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

 

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

 

ABSENT:  Scott Meyer.

 

PROFESSIONAL STAFF PRESENT:  Larry Wiener, Russell Stern.

 

Also present:  Dolores DeMasi, Board Secretary.

 

Minutes of 5/9/05

 

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

 

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

 

Minutes of 6/13/05

 

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

 

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

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

BA-25-04 – KINGTOWN DIESEL – AMENDED SITE AND USE FOR SERVICE STATION ON RT. 46, BLOCK, 9302, LOT 3 IN B-2 ZONE

 

In the matter of Kingtown Diesel

Case No.BA-25-04

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

 

 

                WHEREAS, Kingtown Diesel has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to expand a non-conforming use (use variance(s)); related variance(s), design waiver(s); site plan approval all as noted herein for premises located at 1470 Route 46 and known as Block 9302, Lot 3 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “B-2” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.701 et. seq. of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. Ronald Heymann, Esquire represented the applicant.
  2. The applicant is a tenant on the site.  The application was made with the consent of the owner of the property, Norman Lippman.
  3. Subject site has had a long history with the Roxbury Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.  The present application comes at the end of various litigation between the owner of the property, the Township, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. 
  4. The applicant was seeking “d” variance relief, “c” variance relief, site plan approval, and various waivers from design standards.
  5. The initial public hearing on this matter was conducted on 6/14/04.
  6. Prior to the initial public hearing, the Board received the following reports:
    1. 5/6/04 and 5/11/04 from Russell Stern, Township Planner
    2. 5/5/04 from Thomas J. Bodolsky, the Board’s Engineering Consultant
  7. The applicant submitted the following documents to the Board:

Prepared by Aponte Consulting Engineers

Sheet 1, Title Sheet, revised 12/28/03

Sheet 2, Existing Condition, revised 12/28/04

Sheet 3, Existing Uses and Locations, revised 12/28/04

Sheet 4, Existing Site Signage, revised 12/28/04

Sheet 5, Proposed Site Plan, revised 12/28/04

Sheet 6, Grading Plan (Existing), revised 12/28/03

Sheet 7, Proposed Landscaping, revised 12/28/03

Sheet (7) and 8, Proposed Lighting Plan, revised 12/28/03

Sheet 9, Details, revised 12/28/03

 

Prepared by Daniel J. Haggerty – Architect

 

Sheet A-1, Existing Floor Plans/Elevations, dated 8/13/03

Sheet A-2, Building Elevations/Existing Shed, dated 8/13/03

Sheet A-3, Proposed and Existing Canopies, dated 12/28/03

 

Prepared by Adrian Humbert Associates

 

                Planning and Zoning Analysis, dated November, 2003

 

                Prepared by John Robinson, PG, CPG

               

                Environmental Impact Statement, dated 11/11/03

 

                Prepared by Richard F. Smith, Jr.

 

                Sheet 1 of 1, Property Survey, revised 12/19/03

 

  1. The subject property is just over 5 acres and is located in the B2 Highway Business District. A church is located to the west – there is unimproved wooded township land to the south and east and there are commercial B2 properties located across Route 46 to the north of the applicant’s site.
  2. The site is developed with a multitude of commercial and industrial uses.  As noted by the Township Planner, the uses specifically permitted under prior approvals and/or dicta from the Superior Court are the following:
    1. Fuel service station (in front of existing building) and repair garage
    2. Offices on second floor of building
    3. Truck and trailer rental service
    4. New and used truck dealership and storage of merchandise
    5. New parts sales incidental to the truck dealership
    6. Heavy equipment maintenance, repair, sales and storage
    7. Inutile vehicle storage behind building (15 vehicles max.)
  3. As noted by the planner, there are numerous existing non-conforming conditions including, but not limited to the following:  non-conforming uses, mixed use, above ground storage tanks, outdoor storage, lighting, parking setbacks, parking layout, pump island and canopy setbacks, stormwater management facilities, trash/recycling enclosures, curbing, more than two driveways, paving, signage, landscaping, overhead wires, building sidewalk, and complete curbing along Route 46.
  4.   In addition to the non-conforming conditions, there are non-conforming uses.  The site contains a diesel fueling station, convenience store, municipal waste transfer trailer parking area and a modular rest room facility that did not receive “d” variance and site plan approvals from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
  5. In addition to the non-conformities noted above, the applicant (even as to permitted uses) has never completed site plan review.  A continuing thread in the prior litigation was the location, organization, and nature of all uses on-site.
  6. The present application seeks “d” variances, preliminary site plan approval, and the following uses:
    1. 1,800 square foot convenience store located within the existing building
    2. Truck stop
    3. Fuel distributorship (heating oil and propane)
    4.  Use of the two story masonry building for office/management
    5. Confirmation of multiple uses
  7. It is noted that vehicular service stations are permitted conditional uses in the B2 district.  This particular application, even if it were solely for a service station, does not comply with those conditional uses.  The proposal to add the multiple uses, as noted above, makes this application a blend of classic “d” variance as well as elements of a “d3” variance. 
  8. At the initial public hearing, the applicant introduced two expert witnesses who were both sworn in and recognized by the Board as experts.  The applicant’s professional planner, Adrian Humbert, provided the principal testimony at the public hearing and the applicant’s engineer, Reza Hashemi, also answered some preliminary engineering questions.  The applicant presented the following exhibits:
    1. A-1 – aerial photo May 1999
    2. A-2 – color photoboard (8 photos)
    3. A-3 – color photoboard (4 photos)
    4. A-4 through A-10 were photos of the existing convenient store and various site conditions
    5. A-11 – proposed site plan 12/28/03
    6. A-12 – preliminary and final
    7. A-13 – Sheet A one of the site plan
    8. A-14 – Mr. Humbert’s report on November 2003
    9. A-15 – Mr. Humbert provided some factual testimony as to the nature and use of the site.  He pointed out that there was going to be no dispensing of heating oil only propane and diesel (aside from the normal gasoline product) would be dispensed
  9. Mr. Humbert also described the office spaces.  Two on the first floor, one on the second, and noted the present office was not used.  He indicated these offices would be used in conjunction with uses on the site (i.e., the convenience store and sale of vehicles).
  10. Mr. Humbert noted that part of the proposed use would be to establish a truck stop.  In his initial testimony, the exact nature and detail of the truck stop use was not fully articulated.  He indicated that the intent was to provide a rest area on-site as opposed to having truckers park along the right of way of Interstate 80 as they presently do and was unsure as to whether or not the applicant would be providing showers and other amenities associated with truck stops.  Mr. Humbert noted that the site was over eight times the minimum lot size for the zone and suggested that the large lot size was the basis for permitting the intensity and number of uses proposed by the applicant.  He noted there were presently four curb cuts to Route 46, limited landscaping, and poor organization on-site.  He opined granting the relief would address all of these planning problems.
  11. The application was continued to the 9/13/04 public hearing.  The applicant’s engineer, Reza Hashemi, testified at the public hearing.  Mr. Hashemi indicated that the applicant had met with various members of the professional staff since the last public hearing.  He presented several exhibits – A-15 sheet 2 of the site plan, A-16 sheet 3 of the site plan, A-17 the permit for the existing “junk yard”.  In addition Mr. Hashemi reviewed prior revisions to the site plan including the  12/28/03 revision, which was described in exhibit A-11.  Mr. Hashemi then gave the Board the applicant’s latest revision, which was marked A-18.  Mr. Hashemi noted this revision had been done as recently as 9/11/04.  It would be fair to say  Mr. Hashemi described this as a newer and improved version of the applicant’s prior plans.  He noted same dramatically reduced impervious coverage, enhanced landscaping, separated the commercial diesel fuel operation from the automobile fueling use and organize the site and the activities on site in a very meaningful way.  In addition, the applicant was seeking to eliminate the “junk yard” use and replace same with a contractor’s yard.  He further noted that the rest stop area where tractor-trailers have been was reduced to a maximum of five.  The existing shower facility will be eliminated.
  12. The matter was continued to a special public hearing on 11/4/04.
  13. The applicant’s landscape architect, Edward Clark, was sworn in and testified at the hearing.  Mr. Clark noted he was retained to “put together” a landscape plan for the subject premises.  He reviewed a colorized rendering of the site plan (A-19), which depicted the proposed landscaping for the site.  Mr. Clark and the applicant agreed they would enhance the landscaping as recommended by Russell Stern.  
  14. Mohamed Safaraz, the principal of Sun Food Mart (purchaser under contract) testified at the hearing.  He stated he had been operating at the site and wanted to purchase the site and was, in fact, under contract to purchase the site.  He noted the station would be open 24/7 and dispense gasoline with separate diesel dispensing.  There would also be a convenience store and mechanical repair bays.  (The repair business was a 9-5 operation.)   Propane would also be dispensed on-site.  There would also be some offices for use of the business on-site.  Mr. Safaraz indicated that cars and vehicles would be sold/rented on-site.  There would be up to a maximum of 5 overnight truck parking spots.  Plug-in electric would provide an opportunity to allow the diesels not to have to idle overnight.  Overnight parking would require the truckers to utilize the electric and not idle the vehicles.  Mr. Safaraz also utilized exhibit A-18 to locate the various uses on-site.  He reiterated the former use for inutile vehicles would be replaced with a contractor’s yard.  Mr. Safaraz noted 7 parking spaces on the westerly side of the property would be used for overnight parking.  Although the trucks were used to haul municipal waste, they would be empty when parked overnight.
  15. Mr. Safaraz stated during his tenure on the site (8 years) he only knew of one significant accident.  Mr. Safaraz noted part of the site would be blocked off when fuel deliveries were taking place.  There were two separate loading areas for fuel (gasoline and diesel).  At one time, showers were proposed but the applicant stated those were eliminated and would be removed.  Essentially, only prepackaged foods would be served.
  16. Mr. Safaraz stated he would not permit repair vehicles to linger on-site.  Once repaired, the goal was to get the vehicle off-site within 30 days.
  17. The applicant’s traffic engineer, Elizabeth Dolan, testified at the public hearing.  Ms. Dolan had previously submitted a written report dated 10/22/04.  She identified peak morning and afternoon traffic hours.  She noted that most traffic was “right turn in” and “right turn out” which would be typical of such sites.  She opined the proposed uses and their location would provide adequate on-site circulation as well as reasonably safe egress and ingress.  She characterized the 1,800 square foot convenience store as a small ancillary use to the fueling operation.  She reviewed the level of service for each driveway and opined the driveways would function adequately from a traffic engineering perspective.  Ms. Dolan stated the re-organization of the site, as proposed, would improve the present on-site circulation and vehicular safety.
  18. Ms. Dolan indicated the 50’ driveway provided a better and safer “in” and “out”.  She indicated the westerly approach and exit were more of a question.  She noted that utilizing 55 MPH standards, two of the standards would not be met although they would be close.  In a colloquy with the Board’s engineer, the applicant was asked to provide additional traffic information.
  19. John Robinson, a geologist, testified on behalf of the applicant.  He had previously submitted a written report dated 9/1/04.  He noted there was a polluted well on-site and that a water tank was utilized for on-site water.  No public water is available.  The water tank is on the west side of the building.  There presently is some NJDEP involvement in cleaning up the groundwater.
  20. Both Mr. Hashemi and Mr. Humbert were recalled to answer questions raised during testimony and to respond to the latest reports of the Board’s professional staff.  Mr. Hashemi noted that the septic system would be enhanced and need Board of Heath approval.
  21. Mr. Hashemi noted the present tank for potable water was 5,000 gallons.  Mr. Hashemi also described his protocol for identifying sight distances on Route 46, which Ms. Dolan relied upon in her testimony.
  22. Mr. Humbert reviewed the various design waivers being requested.
  23. The matter was carried to 3/14/05.  Mr. Hashemi was recalled.  He presented (5/8) as exhibit A-20 (colorized).
  24. Elizabeth Dolan was recalled.  She reviewed an 11/10/04 report prepared by Patrolman Gregg Prendergast of the Roxbury Township Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau.  She had submitted a 12/3/04 written response to Patrolman Prendergast.
  25. Ms. Dolan noted the site plan would provide formality and order to the site.  Same was consistent with the positive comments noted in the report by Patrolman Gregg Prendergast.
  26. Ms. Dolan opined the proposal would provide enhanced vehicular safety.  She noted the various “sight distance” for the driveways on-site as contemplated by the plan.  Ms. Dolan noted the parameters and methodology for discerning proper sight distances.  She noted some of the distances were less than optimal and reflected existing conditions and/or grading on Route 46.  She noted the Township Police Department had requested a reduction in the posted 50 mph speed limit.
  27. Ms. Dolan noted the Police Department reported 7 accidents over 4 years involving egress/ingress into the site.  There were also 3 accidents within the existing parking lot during the same time frame (1/1/04 – 11/19/04).
  28. Ms. Dolan opined that the new plan should prove safer than the existing situation both for ingress/egress and on-site circulation.  She opined that the existing accident history was not suggestive of an unsafe situation.  The types of accidents did not suggest any pattern of accidents indicating inherent defects or problems with sight distance.  She did note that a reduction in the speed limit would provide an enhanced level of safety.
  29. The matter was continued to 4/11/05.  The applicant’s counsel submitted a letter and memorandum relative to the installation and maintenance of the underground storage tanks on-site.  Mohamed Safaraz testified at the hearing and stated all the underground tanks were in compliance with NJDEP regulations.
  30. The Board received a memorandum, dated 4/11/05, from the Township of Roxbury Health Department.
  31. The Board’s engineer, Thomas Bodolsky, reported on a conversation with NJDEP relative to ground water contamination on-site and in the immediate area of the applicant’s site.  Mr. Bodolsky indicated that the NJDEP was going to undertake remediation of the site due to the applicant’s failure to act.
  32. The applicant’s attorney produced exhibits A-21 and A-22, which were certifications for the existing underground storage tanks on-site.
  33. Mohamed Safaraz testified that the tanks were inspected and checked regularly and that reports had to be supported to the state on a timely basis.
  34. Abigail Montgomery, from the Township Board of Health, testified at the public hearing.  She noted the Board of Health had become aware of issues with the water and septic on-site as well as pollution in some of the nearby wells.  She noted that the convenience store use could not be permitted without potable water and an approved septic system.
  35. The final public hearing on the matter was conducted on 5/9/05.  The applicant went through the planner’s report and both the applicant and the applicant’s engineer were available for questions from the Board.
  36. A review of the application and its final iteration noted the need for the following relief:
    1. Section 13-7.810 – Mixed use, more than one principal use (existing)
    2. Section 13-72502A – Not permitted uses in B-2 Zone; Truck stop & contractor’s yard (existing)
    3. Section 13-7.3507P – Convenience Store; 750 sq. ft. permitted; 1800 sq. ft. proposed
    4. Section 13-7.3507I – 20’ Landscaping Strip across frontage; 2’ to Rt. 46 curb (existing)
    5. Section 13-73507J – Not permitted uses in B-2 Zone; body shop and painting (existing)
    6. Section 13-7.3507J – Not permitted uses in B-2 Zone, repair of trucks over 10,000 lbs. (existing)
    7. Section 13-7.2507N – Above ground propane
    8. Section 13-7.3507V – One new sign on front of proposed convenience store and one sign on the easterly and westerly building elevations
    9. Section 13-8.916D3 – two freestanding signs (1 permitted)
    10. Section 13-8.916D – Maximum sign size – 75 sq. ft.
    11. Section 13-8.916D – Maximum sign height – 20’
    12. Section 13-8.916D – Sign setback to front R.O.W. – 20’; 2’ existing
    13. Section 13-7.815A – Service station proximity to community well
    14. Section 13-7.3505 – Required paved parking for cars and truck sales; gravel parking (existing)
    15. Section 13-8.700C – Paving of off-street parking areas, some gravel parking (existing)
    16. Section 13-8.700D – Curbing of all parking areas not permitted
    17. Section 13-8.702K – Hairpin stripping of all parking aisles not provided
    18. Section 13-8.702N – Curb planting ends islands not provided
    19. Section 13-8.701 – Parking requirements
    20. Section 13-8.703A – Loading/unloading stall dimensions
    21. Section 13-8.700O & 13-8.807F – Requiring planting island separating parking bays

 

  1. Partial waivers are granted from Sections 13-8.804, 13-8.807A, 13-8-807C. 13-8.807E, 13-8.807F, 13-8.807I and 13-8.807J.  Design waivers are granted for gravel parking areas in the rear of the building; partial covering around parking areas limited to the 5 truck stalls in front. 

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

  1. The subject premises have had a long and tumultuous journey over the last 20 years resulting in numerous applications to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, enforcement actions by the municipality, litigation in Superior Court, and a partial judicial injunction limiting use of the site.  The end result of the subject application is to take this site and approve compatible mixed uses and a working site plan. 
  2. This is an existing site built at a time when Route 46 (then Route 6) was the principal northerly east/west highway in New Jersey.  No doubt when the site was originally developed this was a very rural area with traffic counts nothing like we see today.
  3. The Board in reviewing this application from a planning prospective looks to the case of Burbridge vs. Mine Hill Township.  This application is an esthetic enhancement of an existing site.  In addition, the applicant is giving up a right to maintain 15 junk vehicles on-site and simultaneously will be upgrading and organizing the site in an esthetic fashion.  Given that the site will continue to exist and function in a non-conforming manner (if the Board denied this application), clearly granting the application with the improvements noted is a better alternative than denying the application.
  4. The site itself is somewhat unusual in that it is a rather large parcel with extensive frontage on Route 46.   Given its shape, location, and size, it is clear that the instant site is suited for mixed uses. 
  5. The Board acknowledges that this site is far from perfect.  There are less than ideal sight lines for vehicular traffic and circulation flow on-site.  While this “works on paper”, the Board acknowledges from time to time there will probably be conflicts with vehicles on-site.  The Board does believe that this is a workable plan which will be a vast improvement over existing conditions both on a safety, esthetic, and planning prospective.  In essence, this is about as good as it can get given the proposed uses, the shape of the site, and the inherent limitations on the site including the location of existing infrastructure.
  6. The Board notes, with great concern, existing problems with drinking water and septic system.  The Board believes this variance, as noted below, will act as a great incentive for the applicant and/or owner of the property to rectify those situations so that the site will be brought back into productivity.
  7. The Board having made its primary findings based upon the primary relief (“d” variance), the remainder of the variances and/or waivers is essentially subsumed by the “d” variance.  The dimensional variances are clearly justified consistent with the intent and purpose of granting the primary relief.  The design waivers are all site specific and consistent with the Board’s intent in developing this site in a reasonable and intelligent manner.  

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of June, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. No Certificate of Occupancy to be issued unless and until the applicant has an approved source for public water and septic disposal on-site.  A copy of this resolution is to be submitted to the Roxbury Township Health Department for their assistance in monitoring this site and bringing same into compliance.
  2. There shall be no storage of junk or inutile vehicles on-site.  Outdoor storage of vehicle parts or mechanical parts on storage racks or otherwise is prohibited.
  3. There shall be no outdoor oil drainage pits or outdoor hydraulic lifts or outdoor repairs of any kind.
  4. There shall be no outdoor above ground tanks (except propane tanks). 
  5. Applicant shall comply with Section 13-7.3507O of the Zoning Ordinance, which limits the display of goods at pump islands.
  6. All outdoor vending machines, including ice machine, shall be removed or brought inside.
  7. Canopy heights shall comply with the 18’ limit. 
  8. Applicant shall provide public rest room(s) in accordance with Township Ordinance.  The rest room(s) shall be available during hours of operation.  Toilets and sinks within the modular building shall be removed and the structure only utilize for storage of site maintenance items.
  9. Applicant shall provide esthetic trash receptacles at the pump islands and main building entrance.  Detail for same to be added to the plans and reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  10. Applicant shall be permitted 2 canopy signs on the gasoline dispensing area canopy and 1 canopy sign indicating diesel on the diesel dispensing canopy.   Applicant shall be permitted a sign “food mart” at the convenience store and 1 wall sign on the westerly and easterly facades.  Applicant shall provide details for the signage, size, color, location for the review and approval of the Township Planner.  Same to be incorporated into the drawings.
  11. All pump signs and/or insignias shall comply with Township Ordinance.
  12. Applicant shall remove the numerous temporary signs that exceed the permitted sign size that are located outside the setback lines.  Applicant shall comply with Section 13-7.3507X of the Zoning Ordinance.
  13. On the westerly portion of the property proposed for car and truck sales, the applicant shall be limited to the area depicted on the site plan.  Applicant shall provide “shoe box” lighting so that same is shielded to reflect the light downward away from all adjoining streets or building.  Applicant shall delineate these areas and shall provide reflectors on the split rail fence to align vehicle parking.
  14. The applicant indicated one of the existing tenants is a repair/body shop/painting operation.  No Certificate of Occupancy/permit/or approval for said use shall be issued unless and until the tenant produces proper documentation of licensing and compliance with all state and/or local government regulations of said businesses.
  15. Any sign not specifically approved shall be removed. 
  16. The storage type area located adjacent to Grace Baptist Church shall be removed.  The area shall be re-stored (top soil/seeded).  Applicant shall provide a split rail fence delineating the two properties as set forth on the drawings.  The Church curb line and drop curb shall be depicted.
  17. There shall be no outdoor servicing of vehicles and equipment.
  18. The area designated “Contractor’s Yard” shall be improved in accordance with the plans and compliance with Section 13-7.816, but shall not be used unless and until the applicant or proposed tenant makes application to the Board.  Said application shall clearly delineate the type of use and how the yard will be utilized.
  19. Applicant shall provide sidewalks in accordance with Municipal Ordinance along the full Route 46 frontage.  The details for same are to be added to the plans and reviewed by the Board Engineer.
  20. Applicant shall pave the 5 truck spaces along Route 46 and the other areas designated on the plans.  The spaces on the gravel area shall be marked with reflectors and split rail fence.
  21. Applicant shall fully curb the 5 truck spaces.  The rear fence shall be located 3 feet off the edge of the pavement.  Applicant shall provide vertical curb detail.  Granite block required.
  22. Applicant shall post traffic signs in accordance with Section 13-8.702L as specified in the Township Planner’s updated report of 11/4/04.
  23. Applicant shall provide a detail for the board-on-board fence for the trash enclosure in accordance with Section 13-8.705 Municipal Ordinance.  Gate shall be constructed with steel posts and frame.  Revised details shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.  Applicant shall specify overlapping opposing 1 ½” boards.  The gate design shall be modified and enhanced so as to withstand long-term maintenance issues.  All shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  24. Striped islands shall be provided where planting end islands are not depicted.
  25. Applicant shall provide additional trash/recycling enclosures for the other uses on-site.  The design, detail, and location of same shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  26. Drawings shall be reviewed to include the location of present and future dumpster/recycling enclosures with the corresponding details.  Same are provided so that, if needed, then upon approval of the Zoning Officer, they can and shall be constructed.   
  27. Applicant shall comply with source separate and recycle all mandated materials required by Municipal Recycling Ordinance and Morris County Solid Waste Management Plan.
  28. Final details of the proposed propane facility to include fence detail, bollards, gate, concrete pad, guiderails, etc. and shall be provided on the plan.  Same to be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  29. Applicant shall provide trash receptacles and ash urns in accordance Municipal Ordinance 13-8.810C.
  30. Applicant shall revise the plans to depict the existing stonewall near the modular building and any proposed modifications.
  31. Applicant shall provide the fence detail associated with the southeasterly area as well as the split rail fence detail.
  32. All pump bollards (and any bollards located on-site) shall be painted.
  33. Applicant shall provide its pro rata share of off-tract and off-site improvements as determined by the Township Engineer (Sections 13-4.6 and 13-4.7).
  34. Pursuant to Section 13-7.829C, applicant shall pay a mandatory development fee as applied to the “d” variance and site plan.
  35. Applicant shall provide detail of electrical plugs for truck rest area.
  36. Access to the easterly driveway that is being removed shall be internally obstructed through curb, fence, guide rail and/or heavy landscaping.  Details shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  37. Applicant shall provide a sidewalk between the diesel pumps and convenience store.  Landscape between this sidewalk and storage rack.  Details shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  38. Applicant shall provide a radius where traffic aisle curb meets parking stall curb.
  39. Revised plans shall reiterate and reconfirm location of public wells within 500 feet of the subject property in accordance with Section 13-7.815 of the Municipal Ordinance.
  40. All electric, telephone, and cable television lines shall be installed underground.
  41. All existing non-conforming lights such as floodlights mounted on the building and along the rear property line shall be removed.
  42. Adjustable/tilting floodlights used to illuminate the site from utility poles along Route 46 are presently in violation of Township Ordinance and shall be removed.   Illumination of this area shall be provided by conforming fixtures.
  43. The utility pole located on the adjoining Lot 4, utilized by applicant’s operation, shall be removed.
  44. Levels of illumination beneath the canopies shall be identified.    
  45. All lighting on-site shall be metal halide, with flush mounted lenses.  Same shall be field inspected and reviewed by Township Officials to confirm compliance with proposed foot-candles.  Levels of illumination beneath the canopies shall be identified.  Freestanding light details shall be provided which conforms to Township Ordinance.  Applicant shall specify base plate covers – same to be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  46. Applicant shall also identify all lighting types (metal halide, etc.)
  47.  In accordance with Section13-8.911.1F, all temporary window signs advertising or describing sales or special merchandise are permitted without a permit provided that said signs do not remain visible from the exterior of the building for a period longer than 20 days and that all such signs individually or collectively do not exceed 30 percent of all window space on the window on which the signs are located.  Applicant is to remove all non-conforming temporary signs.
  48.  Applicant shall secure a tree removal permit prior to tree removal/site disturbance.
  49. Pursuant to Township Ordinance Section 13-11.13C, applicant shall secure a performance guarantee in the amount not to exceed 120% of the cost of replacement trees prior to the issuance of a tree removal permit.
  50. Final landscaping details shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner and incorporated into the final plans.  This was stipulated and agreed to by the applicant during the public hearing.  In addition, the landscape plan shall include inter alia the following:  specification for top soil mix; tree stakes and tree wires to be removed within 1 year of installation; incorporation of watering detail for landscaping.  As noted, all of the above shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  51. Applicant shall comply with Township Ordinance 13-8.707F.
  52. Lights such as floodlights mounted on the building along the rear property line shall be removed.
  53. The adjustable/tilting floodlights used to illuminate the site from utility poles located along the Route 46 right-of-way shall be removed.  Illumination of this area shall be provided by conforming fixtures reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  54. Utility pole located on Lot 4 utilized by the applicant shall be removed
  55. The canopy lights associated with the gasoline canopy shall conform as noted to Township Ordinance which requires the light lens to be flush with the canopy ceiling in order to reduce glare.  Conforming lights shall be provided in the design and detail shall be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.
  56. All existing lights that are proposed to remain shall be located on the drawings and the foot-candle distribution depicted in compliance with Township Ordinance confirmed.
  57. Applicant shall provide adequate conforming illumination along the site driveways, diesel pump access driveway, gasoline area, convenience store, and parking areas.
  58. All light fixtures shall conform to the fixture mounting height, which is permitted by Ordinance of 18 feet above grade.
  59. The old freestanding sign frame located on the easterly side of the new easternmost driveway shall be removed.
  60. All façade signs shall be dimensioned and not exceed a 5 foot height in accordance with Township Ordinance.  All details of any proposed signs shall be depicted on the revised plans and reviewed by the Township Planner.
  61. Only one vehicle or piece of equipment shall occupy each designated stall.
  62. Only licensed vehicles shall occupy the “service repair parking area” to the rear.
  63. The “short term delivery parking” stall shall be reserved for deliveries for periods not to exceed 30 minutes.  Appropriate signage shall be provided.
  64. Municipal waste transfer trucks, if accepted, shall be parked only in the “owners truck parking” stalls only after they have been emptied and adequately cleaned to prevent odor nuisances.
  65. Trucks shall park in the front truck parking area for a period not exceeding 8 hours.
  66. All references to “truck rest stop” shall be removed from the drawings.  There shall be no showers to accommodate truck drivers.
  67. Graveled area on Lot 4, formerly utilized by applicant, shall be scarified, top soiled, and seeded.
  68. Curb ramps shall be depicted at the intersection of the public sidewalk with each driveway.
  69. Grading plan shall be submitted for the entire site, the plan shall specifically avoid ponding behind curbing.
  70. Handicap parking shall be provided between the store and diesel islands with appropriate accessible route provisions and signage.
  71. Old fencing in front of the six employee stalls shall be replaced with fencing to be reviewed and approved by the Township Planner.  Plan shall be revised accordingly.
  72. Applicant shall submit manufacturer’s catalog information and isolux patterns for all intended site lights.
  73. Revised plan shall depict grading of the driveway to the contractor’s yard, which shall be no greater than the maximum of 10%.     
  74. Subject to the review and approval of all other governmental agencies and/or administrative agencies with joint and/or concurrent jurisdiction over the within premises and the uses thereon.
  75. Applicant shall provide proof of proper licensing and/or compliance for all uses requiring same including but not limited to the food mart, service station, used car sales, and body shop/spray paint use.

 

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

 

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

 

BA-19-05 – ENRIQUE SANABRIA – VARIANCE FOR LEFT SIDE FOR A SUNPORCH AND DECK LOCATED ON DELL AVE. BLOCK 11801, LOT 31 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Enrique O. Sanabria & Mery Sanabria

Case No. BA-19-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

 

 

                WHEREAS, Enrique O. Sanabria & Mery Sanabria have applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to construct an addition requiring a dimensional variance for premises located at 528 Dell Road and known as Block 11801, Lot 31 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-3” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.13016a of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. The applicants are the owners and occupants of the single-family home on site.
  2. The applicants were proposing to construct a sunroom and a deck.  Both additions are located in the rear and would each be sized 32’x18’.  The additions would be one story.
  3. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 2/16/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  4. The proposed addition would continue the existing non-conforming 7’ southerly side yard.
  5. The applicant submitted the following documents:
    1. Copy of plot plan
    2. Copy of plot plan showing location of sunroom and wood deck

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

  1. The applicant’s proposal is merely continuing an existing non-conforming setback.  The applicant is not intruding any further than the existing 7’.
  2. The applicant’s lot has a built-in hardship.  It is a 50’ wide lot in a zone that contemplates a minimum lot width of 100’.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of June, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. Addition to be sized and located as depicted on the exhibits attached to the application.
  2. Southerly side yard to be no less than 7’ as requested.

 

 

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

 

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

 

BA-25-05 – EDWINA GRENOT – VARIANCE FOR FRONT YARD SETBACK FOR ADDITION LOCATED ON BERKSHIRE VALLEY RD. BLOCK 12602, LOT 1 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Edwina Grenot

Case No. BA-25-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

                WHEREAS, Edwina Grenot has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to construct an addition onto an existing one-family home requiring dimensional variance for premises located at 236 Berkshire Valley Road and known as Block 12602, Lot 1 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-1” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.1301D4, 13-7.7B of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. The applicant is the owner and occupant of the single-family home on site.
  2. The applicant was proposing to construct an addition onto the existing one-family home located on-site.  The addition would be 36’x20’. 
  3. The proposed addition was depicted on a hand drawn elevation and interior plans submitted with the application as well as plot plan submitted with the application.
  4. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 3/22/05 revised 6/13/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  5. As noted by Mr. Potere, the applicant needs a variance for front yard setback in that the existing and proposed 40’ setback would be continued and the R1 Zone requires a 50’ setback.  Mr. Potere also noted the Ordinance requires a variance anytime a non-conforming structure is enlarged.
  6. The applicant noted several unusual features which serve to essentially isolate the subject premises:
    1. The Berkshire Valley frontage is the site of the railroad right of way in the United States Army
    2. Immediately to the south of the applicant’s property is a right of way for Interstate 80
    3. The nearest residential dwelling is approximately 300’ from the applicant’s property and much of the applicant’s property is encumbered with a 200’ wide power and light easement

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

  1. The Board finds that the applicant’s property is truly one of the most unique parcels one could imagine.  It is an extremely isolated lot virtually buffered by Route 80, a railroad right of way, and a power and light easement.  The applicant’s proposed relief merely continues an existing non-conforming condition and is more than offset by the fact that the front yard offset is really a front yard offset to a moribund railroad right of way owned by the United States Army.  Clearly, the applicant’s relief is justified and denying the relief requested would advance no zoning purpose.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of  June, 005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. Addition to be sized and located as depicted on the exhibits attached to the application.
  2. Front yard setback to be no less than 40’ as requested.

 

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

 

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

 

BA-26-05 – JAMES & RACHEL DEMARA – VARIANCES FOR A GARAGE LOCATED ON ROGERS DRIVE, BLOCK 11805, LOT 25 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Rachel & James DeMara

Case No. BA-26-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

                WHEREAS, Rachel & James DeMara have applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to construct an addition requiring a dimensional variance for premises located at 559 Rogers Drive and known as Block 118, Lot 13 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-3” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.1301D4, 13-7.1301D8 of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

 

1.    George Johnson, Esquire represented the applicants.

2.    The applicants are the owners and occupants of the single-family home on site.

  1. The premises are a “through lot”.  The south side of the house (where the front door is located) fronts on Rogers Drive.  The northerly or “rear” side of the house fronts on Rogers Lane.  This “through lot” situation affects many of the adjoining properties as well as other properties within the 200-foot radius of the applicant’s home.  
  2. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 2/17/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  3. The applicants were seeking to modify the existing structure by re-configuring the existing garage (the existing garage is accessed through Rogers Lane over a driveway).   The applicant stated that due to topographic conditions and existing stormwater drainage that the garage had been rendered inutile.  In fact, there had been a small retaining wall blocking access off because of stormwater runoff and the need to divert same away from the house.  The applicant stated that re-configuring and eliminating this garage would afford the applicant an opportunity to re-grade the property so as to eliminate this problem.
  4. The applicant was proposing to remove a significant portion of the existing driveway and construct 24’x24’ “pole built” two car garage oriented towards Rogers Lane.
  5. The applicant submitted the following exhibits:
    1. Plot plan
    2. Engineering details for the proposed garage – two sheets
    3. Proposed “as built” plot plan
  1. The applicant’s proposal results in the need for the following relief:
    1. Total impervious coverage – 40.5% existing, 32.75% proposed, 25% maximum permitted
    2. Building coverage -  11.2% existing, 18.88% proposed, 15% maximum permitted
    3. Front yard setback to Rogers Lane – 35’ required, proposed setback to garage 20’
  1. The applicant also introduced exhibit A-1 which was a depiction of the types of garage structures fabricated by the applicant’s proposed source for this pole built garage.
  2. During the public hearing, the applicant testified that they would comply with reasonable requests for further details on the architectural renderings of the garage to be constructed so as to make same more residential and compatible in character as well as providing some drainage detail to the engineering department.  The applicant also indicated a willingness to come up with a landscaping plan to soften the appearance of the structure. 

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

  1. The Board finds the premises to have several built-in hardships:
    1. The premises are a “through lot” with two front yards
    2. The topography of the premises are such that locating a garage within the existing structure is impractical.
  2. The reduction in total impervious coverage more than mitigates and compensates for the increase and overage in building coverage.
  3. The Board further finds that Rogers Lane is not a traditional street but functions almost as a right of way or driveway for access to the houses on either side.  The Board notes that whatever the limitations of Rogers Drive (the front of the applicant’s house) same does provide more than adequate access for police, fire, and emergency vehicles.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of June, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. No building permit is to issue unless and until the applicant provides the municipal planner with a detailed architectural drawing showing the color scheme materials and fenestration of the proposed garage building.  Planner is to review same for the purpose of ensuring that same is residential in character, architecturally compatible with the residence in the area, and consistent with the drawing size submitted at the public hearing.
  2. Applicant shall provide the planner with a proposed landscaping plan, which the planner shall review and approve prior to the issuance of a building permit.
  3. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, this application shall be submitted to the Township Engineer to review the applicant’s proposed stormwater management plan on-site.
  4. No Certificate of Approval for the structure shall be issued unless and until post construction review indicates compliance with all conditions on this resolution.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

BA-23-05 – MC SKI CLUB – USE VARIANCE TO HAVE A SKI SLUB LOCATED ON LAKE SILVER SPRING LOCATED ON RT. 46, BLOCK 2702, LOT 1 IN OS ZONE

 

In the matter of MC Ski Club, Inc.

Case No. BA-23-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

 

 

                WHEREAS, MC Ski Club, Inc. has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for an interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55DE-70b for premises located at Lake Silver Springs and known as Block 2702, Lot 1 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “OS” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-2.203 et seq. of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. Bernd Hefele, Esquire represented the applicant.
  2. The applicant is a water skiing club, which leases a portion of Lake Silver Spring for its water skiing activities.
  3. Lake Silver Spring is located in the OS Zone.
  4. Lake Silver Spring presently has several uses:
    1. Swimming pool/bathing beach
    2. Residential use
    3. Contractor storage
    4. Seasonal sales of Christmas trees
  1. The instant application is before the Board pursuant to the Board’s jurisdiction under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70b which provides that a Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have power to hear and decide requests for interpretation of Zoning Map or Ordinance or for decisions upon other special questions upon which such Board is authorized to pass by any zoning or official map Ordinance in accordance with this act.   Section 13-2.203 of the Roxbury Township Planned Use Ordinance specifically re-incorporates those powers vested in the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
  2. The applicant presented several witnesses in support of the applicant’s request that the water ski club use (described below) is a use that is permitted by right in the OS Zone. 
  3. The applicant’s first witness, John Leuszler, the president of the MC Ski Club, described the club operations at Lake Silver Spring.  Mr. Leuszler has stated that he had been involved in the sport of water skiing for sometime and that this was an internationally recognized recreational activity.  He opined that Lake Silver Spring was particularly suited for small water skiing club.  He noted the club had nine members and their water skiing activities took place from April to October and from approximately 7:30 in the morning until dusk on an intermittent basis.
  4. Mr. Leuszler stated the club utilized one specially designed boat for the water skiing activities.  This was an “inboard” powerboat.   As such, no oil or fuel was discharged into the lake but self contained just as in an automobile engine.  He also stated the noise level was consistent with that of an automobile.  Mr. Leuszler also identified the specific area of Lake Silver Spring that was used for the club’s slalom course.  He stated that club members would take “runs” on the course and be timed for purposes of competitions with other clubs as well as their own self measurement.
  5. Bert Mittlestadt , the owner of the property, testified that the water skiing activity had been taking place at the site since 1989.  He stated the only power motorboat on the lake was the inboard powerboat that was utilized by the applicant.  He further stated that he had no intention of allowing any other power boating activity on the lake.  He noted that the swimming, fishing from rowboats, and the ski club all coexisted with little conflict on the lake.
  6. The applicant’s final witness was its professional planner, Peter Steck.  Mr. Steck noted the premises in question were just under 23 acres with frontage on Route 46 and where the site of a former sand quarry.  The lake, as such, is a manmade feature.  He noted the lake was bordered by two railroad right of ways and there was some residential existing residences bordering the lake as well as land that was zoned residential but unimproved adjoining the lake.
  7. Mr. Steck reviewed the permitted uses in the OS Zone (Section 13-7.203 et seq.) of the Roxbury Township Zoning Ordinance.  Mr. Steck reviewed the Board’s decision making process in an interpretation application and then suggested to the Board that the water skiing use was a permitted use.  He noted the provisions in the open space district had specifically permitted open space and conservation areas.  He then suggested that the Board review the definition of open space as defined in the local Ordinance and focus on the fact that open space contemplated the felicitation of active or passive recreation.  Mr. Steck then noted the Ordinance described active recreation as activities that involve more than minimal improvements to and/or disturbance of the natural state of land and that there was a definition of a recreation facility with a standard industrial classification which suggested activities akin to or similar to those activities taking place on site including those of the ski club.
  8. Russell Stern, the municipal planner, suggested to the Board that they review the context and purpose of the Zone and the idea of preserving open space and conservation as a paramount importance to the municipality. 
  9. No members of the public testified at the public hearing.

                WHEREAS, the Board makes the following findings of fact relative to the applicant’s request for an interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance:

  1. The Board finds the testimony of the applicant’s planner, Peter Steck, to be compelling and persuasive.  It agrees that the water skiing activity as utilized with any context of the totality of uses at this specific site comports with the intent and purpose of the permitted uses set forth in the OS Zone.
  2. The Board finds that the addition of this water skiing activity and the utilization of one inboard motorboat with a small water skiing club to be a permitted use at Lake Silver Spring.
  3. The Board does not make any findings with regard to whether or not water skiing would be a permissible use per se at any site in the OS Zone.  It finds that only within the context of this very fact sensitive application that this use is a permitted use.
  4. Having made the determination that the use is a permitted use, the Board makes no findings as to any other relief the applicant may need as well as any other approvals that the applicant may need from any other governmental agencies including but not limited to the Board of Health, Environmental Commission, site plan approval.

 

Mr. Crowley made a motion to approve the resolution.  Mr. Kurtz seconded.

 

Discussion.  Corrections noted and made. 

 

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

 

BA-27-05 – JOSEPHINE LAU & KIM CHEN – VARIANCE TO BUILD AN ADDITION TO EXISTING HOME WITH BUSINESS LOCATED ON MT. ARLINGTON BLVD. BLOCK 12101, LOT 5 IN R-3 ZONE

 

In the matter of Josephine Lau & Kim Chen

Case No. BA-27-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11 2005

 

 

                WHEREAS, Josephine Lau & Kim Chen have applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for permission to expand a non-conforming use variance for premises located at 402 Mt. Arlington Boulevard and known as Block 12101, Lot 5 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “R-3” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.1301D8, 13-7.1301D4, 13-7.7C of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. Bernd Hefele, Esquire represented the applicants.
  2. The subject premises are the site of two principal structures – a restaurant and a residence.  The use is a non-conforming use.
  3. Applicant received a letter of denial dated 2/25/05 from Tom Potere, the Zoning Officer.
  4. The enlargement of the house constitutes an expansion of non-conforming use requiring a “d” variance.  In addition to a “d” variance, the applicant’s proposal will result in increasing impervious coverage for 50.1% to 55%.  Since this is the R3 Zone, the maximum permitted impervious coverage is 25%.
  5. Ms. Lau testified that her family operated the restaurant and resided in the singe family home.
  6. The restaurant is a 50- seat restaurant.  The existing house is 576 square feet.  The    house would be increased to 2,888 square feet.
  7. The applicant submitted a two exhibits:
    1. A plot plan/zoning requirement sheet prepared by Antonette Mitterando, P.E., dated 4/20/05
    2. Preliminary floor plans and elevations prepared by Alan Spector, architect, dated 3/18/05.

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

  1. The Board agrees that the existing 576 square foot residence is in need of a reasonable upgrade.  The two uses seem to work in a harmonious manner and the residential portion of the premises (the area being increased) is, in fact, the use that conforms to the Zoning Ordinance. 
  2. The applicant’s proposed home is more in keeping with the intent and purpose of the R3 Zone.  Given the unique and somewhat isolated location, the increase in the size of this home will have no adverse impact on any adjoining property and should facilitate the functionality of the site.

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of June, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. Payment of all fees, sureties, and escrows required by Ordinance.
  2. All motor vehicles utilized by the residence of the house shall be parked in the area adjacent to the house.
  3. Applicant shall provide verification to the Zoning Officer and/or engineering department that the proposed development will not involve any steep slope disturbance requiring variance relief.
  4. There shall be no residential use in the uppermost or attic floor.  Same shall be non-habitable and accessed only by a hatchway and/or pull down stairs.
  5. The house shall only have one kitchen, which shall remain in all aspects an integrated single family home.
  6. There shall be no direct external access to the second floor.
  7. Total impervious coverage shall not exceed 55%, as proposed and depicted on the plans.

 

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

 

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

 

BA-21-05 – TREE KING – USE VARIANCE FOR STORAGE OF MULCH AND MULCH PRODUCTION LOCATED ON LENEL RD. (MC NEAR’S) BLOCK 10604, LOT 4 IN LI/OR ZONE

 

In the matter of Tree King

Case No. BA-21-05

 

RESOLUTION OF FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

TOWNSHIP OF ROXBURY

RESOLUTION

 

Approved: June 13, 2005

Memorialized: July 11, 2005

 

 

 

                WHEREAS, Tree King has applied to the Board of Adjustment, Township of Roxbury for a use variance allowing a non-permitted use for premises located at Lenel Road and known as Block 10604, Lot 4 on the Tax Map of the Township of Roxbury which premises are in a “LI/OR” Zone; said proposal required relief from Section 13-7.34A,D4; 13-7.810A&B, 13-7.3402A of the Roxbury Township Land Use Ordinance; and

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

  1. Edward Dunne, Esquire, represented the applicants.
  2.  The applicants are an operator of a “mulching operation” and have their business operations located on a lot near the subject premises. 
  3. The subject premises are part of the “McNear tract”.
  4. The McNear tract is the site of an “extractive industry” – a quarrying operation.  There is also a wireless telecommunications facility on the site.  The McNear tract has been the subject of litigation with the Township that was consummated with a Developer’s Agreement which essentially provided a “vision” of the use of the property as the quarrying operation winds down over the next several decades.
  5. The applicant’s proposed activities require a use variance, as the applicant’s proposed use is not a permitted use in the LI/OR Zone.  In addition, since there is no principal building or structure associated with the use, this triggers another section of the Ordinance, and as already noted, this would be the introduction of a third principal use on the subject site. 
  6. The applicant submitted several exhibits during the course of the public hearing:
    1. A-1  - 11/14/97 amended site plan
    2. A-2  - 4/2/04 site plan
    3. A-3 – the 4/10/02 resolution of approval
    4. A-4, A-5, A-6, A-7 – photographs of the applicant’s operation on-site
    5. A-8 – miniature version of the tax map
    6. A-9 – planner’s report of William Denzler, dated 6/05
    7. A-10 – planner’s photo exhibition
  1. The McNear tract is approximately 177 acres.  The applicant’s proposal was to lease approximately 3.8 acres on the site.  The location was depicted on a 3/26/04 Tree King location plan (A-2 in evidence) and will be located approximately off the end of the bulb of the cul-de-sac of Lenel Road.  It would be just to the west of the telecommunications facility and to the south of the active quarry operation.
  2. Michael Gulick, a principal Tree King, testified at the public hearing.  Mr. Gulick noted the “proposed” operation was, in fact, taking place.  Pictures of the operation were contained with colored photos subsequently presented by the applicant’s planner, William Denzler.  Mr. Gulick noted that the site was isolated and uniquely suited to accommodate the need to grind and fabricate mulching material from trees and other sources of mulch.  There are no principal buildings associated with this operation other than the nearby facility operated by applicant at 12 Lenel Road and had been working well with the applicant’s operation.  Mr. Gulick was now seeking ex post facto permission to “legalize” this existing use.  Mr. Gulick indicated, in response to comments from the municipal planner, that the applicant would address certain concerns and conditions (noted further below) should the application be approved. 
  3. The applicant presented the testimony of William Denzler who had submitted a written report contemporaneously with his testimony.  Mr. Denzler’s testimony was in support of the use variance for this application.  He noted that this was truly a unique site and a unique situation for the Board to consider.  He opined the site was particularly suited for this low impact use.  He conceded that, if the presently unimproved properties on Lenel Road were developed, further consideration should be given to monitoring and buffering the applicant’s operation, which is incorporated in a condition below.

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

  1. The Board finds the testimony of the applicant’s planner to be compelling.  This site is truly uniquely and peculiarly suited for the applicant’s mulching operation.  It is isolated and is part of a rather large tract and within the context of the applicant’s operation.  This is truly a minimal low impact additional use on-site.
  2. The mulching operation is strictly limited to on-site fabrication of mulching material.  The only equipment being utilized is a portable grinder, and the only vehicular traffic is the applicant’s own vehicles taking the mulch off-site.  Within the context of the present operations on the McNear tract and given the location of the applicant’s principal business operation on Lenel Road, the applicant has made a compelling case for the grant of the relief requested. 

                                NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury on the 13th day of June, 2005 that the approval of the within application be granted subject, however, to the following conditions:

  1. All conditions of any prior approval for the subject premises not in conflict with the grant of relief herein including prior resolutions of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Planning Board, and any conditions set forth in any Developer’s Agreement are reincorporated and reiterated by reference.
  2. To the extent that this approval may require amendment of the existing Developer’s Agreement affecting the subject premises, same shall be reviewed by the municipal attorney to make a determination as to whether or not the Developer’s Agreement needs to be revisited.
  3. Approval of all other governmental agencies with joint and/or concurrent jurisdiction over the within application and, in particular, the Morris County Soil Conservation District and County agency having authority over solid waste.
  4. The hours of operation shall be limited to normal daylight business hours Monday through Saturday.
  5. The only equipment on-site shall be one portable tub grinder. 
  6. The only motor vehicles on-site shall be the applicant’s trucks which will be bringing in the raw material and bringing out the finished product.  
  7. There shall be no retail or wholesale sales taking place on-site.  The use is strictly limited to on-site fabrication.
  8. The demised area depicted on the site plan shall be field staked and reviewed in the field by the Township Planner.  To the extent that demarcation in the field is necessary, the applicant shall provide a marked-out area in conformance with the recommendations of the Township Planner.
  9. Applicant shall provide a 20’ buffer from Lot 1.  No activity shall take place within this 20’ buffer.
  10. The continuing operation shall be reviewed every two years by the Township Professional Staff including, but not limited to the planner, municipal engineer, and fire official so as to ensure that activities on-site and potential development off-site (including Lenel Road) have not been adversely impacted by the continuing operation.  During the public hearing, the applicants specifically agreed to this condition. Applicant shall be responsible for coordinating the bi-annual inspection. If the inspection reveals changed conditions the applicant shall come back to the Board for further review of the application and continuing approval by the Board.
  11. This approval is granted to the applicant.  Upon the sale or transfer of the applicant’s business, the operation would either cease or a subsequent successor would have to make application to the Board.
  12. In the event any condition imposed by the Board is exscinded or altered in any way, the within approval shall be null and void.

 

Ms. DeFillippo made a motion to approve the resolution.  Mr. Kurtz seconded.

 

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

 

AGENDA

 

BA-39-04 – VIACOM – USE VARIANCE FOR BILLBOARD LOCATED AT RT. 46, BLOCK 6407, LOT 2 IN B-2 ZONE

 

Ms. Robortaccio stepped down.

 

Mr. Crowley assumed the Chair.

 

Mr. Wiener stated all Board members present are eligible to hear the application.

 

Mr. Morressi, attorney for the applicant was present.  He summarized the application stating he handed out a July 11th memorandum he had prepared which included photos of the exhibits that were provided with the application.  He stated the applicant has stipulated to a number of things based on discussions with the Board, including:  1)Tie-in between Tom’s Diner and the billboard would end if Tom’s Diner leaves the site. 2) Additional plantings of evergreens for additional buffers.  2) Owner agrees to sidewalks and underground electrical service

 

He said the application is to modify a pre-existing nonconforming use that will be kept in place if this application is approved or not.  This application would improve the current situation.  The hardship was created by the construction of the Bassett Furniture store.  The site is unique as it slopes up towards the west.  The height of the sign has to be increased so that it will be visible.  We believe this would improve the present billboard area with a modern billboard structure and improvement to the landmark diner, Tom’s Diner.  AOL did a survey of the top diners in northern New Jersey and this diner came out third or fourth.  The bottom of the billboard would be at 30 feet, and the top at 50 feet.  It will be a single pole.  The number of sign faces will be reduced from 4 to 2.  Parking will be underneath and there will be additional landscape buffer.  The setbacks are improved.  The applicant and owner said they would not be here if it weren’t for the construction of Bassett Furniture.  Our professional engineer and planner testified to the fact the hardship was created by the construction of Basset Furniture.  He said there wouldn’t be any negative impact to the Historic District.   There are no development issues.  Mr. Marucci believes the Burbridge case applies.  Burbridge states “When the application before a Board is to expand a nonconforming use, the competing considerations are clear:  if the variance is denied, the hope is that the nonconforming use will wither and die; on the other hand, as long as the nonconforming use exists and is thriving, the Board obviously would want to make it conform as best it could with the current use-designation in the zone.  When the special reasons concept is applied to cases in which expansion is sought for pre-existing nonconforming uses, appearance, aesthetics, and compatibility of the use in the neighborhood become uniquely significant, especially when, as in this case, there is not any evidence that it is ever going to wither and die.”  This application meets the Burbridge Test to promote the general welfare and safety and health by improving the visibility of the sign and aesthetics.  It  will be used by local businesses and political persons, and the increased revenues will enable the historic dine to remain open, viable and improve the current structure. The existing nonconforming structure will remain in place in the event this application is denied.    The is no detriment to the public good.  Also, the real estate expert, John Harris, said he believed the height changes don’t make any difference in the property values, and it might actually improve property values.  He said it promotes and enhances businesses who would advertise there.   Richard Cramond of the Historic Society testified he had no objection to the billboard, and it has no negative impact on the historic district.  The Township itself has entered into lease agreements on another billboard.  This is in a B-2 zone.    

 

Mr. Wiener asked what site that billboard is on.

 

Mr. Morressi said it is not a new billboard.  It is east of here.

 

Mr. Stern said it is not being elevated or changed.

 

Mr. Morressi said it is not.  However, if the town didn’t like these billboards, they could take it down.  The applicant has several billboards in town.  The lease was up on the billboard on the town’s property, and the lease was renewed.

 

Mr. Morressi said the planner’s report was very thorough, but did not have the input from the whole hearing process.  We found some discrepancies.  One is that there are a number of “d” variances.  Every one of those, except for the height variance is already in existence.  The report doesn’t state we are improving the situation.  Items 2, 8 and 9 talk about the setbacks, which are being improved.  Items 11, 12 and 13 talk about variances for on-site billboards.  This is an off-site advertising billboard. 

 

Mr. Morressi said in conclusion, given the expert testimony we believe there are a number of special reasons we have proved:

 

-improvement of conformance with yard requirements

-improved aesthetics

-improved the number of faces of the sign

-improved face of the billboard

-no impact on surrounding property values

-lighting improved and shielded

-no impact to Historic District

-no new parking requirements

-no density impact

 

As a result, we believe the project can be approved.  I want it to be clear that we need the money from the sign that would be used to improve Tom’s Diner.  If it doesn’t happen, the Township can demand it be taken down.  I believe that is the Burbridge issue that connects here.  Regarding the Stafford Township case, they had an ordinance that denied all billboards.  It is a freedom of speech issue.   The Roxbury ordinance seems similar.

 

Mr. Morressi’s 7/11/05 memorandum was marked A-8.

 

Mr. Crowley said it was stated the money would be used to keep Tom’s Diner opened.  If Tom’s Diner doesn’t open, the new sign would be taken down? 

 

Mr. Morressi said it is connected to the new sign.

 

Mr. Stern asked what would happen in the diner were expanded.

 

Mr. Wiener said from a zoning perspective, there are two principal uses on the site.  The Burbridge case had to do with a Board that allowed the expansion of a junkyard.  The Supreme Court said you may consider enhanced aesthetics in granting this type of use variance.  It did not say that just because something was going to be aesthetically granted that you have to grant the variance.

 

Mr. Morressi said we are trying to do two things.  The other thing was to improve Tom’s Diner.  The payments for the new billboard would be more that the existing billboard.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

Charles Cramer was sworn in.  He stated he owns the building occupied by Bassett Furniture.  He said he built the building.  When I got notice of this application I looked at the plans. 

 

He distributed 3 photos to the Board members showing his building, a photo of the exiting billboard, and an enhanced photo showing if it were to be put up and how it would look against the building.  They are computer digital photos.

 

The photos were marked O-1.

 

Mr. Morressi had no objection to the photos.

 

Mr. Cramer said the third photo has a series of small Bassett signs.  The freestanding sign is 7 feet tall by 10 feet wide.  It shows where the sign will be and how high it will be.  It is a big sign.  I object to it for several reasons.  First, a concern for the safety of my building.  The wall of my building would be very close to the sign.  The bottom of the sign would be 5 feet above the top edge of my building.  Anything that came off the sign or part of the sign in a storm would fall on my building.  It would damage the roof and would be a hazard.  My building was approved by the Planning Board, and I don’t find the new billboard to be anything that would add to the area.  When I put my sign there I went back to the Board, and I was required to have something that would be architecturally compatible with my building.  A billboard like this with the rotating message takes away from the look of the area. 

 

Mr. Morressi asked how we know the perspective is correct in the photos.

 

Mr. Cromer said he measured out the size of the sign.  It was 50 feet x 17 feet.  The only change from the enhanced photo would be that the sign would be turned.  I couldn’t do that on the computer.

 

Mr. Morressi said the two billboards on the bottom look substantially smaller than this billboard but they area almost the same size.  These two faces are about 50 feet by about 13 feet.  The perspective appears to be off.

 

Mr. Cramer said it might be slightly different, but it doesn’t take away my concern with having something that size sitting above my building.

 

Mr. Morressi asked if there have ever been any problems with the existing billboard.

 

Mr. Cramer said no.  He is not there all the time.

 

Mr. Wiener said the aesthetics is a valid issue. 

 

Mr. Morressi asked Mr. Cramer if he was here when Mr. Harris testified about real estate values.

 

Mr. Cramer said he heard that testimony.

 

Mr. Wiener said Mr. Cramer e didn’t talk about the value.  He spoke about aesthetics and that when he built his building he followed the general rules of the municipality.

 

Mr. Cramer said the billboard takes away a lot of the effort that was put into the planning of the building and is a negative to my building.

 

No one else stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Mr. Crowley asked if there are two nonconforming uses.

 

Mr. Wiener said the whole use is nonconforming, and there are two principal uses.  The second issue is that it is a use that is not permitted.  I believe the testimony has been that there will be such aesthetic improvement that it should rise to the level to be the basis of granting this type of variance.

 

Mr. Kurtz said the photo shows the illusion that the billboard extends beyond Tom’s Diner.  On the drawings we have, it shows it is towards the back or behind the diner.   Also, there was earlier testimony by the opponent that he was going to put a Bassett sign there.

 

Mr. Wiener said one witness said it could be a potential asset to businesses in the area.

 

Mr. Stern said right now the existing sign is set back farther from Route 46.    The applicant brings it closer to Route 46.  Currently it has a 25 foot setback from Bassett Furniture, and that is being diminished to 10 feet.  The code requires a 30 foot setback. 

 

Mr. Morressi said it is also farther away from the adjoining residents.

 

Ms. DeFillippo made a motion to deny the application.  Roxbury does not promote billboards, and are not interested in promoting more signage.  This is a larger billboard, 50 feet in the air.  The bottom of the sign is 8 feet higher than the building next door.  The proposed billboard is huge and is something you would see on a interstate.  We do have billboards in town and this proposal is much larger than any of the others in town.  Ms. Dargel seconded.  She said the billboard is incongruous with the site, the residential area behind it, and with the historic zone.   The colors that would possibly  with the billboard is detrimental to the attempt to keep the landscape subtle and historic.  The facades are overwhelming; doubles the visual height; is unrelated to the use on site; doesn’t perform directional or information function in relation to the site; fails to enhance the visual environment; creates a higher clutter almost above the tree line; overshadows any building around, and becomes a major feature to the landscape.  I don’t think it is enhanced aesthetics.  It is too intense at the base.  Some parking on the site will be destroyed.  There are too many variances; and to approve it would be a disregard of the ordinance.  There is no guarantee the diner will remain just because the sign is approved.  If we were to approve it on the premises the diner would remain, there is no guarantee.  As to the contention there is an improvement of air, light, and open space, a 50 foot wide sign is not an improvement.  It lends to a feeling of clutter.  Monetary issues are not allowed to be considered by ordinance.  Overall, I don’t feel this sign will enhance, better, or improve anything, but will make a cluttered, overbearing, garish façade that is incongruous with the area.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Mr. Church, no; Ms. Kinback, no; Mr. Kurtz, no; Mr. Crowley, yes.

 

Application denied.

 

Ms. Robortaccio returned to the Chair.

 

BA-24-05 – NEIL & MARGORIE LINES – VARIANCE FO IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE FOR ADDITION LOCATED ON EYLAND AVE. BLOCK 2801, LOT 2 IN R-1 ZONE

 

Ms. DeFillippo said she knows the mother of the applicant, but doesn’t feel there will be a conflict.

 

Neil Lines was sworn in.  He had no objection to Ms. DeFillippo hearing the application.  He said he lives on the second floor of a two family home and his mother lives on the first floor.  Over the last eight years, we have had three boys and would like to add onto the house.  The impervious coverage would be exceeded.  It is a mother/daughter situation

 

Mr. Wiener asked if Mr. Potere is aware this is a two-family house.

 

Mr. Lines said yes.

 

Mr. Wiener said this is a nonconforming use in an R-1 zone.

 

Mr. Lines said you can get to the upstairs from inside or outside the home.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the plan show two kitchens, two dining rooms, etc.

 

Mr. Wiener said the Zoning Officer should look at this to make a determination as to whether this constitutes a two-family home.

 

Mr. Lines said when we moved into the house and renovated, I went through the steps to have it approved.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the Board needs more information, and this should be carried to a later hearing.  The Zoning Officer will have to look at the home and make a determination

 

The application was carried to August 8, 20-05.

 

BA-28-05 – GREGORY & SUZANNE MESSER – VARIANCE FOR FRONT YARD SETBACK FOR ADDITION LOCATED ON LAURIE RD. BLOCK 11310, LOT 22 IN R-3 ZONE

 

Attorney Ronald Heymann represented the applicant.

 

Gregory Messer, 49 Laurie Road, was sworn in.

 

Mr. Wiener said he represented the Messer’s when they purchased the house about two years ago.  He hasn’t spoken to them since that time and was not aware of this application.  I don’t feel there is a conflict.

 

Mr. Heymann said the applicant has not objection to Mr. Wiener representing the Board in this matter.

 

Mr. Messer said he resides at the home which his wife and daughter.  The property is serviced by city water and sewer.  We retained an architect to draw a plan of our proposal.  He referred to the plans submitted with the application (A-1).  The home is one-story, about 768 square feet.

 

Mr. Heymann submitted photos of the house (marked A-2) and photos of other houses on the street (A-3).

 

In answer to questions from Mr. Heymann, Mr. Messer said they want to build a second floor addition on the same footprint that now exists.  We will change the entranceway and add a front door.  It will give us about 1,425 square feet of living area.   We need to obtain a front yard setback variance.  That variance exists today. We believe if we put on the addition it will fit better into the neighborhood.  Most of the other homes are larger, and most have two stories.  Currently when you walk into the house there is a small entryway into a living room/computer room/dining room.  There is a small children’s bedroom, small bathroom, and small master bedroom. 

 

Mr. Messer said the addition will remove the current master bedroom which will be converted to an entryway.  Upstairs will be a master bedroom and two additional rooms and a bathroom. 

 

Mr. Heymann asked Mr. Messer to describe the shape of the lot.

 

Mr. Messer said there is not much yard.  The house is centrally located on the lot, which is basically triangular in shape. 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

No one stepped forward. 

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the application as the lot is unusual in configuration.  Only a small portion of house is in setback   Mr. Crowley seconded.

 

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

 

BA-31-05 – KRISTY CORRIERO – DREAM DANCE & GYMNASTICS STUDIO – USE VARIANCE TO HAVE STUDIO LOCATED ON ORBEN DRIVE, BLOCK 9701, LOT 8 IN LI/OR ZONE

 

Attorney Larry Kron represented the applicant.  He said this is an application for a ‘d  variance to use 1,800 square feet of office on the lower level of property at 10 Orben Drive for a dance studio and 1,850 square feet on the upstairs for a gymnastics studio for young children.  The property has an existing building of about 15,000 square feet.  Mr. McKenna, the owner, utilizes about half of the building in the rear for his business.  We are asking for a use variance.  This is a use that is similar to a child care center and somewhat less intense. 

 

Kirsty Corriero, Christa Dulio, and Frances McKenna were sworn in.

 

Mr. McKenna said he owns the building on a 3.5 acre tract shown on the survey.  The property is triangular.  The existing building is about 15,000 square feet.  In the rear is an easement for JCP&L and the railroad, and Route 80 behind it.  There is an industrial building on the other side of the road and woods.  I use a portion of the building for my use for office/warehouse.  That is in the upper rear of the two-story portion and about 2,000 feet of warehouse space.  We have about 100 parking spaces.  The portion of the building requesting to be used for the dance studio is the lower left of the two-story portion and space directly above it.  There has never been any issue as to insufficient parking.  When I bought the building the New York Times was there, and the second floor wasn’t being used.  The dance studio has been there for about 5 years, and this is the second year for the gymnastics use.

 

Mr. Wiener asked if these uses are existing. Did something come up regarding the uses?

 

Mr. Kron said yes.   

 

Ms. Corriero said her business is Dream Dance Studio.  We hold dance lessons for children aged 3 through adult.  We leased the space in 2001.  We use about 1,800 square feet.  We had a lawyer at the time of the lease.  Tom Potere from the Zoning Department got a compliant about our sign on the front lawn, and he became aware of our use, and said we had to come to the Board.

 

Ms. Dulio said her business is Dream Gymnastics and Fitness 2.  It is a new occupancy on the second floor of the building and has been there since August of 2004. 

 

Ms. Corriero said she has lessons Monday through Saturday mostly from 3:00 on.  Each class is an hour. The parents usually drop the children off.  We use Roxbury High School for recitals.  We have no issues regarding parking.

 

The applicant submitted a series of photos – described by Ms. Corriero:

 

A-1 – entrance to studio from Orben Drive

A-2 – parking spaces in front of building on Orben Drive

A-3 – rear of building

A-4 – Across Orben Drive from building (depicting woods)

A-5 – Wraparound on the other side of the building

A-6 – Side of building

A-7 – Side of building showing fence and trees and industrial building

 

 

Ms. Corriero said you don’t hear the noise from the dance studio outside the building.  There have never been issues regarding parking.  The most number of children we have in class is 14.  Most of the classes have 10 children –and sometimes 10 parents stay.

 

Mr. Kron asked Ms. Dulio about her business

 

Ms. Dulio said it is gymnastic and fitness on Monday thru Friday 4 – 8, Saturdays 9-12.  There are between 8 and 9 children at one time in gymnastics class.  The noise is self-contained and can’t be heard outside the building.  The building is isolated as shown in the photos.   North Jersey Gymnastics and Dance is on Main Street in Ledgewood in a similar building, but has less parking.

 

Mr. Kron asked if this would have any negative impact on the neighborhood.

 

Ms. Dulio said there are no residential houses in the area.

 

Mr. Crowley asked about the lighting outside and the hours.

 

Mr. McKenna said there are lights located on all four corners of the building. There are street lights about every 20 feet and parking lot lights.  They are all on timers.

 

Ms. Dargel said it was said there are 50 parking spaces.  I can only see 28 that are lined (on the photos).

 

Mr. McKenna said that is in the rear of the property.  The lot will be seal-coated and re-lined next week.  There is parking shown on the plan as you come in off Orben Drive.  The 50 spaces are there and in the back lot.  The plan the Board has is an old plan.

 

Mr. Kron distributed a photo showing the back side parking and stated it is not striped.

 

Mr. Stern said there are a total of 28 spaces outside the fenced area.  The current standard is 1 space per 225 square feet.  That would be if it were all retail, service, or office uses.  With mixed use with warehousing, it is 1 space per 2,000 square feet.

 

Ms. Dargel said another concern is that there is a fence with a gate.  There is construction equipment in the back.

 

Mr. McKenna said they are trailers and cars.

 

Ms. Dargel said she would hope the equipment would be separate from where the children would be.  Are there any outdoor activities with the trucks?

 

Mr. McKenna said no.  The office is in Georgia.

 

28 spaces – 14 in front, 14 in back

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

Ken Branch was sworn in.  He said his daughters attend classes at the dance studio.  We never have a problem with the parking at this site.  We have a special needs child and she does very well there.

 

No one else stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the application, with the stipulation the parking be defined and a minimum of 28 defined parking spaces for the building.  Mr. Crowley seconded.  

 

Discussion.  It was determined there could be 26 spaces if there are handicap spaces.

 

The motion was amended.

 

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

 

BA-28-05 - MATTHEW NOWAKOWSKI – VARIANCE FOR HEIGHT FOR ADDITION LOCATED ON EMMANS RD. BLOCK 6001, LOT 43 IN R-1 ZONE

 

Matthew Nowakowski was sworn in. 

 

Maureen Nowakowski was sworn in.

 

Mr. Nowakowski said we propose to put another level on the house for a master bedroom suite.  We have a 3 bedroom house and we need more space.

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the house is presently 2 ½ stories, and the variance is for it to be 3 ½ stories.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked that he explain the uniqueness.

 

Mr. Nowakowski said the basement is about 1” over my head, so I don’t see how that counts as a full story.  It is only about 6’7”.  We don’t use that space.  We have a raised ranch.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how you get into the basement.

 

Mr. Nowakowski said through the two-car garage and downstairs from the kitchen.  The basement is above ground.  We are the only ranch.  The others are bilevels.  They don’t have basements.

 

Mr. Wiener asked what the lower level is used for.

 

Mr. Nowakowski said it has a washer/dryer and is used for storage.  There is no finished living area.

 

Mr. Stern said the definition in the ordinance says a basement means having ½ or more having a floor to ceiling height of not less than 7 feet and is counted as a story if used for business, industrial, office, or residential purposes.  This basement is above grade, but the height is less than 7’, so it doesn’t meet the threshold.  We are hearing it is for utility purposes and storage.  

 

Ms. Robortaccio said the survey says it is a 1½ story frame dwelling.

 

Ms. Dargel said when you look at the houses around this, almost every one looks like a 2-story house.  This is the only house that looks like a 1-story house. 

 

Mr. Wiener said if they were using it for something like a family room, I would be more inclined to count the basement as a story, but it just doesn’t fit within the strict definition of the zoning ordinance. 

 

Mr. Kurtz asked if the applicant graded to raise the level of the dirt. 

 

Mr. Nowakowski said he did not grade.  In the front, we put 4 railroad tie walls 3 feet out and planted bushes to make it appear more like a ranch house.

 

Discussion.  Mr. Wiener advised the Board that if they feel a variance, if needed, would be warranted, that should be in the resolution.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

Virginia Casey, 31 Lookout Drive, was sworn in.  She said she is an abutter, and has no problem with the application.  It does look like a one-story house, and it would not impact us in any way.  It is very private from the other lots on the block, and it would fit in with the neighborhood.

 

No one else stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

Ms. Dargel made a motion to approve the application. She said it is not really a 3½ story house. Houses around it are two stories.  The top of roof will match tops of surrounding homes.   I think it’s a reasonable application and will make the house fit in better there.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded and said she agrees it looks like a 1½ story house.  The majority of houses there are two stories and this will conform nicely.

 

Ms. Dargel amended the motion to state it is a  de facto 2 ½ story residential living area.  Ms. DeFillippo seconded the amendment.

 

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

 

There was a 5 minute recess at 9:35 p.m.

 

BA-30-05 – D’BERG LLC – VARIANCE FOR SIGNS FOR ASHLEY FURNITURE LOCATED IN LEDGEWOOD MALL, RT. 10/MARY LOUISE AVE.,BLOCK 6304, LOT 1 IN B-3 ZONE

 

Carl Rizzo represented the applicant.  He said we think there is only one variance required.  The application indicated sign area and sign height are necessary. We don’t think a sign area variance is required.  We will demonstrate that.  The total square footage of that façade is 910 feet.  That would mean you could have a 91 square foot sign, and the proposal is for an 80 sq. ft. sign.  The revised denial letter has been provided to the Board.

 

Mr. Rizzo handed out a document showing the measurements.(A-1)  It shows a measuring logo indicating the height is 26 feet. The center portion of the façade is 35 feet wide.  35 x 26 is 910 feet. The variance we require is for height.  A maximum height of 5 feet is permitted and we propose a 6’ high sign.  This particular location is in the southeast corner of the mall, and about 800 linear feet from Rt. 10.  To the east is railroad tracks.  The property is in the B-3 planned shopping center district.

 

Barry DiMaio was sworn in.  He said he is one of the owners of Ashley Furniture Store.  We are a new wave shop for furniture.  The sign is prototypical of the other Ashley Furniture stores.  One reason to locate in this area is that my partner lives in Randolph.  We have procured a 5-year lease with options for renewals.  We have the approval of the landlord for the application.  The space is 41,800 square feet.  The store has been vacant for 3 years.  We have put in an extensive buildout with stone, fireplaces, fountains, etc.  The sign we applied for is a little larger than permitted, but we are so far off Route 10, and we need clients to see us when they drive into the mall.  The sign is not big compared to other signs in the mall.  Sports Authority and others are of greater height.  The nearest Ashley Furniture Store is located in Middletown New York.

 

Mr. Rizzo passed around a photo of the front of the Middletown store (marked A-2).  The logo is the same except for the far right box.  If you look to the right of this location, there is the Marshalls store, and they have a   sizeable sign.  To the west is the bulk of the mall.  In front is the parking lot and the 800 foot setback.  This proposed sign is compatible with the other signs in the mall.  It doesn’t have any detrimental impact on neighboring property owners.

 

Mr. Stern said he agrees with Mr. Potere’s interpretation on the building face.  When the Board looks at this, the height restriction is 6’ but that applies to all the commercial districts, where in some cases there is only a 40 foot setback permitted.  The Board should see how this sign fits the front façade.  If it is appropriately sized to that façade, the Board should base their decision on that.

 

Mr. Rizzo said if that variance is necessary, we would apply for it.  

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked if all the Ashley signs are the same size.

 

Mr. DiMaio said mostly the same.  It depends on where the building is.

 

Mr. Crowley asked how large the previous sign was.

 

Mr. Rizzo said the sign professional may have that information.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked if there is a sign in the front of the shopping center that identifies the stores in the mall.

 

Mr. DiMaio said there is one.  It is a pylon sign with at least 10 other names on it.  The Ashley Home Furniture sign is on that sign. 

 

Michael Gribalsky was sworn in.  He said he is the owner of Sign-A-Rama.  We manufacture and install signage.  We were retained by the applicant.  We designed the sign according to Ashley standards based on colors, format, etc.  and also worked with the owners of the mall.  We submitted the signs to the zoning department and were declined for a zoning permit.  The sign is a channel letter sign.  Exhibit A-1 shows the front elevation and the exact measurements were taken by my office.  The front façade is calculated, conservatively as 35 feet wide and 26 feet high for a total of 910 square feet.  The ordinance allows 91 square feet, and we propose 80 square feet.  We have been in the sign business for 15 years, and I am very familiar with this mall.  The proposed signage is very conservative compared to other signage in the mall. 

 

Mr. Rizzo submitted a series of photos of other signs in the area(marked A-3, 4, 5).

 

Mr. Gribalsky described the photo of the Barnes and Noble store and said the sign is about 12 feet high.  A-4 shows the Sports Authority sign.

 

Mr. Stern said Sports Authority and Barnes and Noble received variances for sign height.

 

Mr. Wiener said the Board is familiar with the signs in the photos.

 

Mr. Rizzo asked if the sign here is compatible with the other signs in the mall.

 

Mr. DiMaio said very much so.  I see no detriment.  This sign doesn’t impair the zoning ordinance as the property is located about 800 feet setback from the right-of-way.  For the purposes of this particular façade the sign fits very conservatively in that space.

 

PUBLIC PORTION OPENED

 

No one stepped forward.

 

PUBLIC PORTION CLOSED

 

 

Ms. Kinback made a motion to approve the application.  Mr. Crowley seconded. 

 

Discussion.  Ms. Dargel said the sign is very conservative for the space and is appropriate.

 

Roll as follows:  Ms. Kinback, yes; Mr. Crowley, yes; Mr. Church, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes.  She said the sign is consistent with the rest of the stores in the center.  Mr. Kurtz, yes; Ms. Robortaccio, yes.

 

BA-33-05 – GARDEN STATE SUNROOMS – KENNETH BRANCH – VARIANCE FOR FRONT YARD SETBACK, IMPERVIOUS AND BUILDING COVERAGES FOR ADDITION, GARAGE AND DRIVEWAY LOCATED ON APPLE TREE LANE, LANDING, BLOCK 11913, LOT 1 IN R-3 ZONE

 

Kenneth Branch was sworn in. 

 

Brian Keller, contractor, was sworn in.  He said we are proposing a sunroom at the  rear of the house for an indoor swimming pool.  The room is all glass and between each window is white vinyl material about 3” wide.  He is looking to have his driveway come off King Road instead of Apple Tree.  They actually enter the house through the back.  They would prefer to come in the front door. The new room is further off Apple Tree Lane by about 10 feet.  There would be nothing protruding.  Most of the houses there are very close to the street.  There is no detriment to the neighborhood. 

 

Mr. Branch said the reason he wants the indoor pool is that his youngest daughter is neurologically behind and will be a special child all her life.  She loves to swim.  It seems the physical exercise and therapy she gets through swimming is far more helpful than the school she attends.  The rest of the family will use the pool as well.

 

Ms. Dargel asked if she is wheelchair bound.

 

Mr. Branch said no.  She is just a little bit unsteady.  She also has speech impairment.  She spends 6 to 8 hours in the water.

 

Ms. Dargel asked if there will be handicap access.

 

Mr. Branch said no.

 

Ms. Dargel asked if the only access to the pool area would be through the house.

 

Mr. Keller said there will be two sets of French doors from outside.  The pool size proposed is 20’ x 38’.

 

Mr. Kurtz asked if this was granted that there could be a condition that if the pool were converted to living space they would have to return to the Board.

 

Mr. Stern said it is glass and is open and doesn’t crate an impenetrable building mass.  Conversion to living space would require a zoning permit.    Maybe some wording could be structured that this would have to be only for their recreational use, and to make it opaque would require zoning permit.

 

Mr. Wiener said the applicant should be Mr. Branch, not Garden State Sunrooms.

 

Mr. Branch said that is acceptable.

 

Mr. Stern asked if there will be landscaping.

 

Mr. Branch said we would put in nice bushes. 

 

Mr. Stern asked if the garage is so deep to stack tandem vehicles.

 

Mr. Branch said it will be for storage and a car.  The garage will have no running water.

 

Ms. Dargel asked why the garage is so deep into the property.  It makes the driveway very long which adds impervious coverage.

 

Mr. Branch said it could be brought closer to the road.

 

Ms. Dargel said the sideyard setback is only 7 feet to the next property.  That will be maintained?

 

Mr. Branch said yes.


Ms. DeFillippo said there is a stake in the front of the property.  What is that?

 

Mr. Branch said it is the property line.

 

Ms. DeFillippo asked how close the neighbor’s house is to the property line.

 

Mr. Branch said maybe about 20 feet.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said if you move the garage closer to the road, can you maintain the 7 foot setback?

 

Mr. Branch said yes.

 

Discussion.  The applicant agreed to move the garage forward 25 feet.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said regarding building coverage, the pool is rather large.  Would you consider a smaller pool with a smaller sunroom to reduce the building coverage?

 

Mr. Branch said we wanted a four foot walkway around the pool. 

 

Mr. Branch said possibly the shed could be eliminated.

 

Mr. Kurtz asked about the lighting.

 

Mr. Branch said it is all woods in the back and they are set back maybe 50 feet off the road.

 

It was the feeling of the Board that the sunroom is too large.

 

Mr. Keller said it is in proportion because the house is much taller.

 

Ms. DeFillippo said the room is 34 x 44 plus a bump-out.  I would prefer to see a smaller pool and a smaller sunroom.

 

Ms. Robortaccio asked for a poll of the Board:

 

Mr. Crowley – smaller pool preferable to reduce the coverage

Ms. Dargel – smaller pool, possibly a redesign

Mr. Kurtz – not concerned about the size – possibly tint the glass

Ms. Kinback – rendering of sunroom would have been helpful – smaller pool preferred

Ms. Darling – no problem with size of pool – would like to see rendering

Mr. Church – no problem with size

Ms. Robortaccio – prefer smaller pool – may not fit in with the neighborhood

 

It was determined the applicant will come back with a  rendering, and more specific dimensions, as well as a floor plan.

 

The application was carried to 8/8/05.

 

The meeting was adjourned by motion at 10:45 p.m.

 

                                                            Dolores A. DeMasi, Secretary

 

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