Borough of Brielle, NJ
| August 14, 2012
August 14th, 2012
|August 14th, 2012
BRIELLE PLANNING BOARD
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2012
The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 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
Absent – Thomas Condon, John O’Donnell, Terre Vitale
Also present were Michael Rubino, Board Attorney, Claire Odud from Birdsall Engineering Services, and Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. There were 10 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 10, 2012 meeting were approved on a motion by Mayor Nicol, seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously by voice vote, all aye with Councilman Garruzzo abstaining.
A copy of a notice to the NJDEP was received for Block 61, Lots 6, 6.01, 22 Crescent Drive, owned by Michael Centrella, to legalize the mislocation of the existing dock, mooring piles, boatlift & floating dock. Also received was the May-June issue of the NJ Planner.
As there was no Old Business to attend to, the Board turned to an application for variance approval for Block 35.01, Lot 20, 613 Brielle Avenue, owned by Robert & Carol Imgrund, to allow construction of an addition to the rear of a single-family dwelling. Side Setback – 8 feet required, 5.59 feet (right side) proposed, 2.41 foot variance requested. Lot Coverage – 20% maximum allowed, 20.6% proposed, .6% 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 properly notified. Mr. Robert Imgrund came forward and was sworn in.
He explained that they wanted to do this addition years ago but did not; now his wife has Alzheimer’s and he wants to make the addition for a bedroom for her as well as two more upstairs. This is an old farmhouse that is over 100 years old and they need closet space.
He said he omitted the Bilco door on the plans and spoke to the Zoning Officer about this; Mr. Lines told him it would be an additional .005% feet or 35 more square feet. Mr. Rubino calculated the new lot coverage to be 21.1% and marked a revised drawing showing the Bilco door as Exhibit A-1, it was a two-page drawing so it was marked Exhibit A-1 and Exhibit A-2; Mr. Imgrund said the Bilco door is 5x7 feet.
Councilman Garruzzo asked if the side yard setback was pre-existing and the answer was yes but the other side has about 12 feet. Mr. Rubino asked him if the addition is going out and Mr. Imgrund said yes, going out 16-18 feet, it will be a two-story addition with a complete unfinished basement which will match up to the existing house. They may end up with 16 feet instead of 18 feet but he wanted to ask for the 18 feet in case that works out better. Councilman Garruzzo asked if he has to be more specific but Mr. Rubino said he can ask for 18 feet and then do less but he can’t do more.
Mr. Sigler asked Mr. Imgrund if he had thought of taking off 4 feet to meet the requirements and Mr. Imgrund said no due to the location of the existing kitchen, he felt it was easier to go this way, there is also an existing bathroom.
Mr. Harman asked Mr. Imgrund if he had considered keeping within the lot coverage requirements and Mr. Imgrund said he had but decided they needed a fuller room with a bigger, handicapped bathroom.
As there were no more Board questions, the hearing was opened to the public for questions to Mr. Imgrund; as there were none, that portion was closed. The Board then went into discussion and all agreed for approval, no one had any problems with the application as presented with the revision of the Bilco door.
The hearing was again opened to the public, this time for general comments and there was no response so that portion was closed.
Councilman Garruzzo then made a motion to approve the application, as presented, this seconded by Mr. Stenson 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
The Board then turned to an application for a Minor Subdivision for Block 22.01, Lot 31, 630 Park Avenue owned by Estate of George Wiggs, applicants – Larry & Nicole Pall; two conforming lots to be created with no variances. The proper fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified.
Larry Pall and Nicole Pall, his daughter, came forward and were sworn in. They are under contract to purchase this property and part of that contract is that they would take on the demolition of the existing home and then purchase one of the lots, which would create two 75x150 foot conforming lots. The homes to be built on these new lots will conform to the Zoning Ordinance requirements, there are no variances being asked for now and there won’t be in the future.
The engineer’s report requested a discussion on any water runoff but Mr. Pall said the neighbors have not had any issues with water/sewer problems. Mr. Rubino explained that when they plan on building the plans have to be submitted to the Engineer for review and Mr. Pall said okay.
Councilman Garruzzo commented that if two conforming lots are to be created it would be okay and the rest of the Board agreed it is a straightforward minor subdivision. Mr. Langenberger told them to watch out for drywells in the back.
At this time the hearing was opened to the public for questions and, as there were none, that portion was closed. The Board had no further comments to make on this application and Mr. Rubino asked if the subdivision was going to be filed by deed; Mr. Pall said yes. Ms. Odud said she would need copies of the subdivision and will let him know how many copies she would need.
The hearing was again opened to the public, this time for comments and, as there were none, that portion was closed. Councilman Garruzzo then made a motion for approval, as presented, this seconded by Mr. Sigler 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
The Board then turned to an application for variance approval for Block 59, Lot 11 & 11.01, 8 Crescent Drive, owned by Brian Kimmins, to allow construction of a new single-family home. Side Setback – 10 feet required, 4.58 (west side) & 4.75 feet (east side) proposed, 5.42 feet & 5.25 feet variance requested. Lot Coverage – 20% maximum permitted, 25% proposed. Lot Width – 75 feet required, 59.79 feet existing & proposed. Lot Area – 11,250 square feet required, 10,319 square feet existing & proposed.
The proper fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and property owners within 20 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified.
Kevin Starkey, Esq. came forward to represent Mr. Kimmins. He said this property is on the water side of Crescent Drive with an existing home on a 60 foot wide lot which creates issues as it is undersized. The lot to the east if also undersized and has a home on it and the lot to the west is 105 feet in width; he wrote to that homeowner to request purchasing a piece of that property and received a letter back stating that the whole lot can be purchased but not part of it.
Mr. Langenberger commented that he knows that the two bungalows down the street are coming down; Mr. Starkey said the lot next to this one belongs to the Harms family, the one that is 105 feet wide which is being rented now.
Mr. Starkey said his client closed on this several months ago, is planning on getting married next month and would like to live there. He then asked the architect to come forward and Mr. Jeff Schneider was sworn in. He is licensed in New Jersey and Vermont and has done projects in Brielle, he has been an architect since 2003 and has testified before Bay Head and Brick. He is familiar with the zoning in Brielle and has designed homes here; the Board accepted him as an expert witness.
Mr. Rubino had marked as Exhibit A-2 a plan of the Kimmins residence. Mr. Schneider said this home was built in the 1940s and has been added to which now makes it a “collection of spaces” and it is hard to work with this home. He referred to Exhibit A-2 and said the pink outline is the existing home and the hatched area is the proposed home. The house is oddly configured now and they have had rain problems.
He said Mr. Kimmins approached him and wanted a house where he could raise children, basic spaces on the first level and 3 bedrooms on the second floor; Mr. Schneider said the home he designs will fit into the neighborhood and will be a shingle style using the same side yard setbacks that exist now. The home will be bigger than what is there now and he had a rendering of it which was marked as Exhibit A-3; a proposed floor plan of the first level and then north elevation from the street – it will have wood siding & wood shingles and will fit within the height restrictions. The issues are the sides and lot coverage.
He said this home to be built will be comparable to the other homes in the neighborhood, maybe even more modest. The variances needed are driven by the size of the lot; they are trying to match what is there already. He said this plan will not impair the Zoning Ordinance or the Master Plan.
Mr. Starkey asked Mr. Schneider is there is sufficient side yard space for emergency vehicles & equipment and the answer was yes. He said the current home is at 24.38% coverage and they are proposing approximately 64 more square feet. He said this comes from making the garage bigger that what is there now and the kitchen will be larger, these add up to 64 more square feet.
Mr. Sigler noted the house is being torn down, so why can’t they build within the building envelope and Mr. Schneider said that, due to the size of the lot they would have a narrow and tall house. Mr. Sigler asked if the other homes infringe on their side yard setbacks and Mr. Schneider said he did not know.
Mr. Sarnasi asked how large the home will be in square feet, not including the basement and the answer was 2,580 square feet including the 550 square foot garage as well as the proposed porch. He anticipated the upstairs to be about 75% of the floor below, there may be some space on a third level. Mr. Langenberger figured this to be 5,000 square feet in total coverage and Mr. Schneider said maybe 4,500 square feet all totaled. Mr. Langenberger said that makes 25% lot coverage and he was concerned with this; if the garage were scaled down the property can be closer to compliance. He has been in this home and agreed the rooms were not in practical order but he still felt they can reduce the garage. Mr. Schneider did not feel much would be achieved by doing that.
Mr. Starkey said they did explore renovations but it is a hodge-podge house and they felt a new home will improve the area. If they gutted and renovated they would still have the same lot coverage so they opted for a new home.
As there were no more Board questions the meeting was opened to the public for questions to the architect and, as there were none, that portion was closed. Mr. Brian Kimmins then came forward and was sworn in.
He said he has grown up in Brielle and has been trying to purchase a property on Crescent Drive for a long time and finally found this one. He explored the option of trying to conform but could not come up with anything that would fit in. They kept coming with a boxy look and, if they move the garage, the house will look off-center. He said he is planning on living in the home and not selling it.
As there were no Board questions, the hearing was opened to the public for input and there was no response so that portion was closed and the Board went into discussion.
Mr. Sigler felt it was a buildable lot and a house could be built that would conform, the lot coverage is too high and he would not be in favor of it. Councilman Garruzzo felt differently, the existing house is already at 24% and a new home will look better – even though it is 1% more in coverage he did not think it was adversarial. Mayor Nicol also did not have a problem with the application. Mr. Stenson agreed the request was reasonable and he would be for approval. Mr. Sarnasi agreed with Mr. Sigler and felt that if you are taking down a home you can stay within the zoning requirements. The homes there are cramped and he did not want to see a large home put on a smaller lot and felt a home can be built to be in compliance.
Mr. Harman said he has seen this area evolve and saw a hardship here; he would be in favor of it. Mr. Langenberger was familiar with the existing home and realizes it would be difficult to work with. There are two bungalows down the street that are to be taken down and if the Board grants this he sees a problem in the future. He thinks 25% can be shaved down to perhaps 23.5%, he felt for the applicant but is not in favor of overbuilding and would vote no.
At this time the hearing was opened to the public and Peter Symonowicz of 3 Crescent Drive came forward and was sworn in. He felt the home at 1 Crescent was overbuilt on the lot and felt the Board should stick with the zoning regulations. Mr. Rubino stated this application is for 8 Crescent Drive, not 1 Crescent Drive and please address his remarks for 8 Crescent. Mr. Symonowicz said he thought this house was rebuilt in the 1990s and a new roof has been put on. Mr. Stenson asked if he was objecting to this application and the answer was yes, the Board should stick to the zoning.
Nicholas Condon was next to come forward, he resides at 15 Crescent Drive and wanted to comment on Mr. Langenberger’s remarks about the bungalows. Mr. Kimmin’s house has existing variances, the cabins that are there, if taken down, are not going to be rebuilt; he felt it was a totally different issue.
As there were no further comments from the public, that portion was closed and Mayor Nicol made a motion to approve the application, as presented, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, James Harman, James Stenson
Noes: James Langenberger, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler
Before closing for the evening, Janet Hendricks of Leslie Avenue came forward and asked if the Board had received an application for turning the corner of Homestead Road & Green Avenue into a parking lot – Mrs. Brisben told her she had heard of it also but no application has been submitted to the Board.
As there was no further business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Councilman Garruzzo to adjourn, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 pm.
Karen S. Brisben