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A regular meeting of the Planning
Board of the Township of Roxbury was held on the above date at 7:30 p.m. with
Chairman Scott Meyer presiding. After a salute to the Flag, the Chairman read
the “Open Public Meetings Act”.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Scott Meyer,
Larry Sweeney, John Ciaramella, Richard Zoschak, Michael Shadiack, Robert
DeFillippo, Charles Bautz, Jim Rilee.
ABSENT: Steven Alford, Joseph
Schwab, Robert Schultz.
PROFESSIONAL STAFF PRESENT: Tom
Germinario, Russell Stern, Paul Ferriero.
Also present: Dolores DeMasi,
Mr. Stern stated this is an
application for subdivision for 5 single-family lots. The application is
considered complete by the staff.
Mr. Rilee made a motion to deem
the application complete, Mr. Bautz seconded.
Roll as follows: Mr. Rilee, yes;
Mr. Bautz, yes; Mr. Zoschak, yes; Mr. DeFillippo, yes; Mr. Shadiack, yes; Mr.
Ciaramella, yes; Mr. Sweeney, yes; Mr. Meyer, yes.
The application is scheduled to
be heard on 6/18/08.
Mr. Zoschak said the owner of the
mall may be using some of his photographs, and he will not comment on the
Sal Davino and Edward Maceiko
were present. Mr. Davino stated there are only two locations where we will
have windows blacked out. One is for the Mandees and the other is near the new
Petco. When a new tenant comes in we will take them down. The shopping center
looks very good, and I have handed out the proposed front elevation facing
Route 10 tonight. There will be no change to Fudruckers. The new pediment will
be in the center and on the corners.
Mr. Davino said we have nothing
in mind as to what are the right photos to use. The majority of the historic
photos we have are black and white, and we are looking to do a combination of
black and white and some color photos.
Mr. Meyer asked Mr. Germinario
about how this would be in reference to the ordinance limiting the amount of
window space that can be used for advertising.
Mr. Germinario said we only
discussed the window treatment as to content. Mr. Davino has stated he
wouldn’t do anything to suggest any of the merchandise in the stores.
Mr. Stern said some of the photos
showing shoppers created some potential problems and would open up a realm of
Mr. Rilee stated said we do have
a sign ordinance concerning what percentage of windows would be covered.
Mr. Davino said these are not
intended to be signs. The reason we are doing this is to improve the look of
the center from the road.
Mr. DeFillippo said he likes the
idea of using artwork. Who would sit in judgment of what is considered a sign?
Mr. Germinario stated the
ordinance speaks to signage. I think a reproduction of the Mona Lisa is not a
sign, or the Eiffel Tower, etc. It is decorative art. The other issue we need
to get into is whether we would be creating visual clutter.
Mr. Davino said the photos won’t
be as bright as they appear in the photos.
Mr. Meyer said the question is
whether this Board wants to make the determination as to what is good art and
what is not.
Mr. Rilee said he agrees
something should be done there, but where do you draw the line?
Mr. Bautz suggested a series of
pictures of the same theme, such as a panorama.
Mr. Davino said that would be
After discussion, it was
determined the photos shouldn’t go the full length and width of the window and
suggested using the smoke panels as framework around the photos, and to keep
them more to the middle.
The applicant agreed to do a test
area near the Petco store using landscaping and historic photos for review and
A member of the public stepped
forward and suggested a water color format.
PBA-08-008 – BLUE VISTA CONSULTING LLC – SITE PLAN FOR 2
MEDICAL BUILDINGS, RESTAURANT AND WAREHOUSE/FLEX BUILDING LOCATED ON MOUNTAIN
RD./RT. 206, BLOCK 9202, LOT 1, 2, 9 & 10 IN OR-5 ZONE
Attorney John Wyciskala
represented the applicant. He stated this property is approximately 2 acres of
mostly vacant land in the OR5 and B1A zone. The property has been the subject
of prior applications, and none of those ever came to fruition. This
development plan includes 2 office buildings, 1 flex warehouse building and a
restaurant. The office and flex building are on the OR5 portion, and the
restaurant is proposed on the B1A portion. The plans are primarily the same as
the ones previously submitted to the Board as a concept plan except that the
flex building size has been reduced. The property is in the Highlands Planning
Area. The Board should keep in mind that we will be hearing traffic testimony
later in the course of the hearings. The property is located at a dangerous
intersection and the proposal calls for a traffic signal at the intersection.
We have been working with DOT, and think that would be a major benefit to the
Mr. Meyer asked how the issue of
the signal stands.
Mr. Wyciskala stated it looks
good. Our traffic consultant has been working for months on the issue. There
have been pre-application meetings, etc. We recently submitted the accident
counts to the DOT. We believe things have been positive for a signal there. I
would anticipate we would address that further at the next hearing.
Mr. Meyer asked what the time
frame is for DOT to respond to something like this.
Mr. Ferriero said he doesn’t
know, but I believe they would probably have a DOT answer before an answer from
Ms. DeMasi said the Planning
Board traffic expert won’t be able to make the 5/21/08 meeting and will be here
on 6/4/08 and will submit a report in advance of that hearing.
Stanley Omland, engineer for the
applicant, was sworn in and gave his background for the Board.
He marked the following exhibit:
A-1 – aerial photo of existing conditions
Mr. Omland gave an overview of
the proposal, stating the overall acreage is just over 62 acres. We are here
for preliminary site plan and minor subdivision to consolidate the lots and
move one lot line. The aerial photo shows that there is an existing Power and
Light easement running through the property. There are wetlands on site. It
is verified by the DEP that the wetlands are of an intermediate resource value
requiring a 50 foot buffer. There are 5 or 6 pockets of wetlands and 2
corridors of wetlands. The topography is very undulating. The larger portion
of the tract is in the OR5 zone, and there is a portion in the southeasterly
corner in the B1A zone. There is an R-1 zone along the easterly boundary
Exhibit A-2 was marked – proposed
conditions (aerial photo)
Mr. Omland stated the map shows
the general layout of the proposal. Road A is a 30 foot wide road off of
Mountain Avenue and services 2 pods of development. Road B is an 18 foot wide
one-way inbound road off of Rt. 206. Road C is a connecting road between Roads
A and B. It is an integrated planned office industrial retail project. It
will be a single entity with a condominium association. The architecture of
the medical building is high tech. The fourth building is proposed as a
restaurant, and we don’t know who the user will be and will be back to the
Board for signage, façade and some tweaking of the building. There is a common
architecture theme. One objective of these type uses is that they are
different market products and are more appealing and will come to fruition
quicker. All of the uses are permitted in the zones. On sheet 2 we show the
zoning charts and list the variances and waivers. We have received the reports
from the Board professionals.
Mr. Omland said lot sizes,
building setbacks, lot width, lot frontage, heights, residential district
buffers all comply. The ordinance allows 15% FAR in the OR zone and we
propose 5%. The ordinance allows 40% impervious coverage and we propose 13%.
The B-1A zone allows 50% impervious, and we propose 46%. We are not achieving
the intensity of the project that the ordinance contemplated for the zones.
Mr. Omland referred to exhibit
A-1, stating the site is very undulating in topography. There are steep
slopes, shown on sheet 5 of the site plan. Fully 62% of the site has 0 – 15%
slopes. 11% is 15 to 20%, 10% is in the 20 – 25% range, and 60% is over 25%.
There are about 11 acres of wetlands. There are 6 isolated pockets and 2
complexes. There is a floodplain. There is a stream running to the site whose
drainage area is 73 acres from the southern part of the property, and we are
obligated to map it and it becomes regulated. It is predominantly forested.
The remaining portion is not, consisting of the JCP&L easement and the lawn
area associated with the dwelling on Mountain Road. We are in the Highlands
Planning Area. The draft master plan for the Highlands is in the final stages
of review. We would like to precede the Highlands Act. We have been working
on the project for two years. There are off tract improvements that are cost
impediments to the project. We are optimizing the land to the ordinance. As a
professional engineer I have tried to find the balance. We have tried to avoid
steep slopes, have crossed the wetlands where we were allowed to, we have staid
out of the floodplain where we had to. We have long access roads with no
development on them to try to achieve the proper development intensity. We
hope we have provided for a thoughtful, practical and justifiable development
with this plan.
Mr. Omland marked exhibit A-3,
steep slope development exhibit. This is the plan with the project development
superimposed on it. Road A comes in off Mountain Road and provides for two
individual pods of development within the non-steep slope areas. Road B runs
east/west from Route 206 and the length is prescribed by DOT. Whether or not
we can have a traffic signal is based on pedestrian movement, traffic movement,
turns, etc. The accident history was declining here, but went back up in
Mr. Myer asked if the signal is a
make-or-break for the project.
Mr. Omland said no. We want the
Mr. Zoschak asked why this is an
Mr. Omland said that was dictated
Mr. Omland said Road B comes in
off of Route 206 and there are wetlands below and above it. In farther we are
straddled between two wetland pockets. The road design needed to take as much
traffic off Route 206 and off Mountain Road and provide for internal
circulation that had redundancy. We had intended to curb all the roads, but
will not curb some for stormwater management reasons. The roads will be
privately owned and maintained. Road B crosses a stream and it will have a 5’
x 20’ arched bridge. The road designs are reasonable.
Referring to A-2, Mr. Omland
stated the restaurant use is in the B1A zone and is off of Road A. We
contemplate a 6,700 sq. ft. restaurant with 120 parking spaces. We hope it is
a national user. The parking exceeds the ordinance requirement. We are applying
for a minor subdivision to tweak the lot line separating the restaurant lot.
That triggers certain variances and design waivers. The lot line is necessary
to attract the national restaurant. Tractor trailers and emergency vehicles
circulate well. The islands are curbed as is the parking lot. There are
certain deficiencies as to size of the islands, setback of the building to the
drive isles, setback of the building to parking spaces, and parking spaces to
the property lines. We will discuss that at a later date.
Mr. Omland said the next site is
a 2 story medical building and a 3 story medical building. It complies with
the parking ordinance. There are deficiencies on the end isle widths and
setback from parking lot to building and parking lot to isle. The two story
office has two way access and the other has a single access drive. We don’t
know the tenants at this time. The last building is a high tech building and
is 160 feet deep. The ordinance requires no more than 50% warehouse. I am not
sure what users would be permitted there and we will discuss that with the
planner. This site was difficult for us, as it necessitated the bigger
building and created some infractions within the steep slopes. A wider
footprint was created. Solid waste was a question raised by the
professionals. This type of use usually has the solid waste contracted out.
We will discuss the dumpster/recycling area with the board professionals. The
rear area has a loading dock as well as a drive-up opportunity.
Mr. DeFillippo said the high tech
building looks like a transfer station.
Mr. Omland said that is not a
permitted use in the zone.
Mr. Omland discussed the
variances and waivers, stating we believe there are a variety of
interpretations or conflicts within the ordinance. One of the variances that
has been highlighted is for the use of a restaurant within 200 feet of a
residential zone, and the ordinance limits the hours. We haven’t established
the hours yet.
Mr. Stern said the qualification
is for the parking spaces.
Mr. Omland said there is a stream
corridor violation. The DEP is the most difficult judge we will run against in
terms of them giving us the permits. They allow no more than 3,000 feet of
disturbance. We are crossing the stream at the narrowest part, and we have done
everything we can to make the road crossing in the most environmentally
conscious fashion. There are some sign variances that will be discussed by our
architect. There is a driveway within 10 feet of a property line. There are variances
because the building is within 10 feet of parking, and also parking within 100
feet of the R-1 zone. We interpret that as 75 feet. Parking setback of
parking to Route 80. The design waivers are for a dedication of right-of-way
along Mountain Road of 33 feet. We are providing 25’. A waiver is also
required for widening of Mountain Rd. We are not curbing a section of Road A.
We are not curbing the southern side of Road D. We will discuss that further
when we talk about stormwater management. We propose concrete curbing instead
of granite block. A waiver is required from sidewalks along Route 206,
Mountain Road, Route 80 and interior roads. Waivers are also required for
parking isle setback from Mountain Road, sidewalk adjacent to buildings,
retaining wall setbacks, 9 foot planting islands, banked trash area, number of
parking spaces in the high tech pod, dumpster height.
Mr. Omland stated regarding tree
removal, we believe we are removing 1,516 trees in the 6 to 24” range, 59 trees
over 24”, and have a replacement obligation of about 600.
Mr. Rilee said he has concerns
after reviewing the reports. The flex office building might seem isolated, but
many people will drive past it. To suggest there won’t be any landscaping
there would be an issue.
Michael Bennett, architect for
the applicant, was sworn in. He gave his professional and educational
background as an architect. His registration in New Jersey is pending. He
said the architect who signed the drawings was unable to be here, but he was
also involved in the preparation of the plans.
Mr. Bennett gave an overview of
the architectural plans for the buildings.
He referred to Exhibit A-4,
medical general office 2 story building, and Exhibit A-5, flex building, and
Exhibit A-6, 3 story medical office building.
Mr. DeFillippo asked about the
volume of the truck traffic.
Mr. Bennett said typically it
won’t be very busy. We tend to see mostly UPS type delivery trucks.
Mr. Omland stated behind the high
tech building, are retaining walls that are 25 to 30 feet high. It is a sound
barrier from the residential zone behind us. The location of the parking lot
complies with the ordinance in terms of setback for this use and the adjacent
Mr. Bennett referred to Exhibit
A-7, monument signs. The ordinance allows one, and since the entrances are so
far apart, we propose two. They are a maximum of 6’ high, and one will be
two-sided because of its location. They are designed to be consistent with the
building architecture. Ground illumination is proposed.
Mr. Bautz asked the line of sight
to the other buildings. If you were in the flex building would you be in line
with the top of every other building on site? The only concern would be the
PUBLIC PORTION OPENED
Valerie Wolff, 254 Mountain Road,
stepped forward. She said they haven’t resolved the issues of why they were
turned down before. That was because the only access was from Mountain Road.
There was a major accident in front of my house with a large truck that lost
Mr. Germinario said tonight is
just for questions, not testimony.
Ms. Wolff asked how they are
going to change the fact that they can only go out on Mountain Road?
Mr. Meyer stated traffic is a
major concern of the project. The Board has also engaged an expert traffic
engineer, and there will be testimony.
Mr. Wyciscala stated this is our
first application before the Board. We have not had any prior applications,
except for a concept plan review. We have never had anything rejected by the
Council or the Planning Board. We will have our traffic expert provide
testimony as well as our engineer and the town’s consultant. There will be an
opportunity to cross examine those witnesses.
Ms. Wolff stated the medical
building is backed up to our property and there will be dumpsters right behind
my back yard.
Mr. Wyciskala said there will be
testimony, and that will be addressed.
Mr. Omland stated Lot 11 is Ms.
Wolf’s lot, and the plan calls for the curb line 77 feet off the property line
and the dumpster is 5 or 10 feet away from that. The dumpster will be enclosed
within a wooden enclosure. That dumpster can be relocated, if necessary, but
87 feet away is not a bad distance.
Ms. Wolff asked if there will be
a fence put up during construction.
Mr. Omland said we need to put
silt fence on the downhill side. There is no obligation for silt fence on the
uphill side. The township does require snow fencing. We would consent to
putting a snow fence.
Ms. Wolff asked if the town can prevent
the restaurant from leaching out garbage into the surrounding area.
Mr. Meyer said there are laws and
ordinances that need to be abided by.
Mr. Omland said the restaurant is
about 300 feet from your home and the dumpster is on the opposite side of the
restaurant and will be in an enclosure. There is also a retaining wall there.
This is not a drive-thru.
Ms. Wolff’s home is on Lot 11.
Ms. Wolff said the owners of the
property have not been good neighbors up to this point. There has been no maintenance
or upkeep since the applicant has owned the property.
Brian Valentine, 240 Mountain
Road, stepped forward. He asked what if DOT does not approve the traffic
light. Is there a plan in place for the traffic and Mountain Road?
Mr. Meyer said they would like to
continue with the application and the Board would have to make a decision.
Mr. Wyciscala said we would react
to that if it occurs.
Mr. Valentine asked about the
rooftop elevation of the warehouse. It was stated there would be a 30 foot retaining
wall as a sound buffer. Most of the homes are about 60 feet above the
warehouse. Can the warehouse be rotated to face the other way?
Mr. Omland stated he would
disagree there is no sound buffer. We will show a sight line showing the sound
David Christian, 246 Mountain
Road, was present. About the sight lines, I want the Board to take our view
into consideration from our homes. There will be a change in the sound. When
the trees are cut down, we will hear Route 80. Also, with smoke coming from the
restaurant the wind will blow the smells up to the houses. Will you take that
Mr. Meyer said all of this will
be addressed in testimony.
Tania Kelly, 225 Mountain Road,
stepped forward. She stated she is concerned about traffic on Mountain Road.
Regarding the ability to build on the horizontal plain, could a road be
proposed in another area so that Mountain Road wouldn’t be affected?
Mr. Omland said one was not
proposed there. That area is all wetlands, and it would be impossible to get
permits to cross there. We are regulated by the township, DEP and DOT. The
law would not allow it.
Mr. Rilee stated if they grant a
light at Mountain Road, might they grant a right-out turn onto Rt. 206?
Mr. Omland said he can’t say.
Melissa Robertello, 220 Mountain
Road, was present. She asked if they were asking for a change so that the
restaurant would be open after 11 p.m. and would that include a liquor license?
Mr. Omland stated it probably
would include a liquor license, and that will be answered later in testimony.
Ms. Robortello said she lives on
the corner of Mountain Lane and most of us have very young children. I can’t
imagine having tractor trailers driving up and down the road. I can’t
understand how a light would even help. People will be driving down Mountain
Road and they will be cutting through the roads there. I also think a traffic
light can be a hazard because there is not visual clearance.
Mr. Omland said the light would
not be at the project entrance and Mountain Road. The light would be on Rt.
Ms. Robortello said it would
cause traffic backup onto Mountain Road.
Mr. Wyciscala said that will be
addressed by the traffic experts.
Janet Lemma, Hampton court,
stepped forward. She said she has not heard any discussion on the quality of
life for the residents that live on the mountain.
Mr. Omland said he is not an
expert on quality of life, he is an engineer. We are not disregarding the
residents. We are attentive and we listen. Quality of life is very
subjective. The township ordinance allows this type of development here, and
it has been zoned for this for quite some time.
Mr. Meyer said there are always
issues when there is development. In general if something is zoned for a
certain type of development, you are entitled to use the property in that way.
This applicant is asking for something the zone allows, and they have to
satisfy the Board on many issues, including the surrounding residents, traffic,
Mr. Ciaramella suggested that on
the evenings we have the traffic experts here, we should also have the engineer
discuss off tract improvements that area required.
Mr. Rilee stated this is just an
overview today. We haven’t started going through the professional reports.
Ms. Lemma said if you don’t know
the tenants who will go in, how can you project the noise levels, etc?
Mr. Zoschak stated they have to
abide by the laws of the township regarding noise, use, etc., and they have to
go through the zoning process.
Jerry Chandler, 238 Mountain
Road, stepped forward. He said there seem to be lots of requests for variances
and ordinance interpretations. What is your policy when granting variances?
Mr. Meyer said the Board looks at
each variance and at the case the applicant makes in order for the Board to
grant a variance.
Mr. Chandler said this is in a
100-year floodplain, correct?
Mr. Omland said a small portion.
We have already filed for wetland permits, transitionary averaging, GP6’s,
GP11’s, GP10s and a flood hazard permit.
Ray Wolff stepped forward. He
asked what makes this property for the restaurant so tantalizing? You won’t be
able to get in and out and you won’t be able to see it. If you can’t get a
tenant, what will happen to the building?
Mr. Wyciscala said we won’t build
the restaurant unless we have a tenant.
Brian Valentine asked if anything
will be decided or approved tonight.
Mr. Meyer said no.
Mr. Valentine asked when will the
variances be decided upon?
Mr. Meyer said after and during
Mr. Valentine said many of my
neighbors never saw any of the prior applications for this property.
Mr. Meyer said they never got as
far as a formal application.
Melissa Robortello stepped
forward. She asked when this property was zoned as a B1A zone, was the
entrance ever known?
Mr. Omland said Lot 9 is the B1A
zone and that lot only has frontage on Mountain Road.
Ms. Robortello asked how long it
has been zoned B1A.
Mr. Stern said many many years.
Corinne Kilkeary stepped
forward. She asked if they will wait to secure a tenant for all the buildings
and when they want to break ground.
Mr. Omland said no, and it will
take 12 to 18 months before we secure all the outside approvals. We would
start construction as soon as possible after that.
Colin Lynch, 233 Mountain Road,
stepped forward. She asked what type of restaurant chain is anticipated.
Mr. Omland said something similar
to a Chili’s or Appleby’s.
Ms. Lynch asked how many loading
docks would be on the warehouse.
Mr. Omland stated they have
contemplated 8 tenants and there will be as many as 8 docks and 4 depressed
areas. Virtually every business necessitates delivery by tractor trailers.
Ms. Lynch aside if there will be
retail space in the warehouse area.
Mr. Omland said it is not
Ms. Lynch asked if there has been
any assessment of how many office workers would be in the medical buildings.
Mr. Omland said no, but the
number of parking spaces is based on square footage.
Ms. Lynch asked if financing has
been obtained for the project.
Mr. Wyciscala said that is not a
question for tonight.
Mr. Omland said you are protected
by bonding so that if the applicant does not complete the project, the town has
bonding in place.
Mr. Lynch asked if there has been
– any analysis on the affect on the water supply.
Mr. Omland said we didn’t’ test
wells, but one obligation was DEP and Roxbury have regulations that require us
to recharge a certain amount of water. I don’t believe what we are doing will
affect your well.
Mr. Wyciscala said this project
will be served by public water and sewers.
Ms. Lynch said this street has a
very unique character. It is semi-wild, very quiet. Some of the houses are
located very close to the road. I ask the Board to keep in mind the unique
character of the area.
The application was carried to
6/4/08, no further notice required.
The applicant granted an
extension through 8/31/08.
Mr. Zoschak asked about a
Mr. Stern stated a revised
ordinance will be before the Township Council shortly.
The meeting was adjourned by
motion at 10:20 p.m.
A. DeMasi, Secretary