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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.
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Richard
Zoschak, Steven Alford, Jim Rilee, John Ciaramella, Charles Bautz, Michael
ABSENT: Larry Sweeney, Joseph
Schwab, Robert DeFillippo. Scott Meyer arrived at 8:10 p.m.
PROFESSIONAL STAFF PRESENT: Tom
Germinario, Russell Stern, Steve Bolio for Paul Ferriero.
Also present: Dolores DeMasi,
Ms. DeMasi asked for nominations
for interim chairman.
Mr. Zoschak nominated John Ciaramella
as interim chairman. Mr. Rilee seconded. A voice vote approved.
Mr. Ciaramella read the “Open
Public meetings Act”.
Minutes of 4/16/08 and
Mr. Rilee made a motion to
approve the minutes. Mr. Bautz seconded.
Roll as follows: Mr. Rilee, yes;
Mr. Bautz, yes; Mr. Shadiack, yes; Mr. Zoschak, yes; Mr. Alford, abstain; Mr. Ciaramella,
PBA-08-009 – OPEN ROAD BMW
– FINAL SITE PLAN FOR PROPERTY LOCATED ON RT. 46, BLOCK 5301, LOT 14 IN B-2 ZONE
ROXBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING BOARD
Decided: May 21, 2008
Memorialized: June 4, 2008
THE MATTER OF OPEN ROAD BMW/FNC REALTY CORP.
SITE PLAN APPROVAL
5301, LOT 14
Open Road BMW/FNC Realty Corp. (hereinafter the "Applicant") applied
to the Roxbury Township Planning Board (hereinafter the "Board") for
final site plan approval on 3/19/08; and
application was deemed complete by the Board, and a public hearing was held on
has been determined that the Applicant has complied with all procedural
requirements, rules and regulations of the Board, and that all required
provisions of procedural compliance have been filed with the Board; and
Board makes the following findings and conclusions based upon the documents,
testimony and other evidence comprising the hearing record:
1. The property which is the subject of the
application consists of 5.19 acres located in the B-2 Highway Business
District. By Resolution memorialized 12/6/06, Applicant was granted
preliminary major site plan approval with variances and design waivers to
construct a BMW car dealership and service facility. The Applicant is now
before the Board seeking final site plan approval.
2. The development of the subject property to which
the Board’s decision herein pertains is depicted and described in the following
drawings and/or plans:
Prepared by Bohler Engineering, P.C.
Final Site Plan, sheets 1 to 15, revised 5/14/08
Prepared by Control Point Associates, Inc.
As-Built Survey, sheet 1 of 1, dated 5/12/08
3. The Board’s planning and engineering professionals
and/or consultants submitted the following reports concerning their respective
reviews of the application, which are part of the hearing record:
Russell Stern, PP, dated 5/15/08
Paul Ferriero, PE, dated 5/14/08
4. In the course of the public hearing, no exhibits
were marked and are part of the hearing record.
5. In the course of the public hearing, the Applicant
was represented by Douglas Henshaw, Esq., and the Applicant presented the
testimony of the following witnesses, which testimony is part of the hearing
Rob Streker, P.E., engineer
6. The Board finds that the Applicant has constructed
the project substantially in accordance with the approved preliminary site
plans, subject to the completion of those items set forth in the conditions
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board does hereby approve the final site
plan as depicted and described in the drawings and/or plans referenced
This approval is subject to the following conditions
which shall, unless otherwise stated, be satisfied prior to the issuance of a
permanent certificate of occupancy:
1. The following items shall be completed by 6/20/08:
(1) Install rooftop mechanical equipment
(2) Anchor guide rail post and
beam to loading dock retaining wall.
(3) Complete exterior painting
and building finishes.
(4) Remove debris throughout site.
(5) Remove temporary overhead electric
(6) Install concrete wheel
stops at accessible parking stalls.
(7) Install benches, trash containers and
(8) Paint trash enclosure steel
bars adjoining the gates.
(9) Paint bollards.
(10) Remove mulch covering irrigation
heads or raise heads.
(11) Remove construction trailer,
dumpster, temporary signs, portable toilets, etc.
(12) Complete parking stall
striping in the vicinity of the construction trailer.
(13) Replace marginal/dead shrubs
(predominantly ‘IG’ and ‘IC’).
(14) Install annuals by the Route 46 display
(15) Seed and hay between the
fence and C & L Auto Body driveway.
(16) Seed and hay lawn area by dumpster
(17) Replace dead and marginal
Zelkovas along Route 46.
(18) Sod by easterly driveway
entrance (obstructed by temporary gate).
(19) Paint arrows on “BMW Sales Service” sign.
(20) Complete rear elevation roof
drains/leaders per the direction of the Township/Board Engineer.
(21) Install canopy lights with
lens mounted flush with the fixture housing.
(22) Install exit/enter signs at
the Applicant’s discretion.
(23) Remove temporary silt fence
from inlets upon MCSCD approval.
(24) Shift the installed shade
trees along the IHOP property line, closer to the BMW curb where the trees are
too close and in conflict with existing vegetation.
3. The following conditions from the Preliminary Site
Plan Resolution are reiterated:
Condition 3 – Vehicle bodywork and painting area
prohibited on the site.
Condition 5 – The Route 46 paver vehicle display pads
shall contain no more than one vehicle per pad. The vehicle shall be displayed
at the grade of the proposed pave pads and not elevated.
Condition 12 – No commercial repair work of any kind
shall be conducted in the parking areas.
Condition 23 – The loading of vehicles is prohibited
along Route 46 and in the front unloading yard area between the highway and
Condition 28 – Use of floodlights is prohibited on the
4. Payment of off-site and off-tract contributions
shall be verified, if applicable.
5. Payment of the mandatory development fee shall be
6. This approval is subject to all other approvals
required by any governmental agency having jurisdiction over the subject
7. This approval is subject to the payment in full by
the Applicant of all taxes, fees, escrows, assessments and other amounts due
and owing to the Township and/or any agency thereof.
8. If the Soil Conservation District, Morris County
Planning Board, or any other governmental body from which approval is necessary
causes, through their examination of the plans as recited in this resolution,
any revisions to said plans then, in that event, same shall be submitted to the
Planning Board Engineer. If the Planning Board Engineer deems said revisions
to be significant, the Applicant shall return to the Planning Board for further
review and approval.
The undersigned does hereby certify that the foregoing
is a true copy of the Resolution of the Roxbury Township Planning Board
memorializing the action taken by the Board at its meeting of 5/21/08.
Zoschak made a motion to approve the resolution. Mr. Shadiack seconded.
Roll as follows: Mr. Zoschak,
yes; Mr. Shadiack, yes; Mr. Ciaramella, yes; Mr. Rilee, abstain.
PBA-08-0011 - KBC PROPERTIES
– SOIL APPLCATION FOR PROPERTY LOCATED ON RT. 10, BLOCK 1905, LOT 11 IN B-2
Attorney Jason Rittie represented
the applicant. He stated on 6/6/07 we received preliminary major site plan
approval with soil movement permit being a condition.
Adam Remick, engineer for the
applicant, was sworn in. He stated the soil will be imported from Granel, in Sparta. The route of travel will be Route 15 to Rt. 80 to Howard Blvd., Rt. 46 W to Route
Mr. Remick said he received the
review letter from Mr. Ferriero, and we did want to discuss the hours of
operation. Construction is permitted from 7 to 4, and we would ask for the
same for soil movement.
Mr. Zoschak asked when the soil
would be coming in to the site.
Mr. Remick said it would take a
few months, and would occur during the beginning of the site disturbance.
Mr. Zoschak suggested hours until
noon on Saturdays.
The applicant agreed.
The Board agreed to 7 to 4, and 7
to noon on Saturday.
PUBLIC PORTION OPENED
No one stepped forward.
PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED
Mr. Rilee made a motion to
approve the application with hours as discussed. Mr. Zoschak seconded.
Roll as follows: Mr. Rilee, yes;
Mr. Zoschak, yes; Mr. Shadiack, yes; Mr. Ciaramella, yes; Mr. Bautz, yes; Mr. Alford,
Mr. Rittie said the applicant
also filed a tree removal permit. We understand that is an administrative
requirement and a bond would be typically required. We request the Board
recommend to the administration that a bond not be required for the tree removal
Mr. Stern said the way the code
is written, I could waive the performance guarantees. They are required to
have 7 replacement trees. I would recommend not requiring the bond.
The Board members agreed.
PBA-08-005 – BLUE VISTA – SITE
PLAN FOR 2 MEDICAL BUILDINGS, RESTAURANT AND WAREHOUSE/FLEX BUILDING LOCATED ON
MOUNTAIN RD./RT. 206, BLOCK 9202, LOTS 1, 2, 9 & 10 IN OR-5 ZONE
Attorney John Wyciscala
represented the applicant. He said tonight we will be covering traffic
testimony. He said since the last hearing, we have met with Mr. Stern and
Mr. Ferriero to go through the reports. We will be responding to those reports
when we come back at the next hearing. A question had been raised as to what
happens if we don’t get a traffic signal here. This project does hinge on us
getting the traffic signal. We are not proposing the project without the
signal. We expect a response shortly from the DOT.
Mr. Germinario said he informed
Mr. Wyciscala that under the law, the access to the site will only work with
the traffic signal and it is an essential element of the site plan approval.
As we reach the end of the hearing process, we have to have assurance that the
signal will be approved.
Jay Troutman, traffic consultant
for the applicant, was sworn in. He gave his educational and professional
background for the Board and was accepted. He stated he prepared a traffic
impact study that was submitted with the application. He provided a summary of
his findings, stating we started looking at the site last spring when the issue
of the signal was raised. We found a safety issue due to the fact that there
are 2 travel lanes in each direction on Route 206, with no dedicated turn
lanes. In that case you would look at installing left turn lanes. We also
found vehicles were having trouble making left turns at that location. We have
analyzed accident data, and we found it warrants a traffic signal due to the
number of accidents. The NJDOT, when looking to review a location for a signal
requires that you check the warrants which consists of looking at the accident
numbers. There are other warrants that have to do with volume of traffic. In
looking at those warrants, Route 206 meets the warrants. Mountain Road, under
existing conditions, has fairly low volumes. We would also need to discuss
what volume the proposed project would have. When you add that, you meet
several traffic volume warrants.
Mr. Rilee asked if the accidents
include those coming out of the Shell station.
Mr. Troutman said it doesn’t even
include those making a left out of the Shell station. The signal would correct
Mr. Rilee asked if DOT would
grant a short time frame for that to be a dedicated left turn lane off Rt. 206
onto both of those roads.
Mr. Troutman said there is a left
turn arrow at International Drive. The police found that when the arrow is on,
it is fine, but when it is a green ball, there is an issue with accidents on
that scenario. They would like that changed so that you can only go on the
arrow, and have this one designed so that you could only go left on the arrow.
They would widen the road.
Mr. Troutman referred to Exhibit
A-8, Traffic Signal Plan, Route 206 and Mountain Rd./Old Ledgewood Road. He
said this is a preliminary plan of a potential signal design. We had two
meetings with DOT last summer and submitted data. They got back to us with
comments and requests for additional information, and we did a detailed
response to that and met with them again. The issues are not necessarily the
need for the signal based on accidents or volume but how close it is to International Drive. They have decided that they really want to try to make this work and
needed us to demonstrate that we could tie the two signals together. That is
what we submitted to them and is what they are looking at now. The exhibit
shows a widening along Route 206. Starting to the south of International Drive
you would carry what you have northward, and you would have a 5 lane cross
section at the intersection – 2 lanes in each direction plus a center lane for
a left turn lane, and an exclusive right turn lane going south. We would
transition that up to this intersection and would give you the center area for
the left turn movements. The applicant would install the signal at their cost.
Mr. Bautz said, going south on
206, the left turn lane going into Mountain Road, how many cars would that hold
on the stacking lane?
Mr. Troutman said under this
preliminary design, it would hold 6 vehicles, however, it will be revised to
expand that to about 8 vehicles. The applicant does not expect predominantly
tractor trailers to be entering this site because of the type of user. We will
be able to accommodate them. At 200 feet, you could accommodate 2 tractor
trailers plus 2 cars.
Mr. Zoschak said the intersection
isn’t straightened out. Are there plans to do that?
Mr. Troutman said no, due to
right-of-way and environmental constraints.
Mr. Zoschak said some of that was
supposed to be mitigated.
Mr. Wyciscala said that is
Netcong property on the corner, as well as a preservation area.
Mr. Zoschak asked if there will
be any widening of the intersection, or the roadway approaching it.
Mr. Troutman said no. Any
widening would be minimal. The intent was just to get the traffic signal
there. We determined the side streets would have to be single lanes.
Mr. Zoschak asked how far the
entranceway is from the intersection.
Mr. Troutman said about 550 feet
away from the intersection.
Mr. Zoschak asked if, in Mr.
Troutman’s opinion, the DOT would consider a signalized right turn only lane
out of the driveway, synced with the Mountain Road intersection?
Mr. Rilee said if they do grant a
light here, would they then potentially allow a right out only in the same
general area as the current right?
Mr. Troutman said no, because the
issues are not related in their eyes. The two issues we have been meeting with
them about are the access and the signal. The DOT has designated this stretch
of 206 as access level 2, which means you can only have property access via a
public street, a grade separated interchange, or a driveway if the DOT
determines you don’t have alternative access. They told us initially we could
not have any driveway on Route 206. If we were a mid-block lot and did not
control frontage on Mountain Road, we would be able to ask them for a
nonconforming lot access driveway.
Mr. Rilee said my concern is to
push all that traffic onto Mountain Road without being able to have two lanes
exiting. We would like to see if there are any options to try to alleviate
some of that.
Mr. Troutman said if we can’t get
the access level changed on the highway, this lot should have no access to
Route 206. I was able to talk to DOT about the fact that for entering traffic,
going north on Route 206, it is very difficult to make the northbound right
into Mountain Road and into this site. I was able to get them to consider a
finding that for ingress there’s no alternative access available.
Scott Meyer arrived at 8:10 p.m.
and assumed the Chair.
Mr. Rilee said from a planning
perspective, to improve this, is there a way the applicant could look at
isolating that lot?
Mr. Troutman said we looked at
that. These lots are controlled by the same entity, and with the frontage on Mountain Road, DOT is stuck with this access level designation.
Mr. Rilee asked, wouldn’t the usability
of Mountain Road affect their decision making process? Between the
intersection and the driveway exiting the site, how many cars could stack
Mr. Troutman said about 22 cars.
The maximum design queue based on volume projections is 11.
Mr. Wyciscala suggested Mr.
Troutman go through his traffic report.
Mr. Bautz asked how long it takes
to clear those 22 cars
Mr. Troutman said the queue will
be 11. The light has been designed to provide enough green time to clear that
queue, based on demand. The light will include a camera that will only give
green time to Mountain Road as long as there is a car there.
Mr. Troutman continued to discuss
his report. He said we collected data and prepared estimates of traffic to be
generated by the proposed development. We did a directional distribution
model; we did a level of service analysis. Based on the analysis, we found
that the Rt. 206/Mountin Road intersection is F right now and it would worsen
with the addition of the development, which caused us to do the traffic signal
investigation. For the site exit to Mountain Road we found the morning peak
hour would have 217 vehicles and 70 vehicles exiting to Mountain Road. The
weekday afternoon peak hour would be 120 vehicles entering and 249 exiting to Mountain Road. About 83% of the traffic would go west on Mountain Road to Route 206, and
about 17% would go east to Route 46. Based on those numbers, we did projections
on Mountain Road and found the maximum vehicle queue in the afternoon, and it
would be 11 vehicles. Heading east at Mountain and Mooney, there is a stop
control to Mountain Road. All the levels of service would be B or better under
future build conditions. We also looked at the I-80 interchange, and the levels
of service were also acceptable. They were both B. Every location was LOS B
or better, except for LOS F at the proposed signalized intersection.
Mr. Meyer asked about the traffic
numbers at Route 206 and Mountain Road.
Mr. Troutman said in the morning
we project 35 inbound and 13 outbound. Current volume there is about 10%
less. Traffic exiting the site would be about 80 in the afternoon, whereas
presently there are about 80.
Harold K. Maltz, traffic expert
for the Board, was present. He said he has been involved in the process for
many months and has attended several meetings with DOT and the applicant.
Regarding the report dated 11/1/08 from Mr. Troutman, my report states all was
done in a proper manner and the accepted methodology was used in preparing the
report. The bottom line is that there is an existing LOS F on Mountain and Ledgewood Road. If you don’t signalize the intersection, it will get a lot worse. This
project can proceed only with the signalized intersection. If you did try to
proceed without the signal, you would have to prohibit left turns at all times
out of Mountain Road onto Route 206. There would then be further impacts to
other intersections. Right now, the applicant has sent another document to DOT
responding to their issues. I have provided a detailed summary of the
discussions with the DOT, and the prime concern of the DOT dealt with the
spacing of the signals on Route 206. The highway access code requires a half
mile difference. The design manual requires 1,200 feet, and they show 900
feet. There was previously a proposal for a signal there, and it was turned
down by the DOT because of the spacing. In terms of the warrants, I agree with
the applicant’s findings. However, with the development of this project, you
would need at least 3 signal warrants which would be the 8 hour, 4 hour and the
peak hour, in addition to the accident warrant. The prime concern is the
spacing issue, which is why they asked Mr. Troutman to provide signal
progression analyses, queuing analyses, weaving analysis for the I-80 eastbound
off ramp onto 206 southbound in relation to the left turn into Mountain. That
information is provided, and currently there hasn’t been a response.
Mr. Meyer asked if it is Mr.
Maltz’s experience that DOT is flexible when it comes to spacing.
Mr. Maltz said he has seen them
be flexible in some instances, and not in other instances. At the last
meeting, the DOT representative did not reject the request for the signal out
of hand. He gave the applicant the opportunity to respond to them, and that is
where it is right now.
Mr. Zoschak asked, in Mr. Maltz’s
experience, is the speed limit too fast?
Mr. Maltz said with a lower speed
it reduces the spacing distance for the signal, but not for the access.
Mr. Zoshcak asked what dictates
the access code.
Mr. Troutman said they have a
chart based on speed, but it is much more strict. They also base it on traffic
signal cycle lengths.
Mr. Zoschak asked if anyone tried
to obtain additional property.
Mr. Maltz said it was considered,
but Mr. Keller said there is no ability to get additional land because one
corner is in the wetlands, one corner is in the Highlands, and one is an
occupied gas station. There are also alignment issues with Ledgewood Road
across the street.
Mr. Zoshcak suggested it may be a
waiver issue with the Highlands.
Mr. Wyciscala said it is in the
preservation area, so it is a DEP issue.
Mr. Rilee asked about a right
turn out of this property onto Route 206.
Mr. Maltz said it was discussed
at DOT and they agreed, however they have the access level 2 situation and the
state was involved in a court case in another area and won. They are faced
with the situation of having denied it elsewhere, and how can they then turn
around and say we can give it in Roxbury? They conceded that they could allow
a right in, but they absolutely would not budge on the right out onto Route
Mr. Stern said regarding vehicles
exiting the gas station, will they able to use the existing driveways on Route
Mr. Maltz said that was raised
with the DOT and technically you can’t have a driveway opposite an exclusive turn
lane on a highway. It was discussed to close one of the driveways, and it was
noted it would destroy the internal circulation and it was noted the drive
closest to Mountain Road would have to be identified as a right-in-only.
Mr. Troutman stated most of the
police department comments were consistent with what we have said regarding the
need for a signal. They do note there is an ordinance that restricts Mountain Road to vehicles 4 tons or less. We would agree with that, except for the segment
from our driveway to Route 206.
Mr. Stern asked how the traffic
signal would start to impact traffic along Mountain Road.
Mr. Troutman said he doesn’t see
the incentive for someone outside the local area to do that more than they do
now. We did calculate a slight increase.
Mr. Stern asked about the sight
Mr. Troutman stated we will look
at that at the next meeting. In terms of vehicles going west on Mountain Road as
you come down a curve to our driveway, you will be able to see clearly to the
traffic signal once the vegetation is cleared. We will provide a plan showing
the clearing and posting of signs there.
Mr. Maltz said in the queue analysis
it notes an average queue and a design queue. Is the design queue the 95
Mr. Troutman said that was a 50% increase
over the average queue.
Mr. Maltz asked how that would relate
to the average queue.
Mr. Troutman said he would have
to run that calculation.
Mr. Bautz said the center isle
that exits the gas station sits on Route 206. What stops people from pulling
out to go south on Route 206?
Mr. Maltz said that would have to
be signed “Do Not Enter”.
Mr. Troutman said that would be an
access modification that would occur through the Office of Major Access Permits
when we are working on the access application and when they are reviewing the
details of the signal design. We have been strictly dealing with the traffic
engineering people for the signal. Then we would go to the access people and
would run the signal design as an access application and those issues would be
addressed at that time. The internal circulation and exits would be handled
under Title 39.
Mr. Rilee said regarding truck
access on Mountain Road to the site, why would a truck need to enter the site at
Mr. Troutman said the only one
that would have to enter at Mountain Road would be the southbound left turn.
Trucks coming northbound on Route 206 would make a right in at the Route 206 driveway.
Mr. Rilee said Mountain Road is very narrow there and I can see a conflict going around those curves with
two trucks passing each other.
Mr. Rilee asked Mr. Maltz about
B3, page 3 on his report.
Mr. Maltz said that is a
parameter in the capacity analysis.
Mr. Bautz said Mr. Maltz stated the
only way you can continue on Route 206 South is to go out onto Mountain Road and make the left turn?
Mr. Troutman said yes, unless you
go to the Netcong Circle and come back.
Mr. Bautz asked if anyone has
done a traffic study on the gas station.
Mr. Troutman said he did a study,
and the patterns of the gas station are mainly right in and right out. The second
most predominant pattern is a southbound left in and a northbound right out.
Mr. Zoschak asked what the
right-of-way is on Mountain Road.
Mr. Troutman said he believes the
right-of-way is 60 feet and the pavement is about 24 feet. If it is a Township
right-of-way, we should be able to widen it, and we could work with Netcong.
Mr. Wyciscala said the transition
areas carry over across the highway
Mr. Wyciscala said we will have
our engineer confirm it and get back to the Board.
There was a 5 minute recess at
PUBLIC PORTION OPENED for
questions on the traffic testimony.
Brian Valentine, 240 Mountain Road, stepped forward. He asked if there was any consideration of future
pedestrian traffic that would be going down to the proposed restaurant.
Mr. Troutman said this is a very
rural area, and I have not observed any pedestrians. If there are pedestrian
amenities that we could provide along our frontage we would look into that.
Mr. Valentine said there are
several hundred residents who might want to go there.
Mr. Troutman said he hasn’t seen
any evidence of people walking there.
Mr. Maltz had no opinion.
Mr. Valentine said the people who
live on Mountain Road use that Shell station convenience store. The idea
tonight was to not allow traffic from the Shell station to Mountain Road.
Mr. Maltz said to clarify, there
are two driveways on Route 206 and one on Mountain Road. The middle one at the
corner of 206 is the one we are discussing to have one way in only.
No one else stepped forward.
Mr. Meyer said his intention is
to not have another hearing until the traffic signal issue is determined.
Mr. Wyciscala said we have stated
earlier that the project is only viable with the traffic signal. We are at a
level of comfort that the signal would be approved by DOT. We are scheduled to
meet with them in mid-June. Based on Mr. Troutman’s experience, he would
expect that we would receive a response from DOT shortly thereafter, or within
30 to 60 days. We would appreciate the Board proceeding with the application.
Mr. Myer said he understands
that. My position is that I don’t want to keep bringing the public and the Board
members out if there is a possibility that the signal won’t happen.
Mr. Germinario stated he had a
discussion with Mr. Wyciscala earlier today, and it was discussed that we would
hold off another hearing until the second meeting in July.
Mr. Wyciscala said we would
suggest meeting on 6/18/08 and proceeding with the engineering testimony.
It was determined the application
will be carried to 6/18/08 at 7:30, no further notice.
Mr. Bolio left at 9:15 p.m.
PBA-08-010 – CHOD
ENTERPRISES – SITE PLAN FOR OFFICE BUILDING LOCATED ON RIGHTER RD. BLOCK 5001,
LOT 1 IN OB ZONE
Bill Gleba represented the Board
as consulting engineer on this application.
Attorney Bill Bergman represented
the applicant. He stated the property is located at 225 Righter Road at the
intersection of Commerce Boulevard. The property is just over 3 acres and is
vacant. The zone requires a minimum of 5 acres, which requires a variance, and
a variance is required for lot width. This is a proposal for a professional
office building. We have met with the Meadows at Roxbury Board of Trustees and
have worked out an agreement in principle to use their pumping station for
Mr. Rilee stated Mr. Stern’s
report states a variance is required from the requirement for a 50 foot wide
Mr. Stern said there is also a
variance required for parking setback to the building as it pertains to the
Mr. Bergman stated we are
prepared to abandon the canopies if required. We think they look nice and
enhance the building. As to the variance for the buffer, we will address that.
Arthur Elias, engineer for the
applicant, was sworn in and gave his educational and professional background
for the Board. He referred to sheet 3 of 21 and stated the site is bounded by
railroad tracks and Willow Walk to the north, an office building to the east, vacant
property to the south and east and the Meadows to the west. The site contains
3.1 acres. We propose a 2 story office building. We conform with the bulk
requirements with the exception of the canopy. We are nonconforming for
minimum lot size, and lot width and frontage. We cannot acquire more land
because we are bounded by railroad municipal right-of-way, and a developed
property. The site is wooded and fairly flat. There is an existing culvert
that drains the property and ties into the existing stormwater system.
Mr. Elias referred to exhibit
A-1, colorized site rendering, sheet 1 of 1 dated 6/3/08. He stated they propose
an entrance/exit off Righter Road with an emergency access into the site from Commerce Boulevard. The building will be in the center with access all around. We are
providing 155 parking spaces, 144 required. The building pad is virtually flat
and we propose grading off the property sheet flow into an infiltration basin.
The basin is designed to accommodate the 100 year storm and meets all DEP
requirements. We propose to tie into gas, electric, cable lines on Righter Road and water on Commerce Boulevard. There are no sewer lines in front of our
property. We propose to tie into the Meadows sewer line. We have reviewed the
project with the Township Engineer and he is reviewing the pump station
We have also talked to the
Meadows regarding access to the site off of Commerce Boulevard. We had
originally planned just ingress from Commerce Boulevard, and an in and out off
of Righter Road. The Meadows preferred we no do that because they were
concerned with people coming in there. We made that an emergency access only
(grass pavers). Mr. Gleba had suggested it be a two way access and be a
conforming driveway. We are willing to discuss that further. There are
sidewalks on Commerce Boulevard and we propose to continue it along Righter Road as far as our property. Mr. Kobylarz had requested that we not provide the
sidewalk because there is a short piece missing there and he suggested we
provide handicap ramps on both sides of Righter Road. He also requested a
monetary contribution in lieu of putting in the sidewalk. We do not object to
putting in the handicap ramps, but we feel that we would rather put the sidewalk
Ms. DeMasi distributed a copy of
a sketch from Mr. Kobylarz dated 6/3/08.
Mr. Stern described the sketch,
stating there is structure labeled headwalls at Willow Walk Boulevard island.
There are headwalls there and a guiderail and there is no area for a sidewalk
there. Continuing south on Righter Road, there is the railroad crossing that
has no pedestrian arms. Farther on is a drainage ditch and a culvert. Farther
south are guy wires and a utility pole. That is why he recommended the
handicap ramp at Righter and Commerce; a crosswalk; depressed curb; repair and
replacement of sidewalk on the easterly side of Righter Rd; construct short
length of sidewalk on either side of the railroad tracks, and link it to the
Ledgewood Mall sidewalk.
Mr. Rilee asked if there is a
ditch in front of the building.
Mr. Elias said there is a ditch.
The curbing on Commerce Blvd. stops just past the left hand turn. The road
then narrows, and we propose to widen there. All that ditch is doing is draining
our site. We propose to close that ditch.
Mr. Rilee said on the Commerce Boul evard side, would it be feasible to have an opening in the island?
Mr. Bergman said we have a
traffic engineer who would address that.
Mr. Elias said the site lighting
would be 16 feet high, as well as a fairly intensive landscape plan. We
provide a good buffer with our neighbor to the west at the Meadows with trees
and screening. The property to the south of us has wetlands, and the buffer
falls in the southwest corner of our site. We presently have application
before the DOT for a transition area reduction.
Mr. Gleba asked if the sanitary
sewer system on the Meadows property is owned by the Township or the homeowners
association. Are there easement rights already on the sanitary sewer?
Mr. Elias said it is owned by the
Township, and we do need an easement to access it. We have researched it, and
have reached an agreement in principle.
Mr. Gleba asked about the status
of the application with DEP.
Mr. Elias stated we don’t see any
issues with obtaining the permits.
Mr. Elias said the police had no
comments. Responding to the fire official report, the building will be
sprinkled, the elevator will accommodate a stretcher, one space will be
dedicated no parking. If the building is used for medical use, the experience
is that additional spaces are needed. That is why we put in additional spaces.
Judd Rocciola, traffic engineer
for the applicant, was sworn in. He gave his educational and professional
background and was accepted by the Board. He stated this is a very basic
layout with a two way circulation and a single two way driveway as far from the
intersection as possible. There is ample parking for the office use or medical
uses. The access off Commerce Blvd. is proposed as an emergency access only
and will have a lock box. Providing a full access off Commerce Blvd., you
could do it, if designed a little bit differently. That is pretty reasonable.
It would be a curbed driveway and it would be for entrance only. That was what
was originally proposed, and we met with the people at the Meadows and they had
concerns about that. We then limited it to an emergency access.
Mr. Bergman asked if having it be
an emergency access creates any problems.
Mr. Rocciola said no. It is a
reasonable request by the Meadows. The amount of traffic would be minimal
Mr. Bergman said it is our
understanding it is a public road, but is kept up by the Meadows.
Mr. Rilee asked if there could be
a cutout in the island.
Mr. Rocciola said this was a way
to try to accommodate the neighbors. There is a relatively low traffic volume
Mr. Rilee said if I thought this
would have a major impact on the development, I wouldn’t suggest the cutout.
Mr. Rocciola said we would have
to widen the emergency access drive to a two way width. You would have to open
Mr. Rocciola said there was a
question about tractor trailers maneuvering the site, and it can be done. It
will not be common for a tractor trailer to be on this type of use. There is
no loading area provided. Deliveries are generally by UPS type vehicles.
Mr. Gleba asked if there were any
issues from the police department.
Mr. Rocciola said there were no
issues but we will follow up and ask them if there is any accident history
Mr. Gleba said he would like clarification
on the Level of Service C mentioned, and then the report indicates a Level of
Mr. Rocciolo said the LOS C is
for the Commerce Blvd. approach, however the LOS for the intersection is B.
There will be no change.
Yogesh Mistry, architect for the
applicant, was sworn in and gave his educational and professional background
and was accepted by the Board. He described the proposed building, stating it
is rectangular and is situated on the center of the property. It is about 115’
x 144’ with a small jog. It is a total of 32,400 sq. ft. and is designed as a
spec office building for office or medical office tenants. The main entrance
is along the Righter Road side of the building. There are other entrance and
exists on the other sides of the buildings because of the layout of the parking
and for fire exits.
Mr. Mistry referred to exhibit
A-2, rendering of the office building, viewed from Righter Road and Commerce. The
main entryway is taller and on the Commerce side is a bumpout with a secondary
entry. The open canopies are about 10 feet off the ground. We are willing to
eliminate them, but I feel they do enhance the building. The building has
stucco, but is mainly glass. We plan for 8 rooftop units and screening that
extends about 5 feet above the roof deck. They are metal stud walls with the
same stucco finish as the front of the building. They are small and are set
back far enough that you really won’t see them. The main parapet height of the
building is 28 feet. The tall parapet at the front is 34’6”. The one on the
side is about 31 ft. high. This scale building is in line with the building
across Righter Road. There is some decorative block on the entry way and some
of the corners, and there is a significant amount of glass. There is also
metal trim and canopies.
Robert Griffin, attorney for the
Meadows, stepped forward. He said they were impressed with the way the
applicant behaved toward us. They laid out the whole concept and agreed to
meet with our board and our unit owner population. We asked them not to use
the front entrance except for an emergency basis. We asked them if it would be
unsafe, and they asked that they would study it and would get back to us and
Mr. Griffin stated all of the
aspects of the agreement with the applicant were contingent on the access being
what we requested. We believe the building looks good. What really happens is
that we have a lot of contractors that come by, and deliveries, and visitors.
When the light changes, people speed through the intersection, and to have
someone turning into the site in front of them would create a problem and cause
accidents. That road does not belong to us, but we have maintained it and
Mr. Ciaramella asked how far in
the emergency entrance is off the intersection.
Mr. Elias stated it is about 250
Mr. Stern asked Mr. Mistry what
type of windows there will be.
Mr. Mistry said they are clear
with a green tint.
PUBLIC PORTION OPENED
Linda Lutz, 26 Cliff Court,
stepped forward. I understand from newspaper reports that the intersection
improvements on Route 10 are back on the state’s to-do list. Will those improvements
have any impact to any of the analyses that you have done.
Mr. Elias said the traffic here
is so modest, I think Commerce will still be the same.
The application was carried to
Mr. Bergman asked the Board’s
opinion on the canopies.
After discussion, the Board felt
the canopies are not a significant issue.
The applicant granted an extension
The meeting was adjourned by
motion at 10:40 p.m.