A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

October 10, 2006

November 23 2006

October 10, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held in the Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane, at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, October 10, 2006. After a moment of silent prayer and a salute to the flag, roll call
was taken:

On roll call: Present - Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Susan S. Brady,
Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Thomas
Heavey, James Mannion, Gina Murdoch,
Thomas F. Nolan

Absent- Spencer Thornton

Also present were Board Attorney Ken Fitzsimmons, Board
Engineer Alan Hilla, Jr. and Recording Secretary Karen S. Brisben.
There was 1 person in the audience.

Chairperson Brady then called the meeting to order and declared a quorum. She announced that, in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, notice of this Body had been given by the adoption of a Resolution at the January 10th, 2006 meeting which had fixed the time and place of all hearings.

A motion to approve the Minutes of September 12, 2006 was made by Councilman Garruzzo, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the Board, all aye.


The Board received a notice of application to the DEP for Block 98, Lots 3 & 3.01, 910 Jordan Drive, construction of a new pier and boatlifts. Also received was a letter to the Planning Board from Michael Ping regarding Dance for Joy.

A letter from the Monmouth County Planning Board regarding the Coastal Regional Strategic Development Plan was then discussed; Mr. Hilla explained that this proposed plan will become a guideline for redevelopment of our coastal region and he thought this came from the Cross Acceptance Program; the County would like as many municipalities to join as possible. He did not think this would apply to Brielle but felt we may want to go to at least one meeting to see what it is about. Mayor Nicol said the representative would be one Council member, one Planning Board member and two people from town. Mrs. Brady asked if Mr. Hilla can go to one meeting and see if we need to partake of this; Mr. Hilla had no problem with this as he also lives in town and is a taxpayer.

Next under Correspondence were a series of letters from Keith Henderson regarding the Varga Site Plan, 1014 Cedar Lane. Also included was a response letter to Mr. Varga from the Construction Offlcial. On this matter, Mr. Fitzsimmons said that Mr. Varga agreed to pay Mr. Henderson's bill but it was not done, the Board was never told this so a CO was issued. Hopefully, Mr. Varga will respond to Mr. Ratz's letter where he says he may have to revoke the CO. Mr. Fitzsimmons also felt a letter should be written to Mr. Varga's mortgage company informing them of this development and Mrs. Brisben was instructed to take care of this.


The Board turned to the continued discussion of the Master Plan Update and turned to Mr. Hilla, who had distributed copies of the Draft Master Plan Update to the members. He asked the Board to digest this material for the November Public Hearing. If there are any questions or recommendations, he asked to be contacted as soon as possible. The one thing that came to his mind that is not in this Update has to do with Marina parking. He cited the Hoffman's Marina site plan for townhouses and, while they provide 52 parking spaces which is the correct number for one space per slip, it leaves no place to allow charter fishing boats; there are no charter boats at the restaurant site next door either as there just is not enough parking. It would appear that charter boats can no longer function and he felt this may want to be worked on; he was not sure on how to proceed on this and gave the example of Manasquan, which requires two spaces per boat slip. He looked into other areas and found some parking requirements go by the boat size, larger boats require more spaces and he thought this may be workable.

He suggested that the Planning Board representatives can meet on this and suggest to Mayor and Council a Resolution adopting this. He said that Brielle Landing is a perfect example of the parking problems associates with the current zoning requirements, the Board of Adjustment will hear the Shipwreck Grill application in December, application for a Use Variance to build townhouses on that site - they will encounter the same problem with the boat slips there. He would like to start with a higher number of required parking spaces per slip to accommodate the charter boats and then work from there.

Mr. Nolan felt this was worthwhile and should be addressed so it can be incorporated in the Master Plan Update. Mrs. Brady agreed and Mr. Hilla said he will work on it.

Mrs. Brisben told the Board that neither she or Mr. Hilla will be present at the November hearing as they will be at the League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City and asked if the hearing can be held in December instead, but Mr. Fitzsimmons said this should have been finalized in August so it has to be addressed as soon as possible, they can adopt the Update the same night as the Public Hearing and they always can amend it at a later date.

Mr. Heavey asked about the list of prohibitive items as the Board wanted to exclude some types of businesses at the last update; he saw the list of permitted uses. Mr. Hilla said they have the biggest problem in the Commercial Zone due to the way the Ordinance was set up. The new arrangement may open up some uses, such as a vegetable stand, etc. and reminded the Board members that they would have to come before this Board for site plan approval. Mr. Hilla suggested going over the uses with the Committee and also address the prohibited uses; there are uses in the C- 1 Zone that are not allowed in the C- 1A Zone. It was decided to include this in their next meeting and incorporate this information in the Update - the Board still wanted to have the public meeting on November 14th even with all the changes discussed.


The Board then turned to the memo from the Borough Administrator, Tom Nolan, regarding a new Ordinance for Landscape Trailers and Storage Pods. The town is starting to get a proliferation of trailers and pods and the Council wanted the Board's input on this matter. He also referenced a memo from Jim Langenberger, Code Enforcement Official, regarding the length of recreational vehicles that the draft ordinance was allowing - 35 feet was being considered and he felt this was excessive; he had submitted a photo of such a vehicle parked in a driveway in Brielle. The Board then questioned whether one can have a boat or recreational vehicle or both and decided to recommend changing the wording from ''and/or" to "or" so only one would be allowed. Mr. Mannion asked what happens to those who already have both and Mr. Fitzsimmons recommended wording to say " park or stored". He explained that it is not unusual to have an Ordinance limit the size and placement of boats, some towns do not let you put one in your front yard as they can be an intrusion. Also, trucks can be limited - for example, no box trucks that block light and air; there are a lot of Ordinances on this. Mrs. Brady knew of a neighbor who has had a storage box in their yard for the last 2 1/2 years as they are always working on their home. Mr. Fitzsimmons agreed and told of a pile driver that was parked in front of a home for 1 1/2 years; there can be a provision that if it is not used within a period of time it has to be removed.

Mr. Nolan commented that some landscape trailers are like house trailers- Mr. Hilla said a provision can be made that these have to be in the rear yard and must meet all setback requirements. Mr. Nolan then suggested that perhaps the Ordinance should be revisited and also go to the Committee, there is no urgency on it; Mrs. Brady asked that it be included in the Master Plan Update.

Mr. Fitzsimmons then referenced correspondence he distributed to the Board on limiting the size of single family homes in residential districts. Councilman Garruzzo felt this had already been addressed in creating the floor area ratio requirements.

The Board then turned to the final business of the evening, an Informal Hearing for possible site plan, Block 77.01, Lot 4, 417 Higgins Avenue (next to Simko's Bar & Grill). Mayor Nicol stepped down from the dais due to a conflict of interest.

Mr. Michael Simko came forward and said the property is right next to the parking lot of Simko's and is a 4-bedroom home with 2 cottages in the rear. He would like to put in a 5,376 square foot building on the property instead; this is a business zone and he felt it will help everyone in that zone to have an office building. The first floor would have 2,688 square feet, possible for medical use with 27 parking spaces. There would be 18 spaces on the second floor for office use. Simko's requires 85 spaces and would be a total of 155 spaces when this office is included, so there will be plenty of parking.

However, the Ordinance requires 24 feet between aisles and he proposed 23 feet. The requirement is 18 feet per space and he was requesting 17 per space; he has been all over town and most places are not conforming in parking. He said Charlie Brown's uses 23 feet between aisles and it works well, the office on Higgins Avenue has 23.5 feet and does not have a problem. He also noted that setbacks are not met by some commercial establishments, citing Friendship Garden Daycare which has a side yard of only 3.5 feet from the building and the two feet that is between two buildings on the corner of Riverview Drive and Higgins Avenue. He said he can build within the requirements but would like to be able to modify them.

In regards to the parking, he felt it will work if done this way and noted that people are always parking in his lot for other businesses, using the example of allowing the beauty parlor employees park at Simko's, the Deli across the street that has very little parking and uses his lot; this is why he is asking for this type of parking.

He then addressed the landscaping and noted the amount of macadam in this area - he would like to landscape with planters as he did not want to have to lose parking due to landscaping.

Councilman Garruzzo asked if some of the spots at the restaurant parking lot can be designated to be used by this building and Mr. Simko said yes, it can be in the deed. Mr. Mannion asked about the westerly side yard and Mr. Simko said he would need a waiver for this as well as the landscaping waiver. Mrs. Brady asked if the office building would be for daytime use only and Mr. Simko said yes, it will not be open at night. Mrs. Brady then asked if any handicap spaces will be separated for this and Mr. Fitzsimmons said as long as they are in the vicinity of each building; he suggested there may be a deed restriction so that some of the parking spaces in the Restaurant can be allocated to the office building use.

Mr. Simko said the fence that is there now will be taken down and one will be put up that will match the fence at the Restaurant so it will all look like one big lot. Mrs. Brady noted that many people cut down Gull Lane and go across the parking lot to get to Higgins Avenue - Mr. Simko said he had no way to control this. Mr. Fitzsimmons asked if any properties have their only access from Gull Lane and Mr. Hilla said one or more homes have driveways here. Mrs. Brady noted that it is a one-way street and Councilman Garruzzo said the road has to stay and agreed that there are homes and driveways on that Lane. Mr. Simko said if it were his road, he would put in speed bumps.

Mr. Hilla had a concern over the shortening of the drive aisles, if they are taken down to 23 feet and then reducing the parking spaces on top of that, it may have an effect. Mrs. Brady said that some places have a "small car'' area but Mr. Hilla did not think that would work here. Mr. Simko said that most of them are 16 feet now and it really does not affect everyone; as long as people pull up there is no problem. Mrs. Brady asked Mr. Hilla if he was talking about the Restaurant or the new office building and Mr. Hilla replied that to fit what they want to do, they would have to shorten the spaces by one foot and then shorten the drive aisle by a foot - there are 5 drive aisles so there is 5 feet. Mr. Simko said Mr. Hilla is talking about two-way traffic but Mr. Hilla said it was about the backing out, it's taking the 18 foot vehicle and backing out of a space; it's a hard cut to make this as you need more than the length of the car to do this.

Mr. Simko replied that he has more spaces than what is required and his parking configuration has worked out well and again stated that 25-30% of the parking in Brielle does not comply; he defended his idea. Mr. Hilla felt that the newer cars are tending to be larger, SUVs, etc. Mr. Simko said there is enough parking that if someone has a larger vehicle, they can park in the back of the lot. After further discussion, it was decided to go with the 24 foot driveway aisle and ask for only a 5 foot side yard setback.

Councilman Garruzzo said he knew that, conceptually, the existing home there is dilapidated and that this new establishment will fit in the Commercial Zone, which will be an upgrade. There is a new professional building just across the street and he was optimistic regarding this site plan. Mr. Simko said he will keep the building architecturally fitting in the area. Mrs. Murdoch was glad to see a daytime use for this so there would not be a conflict with the parking area for the restaurant. As there were no further comments from the Board, Mr. Simko thanked the Board members for their time and input in this matter.

As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Nolan, seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously by the Board. The meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.