A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

January 9, 2007

March 23 2007

January 9, 2007

The Organizational Meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held in the Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane, at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, January 9, 2007. After a silent prayer and salute to the flag, roll call was taken:

On roll call: Present - Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Thomas Heavey, Gina Murdoch, Thomas F. Nolan, Spencer Thornton

Absent - Susan S. Brady, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, James Mannion

Also present was Secretary to the Board Karen S. Brisben who recorded the Minutes, Board Attorney Ken Fitzsimmons and Board Engineer Alan Hilla, Jr. There were 12 people in the audience.

Mayor Nicol called the meeting to order and declared a quorum. He announced that, in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, notice of this Body's Organization Meeting had been given to the official newspapers of the Planning Board which had fixed the time and place of this meeting.

The following members were up for appointments and were sworn into office:

Mayor Thomas Nicol, through 12/31/07
Administrator Thomas F. Nolan, through 12/31/07
Gina Murdoch, Alternate Member #1 through 12/31/08

The next item on the agenda was the election of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary of the Board. Mr. Thornton nominated Sue Brady as Chairperson, this seconded by Mr. Nolan. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mrs. - Brady was elected as
Chairperson by unanimous vote, all aye.

The election of Vice-Chairperson was next and Mr. Thornton nominated Thomas Heavey, this seconded by Mr. Nolan. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mr. Heavey was elected as Vice-Chairperson by unanimous vote, all aye.

The last official was Secretary of the Board. and Mr. Heavey Garruzzo nominated Spencer Thornton, this seconded by Mr. Nolan. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mr. Thornton was unanimously elected as Secretary of the Board, all aye.

The appointment of Recording Secretary for the year 2007 was then considered and Mr. Nolan made a motion to appoint Karen Brisben to this position, this seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the Board, all aye.

It was then time for approval of the annual Resolutions of the Planning Board:

Meeting Dates

"WHEREAS, an act of the Legislature known as the "Open Public Meetings Act: enacted October 21, 1975, requires that advance notice be given of all regularly scheduled meetings of the Planning Board, this act becoming effective January 19, 1976,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle that:

1. The regularly scheduled public business meetings of the Planning Board shall be held m. the Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane, at 7:30 P.M. on the second Tuesday of each month. Work Sessions, if needed, will be held at 7:00 P.M. on the same night.

2. A copy of this Resolution shall be posted on the public bulletin board in the Borough Hall and published in one of the official newspapers of the Planning Board."

A motion to approve this was made by Mr. Nolan, seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and unanimously approved by the Board, all aye.

Board Attorney & Board Engineer

"WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 4OA: I 1-5(l)(a)(i) permits the Planning Board to award a professional services contract without public advertising for bids and bidding; and

WHEREAS, the Brielle Planning Board has determined that there is a need for legal services and engineering services during the year 2007 calendar year; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Board has determined to provide the need to acquire legal services and engineering services as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer of the Borough of Brielle has determined and certified in writing that the value of the legal services and engineering services may exceed $17,500; and

WHEREAS, the term of these contracts are one year (January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007); and

WHEREAS, Kenneth B. Fitzsimmons has submitted a proposal indicating that he will provide legal services for the hourly rate of $150.00 and Alan Hilla, Jr. of Birdsall Engineering, Inc. has submitted a proposal indicating he will provide engineering services for the hourly rate of $142.00; and

WHEREAS, both Mr. Fitzsimmons and Mr. Hilla have completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification.which certifies that they have not made any reportable contributions to any political or candidate committee in the Borough of Brielle in the previous year, and that the contracts will prohibit them from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contracts; and

WHEREAS, a certification as to the availability of funds executed by the Chief Finance Officer is attached to this Resolution pursuant to, the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:30-5.4;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle on this 9th day of January, 2007, as follows:

1. The Business Disclosure Entity Certification of both Mr. Fitzsimmons and Mr. Hilla as well as the Determination of Value Certification of the Chief Financial Officer shall be filed in the office of the Municipal Clerk and shall be available for public inspection.

2. The Planning Board is hereby authorized and directed to execute a contract with Mr. Fitzsimmons to provide legal services and Mr. Hilla to provide engineering services for the 2007 contract year.

3. A notice stating the nature, duration, service and the amount of this contract shall be published in the Coast Star and this Resolution shall be maintained on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Planning Board Secretary.

4. A certified copy of this Resolution shall be sent to Mr. Fitzsimmons and Mr. HHilla."


"RESOLVED, that the Asbury Park Press and The Coast Star are designated as the official newspapers for publishing legal notices of the Borough of Brielle Planning Board."

Motion to approve the above Resolutions was made by Mr. Heavey, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and unanimously approved by the Board, all aye.

Mr. Nolan then made a motion to accept the Minutes of the November 14, 2006 Planning Board meeting, this seconded by Mr. Heavey and approved, all aye.


The Board members all received a copy of a letter written by Mr. Keith Henderson regarding the Dance for Joy hearing which was to be heard this month. Mr. Henderson asked for a postponement due to a new owner coming for Dance for Joy and they are working on a new lease; he asked for a hearing to be held in March and the Board was agreeable to this.


Mr. Nolan addressed the Board regarding the final review and approval of a revised Ordinance for trailer restrictions; the Board had all received a copy. He said that he worked on this with Councilman Garruzzo and Mr. Heavey and wanted to know if it can now go forward to the Council for approval. Mr. Thornton asked if this could also refer to dumpsters - Mr. Nolan said no, just landscape trailers and storage pods. The Board was all agreeable to finalize this through Council approval.


The Board then turned to the application for a Minor Subdivision for Block 32.01, Lot 4, 508 Woodland Avenue, owned by Douglas and Candace Moore, to subdivide their property into two lots. Variances needed: Minimum Lot Size - 11,250 square feet required, 7,500 square feet each lot proposed, 3,750 square foot variance requested for each lot. Minimum Lot Width - 75 feet required, 50 feet each lot proposed, 25 foot variance for each lot proposed.

Douglas Moore, who is an attorney, came forward to represent himself. The fee of $1,300 was paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified.

Mr. Moore said he did not want to leave Brielle, however, it was getting too difficult to take care of his home anymore and he wanted to subdivide this oversized lot into two parcels to 50 feet wide each. He then asked if his planner, Andrew Thomas, could testify; Mr. Thomas was a Professional Planner and had testified before this Board before - the Board accepted him and Mr. Thomas was sworn in.

He had a few handouts for the Board and Mr. Fitzsimmons first marked an area tax map, colored, as Exhibit A- 1. Mr. Thomas also had photos of the site and these were marked as one exhibit, Exhibit A-2.

He testified that this property is on Woodland Avenue between Route 71 and the railroad track - it is a 100 x 150 foot lot or 15,000 square feet. The R-3 zone requires lots of 11,250 square feet each, or 75 feet by 125 feet deep, so this site Is oversized for the zone as it stands now. The zone line runs down Woodland Avenue, R-4 zone on the south side and R-3 on the north side - there are many smaller sized homes between 1 and 2 stories on the north side with many upgrades being done on 50 foot lots.

Mr. and Mrs. Moore want to make two lots of 50 feet each and need 4 variances, 2 bulk variances and 2 for lot width. He felt that. two parts of the Municipal, Land Use Law will be enhanced by this - 1) visual appearance as the existing old house will come down and two new homes will be built which will upgrade the neighborhood. He referred to Exhibit 2 which had photos of homes in the area on 50 foot lots; 2) provide adequate light, air and open space as this subdivision will allow this. There would be no detriment to the public good due to the number of 50 x 150 foot lots in this area. Block 32.01 has 70% of the lots that do not meet the area requirements for the R-3 zone so the character of the neighborhood is mostly 50 foot. lots.

He also felt the variances will not impair the Zone Plan or Zoning Ordinance, the homes that will be built will fit on the new lots. The benefits outweigh the detriments as there will be an upgrade of the neighborhood and two new homes can be built with the proper setbacks.

He noted that Mr. Hilla had concerns on the height of the building, however, as shown in the photos, there are homes in this neighborhood that reach 2 1/2 stories high or close to it, the maximum allowed. He emphasized that the homes to be built will meet all setback requirements and there will not be any crowding.

At this time the meeting was open to Board questions. Mr. Moore, who was then sworn in, wanted to point out that the Sevastakis home on Woodland Avenue was constructed back in 2003 on a newly subdivided 50 x 100 foot lot.

As there were no Board questions, the meeting was opened to the public and Mr. Ed Hendricks of 506 Borrie Avenue came forward and was sworn in. He was strongly opposed to taking a conforming lot and creating two non-conforming lots and did not think it will enhance the neighborhood as it will mean one more driveway. A Minor Subdivision that came before this Board a few years on Fisk Avenue was denied and was similar to this application - he felt this area was overcrowded as it is and thought this will degrade this area by making two smaller homes. As far as the Zoning, the minimum is 75 feet and this 100x:150 foot lot is beautiful as it is - a very nice home could be built on it. His home is on Borrie Avenue and is right behind this on Woodland; he has a 50 x 100 foot lot.

Next to come forward was Tim Kellers of 515 Woodland Avenue, who was sworn in. He home is right across from the Moore residence and is on a 100 x 100 foot lot; he has lived here since 1985 and has seen the area changed with homes being taken down or renovated. He felt this subdivision will be good for the area and agreed there are a lot of younger families coming in but he sees no problem with another driveway. He supported this application and felt it will enhance their piece of Woodland Avenue.

Next to come forward was Ethel Taylor of 521 Woodland Avenue. She told the Board she has been a neighbor of the Moore family for years and has lived in this area for many years; she, too, felt this will be an improvement to her neighborhood and would like to see it approved.

Mr. Chris Sawitsky of 506 Woodland Avenue then came forward and was sworn in. He also was in support of the application and told the Board the lot directly to the east of him was sold, a 50 x 150 foot lot and a new home was built which fits right in. He felt a couple of new homes here will help the appreciation of his home.

As there were no more public comments, that portion of the hearing was closed. Mr. Hilla asked how the subdivision will be perfected and was told it will be by map filing; Mr, Hilla then said the map will need to be revised to show the utilities and the subdivision cannot be perfected until this is done and he has reviewed the plans.

The Board then went into discussion and Mr. Thornton did not like to go against the Master Plan as much as this may help the neighborhood, he would like to see a beautiful home built on a 100 foot wide lot. Mr. Heavey noted that it looked as if over 65% of the homes in this area are on 50 foot lots and he was impressed that 3 people would come and speak in favor of this - he did not see a problem with more children from a safety issue and agreed with some of the testimony that granting this will enhance the neighborhood, he was in favor of this application.

Mrs. Murdoch agreed with Mr. Heavey that dividing these lots would be consistent with the area and she, too, was impressed that 3 neighbors spoke for this and she would be in support of the application. Mr. Nolan said he was from Jersey City originally so this looks good to him. There are sections of town that lend themselves to this type of hearing and he also agreed with the neighbors and did not see a detriment - he was in favor of this application.

As there were no further comments from the Board, a, motion was made by Mr. Nolan, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch, to approve this application subject to compliance with the Engineer's report. The following roll call vote was then made:

Ayes: Thomas B. Nicol, Thomas Heavey, Gina Murdoch, Thomas F. Nolan
Noes: Spencer Thornton


The Board then turned to an Informal Hearing for a possible Major Subdivision for Block 25.01, Lots 6 & .7, to take existing two lots and make five lots. The Properties are owned by Richard and Myra Strucek and known as 522 and 528 Longstreet Avenue.

Mr. Richard Strucek came forward; he has lived in Brielle since 1957 and is now the senior resident of Longstreet Avenue, he and his wife bought 528 Longstreet Avenue when they got married. They have always looked at the property at 522 and were able to purchase it when it went up for sale. They then looked at how they can keep within the guidelines for zoning for this very deep piece of property. They wish to keep the home that is on this lot now and subdivide the rest of the property into 75 x 125 foot lots. They felt there were a lot of things they could do with this and a good builder could come in and maximize the use of this; if they did that, they could ask for more lots.

He said every lot proposed will meet the coverage or more of the Zoning requirements and he plans to build on the largest lot. He then explained the flag lots he wished to create and a driveway of 12.5 feet wide to enter the flag lots in the rear - what he was now asking was for guidance from the Board.

He stated that Longstreet Avenue is one that also has 50 foot lots on it and the Ordinance now requires 75 foot wide lots, he has the only property that complies with that; the new lots would also comply.

Mr. Hilla noted that the two flag lots would need variances and emergency response space may be an issue. Also, there may be environmental constraints as the headwaters of Debbie's Creek are in the back of this property; there may also be restrictions on parking in the drive entrance to the flag lots.

The Board then clarified that the rear of this property, even though the tax map has a street back there, backs up to a paper street. Mr. Nolan asked if instead of flag lots would it be possible to go through the end of River Place where it becomes a paper street and Mr. Strucek said no, this is all wetlands; Mr. Hilla agreed that this would be more difficult.

Mr. Nolan noted that this is a big piece of property and wondered if a cul-de-sac could be created. Mr. Hilla. said the right-of-way width would be the controlling factor and may end up with nonconforming lots. If a 50 foot right-of-way was created, there would only 100 feet on either side, you may get lot width but not lot depth and he did not know if this would work - you get into State Criteria with cul-de-sacs. Mr. Nolan felt it may work to put in a cul-de-sac and create 4 lots instead of 5, however, he did not know about the wetlands and where the line was. He reminded the Board about the big issue with wetlands in the Captain Bailey Court subdivision.

Mr. Hilla felt the DEP may have comments on this and the issue has to be addressed - other subdivisions that have wetlands have had to do this and this would have to be done up front so it can be worked with in creating the subdivision. He was not sure if an Environmental Impact statement would be needed but this has to go through the DEP. Mayor Nicol agreed as there are some old properties in town that are having wetland problems; he did not want to see, more.

At this time the meeting was opened to the public and Jeanne Hollerbach did not think they need any more houses here, there is too much building going on and there are beautiful wetlands here. Also, the Fire Company is right on the next comer and there are always cars on Longstreet, no one will benefit but the property owner. She has lived in Brielle since she was 4 years old and felt the Board should follow the Master Plan.

Marin Haus asked Mr. Strucek if he has done an Environmental Impact Statement and the answer was no. He said that this property is a little under 2 acres and he felt doing it this way was the best. He realized there is a wetland issue but did not think it was enough to stop houses being built there. Ms. Haus felt an Environmental Impact Statement would be the place to start.

Mr. Strucek told the Board he did not want to have to put in a cul-de-sac as that would mean smaller lots, Mayor Nicol still felt more information on environmental concerns with wetlands needs to be done and they cannot make any determination without that.

Mr. Strucek then asked if he could subdivide part of the property and Mr. Fitzsimmons said the Board can not advise him on this as it is not within their jurisdiction. Mr. Strucek then thanked the Board for their time and input.

Before adjourning, the Board went back to the correspondence concerning Alpha/Omega. Mrs. Brisben told the Board they were to hear this application for new parking configurations in February but there may be new owners of Dance for Joy so their attorney has asked for a postponement until March. Mr. Fitzsimmons explained that the lease is to be assigned to different owners and Alpha/Omega looks forward to being here in March to be heard by the Board; he felt the Board will be in a better position then due to a new lease being in place - the use will not change.

Mr. Nolan then asked to go back to the pod/trailer Ordinance to be given to the Governing Body. He said Mrs. Murdoch raised a good point - with the pod Ordinance we do not limit the number of pods allowed, so should this be amended to say one pod per residential lot? Mrs. Murdoch spoke and was concerned if there was a large lot, there may be more than one pod. The Board then went into a discussion on the wording and if it means one pod, one boat, one trailer or only one of those items on a property. Mr. Fitzsimmons felt it should be worded so only one of those can be on a property, not all three. If a builder needs a pod, the owner can move the RV or boat. Mr. Hilla agreed and said there could be a dumpster, pod, boat and RV as it is worded now; Mr. Nolan agreed and said this creates a quality of life issue. The Board was in approval of amending this Ordinance and then turning it over to Council for their final approval.

As there was no further business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Thornton, this seconded by Mr. Nolan and unanimously approved by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M.

Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary