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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 Shadiack.

 

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, Board Secretary.

 

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 5/7/08

 

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, yes.

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

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

                                                                                           RESOLUTION

 

 Decided:  May 21, 2008

 Memorialized:  June 4, 2008

 

IN THE MATTER OF OPEN ROAD BMW/FNC REALTY CORP.

FINAL SITE PLAN APPROVAL

BLOCK 5301, LOT 14

APPLICATION NO. PBA-08-009

 

WHEREAS, 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

 

WHEREAS, the application was deemed complete by the Board, and a public hearing was held on 5/21/08; and

 

WHEREAS, it 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

 

WHEREAS, the 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 record:

 

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 herein below.

 

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 hereinabove.

 

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 screening.

(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 service.

(6)           Install concrete wheel stops at accessible parking stalls.

(7)           Install benches, trash containers and ash urns.

(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 pads.

(15)         Seed and hay between the fence and C & L Auto Body driveway.

(16)         Seed and hay lawn area by dumpster enclosures.

(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 building.

 

Condition 28 – Use of floodlights is prohibited on the site.

 

4.  Payment of off-site and off-tract contributions shall be verified, if applicable.

 

5.  Payment of the mandatory development fee shall be verified.

 

6.  This approval is subject to all other approvals required by any governmental agency having jurisdiction over the subject property.

 

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.

 

Mr. 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.

 

AGENDA

 

PBA-08-0011 - KBC PROPERTIES – SOIL APPLCATION FOR PROPERTY LOCATED ON RT. 10, BLOCK 1905, LOT 11 IN B-2 ZONE

 

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 10 east.

 

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.

 

Discussion.

 

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, yes.

 

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 permit.

 

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 that. 

 

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 there?

 

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 206.

 

Mr. Stern said regarding vehicles exiting the gas station, will they able to use the existing driveways on Route 206?

 

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 lines.

 

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 percentile.

 

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 that driveway?

 

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 9:00 p.m.

 

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.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

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.   

 

Discussion.

 

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 sewer purposes. 

 

Mr. Rilee stated Mr. Stern’s report states a variance is required from the requirement for a 50 foot wide residential buffer.

 

Mr. Stern said there is also a variance required for parking setback to the building as it pertains to the canopy.

 

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 itself.   

 

 

 

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 in ourselves.

 

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 anyway. 

 

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 there.

 

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 the medium. 

 

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 Service B.

 

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 they did. 

 

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 landscaped, etc. 

 

Mr. Ciaramella asked how far in the emergency entrance is off the intersection.

 

Mr. Elias stated it is about 250 feet.

 

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.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

The application was carried to 7/16/08.

 

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 to 7/31/08.

 

The meeting was adjourned by motion at 10:40 p.m.

 

                                                            Dolores DeMasi, Secretary

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