Borough of Brielle, NJ
| January 13, 2009
January 13, 2009
|BOROUGH OF BRIELLE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2009
The Reorganizational meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 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, Susan S. Brady, Thomas Condon,
Thomas Heavey, James Harman, James Langenberger,
Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale
Absent Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo
Also present were Dennis Cantoli & Michael Rubino, Board Attorneys, Alan Hilla, Jr. of Birdsall Engineering and Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. The meeting room was full, all seats taken.
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 meeting had been given to both the Asbury Park Press and the Coast Star newspapers.
The following appointments were then made:
Class I - Mayor Thomas B. Nicol through 12/31/09
Class II - James Langenberger through 12/31/09
Class IV Susan S. Brady through 12/31/12
Class IV James Harman through 12/31/11
Alternate Member #1, Charles Sarnasi through 12/31/09
Mr. Cantoli swore in all the members and congratulated them on their new terms.
It was then time for the election of officers for the year 2009. Mrs. Brady nominated Thomas Condon to the position of Chairperson, this seconded by Mr. Heavey. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mr. Condon was approved by unanimous vote, all aye. Mrs. Brady then nominated Thomas Heavey to the position of Vice-Chairperson, this seconded by Mr. Sigler. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mr. Heavey was approved by unanimous vote, all aye. Mrs. Brady then nominated Terre Vitale to the position of Secretary of the Board, this seconded by Mr. Heavey. As there were no other nominations they were closed and Mrs. Vitale was approved by unanimous vote, all aye.
The position of Administrative Secretary and Recording Secretary for the year 2009 was then considered as an appointment and Mr. Condon made a motion to appoint Colleen Castronova as Administrative Secretary and Karen S. Brisben as Recording Secretary, this seconded by Mr. Heavey and unanimously approved, all aye.
The next item for the Reorganization was the approval of the appointment of the Attorney and Engineer and the following Resolution was presented, as well as a Resolution for the official newspapers of the Board and meeting dates:
BOARD ATTORNEY & BOARD ENGINEER
“WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(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 2009 calendar year; and
WHEREAS, the Brielle 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 to 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, 2009 to December 31, 2009); and
WHEREAS, Michael Rubino has submitted a proposal indicating that he will provide legal services at the hourly rate of $140.00 and Alan Hilla, Jr. of Birdsall Engineering, Inc. has submitted a proposal indicating he will provide engineering services for the hourly rate of $145.00; and
WHEREAS, both Mr. Rubino 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. 5:30-4;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle that:
1. The Business Disclosure Entity Certification of both Mr. Rubino 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. Rubino to provide legal services and Mr. Hilla to provide engineering services for the 2009 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 Board Secretary.
4. A certified copy of this Resolution shall be sent to Mr. Rubino and Mr. Hilla.”
“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 Zoning Board of Adjustment 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.”
“RESOLVED, that the Asbury Park Press & the Coast Star are designated at the official newspapers for publishing legal notices of the Brielle Planning Board.”
A motion was made by Mr. Heavey to approve the above Resolutions, this seconded by Mrs. Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Susan S. Brady, Thomas Condon,
Thomas Heavey, James Harman, James Langenberger, Charles
Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale
The Minutes of the December 9, 2008 meeting were unanimously approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mrs. Brady and unanimously approved, all aye.
The Board members all received the December 2008/January 2009 issue of the NJ Planner.
The Board then turned to the approval of a Resolution for Block 110, Lot 2, 1023 Highway 70, owned by Alpha Management (Applicant Omnipoint Communications, Inc.), to allow construction of a 100 foot telecommunications monopole & ground equipment.
Mr. Cantoli explained that, due to the extent of this application, this Resolution was handled differently, the draft was sent out and then changes were made and a new draft copy sent out. If the Board agrees with the conditions and findings they can vote on this. Mr. Condon commented on one of the changes, that all improvements should be made before the monopole is put in and Mr. Hilla agreed this was to be done. He said they have 9 months to do the improvements or before a Certificate of Approval is given by the Construction Department and this will ensure that all site improvements are done, the parking lot, landscaping, etc. As the Board members were agreeable to the amended draft Resolution and signed individual statements to that effect, the following Resolution was presented for approval:
“WHEREAS, Omnipoint Communications, Inc. (hereafter, the “applicant”), having a mailing address of 4 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, N.J. 07054, has applied to the Planning Board of Brielle (the “Board”) to obtain a Use Variance pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(d) and bulk variances, design waivers and preliminary and final major site plan approval pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-46, 50, 51 & 70(c); 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, public hearings were held on May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12, October 14, November 11 and December 9, 2008 in the Borough Hall, at which time testimony and exhibits were presented on behalf of the applicant and all interested parties having been heard; and
WHEREAS, The Planning Board makes the following factual findings and findings of law:
1. This property is designated as Block 110, Lot 2 on the municipal tax map.
2. The property is located in the C-3 zone.
3. The property is bordered on the north by Old Bridge Road, on the south by N.J. State Highway Route 70 and on the east by Ramshorn Drive. A one-story multi-use commercial building and related site facilities are located on the property.
Applicant proposes to construct a 100-foot telecommunications monopole, to be disguised as a flagpole, and ground level equipment cabinets on a 4’x20’ concrete pad. The telecommunications installation is proposed to be unmanned and is to be located within a 550 square foot fenced compound at the southwestern corner of the property within an area that is part of existing parking facilities.
4. The following variances and design waivers have been applied for:
ITEM REQUIRED PROVIDED
Use Variance retail sales 100-foot monopole
and services and ground level
Use Variance - 35 ft. maximum 95 feet (measured from
building height the center line to the
proposed height mid-point of the property
exceeds allowable from Ramshorn Drive)
building height by
more than 10%
Front Setback 30 feet 19.7 feet (Ramshorn Dr.
Front Yard Setback 30 feet 19.9 feet (Old Bridge Rd.
Maximum Lot 20% maximum 36.3%
Parking Facilities 5 ft. landscaped area no landscaped area
along the front and
side lot lines
Setback of paved 5 feet 0.0 setback
parking area from Old Bridge Road
any property line
Section 21-35.1 landscaping in all none
Landscaped Areas areas not used for
access ways, parking
Off-street Loading dedicated loading loading dock
& unloading area space without a
Section 21-36.12 no off-street parking off-street
or loading is permitted parking within
within any buffer area buffer area
Off-street parking 64 spaces required 53 spaces
Section 21-36.1 5 foot width none
area along property
Section 21-37.1 20% less than 20%
Landscape Plans to be drawn by a drawn by an
landscape architect engineer
Any other variances referred to in the six reports prepared by Birdsall Engineering, Inc., referred to in paragraph 6 of this Resolution.
Any design waivers referred to in the six reports prepared by Birdsall Engineering, Inc., referred to in paragraph 6 of this Resolution.
5. Zoning Officer Alan P. Hilla, Jr. prepared a report to the applicant dated January 31, 2008. The Board adopts the findings in that report and incorporates that document in this Resolution by reference.
6. Birdsall Engineering, Inc. prepared reports to the Board dated April 8, June 9, August 1, October 6, October 10 and December 8, 2008. The Board adopts the findings in those reports and incorporates those documents in this Resolution by reference.
7. The Monmouth County Planning Board prepared a report to the Board dated March 10, 2008. The Board adopts the findings in that report and incorporates that document in this Resolution by reference.
8. Sergeant Grant Kitchenman of the Brielle Police Department prepared reports to the Board dated May 8 and November 18, 2008. The Board adopts the findings in those reports and incorporates those documents in this Resolution by reference.
9. The following exhibits were marked into evidence during the hearing:
A-1…Pinnacle Telecom Group, LLC report dated May 7, 2008.
A-2…Site Plan prepared by The Whitman Companies, Inc. dated September
28, 2007 and last revised on May 14, 2008 Sheet 2 of 6.
A-3…Site Plan Sheet 3 of 6.
A-4…Parking Calculations in letter of January 24, 2008 from The Whitman
Companies, Inc. to Planning & Zoning Office.
A-5…Zoning Board of Adjustment Application with attached zoning
memorandum dated December 21, 2007.
A-6…Addendum for site plan approval, site plan checklist and site plan
waiver request memorandum.
A-7…10 white and black photographs of the site.
A-8…Boundary and topographic survey prepared by GTS Consultants
dated September 24, 2007.
A-9…Zoning Permit Denial dated January 31, 2008 sent to applicant by
Zoning Officer Hilla.
A-10..Exhibit prepared by Dominic Villecco, RF Engineer, showing existing
antenna sites and coverage.
A-11..Exhibit prepared by Dominic Villecco, RF Engineer, showing existing
antenna sites with coverage including that to be provided by the
A-12..Exhibit prepared by Dominic Villecco, RF Engineer, showing drive test
data collected in June 2007.
A-13..Constant wave (CW) testing test height 70 foot from centerline.
A-14..CW testing 80 foot test from centerline.
A-15..CW testing 100 feet test from centerline.
A-16..Parking Lot Plan, existing conditions #1, prepared by The Whitman
Companies, Inc., last revised September 4, 2008.
A-17..Parking Lot Plan, Proposed Conditions #2 prepared by The Whitman
Companies, Inc., last revised September 4, 2008.
A-18..Lighting Plan LP-1 prepared by The Whitman Companies, Inc. last
revised September 18, 2008.
A-19..Lighting Plan LP-2 prepared by The Whitman Companies, Inc., last
Revised September 18, 2008.
A-20..Parking Lot Plans, Proposed Conditions 2, dated September 28,
2007, last revised October 30, 2008.
A-21..Lighitng Plan dated September 12, 2008, last revised October 30,
A-22..Landscape Plan dated September 28, 2007, last revised October
A-23..Aerial photograph dated March 18, 2004, scale 1 inch = 100 feet.
A-24..Compilation of zoning maps of the Borough of Brielle and the
Township of Wall.
A-25..Balloon test (3-foot diameter red weather balloon raised to a height
of 100 feet, with a computer generated flagpole with a height of 100
feet to the right of the photograph of the balloon test) view from
1610 Route 70.
A-26..Balloon test view from the intersection Old Bridge Road and
A-27..Balloon test view from 2640 Fox Lane.
A-28..Balloon test view form the corner of State Highway 70 & River Rd.
A-29..Balloon test view from existing site.
A-30..Alternate design of monopole monopole with yardarm and
A-31..Aerial photograph showing various setbacks of the proposed tower
from commercial buildings, five residential structures in Wall
Wall Township and two residential structures in Brielle.
A-32..Photograph dated June 10, 2008 of balloon test near the intersection
of Old Bridge Road and River Road.
A-33..PP-1, Sheet 1 of 3, showing the existing condition of the parking lot,
last revised as of November 18, 2008.
A-34..PP-2, Sheet 2 of 3, showing proposed conditions of the parking lot,
last revised as of November 18, 2008.
A-35..LP-1, Sheet 1 of 2, revised Lighting Plan dated November 20, 2008.
A-36..LP-2, revised Lighting Plan dated November 20, 2008.
O-1…Photograph of monopole located at the Neptune Township Police
O-2…Letter of Mark G. Kitrick, Esq., Township Attorney for the Township
of Wall, dated May 13, 2008.
O-3…Aerial photograph of the site and adjoining residential properties
Together with two additional photographs.
O-4…T-Mobile web site propagation map.
10. Daniel J. Collins, Chief Technical Officer of Pinnacle Telecom Group, LLC, provided expert testimony on behalf of the applicant. The witness qualified to testify in an expert capacity about all aspects of wireless system engineering, related regulation and RF exposure. Mr. Collins stated that his company was retained to perform an independent assessment of radio frequency (RF) levels and related FCC compliance for a proposed wireless base station operation at this site.
The witness stated that he utilized FCC standards instead of New Jersey standards to analyze the site because FCC standards are stricter than state standards. He stated that the proposed facility is a “base station” on which an antenna is placed. Mr. Collins indicated that he would explain the results of his compliance assessment by expressing the calculated RF levels as a percentage of the FCC MPE limit. Utilizing that limit as 100%, he stated that any results higher than 100% represent non-compliance and that results lower than 100% demonstrate compliance. He reported that the proposed antenna operation is 0.0939% of the FCC MPE limit, which is less than 1/10 of 1% of the permitted limit, resulting in a RF level one-thousand times below the FCC limit for safe continuous exposure of the general public. By way of example, the witness stated that the base station will provide less exposure than a person would receive using a handheld cell phone. He also indicated that contact between two human beings results in 5/10 of 1% of the maximum permitted RF level. The witness stated that the average household refrigerator emits a RF level of 7%, which is seventy times the RF level proposed which would be emitted from the proposed telecommunication facility. Mr. Collins concluded that his calculations clearly demonstrate that the RF levels from the proposed antennas at this site satisfy the criteria for controlling potential human exposure to RF fields, and that the antenna operations will be fully compliant with FCC regulations and limits concerning RF safety. He stressed that his measurements were made by utilizing the most conservative methodology and assumptions, and that actual RF levels caused by the antennas would be even less significant than 1/10 of 1% percent.
11. John W. Colagrande, Jr., P.E. provided expert testimony on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Colagrande stated that he was engaged to prepare a site plan for Block 110, Lot 2, to be submitted as part of this development application. He explained that the applicant proposes to construct a 100-foot monopole on this site and three exterior equipment cabinets to be placed on a 4-foot x 20-foot concrete slab within a 550 square foot board-on-board fence enclosure. The witness said that the equipment cabinets are unmanned and are visited at intervals of four to six weeks for the purpose of conducting routine inspections.
Mr. Colagrande testified that the 100-foot monopole would contain three groups of antennas within the pole. No antenna would be visible from the exterior of the pole. The first set of antennas would be maintained at 96 feet; the second set of antennas would be maintained at 90 feet; and space for a third set of antennas would be maintained at 80 feet. An American flag, having dimensions of approximately 15 feet x 25 feet, is proposed to be flown from the monopole. A spotlight will be located at a height of approximately 75 feet to illuminate the flag.
The witness testified that two groups of regulations govern the installation of this type of facility. First is the EIA-TIA Code and the second is the International Building Code as modified by the State of New Jersey. Mr. Colagrande stated that the proposed monopole would conform with all regulations contained in these two codes. In response to questions relating to security, the witness stated that the equipment cabinets contain radios, which alert the owner if unauthorized entry is gained into the equipment cabinet. He also said that a small air-conditioning unit is maintained in each cabinet, and that this unit produces a low level of noise. When questioned if an additional cabinet would be necessary if another carrier was co-located on the monopole, he indicated that another cabinet would be required and that this would be addressed in a development application to be made by the future carrier. The witness stated that a monopole base has a diameter of 4 feet and that the diameter at the top of the pole is approximately 2 feet. When questioned concerning the possibility of displaying advertising flags, it was stipulated that only the American flag would be flown on the monopole.
The witness was questioned relating to parking facilities on this north side of the site adjacent to Old Bridge Road. He stated that these parking spaces encroach into the right-of-way of the roadway, but do not extend to the improved portion of the road. He agreed to provide calculations to the Board to supplement Exhibit A-4 in order to analyze the number of conforming parking spaces on the site.
In response to questions posed by the Board Engineer, the witness stated that a six-hour battery backup would be provided for the equipment. Further, a Hubble connector will be installed to permit connection to a portable generator during a prolonged power outage. The witness agreed to provide details for the placement of the portable generator.
Exhibit O-1, a photograph of an existing monopole installed at the Neptune Township Police station, was introduced in evidence by objector Michael Carol. Mr. Carol asked Mr. Colagrande if this monopole has a similar physical appearance to the proposed monopole. The witness responded that the monopole is similar except that antennas on the proposed monopole will be located inside the pole as contrasted to the exterior antennas located on the monopole in Exhibit O-1. The witness also noted that the proposed monopole is white, and the Neptune Township pole is a silver galvanized steel pole. Further, Mr. Colagrande indicated that the proposed pole will be illuminated, and that the pole in the exhibit is not illuminated.
In response to a question concerning the location of curbcuts and parking at the site, Mr. Colagrande responded that the proposed development application did not address these issues. Referring to Exhibit A-2, he stated that the site is shown in an “as is” condition. The witness said that the proposed development plan did not address issues relating to conforming driveways, maximum paved area, stormwater runoff and location of compliant buffer zones. Mr. Colagrande mentioned that a document entitled “Parking Lot Plan Existing conditions 1” was recently submitted to the Board and its Engineer. He expected that this plan would be reviewed at a subsequent meeting. The witness stated that no decibel studies were made concerning noise which might emanate from the 15’ x 25’ American flag to be flown at the top of the pole nor were decibel studies made relating to the emergency generator. Lastly, the witness said that the requirements of Section 21-36.9 of the Land Us Ordinance (Requirement of the 50-foot Buffer in a Commercial Zone Abutting a Single-family Residential Zone) and the requirement of Section 21-36.1 fore a 5-foot minimum landscaped area along property lines had not been addressed because these conditions were pre-existing.
At the October 14, 2008 hearing, Mr. Colagrande introduced Exhibits A-16, A-17, A-18 and A-19. The witness explained that Exhibit A-16 shows existing conditions on the site. Presently, 40 existing non-conforming parking spaces extend into the right-of-way of Old Bridge Road. Two existing non-conforming parking spaces are located at the southwest corner of the property, which spaces are essentially inaccessible. The site is accessed by one entrance on State Highway 70 and two entrances on Old Bridge Road. Mr. Colagrande stated that Exhibit A-17 shows the proposed parking space configuration, with the Omnipoint apparatus on site. The 40 non-conforming parking spaces extending into the Old Bridge Road right-of-way had been replaced with 17 conforming parking spaces, and the two non-conforming parking spaces at the southwest corner of the property have been eliminated. The new parking plan provides for 54 conforming spaces. The Zoning Ordinance requires a total of 64 parking spaces, thus, applicant seeks a variance permitting 10 less parking spaces than required by Ordinance. The site will continue to be accessed by one driveway on State Highway 70 and two access points along Old Bridge Road. The witness opined that the new plan would provide a safer parking configuration as contrasted to the existing facilities. Mr. Colagrande stated that the new parking plan de-emphasizes parking on Old Bridge Road. When questioned if the parking spaces to the north of the building could be restricted as “employee only” parking spaces, he replied that this would be discussed with the property owner.
Mr. Colagrande testified relating to Exhibits A-18 and A-19. He stated that all existing lighting facilities would be removed and new facilities would be installed as indicated on Exhibit A-18. Based upon these two exhibits, the witness opined that there would be no disturbance to adjacent residential homes, and that the lighting will illuminate the parking lot but not spill onto residential properties in the vicinity of this site.
At the November 11, 2008 hearing, Mr. Colagrande addressed proposed changes in parking and lighting as depicted in Exhibits A-20 and A-21. The witness indicated that the landlord had certain concerns relating to these two features, and that the plans may possibly be revised to address these concerns. He stated that, based upon anticipated adjustments, the deficiency in parking may increase from 10 less parking spaces as required by Ordinance to a deficiency of 11 to 12 spaces.
At the December 9, 2008 hearing, Mr. Colagrande discussed Exhibits A-33 and A-34 showing changes in the prior parking plan. He indicated that the new plan shows 53 conforming parking spaces, which is 11 parking spaces deficient of the 64 parking spaces required by Ordinance. It was noted that the existing site provides 83 parking spaces; however, 42 of those spaces are nonconforming and encroach onto the municipal right-of-way. Many of those nonconforming parking spaces are located to the rear of the building. These spaces cause a traffic hazards on Old Bridge Road. The new plan eliminates angle parking at the rear of the building, and improves traffic safety. Exhibit A-34 showed a proposed “Limit of Proposed Curbing” at the northeast corner of the site. Based upon comments offered by Sergeant Grant Kitchenman in his report of November 18th, the Board suggested eliminating the additional curbing. The applicant agreed to delete this proposed improvement. Mr. Colagrande also referred to Exhibits A-35 and A-36 revising the prior lighting plans. He stated that the light spill onto the adjacent Wall Township residential properties was zero, and that the site maintained the lighting intensity required under the Zoning Ordinance.
12. Dominic Villecco, a radio frequency engineer, provided expert testimony on behalf of the applicant. The witness explained that Omnipoint holds a personal communication license issued by the FCC to provide wireless services to the public. In general, the wireless services provide telephone, data and test services to the public. He explained that GSM Technology is employed by Omnipoint. The witness introduced Exhibits A-10and A-11. Mr. Villecco stated that A-10 is a base map prepared under his supervision. This exhibit shows Brielle and surrounding communities, noting the proposed location of the new antenna and existing antenna sites. An overlay on this exhibit outlined a blue area, where building coverage level is maintained, a green area where vehicular level coverage is maintained and a white area where weak coverage is maintained. The witness explained that when a weak area is identified, as depicted in white, the telecommunications carrier then engages in a search to locate a site for the construction of an antenna to fill the gap in coverage. If constructed, the new antenna would become the dominant server to fulfill the coverage void.
Exhibit A-11 depicts coverage of existing antennas and the coverage of the proposed Brielle site. He explained that the new facility would fill the gap in coverage. The witness stated that the monopole is proposed at a height of 100 feet in order to rise above trees in the area which grow to a height of 50 feet to 70 feet. The witness explained that: the signals are on a line of site; signals will not interfere with household devises such as televisions and radios; a site in this area normally covers a one to one and one-half mile radius; and that there are no other antennas available to provide coverage on a co-location basis. Mr. Villecco concluded that this site is necessary to provide adequate coverage by the carrier. Although the FCC does not establish required levels of coverage, he explained that during the license renewal process that the carrier must demonstrate that adequate levels of coverage are provided to the general public.
At the August 12th hearing, Mr. Villecco introduced Exhibit A-12 depicting “drive test” data collected in June 2007. The witness explained that the data was collected by mechanized hardware and software, which received radio frequency information for Omnipoint transmissions. The data was coordinated with GPS positions, and it plotted signal strength surrounding the area of the proposed antenna. Signal strength was colored coded. Blue represented in-building signal strength; green represented in-vehicle signal strength; and read indicated areas of weak signal strength. Mr. Villecco concluded that the data shown on A-12 supported the accuracy of the data contained in Exhibits A-10 and A-11. He also repeated his prior conclusion that the new site would act to fill the void of other Omnipoint transmission towers in this area.
At the conclusion of his testimony, the witness was cross-examined by several objectors. When asked if alternate technology was available instead of constructing the 100-foot monopole, he responded that there was no other effective technology available, and that there were no other tall structures or utility poles in the area available for the placement of antennas. The witness explained that FAA regulations do not require a blinking light or any markings on the proposed monopole. He stated that the FAA limits apply to structures in excess of 100 feet or structures in the vicinity of an airport. In response to an inquiry concerning the availability of NJDOT sites along State Highway 70, the witness responded that he did not know if such sites were available, but emphasized that there were no other towers or structures in the search area which would permit co-location of antennas.
Exhibits A-13 to A-15 were referred to by Mr. Villecco in his testimony at the October 14, 2008 hearing. The witness stated that Exhibit A-12 represented a “drive test” performed in June 2007, which indicated existing signal strength. This data was collected by a computer and GPS system. That exhibit illustrated “in-building” signal strength in blue; “in-vehicle” signal strength in green; and poor signal strength in red. In response to a question by a Board Member at the August 12th hearing, additional tests were performed to determine the viability of a monopole with a height of less than 100 feet. The witness explained that a crane test was performed, where a single frequency signal was transmitted at various heights to determine the extent of coverage. A-13 demonstrated the transmission of a signal from an 80-foot pole, at the lower slot of 70 feet. The witness indicated that signal coverage would be sufficient on Route 70; however, the coverage would be limited in Wall Township to the north of Route 70 and in other areas of Brielle near the Manasquan River. A-14 showed testing form a 90-foot pole, at the lower 80-foot slot. Although the signal coverage increased in Wall Township, the witness testified the signal strength would not provide sufficient coverage. A-15 represented a test simulating a 100-foot monopole, at the lower 90-foot slot. The witness testified that the crane test at this elevation demonstrated satisfactory coverage in both Brielle and Wall Township. The witness emphasized that the height of the transmission device must be sufficiently above the average height of mature trees in order to ensure proper coverage in the area being served by the proposed facility.
13. Timothy M. Kronk, P.P. provided expert testimony on behalf of the applicant. The witness stated that he reviewed the development application, engineering plans, Brielle Zoning Ordinance, Brielle Master Plan, Wall Township Zoning Ordinance, Wall Township Wireless Communications Ordinance, and visited the site on several occasions. He stated that the placement of a 100-foot monopole communications tower on the site requires a “use” variance. Mr. Kronk indicated that Brielle has not adopted a wireless communication ordinance, thus, cell towers are not permitted in any zone in Brielle. The witness stated that the height regulations in the Brielle Zoning Ordinance pertain to building or structure height, and do not apply to cell towers. The witness opined that a variance is not required under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(d)(6) based upon a height of a principal structure exceeding 10 feet or more than 10% of the maximum height permitted in the district for a principal structure; however, Mr. Kronk stated that if it is determined that a d(6) variance is required, it should be considered as subsumed within the d(1) use variance relief sought by the applicant. The witness acknowledged that the applicant requires various bulk variances, and that the site will have a deficiency in the required number parking spaces.
Mr. Kronk referred to Exhibit A-23, and explained that four yellow dots show the locations of four areas where photographs were taken during the balloon test. He stated that residential properties in Brielle and Wall Township are bisected by Route 70 and commercial properties on the north side of Route 70. The witness said that commercial properties in Wall Township are buffered from Route 70 by the Brielle C-3 Zone. As to the residential properties in Brielle, there is no buffer between these properties and Route 70.
The witness referred to Exhibit A-24 which is marked with a red ring to show areas for the possible location of a cell tower to produce an adequate level of coverage as determined by the applicant’s radio frequency engineer. The exhibit is highlighted in yellow within the red ring, and the Brielle C-3 Commercial Zone is marked in blue. The witness commented that Brielle does not have a wireless communications ordinance; however, Wall Township has adopted such ordinance and permits cell towers as a conditional use in the GI and OLI-10 zones. Mr. Kronk said that closest of these two zones is located near the Allaire Airport on Route 34. He also noted that the Wall Township ordinance permits cell towers in any zone if the proposed tower is to be located on a parcel of property owned by the municipality. The witness stated that the areas marked in yellow on Exhibit 24 include the R-2, R-6 and C-3 zones in Brielle, and the R-15, R-30 and OP-10 zones in Wall Township. He said that none of the properties outlined in yellow on Exhibit A-24 were located in a zone allowing a cell tower as a permitted use. Mr. Kronk reviewed the principles of Smart of New York, Inc., d/b/a/ Nextel Communications v. Borough of Fair Lawn Board of Adjustment. 152 N.J. 309 (1998). He emphasized that the New Jersey Supreme Court in the Smart case held that telecommunications facilities promote the general welfare of the community. Smart also held that in order to satisfy the remainder of the positive criteria, an applicant holding an FCC license must demonstrate that the use is particularly suited for the proposed site. As to telecommunications facilities, the Supreme Court held that it is necessary to weigh “the positive and negative criteria and determine whether, on balance, the granting of the variance would cause a substantial detriment to the public good.”
The witness stated that the Board is required to apply the four part balancing test established in Sica v. Board of Adjustment of the Township of Wall, 127 N.J. 152 (1992). The four parts of the balancing test are:
(a) The Board must identify the public interest at stake.
(b) The Board must identify any detrimental impact that will result from the
granting of the variance.
(c) The Board may reduce any detrimental impact by imposing reasonable
(d) The Board must weigh the positive and negative criteria, and determine
whether, on balance, granting the variance will cause a substantial
detriment to the public good.
As to the first test, the witness stated that the applicant holds an FCC license, the site is suitable because the communications tower, if constructed, will eliminate coverage deficiencies, and that the general welfare will be promoted by providing an appropriate level of coverage for the wireless communications’ customers served by the applicant. The witness stated that there are no existing structures in the yellow area, in Exhibit A-24, which allow co-location, and that there is only one willing landlord in that area to accommodate the proposed location of the monopole. The witness stated that various commercial uses are permitted in the C-3 zone and, in general, these uses are more intense than a cell tower. Referring to conditional uses permitted in the C-3 zone, Mr. Kronk stated that these uses are generally more intense than the C-3 permitted uses. He pointed out that public utility installations are permitted as conditional uses in the C-3 zone (Section 21-21.1c.1). Although the applicant is not a public utility, the witness opined that public utility installations are very similar to the activities carried out by the applicant. As to site suitability, the witness noted that the property in question is approximately six times larger than the minimum lot area required in the C-3 zone. In fact, the site is the largest area located in the C-3 zone as depicted on Exhibit A-24. The witness concluded that provisions made by the applicant to allow co-location of another carrier on the monopole promote the purposes of the Federal Telecommunications Act.
Referring to step two of the Sica test, the witness characterized the proposed use as a benign use that is substantially less intense than permitted uses in the C-3 zone. Mr. Kronk stated that the proposed use does not produce noise, traffic or other activities generally associated with commercial uses. He also noted that the proposed use does not impact the municipal infrastructure, and that public utilities are available to the site to support the use. He stated that the proposed use will comply with all FCC and NJDEP requirements. The witness acknowledged that visibility is the one detrimental impact that would result from the placement of a 100-foot monopole at this site. Addressing the issue of visibility, the witness referred to exhibits with photographs of a 3-foot diameter red weather balloon raised to a height of 100 feet, and a computer generated photograph inserting the monopole at the location in the exhibit at a 100-foot height. Exhibits A-25 through A-29 show photographs of the actual balloon test and the computer generated monopole at five locations in the vicinity of the site. The witness emphasized that the monopole does not have any outside antenna, supporting wires or other devices, and that all components are contained within the monopole. He concluded that the proposed monopole was a stealth type structure, which is the least invasive type structure housing telecommunication antennas.
As to step three of the Sica test, Mr. Kronk stated that the Board could impose reasonable considerations to ameliorate the placement of the monopole at this site. The witness stated that the applicant, by offering to construct a monopole as contrasted to the typical tower like structure, has provided a concealment feature. Again, the witness referred to the monopole as a stealth like structure containing no cables, mounting devices or exterior antennas. The witness stated that other reasonable conditions might include a monopole without flags, additional landscaping at the site, and the provision of a revised parking scheme.
In conclusion, Mr. Kronk testified that step four of the Sica test has been satisfied because the general welfare is promoted by providing proper telecommunications services, and that this outweighs the minimal negative impact of visibility upon neighboring properties. The witness opined that the visibility issue, on balance, does not create a substantial detriment to the public good. He stated that there is no detriment to the Municipal Zoning Ordinance or Master Plan, and that the use variance could be legally granted to the applicant. Mr. Kronk emphasized that the innovative camouflaging techniques offered by the applicant substantially mitigate the impact of locating the 100-foot monopole on this site. He repeated that if a d(6) use variance is required, it should be considered subsumed within the d(1) use variance. In addition to the public benefit resulting form establishment of a proper level of coverage for the telecommunications system, the witness noted that the E-911 system would be provided by the construction of the proposed cell tower. This system allows law enforcement authorities, and other governmental agencies, to locate a user within 20 feet of the physical location of the telephone call, which provides a public benefit mandated by the Federal Government.
Mr. Kronk was made available for cross-examination at the December 9th meeting. At that time, he explained that lighting on the monopole to illuminate the flag was moved from ground level to a point of approximately 70 feet high on the monopole. He stated that the monopole would be approximately 48 inches at its base and 24 inches at the top of the structure. The witness repeated that the only detriment resulting from this application is the appearance of the monopole and that in his opinion as a Professional Planner, this would not have a detrimental impact on real estate values. The witness conceded that neither real estate nor noise studies were made by the applicant. He also testified that the site would be upgraded by eliminating nonconforming parking spaces, and concluded that the site was being brought into closer compliance with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Kronk also stated that the installation of the monopole would have less negative impact than the introduction of other permitted or conditionally permitted uses at the site.
14. Michele Taylor, P.P., provided expert testimony on behalf of the objectors. The witness stated that she reviewed the Master Plans and Zoning Ordinances of the Borough of Brielle and Township of Wall, the Municipal Land Use Law and relevant case law. During her testimony, Exhibits O-2 and O-3 were moved into evidence. The witness testified that O-3 is an aerial photographof the site and some of the residential properties located to the north of the site. The exhibit also included a photograph showing the driveway from one of the residential properties and the second photograph taken from the parking area of the site. The witness stated that the Wall Township residential properties are located in the R-15 and R-30 zones. The R-15 zone requires a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet. The R-30 zone requires a minimum lot size of 30,000 square feet. Ms. Taylor pointed out that the Wall Township Ordinance permitting the installation of telecommunication facilities/structures requires co-location, when possible, and mandates that the facilities be located at least 500 feet from residential properties. The witness noted that the 1999 Wall Township Master Plan recognizes this sector of Brielle as an office zone and noted that the 2000 Brielle Master Plan recommended additional uses in this zone. She stated that one of the purposes of zoning is to prevent conflict between properties in adjacent municipalities.
The witness described the existing building as being approximately 63 years old, and that virtually no buffer areas exist on the site. Ms. Taylor concluded that the monopole would restrict future development or redevelopment of the site, and stated that the proposed buffer areas were minimal. She also said that the flag noise would not be substantial. In conclusion, the witness opined that the proposed use would impair the intent and purpose of the Brielle Zoning Ordinance, that the use is not suitable for the site, and that the negative impact of the proposed use outweighs the positive impact.
On cross-examination, the witness conceded the monopole is an innocuous use except for its visual impact. She also agreed that the monopole would be preferable to a conventional communications tower. Lastly, Ms. Taylor agreed that the new landscaping plan and revised parking plan is an improvement over existing conditions, and that public safety would be promoted by eliminating angle parking on Old Bridge Road.
15. Dan Udovic, a resident of 2804 Colonial Drive, Wall Township, provided expert testimony in the field of wireless communications on behalf of the objectors. The witness recited his educational experience and his 30 years of employment on various communication projects, and commented that he was familiar with the exhibits described by Dominic Villecco. He also stated that he was familiar with the software used by Mr. Villecco, and that this software is accurate. The witness stated he did not perform an independent analysis of signal strength at the site. Mr. Udovic introduced Exhibit O-4, which is a T-Mobile (Omnipoint) site map used as a marketing tool. He referred to the dark areas on the exhibit, indicting that these are the areas of greatest signal strength because a tower is located in that area. The witness pointed out that telecommunications companies have a goal of eliminating land telephone lines, and that this produces a need to construct more towers to provide a greater signal strength to penetrate homes. He stated that Exhibit O-4 demonstrates that there is adequate signal strength for voice service, although the signal would be inadequate for both voice service and internet connectivity.
Mr. Udovic stated that the applicant failed to present any evidence relating to dropped telephone calls, and that this information is necessary for the Board to make an informed decision. The witness also expressed his concern of ice forming on the top of the pole. He projected that ice would form when wind speeds reach 60 mph, and calculated that ice falling from a height of 100 feet would accelerate to 50 mph. The witness stated that the Marina Grille would be a good alternative site because that facility is located approximately 400 feet from residential dwellings as contrasted to the 200-foot separation on this site. The witness stated that O-4 shows a weak signal at the Marina Grille site.
On cross-examination, the witness testified relating to revision “G” of the EIA-TIA 222 standards. During this testimony, the applicant stipulated that it would build a facility in compliance with revision G standards. Lastly, the witness agreed that zero dropped calls would be the best level of service to be provided by the carriers.
16. The meeting was opened for public comment. The following persons appeared to voice their objections to the proposed development application:
Jeffrey Foster, a resident of 1526 Marconi Road, Wall Township, stated that he was a member of the Wall Township Planning Board for 16 years. He urged the Board to consider the negative impact of the monopole on the residential structures, and stated that the proposed buffer areas were not sufficient to shield the site.
Karen Barbageleta, a resident of 1308 Gully Road, Wall Township, said that the current uses substantially changed the site from the time that Brielle Furniture operated its business on this property. The witness pointed out that there is 18% deficiency in the proposed parking, and cautioned that Alpha Omega could internally expand its business.
Guy Barbegeleta, a resident of 2640 Fox Lane, Wall Township, testified that the owner of the Marina Grille property, which is located to the west of this site across the Manasquan River, is interested in having a monopole located on that property. The witness stated that the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act and New Jersey cases promote telecommunications facilities, yet do not provide a blanket approval for the carriers. The witness said that the visual impact of the monopole would negatively affect the aesthetic value and property values of the nearby residential properties. He also indicated that while the proposed control of traffic and parking is an improvement, it is not compliant with the Zoning Ordinance. As to the Sica balancing test, the witness stated that the benefit of providing added telecommunications services is outweighed by the negative visual impact from residential properties.
Michael Ping, a resident of 2702 Old Bridge Road, Wall Township, commented that Steve Vida of the Marina Grille is interested in negotiating a lease with the applicant.
Dan Healey, a resident of 2644 River Road, Wall Township, stated that the proposed use of the property is too intense, there is no public benefit and the monopole will negatively impact aesthetics and real estate values. He stated that the stormwater controls were insufficient for this site.
Lynn Schambach, a resident of 525 Harris Avenue, Brielle, stated that the monopole would be unsightly and that its illumination would adversely impact the adjoining residential properties.
Kerry Reilly, a resident of 2629 Fox Lane, Wall Township, testified that the visual impact of the proposed monopole is negative, recited possible negative health impacts, and concluded that property values will be adversely impacted.
John Harkrader, a resident of 2649 River Road, Wall Township, testified that the monopole will provide a negative visual impact, the flag will produce noise, and pointed out the deficiency of parking spaces on the site.
Kathy Party-Willberg, a resident of 2635 Fox Lane, Wall Township, commented on the negative visual impact of the monopole.
Michael Clayton, a resident of 2124 First Avenue, Wall Township, pointed out the applicant did not offer a real estate appraiser to address the issue of the impact on adjoining residential properties, and did not offer a noise expert to comment on the noise level resulting from flying a flag on the monopole. The witness stated that there were a number of unanswered questions and that the applicant did not conduct adequate studies of other available sites.
17. The Board finds and determines that:
(a) Applicant, Omnipoint Communications, Inc. is a federally licensed provider of wireless telephone service.
(b) Pursuant to the license issued to Omnipoint by the Federal Communications Commission, Omnipoint is required to provide reliable wireless telephone services to its customers.
(c) The testimony and exhibits provided by Omnipoint demonstrates that there is a deficiency in wireless telephone coverage in portions of Brielle and surrounding areas in Monmouth County. The testimony and exhibits have demonstrated that there is a need to improve signal strength, and that the location of a telecommunications facility at this site provide a proper level of service.
(d) The applicant has mitigated the impact of the 100-foot monopole by placing antennas inside the monopole as contrasted to conventional towers which have the antennas located around the structure of the tower. The construction of the proposed monopole (flag pole) is substantially less intrusive than construction of a conventional tower.
(e) The proposed facility is unmanned and will require only electric and telephone utility services. The proposed use will generate minimal vehicular activity, and will have no impact upon the municipal infrastructure.
(f) The proposed improvements relating to parking areas, site circulation and elimination of nonconforming parking spaces substantially promotes public safety and welfare.
(g) The testimony has demonstrated that there are no existing facilities on which antennas can be co-located.
(h) The variance relating to this maximum height of a structure is driven by the need to locate the antennas above the canopy of trees. Based upon testimony relating to the average height of large trees, it is necessary to construct a 100-foot monopole to provide three tiers on which antennas can be located. The Board finds that a height variance is subsumed within the d(1) use variance, and also that a d(6) variance is warranted.
(i) The Placement of the equipment cabinet and security fence at the base of the tower has a minimal structural and visual impact upon the residential properties to the north of the site.
(j) As determined by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of Smart of New York, Inc. d/b/a Nextel Communications v: Borough of Fair Lawn Board of Adjustment, 152 N.J. 309 (1998), this use promotes the general welfare of the community. The Court also determined that the holder of a federal license to provide wireless telephone service satisfies the special reasons or positive criteria justified to grant the use/height variance.
(k) There will be little or no detrimental effects from the proposed placement of the monopole at this site with respect to traffic, noise or additional infrastructure requirements.
(l) The proposed improvements will not interfere with light, air and open space to this site and neighboring properties.
(m) The Board is required to apply the four part balancing test established in Sica v. Board of Adjustment of the Township of Wall, 127 N.J. 152 (1992). Referring to that four part test, the Board finds that the proposed use promotes the general welfare of the community as determined by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the Smart case; that the only detrimental impact resulting from this use is the visual impact; that the provision of a monopole/flag pole instead of a conventional communications tower acts to mitigate the detrimental visual impact of the structure; and in weighing both the positive and negative criteria, on balance, the granting of this variance will not cause a substantial detriment to the public good.
(n) The proposed improvements will not be detrimental to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Municipal Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Brielle Planning Board on this 13th day of January, 2009, that the decision of the Board at its meeting of December 9, 2008 be memorialized and that this application be approved subject to the following conditions:
1. Applicant shall apply for and receive approvals from all other municipal, county, state and federal agencies having regulatory jurisdiction over this development application.
2. The only flag which is permitted to be flown from the monopole is the American flag. No other flags, advertisement banners, promotional banners or other similar devices may be displayed on the monopole. The flag shall be illuminated by a light attached to the monopole, located at an approximate height of 70 feet.
3. Applicant shall be required to provide adequate space for the location of Whip type antennas for the benefit of the Brielle Police Department and Brielle emergency service providers.
4. The parking spaces located to the rear (north) of the building shall be restricted as “employee only” parking spaces. The property owners shall require employees to businesses operating in the building to use these spaces for parking needs in order to preclude the use of these spaces by business patrons. The property owner shall be responsible to enforce this condition.
5. Site lighting shall be placed on a timer to reduce the number of lights operating after normal business hours. Applicant is required to provide a supplemental lighting plan showing the reduction of lights operating after normal business hours. The plan shall be subject to the review and approval of the Board Engineer.
6. In the event that a change in the nature of tenants in the building requires more than 64 parking spaces, the property owner is required to obtain a variance for any such additional parking spaces deficiency, and shall submit a variance application and an amended site plan to the Board. No change in business occupants/tenants requiring more than 64 parking spaces shall be commenced unless a variance is approved by the Board.
7. The monopole shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the standards contained in revision “G” of the EIA, TIA 222 standards.
8. During periods when loading or unloading operations are conducted at the site, an adult person shall be present to supervise pedestrians.
9. During periods when solid waste collection operations are conducted at the site, an adult person shall be present to supervise pedestrians.
10. Applicant has proposed to plant trees within the Old Bridge right-of-way. The Borough of Brielle shall have the right to require that these trees be removed, as determined in the sole discretion of the Governing Body of the Municipality.
11. Applicant shall file a complete set of plans to conform with applicant’s testimony to the Board and the Board Engineer as part of resolution compliance.
12. Applicant shall complete all site improvements shown on its site plan map within nine (9) months of the date of this resolution or prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Approval, whichever occurs first. All required performance guarantees shall be posted to ensure the completion of the site improvements.
13. Applicant shall pay all real property taxes through and including the calendar quarter of the date of this Resolution.
14. Applicant shall file all required performance bonds, maintenance guarantees and post all applicable engineering and inspection fees.
15. This development approval shall be null and void unless applicant commences construction of the proposed improvements within three (3) years of the date of this Resolution.
16. Certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the applicant, Borough Construction Official, Zoning Officer and all other parties in interest.”
A motion was made by Mr. Langenberger to approve this Resolution, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved by the following roll all vote:
Ayes: Susan S. Brady, Thomas Condon, James Harman, James Langenberger,
Not Eligible to vote: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Thomas Heavey, Charles Sarnasi,
The Board then turned to the approval of a Resolution for Variance relief for Block 30.01, Lot 20, 508 Harris Avenue, owned by Kieran and Justin Doll, to allow construction of a two-story rear addition to an existing dwelling. As there were no changes to the draft Resolution that was sent to all Board members, as well as the applicant and his attorney, the following Resolution was then presented for approval:
“WHEREAS, Kieran Doll (the “applicant”), having a mailing address of 508 Harris Avenue, Brielle, N.J. 08730, has applied to the Brielle Planning Board (the “Board”) for bulk variances pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-47(c); 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 December 9, 2008 in the Borough Hall, at which time testimony and exhibits were presented on behalf of the applicant 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 30.01, Lot 20 on the municipal tax map.
2. The property is located in the R-4 Zone.
3. Applicant proposes to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing single-family residential dwelling.
4. The following variances have been applied for:
ITEM REQUIRED PROVIDED
Front Setback 25 feet 16.5 feet
(porch & stairs)
Front Setback 25 feet 22.75 feet
(roof overhang east side)
Side Setback 8 feet 7.9 ft. (front east side)
Side Setback 8 feet 7.79 ft. (rear east side)
Side Setback 8 feet 7.97 ft. (rear west side)
Lot Coverage 20% maximum 23.66%
5. Zoning Officer Alan P. Hilla, Jr. prepared a report to the applicant dated September 30, 2008. The Board adopts the findings in that report and incorporates that document in this Resolution by reference.
6. Paul Grabowski, AIA, presented expert testimony on behalf of the applicant. The following exhibits were introduced and marked into evidence during his testimony:
A-1….floor plan for proposed residence.
A-2….elevations of proposed residence
A-4….photograph of existing home
The witness explained that the applicant proposes to add a two-story addition to the rear of the existing single-family residence. The addition will have a depth of 10 feet, which is necessary to provide adequate size rooms in the new area. Mr. Grabowski explained that additional living space is necessary to permit the applicant the fair enjoyment of the home. It was noted that the existing height of the structure is not being increased, and that various architectural improvements are being added to the front faηade to improve the aesthetics of the building. The witness commented that an adequate rear yard will remain to provide for the fair enjoyment of this area. Mr. Grabowski also explained that the sides of the addition will be setback approximately the same distance form the rear yard as the existing east and west sides of the structure. It was noted that the two variances relating to the front setback and the one variance relating to the west side yard at the front of the building are not being impacted by the proposed addition. The two side setback variances at the rear of the proposed addition produce a deviation on the west side of .03 feet and a deviation on the east side of .21 feet, which are de minimis intrusions into the required side setback area.
7. No objectors appeared in opposition to this development application.
8. The Board finds and determines that:
(a) Variances relating to the two front yard setbacks and the side year setback at the front-east side of the dwelling are existing conditions.
(b) The proposed side setback variances at the rear of the proposed addition are .03 feet on the west side and .21 feet on the east side, which constitute de minimis intrusions into the required side yard area.
(c) The proposed addition has been reasonably dimensioned to provide new usable rooms, allowing for the fair enjoyment of this single-family residential dwelling.
(d) Although lot coverage will be 3.66% greater than permitted, the intrusion of the building into the rear yard will not adversely impact neighboring properties.
(e) The proposed structure will provide a substantial aesthetic improvement to this property, and will have a positive impact upon this site and neighboring properties.
(f) The proposed improvements provide a desirable visual environment and maintain adequate light, air and open space to this site and adjacent properties.
(g) 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 January 2009, that the decision of the Board at its meeting of December 9, 2008 be memorialized, and that this application be approved subject to the following conditions:
1. Applicant shall apply for and receive approvals from all other municipal, county, state and federal agencies having regulatory jurisdiction over this development application.
2. Applicant shall pay all real property taxes through and including the calendar quarter of the date of this Resolution.
3. Applicant shall file all required performance bonds, maintenance guarantees and post all applicable engineering and inspection fees.
4. This development approval shall be null and void unless applicant commences construction of the site renovations and improvements within three years of the date of the Resolution.
5. Certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the applicant, Borough Construction Official, Zoning Officer and all other parties in interest.”
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. Sigler, and approved by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Thomas Condon, Thomas Heavey, James
Harman, James Langenberger, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler
Note Eligible to Vote: Susan S. Brady, Terre Vitale
Before going to the next item on the agenda, Mrs. Brady stepped down off the dais and would be missing the rest of the evening. Mr. Condon announced to the Board and audience that Mrs. Brady was going to be resigning from the Board after many years of service as Chairperson and would be greatly missed; he thanked her for all her years of service to Brielle, she was a very valuable member. Mrs. Brady then left to an applause of the Board and audience.
The Board then turned to the application for variance relief for Block 48.01, Lots 10 & 10.01, 314 ½ Fisk Avenue, owned by Michael Vesuvio, to allow construction of a new single family home & pool. Variances required 1. All properties must front on am improved 50 foot right-of-way for a minimum of 40 feet; this property is land-locked. 2. Lot Size 11,250 square feet required, 6,475.25 square feet existing, 4,773.75 square foot variance existing & proposed. 3. Lot width 75 feet required, 50 feet existing, 25 foot variance existing & proposed. 4. Lot Depth 125 feet required, 121.22 feet existing, 3.78 foot variance existing & proposed. 5. Front Setback 30 feet required, 21.54 feet proposed, 8.46 foot variance requested. 6. Lot Coverage 20% maximum allowed, 24.64% proposed, 4.64% variance requested. 7. Building Height 35 feet & 2 ½ stories maximum allowed, 39.08 feet & 3 stories proposed. 8. Floor Area Ratio 0.5 maximum allowable, 0.53 proposed. Mr. Cantoli stayed on as Board attorney for this case as Mr. Rubino had a conflict of interest with the applicant.
The fee of $800 was paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified. Mr. Louis Felicetta, Esq. came forward for the applicant. He explained that this is an isolated lot case and 4 of the variances are due to the existing size of the lot. There is an issue regarding merger of two lots when both owned by the same person, Mr. Vesuvio owns the property contiguous to this one which is known as lots 9-9.01. In July 2008 he had a discussion with the Borough Attorney on the merger issue and Mr. Montenegro submitted his findings on this which is included in the Mr. Hilla’s letter. He asked that this be marked as Exhibit A-1 and this was done.
He went on to explain this lot was created via a subdivision back in 1957. The Borough Attorney, as stated above, reviewed this as well as cases with merger doctrine. The lots created by the law of 1953 are exempt from the merger law; this is the exception to the merger doctrine. Mr. Montenegro said the merger does not apply in this case and explains this in his memo.
At this time Mr. Timothy Middleton, Esq. asked to come forward and speak, he represents a neighbor, Nancy Boiles, who lives east of this lot. He saw the memo on the merger issue as well as reviewing the file and speaking with Mr. Hilla, the Board Engineer and Borough Zoning Officer. He then gave the argument that the lots can stay separate as long as there are no changes to the lots and cited the “Privish case”. He said the only documentation he saw was an approval by Mayor and Council back in the 1950s and there was no Planning Board input and they were the only entity that could approve this subdivision.
Mr. Middleton then addressed the survey submitted to the Board which shows a house on one lot and a shed on the other and both are being used by the owner. The covered porch on the existing house is no more than 7 feet from the property line and Mr. Middleton contended that when this porch was added there was no variance requested as the lots were considered as one use. He would like to see those approvals from the Building Department from 7 years ago when this porch was built. Also, a good portion of the front lot is being used as a driveway to the rear of the house on that lot so this entire parcel is being used as one lot. The Privish Case says a merger does not apply if there are no changes and Mr. Middleton felt Mr. Vesuvio should be filing for a minor subdivision.
He then cited the Joss Case which went to the Supreme Court; that court determined no merger but this has to be proven: 1) has to prove this was subdivided, 2) has to prove no merger. He felt this matter should come back before the Board next month with this information.
Mr. Langenberger commented that the owner is now receiving two tax bills for two properties but Mr. Middleton said that does not prove this is a subdivided property, they have to get past the 1953 law. He had deeds from 1897 when the two lots were owned by one owner, a Mr. Lochner.
Mr. Heavey asked about a title search and Mr. Middleton said the lots were created in 1897. Mr. Sigler asked if the Board needs to see a survey of the other property and Mr. Hilla said they have a survey of both properties. Mr. Sigler did not see the distance noted from the porch to the rear yard line, it’s not on the plan.
Mr. Felicetta said they did to a full title search and an independent attorney also looked at this and concluded these lots did not merge; he again referenced Mr. Montenegro’s report which spoke of the 1957 subdivision.
Mr. Cantoli agreed with Mr. Middleton that the ultimate decision rests with the Board, not Mr. Montenegro. This case is fact sensitive and there is a question of whether or not there has been a merger of lots by use, the Board has to listen to the testimony and legal arguments as well as the evidence. If Mr. Felicetta wants to continue tonight, it’s up to the Board. Mr. Heavey asked if a title expert was needed and Mr. Middleton said yes. Mr. Felicetta said he can get the documentation needed and offered to have the Board listed to testimony tonight.
Mayor Nicol asked Mr. Cantoli what he recommended and he felt the first step is to see if there was a valid subdivision. If there is no proof of this they may have to file a subdivision application, however, if the applicant has that information he thought the Board could hear at least one witness and then carry the matter. Mr. Middleton stated if the lots are merged or not, there are two different views and he requested they look at the merger issue first. Mr. Felicetta still wanted to give testimony tonight and then address this and noted that the existing driveway will benefit both lots as they are asking for an easement for this land-locked lot.
Mrs. Vitale asked if it would not be a waste of time and money if the Board makes a determination that this needs to be subdivided and Mr. Felicetta said yes, but they felt they are okay. Mr. Langenberger asked if the first house is in violation, what then? Mr. Felicetta said the front lot is not part of this application and the porch was put on by the previous owner. Mr. Middleton again disagreed and said if the merger is proved then it is one lot. Mr. Condon spoke and felt the Board would like this information and to hear testimony this evening would be a waste of the Board’s time; they needed the information provided to them.
Mr. Felicetta asked what the Board wants and Mr. Sigler said he would like to see surveys with distances marked. Mr. Condon asked Mr. Hilla if he could get the Building application permit for that house and Mr. Hilla said he would try and contact the Construction Official for those records. Mr. Felicetta’s final comments were that these lots are two lots on the tax rolls.
At this time Mr. Langenberger made a motion to carry this hearing, without further notice, to the February 10th meeting of the Board, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously, all aye, no nays. Mr. Felicetta also agreed to a time waiver along with no further notice.
Before starting the next hearing, Mr. Rubino came forward to take over as Board attorney and thanked the Planning Board for appointing him to this position.
The Board then turned to an application for a Major Subdivision for Block 25.01, Lots 6-7, 522, 528 & 528 ½ Longstreet Avenue, owned by Richard & Myra Strucek, to allow the creation of 5 lots. Variances: Minimum Lot Width proposed Lot 1 75 feet required, 50 feet proposed, 25 foot variance requested; proposed Lot 2 75 feet required, 63.12 feet proposed, 11.88 foot variance requested; proposed Lot 3 75 feet required, 50 feet proposed, 25 foot variance requested; proposed Lot 4 75 feet required, 50 feet proposed, 25 foot variance requested; proposed Lot 5 75 feet required, 61.76 feet proposed, 13.24 foot variance requested. Minimum Side Setback proposed Lot 2 10 feet required, 8 feet proposed, 2 foot variance requested; proposed Lot 5 10 feet required, 9.72 feet proposed, .28 foot variance requested. Minimum Gross Floor Area proposed Lot 1 1,000 square feet required, 710.6 square feet existing, 289.4 foot variance existing & proposed (total of 8 variances).
The fee of $ was paid, taxes on all properties are paid to date, the newspaper & property owners within 200 feet were properly notified. Mr. C. Keith Henderson, Esq. came forward to represent the Struceks. He had three witnesses to testify this evening, Richard Strucek, Charles Gilligan and James Higgins they came forward and were all sworn in.
Mr. Strucek started his testimony and told the Board he and his wife have owned their home since 1980 and recently added 522 Longstreet Avenue about two years ago. In total the Strucek family has lived in Brielle for 52 years. His major concern was to leave the existing houses as they are and build new ones to blend into the neighborhood and fit in.
Next to come forward was Charles Gilligan, a license planner for 27 years and has testified before this Board many times. The Board accepted him as an expert witness. He asked that a color rendering of the property, dated 9/17/08 and was the design grade plan, be marked as Exhibit A-1. Exhibit A-2 was a survey and topographic survey dated 3/6/07. Exhibit A-3 was an aerial photo of the neighborhood and Exhibit A-4 was a colored tax map.
Mr. Gilligan went to Exhibit A-1, a colored version of sheet 4 of 6 of the major subdivision plans. There are presently three dwellings on these lots, located at 522, 528 & 528 ½ Longstreet Avenue. They are keeping all three of them and create two deep lots, 50 feet wide and over 230 feet deep; these lots are 135%-180% over in lot size requirements. The dwelling at 528 ½ Longstreet will be on a flag lot so it needs a variance for this, however, in the rear at the house itself it widens to 100 feet and is also over the size requirement.
He went on to say River Place, behind these lots, is improved to where it meets Bradley Avenue but there can be no further development of these roads as the back of Bradley Avenue is now considered wetlands. If the lot could front on Bradley Avenue it would have a 105 foot frontage, but with the wetlands inbetween there is no access. If this could be done then Lot 2 would conform as 25 feet would be gained. The two new lots to be created both exceed lot requirements with 15,185 and 16,555 in square footage.
In Mr. Hilla’s Letter of Denial, proposed Lot 2 has a porch on it, but no variance is needed as it is slab on grade and is the entrance. Lot 5 is an existing structure and is not parallel to the property line so the side yard setback is 9.72 feet in the front side and goes over to 10 feet towards the rear. He also noted that the garage that is on the plan has already been taken down.
Mr. Henderson asked him about the home on Lot 1 and Mr. Gilligan said the minimum square footage requirement is 1,000 square feet and this home is 750 square feet, it is a one story building and there is room for expansion. Mr. Gilligan also wanted the Board to know that Longstreet Avenue is only 44 feet wide, not the usual 50 feet, so every house on this street is non-conforming.
Mr. Sigler commented that if this property were broken into one less lot, it would take away a lot of variances. Mr. Gilligan agreed and said there would then be more than 250 times the required square footage; Mr. Sigler noted that this action would make the property conform to the frontage requirement. Mr. Langenberger agreed with Mr. Sigler and Mr. Gilligan said the Planner would discuss that issue.
Mr. Condon asked about the dark green on the plan and Mr. Gilligan said that is the wetlands and trees. One of the homes that is now existing is in this partially. Mr. Condon then asked if something happened to that house, would they then need variances, would there be enough setback to rebuild or would they have to come back before the Board. Mr. Gilligan said he thought it could be rebuilt on the original footprint, but no more, they could move forward and there would be enough room without variances.
At this time the meeting was opened to the public for questions only. Louis Naughton of Longstreet Avenue came forward and was sworn in. She questioned the 25 foot setback mentioned in the letter she received. Mr. Gilligan explained this is due to the 25 foot wide part of the flag lot that would be the driveway to the back yellow house. She then asked if all the approvals were received from CAFRA and Mr. Gilligan said yes. She wanted a better explanation of what was meant when they spoke of connecting to Bradley Avenue and Mr. Gilligan explained they were talking about the paper street, but that will not be developed.
Next to come forward and be sworn in was Jean Hollerbach who asked where this driveway was and Mr. Gilligan showed it to her on the Exhibit. Next to be sworn in was Lisa Doyle of Longstreet Avenue who asked about off-street parking. Mr. Gilligan spoke of the requirements from the Residential Site Improvement Standards from the State and that a two bedroom house requires 1.5 spaces, a 3 bedroom house requires 2 spaces; in this case there would be at least 2 spaces and the Planner can address this. She then asked if the street will be dug up for utility connections and the answer was yes.
Tim Hollerbach of Center Street then came forward and was sworn in. He asked if the square footage on the lots was all usable and Mr. Gilligan said they would not be able to build on part of it. Mr. Hollerbach then commented that these are not 15,000 square foot buildable lots then and Mr. Gilligan agreed but said that is not how the Ordinance reads. Mr. Sigler told Mr. Hollerbach that 20% of the property can be built on.
As there were no further questions, the public portion was closed and Mr. James Higgins, a Professional Planner licensed in N.J. came forward. He has been in this business for 30 years and has been before over 100 Boards, including Brielle, as well as before Superior Courts and the Supreme Court; he worked for Brielle Borough in this capacity in the 1980s. The Board accepted him as an expert witness.
He said he looked at the neighborhood, Master Plan and Ordinances and was familiar with the criteria for the C-1 and C-2 variances. C-1 criteria is that there is something peculiar on the site to cause a hardship, a hardship being defined as the applicant not being able to utilize the site as he could without prohibition. Here there are wetlands and a paper street behind them. The property is 287 to 333 feet deep and, if there were no wetlands and Bradley Avenue could be further developed, they could get 5 or 6 fully conforming lots. He felt that three lots can be placed here with no problem; the applicant is proposing 5 lots with the hardship. There are two structures on one of the lots now so the only reasonable way to handle this is to create a flag lot and not an easement.
Mr. Henderson noted those homes have been there since the 1940s so nothing visible will change, only making them separate lots. Mr. Higgins agreed and stated the Ordinance says you can’t have two homes on one lot so this move will be making this situation better. The Master Plan, as written, would make these lots fully compliant as it only talks about lot area and not lot width. He then went on to say this use will be less intense as shown on Exhibit A-4, which is a blow-up of the tax map of the Borough; however, this is a tax map from 1998 and not the current one it shows five 50 foot lots. He then showed that the yellow colored lots are undersized and the ones with red lines are not conforming in frontages. Mr. Henderson asked if every single lot across the street is not complying with the lot area and Mr. Higgins said yes, on Block 24.01 the entire block has undersized lots. This leads to the C-2 variance as one of the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law is to consider the character of the area. The majority, 67% of the lots, have widths less than what is required; 70% have areas less than 11, 250 square feet. So these proposed lots are in character with the neighborhood and this is the way this area was originally laid out; there is an inefficient use of this property right now and two more homes will make a more efficient use of this land.
Mr. Higgins also considered population density with one dwelling every 11,250 square feet; here there will be one dwelling for 14,000 square feet. The Municipal Land Use talks about the sufficient use of the land and this will fit in. He then went to the aerial photo from the county website and said the building site is outlined in red and one can see the space there is here.
Mr. Henderson asked about the negative criteria and Mr. Higgins said there were none. This is in character with the area, will have off-street parking, drainage can be accommodated, there is water/sewer available and the owner is going to maintain the existing homes. Only two more homes will be added and he again said he saw no negative impact on the Master Plan or Zoning Ordinance. All requirements other than the setbacks and size of the one building are met, the lot sizes are over the requirement and he felt the benefits outweigh any negatives. He stated that if only 4 lots are created it would be out of character with the other lots in the area. Mr. Henderson elaborated on this and said the Supreme Court made a ruling on this, that oversized lots are not an efficient use of the land; Mr. Higgins agreed with him.
Mr. Heavey questioned the rear lot line that faces Bradley Avenue and asked how many feet is that; Mr. Higgins said Mr. Gilligan can answer that. Mr. Heavey was asking as it was stated if Bradley Avenue could be used they could get 6 lots in and he was trying to see this. Mr. Higgins said they would have to get part of lot 17 and then they could do this if Bradley Avenue were available; there might be a need for minor variances with property acquisition.
Mr. Langenberger commented on how they keep talking about Bradley Avenue and he was told that, back in the day, you could take a boat up there through those wetlands, there would never be access to Bradley Avenue. The density of the lots was considered when the Master Plan was designed and he wondered why they did not make this an R-4 zone instead of an R-3 zone; he reasoned they did not want to make more small lots. Mr. Higgins said they considered the 11,250 square footage required and not the 50 foot wide part, they were looking at lot area and not lot width; he said he was the one that worked on this for the Borough back in 1980.
Mr. Sarnasi questioned the 25 foot lots shown on the old tax map and Mrs. Brisben explained that, back in 2005, the town did a new up-to-date map that removed all the “baby” lots and removed those lot lines; the town is now developed so there is no need for the excessive lot lines. Mr. Higgins said this was also done in Ocean Township, they also had many 25 foot lots and updated their tax map to remove them.
Mr. Condon agreed with the character of the neighborhood but wanted to know how the flag lot fits in and Mr. Higgins said this is due to the existing house which creates this hardship; it has been there for many years and leaving it as it is keeps the character of the area.
At this time the hearing was opened for questions to Mr. Higgins and Louis Naughton of Longstreet Avenue came forward. She wanted to know if the parking will jeopardize the size of the buildings and Mr. Higgins said they can develop up to 20% of the lot size; most buildings do not come close to this, especially on an oversized lot. Mrs. Naughton then asked if these lots should be merged together as questioned on the previous application and Mr. Higgins said the area is pre-determined as 50 foot lots, they are not claiming each in an individual building lot. Ms. Naughton then asked about the “hardship”. If this is claimed, why would Mr. Strucek buy this home knowing there is a “hardship”. Mr. Higgins said the hardship goes with the land and not the owner, this is with the property regardless who owns it. Ms. Naughton asked how he can claim hardship if he purchased the property this way and Mr. Higgins said that is the way the law reads. She asked if there would be a hardship if the subdivision were dropped to 4 lots and Mr. Higgins said yes. She then asked why the Zoning Ordinance was changed years ago and Mr. Rubino explained the Governing Body makes that decision based on reports from the Professional Planner and the Planning Board. Mr. Condon felt it could be the area, many years ago there may have been summer homes and then the area changed to more residential dwellings so a change was made to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Rubino said there were also statutes set up by the State and the Municipal Land Use Law.
Next to come forward was Lynn Evans of 109 Lake Avenue, who was sworn in; She is also part owner of 603 Center Street. She questioned the statement made about no negative impact and felt the houses could conform to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Higgins said that is why they were here, if no subdivision it is an over-utilization of the lots. Ms. Evans felt there will be an impact and asked how this will not impact water/sewer. Mr. Higgins said there is already water/sewer in this area, this is not a planning or zoning concern. Ms. Evans asked about the density for the school and Mr. Higgins said this is lower that what is allowed by the lot area. She then asked about the lot sizes being mandated at 75 feet and Mr. Higgins said this area is an anomaly and the town cannot zone in small pockets. She then asked if the application is asking for variances for the Zoning or the Master Plan and Mr. Rubino said he has to address both. Mr. Higgins said the Municipal Land Use Law allows for variances to be granted.
Ms. Joan LeClerq of Longstreet Avenue then came forward and was sworn in. She owns lot 5 which is the only property adjacent to this subdivision. She did not see any adversity but was concerned about the trees and did not want to see any come down. Mr. Gilligan said there is only one tree by the driveway that is in question and it may be saved, he did not know but said no other trees will be lost.
As there were no further questions, that portion of the hearing was closed and it was re-opened again for comments or general statements. Mr. Condon asked that the audience limit this to 2 minutes as it was getting late. Louis Naughton asked about a big pine tree by Ms. LeClerq’s home and Mr. Gilligan said that is not on the plan and it may be hers.
Jean Hollerbach came forward and stated she felt the Board should stick with the 75 feet requirement. The Struceks already own 5 houses on Longstreet Avenue and she did not think small houses will be built. There is no guarantee the yellow house or rental unit will stay. All the lots across the street are only 50 feet wide and she felt they should start conforming; they did not need two more houses in the neighborhood, this will make more kids in school, more electricity, etc. He can put in one house and should do that. She said they keep speaking about a paper street and how that could be developed if there were a street there, but the street is not there. She thought the Board should keep with the zoning laws and hoped the Board has looked at them and the neighbors do not see this subdivision as presented. She felt a lot of trees will come down and did not see the wetlands as a hardship but an asset. She envisioned the existing homes being taken down and big new homes being put up.
Mr. Henderson asked her to identify her lot and she did, her lot is 149 feet deep. Mr. Henderson asked if her lot was smaller than the lots being considered tonight and she said she was not sure.
Mr. Condon noted the Board had received three letters on this application and Mr. Rubino said that can be noted and put in the file, that is all; letters can’t be cross-examined.
At this time Mr. Henderson summarized this application. The variances all have to do with the lot width; they want to protect the existing structures and keep with the pattern of the existing neighborhood. The C-1 and C-2 variances apply, the C-1 strictly exists on the lot. C-2 is the under-utilization of the property and is in violation of the Municipal Land Use Law. In the Master Plan the required lot size is exceeded in every case and they would be able to get 6 lots if the paper street was a true street. The Supreme Court cases on under-utilization of land would support this subdivision. He cited the Kaufman case where is speaks of population density and the Court concluded that making more harmonious lot sizes is the purpose of the zoning and is consistent and this is what is before the Board tonight, they still have the largest lots in the neighborhood. This application would be upheld by the Court. Mr. Rubino felt that was an unfair remark.
The Board then went into discussion and Mr. Harman said he would be in favor of this but with conditions that if the property owner develops the property, there has to be adequate parking, any trees removed will be replaced. Mr. Langenberger said he was uncomfortable with the flag lot and with the 25 feet shortage on the lots; he felt this could have been done leaning more towards the 75 feet required. Mr. Heavey said he was not for flag lots but he was impressed by the experts and how they answered the question. He was in favor for that reason.
Mr. Sigler was not in favor of the flag lot and felt this area is overbuilt and he would be against this application. Mrs. Vitale felt the zoning was done for a reason and she did not think this subdivision should be done. Mayor Nicol said they are trying to stay away from flag lots and he would be against it. Mr. Condon had no problem with lots 2 through 5 and felt they could keep in the character of the neighborhood, but he, too, was concerned with the 25 foot variance for width. Mr. Sarnasi said that even though the lot is large, 75 feet is the requirement in this zone and adding a flag lot in seems to be too much, squeezing in lots.
Mr. Henderson asked the Board if he could have a few minute with his client and Mr. Condon said yes. After a brief time, Mr. Henderson came back and asked for the hearing to be carried to the February meeting. This was done on a motion by Mr. Sigler, seconded by Mrs. Vitale, and approved by the Board, all aye.
As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Sigler, seconded by Mrs. Vitale and unanimously approved, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 pm.
Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary