Planning Board Minutes 4/22/2010

Planning Board

Borough of Kenilworth

April 22, 2010

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meetings Act N: 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 Board approved the March 25, 2010 minutes.  Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary.


Roll Call:  Present: Mr. Lepore,  Ms. Bogus, Mr. Sica, Mr. Manee, Mr. Cuppari, and Mr. Cammarota. (Mr. Pugliese and Mr. Picerno arrived later).

Absent:  Mr. Pantina, and Mr. Murphy

Communications:  Ms. Bogus had no communications to report.

Resolutions:  Application #1-10, Ben-Ed Building Corporaton, RE: 158 N. 8th St., Block 158, Lot 3,  Variance – Apartments in an Industrial Zone on 2nd floor of an Office/Industrial Building.

A motion to approve this Resolution was made by Mr. Cuppari, 2nd by Mr. Sica.  All in favor: Mr. Cuppari and Mr. Sica.

Application #09-06 & #15-09, Paparatto Construction Co., 17 & 19 S. 21st St., Block 115, Lots 20 & 21, Use Variance – two 2-family homes in Local/Commercial zone.

A motion to approve this Resolution was made by Mr. Sica, 2nd by Ms. Bogus.  All in favor: Mr. Lepore, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Sica, Mr. Pugliese, and Mr. Cuppari.

New Business:  Application #312, Scott Van Pelt, RE: 120 Market St., Block 131, Lot 1, Minor Site Plan/ Cheerleading School in Industrial zone.

Mr. Tripodi, Board Attorney, said Mr. Van Pelt is the contract purchaser, not Central Phase Reality.  This is a minor site plan.

Sworn in: Mr. Jack Van Pelt.  Mr. Cammarota said the application conforms to the defination of “minor site plan”.  Mr. Tripodi said a resolution will memorialize this approval.  Any addition to the building would require a formal review by the Planning Board.

A motion to approve this site plan was made by Ms. Bogus, 2nd by Mr. Manee.  All in favor: Mr. Lepore, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Sica, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Manee, Mr. Cuppari, and Mr. Cammarota.

Application # 309, Lievre, RE: 522 B Boulevard, Block 82, Lot 6, Site Plan and Parking variance – a cooking school in a Commercial zone.  Mr. Cammarota was recused. Sworn in: Mr. Philip Lievre and Mr. George Maldonado, 117 No. 6th Avenue, (who assisted Mr. Lievre).

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Mr. Lievre wants to open a cooking school on the Boulevard.  Mr. Maldanado said the school will be an asset to the community.  Mr. Lievre will be the only instructor and will have a no more than four to six students a session.  The hours will be Monday through Saturday, from 9 am. to 1 pm. daily, and again at 6 pm. to  9 pm.   He would like to have a bench and table in front of the school.  It will not be a restaurant, but the students will taste the results of their lessons. 

Mr. Tripodi said permits must be taken out as needed and, since it involves food, the Board of Health must also inspect.  Mr. Maldonado said the improvements will only be cosmetic.

 The meeting was opened to the public.

Mr. Tripodi reviewed the relief to be granted; the cooking school is a conditional use, and because there is a pre-existing condition, a use variance is needed.  Because it is a pre-existing building, the following reliefs are waived: a minimum front yard and side yard setback, maximum lot and building coverage.  The Board is waiving the Site Plan, since everything is existing (grandfathered). 

A motion to approve this application was made by Mr. Sica, 2nd by Mr. Picerno.  All in favor: Mr. Lepore, Mr. Picerno, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Sica, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Manee, and Mr. Cuppari. 

Appeal by Mr. Kelly, 10 Market Street, Block 179, Lot 6, to reverse the decision of the zoning officer (Mr. Herbert), concerning Ord. #197-55 and #197-60F (an area not zoned to park certain vehicles).

Mr. Howard Berger is the attorney for Mr. Kelly.

Sworn in : Mr. Joseph Kelly, 28 Oberlin Street, Maplewood. 

Mr. Berger said Ord. #197-60F prohibits the parking of (disabled, unregistered, or unfit for transportation) vehicles exceeding 30 days, unless they are stored inside a building.  He believes the intended use of this statute is to prevent the storage of “junk cars”.  The vehicles, in this case, are not disabled, unregistered, or unfit.  They are registered car-transport carriers.  He gave pictures of the vehicles as evidence.  Mr. Berger said the building was formerly a manufacturing facility, and is currently closed. The building is for sale.  The owners are currently leasing a part of the property to the transport carriers.  These carriers are on their way to dealers, and they occupy the area overnite.  This income is the only source of income that enables the owners to pay the taxes on this property.  The denial was based on the premise that some of the vehicles on the carrier were removed from the transporter, and left on the lot for a short period of time, and put back onto the carrier.  After Mr. Herberts’ objection, the vehicles remained on the carrier.  Mr. Berger is not sure why the zoning officer denied the registered transport vehicles to park on the property.  Mr. Herbert said the vehicles were being stored on “state property”.  Mr. Berger researched the ownership of the parking area. 

Mr. Kelly said he purchased the property from the Railroad, and  it is under municipal jurisdiction.  Attorney Fruchter said he had a title search, and did not find it was state-owned. 

Mr. Cammarota asked if  the applicant is the tenant or owner.  The owner rents part of the building to Metro and also part of the parking area.

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Sworn in: Mr. Herbert, zoning official.  He displayed a tax map for Block 179, lots 5,6,&7.  He also had some photos.  Mr. Kelly purchased property from Mr. Joe Neri.  The lot in question is bordering state property. 

Mr. Herbert showed photos of  signs saying “state property, no dumping” in the area.  He does not remember telling Mr. Kelly it would be okay to park the cars, even if they remained on the carrier.  Mr. Herbert believes the cars on the carrier would be considered “unregistered”, since there are no tags on them.  In addition, vandals go through the parked cars;  He believes this could be a fire hazard.  He gave the attorney photos of the area in question, and they were marked as exhibits.  Mr. Herbert observed the vehicles in question are parked behind the building, part of which is state property.  Mr. Berger asked if that is state property, the municipality would have no jurisdiction.  Mr.Kelly said both the zone map and site plan are out-of-date. Mr. Kelly can provide the new survey.  He said the Garden State Parkway does not own the property.  Mr. Berger said the applicant owns the property, and it is subject to the municipal rules.  State property would not be subject to the local ordinances. 

Mr. Herbert said the ordinance is “ambiguous”; this law prohibits parking “ unregistered or unfit” vehicles for more than 30 days.  He considers this to be a continuous daily use of parked unregistered vehicles (although they do leave and return daily).  The same truck carrier is in constant use.  He said if the Board decides to overturn his interpretation, he suggested they ask the applicant to improve the lot and upgrade the lighting.  He said unregistered and uninsured vehicles must be stored inside. 

Mr. Pugliese said the cars should be under the insurance of the carriers.  Mr. Herbert said this (space rented by the carrier company) would be considered a “business”, and the carrier owner should have applied for a zone application.  He would then require the owner to fix the potholes and improve the lighting. 

Mr. Berger said the vehicle on the municipal property is a registered, licensed carrier (regardless of the cargo on the vehicle).  As long as the cars remain on the carrier, they are not subject to the required registration. 

Mr. Kelly said the pictures Mr. Herbert presented are over a year old.  Since then, the vehicles did remain on the carriers.  Mr. Kelly said 90% of the vehicles are new cars, none of which stay longer than one or two days.  Mr. Sica said this is in an Industrial zone, and large vehicles would not be permitted to park in any other zone.  Mr. Herbert said other trucking outfits applied for a C.O.  In this case, there is no documentation of an application.  Mr. Cammarota said this is a “storage of vehicles”, in his opinion.  He agrees the intent of the ordinance was to prevent storage of junk vehicles. 

The Board Attorney read the Ordinance to the Board.  Mr. Picerno asked Mr. Kelly why he would not obtain the proper zone application.  Mr. Herbert said the trucking company should apply to the town for permission to open a business.  He mentioned the only access to the parking area is via an easement of the state railroad property.  Mr. Pugliese suggested the carrier owner apply for a business license.  Mr. Berger said no one told Mr. Kelly to apply for a business license; he did not know this was needed.  Mr. Herbert denied a zone appeal in February, and Mr. Kelly did not want to go for a variance.

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 He does have the right to appear before the board for a variance.  Mr. Kelly did not realize he needed a permit to park vehicles.  Mr. Berger said the carrier office is out of the home.

Mr. Lepore said the Board must decide if Mr. Herbert made a correct interpretation, based on his two citations.  A motion to deny the appeal was made by Mr. Percerno 2nd by Mr. Cammarota.  All in favor or the denial made by Mr. Herbert:  Mr. Lepore, Mr. Picerno, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Sica, Mr. Cuppari, and Mr. Cammarota.  Opposed:  Mr. Pugliese and Mr. Manee. 

Mr. Kelly has the right to come in for a use variance. 

The Board had a five minute break, and went into a Closed Session. 

At 9:30 p.m., the closed session was ended. Some matters were discussed at that session regarding application procedures, and no formal decisions were made.

Other comments from the Public:  There were no comments.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy,

Planning Board Recording Secretary

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