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A regular meeting of the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury was held on the above date at 7:30 p.m. with Chairperson Gail Robortaccio presiding.  After a salute to the Flag, Ms. Robortaccio read the “Open Public Meetings Act”.

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Gail Robortaccio, Joyce Dargel, Mark Crowley, Kathy DeFillippo, Robert Kurtz, Barbara Kinback, Heather Darling.

 

ABSENT:  Robert Church, Scott Meyer.

 

PROFESSIONAL STAFF PRESENT:  Larry Wiener, Russell Stern.

 

Also present:  Dolores DeMasi, Board Secretary

 

Ms. Robortaccio announced Application BA-50-05, Oliver Puig/John Lombardi, will not be heard and is carried to 12/12/05.

 

Minutes of 10/17/05

 

Mr. Crowley made a motion to approve the minutes.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded.

 

Discussion.  Corrections noted and made.

 

Roll as follows:  Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. Kinback, abstain; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

BA-48-05 – VIOLA DANCIAK – VARIANCE FOR FRONT YARD SETBACK FOR COVERED PORCH LOCATED ON HENRY ST. BLOCK 3001, LOT 2 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Viola & Scott Danciak

Case No. BA-48-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: October 17, 2005

Memorialized: November 7, 2005

 

                WHEREAS, Viola & Scott Danciak has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to construct a covered front porch requiring a dimensional variance for premises located at 6 Henry Street and known as Block 3001, Lot 2 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-3” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-1301A5e of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

                WHEREAS, the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the applicant and having conducted a public hearing has made the following factual findings:

  1. The applicants are the owners and occupants of the single-family home on site.
  2. The applicants were proposing to construct a covered porch.
  3. The proposed porch would be located in the front yard by the front door.
  4. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 8/31/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  5. The proposed porch would be 7’8”x24’ as depicted on exhibit A-1 (plot plan showing survey).
  6. The resulting setback would be 28.9’ whereas 35’ is required.
  7. The applicant presented photos (A-2) of six similar nearby homes with the same type of front covered porch.

                WHEREAS, the Board has determined that the relief requested by the applicant can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the Township of Roxbury for the following reasons:

  1. The applicant’s proposal provides an aesthetic and beneficial upgrade of the existing home while minimally impacting the Zoning Ordinance.  The benefits to granting this relief clearly outweigh the negative impact of the zone plan and zone scheme.  The applicant’s proposal results in a home more compatible with other homes in the area.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 17th day of October, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. Porch to be sized (6’x24’) and located as depicted on A-1 in evidence.  Same to be covered but open with a minimum front yard setback of 26’4” as requested.

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the resolution.  Mr. Crowley seconded.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Dargel, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

BA-49-05 – BRIAN DIEL – VARIANCE FOR AN ADDITION AND ATTACHED GARAGE LOCATED ON HELEN ST. BLOCK 1605, LOT 14 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Lora & Brian Diel

Case No. BA-49-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: October 17, 2005

Memorialized: November 7, 2005

 

                WHEREAS, Lora & Brian Diel have applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to construct an addition requiring dimensional variance(s) for premises located at Helen Street and known as Block 1605, Lot 14 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-3” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.1301D6a, 13-7.1301D5a, 13-7.1301D8 of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

                WHEREAS, the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the applicant and having conducted a public hearing has made the following factual findings:

  1. Danielle Bohlen, Esquire represented the applicants.
  2. The applicants are the owners and occupants of the single-family home on site.
  3. The existing home is a modest one-story ranch with a detached one-car garage.
  4. The applicants were proposing a significant renovation of the existing home.  Same would result in attaching the detached garage and making the garage and the home one integrated structure.
  5. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 6/28/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  6. The applicant’s proposal results in the need for the following variances:
    1. Side yard – existing 27’, required 10’, proposed 4’
    2. Rear yard – existing 42’, required 35’, proposed 17’
    3. Impervious coverage – existing 24%, maximum permitted 25%, proposed 28%
    4. Maximum building coverage – existing 19.57%, maximum permitted 15%, proposed 21.75%
  1. The Board notes the subject premises has several hardships:
    1. It is a corner lot
    2. The dimensional variances result primarily from attaching the existing garage to the principal dwelling – there really is no change in the setback other than what is triggered by making what was once an accessory structure a principal structure
    3.  The house itself is a ranch home and thus is all on one level and ranch homes traditionally take up more lot coverage than colonial or other types of two story homes
    4. The subject premises are just over 10,000 square feet and the R3 Zone has a 15,000 square foot minimum lot size thus creating a lot with only two thirds of the square footage contemplated in the zone
  1. The applicant’s proposed addition was depicted on an architectural rendering prepared by Margaret Petersen, architect, dated 6/15/05 consisting of two sheets.
  2. The applicant’s presented exhibits A1 through A6.  A1 being a copy of the Peterson plan and A2 through A6 being photographs of the applicant’s structure as well as nearby homes.
  3. The existing home is 976 square feet – the addition is 236 square feet and the resulting home would be approximately 1212 square feet.

                WHEREAS, the Board has determined that the relief requested by the applicant can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the Township of Roxbury for the following reasons:

  1. As noted above, the subject premises have several built-in hardships.  The location of the existing infrastructure, the design of the existing infrastructure, the property being a corner lot, and the property being undersized all constitute hardships to the re-development of this property.  The Board notes the dimensional variances are more technical than substantive.  The lot and building coverage variances are really triggered by the lot being undersized, the subject premises being a ranch house and is further exacerbated by the fact that the garage is essentially in the rear of the property, which necessitates a somewhat longer driveway than one would anticipate.
  2. The applicant’s proposal will have no negative impact on the zone.  The existing home at 976 square feet was extremely modest.  The applicant’s proposal can hardly be described as over ambitious.  The proposal is more consistent with the type of housing anticipated in the R3 Zone than the existing structure and thus should have no negative impact on the zone plan and zone scheme.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 17th day of October, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. House to be sized and located as depicted on the Margaret Petersen drawings attached to the application.
  2. Side yard to garage to be maintained at 4’, rear yard to garage to be 17’, as requested.  Maximum impervious coverage to be no more than 28%, maximum building coverage to be no more than 21.75%.

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the resolution.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

 

 

BA-44-05 – B. L. OSBORNE TRANSPORT – CERTIFICATION OF NONCONFORMING USE LOCATED ON BERKSHIRE VALLEY RD. BLOCK 4002, LOT 12 IN OR-5 ZONE

 

In the matter of B.L. Osborne Transport, Inc.

Case No. BA-44-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: October 17, 2005

Memorialized: November 7, 2005

 

                WHEREAS, B.L. Osborne Transport, Inc. has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury to obtain a certification of non-conforming use

for premises located at Berkshire Valley Road and known as Block 4002, Lot 12 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “OR-5” Zone; said proposal required relief pursuant to NJSA 40:55D-68 of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

                WHEREAS, the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the applicant and having conducted a public hearing has made the following factual findings:

  1. Paul Nussbaum, Esquire represented the applicant.
  2. The applicant is a prospective tenant for the subject premises.
  3. The owner of the premises (Superior Carriers) provided testimony from its regional manager, Johnnie Williams, as to the use of the premises.
  4. Mr. Williams testified that he was familiar with the site and the operations on the site.  He noted that until approximately five years ago, the subject premises were in the I-10 Zone and were re-zoned to the OR-5 Zone.  He noted for the last 50 years Superior Carriers operated a trucking terminal with related uses.  He noted there were a dispatch office area, a maintenance area, a fueling area, and an area for tank washing.
  5. Mr. Williams stated the general office hours were 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM but the site was a 24 hour operation as trucks could arrive or depart after normal business hours.  He further noted the maximum number of trucks on site were approximately 35 with 48 trailers.  There were approximately 35 drivers employed and 10 support staff.
  6. The main business operation of Superior Carriers was tanker type liquid containers of non-hazardous material.  He noted there was no loading or warehousing on site and that the operation was essentially a trucking terminal as he described in his testimony.  He noted the repairs took place inside the existing buildings, as did the truck washing.  He further stated the truck washing operation was a self-contained operation and any materials inside the tankers that were cleaned would ultimately be trucked off site.  He further noted there were no hazardous materials involved in the site operation and any incidental occasional carriage of hazardous materials would not be emptied or disposed of on site but taken to an approved location.
  7. Brian Osborne, the principal of the applicant, testified as to his proposed operation on site.  He noted they have approximately 16 tractors, 40 trailers, 20 drivers, and 7 support staff.  There would be no hazardous materials.  The bulk of his trucking operation would be traditional tractor-trailers and involve the storage of no hazardous materials and involve the storage of no hazardous materials.  The bulk of his trade was transportation of store fixtures, trade show items, bath fixtures, and what he characterized as palletized general freight.  Repairs and truck washing would all be done inside the existing facility.  His operation would essentially be within the parameters testified to by Mr. Williams and consistent with the historical use of the site.         
  8. The Board had the benefit of general comments from the municipal planner, Russell Stern, who was in attendance at the meeting.  Mr. Stern noted the Superior Carriers use was a conforming use under the I-10 Zone, but for the fact that the zoning had changed on site, this type of change of use would be handled administratively and not necessarily generate an appearance to either Land Use Board. 
  9. Mr. Stern expressed some general concerns about the existing operation, and Brian Osborne stated that he would address those concerns (see conditions below) as part of his operation of the site.
  10. Mr. Osborne stated his hours of operation would be Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  He also noted that the nature of the trucking business was such that it would always be a 24 hour operation.

                WHEREAS, the Board has determined that the relief requested by the applicant can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance of the Township of Roxbury for the following reasons:

  1. The Board finds the applicant has presented competent testimony establishing the existence of a valid non-conforming use by Superior Carriers.  The parameters of that use were established in the testimony of Mr. Williams.  The Board further finds the proposed business operation of the applicant to be substantially the same as that of Superior Carriers.  Therefore, the Board finds that the applicant’s proposed use is a continuation of a lawful non-conforming use and thus, is a permitted use.

THEREFORE, AS NOTED ABOVE, the Board finds the applicant’s use to be a permitted non-conforming use.  The applicant has agreed to the following conditions, which primarily relate to health and safety issues:

1. The light poles described by the municipal planner shall be replaced with conforming type fixtures.  Same to be reviewed and approved by the municipal planner.

  1. The applicant will provide an enclosure for the trash refuse and recycling area.

The applicant shall submit plans and location for same to be reviewed and approved by the municipal planner.

  1. The applicant shall endeavor to locate all truck and trailer parking away from the

area of the site that borders residential properties to the extent reasonably possible.

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the resolution.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

AGENDA

 

BA-51-05 – DAVID YUN/SMALL EMPIRE – USE VARIANCE FOR SKATEBOARD FACILITY LOCATED ON RT. 206, BLOCK 7601, LOT 21 IN OR-5 ZONE

 

Attorney Edward Bilinkas represented the applicant.  He said the applicant is here for a use variance for a skate park with a small supporting retail department to sell accessories. 

 

David Yun was sworn in.  In answer to questions from Mr. Bilinkas, Mr. Yun said the proposal is for an indoor skate park facility and a small pro shop.  The shop will cater to the people participating in the skate park.  We will occupy only about 9,000 square feet.  I have a construction company and we build skate parks and ramps.  I recently built one for Sparta Township in Sussex County.  This location is close to Route 206, and the hours of operation will not conflict with the business that is there now.  It is well lit, and it is easy to pull in and out onto Route 206 there.  The sight distance is very clear both ways.  The property is not in a residential area.  The hours of operation will be 12 noon to 10:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekends.  The current tenant has hour of 8:00 to 5:00 and they are closed on weekends.  There are 62 or 64 parking spaces on the property, and we feel we would need 15 at the most.  People coming to the skate park would be mostly kids who would be dropped off by their parents. 

 

Mr. Kurtz asked if this would be similar to the one in Hackettstown.

 

Mr. Yun said yes.  About 9 years ago, we started that park.  We will not allow bikes here.  It will only be for skate boarders and in-line.

 

Ms. Dargel asked if they will only be inside the building.

 

Mr. Yun said yes.

 

Mr. Stern asked what the overall size of the building is.

 

Mr. Yun said it is 23,000 square feet, and we will occupy 9,000 square feet.  A little less than 1,000 feet will be retail.  We will sell accessories, protective gear, etc.  There may be vending machines, but no kitchen. 

 

Mr. Stern asked what the current use of the building is.

 

Mr. Yun said the current tenant sells kitchen supplies, and they have a small retail area as well of about 2,000 square feet.  The remaining 1,400 square feet is being used for storage I believe.

 

Mr. Stern asked what any of the prior uses were in the space that will be used.

 

Mr. Yun said he heard there were batting cages.

 

Ms. Dargel said in the packet we received a resolution for the Four Star Batting Cages, and in that it says the applicant will provide proof there will be 92 parking spaces available for use by the applicant.  What is the required number of spaces?

 

Mr. Stern said this is a hybrid type of use.  Our zone standards are based on retail and service uses.  There is no specific reference to a skateboard park. 

 

Mr. Bilinkas said the type of business is such that the parents would generally drive the children to the park and leave.  He has indicated he would need about 15 spaces.  This is not the type of facility where the parents would stay.

 

Mr. Yun said the kids would be there for about 2 or three hours.

 

Ms. Dargel asked if there is a limit on the number of kids for each session.

 

Mr. Yun said they are renting time, and are never all going at the same time.

 

Ms. Kinback asked if the batting cages took up the same amount of space.

 

Ms. Dargel said she would assume they took up more space.

 

Mr. Stern said if you were to look at this as a sheer business, you would require 40  spaces.   The Board is permitted to waive the requirement based on site-specific characteristics. 

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked how many employees there are.

 

Mr. Yun said three other than himself.

 

Ms. Darling asked if there are plans for things such as litter control, since there will be so many kinds that are unsupervised. 

 

Mr. Yun said the employees would take care of litter problems.  I’ve had other facilities in Roxbury, and earlier there was a problem where the police would have to come by and stop them from skating by the street.  That is why we set up a separate location inside the store so that the kids could hang out in there.  We would regulate them inside the building.

 

Ms. Darling said there was a similar situation at Dunkin Donuts that is open 24 hours.  The police had to be there all the time.  Would this be a similar situation?

 

Mr. Yun said no.  The retail store closes at 8:00 p.m.  We don’t ever really have kids hanging out unless there is a special event.

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked who would police them out in the parking lot.

 

Mr. Yun said we will make sure that they are not skating outside.

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked about signage in that parking lot.

 

Mr. Stern said you could post it, but it would have to be enforced by the applicant.

 

Ms. Dargel agreed the signs would be a good idea.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked if Mr. Yun is familiar with the skateboard park on Dell Road.  That was not very successful.

 

Mr. Yun said that was 7 or 8 years ago.  The masons that were used were not professional skate park builders, and it wasn’t built right.  That is the reason it wasn’t successful.  The framing here will be all wood, and the top would be synthetic material.

 

Mr. Stern asked about lighting.

 

Mr. Yun said there is a lot of existing lighting in the parking lot.

 

Mr. Stern said he has not inspected the property.  This is a use variance, and if more people will be coming to the site, I think we need to look at the site to verify the lighting is there and the sidewalks are in good condition.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said it is very well lit, and the sidewalk is fine.  It is well kept.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said she was also at the site, and there were bushes at the front door that seemed to be in the way of the door.  That should be looked at as well. 

 

There was discussion on where the entrance would be to the skate park.

 

Mr. Yun said the entrance would be where you make a right into the first driveway.  It is in front of the building facing Route 206. 

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the entrance to the batting cages was in the back.  There is no parking in the front.

 

Mr. Yun said the parking would be on the side and in the rear.  If the Board wants the entrance in back, we could do that.

 

Mark Wehrenberg, owner of the building, was sworn in. 

 

Attorney Eunice Moon was present to represent Mr. Wehrenberg.

 

Mr. Stern asked who is in the building.

 

Mr. Wehrenberg said Service Plus and Chef’s Corner.  The Service Plus entrance is on the side, and Chef’s Corner entrance is in the back.   I have no objection to Mr. Yun using the rear entrance.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how many children would be there on an average day.  Would it be 50?

 

Mr. Yun said not on an average day.  It would be less.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said she would be concerned about cars pulling up and dropping kids off.  I would be concerned about that in the front. 

 

Mr. Wehrenberg said that is why he likes the front of the building.  As it is laid out, it is one-way around the building so that when you pull in off of Rt. 206 you pull straight in and go behind the building and come around the front.  That is a long wide driveway, and it would flow well with people pulling up to pick up or drop off.  

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how many cars could be parked along the curb.

 

Mr. Wehrenberg said he doesn’t know, but there has to be a few hundred feet.

 

Mr. Stern asked if it is a one-way drive.

 

Mr. Wehrenberg said yes, and it is signed.  We could also stripe the arrows on the driveway.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said she would rather have the cars in the parking lot than queuing up.

 

Ms. Dargel said this is a large property and I don’t see that it should be a problem.  Short of a special even, it seems the property is large enough to accommodate what is being said.  If it is a drop off/pick up situation, I don’t see a problem with it.

 

Mr. Kurtz said with a front entrance they wouldn’t have to cross a street.

 

Mr. Stern asked if there is a drawing of the interior layout.

 

Mr. Yun said we don‘t have that yet.    It will be just wide open on the inside with a small area boxed off for the pro shop.

 

There was a poll of the Board:

 

Ms. Darling – no preference

Ms. Kinback – front entrance acceptable

Mr. Kurtz – front entrance acceptable

Ms. Dargel – prefers back entrance, but front acceptable

Mr. Crowley – front acceptable

Ms. DeFillippo – If it would be safe, not opposed to front entrance

 

Mr. Stern said if the Board is inclined to go with the front access, that area would have to be striped; signage should be verified; lighting in the front should be verified; trash cans on the exterior should be provided; signage; in the area where the sidewalk stops, that should be extended over the grass area.

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked if the back entrance will be used.

 

Mr. Yun said we would just use the front entrance, and would have an emergency entrance on the side of the building.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked if there will be signage to advertise the building.

 

Mr. Yun said in the front of the building.

 

Mr. Stern said it would have to meet the ordinance requirements.

 

Mr. DeFillippo asked about the existing freestanding sign.

 

Mr. Yun said he would not have a sign there.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said he believes the parking spaces are also used by the Market Place next door.  Where do they park?

 

Mr. Wehrenberg said they use three spaces during the day.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

No one stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Mr. Kurtz made a motion to approve the application subject to proper lighting, trash receptacles to be approved by the Planner; driveway extension; sidewalk extension; striping.  Mr. Crowley seconded.

 

Discussion. 

 

Ms. DeFillippo suggested there should be cigarette urns.  The applicant agreed.

 

Mr. Stern said he would like to see an interior floor plan designating the retail and other areas. 

 

It was agreed that will be added to the conditions of approval.

 

Roll as follows:  Mr. Kurtz, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Ms. Kinback, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

BA-52-05 – CELLULAR TELEPHONE COMPANY – USE AND SITE PLAN FOR WIRELESS ANTENNA LOCATED IN ROXBURY MALL ON THE MEDICAL BUILDING, BLOCK 5004, LOT 8 IN B-3 ZONE

 

Attorney Michael Levine represented the applicant.  He said as a follow-up from the last hearing, we had offered two potential ways to limit visual impact.  We had testified the equipment cabinets would be located behind the mansard roof, and the cabling and wiring is internal or behind the roof deck.  We had discussed the 12 antennas on the roof and how to reduce the visual impact.  The first alternative involved mounting them somewhat above the roofline and screening them, and Mr. Stern had an objection to that.  He recommended a different method of installing the antennas, one that had been approved twice before on another building in the mall complex.  That was to mount them by installing pole mounts through the roof but not extending above them.  After discussion it was determined that could be improved upon by the way they are painted, and that they should be painted on all sides to match the roof.  We acknowledged that and agreed to it.  It was then suggested the antennas could be moved back farther so that the entire mount and antenna structure would be behind the mansard roof.  We were asked to find out if we could replace the roof or sections of the roof with the RF transparent screening.   We looked at that, and we will address that now.

 

Ms. DeMasi said Mr. Kurtz has listened to the tapes, but there are only 6 Board members eligible this evening.

 

Peter McTygue stated he discussed replacing part of the mansard roof with RF transparent material.  We would have to move the antenna back about 10 feet from the edge of the roof. 

 

Mr. McTygue referred to drawing CO2 (Exhibit A-4) and descried the view through the mansard roof.    If we replaced that with the RF transparent material and put the antennas behind it, the problem would be that the antennas would have to be the same distance above the roof as it is back from the roof.  The mansard roof structure is 10 feet tall at the peak and is located 10 feet back. The bottom of the antenna would have to be almost at the top of the mansard roof.  If we were to lower them, you would lose RF energy into the roof.

 

A revised structural analysis will be submitted by Mr. McTygue prior to a building permit. 

 

Mr. Stern asked if the equipment cabinets are below the roofline.

 

Mr. McTygue said yes.

 

Jim Dowling, planner for the applicant, was sworn in and gave his professional background and was accepted by the Board. 

 

Mr. Dowling said the facility is located in the B-3 zone which is an intensely used zone.  The facility is being proposed on the top of an existing building.  We require a use variance and a height variance.  As to positive criteria, the use is considered to serve the general welfare and is particularly suitable for a number of reasons.   It is an existing building. It is also particularly suitable for radio frequency reasons.  This is central to the overall network.  As to negative criteria, this is a benign facility that doesn’t generate any noise, smoke, noxious characteristics, water or sewer. 

 

Mr. Dowling showed a series of photo-simulations for the Board, which were submitted with the application:

 

-        The first set of two photos show the screening above the roof  - existing and proposed view of site north from Highland Avenue (marked A-5).

-        Existing and proposed view of the building looking west with original screening design (marked A-6)

-        Existing and proposed view of the building looking south with original screening proposal (marked A-7)

-        Repeat prospective of the first view, with alternative mounting design with pipe mounts piercing mansard roof (marked A-8)

-        Existing and proposed view of building looking west, with pipe mount below roofline (marked A-9)

-        Existing and proposed view of building looking south with pipe mount not exceeding roof line (marked A-10)

-        Photos from Zanko property at 23 Walker Road) – (marked A-11) 

-        Photos from 23 Walker Road from a different prospective (marked A-12)

 

Mr. Dowling referred to Exhibit A-8.  He said the proposed condition shows there is extremely heavy evergreen tree coverage.  There will be no visual change from this perspective

 

He stated Exhibit A-9 indicates the proposed condition.  The antennas are never seen protruding above the mansard.

 

Exhibit A-10 shows a different view from the south, and it shows the antennas are protruding through the mansard but not exceeding the height of the mansard.

 

Exhibit A-11 shows the view from the Zanko property, and it shows the building is not really very visible.  Photo 2 on the exhibit from another perspective shows the evergreens are blocking the view

 

Exhibit A-12 shows the Zanko property and the view is blocked by the evergreens. 

 

Mr. Dowling said his conclusion is that although the antennas will be slightly visible, it is not a substantial detriment to the public good.  We also do not impair the zone plan or zoning ordinance.  There are no zones near here that permit this use.  We are compatible with the land uses in the zone, and are attempting to hide it.  The ordinance does favor locating on existing buildings.  I don’t believe we impair the zone plan or zoning ordinance.  I believe this is a reasonable and appropriate application of the wireless technology.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED for questions of Mr. Dowling.

 

No one stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Mr. Levine said we have an additional witness to answer any questions regarding the FCC guidelines if anyone has any questions.

 

Mr. Stern had no comments or questions.  He said the applicant has agreed to the comments in his memo.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said there was a report from Mr. Bodolsky.

 

Mr. Stern said Mr. Bodolsky had set forth suggestions to upgrade the mall in the vicinity of this facility.  Is the applicant willing to do those upgrades?

 

Mr. Levine said it is normal settlement and commercial ware and tear and it won’t be exacerbated by what we proposed.  We don’t feel it would be appropriate to burden this applicant with these items.  

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked if those items can be addressed with the owner of the building.

 

Mr. Stern said this can be taken to the owner of the building through the Engineering Department.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said this is primarily a medical facility.

 

Mr. Wiener said if there is a maintenance or code violation there would be enforcement procedures for that.

 

Ms. DeMasi said she will forward Mr. Bodolsky’s memo to Mr. Davino at Fidelity Management.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENENED

 

No one stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the application, with the antennas piercing the mansard portion of the roof/cabinets no higher than the roof; all sides to be painted the same color; applicant to submit a structural report.  Mr. Kurtz seconded.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Dargel, yes.  She stated it promotes consistency in the mall, and we have apparently done the best we can do mechanically and aesthetically.  Mr. Kurtz, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

Mr. Levine asked if a building permit can be applied for before memorialization.

 

Ms. DeMasi said the applicant will have to apply for a Zoning Permit first.

 

 

 

BA-53-05 – MARIE FRANCISCO – VARIANCE FOR DECK LOCATED ON KINGSLAND RD.

 

Marie Francisco was sworn in.  She stated she has built a small deck at the back of her property that leads from the sliding door to the water. 

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the Board has received a letter from the Lake Hopatcong Commission stating they don’t object to the deck. 

 

Ms. Francisco said there is a dock below this that is over the water.  I have not changed the dock.  I just added this on top of the existing dock area.  It was cement and my son fell one time, and I was concerned.

 

Ms. Darling asked if this is intended for storage.

 

Ms. Francisco said the original owner had put cement there because of erosion and their original plan was to have a barbeque area.  Then my son fell, and we wanted to use it just for storage, because we lost some equipment last summer.   My youngest daughter has a wheelchair, and I had to find a way to make sure nothing serious happens there.

 

Ms. Darling asked if there is a proposal for railings.

 

Ms. Francisco said there are existing railings.

 

Ms. Darling asked if this is flush with the upper level.

 

Ms. Francisco said yes, from the sliding door.


Mr. Stern asked if this extends over the bulkhead.

 

Ms. Francisco said no.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said she visited the site.  She asked about the section of the deck where the table and chairs are.  Is that part of what was built?

 

Ms. Francisco said yes, the long narrow walkway and the area with the table and chairs.  The ramp going down to the other deck was existing.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said Ms. Francisco will have to submit plans to the Construction Official and obtain a zoning permit and construction permit

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

No one stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Discussion. 

 

Mr. Stern said the zoning office wrote a denial letter dated 4/25 and he said the proposal was to go over the property line onto the water.  Is that not correct?

 

Ms. Francisco said no it is not.

 

Mr. Stern asked how you get down to the dock

 

Mr. Francisco said there is a small ramp that I had put in for the wheelchair.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said the deck area does jut out over the existing dock.

 

Ms. Francisco said she didn’t go out any farther than what was existing.

 

Ms. Dargel asked what the existing setback is from the water.

 

Mr. Stern said 7 feet.

 

Mr. Stern said there is a photo in the file from 2003, and that area does appear to be covered in concrete.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said the lot is narrow, and the applicant did not make a huge deck in the back.  This house is practically on the edge of the land. There is a very narrow walkway.  The deck is not as big as the dock.  The area of the deck over the dock is covering a sloped and concrete area.   

 

Mr. Stern asked if it is creating a desirable visual environment as opposed to the original conditions and is promoting a safer situation.

 

Ms. Francisco said yes.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said aesthetically it is an improvement.

 

Ms. Kinback made a motion to approve the application, subject to construction permits and zoning permit.  Ms. Dargel seconded.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Kinback, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes.  Ms. Dargel said the property has extreme hardship based on the slope of the land and narrowness of the buildable envelope.  The house is already sitting practically on the water.  To enjoy the normal amenities of a lakefront home and create an aesthetic improvement over the concrete, this is an improvement.  Ms. Darling, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes.  Ms. DeFillippo said she would have preferred the applicant would have approached the Board first, but she agrees it is an aesthetic improvement.  Mr. Kurtz, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

BA-54-05 – CATHERINE FRENCH – VARIANCE FOR SIDE YARD SETBACK FOR SHED LOCATED ON EMMANS RD. BLOCK 5601, LOT 7 IN RR ZONE

 

Catherine French and Michael Snyder were sworn in.

 

Mr. Snyder said he came to share a home with Ms. French a year ago. I do projects and I built the shed for yard equipment.   Ms. French called the Tax Assessor and was told as long as it was under 100 square feet it wouldn’t be taxed and she did not know about any other permits that would be required.

 

Ms. French said she assumed it would be o.k. and  bought a very nice shed.  We now keep junk that was in the yard in the shed. 

 

Mr. Snyder said the way the land is sloped water comes into the garage window and floods the house.  We recently put in a new rug and I fixed the drainage so that it goes away from the house a little bit. 

 

Ms. French said it is a narrow property that is on an angle.  The neighbor’s house is 3 feet off the border of the house, and the wall extends onto my neighbor’s property, and on the other side the neighbor’s garage is about 2 feet off my line.  There is a wall that encroaches on my property on that side.  This seemed like an improvement to the land.

 

Mr. Wiener said the survey shows the shed on the side of the house.  Where is the slope?

 

Ms. French said the slope goes up coming from the road back.  The circles on the survey are ash trees, tulips and oaks. 

 

Mr. Wiener asked if you could have located the shed there.

 

Ms. French said that area is too steep to put a shed.

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked where the septic is

 

Ms. French said there is one on the side of the house by the trees.  I couldn’t bring a truck up there.

 

Mr. Stern said it is a very narrow lot, and there is no way to access the back?

 

Ms. French said not with a large truck.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how they got the shed in.

 

Ms. French said they brought the truck along side of the house, and the truck tipped and the shed rolled off.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked Mr. Snyder how he redirected the rainwater.

 

Mr. Snyder said the water now goes down toward the driveway away from the house. 

 

Mr. Snyder said we know we are in the wrong in terms of the zoning regulations.  We cannot abide by the regulations because of the narrowness of the property.  We are asking for the hardship variance.  I would like to apologize to the neighbors, and I accept the responsibility. 

 

Mr. Snyder said above the shed on the next lot is a house I did not draw in, and it is also 3 feet from our property line.  It would be fine in the backyard, except we would have to go over the neighbor’s property to get it there.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

Maureen Tafuro, 168 Emmans Road, was sworn in.  She said she owns the property closest to the shed.  Our lot is narrow, and I feel this shed is too far forward and right on our property line.  There is more than enough room to place the shed somewhere in the back.  I don’t feel it is the only possible solution.

 

Ms. Tafuro submitted photos from her property showing the shed from different angles  (marked O-1 through O-8).

 

Ms. Tafuro submitted a copy of her survey (marked O-9).  Ms. Tafuro said the property was subdivided 3 years ago. 

 

Ms. Dargel asked what the frontage requirement is.

 

Ms. Stern said it is 200 feet, but this subdivision received Planning Board approval.

 

Mr. Stern said if the shed were in the backyard it would have to meet a 20 foot setback from the property lines.  Another variance required here is that accessory structures have to be located a minimum of 10 feet from a principal building.

 

Ms. Dargel asked how old the house next door is.

 

Ms. Tafuro said she doesn’t know, at least 20 years.  When we subdivided, it became a rental and I built a new house to live in.  

 

Ms. Dargel asked how long Ms. French has owned her property.

 

Ms. French said since 1978.

 

No one else stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked what is stored in the shed.

 

Ms. French and Mr. Snyder listed several items of yard, house, sports and camping  equipment.

 

Mr. Stern said there is a visual impact.  Have you approached the neighbors about possibly adding landscaping?

 

Ms. French said she has not, but we put up a very nice shed.  I am willing to put in plants on the side or behind the shed.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how high the shed protrudes from behind the wall.

 

Mr. Snyder said the shed protrudes only about 3 ½ feet above the wall.

 

Mr. Crowley suggested the applicant might want to talk to the neighbors about putting some landscaping on their property and you can put some behind the shed. I feel we should wait until the next meeting to see if that can be worked out with the neighbors.

 

Ms. French said she would agree.

 

Ms. Tafuro said with the planting it would make it stick out farther.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said all the homes that were here already were nonconforming for setback.

 

Ms. Kinback made a motion to approve the application.  It is nonconforming, and I don’t see anywhere else they can put the shed.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded.  She said there is a hardship because of the slope.  The houses are not conforming.  There is a septic tank and several old trees that would be at risk if they had to move the shed.  

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Kinback, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes.  She said with the retaining wall there, putting the shed back farther would create difficulty accessing equipment such as a snow blower, etc.; Mr. Kurtz, yes;  Ms. Robortaccio, yes, due to the constrictions on the property, and she would encourage plantings along the back of the shed.

 

The application was approved.

 

Memo from Tom Potere regarding Svendsen

 

Mr. Stern stated there was a condition in the resolution for the Svendsen application that there was an existing door and windows that were to be created to an operational garage door.  It is now under construction, and there is a grinder pump in front of what would be the garage door and a change in grade.  To create a garage door there would mean additional impervious coverage to access it as a garage.  Mr. Potere and I met with the contractor, Mr. Valiente, and we felt comfortable with having just the doorway leading to the garage being eliminated, the windows remain, and they have progressed with work on the interior to get rid of the dividing wall.   It is no longer a den or living area.  It is now a garage.  The issue is whether or not the Board finds in acceptable to eliminate the requirement for a garage door.

 

The majority of the Board members did not object to the change, with Ms. Dargel and Ms. DeFillippo abstaining

 

The meeting was adjourned by motion at 9:45 p.m.

 

                                                            Dolores A. DeMasi, Secretary

 

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