A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

February 13, 2007

March 29 2007

February 13, 2007

The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held in the Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane, at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, February 13, 2007. 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, Thomas F. Nolan, Gina Murdoch

Absent - James Mannion, Spencer Thornton

Also present were Board Attorney Ken Fitzsimmons, and Board Engineer Alan P. Hilla, Jr. Recording Secretary Karen S. Brisben recorded the Minutes.

Chairperson Brady then called the meeting to order and declared a quorum. She announced that, m compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, notice of this Body had been given by the adoption of a Resolution at the January 9th, 2007 meeting which had fixed the time and place of all hearings.

At this time Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo was sworn in as a Class II Member of the Board, term expiring 12/31/07. Mrs. Brady also took the opportunity to thank the Board for again appointing her as Chairperson to the Planning Board for another year.

A motion to approve the Minutes of January 9th, 2007 was made by Mayor Nicol, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the Board, all aye, with Councilman Garruzzo and Mrs. Brady abstaining.


The Board received notification of classes to attend, sponsored by the NJ Planner. Mrs. Brisben instructed any member interested in attending to let her know and she will enroll them.

Also received was a report from Birdsall Engineering, Inc. regarding the problems with the Homestead Road Minor Subdivision - applicant and developer Joseph Carannante. Somehow, in the building permit process, the house was ''flipped'' and the driveway put on the north side of the property which has caused drainage problems for the neighbor. Birdsall Engineering did confirm that this happened and the ensuing problems it created.


The Board turned to the approval of a Resolution for Block 32.01, Lot 24, Minor Subdivision for 508 Woodland Avenue, owned by Douglas and Candace Moore. Before taking a vote on this, Mrs. Brisben told the Board that item #3 on the first page was an important statement as it assured that the future homes on these newly created lots would be in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. This was m another Resolution and was adhered to by the Zoning Board when the new owner of the lot came in for a variance application; it was denied based on the statement in that Resolution that full compliance would be done in the building.

As there were no changes or recommendations to the draft Resolution the Board had received, the following was presented for approval:

"WHEREAS, Douglas E. Moore and Candace F. Moore (the ''applicants''), having a mailing address of 508 Woodland Avenue, Brielle, N.J. 08730, have applied to the Brielle Planning Board (the ''Board'') for minor subdivision approval and variances pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-47 & 60; and

WHEREAS, proof of service as required by law upon appropriate property owners and governmental bodies has been furnished and determined to be in proper order; and

WHEREAS, a public hearing was held on January 9, 2007 in the Borough Hall, at which time testimony and exhibits were presented on behalf of the applicants and all interested parties having been heard; and

WHEREAS, the Board makes the following factual findings and findings of law:

1. This property is designated as Block 32.01, Lot 24 on the Municipal Tax Map.
2. The property is located in the R-3 zone.
3. The property has frontage of 100 feet on Woodland Avenue, is 150 feet deep, and is improved with a one and one-half story dwelling and detached garage.

Applicants propose to raze the existing structures and subdivide the property into two building lots. Both lots are proposed to have a width of 50 feet, depth of 150 feet and bulk area of 7,500 square feet. Applicant stipulated that all other bulk requirements of this zone would be adhered to at such time as new single-family residential dwellings are constructed on the proposed lots.
4. The following variances result from this development


Minimum Lot Size 11,250 sq. ft. 7,500 sq. ft.
§21-13.2.a.l(a) (proposed lots
24.01 & 24.02)

Minimum Lot 75 feet 50 feet
Frontage (proposed lots
§21-13.2.a.l(b) 24.02 & 24.02)

5. Birdsall Engineering, Inc. prepared a report to the Board dated December 22, 2006. The Board adopts the findings in that report and incorporates that document m this Resolution by reference.

6. Andrew Thomas, P.P., provided expert testimony as a Professional Planner on behalf of the applicants. Mr. Thomas referred to the Minor Subdivision map prepared by Acre Survey Company, Inc., dated December 4, 2006. The zoning schedule on that map indicates that all bulk requirements of the R-3 zone will be complied with except those pertaining to minimum lot width and minimum lot area. The witness also testified that he prepared the following exhibits, which were marked into evidence:

A- 1....Aerial photograph with tax map overlay showing the Location of commercial and residential zones.
A-2.....Six photographs of the subject and neighboring Properties (4 pages)

Mr. Thomas Explained that A- 1 depicted, with yellow hatch marks, lots in the R-3 zone which are 50 to 70 feet wide, and do not meet lot frontage or lot area requirements. The exhibit also shows lots m this zone which are 50 feet wide, and do not meet lot frontage requirements. He stated that approximately 70% of the lots in this sector of the R-3 zone deviate from minimum lot frontage and lot area requirements. Mr. Thomas testified that: the two photographs on page 1 of A-2 show the Moore home; the photograph on page 3 shows an ad adjacent home; and the three photographs on pages 2 and 4 show newly constructed homes on undersized lots in this zone.

Mr. Thomas testified that one of the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law is to promote a desirable visual environment, and that this goal would be satisfied by razing the existing home which is in marginal condition and constructing two new homes which are compliant with current building codes. He opined that the construction of the two new homes would have a positive impact on the neighborhood. To support this conclusion, the witness referred to the three photographs on pages 2 and 4 of A-2 to demonstrate that attractive structures can be constructed on lots having similar dimensions. The witness stated that the 10-foot side yard setback requirements combined with minimum front and rear yard setback requirements will insure adequate light, air and open space for the proposed lots and neighboring properties. Addressing the negative criteria, Mr. Thomas pointed out that approximately 70% of the lots in this part of the R-3 zone do not meet with the minimum lot width and/or minimum area requirements. He stated that construction of two new homes on lots having dimensions similar to other improved properties in the area would not impair the intent and purpose of the Master Plan or Zoning Ordinance. The witness testified that the benefits derived from the construction of the two new homes would outweigh the detriment, if any, relating to a deviation from the bulk requirements of the zone.

7. Four neighbors testified relating to this application:

a. Edward Hendricks, a resident of 506 Borrie Avenue, stated that he opposed this development application because it was contrary to the Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Hendricks stated that a conforming structure could be built on the property, and that the construction of two homes on undersized lots would reduce property values in the neighborhood.

b. Timothy Kellers, a resident of 515 Woodland Avenue, testified that he supported the development proposal because it would enhance the neighborhood.

c. Ethel Taylor, a resident of 521 Woodland Avenue, testified that she has lived in this area since 1950 and supports the development proposal because it will enhance this site and neighboring properties.

d. Chris Sawitsky, a resident of 506 Woodland Avenue, testified that he supports the development proposal because the new homes will continue a pattern of upgrading in this neighborhood.

8. The Board finds that the Minor Subdivision conforms with the requirement of the Land Subdivision Ordinance. As to the requested variances, the Board finds and determines that:
a. There are a substantial number of properties in this sector of the R-3 zone which do not meet the minimum lot frontage and/or minimum lot area requirements. Exhibit A- 1 demonstrates that approximately 70% of the properties are non-compliant with the bulk requirements of this zone.

b. Woodland Avenue is the dividing line between the R-3 and R-4 zones. The R-4 zone, which is immediately across the street from the subject property, is generally developed with lots having a frontage of 50 feet, depth of 100 feet and bulk area of 5,000 square feet. The creation of two 50x 150 foot lots on this site will not adversely impact properties m the contiguous R-4 zone nor will the proposed development adversely impact properties in this
area of the R-3 zone as more than 70% of such properties are non-compliant with the bulk requirements of the zone.

c. The proposed lots are reasonably configured to accommodate new residential dwellings, and will provide adequate light, air and open space between the proposed new structures and neighboring properties.

d. The proposed improvements will have a positive impact upon this site and neighboring properties.

e. The benefits derived from the construction of two new single-family residential dwellings on reasonably sized lots outweigh the detriment, if any, from a deviation from the bulk requirements of this zone. The Board notes that over 70% of the properties m this zone are non-compliant with minimum lot frontage and minimum lot area requirements, and that the proposed lots are consistent with the actual development of properties in this neighborhood.

9. The Board finds and determines that the relief requested can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan of the Municipality.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Brielle Planning Board on this 13th day of February, 2007, that the decision of the Planning Board at its meeting of January 9, 2007 be memorialized, and that this application be approved subject to the following conditions:

1. Applicants shall apply for and receive approvals from all other municipal, county, state and federal agencies having regulatory jurisdiction over this development application.
2. Applicants shall pay all real property taxes through and including the calendar quarter of the date of this application.
3. Applicants shall Me all required performance bonds, maintenance guarantees and post all applicable engineering and inspection fees.
4. Applicants shall comply with all requirements in the report of Birdsall Engineering, Inc., dated December 22, 2006.
5. This development approval shall be null and void unless applicants file a Minor Subdivision map and raze all improvements on the existing property within three years of the date of this Resolution.
6. Certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the applicants, Borough Construction Official, Zoning Officer and all other parties in interest."

A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mayor Nicol, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Thomas Heavey, Gina Murdoch, Thomas F. Nolan

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Susan A. Brady


The Board then turned to a discussion with the Borough Administrator, Mr. Nolan, regarding the new Ordinance being considered on Landscape Trailers, Storage Pods & boat storage. He told the Board that a concern has come up concerning the boat issue, especially from the Manasquan River Yacht Club which is a non-conforming use in the Residential Zone. Council has delayed the hearing on this Ordinance and requests input again from the Planning Board, perhaps deleting the reference to boats in this new Ordinance. He said a suggestion has been made to post this on the Borough web site to see if there are any comments or suggestions from residents and then having a committee address this.

Councilman Garruzzo said Council did get a few letters and there were people at the last meeting referring to this Ordinance. He felt it would be prudent to contact the Yacht Club and have a discussion with them as they are a big area of concern; input from residents would also be welcome.

Mr. Heavey said he was a member of the sub-committee and is also a member of the Yacht Club and, if no Board member had a problem with this, he would like to stay on it; the Board agreed this was a good thing to have a Planning Board member in this position.

Mrs. Brady asked Mr. Nolan do pods have to be addressed as well and Mr. Nolan said the question is on the boat issue only, there still is a problem in town with pods and landscape trailers; the Council does not want landscape trailers on the streets overnight. He said that Council would like to see this finalized by the end of March and the Board was all agreeable to the recommendations made during this discussion.

At this time the meeting was opened to the public for comments on this and Andrew Crowe of 624 Union Lane came forward, he stated he has lived in Brielle since 1975. He felt this all came about from large boats being shrink wrapped and stored on properties - it was not attractive. However, this is a boating town and some residents may have a problem with the Ordinance as now written, he felt that perhaps there could be wording saying a boat under 20 feet can be stored on a private property and the shrink wrap to be white, not blue. He agreed that the Yacht Club needs a place to store their boats, but a lot of people also need this as Hoffman's Marina is now gone and was used by a lot of local residents. He referenced having a rowboat and, under the Ordinance now, this would be a problem; he would like to see more thought to this Ordinance. Councilman Garruzzo assured him they are addressing this issue.

Noni Dickerson of Locust Road came forward and explained they have been on a construction/remodeling program for two years now, due to construction problems. At times they may have two or three trailers on their property and this is a concern for them as they have a legal building permit and did not want to have their contractors forced to take their trailers home each evening. Mr. Nolan explained that the problem is landscape trailers that are left out on the public streets overnight, if a trailer is in the yard it is okay.

Janice Wurfel of Green Avenue said she does not have access to a computer and Mr. Nolan told her information would be displayed on the bulletin board.

The Board then turned to Ed Hendricks of 506 Borrie Avenue, who wished to address the Board on the Moore Subdivision that was granted. He did not feel this should have been granted and was not satisfied with the reasons given to grant this subdivision. Mr. Fitzsimmons went into a detailed description of what the Board looks for before granting or denying any application that comes before it; exhibits were given by the expert witness and, m this case, this property is right across from a different zone which would allow this size lot and 70% of the lots in this area are undersized. The Board felt granting this would be in keeping with what is in this neighborhood and they took that into consideration when making their determination. Mr. Hendricks took exception to this and felt the criteria was not met; Mr. Fitzsimmons explained that the criteria is conceptual, it is not always mathematical.

Councilman Garruzzo acknowledged that the Master Plan is not perfect and the Board has to be mindful of the characteristics of the neighborhood and the Board has to ask if what is being proposed will be detrimental to that neighborhood.

Mr. Hendricks asked if there is a set of criteria in the Land Use Rules and Mr. Fitzsimmons said the rules are set by the Municipal Land Use Law from the State of New Jersey. The local entities also have their Zoning Ordinance; N.J. Case Law is prevalent and that decides the guidelines. He said William Cox wrote a Land Use book explanation that is excellent and felt if Mr. Hendricks was interested, perhaps taking 1/2 to 1 hour looking through it may be helpful.

Mrs. Brady emphasized that the Board does try to adhere to the Master Plan and they put a lot of heart & soul m each application and personally visit each site that comes in for a hearing to see what the neighborhood involved is like.

Mr. Hendricks then said he did not have a chance to question the professional but Mrs. Brisben assured him that Mayor Nicol, who chaired that meeting, did indeed open the hearing to the public for questions or comments; after reading his letter requesting this discussion with the Board, she went back to the tape and verified that this was done in a proper manner. Mayor Nicol agreed that he had given the public an opportunity to ask questions to those who testified.

As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Mayor Nicol, seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously by the Board. The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary