Planning Board Minutes 1/12/2012
 

BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH

PLANNING BOARD RE-ORGANIZATION MEETING

JANUARY 12, 2012

Mr. Lepore started the meeting with an affirmation of the Open Public Meeting Act and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Pledge of Allegiance was led by Anthony Lepore.

Mayor Fiamingo made a motion to take a short adjournment in light of the fact that a few members of the Planning Board as well as the Borough Engineer and Planner may have thought the meeting starts at 7:30 instead of 7:00, seconded by Sal Candarella

Roll Call: A. Lepore, R. Picerno, M. Sica, Kathi Fiamingo, Sal Candarella, C. Zignauskas,  A. Manee, T.  Murphy.  

Motion was made by Sal Candarella, seconded by Rich Picerna to pay the Recording Secretary. All in favor.

Mr. Lepore turned the meeting over to Mayor Kathi Fiamingo.

SWEARING IN OF NEW MEMBERS: OATH OF PUBLIC OFFICE

The following officials were sworn in by Mayor Fiamingo:  Tony Lepore, Sal Candarella, Mr. Manee and Timothy Murphy.  

Mayor Fiamingo thanked everyone on the Planning Board for their willingness to serve on the Board and for being here tonight.  She said we have a lot of important things going on this year.

VOTING FOR BOARD OFFICIALS

Only class 4 members are eligible to run as Officers.

Motion was made by Mr. Sica to nominate Mr. Lepore as Board Chairman, seconded by

Rich Picerno.  All in favor. 

Mayor Fiamingo turned the meeting over to Mr. Lepore and he thanked the Board for their vote of confidence.

Motion was made by Mr. Sica to nominate Mr. Picerno as Vice-Chairman, seconded by Sal Candarella.  All in favor.

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo to nominate Ms. Bogus as Secretary, seconded by Sal Candarella.  All in favor.   

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Vote for Recording Secretary

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo to nominate Mrs. Janet Murphy as Recording Secretary, seconded by Mr. Picerno.  All in favor.  

Vote for Board Attorney

Motion was made by R. Picerno, seconded by Mr. Sica to nominate Mr. Nicholas Giuditta as Board Attorney.   All in favor.

Mr. Giuditta thanked the Board and said he enjoys working in Kenilworth and he appreciates the re-appointment. 

Vote for Town Planner

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo, seconded by Mr. Lepore to nominate Mr. Kevin O’Brien as Town Planner.   All in favor.

Mr. O’Brien thanked the Board and said it is a pleasure to work with Kenilworth.

Vote for Board Engineer

Motion was made by Mr. Picerno seconded by Mr. Sica to nominate Mr. Rich O’Connor as Board Engineer.   All in favor.

Approval of the 2012 Workshop and Regular Meetings Calendar

Mr. Lepore asked everyone if they received a copy of the 2012 Planning Board Meeting Dates? He said the meeting dates are the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:30 for the Work Shop and 8:00 for the Regular Board Meetings.  

Motion to approve the 2012 Planning Board Meeting dates was made by Rich Picerno, seconded by C. Zignauskas.  All in favor.

Mr. Lepore asked everyone to check their contact information on the list of 2012 Planning Board Members list. He said if anyone is not getting e-mails to please contact Janet Murphy so that she can update the list.

Communications

None

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RESOLUTIONS

Application #11-01 Minor Sub Division.

Motion to approve was made by Mr. Sica, seconded by Mr. Picerno.  Roll Call: Mr. Lepore voted yes, Mr. Picerno voted yes, Kathi Fiamingo voted yes, Sal Candarella voted yes, Mr. Sica voted yes, C. Zignauskas voted yes, Mr. Manee voted yes, Mr. Murphy voted yes.

Application #326 & 10-11 – Site Plan and Parking Variance

Motion to approve was made by S. Candarella, seconded by R. Picerno.  Roll Call: R. Picerno voted yes, S. Candarella voted yes, A. Lepore voted yes, M. Sica voted yes, K. Fiamingo voted yes and C. Zignauskas voted yes.

Motion was made by R. Picerno, seconded by M. Sica to go into the Work Shop Meeting. All in favor.  Mr. Lepore said they will resume the Regular Meeting at 8:00 PM.

Motion was made by R. Picerno, seconded by Mr. Sica to Open the Meeting to the public.  All in favor. 

Ms. Bogus, Mr. Pugliese and Mr. Cuppari arrived at 8:00 PM.

New Business

Application #325 & 8-11 - Site Plan and Variance for placement of 3 antennas & related equipment at an existing site.

Judy Fairweather representing Cingular Wireless came to the Planning Board for reconsideration of Application #326 and 10-11.  She said in reviewing her notes in the transcript there seemed to be a misunderstanding and she would like some clarification with the Board. She brought Mr. Peterson as an expert witness and she would like the Board to hear his credentials. She said her notes indicate the Board did not believe her engineer in regards to the energy output of the site.  She said you will see by Mr. Peterson’s credentials that he is an expert in that field.  She said he spent 20 years at Bell Labs testing the effect of radio waves on human tissue.  She said she would like to have Mr. Peterson sworn in, give his credentials and he will give testimony on the energy output and to answer any questions.

Kevin O’Brien and Rich O’Connor and Ron Peterson were sworn in by Attorney Nicholas  Giuditta.

Mr. Peterson said his background is in electrical engineering and electro physics. He has a Bachelor and Master of Science Degree from what was Brooklyn Poly Tech and is now Poly Tech University of New York. He was employed with Bell Labs in Murray Hill for 41 years and retired 10 years ago.  For the last 30 years at Bell Labs he worked in the Environmental Health and Safety Center where he managed the Wireless and Optical Technology Safety Department which is part of the Environmental Health and Safety Center. His group had corporate responsibility for all non-iodizing radiation issues which is radio frequency, optical lasers, etc. 

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He also served on the committees that developed the American National Standards upon which the FCC Safety guidelines are based.  He was on that committee since 1973 and he chaired it during the development of the latest standard which was published in 2005.  He also chaired the committee that developed the standard that is used by the FCC to certify compliance of cell phones and other hand-held telecommunication devices.

The Board accepted Mr. Peterson as an expert in radio frequency levels.

Ms. Fairweather asked Mr. Peterson if he viewed the antennas that are on the proposed site and Mr. Peterson replied yes.  She asked Mr. Peterson if he did a report doing calculations in regards to the antenna.  Mr. Peterson replied yes.  Ms. Fairweather said that will be marked as  Exhibit A-3 and she gave a copy to all Planning Board Members.

Ms. Fairweather asked Mr. Peterson to tell the Planning Board about the report  and the energy output of the proposed additional three antennas.

Mr. Peterson said he was provided with information for the site, the number of transmitters, the output power of the transmitters, the antenna type, the height of the antenna, the number of radio channels for each service and from that and the patterns for the antenna obtained from the manufacturers, he calculated what the maximum exposure would be anywhere in the vicinity of sight.  He said he has done this for what would be the site if it is approved and he also included the antennas that are existing on the site below the AT&T, T-Mobil and Nextel installations.  He said combining everything together the maximum signal strength anywhere that would normally have access to the public or people living nearby or at the Kenilworth Inn, would be less than 2% of the FCC Safety guidelines. He said if you include the antennas from T-Mobile and Nextel it would be less than 3% of the safety guidelines.  The safety guidelines are very conservative and they have a large safety factor built into them so this is a very small level.  He said over the years starting in 1978 when cellular was first proposed and it was undergoing field trials in Chicago and in Newark he had made countless measurements on different installations from towers to roof tops to antennas mounted on water tanks.  He said he continued to do this up until the time he left Bell Labs.  He said what he found was the values they calculated were always far higher than what were actually measured and the reason is because the measurements in the calculations are very conservative.  He said if there are any unknowns or uncertainties they always add them in the direction that is going to maximize the calculated value.  So while this says the maximum could be 3% of all the antenna’s operating at maximum power, if you were to go out and make measurements in these same places they have always found that the measured values were anywhere from 3 to 10 times lower than the calculated values so the levels are very low.  He said in most places where they have gone if you look through the whole spectrum you can find something else that is a lot higher whether it be a local FM Radio Station or AM Stations or TV transmitters.  He said it is a very low level and the reason it is low is because it’s only intent is to cover a very small area so that it doesn’t interfere with adjacent cells that are remote from the site. 

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Ms. Fairweather said on the other side of the Parkway are homes and she asked Mr. Peterson to address what kind of energy level would be used?  Mr. Peterson said the maximum occurs at 40 to 50 feet from the point directly below the antenna and the point across the Parkway would be far below 1% and probably below 1/10 of 1% of what the FCC guidelines are.  Mr. Peterson said you can compare this with the New Jersey guidelines because he serves on the Advisory Committee to the New Jersey Commission and Radiation Protection and they are much less conservative than the FCC.  He said it is 3% below the FCC limit but it is only .6% below the New Jersey limits.  The New Jersey limits have not changed since 1982 and they rely on the FCC for compliance of all licensed facilities and they only use their limits for work place exposures to industrial heating equipment and other things.

Mr. Picerno thanked Mr. Peterson for coming out and clearing up some of the issues.  He asked Mr. Peterson how many antennas are on the pole right now?  Mr. Peterson said there are six on the top and it looks like there are at least 6 and maybe three more from Nextel.  Mr. Picerno asked if Mr. Peterson proposed to put 3 antennas and Mr. Peterson said yes three on the top of the bill board so there would be 9 up there. Mr. Picerno asked Mr. Peterson if AT&T could come out with another device that can replace the existing six antennas and put three stronger antennas that would take the place of the six or is that not something that could happen in the future. Mr. Peterson said not that he is aware of because the problem is that there is such a demand for the spectrum  not only voice data but everything else and you cannot put to many channels on the same antenna without them interfering with each other.  He said he thinks the antenna companies would love to come up with something like that because if you could put up 3 antennas and cover the same area as you would with 9 or 12 then they would sell every one of them as quickly as they could make them but right now there is nothing like that. Mr. Picerno said that he thought the antennas that are there right now were servicing the 2G, 3G and this new one would service the 4G and would you still need these antennas to power the low grade phone?.  Mr. Peterson said yes there are still a lot of people that have the old phones that are 2G and 3G and you can’t just cut them out.  He said just like when they migrated from the original ones from the 1980’s, they kept one channel for analog phones and they have to keep on doing that.  He said he guesses that one of the problems is that technology keeps evolving.  He said AM/FM broadcast has not changed in decades but this is still fairly new and it keeps evolving and you can’t cut off the people that have not upgraded to a new device.  Mr. Picerno said he agrees and said he does not want to stop technology but he wants to be sure there is no alternative and no other means and to make sure the residents in Kenilworth and surrounding towns are safe.  Mr. Peterson said it is a good question and it is certainly something that we would like to see happening in the future where you could put everything on one antenna and have 3 sectors.  He said he is still in contact with the people in Bell Labs/Lucent and they are not aware of anything at this time.  He said eventually there will be smaller antennas and distributed systems where little cell sites will be everywhere but for the next several years it is not going to change.  Mr. Picerno said in reverse mathematics, your antennas are somewhat over calculated where you are never going to use that output anyway it is just there in case you need it and Mr. Peterson agreed.  Mr. Picerno asked if the area of most concern would be 40 to 50 feet at the direct approach?  Mr. Peterson said that is where the maximums usually occur.  He said he calculates them as 16 feet above grades so it would be representative of what the levels would be outside the second floor window of near-by homes.  He said if you could walk around with some device that measured the power density you would see that right below it

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would be very low and it peaks up, goes down and keeps oscillating but steadily decreasing. The other thing with the calculations is that not all the antennas have the maximum at the same distance from the base of the tower.  He assumes that they all do and he adds them all together so you get a value that is a lot higher so that if one is 100 ft. from the base of the antenna and one is 25 ft. he assumes they all occur at one spot so you get a much higher value then what it actually is.  He said it is typically around 25 to 100 ft. and years ago the higher towers at 150 feet the peaks were several hundred feet out from the base of the tower but for these antennas it is not, it’s much closer.  Mr. Picerno asked Mr. Peterson if he was telling him that he would be more at risk holding a cell phone to his ear then standing under the proposed tower?  Mr. Peterson said yes not only that but since you are holding the cell phone right against your head  the whole 2/10 of the watt goes right into the head.  Mr. Picerno said that Mr. Peterson cleared up a lot of his questions.

Mr. Lepore asked if anyone on the dais had any more questions for Mr. Peterson.  MM  J

Ms. Fairweather said at the last meeting the Civil Engineer testified regarding the structure that would hold the antennas. 

Mr. O’Brien said that the applicant last time agreed that should the application be approved, the structural calculations would be given to the Borough.  Mr. O’Brien said the Board can impose reasonable conditions if they so wish. 

Motion was made by R. Picerno, seconded by M. Sica to Open the Meeting to the Public.  All in favor.

Comments by the Public

No comments.

Mr. O’Brien said tonight was a bit unusual for the Planning Board because this is an opening of a case that has already been decided.  Under certain circumstances a hearing can be opened if an applicant feels there is new or different testimony that had not been covered in the course of the original application.  He said Ms. Fairweather is here this evening presenting what she believes is different testimony that was not addressed in the course of last month’s application and it is up to her to show the Board that the testimony is substantial and it is compelling enough to make you vote in a different manner on this application.  None the less they have to prove their case from a land use prospective and that is a D Variance which requires the super majority of 5 affirmative votes regardless how many sitting members there are and they have got to show that there is special reasons that would allow this application to be granted.  They also have to show that it meets the positive criteria, which it meets by virtue of their FCC license and that it meets the negative criteria which is usually done through a finding of the sica balancing test which Marty has taught us very well over the years whereas the applicant will identify public interest that is at stake and the Board can impose reasonable conditions to mitigate any negativity that is seen in the course of the application.  So it is up to them to show  to you and  if they have shown that to you in the course of this presentation this evening, coupled with what was said at the last hearing then it is up to the Board to impose reasonable conditions.  He said should you be inclined to pass the application it would be with the conditions that were mentioned at the last hearing, which were to repaint the existing bollards,

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clean up around and behind the enclosure, replace and augment area landscaping, provide appropriate emergency and identification signage and to provide the structural calculations to the Borough Engineer and Construction Department. Mr. Lepore asked if there was something in there about security? Ms. Fairweather said there is more than one gate and they only have access to their gate and as a condition of approval it will always be kept locked.  Mr. O’Brien said we will send a communication to our Zoning Officer to instruct them to investigate the site and make sure this was locked up and if not, to inform the applicant. Mr. Picerno asked with respect to the conditions providing structural calculations would that be one of conditions before the motion would be approved? Mr. O’Brien said that is up to the Board.  He said you can demand it before hand or you can ask for it later but you have had testimony on the record stating that this facility has the structural capability of handling what they are proposing.  Mr. O’Connor has not objected to that or given any wariness about it.   Mr. O’Connor said it would be more typical that structural calculations would be submitted to the Borough as part of Building and Permit fees.  Mr. O’Brien said they would not be able to put the antenna up on the structure unless or until those calculations are provided.  He said if you were to approve it with that as a contingency, it could not happen unless those calculations were provided to the Construction Department and if the Construction Department said it is not going to work then it is not going to go up, it has to meet code because that rules everything that we do.

Ms. Fairweather said all the conditions are fine but her only question is in regard to additional landscaping because there is blacktop in front of it and behind it is the Parkway with fencing so she is not quite sure about what additional landscaping is needed.  Mr. O’Brien said they will be more than willing to work with the applicant.

Mr. Picerno said he knows the pole is shared with T-Mobile and Nextel but he asked who maintains the pole like painting it, cleaning it, etc.?  Ms. Fairweather replied the company that owns the actual billboard is responsible and  she said each carrier is responsible for maintaining their own antennas and to maintain the area  getting to their equipment in a standard that is acceptable in the industry to be safe.. Mr. Picerno said so the people who maintain the LED signs are responsible for the pole and Ms. Fairweather responded yes and each carrier is responsible for their own equipment.

Mr. Lepore said he believes a letter will be sent out to the owners to take care of that problem and since it is an enforcement thing it will be sent out through the Zoning Officer. .

Mr. O’Brien said in terms of maintaining the area that is not owned by the applicant he said the applicant will send a letter to the owner requesting that they keep the area clean around the applicant’s area because the applicant does not own the area.  He said the Board, nor the Zoning Officer can compel an applicant to clean an area that they do not own or lease. Ms. Fairweather said she will make sure the Board Attorney is cc’d on the letter.

Mr. Giuditta said everyone on the dais can vote except Mr. Pugliese who was not here for the application.  He said Alternates #1 & #2 who were here will be voting.

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Motion was made by Mr. Picerno, seconded by M. Bogus to approve the antenna with the reasonable conditions set forth by Mr. O’Brien.  Roll Call: A. Lepore voted yes, R. Picerno voted yes, M. Bogus voted yes, A. Cuppari voted yes, Mr. Sica voted yes, Mr. Zignauskas voted yes and A. Manee voted yes.

Mr. Picerno thanked Ms. Fairweather for coming back so graciously to clarify the things that had him puzzled and for assuring him that the residents in Kenilworth will be safe.

Adjournment   The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Motion was made by Mr. Picerno to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Bogus to adjourn the meeting.  All in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen J. Moschitta

Temporary Planning Board Recording Secretary



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