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A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ


December 9, 2014

March 23 2015

December 9th, 2014

BRIELLE PLANNING BOARD
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2014

The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm in the Brielle Borough Hall, 601 Union Lane. After a silent prayer and a salute to the flag, roll call was taken:

Present - Mayor Thomas Nicol, Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O'Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale

Absent - Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Gina Murdoch, James Stenson

Also present were Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary and Joe Clark, Planning Board Attorney; there were 12 people in the audience.

The Minutes of the Nov. 11, 2014 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mayor Nicol and approved unanimously by voice vote, all aye.

CORRESPONDENCE:

The September/October issue of the New Jersey Planner was received OLD BUSINESS:

The Board turned to the approval of a Resolution for Block 64.06, Lot 21, 825 Scott Road, owned by Kevin & Shannon Carton, to allow a garage addition to a single family dwelling.

As all Board members, as well as the applicants & their attorney, had received a copy of the Resolution and there were no corrections, the following was presented for approval:

WHEREAS, Kevin and Shannon Carton ("Applicant") have applied to the Planning and Zoning Board ("Board") of the Borough of Brielle seeking to construct a 12 foot wide by 26.5 foot deep garage addition in the Residential Zone (R-2), and known as Block 64.06, Lot 21 (hereinafter the "property" or "parcel") on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and

WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on 11111114, and the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the Applicant and of the adjoining property owners and general public, has made the following factual findings and conclusions of law:
1 The Board considered the following documents in connection with this application:
A-1 Jurisdictional Packet
A-2 Architectural Plans prepared by Aquatecture Associates
A-3 Affidavits of publication and Service
2. This application requires the following variances for §21-12:
a. Front Yard Setback: 40 foot setback is required where 24.5 foot setback is proposed.
3. The Board finds and concludes that with respect to the "C" variances:
a. That the Applicant has demonstrated that the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law and Land Use Ordinances of the Borough of Brielle would be advanced by a deviation from the Zoning Ordinance requirements at issue, and further, that the benefits of any such deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment resulting from granting the requested relief.


b. That the Applicant has demonstrated the existence of a hardship where the variance is partially created from the arc of cu[ de sac bulb, which cuts into the front portion of the subject lot.
c. The Board finds that the relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and that the relief will not substantially impact the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinances of the Borough.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that applicant's application to construct a 12' x 26.5' garage addition to an existing single-family dwelling is hereby granted, with variances from §21-12 subject to the following conditions:
1 Applicant shall pay all taxes and other applicable assessments, costs and
fees to date, as applicable.
2. Applicant shall comply with all requirements and outside approvals as may be required from the Borough of Brielle or any other governmental authority, including the requirements set forth in the Zoning denial letter dated 12110113.
The above Resolution was adopted on a roll call on a motion by Mrs. Vitale,
seconded by Mr. Langenberger:
Ayes: Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O'Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Terre Vitale
Noes: None
Not Eligible to Vote: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Tim Sigler

The Board then turned to the approval of a Resolution for a variance for Block 23.01, Lot 11, 618 Agnes Avenue, owned by Matthew & Lisa Kukoda, to allow construction of a new front porch & second story addition to an existing single family dwelling. As all Board members, as well as the applicants, had received a draft copy and there were no changes recommended, the following was presented:

WHEREAS, Matthew and Lisa Kukoda ("Applicant") have applied to the Planning and Zoning Board ("Board") of the Borough of Brielle seeking to construct a front porch and second story addition to an existing single family home in the Residential Zone (R-3), and known as Block 23.01 Lot 11 (hereinafter the "property" or "parcel") on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on 11111/14, and the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the Applicant and of the adjoining property owners and general public, has made the following factual findings and conclusions of law:
4. The Board considered the following documents in connection with this application:

A-1 Jurisdictional Packet
A-2 Architectural Plans prepared by Tom Peterson
A-3 Photographs of Property
5. This application requires the following variances for code 21-13.2:

a. Minimum Lot Size: 11,250 Square Feet ("SF") is required where 7,500 SF exists and is proposed.

b. Lot Width: 75 feet is required where 50 feet exists and is proposed.
c. Front Yard Setback: 30 feet required where 25.5 to front stoop and 25 feet to existing dwelling,
d. Minimum Side Yard: 10 feet is required where 9.8 feet and 9.3 feet is proposed.
6. The Board finds and concludes that with respect to the "C" variances:
a. That the Applicant has demonstrated that the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law and Land Use Ordinances of the Borough of Brielle would be advanced by a deviation from the Zoning Ordinance requirements at issue, and further, that the benefits of any such deviation would substantially outweigh any detriment resulting from granting the requested relief.
b. That the Applicant has demonstrated the existence of a hardship where three variances are existing and will not be exacerbated by the proposed action. With regard to the fourth variance (Side Yard setback), Applicant's variance is less than % foot from the requirement, and the Board finds that this is a de minimums departure from the ordinance.
c. The Board finds that the relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and that the relief will not substantially impact the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinances of the Borough.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that applicant's application to construct a front porch and second story addition to an existing single-family dwelling is hereby granted, with variances from §21-13.2 subject to the following conditions:
3. Applicant shall pay all taxes and other applicable assessments, costs and fees to date, as applicable.

4. Applicant shall comply with all requirements and outside approvals as may be required from the Borough of Brielle or any other governmental authority, including the requirements set forth in the Zoning denial letter dated 3111/14.

The above Resolution was approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. O'Donnell and the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O'Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Terre Vitale

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Tim Sigler NEW BUSINESS:

The Board then heard an application for a Minor Subdivision for Block 93.01, Lots 5 & 6, 410 Osborn Avenue & 409 Laurel Avenue, owned by David & Cynthia Rodricks. Front Yard (proposed Lot 5.01) 40 feet required, 32 feet existing. Rear Yard (proposed Lot 5.01) 40 feet required, 24.2 feet existing. Grading over two feet in height, changing the existing grade by up to 6.5 feet. Maximum wall/fence height is 6 feet, proposing maximum height of 10.5 feet.

The proper fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners, as well as the newspaper, were properly notified. Mr. Michael Vitiello, Esq. came forward to present this hearing. He said the Rodricks own two adjacent lots and the lot lines are contorted; they proposed to adjust the lot lines and make the properties more conforming. There are pre-existing variances and they also need to fill in a depression which will call for a retaining wall.

At this time Mr. Charles Lindstrom, Engineer & Planner came forward and was sworn in. He has been in these positions since 1979 and has appeared before this Board; the Board accepted him as an expert witness. The Minor Subdivision Plan, a colored-in version, was marked as Exhibit A-1. The Laurel Avenue lot has a ranch dwelling and the Osborn Avenue lot has the Rodricks home they live in. They wish to create a new lot line between these lots to make the properties more conforming. The ranch home will be demolished and the new lot will conform. The variances that are not being changed by the subdivision are on the Rodricks home, rear setback of 40 feet will still have a setback of 24.2 feet and the front yard setback (due to the front porch) will remain at 32 feet where 40 is required.

Mr. Lindstrom then addressed the fill needed. The property on Laurel slopes to lot 7 to the east and they want to level that area off with fill and create a wall along that property line so water will drain to the street. This is not germane to the Rodricks' home on Osborn Avenue or proposed pool they want to put in on that property. Mr. Vitiello asked him if this was a more efficient use of space due to the steep slope and Mr. Lindstrom said yes.

Mr. Vitiello then explained to the Board there is a house addition planned for the Osborn Avenue home and, if this subdivision is approved, they do not have to come back before this Board for approval of that addition due to the lot lines changing, but if denied the house addition will need variance approval. Mr. Lindstrom said this proposed addition will generate fill, 330-340 cubic yards will make a dent in the amount of fill needed , they may be about 100 cubic yards short to fill in the depression on Laurel Avenue.

Mr. Vitiello said they would like to complete the addition to the house and move into the existing ranch house on Laurel Avenue while this work is being done (the ranch house tenant is leaving), however, this will mean the addition will encroach onto the Laurel Avenue lot if the subdivision is approved; they don't want to remove the ranch house until the addition is completed. The applicants agree to have the house demolished by a certain date to make the Board comfortable with this proposal of encroachment. After the addition is done they will remove the ranch home and do the retaining wall & fill work. Mayor Nicol asked where the fill be kept until the work is done and Mr. Vitiello said it will be used around the existing home and will blend in. Mayor Nicol did not think the neighbors will be happy with the fill all around. Mr. Vitiello said it will be stabilized and may be seeded with grass, there is a slope there now. Mayor Nicol was concerned with drainage and the storage of the fill. Mr. Sigler agreed and added concern about silt going into the neighbors' yards.

Mr. Condon asked Mr. Lindstrom about the size of the proposed addition and was told 547 square feet. Mr. Hilla asked about alternate time being considered and perhaps putting in the retaining wall and stabilize that with fill first. Mr. Vitiello agreed they may be able to do that. Mr. Lindstrom commented there will not be enough fill to

go to the new height and perhaps they can build part of it and then make it bigger after a future time. Mr. Sigler asked why not bring all the fill at the same time and Mr. Hilla felt water may get trapped behind that wall which would not be good; once it is built in total conformity the water runoff will go to the street. Mr. Lindstrom said if it is built less than complete they will build a swale and grade it to the street; Mr. Hilla was agreeable to that concept. Mayor Nicol did not want to have sediment going into the river.

Mr. Lindstrom also said this application can be granted as there will be no detriment to the Zone Plan and will benefit the community. Mrs. Brisben asked to speak and was concerned with the proposed addition encroaching onto another lot, it would be an Assessor's nightmare, but the Board was okay with letting this happen as the same family owns both lots.

Mr. Hilla commented on the 4 foot fence on top of a 6 foot wall which comes to 10.5 feet and he was concerned with the effect this has on the neighbor. Mr. Vitiello said it will be an open style black fence and Mr. Hilla said he would like to see it blend. Mr. Sigler asked if this will be better for the neighbors and Mr. Hilla felt it would as it will help with drainage. Mr. Langenberger asked if the retaining wall will be put in first and Mr. Vitiello said yes, at a reduced height. Mr. Hilla asked about the finish of the wall and was told it will be a decorative block wall. Mr. Sarnasi asked if the neighbor's side of this wall will trap water and Mr. Lindstrom said no, the water would have to go uphill to do this.

There was then a brief discussion on the proposed addition and Mr. Clark, Board Attorney, confirmed they would not have to come back for approval for this as it will conform. Mr. Vitirello said a temporary CO can be issued and a final CO not be given until the ranch house is demolished.

At this time the hearing was open to the public for questions and Mr. Robert F. Cox came forward and was sworn in, he is the next door neighbor most affected by this. He asked Mr. Lindstrom if any engineering reports were done and the answer was no
as grading plans are shown on the map. Mr. Cox then asked if the new home to be built will be on Laurel Avenue or Osborn Avenue and was told the home will front on Laurel Avenue. He then asked if a new home can be built on the Osborn Avenue side of the lot and not on the Laurel Avenue side and Mr. Lindstrom said a home could be constructed on either side, the lot fronts both streets. Mr. Cox then asked if the Osborn Avenue side of the lot is more level and Mr. Lindstrom said yes; he then asked if they wanted to put the fill on the Laurel Avenue side and the answer was again yes. Mr. Cox asked if they had a size of the proposed home to be built and the answer from Mr. Vitiello was no as that is not planned as yet. Mr. Cox then felt they do not know where the driveway will be or how the runoff can be calculated and Mr. Lindstrom agreed but said the grading to be done will keep water from flowing to his lot next door. Mr. Cox said there is no problem now with drainage as there is sufficient yard, but with the building of the addition & a new structure there will be increased runoff and he did not

see anything before this Board which says it will run to the street. Mr. Lindstrom said the building permits will address this, he did not know the water table here and there will be a basement in the new home to be constructed. Mr. Cox then asked if he could provide any information on how much water pressure will be on this proposed wall and Mr. Lindstrom said no but the water will be draining to the street and not to the wall. Mr. Cox asked about the strength of the wall and Mr. Lindstrom said it will not blow out.

Mr, Cox asked if a home were built on the Osborn Avenue side would there be a need for a retaining wall and Mr. Lindstrom did not know and again said there will be no effect on Mr. Cox's property, more homes front on Laurel than Osborn. Mr. Cox said they have to prove hardship and they are saying they have to have a wall and fence here and asked for confirmation of that; Mr. Lindstrom said yes and felt it has already been addressed. Mr. Cox then referred to Code 17 of Brielle where is speaks of "natural features & natural configuration of the ground should be retained wherever possible". He said they are changing what has existed for over 100 years and Mr. Lindstrom said yes. Mr. Cox felt if they build a home on Osborn Avenue there will be no need for a retaining wail and Mr. Lindstrom felt the water would then drain to his property.

Mr. Cox referred to Oceanview Road in Brielle and the fact that this is a hilly road and there are no retaining walls on those properties, he felt a home can be build on Osborn Avenue with no wall. He then asked if this retaining wall comes under the definition of "structure" and Mr. Lindstrom did not know; Mr. Cox said they are combining block to make some sort of structure and felt the definition supports this. Mr. Lindstrom felt the definition was being broadened to include a retaining wall.

Mr. Cox then asked if a water flow impact study or percolation test was done and Mr. Lindstrom said no. Mr. Cox asked if they took into consideration the trees he has on his property as well as the trees on the applicants' lot now and Mr. Lindstrom said no. Mr. Cox asked about the impact to the trees on his property line and Mr. Lindstrom said they did not do a study on this but they do realize they may have to re-align the wall if it is in the way of tree roots. Mr. Cox said the plans show no guarantee the drainage wilt not be coming onto his lot and Mr. Lindstrom said the plans clearly show the drainage will go to each street. Mr, Cox asked if the land slopes down and the answer was yes. Mr. Cox noted this is being said without any studies being done and he wanted to know about hydraulic pressure; Mr. Lindstrom said they are talking about surface runoff.

Mr. Sigler asked if they had given thought to make the frontage on Osborn Avenue 100 feet instead of 95 feet and Mr. Vitiello said yes they have thought about it but they way the lot lines are being reconfigured the house to the south is actually shrinking. Mr. Sigler said if the lot was 95 feet they would have to come back before the Board and Mr. Vitiello said if the house fronts on so Laurel they conform.

Mrs. Vitale asked if they were willing to do a percolation test and Mr. Vitiello said they are not building a re-charge structure here and they feel confident with the configurations they have. Mr. Lindstrom agreed and said percolation tests are not necessary for a retaining wall. Mrs. Vitale asked if the Rodricks are willing to replace the trees and landscaping if something happens to them and Mr. Lindstrom said if they get near the roots they may have to go around them. Mr. Vitiello commented the tree in the neighbor's yard is old and not in good shape now.

Mr. Nina then asked about the utilities for the Laurel Avenue House; it was just paved and the town does not want to have to re-open the street. Mr. Vitiello said the utilities do come in from Laurel Avenue and they will re-use what they can. Mr. Hiila suggested that, if the road has to be opened, they will have to fix it and not with just cold patch. Mr. Vitiello said they were willing to do that and they will take care of it. There was then a brief discussion on bonding for this minor subdivision and the Mayor felt there was a need for bonding for the demolition and construction of the wall, Mr. Hilla felt any street repairs can be added to that.

Mr. Cox, who is the property owner next door and most affected by this, felt the application should be denied as he could not see the hardship and the homes that sit there now are more consistent with what is in that area; he felt a new home can be constructed without any need for variances. He again referred to the retaining wall and fill and reminded the Board that the purpose of Brielle is to keep the natural configurations of the land. If there is no subdivision there is no wall, the water now runs to the driveway and is absorbed. They are creating a property that will be 6.5 feet over his property and then put up a 10 foot wall which will block the sun, wind & open space for him. He could see a "bog" being created by this wall within 6 months of its construction; it could be nice for them but he will be looking at a 6 foot black fence instead of the contours & landscaping. He also saw a catch basin for water, leaves, debris and snow impact as that will likely drift by the wall and, when it melts, there may be a problem. He felt the water percolation will be up by changing the grade and the landscaping change will be immense; the wall will go 6.5 feet up his maple tree and is not necessary; he felt the wall was a negative criteria.

He then presented pictures of his property to the Board, these were marked as Exhibit C-1. The first photo is looking out of his front porch, the proposed wall will be there instead of the white fence now; he showed the "gully" that was referred to is really a gentle slope that does not need remediation and has grass that absorbs the water. The second photo is from the back corner of his home showing the contours of the area and the proposed wall will block this view. The third photo shows the lot that faces Osborn Avenue, it was wooded but it has been clear-cut and sod put in; this is where the new home should go with no wall needed. Also, Osborn Avenue has a storm drain whereas Laurel Avenue does not. The fourth photo was of the red maple tree on his property which shows a gentle slope. The fifth & last photo faces Osborn, again showing the ability to construct a new home without the need for fill.

Mr. Condon opened the meeting to the public for any further comments and, as there were none, that portion was closed. Mr. Vitiello said there is a hardship in this and this is not "rolling hills", there are ponding problems there now. They have a licensed Professional Planner which has taken a drainage problem and fixed it. if the Board would look at the topography they can see the homes are actually below the road and this project will result in an improvement, the efficient use of space is what they propose. This is not a giant subdivision and any landscaping problems will be taken care of.

The Board then went into discussion. Mr. Langenberger felt the hardship was in the lot itself and he had no problem with the subdivision but he did have a problem with the timeline and the wall. He felt if a home were put on Osborn Avenue there would be no need for a wall and that was the way he was leaning. Mr. Sarnasi agreed the new
home should be on Osborn Avenue and to make the lot 100 feet wide on that side with no wall. Mr. O'Donnell and Mrs. Vitale felt the same way, Mrs. Vitale was concerned with the 95 foot width as presented. Mr, Sigler also agreed with the other Board members and, after seeing the photos, felt the subdivision with the wall was a terrible idea. Mayor Nicol agreed with Mr. Cox on the wall issue and commented it would be a terrible thing to look at. Mr. Condon felt the same way and would not want to look at that wall.

Mr. Vitiello said his applicant would agree if the Board did not want the wall and would eliminate the fill but leave the lot line the way it is. He felt they are giving more than a fair exchange here as they own both lots, the distance of the homes means a constraint for them. The Board all said they still had a problem with the 5 feet and the lot on Osborn should be 100 feet wide, not 95 feet wide. Mr. Vitiello then spoke to his client briefly and came back before the Board and said if that was the only way the Board will approve the subdivision, they will amend the plan to show 100 feet on Osborn Avenue.

Mr. Langenberger asked about a deed restriction stating the new home will face Osborn and Mr. Vitiello said a deed restriction on a vacant lot is really not appropriate. Mr. Langenberger felt it should be done for the next owner so he doesn't have to come back before the Board and Mr. Vitiello said this would be up to that next owner. Mr. Condon finished the discussion by stating there will be no block wall and the house would have to face Osborn Avenue.

There was a question to Mr. Hilla about drainage and he said there is a catch basin on Osborn Lane at the street end of Laurel Avenue and is overland, not subterranean. Mr. Vitiello said they would be agreeable to the deed restriction and if a buyer wants to have the home face Laurel Avenue he will come back before the Board.

Mr. Cox spoke from the audience and asked this not be granted so no one has to come back before the Board, he asked that the Resolution stated no building on Laurel Avenue.

The final consensus was to make the lot on Osborn Avenue 100 feet wide, have a time frame for demolition, no retaining wall and the proposed home must face Osborn Avenue. Mr. Langenberger made a motion to approve the subdivision, with the amendments & deed restriction, this seconded by Mrs. Vitale and approved by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, John O'Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale

Noes: None INFORMAL HEARING:

The last item for the evening was an informal hearing for a possible minor subdivision for Block 72, Lot 1, 836 Riverview Drive, owned by Bruce & Elizabeth Wesson; applicant - Michael Earle.

Mr. C. Keith Henderson, Esq. came forward to present this and said this is an unusual application. This property was approved for a subdivision back in 1993 for 4 lots but that subdivision was never perfected, Now there is a new applicant who wants to divide the property into 2 lots only. They will be looking for an easement as one of the proposed lots will be land-locked and this is a fully restored estate with modifications done years ago. Mr. Hilla agreed and commented they also will need County approval as Riverview Drive is a County road.

Mr. Langenberger felt that 2 lots are better than 4 lots, he liked the concept and was glad the original estate home will stay, any Fire Company issues will be addressed at the formal hearing. Mr. Henderson commented that, under the Permit Extension Act, the 4 lots subdivision may still be valid but the applicant does not want to do that. The rest of the Board agreed to this subdivision and the old house staying; Mr. Henderson said he will be back with a formal plan.

As there was no other business to come before the Board a motion was made by Mrs. Vitale to adjourn, this seconded by Mayor Nicol and unanimously approved by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Approved:

 

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