by the applicant.

Sworn in:  Mr. O’Brien, Board Planner.  He showed three areas of the site as exhibits. 

 Sworn in: Mr. John DeRosa, co-owner of Consolidated Fence.  His company, which has been at this site for 39 years, manufactures, ships, and installs fencing in N. J., N.Y., and Pa.   The purpose for the addition is to have the Welding in one area.  This will increase the room for the other aspects of the company in the main building.  There will be no increase in employees.  The fence company is open five days a week. He will replace the fencing along Lafayette Street, add buffering along 11th Street, clean up debris, and remove a partial shed prior to building the new addition.  Parking is on 11th and 12th streets.

Mr. Herbert said residents are concerned about the present lack of property maintenance, and asked if he is willing to place hi-buffered greens and, as a condition of resolution, improve ongoing maintenance of this property.  Mr. DeRosa agreed.  Mr. Cirillo said the parking situation is very bad by N. 12th Street, and the present condition of the property is not well maintained.  Mr. Pantina said, without buffers, neighbors can view the ill-maintained property.  He asked if the yard could be cleaned up to provide extra parking spaces for employees.  Mr. DeRosa said spaces could be added along the Lafayette side of his property line. 

Sworn in:  Mr. Robert Freud, Licensed Engineer.  He produced exhibit A-1, a copy of the site plan.  The office is a 2-story building with 11 parking spaces off 12th Street.  The office is about 2,000 Square feet (a fabrication building).  There is small building off the northwest side, and the addition will be off the south side of that building.  The site is located in the Industrial zone and boarders on an R-3 zone on the south end of the property.  With the proposed addition, leaders will be discharged into the sewer system. 

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There are eleven parking spaces off 12th Street for the office staff.  There are street parking spaces along Lafayette Avenue.  There are several non-glare area lights for security.  The loading area (south building) is not specific, and needs a waiver.  The back of the property is gravel, and it will not be paved.  There is curbing along 12th Street.  Two variances are requested:  35 parking spaces are required now and 40 spaces will be required with the new addition, based on the square footage of the manufacturing area.  The actual operation and number of employees require fewer parking spaces.  About 85% of the area is impervious coverage, if the packed gravel is considered impervious.   If the gravel could be considered pervious, the area of impervious coverage would be less than 49%, and would not need a variance.  Mr. O’Brien’s’ report requires cleaning up the property, providing additional buffering, and adding slated fencing. 

Mr. Pantina asked if the 32 required parking spots could be added.  This would reduce the storage area of the lot.  The attorney said an additional five head-on spaces may be added by the fence line.  These could be shown on the plan, but not delineated on the gravel.  Parking signage could be added.  Mr. Herbert said very few additional vehicles go through the property.  Mr. O’Brien said the street was filled with cars when he visited the area.    Sworn in:  Les Trible, architect.  He produced exhibit A-2, depicting the proposed structure.  It will be made of the same materials as the existing building.  Sworn in:  Jack Szpara, a neighbor.  He has lived near this business for fifteen years.  He passed around pictures showing excessive overgrowth and general disrepair (lunch garbage, oil, chemicals, bottles and refuse).  There is loud music and vulgarity coming from the workers.  Parking is impossible on his street. Trucks cannot back-up on 11th Street by the loading dock.  Mr. Lepore said the applicant has promised buffers and general clean-up of their property.  Mr. Cirillo suggested this neighbor keep the borough officials notified of any future lack of maintenance.   Mr. O’Brien’s issues have been addressed (reports B-1 and B-2).  Sworn in:  Mr. Richard O’Connor, Borough engineer.  He asked the applicant for the following: a drainage report, that the loading space be properly striped, and to provide a landscaping plan.  A motion to approve this application (with the concerns of the planner and engineer addressed) was made by Mr. Herbert, 2nd by Mr. Sica.  All in favor:  Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Sica, Mr. Herbert, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Lepore, Councilman Candarella, and Mayor Fiamingo. 

Mr. Lepore made a motion to hear Application #09-01 next.  The mayor, councilman, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Sica, and Mr. Cirillo are recused.  The two alternates are asked to vote.

Application # 09-01, Borough of Kenilworth/Grotto Engineering, RE: lots by Black Brook Park, Block 15, Lot 5, a Major sub-division: 7 lots in an R-2 zone

Mr. Harvey Fruchter is the Attorney for the Borough.  Sworn in:  Mr. Brian Joho, Chairman of the Finance Committee.  He said the Council suggested this surplus parcel of land should be used to generate revenue for the Borough.  The property should have a value of 1.5 million dollars.  Although Borough expenses were reduced, additional revenue is needed.

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 Sworn in:  Mr. O’Connor, Grotto Engineering.  He said the site (formerly known as the Girl Scout property) is about one acre (200’ x 225’), south of Black Brook Park.  It is an R-1 zone, and the proposed sub-division (plan A-1) would consist of seven lots.  The requested variance is for two of the lots that would be undersized at 50’ wide.  Two other lots would require side yard variances.  He said it is inherent and beneficial to the area.

Sworn in:  Mr. Kevin O’Brien, planner.  He said the plan meets the character of the neighborhood.  Sworn in:  Mr. Michael Ramos, 334 N. 18th Street.  He wanted to know where the money would go.  Mr. Lepore said this hearing was for a sub-division, not to decide where the profits would go.  The Council will sell the sub-divided properties.  Sworn in:  Dennis Hoag, neighbor.  He questioned why there was not an open forum when the proposed sub-division was decided.  Mr. Lepore said it was addressed at the Council meeting.  A motion to approve this application was made by Mr. Laurie, 2nd by Mr. Pugliese.  All in favor:  Mr. Pugliese, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Lepore, Mr. Laurie, and Mr. Picerna. 

The Mayor and Councilman left the meeting, since they cannot vote on the remaining applications. 

Application #307 & 1-09, Hartmann, RE:  530 N. Michigan Ave., Block 3, Lot 2, a Site Plan and Use Variance/ retail business (landscaping supplies) in an Industrial zone.

The attorney for Mr. Hartmann said the applicant made some revisions to comply with the requests of the planner and engineer.  The proposed garden center will be an improvement to this site.  Sworn in:  Mr. O’Brien and Mr. O’Connor.  They provided photos and reports.  Sworn in:  Mr. John Hartmann, 26 Brasser Lane.  He wants to lease the property (presently vacant) to a wholesale supply store for landscaping material.  It will provide bulk materials, picked up and delivered by small trucks.  There will be a 6’ fence to buffer the area to hide the organic bulk storage at the rear of the property.  The parking in front will be sufficient.  A modular office (50’ x 14’) will have 3 employees.  The office will be open Monday through Saturday; from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees will park in the rear of the site. Mr. Pantina requested this parking be shown on the site plan.   The comments of the planner and engineer were reviewed.  No chemicals will be stored.  Dump trucks will deliver materials to the site.  Mr. Laurie is concerned about the flow of traffic.  He suggested placement of circulation signs (and to make this a condition of resolution), to prevent backing-out into the flow of traffic.  Mr. Herbert suggested an exit sign: “Right turn only” onto Michigan Avenue.  Mr. Cirillo questioned the possibility of the presence of hazardous materials (such as underground tanks).  The applicant will investigate and supply this information to the engineer.  Mr. Pantina said since a site plan waiver is requested, the applicant should update the survey.  Mr. O’Connor said the zone laws require paved parking, and stone requires a variance.  Mr. Pantina suggested the possibility of this application being bi-furcated.  Sworn in:  Mr. Andrew Podberezniak, architect.  He said the parking spaces will be on stone including an ADA approved   Handicapped space.  Mr. Pantina said the plan should graphically demonstrate the turn-around area of trucks and employee parking spaces.  The architect showed the number of bins, the office, and the refuse area.  Landscaping will be across the front.

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 A frontal parking variance is requested; other businesses on Michigan Avenue have front parking.  Curb stops and signage could be provided.  Mr. O’Brien, Board planner, said only the front parking area should be paved.  Mr. O’Connor suggested the applicant must grade and maintain the stones (to provide for positive drainage) as part of the resolution. 

The attorney for the applicant said this business fits into the neighboring area.  A previous trucking terminal had more vehicular traffic.  Mr. O’Brien is in favor of a fully paved front parking area. It will add to the aesthetics of Michigan Avenue. Mr. Lepore agreed.  Mr. Sica is in favor of stone frontage.  Mr. Herbert suggested as a condition of resolution the parking spaces must be delineated.  The Board Attorney said the applicant agreed to pave the front spaces, if required by the Board.  Mr. O’Brien said a present 3’ wall is not shown on the site plan, and lo-voltage timed landscape lighting is not shown either. The applicant asked the Board for a waiver of a formal site plan, as well as a use variance.  The following are the conditions of resolution:  Amend the plan to: designate the rear area employee parking, the signage of traffic flow, the signage of parking, paving in front parking area, and additional landscaping and lighting must be shown on the plan.  In addition, the applicant must maintain stone area for positive drainage and soil conservation, submit a summary drainage report, and any environmental issues are to be addressed as well as obtain the necessary approval of the county.  All issues are subject to the review and approval of the engineer. Mr. Pantina stated site plans should always be finalized prior to Board approval being granted.  The engineer said it is up to the Board if they wish to grant the waiver for the formal site plan.  A motion to approve this application, with the above stipulations, was made by Mr. Herbert, 2nd by Mr. Cirillo.  All in favor:  Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Sica, Mr. Herbert, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Lepore.

Application #4-09, Laversa, 30 N. 18th Street, Block 54, Lot 11, a variance/ two-family in an R-2 zone.  Mr. Herbert is recused.  Sworn in:  Mr. Joe Laversa, Jr., speaking in behalf of his uncle.  He is proposing a duplex, and wants a use variance in a single family zone.  A 16’7” frontage is now present, where 25’ is required.  Other single family and two family houses exist in this area.  The lot is 75’ x 100’ and can accommodate a duplex.  Mr. Pantina said any structure must meet the 25’ setback.  Mr. Cirillo said this is a single family zone and it should remain a one family zone.  A motion to approve this application was made by Mr. Sica, 2nd by Ms. Bogus.  All in favor:  Mr. Sica, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Lepore, Mr. Laurie, and Mr. Picerna.  Opposed:  Mr. Cirillo and Mr. Pantina.

Comments for the Good of the Board: Progress on the Master Plan:   Mr. Lepore said the Master Plan committee had the first meeting.  The committee will discuss specifics at the June 17 meeting.  The suggestions will be presented to the Council and to the Planning Board at a future meeting.  There is a possibility of a town meeting to get suggestions from the public.  The Plan will be addressed one section at a time.  The following are the committee members:  Regina Hrynkowitcz, John Beninati, Bob Laurie, Sal Candarella, Fred Pugliese, Tony Lepore, and 3 community members.

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 Mr. Herbert, as zoning officer, would like to be notified of the dates the committee plans to present suggestions to the Council.  The committee has an agenda and a target date for the public portion in October. 

Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary



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