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A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ


August 11, 2015

September 15 2015

August 11th, 2015

BRIELLE PLANNING BOARD

TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2015

The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 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, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler,
James Stenson, Terre Vitale

Absent – John O’Donnell

Also present were Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary, Joe Clark, Esq., Board Attorney and Alan Hilla, Jr., Board Engineer. There were 18 people in the audience and The Coast Star reporter recorded the meeting.

Mr. 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 July 14, 2015 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. Stenson and approved by voice vote, all aye.

CORRESPONDENCE:

The May/June issue of the NJ Planner was received, as well as two notices for DEP approval: 1) to allow dredging of the lower Manasquan River, and 2) to allow reconstruction of a bulkhead at 1006 Brainard Place.

NEW BUSINESS:

The Board turned to the approval of a Resolution for Use Variance relief for Block 66.01, Lot 15, 715 Union Avenue, owned by 715 Union Avenue, LLC to allow interior alterations to a multifamily building, relocate existing trailers, create laundry facilities, parking lot improvements.

Mr. Clark said he had been working with the applicant’s attorney on this Resolution and some changes were made from the draft one that was sent. He went over the changes proposed and then offered the following amended Resolution for approval:

WHEREAS, 715 UNION AVENUE LLC (“Applicant”) has applied to the Planning and Zoning Board (“Board”) of the Borough of Brielle seeking variances and minor site plan approval for the property located at 715 Union Avenue, in zone C-1A, and known as Block 66.01, Lot 5 (hereinafter “property or parcel”), on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, Applicant’s application seeks to change existing motel units into apartment units, and to continue replacement of existing trailers with new trailers on site, among other things;
WHEREAS this site was the subject of a Planning Board approval in 1986, which appears to approve a configuration that contains up to 29 dwelling units (10 units in masonry buildings, 19 units in trailers);
WHEREAS a letter from Borough Engineer Alan Hilla dated May 13, 2015 identified numerous issues relating to Applicants’ application and indicated that variances and waivers were required as follows:
1. Code Section 2l -18A sets forth the permitted uses for the C-1A Zone, which does not include “trailer courts” as defined in Code Section 11. As the existing use is non­conforming for the zone, and the Applicant wishes to expand the intensity and modify the configuration of that use, a Use Variance will be required for the proposal.
2. Code Section 21-18A.2 sets forth the development criteria for the C- l A Zone. Review of these sections in conjunction with the plan identified the following non­conformities:
• Lot Size - 40,000 square feet minimum required, 36,631 square feet existing; Lot Depth - 200 feet minimum required, 111.5 feet existing;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit A to curb, Route 71) -45 feet required, 13.49 feet proposed (subsequently withdrawn);
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit B to curb, Route 71) - 4.5 feet required, 38 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit K to curb, Route 71) - 45 feet required, 39 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Front Left Masonry building to curb, Route 71) - 45 feet required, 23.5 feet existing;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit C to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 34 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit D to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 25 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit E to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 26 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit F to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 26 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit G to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 25 feet proposed; ·
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit H to curb, Higgins Avenue) -45 feet required, 25 feet proposed;
• Front Yard (Trailer Unit I to curb, Higgins Avenue) - 45 feet required, 25 feet existing;
• Rear Yard (Rear Masonry building to townhouses) - 25 feet required, 3 feet existing;
• Rear Yard (Trailer Unit I to townhouses) - 25 feet required, 5 feet existing; Side Yard (Trailer Unit A to Constitution Park) - 10 feet required, 1 foot proposed;
• Side Yard (Trailer Unit B to Constitution Park) - 10 feet required, less than 1 foot proposed;
• Side Yard (Trailer Unit C to Constitution Park) - 10 feet required, less than 1 foot proposed;
• Side Yard (Rear Masonry building to adjacent trailer court) - 25 feet required, 2.5 feet existing;
• Side Yard (Trailer Unit Q to adjacent trailer court) - 25 feet required, less than 1 foot proposed;
• Side Yard (Trailer Unit R to adjacent trailer court) - 25 feet required, less than 1 foot proposed;
• Side Yard (Trailer Unit S to adjacent trailer court) - 25 feet required, 3.5 feet proposed; and
• Side Yard (Right Front Masonry building to adjacent trailer court) - 25 feet required, 3.7 feet existing.
The existing variance conditions are provided for completeness and the Board’s information. Variances will be required for the proposed non-conformities cited above (bolded).
In addition to the above, Code Section 11-4 sets forth the spacing criteria for trailer courts throughout the Borough. Specifically, trailers shall be parked with a minimum spacings, as follows:
• Side to side, 15 feet;
• End to end, 10 feet;
• From adjoining property lines, 20 feet;
• From adjacent rights-of-way, 25 feet; and
• From any building or structure, 15 feet.
Of all of the units existing and proposed, not one achieves all of these design standards. And the end to end criteria is moot as the few units arranged end to end appear to achieve the minimum separation. It does appear that the Applicant has tried to achieve a 12 foot minimum side to side separation (where 15 feet is required), and a minimum of 10 feet from trailer to building (with exceptions) (where 15 feet is required). However, there appears to be no regard for the minimum setbacks from adjacent properties and the rights-of-way. Accordingly, design waivers will be required for not achieving the requisite design criteria.
3. Code Section 2l-18A.3 establishes other development criteria for this Zone, including off-street parking in side and rear yards only, comprehensive landscape plans to complement the streetscape theme, seashore colonial architectural design elements, and repetition of streetscape elements, such as pavers, lighting and curb.
4. Code Section 21-31.5 requires all off-street parking, loading and service facilities be graded and drained in a safe manner, and all surfaces be properly bound pavement that is maintained in a clean, orderly, and dust-free condition. While the pavement interior to the site may achieve this requirement, the pavement fronting this property along Route 71, and serves for access, parking, pedestrian passage, and internal circulation (albeit technically right-of-way) is in less than poor condition. The Board should consider conditioning any approval on the reconstruction and reconfiguration of the right-of way area to support site operations and afford safe public passage along the frontage. Further, it should be made clear that the maintenance of this area also resides with the Applicant or future owners of this property.
5. Code Section 21-31.14 sets forth the lighting requirements for off-street parking and pedestrian passageways. The Site Plan does not depict existing or proposed lighting to serve the trailer court or the off-street/pedestrian areas. The Board should elicit testimony regarding this feature, and consider any relief that may be coincident with that testimony.
6. Code Section 21-32 sets for the off-street parking requirements for all uses within the Borough. As trailer court is not specifically listed, the application of the single family standard seems appropriate, at 2 spaces per dwelling unit. The Applicant proposes 9 off-street spaces where 60 spaces are required. A variance will be required for this existing/proposed non-conformity.
Also, the proposed plan should be reviewed and approved by the Fire Official.
7. Code Section 21-36.1 requires a minimum five foot wide landscape buffer along all property lines in the commercial zones. The Applicant’s plan does not include any buffers at all. Accordingly, a variance will be required for this existing/proposed non-conformity.
8. The Applicant proposes a modest dumpster enclosure for trash and recycling materials at the front of the property. The Board should elicit testimony regarding the adequacy and operations of these areas to ensure that this visible area will not become a nuisance.
9. The Board should elicit testimony regarding the provision of water and sewer to all units, and the methods by which each trailer unit receives service.
10. The Applicant has requested a waiver from having to provide topography of the site. While this request is seems reasonable, the Board should condition any approval on construction of all improvements proposed through this approval not adversely impact adjacent properties or roadways from stormwater discharge from the site.
WHEREAS, the property has been the subject of a prior resolution from this board dated April 2, 1986 wherein the board recognized the prior nonconforming use for 19 trailers sites and residential rentals the buildings located on the front of the property and approved the continued use for trailers-including replacement trailers-as long as the setbacks referenced in the resolution were maintained;
WHEREAS, during the course of the hearings on June 9, 2015 and July 14, 2015 in this matter, Applicant represented to the board that it would agree to eliminate one prior nonconforming trailer site-trailer site A, which would allow it to add some additional parking spaces in the West side of the front of the property and relocate the dumpster enclosure to that same area potentially creating the opportunity for additional parking spaces at the east side of the property;
WHEREAS, the Board held hearings on Applicant’s application on June 9, 2015 and July 14, 2015, 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 presented at the hearing in connection with this application:
a. Jurisdictional Packet;
b. May 14, 2015 Zoning Permit Denial
2. The Board also considered testimony from Jason Fichter, Engineer on June 9, 2015. Mr. Fichter testified, among other things, as to the Applicant’s plans on-site, which include the addition of washers and dryers to the utility building, and the relocation of existing dumpsters enclosed by fencing. Mr. Fichter also testified that Applicant is not seeking topographical changes per the Borough Engineer’s letter. Mr. Fichter acknowledged that bulk variances under the C-1 criteria would be needed, inasmuch as Applicant is seeking to expand the prior non-conforming use by eliminating the motel and creating new units, which would reduce the number of potential units in the motel building from 9 to 5. New trailers will also be installed for currently empty sites and for the others as existing tenants turn over. With regard to the positive and negative criteria, Mr. Fichter indicated that the potential use of the site based on existing buildings is being reduced overall by 14%, and that the upgrades to the site will promote an enhanced lifestyle and increased property values in the area. In terms of negative criteria, Mr. Fichter indicated that this is a pre-existing condition, that Applicant is not seeking a new use and that this will not be a substantial detriment to the neighborhood nor the substantial use of the zone plan.
3. The Board also considered testimony from Ryan Sansone, the owner of the trailer park on July 14, 2015. Mr. Sansone indicated that he needs a use variance for the apartment units, and that one out of nine is being used. He is seeking to revamp the units and to change them into rental units. Mr. Sansone stated that he intends to raise the roof on the masonry buildings and to install dormers and cupolas for aesthetic purposes, but that the newly created space would be for storage only. No additional living space will be created by these improvements. Mr. Sansone also indicated, consistent with the plans submitted, that new, upgraded trailers would be installed for currently vacant spaces and for others upon tenant turnover.
4. The Board also considered testimony from Richard Graham, Architect, on July 14, 2015. Mr. Graham testified as to the drawings he created, which demonstrate a view of the park post-updating. Mr. Graham testified, with regard to attic space that is not habitable, but is to be used for storage, that fire stops could be installed if required by the applicable fire code and will be put in working drawings if the application is approved.
5. The fire official has reviewed the proposal and has submitted no objections.
6. In response to concerns from the public and the Board, Applicant indicated that it would: a.) submit a final, certified plan prior to undertaking work on-site; b.) include fire stops and insulation in the attic space of the building to be renovated into apartment units; c.) amend the plan to address parking issues, issues relating to garbage on-site, including the relocation of dumpsters, and noise mitigation (i.e. installation of sound mitigating windows in the building to be renovated into apartment units.); and d.) Maintain the existing blacktop strip in the DOT right-of-way, which local children use as a safe passage; and e.) remove one trailer (as identified by Applicant at the hearing as trailer A) to allow for the relocation of the existing garbage receptacle. The applicant has agreed and will improve the existing blacktop at the front of the property which is located on land it owns. In addition the applicant has represented that it has submitted an application to the state of New Jersey for permission to acquire the unused part of the property located in the front of the Park currently owned by the state of New Jersey Department of Transportation. Applicant will continue to pursue this right attempt to acquire this property. Prior to acquiring title to this property, and prior to undertaking any maintenance work, Applicant will determine whether DOT approval is needed and, if so, will seek to obtain same.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that Applicants’ application for minor site plan approval and use variance is approved, subject to the following:
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.
3. Applicant shall submit a final, certified plan for review and approval prior to commencing work on-site;
4. Applicant shall include fire stops and insulation in the attic space of the building to be renovated into apartment units;
5. Applicant shall amend the plan to address parking issues, issues relating to garbage on-site, including the placement of dumpsters, and noise mitigation (i.e. installation of sound mitigating windows in the building to be renovated into apartment units.); and
6. Applicant will maintain the existing blacktop strip in the DOT right-of-way, which local children use as a safe passage. Prior to undertaking any maintenance work, Applicant will determine whether DOT approval is needed and, if so, will seek to obtain same. If DOT approval is necessary and is not received, then Applicant will not be required to maintain the existing blacktop strip.
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. Stenson and then by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi,
James Stenson

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Tim
Sigler, Terre Vitale

The next item for approval was a Resolution for Block 47.01, Lot 2, 202 Perry Place, owned by Donald E. Cresitello, to allow elevation of existing single family dwelling. Mr. Clark noted 3 minor changes to the Resolution requested by Mr. Cresitello and explained them to the Board. The following final Resolution was then presented for approval:

WHEREAS, DONALD E. CRESITELLO (“Applicant”) has applied to the Planning and Zoning Board (“Board”) of the Borough of Brielle seeking variances for the property located at 202 Perry Place, in the Residential Zone 3 (R-3), and known as Block 47.01, Lot 2 (hereinafter “property or parcel”), on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, This application specifically requires the following variances for §21-13.2:
a. Minimum Lot Size is 11,250 square feet whereas 7,500 square feet is provided;
b. Minimum Lot Depth is 125 feet whereas 104.47 feet is provided;
c. Minimum Front Yard Setback is 30 feet, whereas 23 feet is provided to the base of the new set of stairs;
d. Minimum Side Yard Setback is 10 feet, whereas 9.5 feet is provided;
e. Minimum Rear Yard Setback is 35 feet, whereas 29.7 feet is existing, and 19.0 feet is provided to the proposed deck; and
f. Maximum Lot Coverage is twenty percent (20%), whereas thirty-five percent (35%) is provided in the application (which was subsequently re-calculated to be twenty six percent (26%);
WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on July 14, 2015, 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:
7. The Board considered the following documents presented at the hearing in connection with this application:
a. Jurisdictional Packet;
b. April 22, 2015 Zoning Permit Denial
8. Testimony from Donald E. Cresitello that the variances are necessary to permit Applicants to elevate the home 8.63 feet, and to move the driveway to accommodate a new garage under the home. Mr. Cresitello further testified that a deck was necessary, and that he is seeking relief due to the extraordinary lot, depth and topography as this lot is undersized and in a flood zone.
9. Mr. Cresitello testified as to the positive criteria under Municipal Land Use Law (“MLUL”) and stated that the purpose of the MLUL is advanced by a deviation from the Zoning Ordinance for this lot because it will fit into the neighborhood in a better and more aesthetic manner. Mr. Cresitello testified that he will comply with all FEMA requirements which will enable the new home to be able to withstand flooding from a Category 3 hurricane; it is anticipated that the risk of future flooding will be reduced. There will be no impact on the Zoning Plan or Zoning Ordinance.
10. With regard to lot coverage, Mr. Langenberger was concerned because he felt that 35% lot coverage was overbuilding. Mr. Cresitello stated that the lot coverage is 15% and averred that he had calculated the amount incorrectly. Subsequent calculations indicated that the lot coverage amount was approximately 26%.
11. Based on the evidence and testimony provided, and lack of any objection from the public, the Board granted variances permitting:
a. Minimum Lot Size is 11,250 square feet whereas 7,500 square feet is provided;
b. Minimum Lot Depth is 125 feet whereas 104.47 feet is provided;
c. Minimum Front Yard Setback is 30 feet, whereas 23 feet is provided to the base of the new set of stairs;
d. Minimum Side Yard Setback is 10 feet, whereas 9.5 feet is provided;
e. Minimum Rear Yard Setback is 35 feet, whereas 29.7 feet is existing, and 19.0 feet is provided to the proposed deck; and
f. Maximum Lot Coverage is twenty percent (20%), whereas twenty six percent (26%) is provided;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that Applicant’s application for variances from §21-13.2 is approved.
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Stenson, seconded by Mr. Langenberger and then by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Thomas Condon,
James Langenberger, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler,
James Stenson

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Terre Vitale

The last Resolution to be approved was a Use Variance for Block 60, Lot 16, 11 Crescent Drive, owned by Michael & Stacey Farinacci, to allow construction of a new home. Mr. Clark said he had been asked to make one minor change to the Resolution as per the applicants’ attorney and then presented the following final Resolution for approval:

WHEREAS, MICHAEL AND STACEY FARINACCI (“Applicants”) have applied to the Planning and Zoning Board (“Board”) of the Borough of Brielle seeking variances for the property located at 11 Crescent Drive, in the Residential Zone 3 (R-3), and known as Block 60, Lot 16 (hereinafter “property or parcel”), on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, This application specifically requires the following variances for §21-13.2:
a. Maximum Lot Coverage is twenty percent (20%), whereas twenty four and seventy-four hundredths percent (24.74%) is provided in the application; and
b. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is .50, whereas .5497 is provided in the application.
WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on July 14, 2015, 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:
12. The Board considered the following documents presented at the hearing in connection with this application:
a. Jurisdictional Packet;
b. May 14, 2015 Zoning Permit Denial;
c. June 25, 2015 Zoning Permit Denial.
13. Testimony from Michael Farinacci that the Farinaccis want to move to Brielle, but to accommodate their family they need a bigger home.
14. Testimony from Mr. Charles Gilligan, Planner and Engineer. Mr. Gilligan testified that the property is in the R-3 zone, that the house formerly on the lot had been demolished and that the proposed new is residential in nature, which is permitted. Mr. Gilligan further stated that this is a substandard lot at 7,016 square feet, that Applicants are proposing a home with 24.74% coverage to accommodate their family, and also want a want a ½ story above the second floor, which creates a FAR of .5497 ratio where .5 is allowed. The reason for the larger FAR is that the home is in a Flood Zone so there is no basement and this is the reason for the request for more space upstairs; there are “fingers” that are like dormers that will let in the light but this is not a usable area, 300 feet will be a livable area. Mr. Gilligan also testified that Applicants meet the requirements for imperious coverage and there will be two drywells, the grading goes to Crescent Drive. The previous home that was here drained to the rear so this will be a positive improvement.
15. Applicants’ attorney indicated that the property is only 60.20 feet wide and 110.16 feet deep. Mr. Gilligan testified that this is the existing condition here, and that Applicants have met all allowed setbacks and. There will be no detriment to the public good and this home will fit in the neighborhood, it will not impair the Zoning Plan or Zoning Ordinance.
16. Mr. Gilligan also testified that Borough Engineer Alan Hilla had found one more variance needed in his review regarding the driveway setback, they need a 5 foot radius and they swerve back to 2 feet. Mr. Gilligan further testified that the existing survey and proposed building will have no change in grading, the drainage will go to Crescent Drive and roof leaders will be installed.
17. Based on the evidence and testimony provided, and lack of any objection from the public, the Board granted variances permitting:
a. Maximum Lot Coverage is twenty percent (20%), whereas twenty four and seventy-four hundredths percent (24.74%) is provided in the application;
b. Maximum Floor Area Ratio is .50, whereas .5497 is provided in the application; and
c. Construction of a non-conforming driveway as identified by the Borough Engineer.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that Applicants’ application for variances from §21-13.2 is approved.
Mr. Stenson made a motion to approve the above Resolution, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and then by a roll call vote:

Ayes: Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, Stacey Montalto, Charles
Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, James Stenson

Noes: None

Not Eligible to Vote: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Terre
Vitale

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Condon changed the agenda around to allow a hearing for a Minor Subdivision first, this on Block 31.01, Lot 17, known as 515 Woodland Avenue, owned by Timothy & Kathleen Kellers, Applicant – Quincy Homes, LLC, to create two conforming lots.

The Planning Board fees were paid, taxes are paid to date and the property owners within 200 feet as well as the newspaper were properly notified. Mr. John Sweeney, Esq. came forward for Quincy Homes, LLC. He said this is a simple subdivision, a double lot that will be cut in half.

At this time Mr. Charles Gilligan came forward and was sworn in. As the Board was very familiar with Mr. Gilligan he was accepted as an expert witness. He said this property is in the R-4 Zone and has 10,000 square feet. They are going to create two 5,000 square foot lots with no variances. They do have some issues with the Flood Plain as per the Board Engineer’s 7/27 report. They are going to build two different homes and they both will have the proper elevations. Mr. Gilligan testified that the structures to be built will take up 19.98% of the lot coverage where 20% is allowed and they realize that no further structures can or will be built as they are at the maximum. They are also not asking for any impervious coverage variances.

He said there is one house there now and they will use the existing utilities lines and will be putting in new utility lines for the new lot; they will repair the pavement after that work. As far as the additional drainage need, they will use the existing home as the starting point, they will put in linear pipes surrounded by stone for drainage. Mr. Gilligan said they can fill in an area for tidal flooding and they are allowed to do this. DEP approval is required but the Flood Zone here is Zone “X”; they still need to meet the flood elevation conditions and there are no basements proposed.

Mr. Gilligan noted that the Assessor has approved the new lot numbers they provided on the plans but he felt the addresses the Assessor gave need to be reversed and he is going to contact the Assessor on this matter. This subdivision will be filed by deed and not by map.

All Board members were satisfied with the presentation and had no questions, as well as Mr. Hilla, Board Engineer. At this time the hearing was opened to the public for questions to Mr. Gilligan and, as there was no response, that portion was closed. As Mr. Sweeney had nothing further to add to the testimony the hearing was again opened to the public, this time for comments; Mr. Gregory Hyra of 517 Woodland Avenue came forward and was sworn in. He wanted to know when this building will begin and how long it will take. Mr. Jack Wojton, the principal of Quincy Homes, LLC, was sworn in and answered his questions – they plan on starting in the late Fall or early Spring and the homes should take 4-5 months to build. As there were no further comments or questions that portion of the hearing was closed and the Board went into discussion.

Mr. Langenberger asked for the Fire Company to be remembered when they are ready for demolition so the Fire Company can practice on the home; Mr. Wojton said he will donate the home to the Fire Company before demolition. As the rest of the Board had no problem with the subdivision and felt it will fit in the neighborhood, Councilman Garruzzo made a motion to approve the application, as presented, this seconded by Mr. Langenberger and then by the following roll call vote:

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

Noes: None

As neither Mayor Nicol nor Councilman Garruzzo could hear the next application as it was for a Use Variance, they left the dais. The Board then turned to an application for a Minor Site Plan/Use Variance for Block 20.01, Lot 23, known as 301 Union Avenue, owned by Cesaro & Daniela Schiano (Jimmy’s Subs), Applicant – Verizon Wireless, to allow a Small Network Node on the roof of the existing structure which consists of 2 antennae, equipment cabinets, an electrical panel, a telco panel, a GPS unit and various support equipment. Non-conforming Use, Use Variance required. Side Yard Setback – 10 feet required, 6.93 feet existing, 7 feet proposed for GPS/rail/telco/cabinet/platform. Side Yard Setback – 10 feet required, 6.93 feet
existing, about 4 feet proposed to access ladder with cage. Side Yard Setback – 10 feet required, 6.93 feet existing, about 8.5 feet proposed to base of hoist.

Mr. Michael R. Stanzione, Esq. came forward to represent Verizon Wireless and asked his engineer to come forward and be sworn in. Mr. Chris Cirrotti of Parsippany, N.J. came forward and was sworn in, he has a BA in Engineering and has been licensed in NJ since 1994, he has been an Engineer since 1989 and has appeared before many Boards. The Board accepted him as an expert witness.

He referred to Sheet 2 of his plan, an aerial map of Union Avenue showing where the subject property is. It currently has a building and parking lot off Union Avenue and Woodland Avenue. On the S/W quadrant of the building will be the platform and the N/E corner will have 2 antennas 2 feet above the roof. Mr. Clark marked this plan as Exhibit A-1, sheet Z-2. The next sheet was Z-1 and was marked as Exhibit A-2. Exhibit A-3 is sheet Z-4, the roof and equipment plan. The platform will have handrails for safety, a GPS antenna and lights, cable to the antenna across the roof to the N/E corner where there will be a ballast mount, the second antenna will be mounted on the side of the building.

There will be an access ladder along the westerly side and not the south side as shown on the original plan, they did this to eliminate one variance for side yard setback. The hoist will be next to the safety ladder and there will be safety railing. There will be telco boxes on the wall along the west side elevation. The next sheet, marked Exhibit A-4, sheet Z-5 shows the westerly elevation of the building with the equipment platform and GPS node and antenna; the second antenna is closer to the front or east side of the building. The ladder will have an anti-climb device and will have locked access. There will also be an emergency generator hookup for a generator to be brought to the site if needed.

Mr. Stanzione commented on Mr. Hilla’s report, Page 2 #2 regarding the rooftop equipment; it will not be screened in as they did not see it as necessary – the rest of the restaurant equipment up there is not screened. He then showed the side yard variances needed as shown on Exhibit A-2 and said the platform needs to be mounted on the walls of the building and revised plans were submitted showing the new location of the ladder & hoist. He said this will be an unmanned operation and will be visited once a month for maintenance.

Mr. Langenberger was concerned about the structural integrity of the building as it is old with a flat roof. He asked if this building can maintain this weight? Mr. Cirrotti referred to Exhibit A-3 which shows how the platform will bridge from masonry wall to masonry wall and will not be on the roof. The antennas are light, about 25 pounds each and the ballast mount will work here. Mr. Langenberger asked if the platform will be independent of the roof and the answer was yes. Mr. Sarnasi asked about the generator and was told it will be a manual generator that can be brought in. Mr. Hilla asked if it will be skid mounted and Mr. Cirrotti said yes, it will only be 60 amps so it is not large. Mr. Stenson only saw one antenna and was shown where the other one will be, he noted one of them is hidden.


Mr. Sigler asked about the noise this all will generate and Mr. Cirrotti said there will not be much, it will be a hum, no motors. Mr. Sigler asked about the screening and Mr. Hilla said that is in the Ordinance for view only. Mr. Sigler asked if the ladder will go from the ground up and Mr. Cirrotti said it goes to the ground but it will have a safety cage. Mr. Sigler said he does a lot of tank work and knows that kids will climb on it, he would like to see it more off the ground; kids hang out at this sub store all the time. Mr. Condon asked about the ballast mount and Mr. Cirrotti said the antenna will sit on a pan that is weighted, dish antennas are done this way, it gives a proper loading and is typical. Mr. Condon asked about what kind of winds can it withstand; Mr. Cirrotti said they will have that as part of the building application.

As the Board did not have any other questions the hearing was opened to the public for questions to Mr. Cirrotti. Kathy Penna of 205 Union Avenue came forward and felt it seems like a lot of equipment and wanted to know if it gave out any emissions. Mr. Cirrotti said they will have an expert testify on emissions. He said the other witness may have better visuals and the only thing to be seen will be antennas. The cluster of the equipment will be at the back of the building roof. As there were no further questions, that portion of the hearing was closed.

Mr. Jim Shelton was next to come forward and be sworn in, he is a Radio Frequency Engineer for V-Comm TeleCommunications which has offices in NJ and Pennsylvania. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova, has worked for the military and has been with V-Comm since 1997; he has appeared before many Boards. The Board accepted him as an expert witness. He had submitted a Radio Frequency Analysis which the Board received and then explained why this site was being proposed; he showed other sites in the area being used. Exhibit A-5 was then presented, this shows the existing coverage without this proposed site; there is a site in Sea Girt at the military base, a tower at the bridge and on the water tank at the golf course and one in Allenwood, there also is one at the Manasquan Train Station. Exhibit A-5 showed what sites are in the area with different colors to show the different areas they cover. The location here on Union Avenue is between sectors and has coverage problems, Verizon is trying to address the capacity usage here, mainly from the commercial businesses on Route 71. Page 12 of 18 of his report was marked as Exhibit A-7 which shows the change this new site will do and will help with the capacity loading issues. He said the antennas themselves are only 24 inches tall.

Mr. Hilla asked , given the Route 71 corridor, is it feasible there will be more of these in the future? Mr. Shelton said as you exit the Borough there are more houses, it’s the commercial units that are making it a problem; in the future there may be a problem with Route 35 and Manasquan High School is taking a lot of demand in this area, too. So they may have to do something further west but not in Brielle. Mr. Hilla asked “not on Higgins Avenue?” and Mr. Shelton said maybe at the bridge but not on Route 71.

Mr. Shelton had another report on Radio Frequency Emissions study and this addresses the energy from this location. On top of page 1 of 11 (Marked Exhibit A-8), it gives a summary of how this will be controlled, it will be 4.77% of FCC standards which is well below the maximum. Using all Verizon permits, even those will not use all 4 frequencies bans, will never go above 4.77%. Pages 4-8 gives a summary of the FCC Rules and Regulations, page 9 is the conclusion by frequency range, page 10 is the total exposure percentages and the total is below 5%. Mr. Hilla asked if this is for people working an 8 hour shift and Mr. Shelton said this is really for general public. On a question from Mr. Sigler Mr. Shelton said the percentages drop as you go from the building.

Mr. Langenberger said the Board went into a lot of this information when T-Mobile put up a monopole on Route 70, and they talked about the small amount of radiation. He commented that Verizon has several locations and yet they still need another one. He wondered if T-Mobile will want to come in as well as other companies and also questioned why not pick a higher building. Mr. Shelton said they did look at the water tower by the school. Mr. Langenberger again noted the places they have antennas – Mr. Shelton said they could have picked from several locations if they had willing landlords, this building is right on Route 71 and can hit the commercial establishments in the area. Mr. Langenberger asked if this will generate any income for the Borough of Brielle, he felt the monopole was a ratable and only saw a benefit here to Verizon and the Schianos. Mr. Shelton again stated this will give better coverage here and may attract more people to spend time here. Also, by taking coverage issues from other areas here it will improve them as well.

Mr. Sarnasi noted the antenna in front of the building is held down by weights and kids are always there. He wanted to know if it can be moved back. Mr. Cirrotti answered this and referred to Exhibit A-3 which showed the antenna is 6.5 feet back, the ballast is several feet out from that. Mr. Sarnasi said he was looking at the existing roof line and Mr. Cirrotti said this is a false roof line. Mr. Sarnasi commented that if it fell over he did not want it to fall on kids.

Mr. Condon asked if this project is more for data than voice and Mr. Shelton said for now it is, but eventually Verizon is working on updating voice services to LTE spectrum; it takes time to go from older technology to new.

Mr. Cirrotti went back to Mr. Sarnasi’s concerns and again referred to Exhibit A-3 and confirmed the antenna is 6.5 feet back, it is a deceiving roof façade, there is an ornamental edifice and they are back more than 6.5 feet from that. They are not by the sloping roof and he suggested that seeing the photos may help.

At this time the hearing was opened for questions to Mr. Shelton and Kathy Penna came forward again and asked about the light weight antennas and can they blow over? Mr. Shelton said the ballast mount is weighted so this won’t blow over. Mr. Condon asked about the weight load calculation and Mr. Hilla said the Construction Code Official does this. Ms. Penna said she does not like emissions and why put them in a main business area? Mr. Shelton said they need to get the communications better. Ms. Penna said she has high end Verizon equipment and has no problem, her business is right down the street; Mr. Shelton said they have had complaints.

As there were no further questions, that portion was closed. Mr. Condon explained to Mr. Stanzione that usually the Board allows 45 minutes per application but he wanted to let this go for another 20 minutes to see if it can be completed.

The next person to come forward and be sworn in was David Carlback of Ridgewood, N.J. He has a Masters in Planning from Rutgers and is a Licensed Professional Planner in N.J.; he has been before many Boards through the State. The Board accepted him as an expert witness.

Mr. Carlback said there are large arborvitaes on the west side of this property abutting Lot 22, they are about 15 feet high so there is a buffer on the west side. The C-1 Zone is one lot deep on Route 71, then there are homes. There are commercial uses here, this facility is only electrical and phone service, no ground disturbance. This use is not permitted in this Zone so every application for phone service equipment will have to come before this Board. N.J. wants zones for where this can be put in and Brielle does not have this in their Ordinance so each company has to come before the Board. There are two nonconforming conditions here, Minimum Lot Frontage and Minimum Side Yard, both are existing.

Mr. Carlback sayd they need a D Variance for the wireless telecommunication use and explained this: 1) the public interest is at stake and the general welfare is served. Mobile phones are used for emergencies and this will benefit the town as well as being faster, seconds rather than minutes; one doesn’t have to have a Verizon phone to benefit from this. There are 300,000 towers in the country and Mobile phones exceed 400,000 emergency calls a day so this site is well suited for use. The site contains a commercial building in a commercial zone which means there is no need to build a new tower, the changes will be minimal and no trees will be removed; this site is ready fit for this. 2) Detrimental Effects – Aesthetics come into this and this application does not impact aesthetics. Exhibit A-9 is two photos, one of the existing conditions and one of the proposed conditions. Exhibit A-10 is a view from Borrie Avenue showing the antennas and Exhibit A-11 is a view from Borrie Avenue which shows this is not out of character; the roof equipment on the Oyster Bar is much more than what is here. There also will be no effect on the light and air, it is unmanned and needs very little servicing or traffic, there is no noise, vibration, dust or fumes. They also comply with FCC regulations and will not interfere with other uses. 3) The Board can impose reasonable conditions – they will entertain this. 4) Detriment to the Public Good – this is for high speed service and is a safe wireless communications project, Mr. Carlback did not see any detriments or impairment to the Zone Plan. The Borough Ordinance does address Commercial Earth Terminals (transmitters of electro-magnetic energy) and they use space but Verizon will go from terrestrial station to terrestrial station. If this project were for Earth Terminals they would comply with the zoning requirements. He finished by stating this is a reasonable location.

At this time the hearing was opened for questions to Mr. Carlback and Ms. Penna asked to be shown where the antennas are on Exhibit A-9 and she was shown this. Mr. Hilla said if you are on Woodland Avenue back far enough you may see the second one. She then asked where the equipment will be located and Mr. Carlback showed her that on Exhibit A-9. As there were no other questions this portion of the hearing was closed.

Mrs. Vitale asked , out of the 300,000 towers in the country, how many towers are there in New Jersey and Mr. Carlback did not know. She asked if they are “clustering here” as they seem to be so close. Mr. Carlback said the need is growing, consumption is driving the networks. Mrs. Vitale noted 5 towers in the area towns. Mr. Langenberger also commented on the number of locations and said when the Board had the monopole application on Route 70 they were told more would not be needed. Mr. Carlback said that monopole belongs to T-Mobile; Mr. Langenberger then answered Verizon is on the water tower by the Golf Course.

Mrs. Vitale asked if Verizon has tried to contact T-Mobile and Mr. Carlback said this type of public utility can be in one area and several other areas, with an electrical substation you can deliver service miles away but telephone communications are different and you cannot cause disturbance with others. There is no Ordinance in Brielle addressing this issue so they had to just find a reasonable location. Mrs. Vitale asked if they had approached other businesses in the area and Mr. Carlback said all business would require a Use Variance and they did look at other buildings but felt this one was best.

Mr. Sigler agreed there was no noise as he has worked on cell towers, but at times they do have a generator running. Mr. Carlback said the DEP has guidelines on this and they have to comply. Mr. Stenson referred back to Exhibit A-3 and asked if it is possible to put up screening and Mr. Carlback said he had a drawing of possible screening around the equipment and he passed around Exhibit A-12.

Mr. Condon asked if this can be compared to an electrical transformer and Mr. Carlback said this is much smaller. If it could hold water it would hold 11 gallons, that’s all.

As there were no fmore questions from the Board the hearing was opened for general comments from the public. Hearing none that portion of the hearing was closed and the Board went into discussion. Mr. Langenberger could see more of these springing up around town and felt Brielle had enough of them, he was not for approval of this application. Mr. Sarnasi felt that Verizon would not be going through this if it was not necessary; if screening were to be put up and the antennas are small, he had no problem, there used to be tv antennas on everyone’s home. Mr. Stenson agreed with Mr. Sarnasi. Mrs. Vitale felt there are too many variances being requested and was not in favor of approval. Mr. Sigler felt they would be transmitting at the elevation of people’s homes. Mrs. Montalto agreed with Mr. Sarnasi as to this being necessary. She was concerned about the ladder access as young people go here and felt the RF emissions are well below the standard so she would be for approval. Mr. Condon could see the Board’s concerns but this is not a cell tower and he would be in favor of it. Mr. Stanzione said if they put in screening it takes another variance away.

As there was no further discussion, Mr. Stenson made a motion to approve the application with the conditions of screening and the ladder to be off the ground, this was seconded by Mr. Sarnasi and this application was then denied by the following vote (as it was a Use Variance 5 affirmative votes are needed for approval):

Ayes: Thomas Condon, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi, James Stenson

Noes: James Langenberger, Tim Sigler, Terre Vitale

OTHER BUSINESS:

The final item for the evening was an Informal Hearing for a Medical Office at 421 Higgins Avenue (formerly Friendship Garden Nursery School). Dr. Jessica Wood and Dr. Joshua Wolput came forward to present this hearing. They want to acquire the building at 421 Higgins Avenue but, according to the Ordinance, they need 20 parking spaces and have 14. They are looking for approval to go forward. Mr. Condon explained the Board can’t give them approval but can give input. He asked if they had spoken to other business owners in this vicinity and Dr. Wood said no. Mr. Hilla said the parking is what it is and asked if the 5 interior spots shown on their plan was for employees and the answer was yes. Mr. Hilla did not embrace this concept and said there is an issue here for trash and drainage. This property is a hot spot for drainage issues and this would have to be addressed if they go forward with this.

Dr. Wood said that the previous business, a nursery school, had just a play area in the back and she wanted to know if putting in a parking lot makes a problem. Mr. Hilla said it makes an impervious surface which means more drainage issues. Mr. Condon said that when Eloise’s Café came in before them she had an agreement with Lamb Realty across the street to use part of their parking lot for her business. Mr. Hilla said this building is next to Simko’s and Mrs. Vitale offered Richard Graham’s office which is here as well. Mr. Condon said the day use is worse and they will be in business during prime time. He felt they just have to try to get more parking. Mr. Hilla explained that a medical facility means more parking needs. Retail is less of a use and that kind of complicates this.

Mr. Langenberger said he would love to see this building occupied but there are issues with drainage and suggested perhaps they reconfigure the parking to try to get more. Dr. Wolpert said the back is angled so changes to the parking may be a problem. Mr. Langenberger said that Simko’s still has the vacant lot next door and they may be interested in selling part of that lot; he admitted that parking is tough here. Dr. Wolpert asked what happens if the parking is approved, what do they have to do to make the drainage work. Mr. Hilla said a recharge system and less runoff down Gull Lane. He also offered some sort of pavement alternative, perhaps open pavers; he did not want another drop of water on Gull Lane.

Mr. Sarnasi asked how many parking spots did they feel they need and Dr. Wood answered this building would be doubling what parking they have now in Manasquan; they have 6 spots now but admitted there is side street parking. The maximum number of patients they see is about 20 a day, one patient every 15 minutes. Mr. Hilla suggested they explain all this to the Board if they do a formal application and Dr. Wood said this parking lot will be great for their use.

Mr. Langenberger asked if the present owners have done anything with the basement and Dr. Wood did not know. Mr. Langenberger said there was an issue there and the DEP had to come in regarding an oil tank in the basement; he was concerned about an oil smell. He said there are lots of doors in this building and if exam rooms and an office were put in he was willing to work with them on this.

Dr. Wood said they will look into renting some parking spots from other businesses and thanked the Board for their input.

As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Mrs. Vitale to adjourn, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 pm.



_______________________________________
Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary

Approved: September 8, 2015






 

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