Borough of Brielle, NJ
| March 11, 2008
March 11, 2008
|Call To Order: 7:30 PM
Salute To The Flag
Term Of Board Members:
Class I, Mayor Thomas B. Nicol through 12/31/08
Class II, James Langenberger, Jr through 12/31/08
Class III, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo through 12/31/08
Class IV, Susan S. Brady through 12/31/08
Class IV, Thomas Condon through 12/31/10
Class IV, Thomas Heavey through 12/31/09
Class IV, Tim Sigler through 12/31/09
Class IV, John Visceglia through 12/31/11
Class IV, Terre Vitale through 12/31/11
Alternate Member #1, James Harman through 12/31/09
Alternate Member #2, Charles Sarnasi through 12/31/08
The Board Attorney, Ken Fitzsimmons, Board Engineer, Alan Hilla Jr, and Recording Secretary Karen S. Brisben shall remain in their present positions for 2008 as per Resolutions approved by each Board in January.
The Coast Star and Asbury Park Press shall remain the Official newspapers as per Resolutions approved by Each Board in January.
Meeting Dates (second Tuesday of each Month).
Nomination & Election of:
Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary
Approval Of Minutes:
Board of Adjustment, meeting of 2/5/2008
Planning Board, meeting of 2/12/2008
Approval of Resolution for Board of Adjustment Appeal for Block 56, lot 13.01, 411 Green Avenue, owned by Force Construction. Requester - Lawrence P. Thees, esq.
Application for Minor Subdivision for Block 21.01, Lot 21, 613 Park Avenue, owned by Wendy Arnold (Applicant - Dennis Roberts), to create two buildable lots. Variances required - Minimum Lot Size: 75 feet wide required, 50 feet proposed each lot. Minimum Lot Size - 11,250 square feet required, 7,743 square feet & 7,671 square feet proposed.
Application for Minor Subdivision for Block 71.02, Lot 10, 705 Evergreen Avenue, owned by Robert & Brenda Fuller, and Block 71.02, Lot 11, 703 Evergreen Avenue, owned by Marvin & Patricia Newman, to divide two lots and create three buildable lots. Variances required - Front Yard Setback, Lot Width, yard Configuration and Driveway Size.
The Organization meeting of the new Brielle Planning/Zoning Board was held on
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm in the Brielle Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane. After
a moment of silent prayer and a salute to the flag, roll call was taken:
Present - Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Susan S.
Brady, Thomas Condon, James Harman, Thomas Heavey, James
Langenberger, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, John Visceglia, Terre
Vitale (arrived 7:35 pm)
Absent - None
Also present were Ken Fitzsimmons, Board Attorney, Alan Hilla, Jr. and Chas
Holloway of Birdsall Engineering and Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. There
were 18 people in the audience.
Mayor Nicol then 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 sent to the official newspapers of the Board fixing the
time and place of all hearings. He then read off the terms of the new Board members:
Class I. Mayor Thomas B. Nicol through 12/31/08
Class II. James Langenberger, Jr. through 12/31/08
Class II Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo through 12/31/08
Class IV Susan S. Brady through 12/31/08
Class IV Thomas Condon through 12/31/10
Class IV Thomas Heavey through 12/31/09
Class IV Tim Sigler through 12/31/09
Class IV John Visceglia through 12/31/11
Class IV Terre Vitale through 12/31/11
Alternate Member #1, James Harman through 12/31/09
Alternate Member #2, Charles Sarnasi through 12/31/08
The Mayor then announced that the Board Attorney, Ken Fitzsimmons, Board
Engineer, Alan Hilla, .Jr. and Recording Secretary Karen S. Brisben shall remain in their
present positions for 2008 as per Resolutions approved by each Board in January 2008.
He also announced that the Coast Star Newspaper and the Asbury Park Press shall
remain the official newspapers as per Resolutions approved by each Board in January
The following Resolution for Meeting Dates was then presented for approval:
"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/Zoning Board (hereinafter called the "Planning
Board") of the Borough of Brielle, 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 Brielle Planning
Board shall be held in 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 Board."
This Resolution was approved on a motion by Mr. Heavey, seconded by
Councilman Garruzzo and unanimously approved, all aye.
The Board then turned to the election of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and
Secretary of the Board; Councilman Garruzzo nominated Susan S. Brady as
Chairperson, Thomas Condon as Vice-CHairperson and Thomas Heavey as Secretary.
These nominations were seconded by Mayor Nicol and approved on the following roll
Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Susan S.
Brady, Thomas Condon, Thomas Heavey, James Langenberger,
Tim Sigler, John Visceglia, Terre Vitale
Not Eligible to Vote: James Harman, Charles Sarnasi (alternate members)
The Minutes of the February 5th Board of Adjustment meeting were approved by
those Board members who were on that Board and present at that meeting, on a motion
by Mr. Condon, seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved, all aye. The Minutes of the
February 12, 2008 Planning Board meeting were approved by those Board members
who were on that Board and present at that meeting, on a motion by Councilman
Garruzzo, seconded by Mr. Langenberger, and approved, all aye.
As there was no Correspondence, the Board considered the approval of a
Resolution for the Board of Adjustment Appeal for Interpretation of the R-4 Single
Family Residential Zone. As there were no recommendations or changes to the draft
Resolution, the following was presented for approval by those Board of Adjustment
members who were present at the February 5, 2008 meeting:
"WHEREAS, Lawrence P. Thees, Esq. (hereinafter referred to as the
"Requestor"), filed a request for in interpretation of Brielle Borough Ordinance 21-14 "R4
SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL ZONE" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(b),
specifically the requestor alleges that the initial clause of this section which states:
"The purpose of the R-4 Residential Zone is to provide for smaller lot sizesJo
meet the desire of a certain segment of the population who need least cost housing
(Ord. #255; Ord. #592; 1972 Code 89-14)"
would require an applicant to not only meet the specific bulk standards listed in the
Ordinance; but also to prove that the home being constructed would be least cost
WHEREAS, the Requestor provided adequate notice of the hearing in
accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:550-12; and
WHEREAS, the Board heard this matter at a public hearing on February 5, 2008;
WHEREAS, the Board heard legal arguments from Lawrence P. Thees, Esq. and
Michael P. Landis, Esq. (who is the attorney for Force Construction, which has a
pending matter for the subdivision of two conforming lots in the R-4 zone before the
Brielle Planning Board); and
WHEREAS, the Board carefully listened to the legal arguments of counsel, the
explanations of Mr. Hilla, the Board's Planner, and Mr. Galvin, the Board's special
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Adjustment of the
Borough of Brielle, County of Monmouth and State of New Jersey on the 5th day of
February 2008, made the following legal conclusions:
1. The Board has jurisdiction to interpret the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough
of Brielle pursuant to the authority of N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(b).
2. The Board, in rendering that interpretation, must give the Ordinance a reading
consonant with its understanding of what the Governing Body intended. The
Board is not permitted to substitute its opinion as to what would be the most
appropriate public policy. The Board's role as a quasi-judicial body is strictly
limited in this way.
3. While Requestor argued that his neighborhood is extensively developed, the
Board's review of the applicant's request for an Interpretation of the meaning
of the Ordinance provisions included in R-4, the Board was not reviewing an
application or a request for relief for any given property.
4. Primarily inquiry is to what level of weight should be given to a preparatory or
preamble included in the R-4 zone.
5. Requestor argued that the preamble to the Ordinance came at the very
beginning of the Zoning Ordinance, and that the introductory of the R-4 zone
could not be a preamble and must be treated as an additional condition of any
approval for development in the R-4 zone.
6. Each zoning district in the Brielle Ordinance has a ,
proviso/preamble/introductory language, which describes the purpose of the
7. Requestor argued that the purpose of the zone is to provide housing for a
certain segment of the population who need least cost housing. He
suggested that, while no definitions exist in the Ordinance, that the Zoning
Board should look to Council on Affordable HOlJsing regulations for guidance.
8. The Board concluded that the preamble language of R-4 merely acts as a
guide to the purpose of the zone.
9. The Board acknowledges the well known tenet of statutory construction that
specific piOvisions are considered controlling to general provisions. The
Board found, in this case, the specific bulk requirements are controlling to the
general provision contained in the preamble.
10.The Municipal Land Use Law is intended to provide a standardized set of
laws applicable to all communities. The particularity of the bulk standards
listed in the R-4 zone give clear guidelines to applicants for development.
The proposed interpretation of,the preamble is vague and gives no guidance
to applicants for development.
11. Requestor would like to see the Zoning Ordinance changed to reduce the
density of the neighborhood; the Board rejected his opinion, because it did
not support his argument for the requested interpretation.
12. Requestor argued that the 12-14 preamble would only apply to new housing.
The Board rejected this argument as the Ordinance must apply equally to all
housing located within the R-4 zone.
13. The Board understood the goal of this zone was to create smaller lots to
provide lower cost housing but found that the bulk requirements sufficiently
meet that goal.
14. Mr. Landis, Esq. argued that the specific standards contained in section 12-14
does not include anything regarding least cost housing requirements and this
would make it difficult to meet such a nebulous standard.
15. Mr. Landis, Esq. argued that, in his experience, no applicant in the past has
been required to provide proofs as to the term least cost housing.
16. The Board agreed with the sworn statement from Mr. Hilla, P.P., the
Borough's Planner since 1997, who argued it is self-evident that at the time
the Ordinance was adopted that the bulk standards themselves met the
purpose of the zone by creating smaller, more affordable lots.
17.The South Brunswick case requires a Zoning Ordinance to have specific
standards take precedent to a general introductory statement.
18.The Board found the term desires of a certain segment and least cost housing
drafted in 1972 may not have the same meaning as the fair housing law that
19.AII of the zoning districts have a preamble expressing the purpose of each
After consulting Special Counsel, the Board deliberated and agreed that:
1. The bulk standards of the R-4 zone contained in 21-14.2 were intended to
result in the development of least cost housing as that was understood in
2. The introductory statement to the R-4 zone constitutes a preamble which set
forth a goal and not a criterion.
3. The bulk requirement of the R-4 zone found in 21-14.2 establishes definite
criteria that results in smaller homes on smaller lots, which were assumed to
provide lower cost housing.
4. The Board acknowledges that the goal of the preamble to the R-4 zone was
to provide least cost homes by means of the bulk standards contained in 2114,
which were to result in affordable houses being created by the
development of smaller homes on smaller lots has been challenged by the
increasing desirability of Brielle Borough.
5. The preamble is very vague and does not supply a clear and enforceable
6. The Board takes judicial notice of the concept in statutory construction that
specific legislation is controlling 'when weighed against general legislation. In
this case, the Board found the specific standards contained in 12-14.2 to be
precise and to provide an understandable guideline; whereas the preamble is
very vague in application. As such, it is clear that the specific bulk standards
of section 12-14.2 take precedent to the generalized introductory statement.
WHEREAS, the Board having found that the introductory statement to the R-4
Zone was a preamble, basically a statement of purpose and not a criteria, and
WHEREAS, the Board found that the bulk standards, in fact, were intended to
carry out the purpose expressed in the preamble and in very clear terms; and
WHEREAS, the Board as a quasi-judicial body attempting to divine the legislative
intent of the R-4 zone and applying the general proscription of statutory construction
that specific law takes precedence to general law, the Board concludes that the vague
language of the generalized introductory statement is subordinate to the specific bulk
requirements set forth in section 12-14.2.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of
the Borough of Brielle that in response to the request of Requestor regarding section R4
of the Ordinance, it concludes that the introductory statement is nothing more than a
restated goal, that it does not constitute an additional criteria of the zone and that the
bulk standards contained in 12-14.2 were intended to achieve the goal of the preamble.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this decision be published in the
Coast Star Newspaper."
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Condon, seconded
by Mr. Sigler and approved by the following roll call vote of those Board members who
were on the Board of Adjustment in February: '
Ayes: Thomas Condon, James Harman, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler,
John Visceglia, Terre Vitale
The Board then turned to an application for a Minor Subdivision for Block 21.01,
Lot 21,613 Park Avenue, owned by Wendy Arnold (Applicant - Dennis Roberts), to
create two buildable lots. Variances required - Minimum Lot size: 75 feet wide
required, 50 feet proposed each lot. Minimum Lot Size - 11,250 square feet required,
7,743 square feet & 7,671 square feet proposed.
The fee of $1300 was paid and the property owners as well as the newspaper
were properly notified. Before this hearing started, Mr. Langenberger stepped off the
dais in accordance with a request of the attorney, Mr. Harman stepped off the dais due
to a conflict of interest.
Mr. Michael Landis, Esq. came forward to represent the contract purchaser,
Dennis Roberts. He said there are two variances being created, the other requirements
are in conformity. At this time Mr. Roberts came forward and was sworn in, giving his
address as 23 Lebanon Drive, Brielle.
Mr. Roberts had pictures of the existing home and this exhibit was marked as
Exhibit A-1. Mr. Roberts said this home is beyond repair and sits in the middle of the
property, he did not know how old the home was. He proposed to raze the existing
home and construct two new single family homes. He presented a rendering of those
homes and this was marked as Exhibit A-2. The homes will each have a garage and off
street parking which will be an improvement. Mr. Holloway asked if there were any
architectural plans and Mr. Roberts said he had the renderings and also has a proposed
blueprint. Mr. Holloway noted that the Board member had not seen any architectural
plans and Mr. Fitzsimmons marked them as Exhibit A-3.
Mr. Roberts said the architectural plans were done by R. Grasso and show two
new lots with foundation plans, floor plans, basements, with 4 bedrooms and 2 % baths.
Mr. Holloway felt the Board members were at a disadvantage here and wanted to know
what the Board's pleasure was. Mr. Landis felt all this would be addressed at the time
building permits were applied for. Mr. Holloway felt the Board had a right to see these
as the lots are undersized; Mr. Fitzsimmons agreed. Mrs. Brady asked Mr. Roberts if he had built any other homes in this area and the answer was no. Mr. Sigler asked Mr.
Roberts if he had tried to purchase any property to add to this one and he said no.
Mr. Andrew Thomas then came forward and was sworn in, he giving his address
as PO Box 363, Brielle; he is a Professional Planner and has testified before Brielle's
Zoning Board - he was accepted as an expert witness. He said he visited the site and
studied the Ordinance. He had a copy of the tax map as an exhibit and this was
marked as A-4 by Mr. Fitzsimmons. Mr. Thomas also had handouts of a reduced A-4
which were distributed to the Board members. There was a group of pictures of the
surrounding area and this was marked as Exhibit A-5, 5 pages of pictures.
Mrs. Brady asked if anyone was occupying the property and Mr. Landis was not
sure as they have not had the closing yet. Mr. Thomas went back to Exhibit A-4, the
copy of the tax map and stated this is in the R-3 zone, residential zoning with single
family homes, most of which was 1 %-2 stories. The lots that are highlighted in orange
do not meet the requirements. There were 77 lots in this tax map copy and 48 do not
meet the R-3 requirements, or about 62%. Mr. Landis noted that the applicant is asking
for a C2 variance and Mr. Thomas said this subdivision would meet at least 3 purposes
of the Municipal Land Use Law: 1) promote a desirable visual environment, the existing
site is run down. He then referred to Exhibit A-5 which showed upgraded homes in the
area on 50 foot wide lots, 2) provide adequate light, air and open space, 3) promote
population density as this is an "infill" development and is consistent with the
neighborhood. Mr. Landis asked if an existing variance will be removed and Mr.
Thomas said there is a 26 foot front yard setback where 30 feet if required and this will
be removed when the existing home is razed. Mr. Thomas went on to say this would
not be detrimental to the surrounding area and not a detriment to the Zone Plan or
Zoning Ordinance; the benefits outweigh the detriments.
Mr. Landis asked if similar subdivisions have been approved and Mr. Thomas
cited one on Woodland Avenue and across the street on Park Avenue. Also, on the
other side of Union Avenue a dilapidated home was taken down and two new homes
are being constructed.
As there were no Board questions Mr. Holloway asked about the negative criteria
and Mr. Thomas said there were none, it was all positive. Also, the applicant will meet
all required setbacks for the new buildings. Mr. Holloway then confirmed that the only
two variances are for lot width and Mr. Thomas said yes. Mr. Holloway then referred to
his report of November 19, 2007 and said any action taken by the Board should be on
revised plans that address this letter. Mr. Landis said they will be filing by map and Mr.
Holloway urged them to file by deed, it's much less expensive and easier; Mr. Landis
said okay. Mr. Holloway said he would like to see the subdivision map reduced and
attached to the deed with the signature of the Chairperson and Secretary, this is the
right way to do this.
Mr. Sigler asked if the drainage was looked at and Mr. Holloway said that without
architectural plans it was hard to do. It is common to put in drywells to connect all the leaders, there are two 10 foot setbacks in between the lots so the building envelope can
be adjusted. Mrs. Brady asked if there will a single driveway and Mr. Landis said they
do not have that yet. Mr. Roberts said there is a concern about the driveways and they
will stick to what is required. As far as the drainage they will install drywells, no
problem; Mr. Holloway said they need at least 20 feet for the driveway. Mrs. Brady said
she has seen card being parked in front yards and Councilman Garruzzo felt the front
yard setback will define this; Mr. Holloway agreed but said it is something to look for.
At this time the meeting was opened to the public and Janet Hendricks of 615
Leslie Avenue came forward and was sworn in. Her only concern was the effect on the
school system. When Hoffman's Marina was developed there was this concern and this
development became age restricted, these homes on Park Avenue are not. Mr.
Thomas said that a study done by Rutgers said that homes of this size usually generate
less than one child per household. Mrs. Hendricks then asked Mr. Fitzsimmons if the
Hoffman's site, which has not sold a unit, can come back and ask for the age restriction
to be lifted and the answer was yes they can but it would be up to the Board to approve
this. Councilman Garruzzo noted that this was an 18 unit condo complex, not single
family homes; Mayor Nicol said the school is now under control, however, the Governor
has announced that he is gong to eliminate all funding mandates for towns under 5,000.
As there were no other comments fr;om the public, that portion was closed and
the Board went into discussion. Mr. Heavey felt this application was almost identical to
the one on Woodland Avenue a few months ago, however, the contiguous property has
100 feet here which makes it a little different - he felt this subdivision will be an
improvement. Councilman Garruzzo understands the issues with the school but that
westerly side of Union Avenue has become a desirable place to live and new homes
have become assets to Brielle, he, too, felt this was an improvement to this area. Mr.
Condon said he normally is not in favor of creating non-conforming properties but in this
area there are so many 50 foot lots that he agreed with the Planner. Mr. Sarnasi felt
that there were a lot of other lots that could be turning into a change to this
neighborhood, taking the 75 foot requirement and creating 50 foot wide lots. Mrs. Brady
agreed this is a concern to the Board. Mr. Sarnasi felt they may lose them all to 50 foot
wide lots with this type of subdivision. Mr. Heavey said each application stands on its
own and felt the applicant has met his burden, however, he agreed this may create a
domino effect. Mr. Sarnasi said the school is peaked out and another possible dozen
homes adds up. Mr. Heavey felt that, even if an extra 25 feet were purchased it would
make a difference.
Mr. Sigler thought that the applicant has to try to buy contiguous land if there is
any. Mr. Fitzsimmons said the lot next door is on an oversized lot and the Board could
make the applicant attempt to buy a portion. Mr. Sigler referred to the subdivision map
which showed the next door home as set to the side of the contiguous lot so it appears
there may be some land that could be purchased. Mr. Fitzsimmons again said the
Board could request this, the lot is not isolated and is being created as two undersized
lots. He explained that this usually applies to topographical or unique situations but if
you take a conforming parcel and make it non-conforming the applicant can try to purchase extra land and this can be required under existing case law. The parcel to the
west has extra land, the property owner may not want to sell part of it but the offer
should be made. Mrs. Brady noted that this Board has never required this in the past;
Mr. Fitzsimmons said if the Board wants proof they can tell the applicant to make this
offer. Mr. Landis asked if this can be a condition of approval and Mr. Fitzsimmons said
it can be done but he thought proof should be done before the Board votes. .
Mr. Landis said they are way behind on this due to the lack of Planning Board
members for January and February for this application to be heard; they are under
pressure at this time. Mr. Fitzsimmons offered to have the Resolution prepared and
ready for the April meeting and all they will need is the proof that the applicant applied
to the property owner for purchasing land. Mr. Landis said it would be hard to do it that
way, they have to commit and again asked for a condition of approval would be proof
that they tried to purchase more land; he would prefer not to even have that issue there.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said it was raised by the Board and has become a concern, the lots
could be made larger. This is a legitimate concern and information on purchasing land
has not been presented to this Board; he again said he could have the Resolution ready
for the April meeting. Mrs. Brady said the Board feels this should be addressed and
would like to hold this over to the April meeting. Mr. Landis noted that economics come
into play here and to buy more property may be expensive and asked that the Board
take this into account.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said every application stands on its own merit and, in this
application, the house to the west has available property and the Board is interested in
getting that information and wants to hold this hearing over to April to get that. Mr.
Landis said Mr. Roberts requests a vote tonight and did not want to wait. At this time
Mr. Condon made a motion to deny the application for this minor subdivision, this
seconded by Mr. Sigler and the denial was approved by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Susan S. Brady, Thomas Condon, Charles
Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, John Visceglia
Noes: Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Thomas Heavey, Terre Vitale
The Board then turned to the application for a Minor Subdivision for Block 71.02,
Lot 10, 705 Evergreen Avenue, owned by Robert & Brenda Fuller, and Block 71.02, Lot
11, 703 Evergreen Avenue, owned by Marvin & Patricia Newman, to divide two lots and
create three buildable lots. Variances required - Front Yard Setback, Lot Width, Yard
Configuration and Driveway Size.
The fee of $1,300 was paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners as
well as the newspaper were properly notified. Tim Middleton, Esq. came forward to
represent the Newmans and gave a brief overview. Two property owners met and
made an agreement to move property lines to create three properties; the Newman lot
is an "L" shape and the Fuller lot is a rectangular shape. Part of Lot 11 is to be added to
Lot 10 as shown on hatch marks on an exhibit. Lot 11.02 will be created with a little over 32,000 square feet - all three lots are way over in area requirements. The
Newman property has a front yard setback of 26' so they will need a variance, this lot
also has a front on Highway 35 but there is no access to the highway. Charles Gilligan
is one of the next door neighbors and requested that the applicants put in a 10 foot
planted buffer between their lot and the new lot and this is agreeable to the applicants;
they are planning on putting in cedar trees as well as a fence. The owners of 509 Union
lane had hired an attorney who had asked for a 15 foot buffer and fence along their
property and the applicants will do that, also. This will all be done before any COs are
issued, they do not want to do this under the construction is done. Finally, with regards
to the sewer line, it will be brought out along the driveway; the engineer is here and will
clarify this. Mr. Visceglia asked if the tree line will be continued for lots 6 &7 and the
answer was yes. Mr. Heavey noted that the front yard variance is not noted on page 5
of the application and Mr. Middleton said this was an error; he offered that this variance
could be eliminated with a jog in the lot but did not think it would impact the application.
At this time Mr. Peter Furmanec came forward and was sworn in, he has been a
Professional Planner since 1991 and is certified by the American Institute of Certified
Planners, he has been before over 100 Boards. The Board accepted him as an expert
witness. He explained there are 2 existing lots along Evergreen Avenue where it bends
to the east. One lot is irregular "L" shape and has a rear yard of 2/3 of an acre that is
undeveloped. The Minimum lot area is 11,250 square feet, 75 feet wide by 100 feet
deep; the Newman property is 55,473 square feet or about 1 % acres. The Route 35 off
ramp does not provide access so they need access from Evergreen Avenue, as the new
lot will be behind the Newman house. He presented an exhibit of pictures of the
applicant's property, tax map, aerial photo and rear yard photos. On the other side of
the exhibit is another aerial view and photos of the wooded area. This is an awkward
area between homes with strange lot lines and this will be corrected by this subdivision
which is shown by the hatched marks on the Minor Subdivision Plan exhibit. Mr.
Fitzsimmons marked the first side of the Exhibit as A-1 and the second side as Exhibit
A-2. The color rendition of the minor subdivision plan was marked as Exhibit A-3.
A 33 foot part of lot 11 is being deeded to lot 10 and a five foot wide jog is to go
from lot 10 to lot 11 which will square the lots off. lot 10 grows by 3,700 square feet
and lot 11 will then be subdivided and a long driveway will go to the back of lot 11
which will be for the new home. None of these lots will have access to Union lane, the
new driveway will come off of Evergreen Avenue. Councilman Garruzzo felt there may
be an emergency vehicle issue and Mr. langenberger, a Trustee of the Fire Company,
had presented a letter to the Board with 3 concerns; 1) this will be a flag lot and the
home marker will need to be clearly shown so the Emergency vehicles can find the right
address, 2) the driveway will need to be at least 18 feet wide and 3), the home is 250
feet from the roadway and the Fire Company would like to see an 8" water line put in as
well as a new hydrant; the least accepted would be a 6" line but an 8" line would be
better - the Fire Company cannot park on Evergreen and then have to stretch 300 feet
of line. A hydrant at the bend of the driveway would be ideal. Mr. Middleton said they
will work with this and agreed to the stipulation of a sign in front to identify the address,
a new hydrant and a wider driveway.
Mr. Furmanec then went on to the positives and said the benefits outweigh the
detriments, they are squaring off an odd sized lot and this whole project will be in
keeping with the neighborhood. This also will promote the purpose of the zoning,
diminish having a home that is on a lot that is too large for the area and they are not
putting in a type of development that is not in this neighborhood; this will be a single
family home in a residential area and they will provide screening to mitigate any
potential conflict with neighbors. He felt there would be no negative impact as they will
meet all the setback requirements other than the two variances, the front yard setback
and the Lot Width for the flag lot driveway. Mr. Fitzsimmons asked if they can
reconfigure the flag portion of the new lot to go from 27 feet to 40 feet and Mr. Middleton
felt they could with some minor changes, however, Mayor Nicol and Councilman
Garruzzo felt the flag size of 27.3 feet was acceptable as shown on the plans as long as
the driveway itself is at least 18 feet; Mr. Langenberger added that there would be no
parking along with driveway.
At this time Mr. Jason Fichter, a Licensed Professional Engineer came forward
and was sworn in, he has been an Engineer since 2001 and has been before this
Board. He was accepted as an expert witness. He had spoken to Mr. Hilla regarding
his August 16, 2007 report and referred to page 2, paragraph 3 on the issue of fill. He
said there are thresholds for fill and they will likely go over that amount; they can
provide cut/fill figures and will keep fill to a minimum in dealing with drainage.
Paragraph 5 of that report talks of roof runoff; the northeast corner of lot 11.02 will take
care of this -lots 11.01 and 10.01 will remain unchanged. Paragraph 6 and 7 have
been addressed and paragraph 8 is on the water main on Evergreen; they will run a
water service with a 6 inch line. Also, 8 feet to the sewer lines and this will be running
by gravity to that sewer main, no problem. Paragraph 9 speaks of utilities and they will
work with the utility companies on this.
At this time the Board members had questions. Mr. Sigler asked for clarification
if there is to be an 8 inch or 6 inch water line and Mr. Fichter said it would be 6 inches.
Mr. Langenberger again requested an 8 inch line and Mr. Hilla felt there may be a
maintenance issue with the larger line as far as standing water. The average use is
about 360 gallons a day with a 6 inch line and with an 8 inch line they may have
standing water problems. Mr. Harman asked if increasing the driveway will affect the
side line and Mr. Fichter said the entire driveway width is 27.5 feet but the stem is 25
feet. Mr. Hilla noted that widening the driveway will create a variance and Mr. Middleton
said they can add a few feet on to that lot. Mr. Fitzsimmons said they could give a
variance for the driveway - shift it over and keep the setback. Mr. Sarnasi asked if they
will be able to flush the new hydrant that is to be put in and Mr. Hilla said he did not see
a need for this as long as the house is lived in year around. Mr. Hilla asked about the
sewer easement spanning the property lines and Mr. Fichter said yes; Mr. Hilla then
asked what trees will be lost and Mr. Fichter said none; they are staying on lot 11.01 as
much as possible so they will not disrupt the pool area, the sewer will be a shallow line.
Mr. Hilla was concerned with the grading plan and wanted to know what the driveway
will be made of and was told it will be an impervious surface; Mr. Hilla saw a possible drainage problem here due to the size of the pool pad. Mr. Middleton suggested
making the approvals subject to Mr. Hilla approving the grading plan and this was
agreeable to Mr. Hilla. Mr. Hilla asked about bonding and Mr. Fitzsimmons said they
can condition the CO on the plantings being in place and the same can be held with the
At this time the hearing was open to the public and Mr. John Brennan, Esq. came
forward. He represented the homeowner at 509 Union Lane who initially had objections
but Mr. Brennan had spoken to Mr. Middleton and all issues have been resolved; he told
the Board they are withdrawing any objections.
Mr. Hilla said that right now, with the Ordinances on the records, this new lot
could have a structure up to 16,000 square feet and this is not in keeping with the area;
he just wanted the Board to know this. Mr. Visceglia questioned the buffer on lot 12 and
if it can be moved a little bit more as now one can put in an accessory structure. Mr.
Middleton said they did what the Gilligans next door requested, it is now 5 feet and they
are giving 10 feet. Mr. Visceglia said that, based on where the frontage is, he would like
to see an increase in the side yard and this will not affect the building footprint. Mayor
Nicol said that no one will be able to build within 10 feet but Mr. Visceglia was
concerned that someone could put in a two-story accessory structure, he was looking
for a larger setback. Mr. Middleton agreed. to a 15 foot setback and Mr. Hilla felt this
may get lost but Mr. Fitzsimmons offered to make it a deed restriction, 15 feet along lot
12,6 & 7. As there were no further comments, this portion was closed to the public.
Mr. Middleton summarized by stating this new lot will be consistent with other
lots, it meets the area requirements and the variances needed are technical in nature.
Mr. Langenberger was impressed by the creativity of this application and felt the new lot
will fit in, there are only a few flag lots in town. He did note that there is a potential for
other flag lots but was in favor of this application; he then made a motion to approve the
application, as presented, with the conditions discussed. This was seconded by Mrs.
Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Susan S. Brady,
Thomas Condon, Thomas Heavey, James Langenberger, Tim Sigler,
John Visceglia, Terre Vitale
Not Eligible to Vote: James Harman, Charles Sarnasi (Alternate members)
Patricia Newman, one of the owners, thanked the Board and stated they will not
be putting up an immense building right up to the property line.
This was not on the agenda, but Mr. Hilla asked to speak to the Board regarding
the request of Brielle Shores at their informal hearing a few months ago about rezoning
a portion of Highway 70 for Commercial Use - this is now an R-6 Zone. Townhoyses
are not in vogue at this time and they are seeking the possibility of putting in office
space. Mr. Hilla did not have his memo that he wrote with him but reminded the Board
the Committee that met on this was made up of Mr. Heavey, Mr. Nolan and himself.
He said it seemed that choosing to do this would be spot zoning; they are
requesting the creation of a brand new zone and to designate just a lot for this is not
good as others then may be able to re-zone the entire R-6; this action also would be
expensive. An alternative would be to have Mr. Rathjen come before the Board for a
Use Variance. Mr. Langenberger remembered that once it was a C-1 zone and then it
was changed to an R-6 zone. Mr. Harman asked how large this area was and Mayor
Nicol thought it was about 4 acres. Mr. Hilla said the conceptual layout was for 3 office
buildings and parking and he felt to try to put all this in a new Ordinance would be
difficult. Mrs. Brady asked Mr. Fitzsimmons how to handle this and he felt as letter
explaining that this will place an unnecessary burden on the town should be written and,
if they want to, they can apply for a Use Variance; Mr. Hilla said the letter could also
include his memo. After a brief discussion, it was decided that Mr. Fitzsimmons should
write the letter to Mr. Keith Henderson, the attorney for Brielle Shores.
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 unanimously approved,
all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 pm.