A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

June 11th, 2013

July 19 2013

June 11, 2013


TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, June 11, 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 Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Thomas
Condon, James Langenberger, Gina Murdoch, Charles
Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, James Stenson, Terre Vitale

Absent John O’Donnell, Nicholas Stango

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

Chairman Condon 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 May 14, 2013 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously by voice vote, all aye.


A copy of a Coastal Wetlands Permit Application was received to allow retrieval and removal of debris that was deposited in coastal wetlands by Superstorm Sandy.


The Board turned to the Resolution of Approval for a Site Plan 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 pool. Mr. Stenson took over the Chair as Mr. Condon did not hear this application; Mr. Rubino also recused himself as he had a conflict of interest with this application & was not the Board Attorney in this matter; also recused were Councilman Garruzzo and Mrs. Vitale.

All eligible voting members had received both the original proposed Resolution with the changes (as discussed by attorneys McLaughlin and Pardes) underlined in red as well as the final clean copy. As there were no changes to the amended and final Resolution, the following was presented:
“WHEREAS, the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, County of Monmouth, has before it an application for Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval along with variances for Joseph Penniplede and on behalf of Brielle Sports Club, for property known as 629 Higgins Avenue, designated as Block 65.01, Lot 8, on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle, and the applicant having applied for site plan approval along with variances for an addition to the existing health club to house an indoor swimming pool and related facilities and the Board having reviewed architectural plans prepared by Sonnennfeld and Trocchia, Architects , P.A. and engineering plans prepared by Gilligan Engineering and the applicant having appeared before the Board and being represented by Roger Mclaughlin, Esq. and the Board having held hearings on March 12, 2012, April 10, 2012, May 8, 2012, December 11, 2012 and April 9, 2013, and
WHEREAS, the Board considered the report on the application submitted by Alternate Board Engineer Glenn D. Lines and considered the testimony offered by the Applicant and Applicant’s witnesses and of the objectors; and
WHEREAS, the Board has jurisdiction of the matter as a result of the applicable Ordinances of the Borough, adopted pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, Chapter 291, Law of 1975, as amended and supplemented, and the Board having considered the matter at public hearings as set forth above, and the Board having made the following findings of fact:
1. The property in question consists of one lot located on the west side of Higgins Avenue in the Borough’s C-1A Gateway Zone. The 4.26 acre lot currently contains the Brielle Sports Club, a 227 space parking lot and a liquor store. The current uses are permitted in the C-1A Zone. The Applicant is proposing to construct a 7,988 square-foot addition on the south side of the existing building within the existing parking lot to house a swimming pool, locker rooms and a 720 square-foot mezzanine. The parking lot will be modified to add 14 spaces to partially compensate for the 18 spaces being lost.
2. The Applicant initially proposed a 8,221 square foot addition to house a six lane Junior Olympic size pool 75 feet in length by 50 feet in width. The addition as originally proposed would also have had a mezzanine area which applicant stated would be used as a seating area for observers of the activity in the swimming pool. Because of the size of the swimming pool, and the existence of the mezzanine seating/observation area, objectors and Board members were concerned that the swimming pool, intended for use by members of the health club, would also be made available for extensive use for swimming competitions by local schools and/or organization swimming teams As a result of such concerns, the Applicant redesigned the proposal to eliminate the mezzanine and reduce the size of the swimming pool to 75 feet in length by 32 feet in width. Furthermore, the overall size of the addition was reduced from 8,221 square feet to 7,988 square feet. A racquetball court has also been added to the plans
3. The Applicant testified that use of the swimming pool would be offered to Health Club members at an additional charge but that use of the swimming pool would not be offered to non-member individuals on a separate fee basis, nor would it be offered to non-members on a summer seasonal fee basis. The Board finds that the testimony of the Applicant as to these restrictions alleviates Board concerns as to the extent of non-member use of the swimming pool and assures that the proposed swimming pool will be an adjunct to the existing health club use and will not constitute a new principal use. The Board therefore determined that the addition of the swimming pool does not constitute a separate principal use requiring a use variance. .
4. The variances sought by the Applicant as stated on the proposed site plan are (a) a 31 foot plus or minus existing buffer between a commercial property and an adjacent residential zone where a 50 foot buffer is required; and (b) landscaping is proposed to be 6.83 percent exclusive of buffer area where 20 percent is required for commercial property. The Applicant’s Engineer testified that none of the business properties in Brielle are capable of satisfying the landscaping requirement. The Board does require, however, as a condition of this approval that additional landscaping be provided in the rear of the addition to supplement the existing vegetation and replace vegetation that has died, as necessary.
The Board is aware that there is a conflict in case law regarding whether a variance is required for a conforming addition to a nonconforming building. The Board is of the opinion that no variance is required; however, even if a variance is required, the Board finds that there is adequate basis for the granting of the variance, pursuant to N.J.S. 40:55D-2g,, as a means of providing space in an appropriate location for a desirable recreational use. The proposed addition will comply with the 50 foot buffer requirement and it is only the existing building that is not in compliance with the buffer requirement. Approval of the addition does not exacerbate the nonconformity nor would the denial of the application cure the nonconformity.
5. Objectors expressed concerns about the location of the mechanical equipment on the roof top of the building. Applicant’s revised plans indicated that the mechanicals would be relocated further away from the neighboring residences to the rear of the subject property.
6. The Board Alternate Engineer questioned the accessibility of loading spaces to the rear of the building if the addition is constructed. Applicant testified that loading is done from the front of the building as large trucks will not fit in the rear and further that there is no need for loading from tractor trailers. The rear loading spaces are therefore unnecessary.
7. Neighbors questioned the location of the proposed addition and suggested that it be moved farther forward on the property. The Applicant testified that constructing the addition in the location proposed would provide a better parking arrangement. The Board further finds that moving the building further to the front of the property would require placing parking in the rear of the addition which would encroach into the buffer and require more lighting in that area. The Board therefore finds that the location as proposed by the Applicant is preferable.
8. The applicant originally proposed to green bank eight parking spaces as a means of complying with the required number of parking spaces. As a result of the reduction of the square footage of the addition, a recalculation of the required number of parking spaces for all of the uses on the property was conducted and showed that the property, with the addition, will meet the required number of parking spaces. Green banked parking spaces are, therefore, no longer necessary. The Board finds that the number of spaces provided will adequately serve the use with the addition.
NOW , THEREFORE, , BE IT RESOLVED, that the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle hereby grants Preliminary and Final Site Plan and Variance approval
to Joseph Penniplede (Brielle Sports Club) for the proposed addition at 629 Higgins Avenue, Block 65.01, Lot 6 subject to the following general and specific conditions:
1. Subject to the development here at issue being undertaken in accordance with the testimony presented to the Board and the plans submitted to and approved by the Board.
2. Subject to the testimony of all witnesses called on behalf of the Applicant being true and accurate.
3. Subject to the application, all attachments thereto, and all exhibits offered by the applicant being accurate depictions of that which they purport to represent.
4. The Applicant shall furnish proof that taxes have been paid through the current quarter and through the quarter in which he receives his initial construction permit.
5. Subject to the Applicant paying in full all application fees, review fees, engineering and consulting fees, and escrows. Subject to the Applicant posting required performance bonds and/or guarantees, as well as engineering and inspection fees, in amounts fixed by the Board and/or Borough Engineers, and in such form as shall be acceptable to the Borough Attorney and governing body.
6. Subject to the applicant obtaining and complying with the approval of any other reviewing agency having jurisdiction over the property and/or the project, including but not limited to the Board of Health, the Borough Engineer, the Borough Fire Official, and any County, State, or Federal agency; provided, however that in the event that any other agency or authority shall require any changes in the plans herein approved, then any such changes must be submitted to this Board for review and approval. Further, if another governmental agency grants a waiver or variance of a regulation, which same affects this approval or any condition attached hereto, or otherwise requires any changes in the plans herein approved, then this matter shall be brought back before the Board for review of any such action, and the Board shall have the right to modify this approval and/or the conditions attached hereto.
1. The applicant shall comply with all the provisions of the engineering review letter of Glenn D. Lines, P.E., P.P., C.M.E. of Lines Engineering, LLC dated April 3, 2013 unless specifically waived or modified by the Board during the hearings.
2. The rooftop mechanicals shall be relocated further from the neighboring residences to the rear of the subject property per the testimony offered by the Applicant and as shown on the revised plan
3. Applicant shall add landscaping, to be approved by the Board’s engineer, in the rear of the proposed addition to supplement existing vegetation in the buffer area.
4. Site improvements on the north end of the site as shown on sheet 5 of 5 of the engineering plans shall be completed by the Applicant including but not limited to removal of old concrete curb and backfilling of the new granite block curbing.
5. The existing gas meter shall be relocated if required by the Borough Construction office.
6. Access to the building from the South side is to be removed.
7. The Applicant shall make a good faith effort to resolve with the property owner the repair or replacement of damaged fencing on the property. Applicant shall within thirty (30) days report to the appropriate Borough officials as to the results of such efforts
8. Applicant shall be responsible to remedy any additional underground or surface water runoff onto adjacent properties that may be caused by the construction of the addition and related improvements and any damage resulting therefrom,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that as this application for development proceeds, the Land Use Office of the Borough may, upon the request of the applicant and with the written advice of the Board Engineer, grant such changes as are necessary with respect to the approved site plan and improvements related thereto that are not substantional and the Board does hereby authorize the Land Use Officer with the advice of the Board Engineer to take such steps as are appropriate to protect the integrity of the site plan approval being herein conditionally granted and to insure compliance with the Borough of Brielle Land Use and Development Ordinances and the Mt. Laurel requirements as well as compliance with the Borough “Affordable Housing Trust Fund.” to the extent that any of the foregoing apply. Any substantial deviation in the opinion of the Engineer and/or Land Use Officer shall require a revised site plan application and plat to be submitted to this Board for its review and approval. Any non-substantial and/or minor changes permitted shall be placed upon a revised Preliminary Plat with same being signed and dated by the Applicant and the Applicant’s Engineer, as well as the Board Engineer and Land Use Officer indicating the changes made with the original being filed with the Land Use Office and a copy filed with the Land Use Office and the Planning Board Secretary and the Borough/Board Engineer.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the conditions set forth in this Site Plan Approval are not met by June 11, 2016 with the Site Plan having been executed by said date, then this application shall be listed on the Planning Board Agenda for the meeting of the following month for dismissal without prejudice unless the Applicant offers appropriate reasons for the delay, all of which may be considered at the discretion of the Board. It should be understood that this time limit, of an administrative nature herein, is not a representation or guaranty by the Planning Board as existing State Law may affect same and it continues to be the Applicant’s sole responsibility and obligation to comply with applicable law.
Further, this Board directs that the Land Use Office take whatever steps it may deem necessary to insure that restoration of this site to its original condition occurs if the development is deemed by the Land Use Office to be in substantial non-compliance with the standards of performance and the conditions set forth in this Resolution of the Planning Board (and/or Borough Ordinances) and that steps also be taken as may be deemed necessary by the Borough to place the responsibility of same financially and otherwise upon the Applicant and the principal involved as well as his heirs, successors and assigns.
A motion to accept the above Resolution was made by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mrs. Murdoch and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, James Langenberger, Gina Murdoch, Tim Sigler,
James Stenson

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Thomas Condon, Charles
Sarnasi, Terre Vitale


The Board then turned to an application for a variance for Block 96.01, Lot 4, 909 Jordan Drive, owned by Christopher & Courtney Matthaei, to allow construction of a pool in a front yard setback. Front Yard Setback 40 feet required, 7 feet proposed, variance requested for 33 feet.

The proper fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and the newspaper and property owners within 200 feet were properly notified. Courtney Matthaei came forward and was sworn in. She said a grading plan has been done and presented it to the Board; Mr. Rubino marked the application was Exhibit A-1 and the new grading plan as Exhibit A-2. She also submitted 15 photos of the property and they were marked, in unison, as Exhibit A-3.

Mrs. Matthaei explained they have to put the pool in a “front yard” location as they front on three streets, the front door is on Kingston Road so they will be using Sycamore Lane as the rear yard; the other street they front on is Jordan Drive. This location will make it farther from the neighbor to the north but it needs a variance. It will be a fiberglass pool which is faster to install and will be less disruptive to the neighbors and it will have a safety cover on it so it can be closed every night; she explained they have young children and there are others in the neighborhood so they feel this needs to be put in. The pool will be 16x36. She referred to Exhibit A-3, the photos, which show the areas of her property on Kingston Road, the side yard on Jordan Drive and the back on Sycamore Lane. Mr. Condon noted if the pool were turned the other way it would be more conforming and Mrs. Matthaei agreed but they would still need a variance as they only have 13 feet to work with and the way they presented it will be farther away from the neighbor, there is 27 feet to the neighbors’ property line. They will put in more new trees along with the ones already there when the pool is put in, they will be cypress trees.

Mr. Langenberger asked if the pool will be completely fenced and was told it will be fenced from the garage to the neighbors line to the north, the house will be the rest of the buffer; it will be a safety fence.

Mr. Sigler and Mrs. Vitale both agreed with Mr. Condon that if the pool were put in the other way it would be less of a variance. Mr. Langenberger felt the pool, put in the way the application describes, will give more privacy. Mr. Matthaei said this is why they are putting in more shrubbery, for privacy.

As there were no further questions from the Board, the hearing was opened to the public and Rosemarie Laird of 403 Kingston Road came forward and was sworn in. However, she had concerns with this application, no questions. As there were no other audience members with questions, that portion was closed and opened for general comments and Mrs. Laird was then allowed to speak. She was concerned with the elevation changes as they have drainage problems now, the water from the hills come down Sycamore Lane right through her property and she did not want any more problems due to this pool being constructed next door.

Mr. Rubino explained that the Board will make it a condition of approval that the grading plan be reviewed and approved by the Board Engineer. Mrs. Laird was agreeable to this and also wanted the Board members to know they like where the pool is going to go and the way it will be done, they don’t want to see that changed.

As there were no other comments, that portion of the hearing was closed and the Board went into discussion. Mrs. Vitale liked the plan and felt if the neighbors okayed the plans as presented then it was all right with her. The rest of the Board agreed with Mrs. Vitale. Mr. Rubino said the Resolution will have a condition that the grading plans and a landscaping plan are to be approved by the Board Engineer.

A motion to approve the application, as presented with the conditions noted by Mr. Rubino, was made by Mr. Stenson, seconded by Mrs. Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:

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

Noes: None

As there was no further business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Mr. Stenson to adjourn, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 7:46 pm.

Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary