Planning Board Minutes 7/22/2010

Planning Board & Borough of Kenilworth

July 22, 2010

The meeting began with an affirmation of the Open Public Meetings Act.  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 June 24, 2010 and July 8, 2010 minutes.  Approval was given to pay the Recording Secretary.


Roll Call:  Present: Mr. Picerno, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Cuppari, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Candarella.

Absent:  Mr. Lepore (excused), Mr. Sica, Mr. Pantina, Mr. Pugliese, Mr. Manee, and  Mr. Cammarota (excused).

Communications:  Ms. Bogus said Mr. Garcia submitted a letter withdrawing his appeal regarding a prior zoning denial.  He will resubmit another request for a permit with changes.

New Business: Galloping Hill Golf Course Clubhouse, Block 184, Lot 3,

Review of Capitol improvements.

Mr. Steven Merman is the county representative for this review.  Union County owns and operates the Galloping Hill Golf Course; a major part of which is located in Kenilworth.  A section of the municipal Land Use Law requires renovation plans be presented for approval to the borough.  The director of operations, a representative of the department of parks, the site engineer, and the architect are present.  Mr. Tripodi advised the Board that this is not a formal hearing, but an advisory hearing.

Mr. Armando Sanchez, director or Golf Operations, introduced himself.  He said the golf operations is losing money, and an upgrade to the Galloping Hill facility will make this facility profitable.  The best golf courses are located in  central New Jersey.

The driving range is doing well.  Many outreach programs have already been initiated, such as the LPGA girls’ golf program.

  A study was made regarding an upgrade to the clubhouse, by creating a grill and banquet hall.  This upgrade, combined with prior improvements, could generate as much as five to six million dollars per year in profit. 

Galloping Hill Golf Course will become the headquarters of the N.J. State Golfing Association in 2012.  They are committed to a twenty-year lease.  The name on the driving range will be the TayorMade Performance Center, one of eight in the United States.  Temper Sports will manage the operations.  The clubhouse improvements will be presented at this meeting.   Mr. Sanchez said this project would be open for bids.  He said the Galloping Hill Golf Course will attract every level of players, including children. 

Mr. Candarella asked how this facility compares to private golf courses in the area.

Mr. Sanchez replied the facility and the maintainance will be as good, if not better.

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Mr. Candarella inquired about the operational and upgrade costs.  The golf course was previously a drain on borough and county funds.  He asked if Temper Sports would be contributing to the cost of improvements.  Mr. Sanchez replied Temper Sports is only a Management facility. 

Anthony Kurus, Engineer, prepared the site plans.  A new clubhouse will be constructed at the center point of  the existing clubhouse. The parking lot will include more shrubs and landscaping, with a slight expansion of the lot on the north side at the site of the existing garage.  The lower level of the clubhouse will function as the golf cart storage and a garage. 

There will be sixty additional parking spaces; 236 presently, and 296 in the future. 

The Putting Green will be near the clubhouse.  There will be an increase of 35,000 sq. ft. of new impervious coverage, having no adverse impact on adjoining areas.  Mr. Kurus provided a grading and (underground) drainage plan  to accommodate that increased impervious areas. 

Mr. Cunningham, VP of development of Temper Sports, commented on the new clubhouse.  The existing clubhouse is 2,500 sq. ft., and the proposed clubhouse will be about 5 to 6 times larger. 

Mr. Picerno asked if there would be enough parking.  He asked if there was sufficient accomodations for busses and the extra cars.  Mr. Cunningham said there would be valet parking for larger events.  Mr. Tripodi said the Board may make recommendations. 

Mr. Cunningham said they are not expanding the parking lot in the area of the present retention basin. 

Mr. Cupparu asked about the road behind the clubhouse.  That road will be made larger.

Mr. Nick Netta, architect, is working with Temper Sports.  He said the proposed clubhouse will be a three-story structure.  It will include a garage, locker rooms, pro center, grand hall, bar and grill.  The third level will have a banquet facility (4,500 sq. ft.), that can be sub-divided into two separate areas, as well as an office for the N.J. Golf Association.  The building will be a Tuscany-type structure, made of stone and stucco.  The rear of the building will have a lower terrace, highlighting the bar and grill, and an upper terrace for the banquet area.  It is an ADA compliant building.

Mr. Picerno asked about the construction period.  It is estimated to be completed in 14 to 16 months.  Temper Sports will run the food service.  The cost of the upgrades will be approximately 8.5 million dollars, which includes the demolition, removal of part of the hill, and reconstruction of the building and parking lot.  It will comply with all county requirements. 

The new structure will be about 38’ to 40’ higher than the existing clubhouse. 

Mr. Candarella said this project will bring more events into Kenilworth. 

A motion to approve this proposal was made by Mr. Candarella, 2nd by Ms. Bogus.  All in favor:  Mr. Picerno, Ms. Bogus, Mr. Candarella, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Cuppari. 

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet M. Murphy, Planning Board Recording Secretary

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