A Community by the River

Borough of Brielle, NJ

December 8, 2015

January 27 2016

December 8th, 2015



The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, December 8, 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, John O’Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler,
James Stenson

Absent; Eric Lapham, Stacey Montalto, Terre Vitale

Also present was Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary. There were 15 people in the audience and the Coast Star reporter was recording 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 November 10, 2015 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Stenson, seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved by voice vote with Mayor Nicol, Councilman Garruzzo & Mr. Langenberger abstaining.


The September/October issue of the NJ Planner was received as well as a letter from Popovitch Builders asking for an extension of time for the demolition of a dwelling on Osborn Avenue, extension requested to January 31, 2016. As all Board members were agreeable to this, a motion was made by Mr. Stenson to allow this extension to January 31, 2016, this seconded by Councilman Garruzzo and then by voice vote, all aye.


The Board turned to the approval of a Resolution for variance relief for Block 107.04, Lot 3, 1101 Aileen Road, owned by John & Sharon O’Donnell, to allow the construction of a Pergola and outdoor fireplace.

All Board members, as well as the applicants, had received a draft copy of the Resolution and, as there were no corrections or changes, the following was presented for approval:
WHEREAS, JOHN O’DONNELL (“Applicant” or “Mr. O’Donnell”) has applied to the Planning and Zoning Board (“Board”) of the Borough of Brielle seeking variances for the property located at 1101 Aileen Road, in the Residential Zone 2 (R-2), and known as Block 107.4, Lot 3 (hereinafter “property or parcel”), on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, This application specifically requires the following variances for §21-12.2:
a. Front Yard Setback 40 feet required, 30.56 feet provided to the pergola and 32.19 feet provided to the fireplace.
WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on November 10, 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
2. It was noted for the record that Mr. O’Donnell is a member of the Planning Board, and he stepped off the dais to present his application.
3. Mr. O’Donnell testified that the location of the pergola and fireplace is behind the existing fence, which cuts in from the curb, thereby creating the need for the variance. He had submitted a photo of the pergola with his application and all members had a copy.
4. The Board asked questions of Applicant as follows:
a. Mr. Condon inquired as to the height of the pergola and fireplace and was informed by Applicant that the pergola was 9 feet to the top, and the fireplace would be 10 feet 8 inches;
b. Mr. Sigler asked if impervious coverage would be affected and was told by Applicant that it would not have an impact on impervious coverage; and
c. Mr. Sarnasi inquired about ground cover under the pergola here and was informed that the material covering the ground would be gravel.
5. The hearing was then opened to the public for questions directed to Applicant; there were none, and the hearing was closed.
6. The public comment portion of the application was then opened for general comments; there were none and the public comment portion of the application was closed.
7. Based on the evidence and testimony provided, and lack of any objection from the public, the Board found that the criteria for granting the requested variances was satisfied by the information provided by Applicant as set forth above and granted the variance permitting:
a. Front Yard Setback 40 feet required, 30.56 feet provided to the pergola and 32.19 feet provided to the fireplace.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that Applicant’s application for a variance from §21-12.2 is approved, subject to the following conditions:
a. Applicant shall pay all taxes and other applicable assessments, costs and fees to date, as applicable.
b. Applicant shall comply with all requirements and outside approvals as may be required from the Borough of Brielle or any other governmental authority not otherwise disposed of by this application.
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Sigler, seconded by Mr. Stenson and then by the following roll call vote:

Ayes: Thomas Condon, Charles Sarnasi, Tim Sigler, James Stenson

Noes: None

Not Eligible to vote: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo,
James Langenberger, John O’Donnell


The Board was scheduled to hear a new application for a Use Variance for Block 31.01, Lot 3, 649 Woodland Avenue, owned by Charles Gilligan, however, Mr. Gilligan was not present and, when Mr. Hilla contacted him, he said he was prepared to appear before the Board in January and not December. Therefore, the hearing was carried to the January, with notices to be sent to property owners and the newspaper.

The Board was also to hear an Informal Hearing for Block 20.01, Lot 4, 645 Woodland Avenue, for a Minor Subdivision; however, the attorney for this matter contacted the Board office the day before and cancelled this informal. This hearing will now be heard at the February 9th, 2016 meeting of the Board.

The last item on the agenda was a request for an Informal Hearing for Block 9.01, Lot 2, 504 Old Bridge Road, a Minor Subdivision which will create a flag lot. Before this started, Mr. Condon notified the audience that this is an informal hearing only and there is no public comment period; the applicants are here to get a feel from the Board on how to proceed with a possible minor subdivision of this property.

Mr. John O’Neil came forward and he introduced Mr. Joseph Kuciuba of KBA Engineering Services. Mr. Kuciuba said they are proposing a flag lot on Old Bridge Road, it is an oversized lot with 30,475 square feet where 11,250 square feet is required so it is almost 3 times the size of an approved lot. However, this is a deep lot and a variance is needed for lot width and it will be a flag lot with a house in the rear; there is a flag lot just across the street. The flag lot will have a frontage of 40 feet on Old Bridge Road and will conform with all other setbacks, they just need lot width variances.

Mr. Condon was not sure if he was within 200 feet of this property so he said he was not going to partake in any comments. Mr. Sigler commented on a note on proposed Lot 2.02 and 30% lot coverage Mr. Kuciuba said this is an error and there is no variance proposed for lot coverage. Mr. Sigler then asked about a fire hydrant and he was told there is one across the street.

Mr. Hilla asked about the home on the lot and was told that it was demolished; Mr. Hilla then asked if they had contacted the County as yet as this is on a County road and the answer was no, Mr. Kuciuba felt they may be required to have a K-turn area. Mr. Hilla felt that the County could require a dedication which would reduce the lot size.

Mr. Langenberger said this will affect several property owners and he could think of only 3 flag lots in town. The flag lot that was created across the street did not impact anyone other than the immediate neighbors, here at least ½ dozen properties are affected.

Councilman Garruzzo did not have a problem with this other than fire protection needs. Mr. Sarnasi said there are a lot of trees on this property, the rear is a wooded area and he did not want to see the lot clear-cut, all the neighbors would lose privacy. He would like to see something to preserve the vegetation. Mr. Kuciuba said they would provide a buffer plan with the subdivision.

Mr. Langenberger noted for years there was only one property with one house with 6 or 7 lots around it. He also did not this it would be fair to the neighbors and agreed with Mr. Sarnasi. He was also not big on flag lots and he would have to see a lot more before being in favor of this. Mr. Stenson agreed with both Mr. Langenberger and Mr. Sarnasi, as well as Mr. O’Donnell to leave the trees.

Mr. Kuciuba asked if the Board may see this more favorably if they reduced the stem from 40 feet wide to 30 feet wide, it would give them more of a buffer in the rear.

As there were no further comments from Board members, Mr. Condon felt they have given their input and would be open to hearing a Minor Subdivision application with the considerations discussed.

As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Councilman Garruzzo to adjourn, this seconded by Mr. Sigler and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.

Karen S. Brisben, Recording Secretary