Planning Board Minutes from 02/22/2007

Borough of Kenilworth

Planning Board Minutes

February 22, 2007

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meetings Act requirements and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

A motion to accept Mr. Wm. Lane, Esq. as Planning Board Attorney was made by Mr. Soos, 2nd by Mr. Beninati.  All in favor.  Mr. Lane took the Oath of Public Office and was sworn in as the Planning Board Attorney later during the meeting.  The minutes of February 22, 2007 were approved.  Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary and the Board Attorney.

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

Communications:  Mr. Beninati stated for public record that he had the following communications regarding Application #300 (Brahmatt/Neri):  two letters from Mr. Harvey Fruchter, Attorney for Neri (dated 2/ 5/ 2007 and 2/11/2007), two letters from Mr. Thomas Romans, Attorney for the Kenilworth Inn (dated 2/1/2007 and 2/20/2007), and Berenson Capital, LLC (dated 1/24/2007.

Regarding Application #297, Union Baptist Church, he has a letter from Ragut McCarthy LLC (dated 1/25/2007). 

Regarding Application #275, Paparato, two letters were received from the PMK Group (dated 2/7/2007 and 2/21/2007). 

All communications were distributed to the Board Members.

Resolutions:  Application #34-06, Cuppari, 103 So. 25th Street, Block 139, Lot 15, Variance for a 2nd floor addition and a deck.  A motion to approve this resolution was made by Mr. DeLuca, 2nd by Mr. O’Malley.  All in favor:  Mr. Deluca, Mr. Beninati, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Schielke.

Application #300, Brahmatt/Neri, 131 So. 31st Street, Block 179, Lots 4 and 5.  The attorney for this application has requested the Board to reopen the hearing for the Use Variance, prior to adopting the Resolution from the January meeting.  Mr. Lane explained only the Regular members are allowed to vote on Use variances.  At the January meeting only six members (who were allowed to vote) were present; a vote was taken to deny this Use, three members approved of denial, three members voted against this motion.  This motion failed.  A second motion was made to grant the Use; four members voted in favor, two voted against this motion.  Five affirmative votes were necessary to pass a Use variance, so this was denied.  The applicant, Mr. Neri, asked for re-consideration before the vote to approve the Resolution for Denial was taken.  Mr. Romans objected by saying this is not a permitted practice.  Mr. Lane said reconsiderations have been allowed, in a few cases.  Mr. Cirillo is concerned that this re-consideration may set a precedent for future application denials. 

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A simple majority vote would give this applicant another chance to appear before the Board.  Only the six members who voted in February could vote for re-consideration of this application.  Mr. Michitsch, one of the original voters, is not present at this meeting.

 Mr. Fruchter, attorney for Mr. Neri, said Mr. Butler (the prior attorney) did not thoroughly explain why the use variance should be granted. The present Industrial Use would be detrimental to this “gateway” area.  There was no discussion about bifurcation of the application.  He said every court has a right to re-consider before the final decision (in this case, the adoption of the Resolution).  This Board has nothing in their ordinances that prohibits reconsideration.  This proposal was noticed to all within a 200’ area as well as published in the local paper. 

Mr. Lane suggested to Mr. Fruchter: if the Board grants reconsideration, a “condition of approval” would be to have another hearing within sixty days. 

Mr. Romans said the applicant had ten months to address several questionable issues.  Unless there is an issue of fraud or deceit, there should not be a reconsideration of this application.  The previous Board Attorney explained the Board would be voting on the Use variance, therefore the reconsideration should not be granted due to a possible mistake.  Mr. Romans asked the Board to memorialize the Resolution for Denial. 

Mr. Furchter stated that traffic and access to the property has no bearing on voting for the Use variance.  Mr. Lane said if there is a “mistake” or “new evidence”, the Board could grant reconsideration.  Even if the Board reconsiders their decision, the applicants’ future request for the use change could be denied.  Mr. Beninati made a motion to allow reconsideration.  There was no second to the motion.

 The vote for Resolution for Denial proceeded.  Mr. O’Malley voted to memorialize the resolution for denial.  This Resolution is memorialized.

New Business:  Application #30-06, Pellino, 170 S. Michigan Avenue, Block 132, Lot 9, Variances for an addition and a deck on a corner lot.  Sworn in:  Mrs. Gina Pellino.  She had changes made to the architectural plans, since her last appearance in August.  There was a mistake on the original plans.  The original survey shows 13’6” from the front and 13’4” from the rear of the property lines.  The proposed porch would 5’ closer to the property line.  Mr. Soos said the elevation of 30’ is not shown on the blueprints, as required by the building code.  Mr. David Dugasz, Fords, N. J., Architect, said the roof pitch would be 29’ high, and would not exceed the 30’ requirement.   The variance relief is required for the front and side yard setbacks.  The second floor addition would not increase the present first floor structure setbacks.  The proposed side porch would increase the side setback.

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 The applicant would be willing to bifurcate the application: one vote for the side porch and one for the addition only.  A motion was made by Mr. Schielke to approve the three present existing, non-conforming setbacks for the addition, and to deny the proposed side porch. The motion was 2nd by Mr. O’Malley.  All in favor:  Mr. David, Mr. DeLuca, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Soos, Mr. Corcione, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Schielke.

Application # 36-06,  Maas, 622 Summit Avenue, Block 150. Lot 33, a variance for a front yard setback for a porch with a roof.  Sworn in: Ms. Dianne Maas.  She said the eves on her front porch are sinking.  She is requesting a roof over the existing 66” x 72” porch and open sides.  She wants to repair the existing step, but not expand it.  The porch roof would not extend beyond the steps.  The present not-conforming stoop creates a 19’6” setback.  Mr. Mancino questioned the Borough why it was necessary for this applicant to request a variance.  Mr. David stated: an attached overhang is considered an extension of the façade.  Mr. Lane said the code official requires approval of the Planning Board to construct the roof.  A motion to approve this application to resolution was made by Mr. Beninati, 2nd by Mr. Soos.  All in favor:  Mr. David, Mr. DeLuca, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Soos, Mr. Corcione, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Schielke. 

Application #303,  United Fire Protection Corporation, 1 Mark Road, Lot 17, Block 2, a Site Plan and alterations application.  Mr. David was recused.  Sworn in:  Mr. Joseph Paparo, Attorney, Heil & Heil, Esq...   He said a prior application (#296) was approved for the site plan and variances.  His client is requesting an amendment to that approval.  He has reviewed the Board engineers’ requests.  In addition to amended Site Plan approval, United Fire Protection Corporation is seeking a parking variance.  (71 spaces required, 34 previously approved, 30 spaces requested).  Sworn in:  Mr. Joseph Savino, representative of United Fire Protection.  Currently, there are twenty-two employees, with a future expansion of eight more.  There are no “walk-in” customers.  Thirty spaces are sufficient.  PMK engineers made a comment about storage of “hazardous” materials.  Mr. Savino six propane tanks will be removed when the HVAC system is completed.  There are no hazardous other materials on the property.  PMK Group also cited a possible need for an oil/water separator.  Mr. Savino said there is no need for that, as truck delivery is less than once a month and other small deliveries are made by UPS.  Sworn in:  Mathew Neuls, professional engineer at Harbor Consultants.  He displayed exhibits of the parking spaces, a grassy area (originally to be paved) and a modification to the handicapped grading.  There are two drainage modifications.  Mr. Paparo made a reference to PMK suggestions of February 1, 2007.  Regarding refuse storage (item #3Z), it will be stored inside.  The sewerage is sufficient, and will comply with the County drainage requirements.  The proper number of bollards will be provided for sufficient protection.  Footings of fence posts will be addressed.  A handicapped ramp and railings will be installed in front.  Handrails for the stairways will be provided.  The area on Columbia Avenue will be paved. 

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Mr. Swayze, Board Engineer, said he would approve of making his letter as part of the Resolution.  Detail will be provided for the driveway.  Regarding Engineers’ note #14, an oil/water separator device is not necessary, since the enclosed loading area will not receive additional water run-off.  Item #16 deals with the changing grade.  There is a breakaway flange is above grade, causing this item to not be an issue.  Item #17 deals with the ramp slope with handrails, and will be constructed according to state code.  Mr. Swayze is satisfied with these answers.  Open engineering issues can be part of the Resolution.  Item #14 agrees with the applicant and does not apply. 

Sworn in:  Mr. Frank Savino, president of United Fire Protection Corporation.  Some extinguishing agents are stored, and are all non-flammable, non-combustibles.  United Fire complies with OSHA regulations, and they are insured, and will comply with all building codes.  Mr. Beninati made a motion to accept this application to Resolution, abiding with the PMK letters and fire codes (eliminating oil/water separator, PMK Item #14).  Mr. DeLuca 2nd the motion.  All in favor:  Mr. DeLuca, Mr. Beninati, Mr. Soos, Mr. Corcione, Mr. O’Malley, Mr. Cirillo, Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Schielke.  Opposed:  Mr. Mancino.

Other Business:  Mr. Cirillo said that he, Mr. Soos, Mr. Dick, Mr. Beninati, attended this years’ Planning Board Workshop.  He said the workshop discouraged Site Review Committees that meet with the applicants.  Mr. Lane said any outside influences could “taint” the Board’s decisions, but publicized meetings could be arranged.  Mr. Mancino asked if Mr. Lane could review the bye-laws.  Prior to this year, the last approval of the Master Plan was in 1997.  Mr. Swayze said any roads that need to be made wider should be stated in the Master Plan.  If poles must be moved because of roadway widening, and it is not in the Master Plan, the Borough must pay for that extra expense, instead of the Utility Company.  Mr. Lane will be given the bye-laws.  Mr. Mancino said the Resolution for Application #34-06 (Cuppari) lacked many of the items that were discussed at the meeting.  Mr. Cirillo said the Board must be more careful in the future.  Mr. Soos said the reasons for denials should be stressed.  Other issues were discussed concerning inspections.

A motion to adjourn was made at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary

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