A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

April 10, 2012

July 17 2012

April 10, 2012



The regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:30pm in the Brielle Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane. After a moment of silence and a salute to the flag, roll call was taken:
Present - Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo,
James Harman, James Langenberger, Tim Sigler, James Stenson, Terre Vitale, Alternate Members Gina Murdoch, Nicholas Stango
Absent- Thomas Condon, John O’Donnell, Charles Sarnasi

Also present were Michael Rubino, Board Attorney, Glenn Lines from Lines Engineering, Carol McMenamy Alternate Board Secretary. There were approximately 18 people in the audience.

James Stenson called the meeting to order and declared a quorum. He announced that, in compliance with the Open Public Meeting 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 March 12th, 2012 meeting were approved on a motion by Tim Sigler, seconded by Terre Vitale and approved unanimously by voice vote, all aye.

As there were no correspondence and no old business, the board turned to other business. The informal hearing for possible minor subdivision for 613 Park Avenue was heard. Juliana Arnold of 613 Park Avenue began by stating some of the property’s history. Juliana’s grandparents passed the property down to her mother, Wendy. Juliana purchased the property two years ago from her mother. Mr. Rubino explained that the board in 2008 had denied the request for sub-division and unless they had a substantially different proposal, they could not come before the board again. Mr. Rubino asked if they had gained any more property or had the lot sizes changed. Ms. Arnold responded no they were not different. She had spoken to the neighbor and they do not wish to sell them. Mr. Rubino suggested to Ms. Arnold she should seek out a lawyer to look into whether she could go forward from a legal stand point. Mr. Rubino added if the applicant wished to proceed, a lawyer should provide a memo with sufficient case law. Councilman Garruzzo asked if Ms. Arnold could return with paperwork and/or an attorney either through formal or informal. Mr. Rubino replied yes she may. Mr. Rubino told Ms. Arnold she could get a memo to him ahead of time.

The Board then turned to new business an application for a variance for Block 18.01 Lot 16, 620 Harris Avenue owned by Christian Frerecks to allow construction of a front porch. Front yard setback 30 feet required, 21.5 feet proposed, 8.5 foot variance requested.

The fees had been paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper had been notified. Before starting this hearing, Mr. Langenberger had to step down due to his property’s proximity to the application’s property. Mr. Frerecks was sworn in by Mr. Rubino.

Mr. Frerecks gave some details of the look of the porch in which he hoped to build. Mr. Frerecks spoke to the surrounding neighbors and all spoke of their acceptance of his ideas. He entered a mock-up and pictures of the existing area as exhibits A1 and A2.

Mr. Stenson asked if the porch would go all the way across the entire front portion of the house. Mr. Frerecks replied no approximately three to four feet on each side and eight feet out. Mr. Frerecks brought pictures to show similar stuff has been done on either side. Councilman Garruzzo asked if Mr. Frerecks could explain exactly what he intended on building, are you doing 28 feet wide if the house is 30 feet about three feet from each end. Mr. Frerecks replied yes and open. Mr. Stenson stated the Board would need more information and drawings of the dimensions of the porch. Councilman Garruzzo continued open, just a roof coming out 8 feet from your door. Mr. Frerecks said yes 8 or 8 ½ feet. Mr. Stenson added Mr. Frerecks should be very specific and add something to the drawing. Mr. Rubino told Mr. Frerecks that the Board would carry this over until the May 8th, 2012 meeting and he should return with drawing of exact details.

The Board then resumed old business, the continuation of application for site plan approval for Block 65.01 Lot 8, 629 Higgins Avenue, owned by M. Holtzman Realty, LLC (applicant Brielle Sports Club), to allow construction of an indoor swimming pool. Before starting this hearing, there was a shift in the Board members. Councilman Garruzzo, Mr. Harman and Mrs. Vitale stepped down due to their memberships with the Sports Club. Mr. Langenberger returned to the dais.

Mr. Roger McLaughlin came forward to represent Joe Penniplede, the owner of the Sports Club. Mr. McLaughlin introduced Mr. Richard Arzberger, from Sonnenfeld and Trocchia Architects on 53 Main Street, Holmdel, NJ. Mr. Arzberger was sworn in by Mr. Rubino. Mr. Stenson accepted Mr. Arzberger’s qualifications. Mr. Langenberger asked what was the amended application. Mr. McLaughlin responded a variance for the buffer requirement. Mr. Arzberger entered floor plan of proposed addition (A2) and colored elevations of the proposed addition (A3) into exhibits along with last month’s site plan (A1). Mr. Rubino stated the board received a letter which would not be read out loud but would be put in the file. Mr. Arzberger gave details of his proposed plan. The addition would consist of restrooms, mechanics room, office and the bulk of the addition would be the pool area, surrounding deck area and also a small mezzanine area located above the locker rooms and bathrooms. The building would be in keeping with the look of the existing building. The elevation of the proposed addition illustrates in keeping with the rest of the building a one on twelve pitched roof which would be a metal roof. The rear of the building would have no windows. There would be double doors in the rear to gain access to the pool’s mechanics and emergency doors. The total addition is 116ft.4in. X 69ft.2in. The pool would be 50 X 75 ft. Mr. McLaughlin asked Mr. Arzberger to describe the public entrance and exits of the pool area. Mr. Arzberger detailed the public entrance primarily from the existing building where there are locker rooms which the clients would change in and travel through an internal hallway to get to the pool. Mr. McLaughlin asked Mr. Arzberger the height of the elevation. Mr. Arzberger responded the proposed height is 33ft. 4in. which is the highest point. The HVAC units would be above the existing building. Mr. McLaughlin asked if the addition is located more than 50 foot away from the residential property line. Mr. Arzberger answered that is correct. Mr. McLaughlin questioned Mr. Arzberger if there was anything about the conditions of the proposed addition that would require a buffer variance. Mr. Arzberger replied no there is not. Mr. Arzberger continued that in his professional opinion there was no determent to the zone plan and no negative impact on the adjoining properties because the proposed addition acts as a screen from the activity which will take place on the northern side. By locating the addition where they did it minimized the impact on the adjoining area.

Mr. McLaughlin addressed questions he felt would be asked of Mr. Arzberger. Mr. Arzberger replied that his charge in reference to the design of the pool was to integrate the existing facility with minimal disruption to what was occurring in the original building. There were three spaces on the original building which needed to be maintained but there was an opportunity to build a internal corridor through from the locker rooms and the other facility which would link the two. The hallway was original straight and now it is shifted back 8ft. allowing for compliance with the 50ft. buffer but less landscaping in the northern area.

Mr. Arzberger spoke about the mezzanine. They decided to take advantage of extra space by creating an observation area. It will be located above the small men’s and women’s locker rooms. The area will be approx. 18X40 ft. including stairs and a small storage area. Mr. McLaughlin asked the occupancy capacity. Mr. Arzberger responded up to 49 people. Mr. McLaughlin asked if he was asked to design a grand stand or area to accommodate large quantities of people. Mr. Arzberger responded No what drove the whole addition was a required certain pool size, adequate area required around the pool for pool deck and sufficient amount of support area such as for the mechanics, office and locker rooms.

The hearing was opened to questions from the board. Mr. Langenberger asked why wouldn’t a variance be needed, if the existing building is non-conforming. Mr. McLaughlin replied there are two thoughts on this situation. One thought is even though the existing building may have a problem if you could construct something that would not require a variance why should you have to ask for a variance. And two is if there is an existing non-conformity then everything else you do would require a variance. Mr. Rubino added that from his research there is no right or wrong answer because the courts have ruled both ways.

Mr. Stango inquired about how often the main area in the back will be used. Mr. Arzberger answered a van would most likely be using the back entrance to enter the mechanical room but he was unsure of the frequency. Mr. McLaughlin added the pool would be a salt water pool which would require less work than other pools.

Mr. Stenson questioned the locker rooms. Mr. Arzberger said the locker rooms would consist of two-fixture bathrooms and small locker area. Then Mr. Stenson asked what kind of seating would be in the observation area. Mr. Arzberger responded most likely folding chairs.

Mrs. Murdoch asked about the doors in the rear of the building. Mr. Arzberger explained those doors are existing emergency exits.

At this time the hearing was opened for questions to Mr. Arzberger and Mr. Keneally came forward and asked if he was charged with the designing for the applicant. Mr. Arzberger said yes. Mr. Keneally asked if he was given the size of the pool. Mr. Arzberger replied yes. Mr. Keneally asked why that size. Mr. Arzberger stated the size and design was based upon having a certain number of lanes, certain width per lane, and required length for that particular sport. Mr. Keneally then asked what dictated the size. Mr. Arzberger replied could be used for competitive purposes. Mr. Keneally asked could a health club have a smaller pool. Mr. Arzberger said it depends what the health club wanted to use it for. Two sources supplied the need for this size pool. One being the request of the client and two publications that were used which give standard sizes and configurations and lay-outs for standard size pools. Mr. Keneally asked standard competitive size pool. Mr. Arzberger responded he did not know whether the publications distinguished competitive or just swimming pools. Mr. Keneally asked if the width of the pool was dictated by a person who is training. Mr. Arzberger said it depends it could be dictated by the number of people using it at the same time or classes that have a certain number of people. Mr. Arzberger did not know if there were any other pools similar to this in this area or if there were any that close in proximity to a residential area. Mr. Keneally asked if the same pool could be constructed without the elevated ceiling height. Mr. Arzberger answered I guess it could. Mr. McLaughlin objected to the question because the height was not in question. Mr. Keneally asked the building requires a variance to be expanded, correct. Mr. McLaughlin objected to the question and stated that is not true. Mr. Keneally asked the height of the addition. After rough calculations, Mr. Arzberger corrected his earlier statement of the height being 33ft. 4in. to 23ft. Mr. Keneally asked Mr. Arzberger what input he had on the placement of the addition and He responded I did the original site layout. Mr. Keneally added did you look at alternative locations for the pool. Mr. Arzberger said yes there were two others besides the one sited. The addition being rotated 90 degrees and move further to the north (towards the street). In the plan chosen, the building acts as a buffer. Mr. Keneally questioned the ability with the site plan to go around the entire building by a vehicle. Mr. Arzberger stated an emergency vehicle could not go around the entire building and would not need to access the building in that manner. Mr. Langenberger interjected by saying that a fire truck would never be placed behind the building in an emergency situation. He continued that it is an unsafe practice to place a fire truck behind the building. Mr. Keneally had several questions in reference to the landscaping. Mr. McLaughlin said the landscaping questions must be addressed to the landscaping expert. Mr. Keneally’s final question was could the mechanics be moved. Mr. Arzberger replied no, not enough space.

Mr. Stanley Dickerson, 618 Locust Road, came forward was sworn in by Mr. Rubino and started by saying he had serious concerns about the possibility of disturbance to the sub surface water flow. He then asked why the pool needs to be 10ft. deep. Mr. Arzberger answered his understanding of it is that you need 10ft. to dive into the water. He continued with not to say there will be a diving platform but it is required just to dive into the water. Mr. Rubino asked if the entire pool was ten feet. Mr. Arzberger was unsure if the whole pool would be ten feet because that had not yet been planned but that was the deepest point. Mr. Dickerson wanted to know when it would be determined which way the water flows. Mr. Arzberger responded prior to commencing construction documentation, we require a sub surface investigation. Mr. Dickerson added and if you have a water flow which you would be interrupting, what would you do. Mr. Arzberger said you could use various sumps and other techniques.

Noni Dickerson, 618 Locust Road, came forward was sworn in by Mr. Rubino and asked why the building has to be so tall. Mr. Arzberger answered it is not that tall from his understanding that is standard for a facility like that. Then she asked if he would want to look out his back window and see that. Actually, Mr. Arzberger said, it is pretty unobtrusive. In his opinion the less appealing plan would be to put parking back there. Ms. Dickerson wondered what color would the back of the building be, mustard yellow? Mr. Arzberger responded it would match the rest of the building. Mayor Nicol asked if the applicant would be willing to paint it a different color. Mr. McLaughlin said if it would please the board.

Mr. Scott Frith, 605 Sandy Court, came forward was sworn in by Mr. Rubino. What acts as a buffer to the southern most home? Mr. Arzberger said the proposed parking area ends around 80ft. from the property line on the western side and there is a wooded area so that in combination with the vegetation will serve as that buffer. Mr. Frith wanted to know in Mr. Arzberger‘s opinion is it useful to watch people exercise. He responded it could be.

Mr. Carl DeMarco, 630 Locust Road, came forward was sworn in by Mr. Rubino and inquired about the cost of the project. Mr. Stenson told Mr. DeMarco that was not an appropriate question. Mr. DeMarco wanted to know why it would be a detriment to put the parking in the back. Mr. Arzberger detailed the safety issues of parking in the back of the building at night.

Mr. Stenson closed the public questioning portion of the meeting.

Mr. Langenberger added if you shifted the building forward and put parking in the rear, you would possibly be adding lighting and extend further into the buffer. Mr. McLaughlin agreed.

Mr. Stenson asked the board if they had further comments. No member had any further comments. At this time Mr. Stenson noted the Board had spent 60 minutes on this application and it will now be carried to the May 8th meeting without further notice.

A motion to adjourn was made Mayor Nicol and seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.