Planning Board Meeting Minutes 20150804

The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of August 4, 2015. Interested parties may request a CD recording of the meeting from the Board Secretary for a fee.

Call to Order & Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act: Chairman Nalbantian called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m. The following members were present: Mayor Aronsohn, Ms. Bigos, Chairman Nalbantian, Councilwoman Knudsen, Mr. Joel, Mr. Abdalla, Ms. Altano, and Ms. Dockray. Also present were: Katie Razin, Esq.; Blais Brancheau, Village Planner, and Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary. Mr. Reilly, Ms. Peters, Mr. Thurston, and Christopher Rutishauser, Village Engineer, Gail Price, Esq., Board Attorney was absent.

Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – No one came forward.

Correspondence received by the Board – Letter from the Bergen County Planning and Economic Development regarding the Liva building.

Reaffirmation for 2015 – Designation of Village Planner as Officer re: Completeness Determination of Development Application – Mr. Brancheau was approved by the Board members.

Referral of Ordinances 3489, 3490, 3491, 3492, and 3493 from the Village Council for Master Plan Consistency – Board members reviewed Mr. Brancheau's draft letter and the letter prepared the letter Mr. Nalbantian with the assistance of Mr. Brancheau. Mr. Dockray asked about the abstention vote and the lack of specificity regarding referral of the letter.

Liva Building, LLC Minor Site Plan and Variance Application, 470 Route 17 South and 625 Franklin Turnpike, Block 4703, Lot 12 – Continued Hearing from July 21, 2015 – Ms. Nancy Hayes  Mr. Liva's attorney introduced the application and the revised plans submitted. Mr. Liva described the plan revisions saying he made the changes as suggested by the Board and he said the paint to be used would be non-reflective. Board members asked questions about the sign dimensions and about the visibility of the sign on Route 17.  Board members asked about the size and information on the sign, the need for illumination, and potential sign pollution on route 17. Mr. Liva said the signs were needed to improve visibility for his patients to find his office.

Board members discussed excess verbiage on the signs and Mr. Liva agreed to reduce the amount of content on the signs to comply with the Board's suggestions.

Ms. Razin suggested Mr. Liva return with revised plans prior to the Board making a decision. Mr. Liva then proposed to eliminate the excess verbiage and replace it with his logo similar to the one on the building, add his telephone number and illuminate the sign.

The Board voted and approved the signs with the changes discussed.

Sonic Wave dba Tito's Burritos, Minor Site Plan and Variance Application, 166 East Ridgewood Avenue, Block 3704, Lot 5 – Mr. Rutherford the applicant's attorney apologized for the installation of the signs without permits and provided a procedural history overview of the applicant's proposal for signage. He said the applicant, Mr. Caldarella, proposed to remove two outer lights and paint the remainder white. Mr. Rutherford said the color was not uncommon in the Village business district and that the choice is subjective. He reminded that Board that the Historic Preservation Commission was only an advisory group and did not make determinations regarding signs.

Mr. Caldarella, a partner in the business, was sworn.  He was asked about other locations and said they have three other restaurants. Mr. Caldarella said the blue color was associated with all of the Tito's Burritos restaurants. He said he was willing to remove and repaint the lights. Board members asked why he did not obtain permits and why blue was painted on the façade. Mr. Caldarella said they were painting the South Orange store and had excess paint. He said one of his partners suggested they use the excess paint for the Ridgewood restaurant. He said that sales improved with the blue paint. Board members asked if other colors were considered, some were in favor of the blue, others thought the color did not work well with the Village's business district, others suggested Tito's install planters.

Board members asked about other considerations for incorporating the blue. Mr. Caldarella said he was open to suggestions regarding the awning, door, window trim and sign background.

Mr. Rutherford said the wide variety of comments from Board members illustrates the subjective nature of the standards. Ms. Razin agreed that the Historical Preservation Commission's role is advisory. However, it she said they do carry weight.

Mr. Parrillo, the Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission began his presentation of the history of Tito's Burritos and the Commission. He provided a procedural history of the application and said the applicant told the Commission the building would not be painted and that attempts to work with the applicant were ignored. Mr. Parrillo said this application should not be viewed in isolation and that it does not flow with the two adjacent prominent historical buildings on each side. He said approval of the application would set a bad precedent. He suggested the use of blue in the awing, window trim, and signage.

Board members asked if color palettes were in the regulations and it was indicated they were not.

Mr. Rutherford offered to meet with the Historical Preservation Commission and carry the matter to a future date.  Applicant agreed to meet with the Commission at the September 8, 2015 meeting.

The application was carried to the September 15, 2015 Planning Board meeting.

Approval of Minutes – The minutes from December 16, 2014, June 9, 2014, and February 3, 2105 were adopted as written.

Executive Session – Mr. Nalbantian adjourned the meeting at 10:08 p.m.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Michael Cafarelli

                                                                                                Board Secretary

Date approved:

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