A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

August 9, 2011

January 25 2012

August 9, 2011


The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 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 Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, James Harman, James Langenberger, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, James Stenson, Terre Vitale, John O’donnell

Absent - Thomas Condon

Also present were Michael Rubino, Board Attorney, Alan Hilla, Jr., Board Engineer and Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. There were 6 people in the audience.

Vice-Chairman Stenson 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 meeting had been sent to the official newspapers of the Board fixing the time and place of all hearings.

The Minutes of the July 12, 2011 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously by voice vote, all aye.

The Board had all received a Notice of application to the DEP for Block 101, Lots 12, 12.01, 1000 Riverview Drive, Waterfront Development Permit to legalize dock. Also received was the July 2011 issue of the New Jersey Planner.

Next was a letter from Donald and Ann Yerks requesting lifting of a deed restriction for 202 Lenape Trail. Mr. Rubino noted the Board had granted relief for a variance to go over lot coverage with a deed restriction and the applicant has requested the Board lift that restriction. The only way the Board can do this is through a formal application process. As Mrs. Yerks was in the audience, she asked for clarification that she needs to fill out the paperwork and notify owners within 200 feet as well as put a notice in the newspaper; Mr. Rubino confirmed that is what she must now do in order to ask for an amendment to her variance application from several years ago.

The next item received was a notice from Borough Administrator Thomas Nolan regarding Planning Board opinion on the proposed Ordinance amending Chapter 10, Swimming Pools. Mr. Rubino explained this is the issue before the Board due to the Sports Club. Mr. Kenneally, an objector, found this Ordinance regarding swimming pools and raised the argument that this application required a Use Variance due to this Ordinance.

The application was then carried and, after Mr. Rubino reviewed the Ordinance, he found it to be outdated as the Governing Body cannot confer any other power on the Planning or Zoning Board under the Land Use Statute; it is not allowed to be done and this Ordinance asks for it (it is an old Ordinance). Mr. Rubino agreed with the Governing Body that this Ordinance should be changed or repealed and the Governing Body will be addressing a repeal at their meeting of August 22nd. The only question is whether or not the Board is in agreement with this action and Mrs. Brisben has to send a report to Mr. Nolan on the Board's opinion.

Mr. Keneally was in the audience and wanted to address the Board before this was done; Mr. Rubino said he can speak but to please keep it brief. Mr. Keneally said he was at this meeting to comment on the role of the Municipal Land Use Law and if this Ordinance to be repealed is consistent with the Master Plan. In 1972 there was a provision called "special exception", this was before the Municipal Land Use Law came into being. The question is if this is a Conditional Use or Use Variance, having a swimming pool in this zone. Public Swimming Pool is a defined term, as well as the permitted uses in the different zones and a pool is not listed as a permitted use in the Commercial Zone; the Board tonight has to decide whether to agree to repeal this in keeping with the Master Plan.

In 2006 the Master Plan was updated and it addressed going forward in the Commercial Zone; on page 10 it states the town needs to decide what can be a permitted use in the Commercial Zone and listed items that are now antiquated and should be eliminated, as well as the uses to be allowed.

At this point Mr. Rubino stopped Mr. Keneally and again explained that he has to be brief. He said the Board cannot act with this Ordinance in Chapter 10 and the Governing Body wants to repeal it, this is a different category; the Board will issue its report to Mayor and Council and that is the end.

Mr. Stenson agreed with Mr. Rubino and polled the Board; all members were in agreement that it should be repealed; Mayor Nicol stated he spent a lot of time on this with the professionals and conferences and felt the Ordinance should be repealed. On that note, Councilman Garruzzo made a motion to support the Governing Body's proposed action on the repeal, this seconded by Mrs. Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, James Harman, James Langenberger, John O'Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale

Noes: None

Mrs. Brisben was authorized to send a report of the Board findings to the Borough Administrator, Mr. Stenson announced that the Brielle Sports Club hearing will be carried to the meeting of September 13, 2011 without further notice.


As there was no Old Business, the Board then turned to an application for Variance for Block 1.01, Lot 8, 401 Lenape Trail, owned by James Barrett, to allow construction of a new front porch to an existing dwelling. Front Yard Setback - 30 feet required, 12.5 feet proposed, 17.5 foot variance requested.

Fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified. Mr. James Barrett came forward and was sworn in. A plan done by Acre Surveying Co., dated August, 2011, was marked as Exhibit A-1.

Mr. Barrett stated this is a corner lot so he has two front setbacks to contend with; he wants to extend the porch and will need another 6 feet so he needs a variance; this will bring about 72 square feet into this area. He said the home is in bad condition and he wants to fix it up as it seems to fit in the neighborhood; he does not want to tear it down and stated the porch will be consistent with the area as well. This house fits in the rear of the lot and the lot has some funky corners to it, they have no room to change anything in the back so they are coming out the front. The house is on the corner of Lenape Trail and Laurel Road and has no back yard. He said the porch will not have railings or walls, it will have a metal roof and between will be a stone veneer; he felt this addition will also benefit the neighborhood.

Mr. Sarnasi asked if he is extending the existing front porch and Mr. Barrett said the existing porch was made part of the house which is about 1,500 square feet in size. Mr. Harman asked how high the porch floor will be from the ground and the answer was less than 18 inches. Mr. Langenberger asked if he would have a problem with a deed restriction never allowing it to be enclosed and Mr. Barrett said he would have no problem with such a restriction. Mayor Nicol asked if this home was half in Brielle and half in Wall and Mr. Barrett said yes, but the Assessor's Line puts the home in Brielle and that is where he pays taxes.

As there were no more Board questions, Mr. Stenson opened the hearing to the public for questions. Mrs. Yerks wanted to know if this will be a one story addition or two story and Mr. Barrett said it will be a one story addition. As there were no more questions the hearing was then opened for general comments; there were none so the Board went into discussion.

The Board did not have a problem with this application as long as there was a deed restriction. Mr. Hilla noted one small error on the plan, it states the porch is 8 feet out and it is 10 feet, as his reports notes; his report is correct.

As all Board members were in favor of granting this variance request, Councilman Garruzzo made a motion to approve this application, as presented with the deed restriction not allowing the porch to ever be enclosed, this seconded by Mr. Harman and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, James Harman, James Langenberger, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, James Stenson, Terre Vitale

Noes: None

Before adjourning for the evening, Mrs. Brisben asked Mr. Rubino to comment on paperwork she had just received Monday regarding a change to plans for a variance approved back in 2009; she had distributed copies to the Board members. Mr. Rubino explained that he had spoken to Mr. Aikens, the attorney who wrote the request and who had an issue with the wording in the Resolution. It was decided by the attorneys that new plans should be submitted to the Zoning Officer for a determination if this has to come back before the Board or not, it is a change in grading/landscaping for property on Crescent Drive.

As there was no further business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Mayor Nicol to adjourn, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.
Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary