Borough of Brielle, NJ
| April 12, 2016
April 12th, 2016
|BRIELLE PLANNING BOARD
TUESDAY, April 12th, 2016
The Regular meeting of the Brielle Planning Board was held on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 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, John O’Donnell, Eric Lapham
Also present were Carol McMenamy, Recording Secretary, Joe Clark, Esq., Board Attorney and Alan Hilla, Jr., Board Engineer. There were 23 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 March 8, 2016 meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Langenberger, seconded by Mr. Garruzzo and approved by voice vote, all aye.
The Board turned to the approval of a Resolution for variance relief for Block 29.01, Lot 8, 513 Harris Avenue, owned by Ellen, Mark & Joan Mimnaugh, to allow a raised deck. As the applicants, as well as the Board members, had all received a copy of the draft Resolution and as there were no corrections or changes, the following was presented for approval:
WHEREAS, Ellen Mimnaugh (“Applicant”) has applied to the Planning and Zoning Board (“Board”) of the Borough of Brielle seeking a lot coverage variance for the property located at 513 Harris Avenue, in the Residential Zone 3 (R-3), and known as Block 29.01, Lot 8 (hereinafter “property or parcel”), on the tax map of the Borough of Brielle; and
WHEREAS, This application specifically requires a lot coverage variance under §21-9.11 where 20% coverage is allowed, 23.3% is existing, and 26.6% is proposed; and
WHEREAS, The Board considered the following documents presented at the hearing in connection with this application:
PB-1 Engineering Report of Allan P. Hilla, Jr., P.E., P.P., of Leon S. Avakian, Inc.;
Exhibit A-1 Applicant’s Deck Plans prepared by John J. Gilchrist, Architect.
WHEREAS, the Board held a hearing on March 8, 2016, as follows:
1. Applicant came forward and was sworn in. Applicant testified that she is the owner of this property, and that the purpose of the Application was to raise her deck to match the level of her house. Applicant stated that the house had been significantly damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy, and that it had been rehabilitated and raised. Applicant further testified that the footprint of the raised deck would be identical to the existing deck and that there was no enlargement proposed or planned.
2. With regard to the application, the Board questioned whether Applicant would agree as a condition of approval that the deck could never be enclosed. Applicant agreed that she would comply with the condition.
3. Any other variances set forth in the Engineering Report were identified as pre-existing conditions and therefore not part of the application.
4. As there was no one in the audience, there was no need to open the meeting for questions or comments, and the Board went into discussion.
5. A motion for approval was made and seconded and was approved by roll call vote of 8 in favor, 0 against.
WHEREAS the Board, after carefully considering the evidence presented by the applicant and of the adjoining property owners and general public, if any, has made the following factual findings and conclusions of law:
a. That Superstorm Sandy necessitated the raising of Applicant’s house, the deck, which would otherwise remain at ground level, should be raised.
b. That after the deck is raised, it should never be enclosed.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Brielle, that Applicant’s application for a lot coverage variance 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.
c. The footprint of the deck shall be identical to that of the original deck.
d. Applicant shall never enclose or otherwise construct or add on to the deck such that the deck would not be open and exposed.
A motion to approve the above Resolution was made by Mr. Sigler, seconded by Mr. Garruzzo and then by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Mayor Thomas Nicol, Councilman Frank Garruzzo, Thomas Condon, James Langenberger, Tim Sigler, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi
Not Eligible to Vote: James Stenson, Eric Lapham
The Board turned their attention to an Application for Minor Subdivision for Block 7.01, Lot 9 & Block 8, Lot 6.13, 404 Lenape Trail & 1 Lebanon Drive, applicant - Doolittle, William & Patricia. Proposed Lot 9.01: Lot Size - 11,250 square feet required, 6,641 square feet proposed. Lot Depth - 125 feet required, 99.55 feet existing & proposed. Front Yard - 30 feet required, 24.8 feet existing. Side Yard - 10 feet required, 4.2 feet existing. Rear Yard - 35 feet required, 8.65 feet existing. Lot Coverage - 20% maximum allowed, 22.7% proposed. Proposed Lot 9.02: Lot Size - 11,250 square feet required, 7,037 square feet proposed. Lot Width - 75 feet required, 62.5 feet proposed. Lot Depth - 125 feet required, 99 feet existing, 110.39 feet proposed. Proposed Lot 6.13: Lot Depth - 125 feet required, 77.8 feet existing. Rear Yard - 35 feet required, 17 feet existing.
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. William Doolittle came forward and was sworn in, giving his address as 404 Lenape Trail. Mr. Francis Accisano, Esq. for the applicant asked Mr. Doolittle several questions. Mr. Doolittle testified that his family had moved into Brielle 31 years ago and that he has been in construction for a long time, including more recently working for Neptune Township in the construction department. Mr. Doolittle described part of his property as overgrown with trees and ivy and unusable in present condition. He presented exhibits A1-10, pictures of neighboring undersized lots taken by him and A11-14 pictures of the overgrown area on his property. A-15 was presented as a copy of the tax map.
Mr. Doolittle explained his intention was to subdivide his property with equal widths at street and build a bigger home with 3 or 4 bedrooms for his family. He argued that many lots on his street were undersized; stating 10 lots were 50 feet, 9 lots were 75 feet, and few were 100 feet and only three complied with regulations.
Mr. Doolittle explained should the Board approve the application he would purchase a piece of Mr. McCartin’s property which backed up to his property thus, trying to increase the lot sizes. Mr. Accisano asked Mr. Doolittle if there was any other property which he could purchase to help these lots conform. His response was no. Property on both sides is fully developed.
Mr. Condon opened to the Board for questions. Mr. Sarnasi asked if Mr. Doolittle knew why the house was originally off to one side. Mr. Doolittle responded that he could only guess that the property was going to be divided. Mr. Langenberger asked Mr. Doolittle why not demolish the house and build the house the family really wants without dividing. Mr. Doolittle responded cost restraints. Mr. Lapham asked the purpose of purchasing the McCartin property and Mr. Doolittle answered that it would add to the square footage of the two properties. Mr. Condon then asked whether the calculation of the square footage included the property to be purchased. The response was yes it did. Mr. Hilla asked the intentions of the grading. Mr. Doolittle explained that the natural slope was from the street to the back and there have not been any water issues in the past. Mr. Accisano added they would possibly put in drywells if needed.
Mr. Condon then opened the meeting to the audience’s questions. Mr. Andrew Balsys of 400 Lenape Trail came forward and was sworn in. He asked where the driveway would be going and if he planned any landscaping. Mr. Doolittle responded that they did not intend on sharing a driveway and he had plans of a garage and landscaping with bushes or shrubbery. He continued the garage would face the street. Mr. Balsys commented his concern with Mr. Doolittle’s home looking into his bedroom window. Mr. Doolittle said he intended on the garage being on that side.
Mrs. Sally Capotorto of 3 Lebanon Drive came forward and was sworn in. Her question was how many lots in Brielle have been subdivided. Mr. Condon answered her question by saying each application stands on its own merit. With no further questions of Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Condon closed that portion.
Mr. James Higgins, Mr. Doolittle’s planner came forward and was sworn in. He reiterated Mr. Doolittle’s testimony, two tax lots possibly going to separate at one time, many lots in area under the 100 feet; this sub division is in keeping with the neighborhood and would not have any negative impacts. He believes it meets the c-1 and c-2 criteria.
Mr. Condon opened to the Board for questions. Mr. Sigler asked what percentages of lots in the area are undersized. Mr. Higgins replied about 70%. Ms. Montalto asked what the lot coverage would be on lot 9.02. Mr. Higgins responded 20%. Mayor Nicol asked if the planner knew the history of this lot. Mr. Higgins responded no he was relying on his 30 plus years in planning and the missing house number. Mayor Nicol added he would like things more defined with the neighbor and landscaping. Mr. Higgins continued with plans for drainage to be submitted to Mr. Hilla upon approval of application.
Mr. Condon opened the meeting to the audience’s questions, with none being heard he closed that portion.
Mr. Condon then opened the meeting to comments. Kevin Starkey attorney representing Mr. McCartin came forward. He stated the appendage of land serves no purpose now and the sale of the piece of land would benefit both Mr. Doolittle and Mr. McCartin. Mrs. Milza 403 Lenape Trail came forward and was sworn in. She wanted the Board to know she was for the application and it would be an improvement to the neighborhood.
Mr. Condon opened to the Board for comments. Mr. Sarnasi commented that you drive down the street and think it is a lot already. Mr. Langenberger was concerned about drainage. Mr. O’Donnell, Mr. Stenson, Mr. Lapham and Ms. Montalto each added an improvement, consist with neighborhood and concern for drainage. Mr. Sigler had concerns about the drainage and too many homes on undersized lots. Councilman Garruzzo does worry about over-crowding the street but takes in to consideration that it is the only lot of 1252 feet. Mayor Nicol believes lots will be too small and there may be drainage issues. Mr. Condon started by saying he was confused with application until the hearing, he did feel it does stay in characteristics of the neighborhood, but he is concerned with drainage.
At this time the Board decided to have a vote on this application and Mr. Stenson made a motion to approve the application with the drainage conditions prior to building permits issued noted, this seconded by Mr. O’Donnell and then by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Councilman Garruzzo, Thomas Condon, John O’Donnell, Stacey Montalto, Charles Sarnasi, James Stenson, Eric Lapham
Noes: Mayor Nicol, James Langenberger, Tim Sigler
The last item for the evening was an application for variance relief for Block 55.01, Lot 10, 100 Ocean Avenue, owned by Howard & Jacqueline Dubinett, to allow construction of 3 second story dormers, a rear yard addition & a covered front porch to an existing dwelling. Minimum Lot Area - 7,500 square feet required, 7,250 square feet existing. Minimum Lot Width - 75 feet required, 50 feet exists. Front Yard Setback - 25 feet required, 16.1 feet existing, 19.5 feet proposed to second story dormers & 13.3 feet to proposed covered front porch. Rear Yard Setback - 25 feet required, 6.8 feet provided to existing dwelling, 9.8 feet proposed to garage addition & 10.4 feet proposed to second story rear dormer.
Mayor Nicol, Thomas Condon and Stacey Montalto recused themselves from this application. Mr. Stenson then took over as Chairperson.
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. Howard Dubinett came forward and was sworn in, giving his address as100 Ocean Avenue. Mr. C. Keith Henderson, Esq. for the applicant asked Mr. Dubinett how long he had owned the property. Mr. Dubinett responded he had purchased it in 2015. He went on to say there had been minor landscaping damage due to “super storm Sandy”. He continued on with his intentions of adding dormers to the house and to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Jim Langenberger asked if the utilities had been moved. Mr. Dubinett responded that they have been moved. The Board had no further questions of Mr. Dubinett. The audience had no questions.
Anthony Ercolino, Architect for Mr. Dubinett gave his qualifications and was sworn in. Mr. Ercolino presented A-1 and A-2 plans for the improvements to the existing home. He continued by saying they are not changing the footprint of the home but adding dormers to second floor, covering the front entry and improving the front stoop to bring it up to code.
Mr. Stenson opened up for questions from the Board to Mr. Ercolino. Mr. Sigler asked if the pavers were new or existing. Mr. Ercolino replied existing. Mr. Lapham asked about the shed and shower space whether they were currently covered. Mr. Ercolino responded shed is and shower is not. Councilman Garruzzo asked if they were really adding to and Mr. Ercolino responded more of an alteration to the shower since it is already attached to the garage. Mr. Stenson asked about the landscaping and Mr. Henderson answered that there no trees left on the property but there is a plan to landscape. Mr. Hilla asked if the ridge line was remaining the same. Mr. Ercolino answered yes remaining the same. Mr. Dubinett handed out a photo album marked exhibit A-3.
Mr. Stenson then opened up for questions from the public to Mr. Ercolino, there being none. He then opened up to the public for comments. Mr. Jim Cacker, 505 Green Avenue came forward and was sworn in. Mr. Cacker stated that the property had been in the family for 100 years, they were happy with the plans to improve the property and enjoy being neighbors with the Dubinetts.
Mr. Herbert Kruttschnitt III, 301 River Mist Way came forward and was sworn in. He shared with the Board how he feels the applicants do nice projects. Mr. John Oswald, 301 River Mist Way came forward and was sworn in. Mr. Oswald commented on the disrepair of the current home and he felt this would be an asset to the neighborhood.
Mr. Stenson closed the public portion and asked for comments from the Board. Each Board member stated they felt this was a wonderful thing for the neighborhood and it would be an improvement.
At this time the Board decided to have a vote on this application and Mr. Langenberger made a motion to approve the application with the changes noted, this seconded by Mr. Garruzzo and then by the following roll call vote:
Ayes: Councilman Garruzzo, James Langenberger, Tim Sigler, John O’Donnell, Charles Sarnasi, James Stenson, Eric Lapham
As there was no other business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Councilman Garruzzo to adjourn, this seconded by Mr. Sarnasi and approved unanimously by the Board, all aye. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.