A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

January 8th, 2013

February 22 2013

Organization meeting


The Reorganizational meeting of the Brielle Planning/Zoning Board was held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Brielle Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane. After a moment of silent prayer and a salute to the flag, roll call was taken:

Present Mayor Thomas B. Nicol, Councilman Frank A. Garruzzo, Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O’Donnell, James Stenson, Terre Vitale

Absent Gina Murdoch, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Nicholas Stango

Also present were Michael Rubino, Board Attorney, and Claire Odud of Birdsall Services, Board Engineer and Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. There were 8 people in the audience.

Mr. Condon opened the meeting and declared a quorum present. He announced that, in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, notice of this Body’s 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 12/31/13
Class II - James Langenberger through 12/31/13
Class III Frank A. Garruzzo through 12/31/13
Class IV Charles Sarnasi through 12/31/16
Alternate No. 1 Gina Murdoch through 12/31/14
(Note John O’Donnell becomes Regular Member to replace James Harman who resigned).

Mr. Rubino swore in all the members (other than Mr. Sarnasi & Mrs. Murdoch who were absent) and congratulated them on their new terms. The Board wished Mr. Harman well in his endeavors and he will be missed.

It was then time for the election of officers for the year 2013. Councilman Garruzzo nominated Thomas Condon to the position of Chairperson, this seconded by Mrs. Vitale. As there were no other nominations this was closed and Mr. Condon was elected Chairperson by unanimous vote, all aye, no nays. Mr. Condon then nominated James Stenson to the position of Vice-Chairperson, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo. As there were no other nominations this was closed and Mr. Stenson was elected Vice-Chairperson by unanimous vote, all aye, no nays. Mr. Condon then nominated Terre Vitale to the position of Secretary of the Board, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo. As there were no other nominations this was closed and the Mrs. Vitale was elected by unanimous vote, all aye, no nays.

The following Resolutions were then presented for approval:


“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 2013 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, 2013 to December 31, 2013); and

WHEREAS, Michael Rubino has proposed to provide legal services and Alan Hilla, Jr. of Birdsall Services Group has proposed to provide engineering services; 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 2013 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.”


“WHEREAS, there is a need for an Administrative Secretary and a Recording Secretary for the Brielle Planning/Zoning Board, and

WHEREAS, the Board has money in the Salary Ordinance to cover the expenses associated with these positions,

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that Colleen Castronova be appointed Administrative Secretary for the year 2013 at a salary of $5,000 and Karen Brisben be appointed as Recording Secretary for the year 2013 at a salary of $5,000.”

A motion was made by Mrs. Vitale to approve the above Resolutions, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously, all aye, no nays.

The Minutes of the December 131, 2012 meeting were unanimously approved on a motion by Mayor Nicol, seconded by Mr. Stenson and unanimously approved, all aye, no nays.


A request for an extension was received from Richard & Myra Strucek to extend subdivision approval for 528 Longstreet Avenue. Mr. Rubino said this subdivision approval is under the Permit Extension Act so they still have time to perfect the subdivision, however, he recommended a letter be written to them to ask again for this extension at the end of this year in case the Permit Extension Act ends earlier at the discretion of the State. The Board can give 3 one year extensions and, in today’s times, the Legislature feels it’s a wise move. Mr. Condon asked about wetlands being approval being part of this act and Mr. Rubino said it’s the applicant’s obligation if they received wetlands approval when they first came before the Board.

The same request was received from Robert Brkal for site plan work for 501 Union Avenue and the Board was also agreeable to granting this one year extension.

On file in the Board Office: Monmouth County Road Plan Resolution


As there was no Old Business to attend to, the Board then turned to an application for Site Plan approval for Block 52, Lots 2-8.01, Hoffman’s Marina West, LLC, 608 Green Avenue to allow construction of a swimming pool.

The application fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified. Mr. C. Keith Henderson, Esq. came forward to represent Mr. Larry Grafas, the owner of the marina, known as Hoffman’s Marina West. He had two witnesses who will testify and said the ownership of this marina has changed recently, it was in the Ziemba family for many years.

He then called Larry Grafas, Principal of the LLC, to come forward and be sworn in. Mr. Grafas said he took possession of this property in Jan. of 2012. He had 6 photos of what is being proposed at the marina and Mr. Rubino marked the following exhibits: Exhibit A-1 - The site plan itself; Exhibit A-2 an aerial photograph along the riverfront; Exhibit A-3, the series of photos of the property. Mr. Grafas said they have put in new docks and electricity as well as building new restrooms and a marine store. They have a demolition permit for the old building next door that has to come down, it us in bad shape with the floor leaning, it used to be a ship captain’s home but fell into disrepair and was currently being used as a “flop house”.
He testified that the pool they want to put in will be used by the slip holders of both marinas and will be open from May to September from 10 am to 8 pm. There are plans for further improvements but they will be down the road, this is all they are asking for now.

Mr. Henderson said they have applied to the Monmouth County Board of Health for approval of this pool and, if granted by this Board, they will submit the proper paperwork to that entity; they did not want to do the involved application & expense until approval was granted here. They have received “no interest” from the County Planning Board and are exempt from that requirement.

Mr. Grafas went on to say they will put in arborvitae along Green Avenue as a buffer. He then described the photos submitted, Exhibit A-3: the first 2 pictures are what was there, there are 2 pictures of the dredging that was done and the last two pictures are of what is there now; there is public access and a river walk. He said he grew up on the river, his Dad fished on the Norma K and his son now runs the fuel dock; he has put millions into this project and this will be a community by the river.

Mayor Nicol asked how deep the pool will be and the answer was 6 feet at the deepest, it will be a slow incline into the pool with no slides or diving board and will be by the edge overlooking the boats; there will be a lifeguard on duty.

Councilman Garruzzo asked about storage lockers and Mr. Grafas said this pool will be used by the boat owners and they have facilities on their own boats, but there is a large bathroom and they have made provision for outdoor showers along with a washer & dryer for their use. He noted that last year they had 27 transient boats and this year they have 586 with people coming in to go to the restaurants. Mr. Langenberger asked about any issues with CAFRA or DEP and Mr. Henderson said they have CAFRA approval, they just need the County Board of Health okay.

Mr. Condon said he sees two entrances/exits to the pool and Mr. Grafas said this is correct. Mr. Condon then asked how this is to be regulated to only the boat owners use of the pool. Mr. Henderson said they plan to give out passes but are not exactly sure, at this time, how they are going to do this. Mr. Condon felt a key or card for access may be a suggestion and Mr. Rubino said that part of the Resolution of Approval will be that they submit a plan on how they are going to regulate the use of the pool. Mr. Henderson noted this is going to cost the slip holders more money for this pool and felt that this issue will be taken care of by them as well.

As there were no further questions to Mr. Grafas, the hearing was opened to the public for questions and, as there were none, that portion was closed. Mr. Tim Lurie, an Engineer and Professional Planner, then came forward and was sworn in. He said he is a Principal at DW Smith and has practiced 18 years across New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Virginia; the Board accepted him as an expert witness.

Mr. Lurie said he is the one that prepared the Site Plan which is west of the railroad tracks and east of Union Landing Restaurant. The pool will be 32x60 with a deck of 8-12 feet, it will be 25 feet from the bulkhead and will be fenced & landscaped. This property is in the C-2 Marine Commercial Zone and there are no setback requirements for the pool placement, it will be between two buildings. Mr. Henderson asked about the Birdsall Report, specifically items 2, 5 & 6. Mr. Lurie said as far as item 2, there is a concern about a low spot and that will be eliminated; item 5 references landscaping and they will plant arborvitaes; item 6 asks for information on fencing & ramp the fence will be a post fence of powdered white aluminum and will be 54 inches high. Mayor Nicol asked why 54 inches and Mr. Lurie said that is code. Mr. Langenberger thought a 4 foot fence is required but Mr. Lurie said that is for residential, this is commercial. Mr. Rubino noted that the Resolution will state the applicant will comply with all of the Engineer’s report.

Mr. Condon asked about the mechanicals for the pool and where they will go; Mr. Lurie said they will be located in the corner of the existing building behind the bathroom. Mr. Grafas said they will be hidden from view and will be blocked off.

As there were no further questions from the Board, the meeting was opened to the public for questions to Mr. Lurie as there were none, that portion was closed.

Mr. Henderson summed up the application by stating anyone who has walked that Marina sees a tremendous improvement to keep it as a true marina and there are no plans for the building of condominiums in this location, however, they plan to come back in the future for further improvements to the site.

The Board then went into discussion and Mrs. Vitale commented it looks great; Mayor Nicol and Councilman Garruzzo agreed. Mr. Langenberger noted that most marinas have a pool and he was okay with it, as well as Mr. Stenson, Mr. O’Donnell and Mr. Condon. At this time Mr. Langenberger made a motion to approve the application, with the stipulations as presented, this seconded by Mrs. Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O’Donnell, James Stenson, Terre Vitale

Noes: None

As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Stenson, seconded by Mrs. Vitale and unanimously approved by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 pm.

Karen Brisben, Recording Secretary