Planning Board public meeting minutes 20170516

The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of May 16, 2017. Interested parties may request an audio recording of the meeting from the Board Secretary for a fee.

 

Call to Order & Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act: Mr. Joel called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. The following members were present: MAYOR KNUDSEN, COUNCILMAN VOIGT, Mr. Torielli, MR. JOEL MS. PATIRE, MR. SCHEIBNER, MS. McWILLIAMS, and, MS. BARTO. Also present were: Elizabeth McManus, Village Planner; Christopher Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Christopher Martin, Esq., and Board Secretary Michael Cafarelli. Ms. Altano was not present.

 

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

Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics; Correspondence Received by the Board – There were none.

KS Broad Street, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 76 & 80 Chestnut Street and 25-27 Franklin Avenue, Block 2005, Lots 11,12,13,14,15 – Public Hearing continued from January 17, 2017 – Following is the transcript of this portion of the meeting, prepared by Laura A. Carucci, C.C.R., R.P.R.:                 

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Michael, do we have any correspondence that was received?

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: We do. We have two planner reports, one for K&S Broad and one for 257 Ridgewood, and then we have revised final site plans and final architecturals from K&S Broad, or for K&S Broad from Prime Law, and, again, final site plans and architecturals as well for 257 Ridgewood from Bruinooge & Associates. Okay. Thanks, Michael. (The Board discusses other matters and resumes the public hearing on this case at 7:51 p.m.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you. Our next item, Number 5, will be KS Broad Street, Preliminary and Final Major site plan, 76 & 80 Chestnut Street and 25‑27 Franklin Avenue, Block 2005, Lots 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. This is a public hearing continued from April 18th, 2017, without prejudice to the board. Jason, you have the floor?

  1. MR. TUVEL: Good evening, Mr. Chairman, members of the board, I'm Jason Tuvel from Prime Law, attorney for the applicant. Where we left off at the last meeting, we had finalized our testimony, we did provide exhibits at the last meeting in response to MS. McMANUS' comments. The revisions that MR. CAFARELLI just mentioned are the exact same things that were put on those boards, it's just that we wanted MS. McMANUS to have a chance to review them at least prior to the meeting, so we submitted those. We did get her report, which essentially stated that there's no relief necessary in connection with the application. There were some other comments, obviously, and I guess we'll get to that at a certain point.

Right now I believe we heard from the board's engineer. We've heard from the board's traffic expert. We were up to MS. McMANUS' testimony concerning the application. I'm assuming after that the board will open it to the public for comment. We're here, obviously. If there's any questions that we need to answer, I would just ask, Mr. Chairman, if I could do a closing statement at the appropriate time.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Sure.

  1. MR. TUVEL: So I guess that's where we are. We're ready to hear from MS. McMANUS on the application. Okay. All right.
  2. MR. TUVEL: Can I just ask one question before we start?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, sure.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I know that not everyone is here from the board. Is everyone here eligible to vote? Has either attended every meeting ‑‑ I know the Mayor and COUNCILMAN VOIGT have been at every meeting. It looks like every ‑‑ almost everyone, I think, has been at every meeting or read the transcript. I just wanted to double check.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Michael, did everyone ‑‑ anyone that missed meetings signed a certification?

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: Yes, they have.

Everyone here is eligible to vote.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Great. Thank you.
  2. MR. MARTIN: MS. McMANUS, can you raise your right hand?

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I do.

E L I Z A B E T H M c M A N U S,    

100 Barrack Street, Trenton, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:

  1. MR. MARTIN: And just state your full name and your business address.
  2. MS. McMANUS: Sure.

Elizabeth McManus, board planner for the Ridgewood Village Planning Board.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Thank you.
  2. MR. TUVEL, do you stipulate that MS. McMANUS is a professional planner and expert in that regard?
  3. MR. TUVEL: Yes.
  4. MR. MARTIN: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay, MS. McMANUS, you could proceed. 

  1. MS. McMANUS: Okay. I've issued two reports on this application, the most recent one was dated May 12, 2017. This most recent report is ‑‑ is not a ‑‑ a new report, so to speak, as compared to my April 14th memo. Instead it's simply an update of those items reflected in the original memo. I'll take the board through the comments here, although quite a bit of it is informational, for the board's better understanding of the application. And some of these items have been addressed by the applicant in the previous hearings, but nonetheless I will address each one, and I'm obviously available to the board for any questions you may have. Section 1 beginning on Page 1 of this May memo is simply project description. I don't think it requires any further commentary this evening. Section 2 is zoning compliance. There are a few items that I think should be mentioned. Item 2.1 simply addresses the fact that this is a permitted use. Item 2.2 identifies two items that have been discussed at previous hearings; however, since the previous hearing and this evening, the applicant provided updated plans and so this memo reflects those updated plans and state that the applicant has provided the required number of parking, 128 parking spaces on the site, and therefore relief is not necessary for that item. Additionally, there was a concern that the building was obstructing the sight triangle and that relief would be necessary from Section 190‑119(e)(1). However, the revised plans show that there are no visual obstructions, such as a building, within the sight triangle. And as such, relief is no longer necessary for this item. Item 2.3 provides the bulk compliance of the application. And as you can see in there, there are no bulk zoning variances that are necessary by the applicant. Item 2.4 notes the last item of potential variance relief that had been discussed as late as the last hearing, and that is the front yard setback. A previous set of plans, the applicant had shown some encroachments within the front yard setback for some of the building undulations; however, the revised plans no longer place the building within the front yard setback or any architectural feature of it, with the small exception of wall‑mounted lights. However, it's my interpretation that given the design of the building and the fact that the building, itself, is outside of the front yard setback, that no relief is required for this item. Section 3.0 provides consideration of the (c) variances. This is information in here simply because there had been (c) variances requested that have since been rectified. And this is for the board's information only. Section 4.0, beginning on Page 5, begins the commentary I provided on this application. Some of these items have been addressed, but I'll go through them this evening just to refresh the board's memory. Item 4.1 addresses the exterior amenity area, and this was the concern that we had raised and had been discussed in an earlier hearing where the applicant is proposing their outdoor amenity area at the southwest corner, generally adjacent to the railroad tracks. We had suggested that there may be an alternative location on the site, perhaps behind the building, that would provide for a place of quiet enjoyment. You may recall that this item was discussed. The applicant is proposing a different type of outdoor amenity area, if you will. One that provides for people watching rather than quiet space. And as thus, declined to revise the plans. I should note that while it's conforming, this was an alternative idea that was discussed by the board. To support their proposed location and to ensure that there's safe access provided to the folks that are looking to enjoy that area, the applicant did offer to provide, as I had recommended, a crosswalk across the driveway to at least make sure the folks that were entering the site in their vehicles were aware that pedestrians were crossing and to indicate the pedestrians looking to cross that driveway to or from the outdoor amenity area, that this is a safe location to do so. Item 4.2 proposed a couple of amendments to their planting plans, both of those have been agreed to, quite frankly. The first item was a switch of a planting material. We were concerned that the dense yew has poisonous berries. They've indicated that they will ‑‑ they will provide an alternative planting. Additionally, we had recommended in "B" that some additional shrubs species be provided and plant changes to the landscaping plan in the parking lot. They have agreed to those changes, as well. Item 4.3, sub‑items "A" through "G," recommend that the number of architectural changes which I believe that we had gone through with the Planning Board at this last meeting, and I recall that the applicant had offered to ‑‑ to provide a ‑‑ work with our office subsequent to any approval the board might be willing to grant to work out any architectural issues. And I'm happy to help facilitate those changes in that type of mechanism if the board is so inclined to include that as a condition of any approval. Item 4.4, we had asked the applicant to provide testimony on noise mitigation features included in the building. I think that's actually ‑‑ ‑ that's previously been done by the board ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ by the applicant's architect. And that generally concludes the report items or, excuse me, Sections 5, 6 and 7 are there for informational purposes only. So with that, that's an overview of my memo, but as I said earlier, I'm happy to answer any questions the board may have.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you. Dave, do you have any questions at this time?

  1. MR. SCHEIBNER: No questions.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Jeff?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I do have questions, but they're related to off‑site improvements, so who should I address those to?

  1. MR. MARTIN: I believe that you can address them to the planner, Mr. Voigt. Any other individuals that haven't testified ‑‑ I believe everybody else has testified, you can actually ask them as well. Since the planner is up, you might as well ask her.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. If they ‑‑ if she can't answer the question should I ask the traffic engineer; is that possible?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Probably after she's finished you can ask him questions.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. Okay. I'm going to hand out Section 190‑55 which is off‑site improvements to the board here, and I'm happy to give you a copy.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I have a copy.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So I just hand these out?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Sure. The secretary will do that.  
  2. MR. TUVEL: You know what, Councilman, I'll take an extra just for one of my people, if you have it.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. And are you familiar ‑‑ Elizabeth, are you familiar with this section? So we have ‑‑ I think we've addressed the issues in 190‑55(D), which talks about proportion of the total cost of the improvements. And that particular section is the ‑‑ kind of, it's a "may be" considered section. In other words, you may consider the proportion of total cost as a factor. There's a section before that that is Section C, which is called a general criteria for determining proportion of the total cost to pay for off‑site improvements. And that's a "shall be" section. In other words, this ‑‑ I'm assuming this may take precedence over the "may be," for the "shall be." The "shall be" should take precedence over the "may be"; is that ‑‑ is that an appropriate assumption? 

  1. MS. McMANUS: That's a legal term.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: That's a legal term.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Generally it does ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So under Section C, there's number one, number two and number three. Number one is a total cost of the off‑tract improvements. Number two is the increase in the market value of the property effected and any other benefits conferred. And, number three is the needs created by the application. I'm assuming one addresses the total cost, let's say, of a light at that particular intersection. I'm not sure what that would cost, would the ‑‑ Elizabeth be able to address that or, Andrew, would you be able to address what the approximate cost would be for that particular light?

  1. MR. FERANDA: For the traffic signal?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MR. FERANDA: I think I provided in testimony it would be between 300 and 400,000. I would still ‑‑

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Excuse me, do you have a microphone there? Thank you.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Yes. In the previous testimony I provided information that it would be between 300 and 400,000. Again, it depends on the final configuration of the intersection, but I still believe it would be within that range.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. And then number two says the increase in market value of the properties effected and any other benefit conferred. I'm assuming that ‑‑ does that mean that if we approve that traffic intersection it increases the value of the property accordingly; is that how that should be interpreted? Is that ‑‑ is that right?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Okay. My understanding as a traffic engineer, increased operation of an access or a driveway certainly would improve that function and add value. I don't know that I could put a number to it, but it certainly would add value to the driveway for that particular development.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And would it add value to the property? In other words, if you upgraded that intersection would it add corresponding value to that property; do you know?

  1. MR. FERANDA: I believe a site with efficient and effective access certainly would have added value, yes.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. And I want to talk a little bit later about the need created by the applicant, itself. Okay. So I'd just had some generalized questions and I'm hoping to go through those and whoever can answer them. So...

  1. MR. MARTIN: Mr. Voigt?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Just a point of order. The one witness is up ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.

  1. MR. MARTIN: So let's go to the other witness after.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. All right. So, Elizabeth, the first question I have is if the upgrade to the intersection is not made, what would happen to the development? Where would the ingress and egress be? Would it be on, just on Chestnut Street? Is that where it would be? I'm assuming there's only ‑‑ there's only going to be one entrance and exit; it would have to be on Chestnut Street if we didn't necessarily upgrade that, or would it become problematic?

  1. MR. TUVEL: Councilman, I'm sorry to interrupt. I don't understand the question. What's the question? If the signal is ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So my question is: If we don't upgrade that intersection ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: I'm sorry, I just want to make sure we have it all ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure. So my question is: If we don't upgrade that intersection, what happens to that intersection. In other words, if we decide we don't want to do it, okay, we don't want to upgrade that intersection, what happens to that particular ingress and egress to that particular area? Does that become problematic go in and out of it or... 

  1. MS. McMANUS: The safety of the intersection, in terms of how that safety may compare before or after any upgrades, I'm actually going to have to defer to your traffic engineer. But I will say that the existing ‑‑ if I understand your point, the existing ingress and egress along Franklin Avenue is an existing condition that the applicant would ‑‑ although I'm happy to be corrected by the attorney, but it's my understanding the applicant would continue to have the right to utilize that ingress and egress, regardless of any upgrades.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So I guess my question is: If we didn't upgrade that intersection, would it become problematic to get in and out of that area, based on that particular ingress and egress at Franklin; would it be an issue.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Councilman, that's a good question for the traffic engineer later on.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Andrew, could you help me with that?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Well, let's ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, okay.

  1. MR. MARTIN: --finish one witness at a time.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sorry.

  1. MR. MARTIN: That's okay. You can ask MS. McMANUS and then we can ask ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: All right.

So, Elizabeth, can you answer that?

  1. MS. McMANUS: The safety implications of not upgrading ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Again ‑‑

  1. MS. McMANUS: ‑‑ the intersection, I must defer to your traffic engineer.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So should I ask Andrew that ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No, Just ask any questions you have for MS. McMANUS first.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. Okay. All right.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So, again, if we don't upgrade that intersection, where are service trucks going to enter and exit? Would they enter there or enter at the Chestnut Street location? What would happen to the patrons if they had to enter and exit out of that particular intersection if it wasn't upgraded? Where would those people who live in that particular building, how would they get in and out of there, if we didn't upgrade that intersection? And what about those commuting on the train? How would they get back and forth? Would it be difficult for them to get across the street? You may not be able to answer this question, but I'm thinking would it frustrate people if we didn't upgrade that intersection who lived at KS Broad? In other words, if we didn't do anything would they be frustrated in getting back and forth across Franklin Avenue? And then from a valuation standpoint, this is where I'm having a little bit of difficulty, and I don't know how to do this, if we don't upgrade that intersection, what does it do to the value of the KS Broad property? Does it make it less valuable to live there? Would people want to live there if we don't do anything versus if we upgraded the intersection, would they want to live there? 

  1. MS. McMANUS: Okay. So a couple questions.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MS. McMANUS: In terms of whether or not people will be frustrated if the intersection would not be upgraded? I think it's reasonable to conclude that without the intersection upgrades there may be some frustrations experienced by residents who move into the area. As to whether or not the frustration would translate to a safety concern, again I have to defer that. And give me, again, the second component, as to whether or not there would be a value impact ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. So is there a value differential if you ‑‑

  1. MS. McMANUS: There may well be a value impact. A property located on a well‑functioning intersection versus ‑‑ excuse me ‑‑ a building located at a well‑functioning intersection versus that same building located at a poorly functioning or a failing intersection, there may well be some value implications to the property, if ingress and egress is difficult to the property, but ‑‑ that's certainly possible, but I can't give you any more specifics as to whether it might have a 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent impact.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: How would you find that out? Would you use an appraiser to figure that out, what the value would be, kind of a before‑and‑after, how much would it increase; is that, kind of, a suggestion?

  1. MS. McMANUS: If the ‑‑ in order to answer the question as to what the value of the property would be before or with or without any improvements, an appraiser would need to be involved.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: An appraiser would be.

  1. MS. McMANUS: Yeah.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So would you suggest that we do that.

  1. MS. McMANUS: I'm not ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Would you suggest we identify an appraiser to make sure to answer item number two, which is the increase in the market value of the property at 190‑55, that's what's concerning me is that, you know, by adding ‑‑ by not adding the intersection and upgrading it, it may decrease the property versus adding that particular intersection, improving that intersection would obviously increase the value. But I want to look at the differentials, because that's something we should consider as to what the off‑site improvements would be. Is that right?

  1. MR. TUVEL: I just want to ‑‑
  2. MS. McMANUS: I think that's a ‑‑ I think that's a literal interpretation of the ordinance ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MS. McMANUS: ‑‑ and that's one way to look at it, but I think the board also has to be concerned and take into consideration for its approval or any conditions of approval that might be imposed, the testimony and the report of your traffic engineer who has ‑‑ and he can provide additional testimony, presumably, about the ‑‑ the need for traffic improvements and what the applicant's pro‑rata share is. And so while these might be a consideration, I'm not sure that they ‑‑ I'm concerned that there could be a conflict in identifying what the pro‑rata share is for the application and how the board should otherwise ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So ‑‑ so my concern is that we've been looking at Section D the pro‑rata share. We haven't looked at Section C, which seems to have more relevance to what the off‑site improvement values should be. And I'm not sure we're looking at this correctly as far as, you know, what that value should be to the ‑‑ for the developer to the village; in other words, for their contribution.

  1. MR. TUVEL: But you're not deciding ‑‑ I mean I understand your point about we need to determine the proper valuation of the pro‑rata share. I think that's typically done after ‑‑ post‑approval with the experts figuring that out based on certain methodologies that are prescribed by ordinance. And just remember, I'm sorry if I sound a little ‑‑ I just remember one other with respect to this ordinance that it is a pro‑rata share, so the things that you're discussing, increase in market value, that's increase of market values of the properties that are all benefitted by the upgrade in the intersection. So you're going by pro‑rata share as to the property. So it's not just remember, the applicant pays its pro‑rata share, it doesn't pay for the entire upgrade.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: But, Jason, that's where I have difficulty. I don't agree with that based on what the ordinance says. The ordinance says that Section C takes precedence over Section D. You're talking about Section D which is pro‑rata share, and Section C really has more relevance to this particular issue, as it relates to clearly the total cost of the improvements which we need to know.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I'm not getting ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: The differential ‑‑ the differential between what would the value be before and after, we need to know what that is because I'll just give you an example, let's assume it's $1 million. Let's assume by putting that street light there, your development increases ‑‑ the value increases by $1 million. So the question to us is should we ‑‑ should you give that to us, that $1 million, to pay for that intersection, that $400,000.00 intersection, as opposed to only a 25 percent ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: Well, just remember, the proportion ‑‑ even in Section C, it's the proportion of the total cost. So it's not ‑‑ it's not the total cost. It's a proportion.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah, but you have to understand, that proportion is ‑‑ so the proportion is related to what the value is, the increase in value, you have to understand what the cost of that off‑site improvements are, okay? And I don't know what they are, and then the other question I have is ‑‑ and I guess, Elizabeth, I'll ask you this, so as currently stands, we can ‑‑ that particular intersection functions, I would assume, yes? Or is it something Andrew would know? It functions properly.  

  1. MS. McMANUS: I'm sorry. I was nodding, sorry about that, to indicate that, yes, I'm going to defer to your traffic engineer on that.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So ‑‑ so, Andrew, if I could ask you ‑‑ is it possible to ask Andrew?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Finish up with the witness ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. Okay.

  1. MR. MARTIN: ‑‑ and everybody else finishes with this witness. Then we'll go to the other witnesses.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. Yes.

So should I wait until after to ask ‑‑

  1. MR. MARTIN: Yes. Finish up with this witness.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. Sorry.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Then you can ask him.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. Okay. So, all right. Yes, those are my questions. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: MAYOR KNUDSEN

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Those are interesting questions actually. But I just want to ask a question regarding the exterior amenity area.

  1. MS. McMANUS: Yes, it's item 4.1.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: It is conforming ‑‑ would you say it's conforming? Do you think that was what the ordinance intended, or do you think that the ordinance was just too vague to make that determination?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I think the ordinance doesn't provide adequate guidance for the board to dictate exactly where it should be on the property. And so as such, the board's faced with a ‑‑ with a circumstance where the applicant has chosen the location that suits their ‑‑ suits their site plan and also suits their intention for how the space will be used, which may conflict with preference of the board.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So ‑‑ And in the absence of that area, there's no other area for just restful respite, other than people watching, in a busier intersection, is that...

  1. MS. McMANUS: Is your question are there no other places on the site?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: There are no other places on the site that you could have ‑‑

  1. MS. McMANUS: Given the existing site plan, there are no other ‑‑ I don't see any other options. There are some places on the site plan that could be amended with revisions to accommodate an exterior amenity area, although some design work would be needed to ensure that not only does it allow for a continually conforming site plan application. So, for example, there could easily be a larger, perhaps better, space placed behind the building, but we don't want to be ‑‑ but there could potentially be a circumstance where it reduced the number of parking spaces, therefore triggering the need for relief of the parking. You know, there could be consequences from an amended site plan. But, nonetheless, there are ‑‑ there are potentially other options should the plan be amended.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: And then on the answer when you wrote it's too slight almost ‑‑ that actually gives the appearance of greater bulk to the buildings and that was the impression, because it appeared to be wall? Could you just explain that a little further. 

  1. MS. McMANUS: Yes. With ‑‑ this is item C on Page 6 of item 4.3, the mansard roof is at a slight slope, so yeah, the intention ‑‑ the purpose of that comment is to indicate that if there were a larger slope to the mansard it would have a reduction in the appearance of building height and the appearance of building mass, that would be one item that could reduce the perception of the size of the building from the street.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Could we also put the dormers at the different sizes also, would that kind of be better because they're consistent; would that be ‑‑ would that give the effect of even more mass?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I'm less concerned about the size of the dormers from a building mass perspective, more so from an architectural design aesthetic.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: You can go on right now. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Carrie.

  1. MS. GIORDANO: I have the same two comments as Susan. I find that the space as ‑‑ the recreation space as it's been designed, we have those benches by our train station, so I understand that some people like to people watch. I just have a problem with that for anybody else, should there be children there, I still don't see that as a safe location, so you answered the question, I guess, about where else it could be located and potentially why the developer put it where it is. But I still have an issue with that location for recreation for anything else than watching a train. And then back to the roof, I don't have the ordinance with me, but ‑‑ do you have it with you? Are you familiar with the architectural guidelines in that? Do you think that these buildings incorporate the features of the buildings in the downtown?
  2. MS. McMANUS: Oh, the comparison of architectural styles?
  3. MS. GIORDANO: Yes.
  4. MS. McMANUS: Yes. I think that it does generally. It doesn't mean that there's not room for improvement, which is why we focused ‑‑ I focused my architectural comments ‑‑ commentary on comments rather than compliance measures.
  5. MS. GIORDANO: Okay. I feel as if it's so bulky that it doesn't match the character of anything on that ‑‑ on that street. So that's just my interpretation of it, it may be different architectural perspective.
  6. MR. TUVEL: And just to reiterate based on comments of the Mayor and MS. GIORDANO, that the applicant understands that the architecture is not an exact science, and we'd be willing to work with MS. McMANUS and a committee any of the board so that if you choose to do so, to work out the fine details that are being pointed out right now.
  7. MS. GIORDANO: Right. No, I understand that, but it has been brought up at every meeting, every time, it would have been great to see it because the building really looks so ‑‑ just bulky and overpowering and the sidewalks there are not as wide as depicted when you see the building. That's all.
  8. MS. McMANUS: You know, further commentary on that, yes, the building is larger, it has a larger bulk than a lot of the other buildings that you see in downtown, but I think, in part, what's intended to more precisely measure that some of your bulk standards like the density, for example, the floor area ratio requirement, the maximum improvement coverage, I would say that those are the ordinance standards that are intended more directly address the building bulk. And I also wanted to echo the previous comment I had that the developer just indicated, that should the board be inclined to grant any approvals to this application, there has been an offer that an architectural conversation can continue beyond the approval, that we would make, as well ‑‑ and I'd like to just one or more board members as well to get the board's input on the architectural changes, so that while the architecture is conforming, there are ways, as highlighted in my memo, to further address some of the concerns that you stated and some of the concerns that I think the other board members have.
  9. MS. GIORDANO: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you. Frances.

  1. MS. BARTO: My concern, a lot of my concern, is the issue of parking spaces.

Now, I do understand that the applicant has satisfied their requirement; however, if we're looking at, you know, units where people may have multiple vehicles, we've got retail shoppers, restaurant goers, people who are going to, without a doubt, utilize the parking spaces that are commuters, because we have a lack of parking in the area and that has been an ongoing issue. What are your thoughts, if any, on, you know, whether or not this really is sufficient parking, even though it's met the requirement technically?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I think RSIS, quite honestly, is sufficient for the majority of residential projects around the state. And that were the ‑‑ we, as in this board in this application, are in the position of having a building be proposed directly adjacent to a train station for the multifamily units. I think the likelihood that a proportion of those residents don't have two‑car households is likely. And that's, in part, reflected by RSIS. Another point about the concern that commuters or folks seeking to visit downtown uses are going to be using that parking lot, I think that's probably true. They're going to want to park there. I've done that. Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but in other communities I may have parked my car in a parking lot that you're not supposed to be in. And, quite frankly, in situations like that it's incumbent upon the property owner, especially ones where the residents ‑‑ the parking is specifically reserved for its residents, to manage the parking and to enforce the parking to have, perhaps, towing a car when they ‑‑ when they see illegal parking of vehicles. There's ‑‑ it's a situation that could occur on almost any property throughout New Jersey as I think one site is perhaps under‑parked for visitors to a different site that's nearby. But it's incumbent upon that property owner to enforce its own parking requirements when ‑‑ of course when they've got compliant parking in the site.
  2. MS. BARTO: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: My comments on the architectural issues were similar to Susan's and Carrie's. And it's just that I feel they've incorporated all of the architectural, you know, touches from so many varying buildings and areas in town and it just doesn't mesh or match up or make any sense when I look at it visually, but I am glad to know that the conversation is open later, as far as that goes. My concerns have been all along the site ‑‑ the obstructions, the sight‑triangle issues. And I know that you stated they are resolved. But are they resolved ‑‑ how resolved? Are they resolved within feet? Are they resolved within ‑‑ you know, how resolved are they? I ‑‑ that is such ‑‑ that part of the sidewalks aren't being widened in any way, even though we looked ‑‑ you know, we saw the rendering a couple weeks ago, it really ‑‑ it looks like there's a mile of sidewalk and then a building. First off, they're not 4‑foot sidewalks. And then a mass of a building. So I'm just ‑‑ I'm really curious as to how ‑‑ if it's possible to gauge how much these are resolved by the sight‑triangle concerns.
  2. MS. McMANUS: I think I could answer your question.
  3. MS. McWILLIAMS: Or does it strictly not matter because it's resolved entirely?
  4. MS. McMANUS: Well, in part, I mean to some extent in terms of whether or not this is a compliant application, it doesn't matter. They've met the ordinance requirement, period. But to answer your question, I think that they have ‑‑ I think that they've just met the sight‑triangle site planning requirement. I can open up the plan to look, I think they're very close to ‑‑ to the minimum distance.
  5. MS. McWILLIAMS: Like within inches, I think ‑‑
  6. MS. McMANUS: I believe so. Maybe a foot or two.
  7. MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay.
  8. MS. McMANUS: I can confirm that, but it's not ‑‑ it's not a significant difference beyond what's proposed and what's required.
  9. MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay.
  10. MR. TUVEL: I would just add that we comply with not only with the Village's requirement but also the county as well. So because it's a county road, we also have to comply with their sight‑triangle requirements and sight‑distance requirement. And we've done that.
  11. MS. McWILLIAMS: That's ‑‑ I have another question about that, when the county plays in, but I'm not sure if that's going to come to safety and traffic later. But speaks to what Jeff was asking earlier, and I guess the front yard setback raises the same question, I think Isabella had noted in some of her comments that the site ‑‑ that the setbacks, there's still encroachments with the lights, and that the setbacks were to within an inch of being met. I have concerns about that, just based on what that corner provides, what that corner ‑‑ what that entire area has, you know, what has previously happened and existed on that corner and what sort of issues with safety we've had there before. I just think that it's something to be looked at more closely. My last, I think, comment was about the exterior amenity area, and that we're requiring crosswalks to get to it and a crosswalk to keep people safe in and out of it. It's right at the ingress. It's right at the turn. And it's right at the train. And I while it's an alternative use, I think it's pushing alternative ‑‑ the alternative use of what that ordinance meant like to the limit. So it's an area if we're open to discussion on, that's great. But I don't necessarily think ‑‑ I think calling it an alternative use is just a nice way of saying it doesn't really comply. I think that's it. And if you ‑‑ I guess my question is, is that a fair way of looking at it?
  12. MS. McMANUS: In terms of the outdoor amenity area, I don't think there's a compliance issue.
  13. MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay.
  14. MS. McMANUS: Sorry.
  15. MS. McWILLIAMS: No.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel? 

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: One question for you, back to the outdoor amenity area, if you were the planner retained by the applicant and not by the village, would you put it in that corner? And, if not, where would you put it, as a planner?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can't hear you. Say again? Can't hear you.

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I'll try again. Better.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Okay. If you were the planner retained by the applicant, not the village, would you put the exterior amenity in that corner by the railroad tracks? If not, where would you put it as a planner. 

  1. MS. McMANUS: For what it's worth, my preference might be a location that provides for quiet enjoyment. A place that's shielded from the traffic and the activity of the street.

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. I like the comments regarding the architectural. Do you find that it works well? Yes, very much so. And it's really where you have a willing applicant, the applicant has indicated they're happy to go through this exercise. But, yes, being able to sit down and have a work session with the applicant, I probably would bring one of my ‑‑ the architects that I work with to ‑‑ in hopes they would also bring their architects so that they can hash out some issues and design alternatives. I've found them to be a very successful process and helpful in getting buildings approved or constructed that are more aligned to the community's aesthetics.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do you see it doable in this situation that you would be able to get it done?

  1. MS. McMANUS: Yes, I strongly recommend that as a condition of any approval.

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Can I just get ‑‑ pass it back for one question.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, sure.

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Just a point of order, property owner or Chris, will we have difficulty approving or not approving something as a board knowing that it's going to be subject to change? We're approving, you know, they have a plenty of exhibits, they're well‑documented, they're revised things. And we're agreeing to kind of meet on the side or not and revise things or not. Will we have difficulty as a board having a motion to either deny or approve an application based on changes that are not defined.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Well, yes and no. From a planning perspective, I think we have the right witness for this question, if there are material architectural problems that are not consistent with the Master Plan and the ordinances and the State of New Jersey law, that the planner knows, that would be a material problem. If it's a "I like this better than I like that," that's different. We can't deny an application for that as a matter of law. And that's where the subcommittee working together helps the community because the reasons to deny an application are not based on aesthetics, unless they're material issues. Am I correct, from the planning perspective?
  2. MS. McMANUS: Yes. And I ‑‑ I would further add that my intention for being part of any subsequent discussions and subcommittee would not be to fundamentally change the architecture from what you see here, but rather to discuss how it could be amended in ‑‑ in smaller ways to improve the aesthetics, not to change the architectural style, for example, it would be should a building be here or perhaps 10 feet over, should it be this material versus that material, not as a ‑‑ not a fundamental change in the architecture. And, furthermore, if there are any items that could not be rectified by the subcommittee and the applicant, I'd recommend they come back before the Planning Board. Furthermore, the board would not be granting any permission to suggest that the applicant should deviate from the ordinance.
  3. MR. MARTIN: Okay. In fact, most comply with the ordinance.
  4. MS. McMANUS: Yes, yes.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does the applicant or anyone else have any more questions? I have a quick question. You recommended, Cathy spoke to the windows to the retail area. What is the impact of that on setback, and what is the impact of that on the sight triangle? You recommend a canopy on the corner.

  1. MS. McMANUS: A canopy is unlikely to affect the sight triangle because it's so high. Drivers would continue to be able to see underneath it. But I will say if the canopy was in the sight triangle I would immediately retract that recommendation for that portion of the building because that's a safety issue that must take precedence.
  2. MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes, there are a number of heavy vehicles associated with village activities that use that intersection, so the drive position of those vehicles would be quite a bit higher, and also the ‑‑ that corner is on a slope, so the large vehicle, a driver in a higher position may be further back than a passenger car is going to be, quite a bit higher than the passenger car.
  3. MS. McMANUS: Well, I can tell you I'll certainly take that into account if there is such a discussion after this evening, we'll make sure that any architectural changes have no impact on the safety of the building or the sight triangles.
  4. MR. SCHEIBNER: And it has no impact on setbacks.
  5. MS. McMANUS: Give me one minute to confirm. I want to just confirm that. I'm sorry. Can I answer you in just one moment?
  6. MR. TUVEL: As someone who's had to go through general code on my phone, I know what it's like to scroll through and try to look something up that you weren't ready for a question on.

Can we just continue and then maybe MS. McMANUS can just get back to that? 

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

Does anyone else have any more questions?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I do of Andrew.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. We are going to get to that.

Does the applicant have any questions?

  1. MR. MARTIN: I just ‑‑ I do have a question.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Oh, yes, sure.

  1. MR. MARTIN: MS. McMANUS, whenever you're ready.
  2. MS. McMANUS: Under pressure. Okay. Hold on. Give me one second.
  3. MR. TUVEL: What I would say to the question, though, is that if is did create relief we would just ‑‑ we would just point out those architectural elements that would not create relief, and that our architect would work with MS. McMANUS to get that same architectural effect without creating relief.
  4. MS. McMANUS: I have an Answer.
  5. MR. TUVEL: Go ahead.
  6. MS. McMANUS: All right.
  7. MR. TUVEL: I was trying to help you out.
  8. MS. McMANUS: Thank you for ‑‑ yes, thank you. I appreciate that.
  9. MR. TUVEL: Breaking the silence.
  10. MS. McMANUS: Okay. There is an ordinance provision. For the record, it is Section 190‑119(a)(4). It's (a)(4)(f). "No canopy or marquee shall extend past any setback line affecting the building to which it is affixed. Prohibition shall not apply to retractable types of blinds. In addition, canopies and marquees shall be subject to provisions," and then it goes on. So, ultimately, it seems as if it's the type of canopy that will be dependent as to whether or not it may project into the front yard setback.
  11. MR. SCHEIBNER: Thank you.
  12. MS. McMANUS: So after all that, my answer is still it depends.
  13. MS. McWILLIAMS: If it's within inches as it stands, would even a retracted canopy retract against the building, because it would ‑‑
  14. MS. McMANUS: Again, presumably the mounting ‑‑ if the building were clearly at the setback line, presumably the mounting hardware would extend.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I have a question.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Just when you make a note that the parking lot was void of any shrubbery, what was the benefit other than visual? Was there any added benefit to that?

  1. MS. McMANUS: To adding the shrubbery?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes. Besides visual.

  1. MS. McMANUS: Oh, it's primarily visual. Plantings can be helpful in maintaining soil, in the case of soil erosion during rain events as well.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: All right.

  1. MS. McMANUS: It depends on the ‑‑ how the planting beds are designed. But they can be helpful in that respect.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Thank you.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Just, MS. McMANUS, I just want to follow up with a couple of questions by COUNCILMAN VOIGT. I thought they were very good. In terms of Section 190‑55 the ordinance, can you pull that up?
  2. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  3. MR. MARTIN: Now, obviously you weren't the planner that was involved in the drafting of this ordinance, correct.
  4. MS. McMANUS: Correct.
  5. MR. MARTIN: But it was adopted by the governing body and presumably consistent with the Master Plan as recommended by the Planning Board, correct.
  6. MS. McMANUS: Presumably, yes.
  7. MR. MARTIN: Again, you weren't involved in it, correct?
  8. MS. McMANUS: Correct.
  9. MR. MARTIN: If you look at Section 8 it says: "Determination of required improvements the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment as applicable shall determine the nature of off‑tract improvements." This ordinance would be used by both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board, correct?
  10. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  11. MR. MARTIN: Okay. Going down to Section C, it says? "General criteria in determining proportion of costs to be paid by applicant. The proportion of the total cost to be paid by the applicant for off‑tract improvements shall be"...

And that's bold and underlined, correct?

  1. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  2. MR. MARTIN: ‑‑ "determined by the board with assistance of the village agencies based upon the following criteria."

So the "shall be," I believe, in the planning parlance, is that the board at issue, here the Planning Board as opposed to the Zoning Board, shall be the one that determines it, correct?

  1. MS. McMANUS: Correct.
  2. MR. MARTIN: I don't believe that "shall be" says that one, two, three, four, five, six, seven are "shall be" things that must be looked at, those are general requirements; am I right?
  3. MS. McMANUS: I believe so, yes.
  4. MR. MARTIN: In that light ‑‑
  5. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  6. MR. MARTIN: ‑ are you familiar with planning situations where it is a tract of land that's going to be subdivided; and in fact, this deals with site plan and subdivision review, correct?
  7. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  8. MR. MARTIN: If it's going to be subdivided and there's no improvements and they're going to yield a substantial subdivision, there needs to be access to the subdivision to have any market value to the buildings that are being constructed; is that ‑‑
  9. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  10. MR. MARTIN: ‑‑ normal planning processes?
  11. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  12. MR. MARTIN: And in that light, if an unimproved tract can't be improved, there would be a significant market value difference in planning; is that generally how it goes?
  13. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  14. MR. MARTIN: So this criteria can be considered and it says, based on what's here, one section has off‑site improvements and market value, that can be considered for subdivisions and issues that involve access to the tract, itself, where there are going to be improvements, correct.
  15. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  16. MR. MARTIN: Okay. In this instance, do you see the safety concerns that I believe are enumerated in number seven, public health and safety, to be more related to a traffic engineer's analysis or a planning analysis in terms of the zoning use issue or off‑tract improvements to access the site to be able to develop it.
  17. MS. McMANUS: I see that in relation to traffic engineering to ensure that; for example, access is safe for the public.
  18. MR. MARTIN: So in this application as opposed to another type, you see it more of a Planning Board issue or a Zoning Board issue in terms of the requirements under this criteria of this general criteria of 190‑55.
  19. MS. McMANUS: I'm sorry, do you mean by Planning Board versus a Zoning Board issue.
  20. MR. MARTIN: There is an ordinance in effect that relates to this project that was addressed by the governing body, correct?
  21. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  22. MR. MARTIN: Separate from that, now we're at the planning stage; we all know that, right.
  23. MS. McMANUS: Right.
  24. MR. MARTIN: The access in terms of proper circulation, ingress, egress, safety, health concerns, is that more of a traffic engineer's concern at this point or more of an overall planning design element.
  25. MS. McMANUS: More of a traffic engineer's concern at this point.
  26. MR. MARTIN: And based upon your experience as a planner, would the increase in market value be more involved in a different type of development as opposed to this application, or would it be related to this application in terms of what the spirit of this ‑‑ this ordinance is about.
  27. MS. McMANUS: It's more applicable to other types of applications.
  28. MR. MARTIN: Are you sure about that?
  29. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  30. MR. MARTIN: No, I just ‑‑ there's an ordinance here that deals with ‑‑ it's a broad ordinance; is that fair to say.
  31. MS. McMANUS: Yes. It's very broad.
  32. MR. MARTIN: I just want to make sure the board understands from a planning perspective when you're looking at this ordinance from a professional planning perspective what the relief is all about.
  33. MS. McMANUS: Okay. Yes. The ordinance is, as you alluded to, very broad. It's intended for just about every ‑‑ potentially most types of applications that come before this board. But in terms of increase in market value, that is not a question that typically plays into a board's decision making for granting variances, waivers, and often needed site plan applications or conforming applications.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'm not sure I understand that. 

  1. MR. MARTIN: Do you want to ask ‑‑
  2. MS. McMANUS: I'm sorry. Could you speak into the microphone?
  3. MR. MARTIN: You want to ask a question?  

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, I wasn't sure what your answer was.

We can take that into account or we can't take that into account? In other words, what's the difference in the market value, we should be taking that into account?

  1. MS. McMANUS: My point is it's not typically a consideration for a board in the case of a conforming application. Yes.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So I just ‑‑ okay. Can I ask one more question?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Yes, sure.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: It's okay. So this is ‑‑ this is a unique ordinance. And you don't see this very often.

  1. MS. McMANUS: Correct.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Hardly at all.

  1. MS. McMANUS: Correct.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So ‑‑ and I don't know, I don't pretend to get into Blais Brancheau's mind as to what he was thinking. It's here. But it just seems to me that we should consider what that differential in value is based on the off‑site improvement, and that should be used in our estimation of what the proportion of the costs should be for the applicant to pay for something like the intersection. So I'll just make up some numbers. Let's assume that this is the increase in value based on the fact that you add this light, it increases the market value of that development by $2 million, okay? And let's assume we come up with a calculation that it's 25 percent of that $2 million that they should pay for the intersection to us. So that's half $1 million. Okay? I don't know if you come up with that estimation to understand or even be able to approve this unless we know what that is. And so that's my concern. And that ‑‑ and that references Section I of this ordinance which basically says that the board cannot agree on the total ‑‑ if they can't agree on the total cost of the applicant's proportion ‑‑ for the applicant's proportion of total cost, we can't approve it. So unless we know what that is, we are unable to approve this. We need to understand what that is. And sections ‑‑ we need to understand what Section C is and means to us before we go ahead and say, yes, we approve this or not. And that's where I'm having difficulty.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Mr. Voigt, as a matter of law, that's not consistent with the case law and Municipal Land Use Law as to not approving an application or not. I think the question of the planner would be what relationship to off‑tract improvements should be required from a planning perspective by this applicant. And in terms of the very good question market value, as a matter of law and interpretation to the board, I would say it's, from a planning perspective, the planner has testified that it's not necessarily related to this type of application. Am I wrong about that? I just want the board to be clear.
  2. MS. McMANUS: No. That's correct. My experience when boards struggle with the appropriate share of off‑tract improvements, it's been my experience that the discussion completely revolves around the change in use for the intersection, for example, as a result of the application, the increased activity that will result as a ‑‑ from the application. The activity might be measured in terms of vehicle trips per day down a particular street. And so it's measured or it's calculated, measured on the increase in whatever the off‑tract improvement is ‑‑ is about, whether it's road infrastructure or some other type of infrastructure. The value that the applicant will receive as a result of that off‑tract improvement is not ‑‑ is not typically part of the conversation.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: But ‑‑ so, again, this is the problem I have with this, is that this language is not in any other ordinance practically in New Jersey.

  1. MS. McMANUS: I'm not ‑‑ I've not seen language like that.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So how do we apply it? Because you're spinning back to me what you would do in a normal situation. This is not a normal situation for us. I don't know ‑‑ I don't know how to use this. And, you know, I guess I have to interpret it literally that says, okay, well, I need to understand what the total cost of the off‑tract improvements is and there's going to be an estimate for that, I don't know exactly what it is, I need to understand what the increase in market value is based on the improvement of the off tract and the light, I don't know what that is. And then the needs. And I want to get to that in a second with Andrew with the needs created by the application itself and whether or not this is making ‑‑ if we don't do anything, having this application, does it make it worse off? And I'm assuming it probably does, if nothing's done. So that's where I'm having difficulty in being able to interpret this and make sense of this.

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: Where does it say in here that it has to be a conforming application, or is that just generally with other ordinances similar to this throughout the state, and this one being so, you know, sort of abstract or different ‑‑ I don't see here where it says it should apply to only a conforming application.
  2. MR. MARTIN: Well ‑‑
  3. MS. McWILLIAMS: And I may have missed it.
  4. MR. MARTIN: No, no, no. COUNCILMAN VOIGT's questions are excellent. That's why I was trying to see if the planner could explain it to the board in terms of this is the zoning board as well as a planning board general ordinance. If there's something that's inconsistent with the laws of the State of New Jersey, the general planning principals of the State of New Jersey and the Municipal Land Use statute and how it's interpreted, the ordinance is not going to be upheld. So there's a lot of good things in this ordinance, but reading it in a way that is inconsistent with the law, from my perspective, and the planner's perspective, I think the board just needs to know the reality of it, and whether it's right or wrong, I have to call it as I see it.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Any further questions? (No response.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Applicant have any questions?

  1. MR. TUVEL: No. If there are any public comment, if I think of any, I'll reserve that right to ask MS. McMANUS any questions.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.

  1. MR. TUVEL: But at this point I don't have any.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We'll let the public cross now.

Is there anyone that wants to ask Beth McManus any questions?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: You can line up and you can ask three questions. You can ask them in a row. She'll answer them, and then if you have more questions you just go to the back of the line. I'm just saying that because of the volume of people we have here right now. If there's not going to be that many people, it should move along quickly. So whoever wants to ask questions of the planner can approach the podium. 

  1. MS. KOTCH: I'm not sure this is the right kind of question. I'm not sure ‑‑ I'm not sure where it's appropriate.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Give it a shot.

  1. MS. KOTCH: Okay. Give it a shot.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: State your name and address for the record.

  1. MS. KOTCH: I'm Linda Kotch, 60 North Hillside Place. You what I went to a gym today for the first time, my muscles aren't working in my mouth. (Laughter.)
  2. MS. KOTCH: So, okay. Hi. Okay. Question: Safety, bike lanes. So that bike lane that vexing bike line that is under the trestle, let me just ‑‑ let me just preface this by saying my husband rides his bike to and from Ridgewood to New York City every day. Okay. So I can appreciate, I see both sides. And every day I drive through there is humph. But not only that. I am worried about the safe situation for the first time, only time I see this poor kid, you know, bee‑lining out it the wrong way. Now, we are not used to seeing cyclists in that lane, and everyone wants to get their kids to high school or wherever they're going, that's my situation. Are we dealing with cycling lanes or pedestrian‑friendly situations? Because I'm hearing this sort of, like, this project, it smacks of trying to shove 20 pounds of flour into a 10‑pound sack. We're talking inches. Can we, like, get this much more in this much space (indicating). And why don't we just look at this in terms of a little bit more of a pedestrian friendly? The west Village is one of the safest places in Europe because there's tremendous pedestrian vibrancy. So if we're looking at this project, and God knows we're going to be one of many projects that are going to be happening in other towns, HoHoKus, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, let's do the best we can. Let's make this a little bit more cycling friendly, a little bit more pedestrian friendly. We are ‑‑ cannot assume that because we're close to the train that everybody is going to want these apartments are going to be coming in and coming out. There's a lot of folks that want to stay here and they might want to go to a, God forbid, some place in town. But ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Linda, can you frame it as a question? We're going to have public comment later on.

  1. MS. KOTCH: What are we doing about ensuring that we're going to have the most pedestrian cycling friendly development; does that make sense.
  2. MS. McMANUS: Okay. I think I understand your question.
  3. MS. KOTCH: Okay.
  4. MS. McMANUS: So the applicant is ‑‑ there are two things I think you should know. One, the applicant is going to be providing ‑‑ the applicant is going to be providing sidewalks along both frontages of the site.
  5. MS. KOTCH: But, like, I don't want a gangplank, I'm talking, like, you know, France, you know.
  6. MS. McMANUS: No. I understand.

The applicant ‑‑ but they are meeting they're ‑‑ they are meeting the requirements for the site. They are providing a bike rack on the property to help facilitate ‑‑

  1. MS. KOTCH: A bike rack.
  2. MS. McMANUS: It is a single structure but it holds several bikes. I don't have the number in front of me, but it's several. So they are ‑‑ they are facilitating some of the residents of the property to have bikes so that they can, you know, bike around Ridgewood and the surrounding towns. But in terms of wider site improvements, no, the applicant is not proposing to upgrade the bike lanes for ‑‑ in the area, for example. I think ‑‑ I think part of your concern is that the village, as a whole, should be advancing pedestrianism and bicyclists throughout the town. And, so, this application, although it's in a ‑‑ in a prominent location, there's only so much that it's responsible for and only so much that it can be asked to upgrade the village's infrastructure for the pedestrian and bicycle lanes at this time. So I hear your concern, but the challenge before the board is dealing with these village‑wide concerns with this regional ‑‑ or I should say neighborhood concerns versus the application for a single site. And I think that's ‑‑ those are the concerns that we've heard echoed by some of the board members and questions about off‑tract improvements.
  3. MS. KOTCH: Fair enough. Thank you. I was ‑‑ I was just looking for a holistic approach, not necessarily just this program or this project, or these two projects. I understand there are two projects before the board at once? But when you're putting two projects on the board and then a couple other following, are we looking at this holistically in terms of being the best we can and making it a vibrant, you know, community and, you know, I'm sorry. And the cooperation aspect and that we can work with the developers. I mean, I ‑‑ you know, I actually played cricket, and we would sit down between matches and both teams would sit and have tea together and then we'd get up play together, but we would sit down, so I like the whole notion of the cooperation. And I would like to have that with folks here. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you. Anyone else have questions?

  1. MR. DANI: Yes. Good evening.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: State your name and address, please.

  1. MR. DANI: Saurabh Dani, S‑A‑U‑R‑A‑B‑H, D‑A‑N‑I, 390 Bedford Road in Ridgewood.

I have a few questions, I don't know which ones are for planner. If they are not, then just let me know.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can't hear.

  1. MR. DANI: So the first ‑‑ can you hear me now?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.

  1. MR. DANI: So the first one is where the council ‑‑ the Village Council, the previous Village Council was doing the hearing, public comments on this issue, we went and asked that in the other towns where we have lived previously, we always seen the town's imposing impact fee of developers and for schools, for water, for police. I lived in Secaucus andthey, of course, have parted with a lot of money and the taxes have not gone up for many years because all the new developments. So I ask that is the Council imposing any impact fee, and I would assume that that could be done by the planner at the planning stages where the Planning Board hears that? So have you done impact analysis and that is what Mr. Jeff Voigt was asking that have ‑‑ is there any impact fee being imposed, because that's the answer that we received when we asked that question during the ordinance hearing that the Planning Board will do those hearings and Planning Board will be doing the impact analysis and putting the impact fee. So has that analysis been done for the impact for schools, traffic, police, fire and water and has ‑‑ are we imposing those impact fees to the developer?
  2. MS. McMANUS: I ‑‑
  3. MR. DANI: I have recording from the council meeting where I was clearly told that this will be discussed by the Planning Board.
  4. MR. TUVEL: Can I just try to answer. Are you finished with your question?
  5. MR. DANI: This question, yes.
  6. MR. TUVEL: Please so just real quick. So just ‑‑ I'm sure Chris will chime in as well, just in some connection with the question you just asked. The pro‑rata share of improvements that we're going to need to engage in as part of this application were outlined in the board traffic engineer's letter in terms of specific off‑tract improvements that the board traffic engineer recommended. That's number one in terms of what improvements we're going to have to make, correct. The other issues that you just discussed were all ‑‑ are not something that this board decides within the confines of a site plan application, but rather something that this board and the Village Council deal with as part of a Master Plan process and a rezoning process. And the issues that you are discussing, you know, whether it be utilities, overall traffic impacts, school children, things of that nature, that has all been done as part of a prior process. And that's why the application here that's before you is, number one, permitted as‑of‑right under the ordinance, and why there are specific bulk criteria within the ordinance regarding setbacks, density, coverages, et cetera, that have all been part of that analysis. So that's all been done.
  7. MR. DANI: So I'm here to inform that I am ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: You have to phrase ‑‑

  1. MR. DANI: ‑‑ I ask ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: You have to ask questions of the planner.

  1. MR. DANI: Right. Yes. So I did ask this question at the council meeting and I was clearly told that the Planning Board would be ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. You're going to phrase it as a question.  

  1. MR. DANI: ‑‑ imposing impact fee.

In your opinion, who imposes the impact fee? At what point? Because at the planning and zoning part, there was no impact fee imposed.

  1. MS. McMANUS: The Planning Board can only impose the impact fees that are authorized through its own ordinances or otherwise authorized through this Municipal Land Use Law. And so the board's ability to access impact fees for items that are not authorized through one of those two means such as those to schools or to fire districts are very limited, if not eliminated.
  2. MR. DANI: In your opinion, is there any impact on the town from the development.
  3. MS. McMANUS: Well, yes, there's an impact. There's an impact to any development that occurs in the town.
  4. MR. DANI: And is there a proper impact fee being charged.
  5. MR. MARTIN: That's a rather broad question.

In terms of off‑site improvements for traffic?

  1. MR. DANI: No. Overall impact on ‑‑ development's impact on the Village.
  2. MR. TUVEL: Yes, so ‑‑
  3. MR. MARTIN: Outside of this site plan reviewed by the board, I don't think the planner has an opinion on that. Maybe she does. But for this board's determination ‑‑
  4. MR. DANI: Right, but I pose a question to the planner.
  5. MR. MARTIN: Can I finish, please?
  6. MR. DANI: I think you're feeding an answer to the planner.
  7. MR. MARTIN: All right. Let me finish. There's off‑site improvements for the traffic issues that the planner alluded to and I think the traffic engineer is going to testify to at length. I believe COUNCILMAN VOIGT asked some questions in that regard as well. There's also some issues that directly affect this application and I believe the village engineer and the village planner can address those. As to overall use impacts, that's not for this board on this site.
  8. MR. DANI: Who addresses the impact on the water.
  9. MR. MARTIN: That would be, in part, related to this nexus specifically, the village engineer.
  10. MR. DANI: Okay.
  11. MR. MARTIN: But he's not up yet. He will be up. He'll be up.
  12. MR. DANI: Okay. So I'll ask that to the village engineer.

And how about the ‑‑ there was a fire in Edgewater, and that was ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: It has to be a question to her? 

  1. MR. DANI: Right.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: And pertaining to what she testified to.

  1. MR. DANI: So there was a fire in Edgewater and there was a lot of press that goes with the State of New Jersey's building codes were not to the standard, and I guess usually we get by with those. So as a planner, I think it may not be in the State of New Jersey's laws or books, but are you recommending that this building or one of the others, for any building that you're being part of, use this or properly building materials and aren't just what is by the code? For the ‑‑ especially in that Hackensack building fire where the firemen died.
  2. MS. McMANUS: Two things; one, municipalities, planning boards, are unable to impose stronger building code requirements on an application as a general principal. There may be instances where there are particular concerns about an application, but as a general principal they're unable to say: You must go beyond the building code. But, furthermore, I want to be clear that although I'm a planner and I deal quite a bit with the way a building is laid out and designed, the types of concerns that you have about sprinklers and other building code issues are really more specific to an architect and not my area of expertise.
  3. MR. DANI: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you. Anyone else have questions for the planner?

State your name and address.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: Linda Tarzian, 576 Highland Avenue.

THE COURT REPORTER: Spell your last name please.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: T‑A‑R‑Z‑I‑A‑N.

Mayor, thank you to everyone who here serves our great village. My question to you is how are these high‑density developments going to improve the life in our village? And I'd like that directed to representatives of the developer that gets up later.

Do you want me to stand here or should I go back?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: You asked a question, you're entitled to an answer.

  1. MS. McMANUS: So what improvements will occur as a result of the application?
  2. MS. TARZIAN: How will our life as individual citizens, taxpayers, mothers, fathers, residents improve with these high‑density developments the previous council so, perhaps, unwisely approved.
  3. MS. McMANUS: That is a ‑‑ I'm sorry to say, that is a very vague question, very subjective to how you view your station in the municipality and what your thoughts are about this particular application. I can't tell you whether this application will improve your quality of life versus your neighbors' quality of life. I can speak to the improvements that will occur generally to this property in terms of the application, but I can't comment ‑‑ I can't comment on that specific ‑‑
  4. MS. TARZIAN: Okay. Let me take another stab at it. What is the percentage breakdown of single‑family‑dwelling‑units in our ‑‑ in our Village versus multifamily?
  5. MS. McMANUS: I don't have that figure on me.
  6. MS. TARZIAN: Does anyone here know that.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: It's just questions of the planner.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Mr. Chairman, just to, again, chime in, just more questions, I'm more than willing to answer them, but I don't want to raise this objection every single time somebody asks a question, but we're not here to determine whether this is a good idea. This use is permitted. So that ‑‑ we're not here to determine whether it's a good thing, it's a bad thing. It's very straightforward. We're here just to determine whether or not the application complies with zoning and site plan regulations. That's it. So I understand why people do ask those questions. And I'm not ‑‑ I'm not, you know, saying that it's an invalid type of question in a more general forum, like at a village council hearing when there's an ordinance being adopted or something along those lines, but in this specific proceeding we've got to really try to stick within the jurisdiction of the board.
  2. MS. TARZIAN: What is your name again.
  3. MR. TUVEL: Jason Tuvel.
  4. MS. TARZIAN: Jason, where do you live? What town.
  5. MR. TUVEL: Tenafly.
  6. MS. TARZIAN: Tenafly? Subdivisions if I might remind you are significantly larger than they are in Ridgewood. So, thank you. I'll reserve my further questions for the next witness.
  7. MR. MARTIN: Actually, I thought your question was excellent. My mind ‑‑ my mind, as a board attorney, just started spinning when you opened your mouth and opened ‑‑ and asked the question. And I'm thinking she's talking about a (c) variance type of criteria. What a great question. I wonder if she's an attorney or I don't want to insult you, but some other area of life. So in that regard, I quickly looked at the planner, oh, she'll break down the (c) criteria. Then I thought to myself, is there any (c) variance ‑‑ is there any variance issue?
  8. MS. McMANUS: No, there are not.
  9. MR. MARTIN: Can you explain that? Because it's an excellent question, I think the audience should know, why that type of good question on this particular application is problematic in terms of the review?
  10. MS. McMANUS: Yes. So ‑‑ thank you. In general to ask the questions are ‑‑ are there benefits over the detriments from this application is not a ‑‑ is not a question that can't be asked of any application, but it needs to be targeted towards areas that require relief from the Zoning Ordinance. So pieces that are nonconforming, parts of the application, not all parts, not the use, but if there were what's referred to as (c) variances, these are variances that typically, but not always ‑‑ but typically in Ridgewood refer to things like the bulk standards, where is the building located on the property? Is parking sufficient? Is it set back properly? So on and so forth. And in cases like that, the applicant would or the applicant's planner would typically go through what's referred to as a (c)(2) variance dialogue with the board where they would discuss basically how does this proposed design ‑‑ so is the undersized setback, for example, is this beneficial to the board, do these benefits outweigh the detriments, and what is the impact to the Zoning Ordinance? What is the impact to the public good? How is the quality of life? How are ‑‑ how are those that view or that pass the site impacted? So the question ‑‑ the question can be asked, but in this particular application the applicant doesn't require those types of items of relief. The applicant's not requesting (c) variance relief or the type of relief that would necessitate the question of do the variances ‑‑ do the benefits of the variances outweigh those detriments that may be created.
  11. MS. TARZIAN: Okay. So the Council can't ‑‑ or the Planning Board can't ask or trigger those questions?
  12. MS. McMANUS: No. And that's why ‑‑ and that's why you ‑‑
  13. MR. MARTIN: They can, but it's not material to the decision. They're not asking for relief. The governing body said: Here's the ordinance. They said: We don't want relief from the ordinance. We just want the ordinance. And that's why they're here.
  14. MS. TARZIAN: Okay. I'll save my other questions for later. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Anyone else have questions? State your name and address.

  1. MR. MATTESSICH: Kevin Mattessich, 836 Morningside Road, Ridgewood.

Just a follow up to that ‑‑

THE COURT REPORTER: Sir, spell your name please? 

  1. MR. MATTESSICH: M‑A‑T‑T‑E‑S‑S‑I‑C‑H. Just in a follow up to that, are there any ‑‑ were there any variances on this property before the plan of this current project?
  2. MS. McMANUS: I haven't done a whole zoning analysis of the application, so I should be clear about that. But there may be ‑‑ they require ‑‑ they exceeded the maximum improvement coverage, for example, the coverage ‑‑ the portion of the property covered with impervious surfaces.
  3. MR. MATTESSICH: So were those variances then built into the new plan?
  4. MS. McMANUS: That variance in particular was not, so in this zone maximum improvement coverage is 95 percent. The applicant was previously at 99.66, and they're not proposing 94.9, so there was a reduction in the improvement coverage; furthermore, a reduction down to that which is below the maximum.
  5. MR. MATTESSICH: Okay. So there was ‑‑ apart from that, there was no other variance with respect to this property?
  6. MS. McMANUS: The minimum side yard and rear yard were undersized by various small amounts. .05 feet in the case of a side yard and approximately 1.7 feet in the case of the rear yard.
  7. MR. MATTESSICH: And is the ‑‑ go ahead.
  8. MS. McMANUS: And in both ‑‑ on both of those cases, the applicant is now conforming.
  9. MR. MATTESSICH: Okay. Anything else? Any other variances?
  10. MS. McMANUS: Those are the only items that I can answer at this time.

As I said, I haven't done a full zoning analysis on what the existing conditions are.

  1. MR. MATTESSICH: If you haven't done a full zoning analysis, how can we proceed tonight?
  2. MS. McMANUS: The question before the board is not so much what the existing conditions are, but that which the applicant is proposing.
  3. MR. MATTESSICH: But if it takes in variances that haven't been reviewed, can the plan go forward?
  4. MS. McMANUS: If those ‑‑ if existing conditions are being ‑‑ if nonconforming existing conditions are being continued as part of this application, they would be addressed in my report and addressed in my zoning analysis. My point is existing conditions that may be not conforming that are proposed for elimination as part of this proposal may be present, but I haven't done an analysis of the existing conditions as they ‑‑ as they exist today without this proposal. I have not done that analysis.
  5. MR. MATTESSICH: I am confused then. Is it possible that there are variances baked into the current plan that will be continued for the project?
  6. MS. McMANUS: No. The application, all variances, all nonconforming conditions have been rectified as part of this application, in such that the applicant now has a conforming application.
  7. MR. MATTESSICH: So for the ‑‑ for the prior variances haven't been figured into the new plans?
  8. MS. McMANUS: No.
  9. MR. MATTESSICH: Because I thought you just said you didn't ‑‑ hadn't done that as part of the equation.
  10. MS. McMANUS: If a condition on the property is existing and it's nonconforming and it's being eliminated as a result of this application, I haven't specifically identified it because it's no longer relevant to the board's ‑‑ to the board's granting of variances.
  11. MR. MATTESSICH: But you have looked at variances ‑‑
  12. MS. McMANUS: For the new application.
  13. MR. MATTESSICH: ‑‑ that are being carried forward?
  14. MS. McMANUS: Yes.
  15. MR. MATTESSICH: And there are none? Or there are.
  16. MS. McMANUS: There are no nonconforming conditions as part of this application.
  17. MR. MATTESSICH: Okay. Thank you.

Well, let me ask it. Nobody's in a rush tonight, I don't think. (Laughter.)

  1. MR. MATTESSICH: You guys get paid by the hour.

Does this ‑‑ this high‑density‑housing project that's going to sit there, is the ‑‑ is that that section of town going to be more safe or less safe after the ‑‑ that housing is built?

And, well, you know, I'll narrow it down pedestrians? Elderly walking to church? Kids walking to school? Will it be more safe or less safe after this project for those folks? 

  1. MS. McMANUS: The applicant's proposing a lot of improvements to the site, to the access, and, for example, pedestrianism along the ‑‑ along the frontage of the property.
  2. MR. MATTESSICH: And in your opinion is it less safe? More safe? Less safe.
  3. MS. McMANUS: I'm unaware of any unsafe conditions that are going to be created by this application. If there are unsafe conditions presently that have not been addressed ‑‑
  4. MR. MATTESSICH: So, potentially, it could be less safe, is what you're saying.
  5. MS. McMANUS: No.
  6. MR. MATTESSICH: You're saying you don't know.
  7. MS. McMANUS: I have no ‑‑ there's no indication that I heard either from the board's engineer or the traffic engineer to indicate that there are going to be less safe conditions as a result of any approval of this application, period.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Can I ask a different kind of similar question? Can I just kind of go along with what Kevin said.

So if we don't improve that traffic light, okay, and we build this, is it less safe?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I'm going ‑‑ I'm sorry. I'm going to have to defer to the traffic engineer, because the safety questions have to do with what the level of service and what the ingress and egress to the property is and how the intersection functions. I don't think it's appropriate for me to ‑‑ as a planner, to weigh in to what the traffic conditions are currently versus they will be under the proposal. I mean, I'm happy to recite the portions of the traffic engineer's report, but I think the board is looking for more and the public is looking for more information than that.
  2. MR. MATTESSICH: Then I say let's get more information on it.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: State your name and address, please.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Dave Slomin, S‑L‑O‑M‑I‑N, 36 Heights Road. I'm a Ridgewood resident and trustees of Ridgewood Citizens For Reasonable Development. I'd just like to preface my questions by clarifying something Jason said before that I'd like to restate that the prior process he talked about, in which these ordinances were passed, is under challenge for being conflicted. So, again, to accept it as a given and as gospel is not fair to the residents of Ridgewood. So that aside, I'd like to move on to my questions.
  2. MR. MARTIN: MR. SLOMIN, for the record, as you know, I applied for a stay of the applications and I got one for a period of time, because of what you just said. But the court disagreed with me on continuing it, so I understand your comment and I believe the board understands that as well.
  3. MR. SLOMIN: And I appreciate that it is ‑‑ the matter is still before the court and has not yet been decided so it is still under what we believe very legitimate challenge. And I just hope the board recognizes that in your decision making. For the ‑‑ for the planner ‑‑
  4. MR. TUVEL: But before MR. SLOMIN asks his questions, just as to one thing he just said, I don't think that the fact ‑‑ I guess it's public record that there is a challenge to it, so I'm not denying that there is a lawsuit that's pending, that's for sure, but the board shouldn't consider that as part of its review of this application. That's an irrelevant fact. If a court makes a determination later in the future, that's one thing, but right now it's a valid ordinance. So I'm not disputing that it's under challenge because that's the truth, but it shouldn't be relevant to this board's decision that it is under challenge.
  5. MR. MARTIN: Well, further, it was also stayed for a period of time and now the board's proceeding or not, so this is all public knowledge.
  6. MR. TUVEL: Correct.
  7. MR. SLOMIN: Earlier you mentioned regarding architecture, the developers have offered to discuss changes at a later date, and you seemed to accept that positively, yet there's been some challenges or questioning from the board about this outdoor amenity area. Last meeting there were some issues raised about the architecture itself, that kitty cat ears, and the tower and other ‑‑ and other issues. I guess, you know, we've been part of this process for ‑‑ the residents for many years, and we haven't seen that kind of, friendliness, on the part of the developers throughout the whole process, that, you know, old give‑and‑take. So I guess in saying that they're offering that, and as a planner, knowing how the process works and knowing obviously development and seeing it happen, and having, I guess, a responsibility to the residents here, how can you or can you offer us any guarantees that they will make good on these needed architectural changes and developments and site improvements?
  8. MS. McMANUS: Well, there's certainly no guarantee, but what I can tell you is give you an explanation of the process so should the board issue an approval and should they include a condition, I'd recommend that guidance be provided about that condition. The guidance should include who should sit on the subcommittee, a number of ‑‑ number of folks included on the Planning Board and professionals, so there's a sense for the board, as well as the public, who will be involved, and also guidance as to what architectural considerations should be included in the discussion. For example, item 4.3 in my report identifies a number of items, A through H, a number of architectural changes that I request as part of the board's conditions that they indicate that discussion should focus on these items and that the subcommittee and the applicant should come to a resolution. The guarantee ‑‑ the comfort that the public can feel is that if there's no resolution, the remedy will be that the applicant will need to appear before the Planning Board again for further discussion, if the condition could not be executed, and at that point there may be further public discussion on the topic. But in terms of, I mean, there can be no guarantee with conditions such as that, that they ‑‑ the condition is different than if it was specified that a certain roof line should be provided, that certain specific items shall be changed in specific ways. Instead this is a directive to a subcommittee that includes professionals, board members and the applicant to sit down and work through the architectural issues to the satisfaction of the members of that subcommittee.
  9. MR. SLOMIN: And I appropriate that. I guess my concern, as a resident, is when you made that statement before it was given as a positive, like, hey, these guys are going to work with us.
  10. MS. McMANUS: Uh‑huh.
  11. MR. SLOMIN: And I'm not sure how long you have been part of that process as a planner, but the residents, as a resident I speak for myself, I haven't seen that true give. I've seen more take.
  12. MS. McMANUS: Uh‑huh.
  13. MR. SLOMIN: So I was concerned hearing that, hey, they're going to work with us on the architectural. And I guess I'm hoping that that can come true. And I would ‑‑ and that was my question, what can the board do. So it sounds like there'll be some subcommittees that will be addressing that and will have some powers over what is ultimately decided subsequent to any vote here tonight?
  14. MS. McMANUS: Well, I think that's part of what the board needs to discuss. They could identify a subcommittee of my office, one or more board members so there's planning board input on the matter.
  15. MR. SLOMIN: So that can be decided later after any vote?
  16. MS. McMANUS: It should be discussed as part of the condition, it will be worked out in a resolution of approval, where the ‑‑ any guidance that the board wishes to provide to that subcommittee will be spelled out in the resolution.
  17. MR. SLOMIN: And is that at the board's discretion or is that if they decide to have a board subcommittee, can that be then challenged by the developers attorneys and that you don't get your subcommittee and, I mean, that warranted control.
  18. MR. MARTIN: I think the simple way is I would request MR. TUVEL to address that with me in a resolution so it is nailed down.
  19. MR. SLOMIN: Okay.
  20. MR. MARTIN: Any other comment?
  21. MR. SLOMIN: Thank you.
  22. MR. TUVEL: MR. SLOMIN, I'm sorry. All I would say on that, and I understand the question about, you know, sort of systematically and procedurally how we handle that. So, I mean, if it's a condition of the approval that we have to meet with a subcommittee, then we can't get signed plans and a building permit unless we do that. So, I mean, it's to our benefit to do it because if we don't, then we can't get resolution compliance and we can't get a building permit.
  23. MR. SLOMIN: So I can make this Part B of the first question, can you please recommend that to our esteemed Council that they have this subcommittee in the event this moves forward?
  24. MR. MARTIN: No, the Planning Board.
  25. MR. SLOMIN: The board. Sorry. Yes.
  26. MR. MARTIN: Some of the Council is here tonight.
  27. MR. SLOMIN: Another comment that you made tonight, and I don't remember the exact wording, but I think you used the term "scientific" related to parking. You said something related to parking, you called it scientific. I guess there are studies and norms and accepted parameters as far as what is required for parking. Going back to the testimony we heard especially from residents, including the current property owners of town, who own apartments in town, they said that every two‑bedroom has at least two to three ‑‑ apartment has two or three kids in it. Everybody has two or three cars in a one‑bedroom, two cars in two‑bedrooms, there's often three. What we heard is that the scientific parameters that seem to apply somehow to the rest of the world don't seem to apply in Ridgewood. I don't know if it has to do with the affluence, people can afford more cars here, the location, it's in a driving‑commuter culture. There's a lot of malls you can't get to on the choo‑choo train. So I guess on that as a planner, we've seen that traffic and parking is a problem here and how ‑‑ you know, how can ‑‑ again, I'm looking for guarantees here because this is an important vote if it happens. You know, as a planner, how can you guarantee that these norms that we're applying to this property are really going to meet the needs of a community where the norms when it comes to parking don't seem to apply?
  28. MS. McMANUS: I don't think there's any planner working for a municipality that can guarantee the specific number of cars that are going to be generated by a particular development. It's simply not in the nature ‑‑ not in the area of expertise of planning. But I think the point that I was ‑‑ that I was trying to convey to the board and to the public is that the applicant has met the required parking set forth by the Village Ordinances and by the Residential Site Improvement Standards, and that is the standard by which planning boards and zoning boards around the state are required to measure a residential parking requirements against. It's been found that RSIS is ‑‑ provides adequate parking for the majority of the uses around the state. In terms of the specific parking generated from this property, I think that's an area of expertise for a traffic engineer rather than a planner. But I think my point is that the point that I was making in this memo is that the applicant has met their requirement and that there is no parking relief necessary.
  29. MR. SLOMIN: I guess I'll just defer that. I understand you can't guarantee. And there are standards that are, I guess, being followed here. Have you looked at the issues in Ridgewood and reconciled them against what Ridgewood's reality is versus these parameters and advise the board on: Is this going to work?
  30. MS. McMANUS: For other projects ‑‑ in comparison to the traffic and the parking generated by other projects; is that your question?
  31. MR. SLOMIN: I guess other projects that ‑‑ I guess other existing, preexisting developments in town.
  32. MS. McMANUS: I haven't ‑‑ I have not done an analysis that measured the parking demand generated by other projects in the Village.
  33. MR. TUVEL: I just want to put my objection on the record. You can keep going obviously.

It's not MS. McMANUS' job to determine if the parking ordinance that has been set forth by the Village is correct. That's the standard. Nor is it her job to determine if RSIS is correct because that's been determined by the state to be adequate. So, again, it's not something for this board to consider in terms of ‑‑ we comply with parking, the buck stops right there. There's nothing else to be considered. I'm sorry. Keep going.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Something that I heard come up last week and I've heard come up several times tonight is that this notion of legal questions keep popping up as related to this site plan. Based particularly, I guess, on the traffic issues, we really ‑‑ it's been determined at the last meeting it was stated that we really don't know what the costs are for the Village up and down the corridor of Franklin, even necessarily near the site, that we don't really know the impacts, we're going to find them out later and then can address them. Given that, and I've read the same ordinance, there was an ordinance that COUNCILMAN VOIGT read that does call for a specific addressing of this. Now, I also heard tonight, well, that's really not legal to have that in there, yet it was ‑‑ or elements of it are not legal by planning standards.
  2. MR. MARTIN: No, no. No. It's legal. It may not be applicable in this application, though.
  3. MR. SLOMIN: And ‑‑ I guess we can come back to that later. Okay. So, yeah and I noted Chris said that's it's not relevant legally, so I guess relevant to this application, I guess my feeling is ‑‑ I appreciate Chris's counsel, you don't always have to agree with your lawyer. I've learned that over 20 years in real estate myself. I believe the Planning Board, you know, needs better clarity on the legal parameters of this decision, and it seems like there's questions that haven't been answered, and I heard a conflict in your counsel tonight and what is says of the ordinance, I guess from a planning perspective, can ‑‑ before making a decision, can this board viably seek that legal clarity on these questions? Because I heard a conflict tonight that I don't how I could vote on it, knowing do we have to pay for it, don't we have to pay for it? Is it relevant? Well, it says we have to pay for it but it's not relevant to this one, but we have to pay for it if we're causing the problem, but who's causing the problem. So this is an irreversible decision. So before they make a decision, can this board request legal clarity? Because I certainly was not clear after hearing that question and answer.
  4. MR. MARTIN: Oh, I have ‑‑ yes, I have a lot of legal clarity now. But the planner is the witness and the planner stated that that section is not applicable to this application. In terms of legal clarity, I will present that at the time when the applicant rests.
  5. MR. SLOMIN: But if it states that they have to pay for any issues that are created by this development, I would say it is applicable to this.
  6. MR. MARTIN: I happen to agree with you. One particular section of the general criteria to be considered in a law, criteria under section 190‑55, according to planning principles is not applicable to this particular application. In terms of other aspects of items, I think the witness testified to the traffic engineer on behalf of the board. That's on all fours of what the law is. And I've given a 19‑page opinion that is public. And I stand by it. And I'm going to reiterate aspects tonight if there's going to be a resting by the applicant.
  7. MR. SLOMIN: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Any more questions?

State your name and address.

  1. MR. GLAZER: Yes. Dana Glazer, 61 Clinton Avenue. My question is given that there are other developments pending before the Planning Board, what's to keep all of these developments from suddenly being built at the same time and creating a disaster in terms of trying to get through your CBD; is this something that can be addressed at this point?
  2. MS. McMANUS: No. Unfortunately, the board does not have the power to institute a moratorium or a phasing schedule for different applications throughout the municipality.
  3. MR. GLAZER: All right. Thank you very much.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Can I ask you a question? Does the Council have the authority to do that?

  1. MS. McMANUS: I don't ‑‑ I don't believe municipalities have the authority to institute a moratorium or a phasing schedule for various developments without potentially some minor exceptions that I don't believe apply here.
  2. MS. McWILLIAMS: Who does?
  3. MS. McMANUS: In general, municipalities have tried, and I'm sure that ‑‑ and there's case law on their inability to state that only certain lands may be developed under a certain time period, you know, if you think about some planning principle ‑‑ or planning efforts throughout the country where there are urban growth boundaries, for example, where only certain areas are eligible for development under a certain time period, that principle has been tried and tested in New Jersey and found not to be consistent.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: State your name and address again.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: Linda Tarzian, 576 Highland Avenue, Ridgewood, 30 years taxpayer.

How long has the Ken Smith dealership been shuttered?

THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry. You need to speak up please.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: How long has the Ken Smith dealership been shuttered?
  2. MS. McMANUS: You know I'm sorry to say I don't think I can answer that question. It's been vacant for as long as I've been involved with Ridgewood, but that's not very long.
  3. MS. TARZIAN: Does anyone here know. Is it five years?

MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ten years.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: So is it safe to say there hasn't been a heck of a lot of traffic in and out of that site? Is it safe to say that?
  2. MS. McMANUS: I think you could presume that with the limited use of the site and the traffic 
  3. MS. TARZIAN: Okay. Limited use for the last ten years. So with this high‑density proposal that was accepted by the previous council, we're going to go from limited egress to, let's see, 66 units, is it, if I remember correctly, 2.3 cars approximately per unit? I want you to ‑‑
  4. MS. McMANUS: It would be ‑‑
  5. MS. TARZIAN: I want to ‑‑ and I know this is really for the traffic engineer, but I really want that to be addressed. There is a significant safety issue for anyone who travels that way under the railroad pass every day.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. But ‑‑

  1. MS. TARZIAN: I would like to know how many of these people travel that way.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Just phrase it as a question ‑‑

  1. MS. TARZIAN: Yeah. Sorry.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: ‑‑ because we're going to have the public comment.

  1. MS. TARZIAN: All right. So I'll save it for later.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. All right. Any other questions?

  1. MR. TUVEL: Mr. Chairman, can we take, like, a five‑minute break? Is that okay?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, that's fine.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I think we've been going two hours or so.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. We're going to take a five‑minute break.

(Whereupon, a brief recess is taken.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Mayor just stepped out for a second. 

Michael, can you call the roll?

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Here. 

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I'm here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
  2. MS. McWILLIAMS: Here.
  3. MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
  4. MR. SCHEIBNER: Here.
  5. MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. GIORDANO?
  2. MS. GIORDANO: Here.
  3. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
  4. MS. BARTO: Here.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Jason, we're just going to take something at this point.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Yes.

(Whereupon, Village of Ridgewood Planning Board discusses notice of 257 Ridgewood Avenue, LLC. And announces the matter will be carried to the July 18, 2017 meeting. No further notice required.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: We're back on with KS Broad Street. And I guess we finished with our planner and the public questions, and I think there might have been some more questions that want to be asked of our traffic engineer and maybe our engineer.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Yes, it seems as though there were some questions asked to MS. McMANUS that were more germane to their areas of expertise, so we were holding off those questions for those witnesses, so if there is any other ‑‑
  2. MR. MARTIN: MR. TUVEL, as follow up to MS. McMANUS' questions, you agree that our traffic engineer remains ‑‑ Andrew Feranda of Shropshire Associates remains sworn and is also qualified as a ‑‑
  3. MR. TUVEL: Yes.
  4. MR. MARTIN: ‑‑ as a traffic expert.
  5. MR. TUVEL: As well as your village engineer, correct.
  6. MR. MARTIN: Thank you.

ANDREW FERANDA, PE, PTOE, CME, Having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Andrew, I guess there was some discussion on certain items and I guess COUNCILMAN VOIGT has questions for you. 

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I do. So, Andrew, just let me go through my line of questions. So the Franklin/Broad intersection, does it function now? Is it functioning okay?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Franklin and North Broad, a study was done for the Village and right now during peak hours, morning peak hours, evening peak hours and Saturday peak hours, baseline information says that the morning signal operates at an overall Level of Service B, that the evening level of service is C, that the Saturday level of service is also C. That's what ‑‑ then, again, I'm a consultant for the board and I've reviewed all the information. One of the pieces of information is a report that they have done before the board. I've also reviewed the traffic report done by the applicant. Right now those are the conditions.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So if the development were to occur, what would the service levels be without an upgrade?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Based on the traffic report, the level of service overall in the a.m. would also be B, in the p.m. would be C, and on a Saturday it would be C. Now, just let me put that in perspective, what A, B and C means. For a signalized intersection, Level of Service B is 10 to 20 seconds of delay. When I say overall, that would mean each approach would have an average of that 10 to 20 seconds delay. Level of Service C would be 20 to 35 seconds, that would be overall. There might be individual movements such as the northbound North Broad which would have a little bit more delay, that's offset by the right turn would have a little less delay. That's what's reported in the reports that I've reviewed. My experience and observations, I have seen quite a bit of queuing for the northbound North Broad Street, and also for the westbound movement ‑‑ I'm sorry, eastbound movement under the railroad bridge. That level of service is reported as B or C, and my observation is that the queuing is substantial and it doesn't pass as many cars as you might expect for a Level of Service B at 10 to 20 seconds or a C for up to 35 seconds. That being said, I have to go with the information provided. I did not do an independent report. So I have this information.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So if the upgrade were made, upgrade to the intersection, what's going to happen to the ingress and egress of that area and what's going to happen to the ingress and egress of the Chestnut Street entrance/exit?

  1. MR. FERANDA: I'm going to step back a second and ‑‑ you're asking what would happen if the improvements were made. To my ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Not made, if improvements were not made.

  1. MR. FERANDA: If they were not made? Based on what I see on the plan, the traffic controller is in a position where it has to be relocated based on the building. There's a signal pole and a traffic controller on the northwest corner of the intersection that require relocation. They have to be in a new position. So to answer the question, what if nothing were done to the traffic signal, something has to be done to the traffic signal based on what I'm seeing on the traffic signal plan. And that requires relocating that control. And there's a signal pole there. I don't know that that's specifically called out for relocation, but based on the architecture and based on the overhang, the cars are going to be coming underneath an overpass, and based on the current location I believe that the pole will also have to be relocated. So to say nothing would have to be done, I don't know if that's even a possibility. What you're approving is a relocation of that traffic signal controller and that's integral to the intersection. You can't just relocate a controller and not have improvements done to the intersection.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So ‑‑ but ‑‑ let me continue to ask the question.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Okay.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So if you don't do anything to that intersection, where is it going to ‑‑ is it going to create a situation where you're going to have more cars coming out of Chestnut, the Chestnut entrance and exit?

  1. MR. FERANDA: This particular development will add traffic on that driveway. My understanding is that the parking or the lot is now ‑‑ I don't know if it's currently, but it has been used for parking, for parking for the railroad station. So currently there are vehicles using that driveway. I don't have a count, other than what's in the current study that was done for the Village.

But that parking lot being used would contribute traffic. The exact volumes, I don't know what they would be in relationship to the proposed traffic that will be using the driveway. Based on the number of parking spaces I can give you an educated guess, there's probably more during the a.m. and p.m. commuter peaks when people are parking in that lot. If they're all coming to that lot parking, leaving their car for the day and then leaving in the evening, that would be quite a bit of traffic that is currently using that driveway.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So is it going to create a level of service situation at the corner of Franklin and Chestnut that would be worse if you didn't do anything, based on the traffic coming out of that Chestnut exit?

  1. MR. TUVEL: Can I ask ‑‑ can I just add a follow up to that? I don't understand the line of questioning if we do nothing because the plans show that we are changing the signal. So I'm trying to understand why you're focused on that.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Oh, so here's what the problem is ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: ‑‑ you're going to contribute a, you know, X amount. Okay? We may not be able to afford it, okay, as a village. So ‑‑ so the issue you have here is that while it's nice you're going to contribute, you know, what percent, we may not be able to do it. So we're left with a situation that, you know, we're eating ‑‑ as a village we're paying for your benefit and so that's the issue I really have at that intersection is that, you know, frankly the way this has been kind of decided for our share, I'm not comfortable with that number that's kind of been bandied about. And, you know, frankly, I think it's ‑‑ I think it's frankly too low, based on the benefit that you're going to receive from that intersection.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And so I want to find out if we don't do anything, because we may not be able to, what's going to happen. That's the issue I'm trying to get at is because we may not ‑‑ may not be able to do it. We just can't afford it. So...

  1. MR. TUVEL: The ordinance, though, provides for multiple methods of implementation with respect to the traffic light, though. So if you were in a situation where the Village can't do it, there are other methods that put it on the developer and have the reimbursement later, as well. So there's other mechanisms that allow ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'm not familiar with that. I mean, this is news to me that what you're saying is you're going to be able to pay more. I mean ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: That's not what I said. What I said was the way that the ordinance reads, there are different ways that we can implement the construction of the signal based on the pro‑rata share contribution. That's what I'm saying.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So, basically, you would be financing it.

  1. MR. TUVEL: It's ‑‑ all I'm saying is that's a possibility.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: That's what you're suggesting.

  1. MR. TUVEL: That's what I'm saying, is that's a possibility under your ordinance. That's usually something that's discussed post approval after all of these construction costs are identified.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. Well, so here's ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: And I'm not undermining your question ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I just wanted to engage in a dialogue here on how this gets accomplished.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. So, again, I'm having a problem with this ‑‑ you know, we're kind of betting on it coming ‑‑ in other words, you're saying you're going to do it, we've got to approve this and then we're going to be ‑‑ we're going to be ‑‑ we're going to be holding the bag. And so the issue I have is that I want a good understanding that we know, kind of, what it is that you're going to pay for so we feel comfortable in approving the application. That's the issue I have.

  1. MR. TUVEL: We can't pay for the but, Councilman, we can't pay for more than what we're legally obligated ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure you can.

  1. MR. TUVEL: ‑‑ legally obligated to pay for under ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure you can.

  1. MR. TUVEL: ‑‑ under the ‑‑ under the ordinance.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure you can. Sure you can. You can pay for as much as you'd like as a contribution to the Village. You can pay for whatever you want, okay.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I don't think that's true.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And that's ‑‑ and that's called goodwill. 

  1. MR. MARTIN: Well, Jason ‑‑ (Applause.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No, no, please, no applause, comments when people are speaking.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Jason.
  2. MR. TUVEL: Go ahead.
  3. MR. MARTIN: COUNCILMAN VOIGT, I recommend that he ask his questions and I believe the issues are is there a need for improvement. If there is, what is the relationship to the developer.
  4. MR. TUVEL: Correct.
  5. MR. MARTIN: And what is the relationship to the costs. But we're not ‑‑ I would ask you give him a little latitude, let him ask the question.
  6. MR. TUVEL: No, no. That's fine.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. So, so, so, so, I guess ‑‑ I guess my ultimate kind of assumption here is that this is kind of tipping the ‑‑ tipping it for us, we have to do this, okay, where before we didn't have to. So the question is since we have to do it now, why should we pay for it?  You know, why should we pay for any of it. (Applause.)

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And ‑‑ and ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Please, no applause.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And so ‑‑ so if it relates to, you know ‑‑ it relates to the needs created by the applicant, and you're creating a need that we didn't have.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I don't know if that's ‑‑ I don't think that's true either.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No? But he ‑‑ but he just said that. He said we don't have a need and now ‑‑ and now you're saying we have a need.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Let's hear him.
  2. MR. TUVEL: I think ‑‑ I think ‑‑
  3. MR. MARTIN: Let him ‑‑
  4. MR. TUVEL: Fine. That's fine. We can wait till later to talk about it. That's fine.
  5. MR. MARTIN: Do you have any other questions?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. Yeah. So is my assumption right, you know, right now we don't have a need and then this is causing us to have a need? That's what I'm getting the assumption is that, yeah, I think it is.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Right now, based on the information I have, the signal is functioning at levels of C or better during peak periods, and if this development were to come in, there would be need for improvements. And it's not just for the vehicles, it's also pedestrian.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, so ‑‑

  1. MR. FERANDA: ‑‑ ADA requirements and that ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. So that's what I want to know is that, you know, there wasn't a need and now there is a need. And so the question is, who pays for that need? And that's, I guess, something we have to discuss at some point. But, you know, I guess my thought is that it would be nice for the developer to contribute a ‑‑ something that's fair, to the Village. Okay? And that also relates to if you change that one light, in other words, if you say, okay, we'll pay for that one light, you've created a mess at all the other lights. And so the issue I have is that whole corridor becomes a mess, just from one improved light. And so, again, we're held ‑‑ we're holding the bag here and we're creating ‑‑ you're creating a problem for us that we have to pay for. And that's not right. And so I mean, we just ‑‑ we need to figure it out, okay?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Take advantage of the fact that he's provides them ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, so

  1. MR. MARTIN: He's following up on the planner.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah, so ‑‑ so, Andrew, as it relates to that, you know, that ‑‑ that corridor, I mean, we talked to Bergen County and Bergen County said, yeah, we'll pay for ‑‑ maybe pay for one light. There's five lights. Okay. They'll pay for a portion of it. And then we have an issue with the Maple and Franklin intersection. We have an issue with the Ridgewood Avenue and Maple intersection. And we have an issue with Wilsey Square intersection. So all of those have to be ‑‑ tell me if I'm right or wrong here ‑‑ they all have to be coordinated. So if you coordinate ‑‑ if the use one light that's actuated and you keep all the other lights the same, it creates a mess.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Correct. For a corridor of signals in such close proximity, they're very close because they're city blocks, Oak would be the next one to the east. And then I guess Wilsey would be the one to the west. They're very close proximity. Coordinating them is important to allow the traffic to flow because if they're not coordinated then they ‑‑ one might operate well, the next one doesn't, then all of them operate as the weakest link. Traffic just doesn't work efficiently. You need certain bandwidth to make it pass through.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So just so that ‑‑ this is one development at this one intersection, I'm assuming that all the other 4 ‑‑ 400,000 are allowed. So that's $2 million. Okay. And you're going to pay a portion of 25 percent of one? I'm having difficulty with the math.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Well, then, again, what we're getting ‑‑ we're outside of the jurisdiction of the board ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No, but it ‑‑ but it isn't.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: No.

  1. MR. TUVEL: You have to ‑‑ let me just explain.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: It really isn't.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I don't want to interrupt.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I don't want to interrupt you. So go ahead. Can I just finish just what my thought is, you got to remember that off‑site traffic is not a consideration when you have a permitted use. The only thing that the board can consider, which we have discussed, and I think was even outlined in your board attorney's memo, is reasonable conditions that could be imposed upon the application if it's permitted, and as‑of‑right, and also off‑tract improvements where we pay a pro‑rata share. This isn't a ‑‑ the board cannot go beyond that jurisdiction. And that's where I'm trying to keep us focused. And I understand you're trying to be an advocate and trying to do what's right for your constituency, but we have to stay within the purview of our jurisdiction.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So ‑‑ so based on what you're saying and based on what we can do, just that little ‑‑ we can't afford to pay, it's not worth our while to do anything. Okay. And based on that, your development creates a huge problem for us from a traffic standpoint.

  1. MR. TUVEL: That's not for ‑‑ that's not for consideration here.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Oh, sure it is.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Off‑site traffic is not consideration when the ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure, it is.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Can we ask the witness some questions? Jason, please.
  2. MR. TUVEL: That's fine.
  3. MR. MARTIN: Let him testify.
  4. MR. TUVEL: That's fine.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, so ‑‑ so the ‑‑ I guess my problem I have is that, you know, we can't afford to do this, you know, one light. And we can't even afford ‑‑ we can't even afford to pay for the one light. They're going to pay, you know, whatever percent that ‑‑ we can't pay for it. So ‑‑ so my concern is that if we don't do anything, it creates ‑‑ does it create a problem for us from a traffic standpoint and a pedestrian safety standpoint? And so that's kind of the issue I have. Is that right? If we don't do anything we have a problem. And if we do something we have a problem with one light. So we need help.

  1. MR. FERANDA: If you don't do anything, the signal doesn't match up with the driveway, its configuration and the light, the signal heads can't be seen underneath the pass. The potential there is to close that driveway if the signal doesn't work with the site driveway, but, obviously ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Well, let me ask you a question. Would you recommend that if we can't do anything with that intersection to close off that ingress and egress and the only way that they can get out is through Chestnut Street which creates a problem; is that your recommendation?

  1. MR. FERANDA: As a traffic engineer, absolutely‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.

  1. MR. FERANDA: ‑‑ I would not recommend that be done because two egress points are better than one, there's more distribution and they would be able to use the signal. Obviously, the signal would have to be configured so that they could use it, but their use of it certainly would allow access in and out of the site.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. Okay. So I just want to get your perspective on this as a traffic engineer, would you say ‑‑ if we don't do anything with this intersection and you live there, would you have problems going in and out of that development? Personally.

  1. MR. FERANDA: If the Village were not to change the intersection at all ‑‑

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.

  1. MR. FERANDA: ‑‑ and allow that driveway to be there as it is?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Would you have a problem with it?  

  1. MR. FERANDA: Again, it's a hypothetical because I don't think that building can be put in without relocating the signal.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: But how about from a traffic standpoint?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I you have to hear his answer.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Again, it's a hypothetical because equipment has be moved for that building to work as it is, so ‑‑ and it's shown on the plans, the controller has to be relocated.

But if nothing was done, no timing changes were made, no signal changes were made, it would be an improper use of a signal for that driveway.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So I think ‑‑ that's all the questions I have at this time.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does anyone else have a question?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, I want to kind of continue down that road. So just so I understand, essentially it's the design of the building ‑‑ and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the design of the building that has created the issue with the placement of the light; is that accurate?

  1. MR. FERANDA: I believe so, based on the building being very close to the right‑of‑way and the current location of the controller box that would have to be relocated, and also being that there's an underpass that the signal head would have to be seen, those things are based on what's being done with the development, the proximity to the right‑of‑way.

MAYOR KNUDSEN So for the benefit of the people that are here to listen to this, whose decision is it whether or not to move that light?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Whose decision is it to move the light?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right.

  1. MR. FERANDA: The light is officially in the county's jurisdiction. It's the county's jurisdiction. However, the Village maintains and operates the signal. So it goes back to the Village. The Village right now.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: And so ‑‑ and I'm just trying to understand, as the Councilman kind of laid out this scenario, if the Village says simply we are not moving that light because we just did a budget, I've got to tell you, we were just, you know, really going by with nothing. We have no money. And so it would be a serious concern. So if the Village said look, we can't afford to do this, and we choose not to do it, then I guess to the Councilman's point, there's ‑‑ is there a safety hazard, presumably? Is there a safety hazard? What are the ‑‑ what are the ‑‑ I guess, the impact of not moving that? What is the problem?

  1. MR. FERANDA: I'm not sure of the exact implications of moving that signal controller, what that would have on the building. Right now it's shown to be relocated. That's a major portion of a signal, and that's the brains, that's the computer of the operating of the signal.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right.

  1. MR. FERANDA: That has to be relocated. My recommendation is that if it's relocated it be replaced because it's old, outdated. It can't handle the coordination we're talking about. It can't handle actuation times. I would recommend actuation video detection, and also I would recommend some signal changes so that you could get some phasing using left turn arrows and that would go along with signal timing improvements. So there are multiple reasons that the signal needs to be changed, in addition to the pedestrian, which is significant with the crossing for the train station and this development. There would have to be improvements to make sure the crosswalk is ADA compliant, that there's pedestrian provisions including push buttons and signal heads, the timing is appropriate, the crosswalk, any handicap ramps. All of that would have to be improved as well as the signal equipment as part of the intersection improvements. These are all listed in my recommendations that I made.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: And then if we weren't able to adjust the timing on all the lights where they're synchronized, is that then another safety issue? What does that ‑‑ what happens then? So you have an interruption of service, but is there a safety issue involved in that interruption? 

  1. MR. FERANDA: Synchronizing the signals is not as much a safety issue as it is an efficient use of the corridor. That will be a better level of service because it will provide a pass‑through. You'll see green at one intersection, you'll drive through and see green at the next intersection, instead of seeing green, seeing red, having to stop, then seeing another red. They would allow for vehicles to pass through without having to stop at every other intersection or every intersection. That's what the synchronization or coordination does, that will help improve the delay. The actuation and the pedestrian improvements, that's what provides the safety ‑‑ the actuation also betters the delay, but it also helps provide safety because then the signal can react to vehicles and pedestrians at the intersection.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: What was the, just from my recollection, the ‑‑ when there is that activation, that pedestrian activation, what was the ‑‑ because then they're off sync momentarily, what would the delay be to re ‑‑ sync, if I'm saying it correctly, for all the lights in line because ‑‑

  1. MR. FERANDA: Bandwidth?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.

  1. MR. FERANDA: You have a bandwidth to make sure that the vehicles can pass through on the corridor.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right.

In other words, when a pedestrian goes to this crosswalk, the light changes ‑‑

  1. MR. FERANDA: Correct.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: ‑‑ so that synchronization of all the other lights is then off momentarily.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Yes. Momentarily.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: What would the delay be like for them to re‑sync? How does that work?

  1. MR. FERANDA: They would re‑sync within the next cycle.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: The next cycle?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Yeah. And that's something that would be done by the smarter controllers that have a computer in them. Right now my understanding is some of the controllers are mechanical controllers so they're pre‑timed.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes.

  1. MR. FERANDA: So they're just like a clock. They're going around and they're saying every 30 seconds I'm going to give this approach 15 seconds. And then I'll give this approach, and then I'll give this approach. And It just cycles around mechanically.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right. I got it.

  1. MR. FERANDA: With the smarter controller, the computer, it can actually use the actuation, detect the vehicle, and then say there's vehicles here waiting, let's allow them to have some time, or if there's no vehicle waiting, let's not give that approach any green time. So right now in cycling around you probably get some green time to some approaches that have no vehicles there. That won't happen with the actuation.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Got it. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Anyone else have question?

  1. MS. GIORDANO: Can we just, like, go back for one second to something that COUNCILMAN VOIGT mentioned? I think I may have missed a portion of it, but he asked you what the level of service was for the signals and you said something about ‑‑ did you say that the studies didn't really match up with your own experience?
  2. MR. FERANDA: The levels ‑‑ the overall level of service is what I gave you from the village report and then the overall level of service I gave you from the traffic report. Individual movements within those overall levels of service can have lesser or better delay. You can have ‑‑ the North Broad Street, we have more delay with left turns, a little bit more time, and there's that level of service would be a D or an E, where the right‑turn movements, very simple movements to make with no opposing vehicles, that could be maybe a Level of Service A. So when I give you the overall level of service, that's a balance. There are individual movements that have to be accounted for. If it goes up to Level of Service E or Level of Service F or worse, it can get worse, Level of Service F ends at 80 after that, it's just failing. It's just a bad condition that needs to be fixed. If there is that Level of Service F within ‑‑ even though the overall operation might be a C because everything else is operating at A, if there's one approach within that that's operating at an F, that really needs to be mitigated. And what is reported in the reports is that North Broad does operate with D or E, but in the reports it's a Level of Service B or C for the eastbound Franklin Avenue, and when I got to that intersection, there's been queuing up and under the bridge and all the way back to Wilsey many times. So my observation is that vehicles aren't getting a chance to pass through in the cycle. The traffic counts may not be accounting for the actual volume that wants to go through, it's just accounting for the actual volume that is going through. When you get congested conditions, there's a breakdown. When vehicles don't travel through the intersection, someone can go out there and count five vehicles passing through and say that's great. But if those five vehicles can only make it through and the other ones can't because there's gridlock, then that's when there might be some breakdown between what you're seeing in the analysis and what you experience as a village residents. You get out there in the traffic and you have to wait a couple cycles, you're going to tell me that it's not 10 to 20 seconds of delay Level of Service B. If you have to wait a couple of cycles it's a longer delay.
  3. MS. GIORDANO: So how comfortable then should we feel in relying on some of those studies when you look at the numbers, because I know it's been brought up a few times for me specifically the egress and ingress point on Chestnut. The studies might not show that it's backed up, but my own experience has been that it's ‑‑ it will block ‑‑ traffic will block past that ingress. It absolutely will and cars will stack on the property. So how comfortable do you feel the data that we have, how comfortable should we feel, versus maybe our own observations at this point?
  4. MR. FERANDA: My job is not to knock down the reports that were done by competent engineers who have gone through the analysis. They've provided the information. I have not done any independent ‑‑ you know, I have reviewed what I've been given. I can only go by what they're giving and that's why I'm giving that to you that there are Es and Cs for overall level of service, and then that particular approach that I'm talking about is Level of Service C or better, the eastbound Franklin, 35 seconds or less delay. Anybody who's driven through it, coming from that approach, you probably feel like there's more than 35 seconds of delay as you go under the trestle there. So what I'm giving you is also the explanation why that may have occurred from a traffic report, that's been done by engineers and looked at the analysis and they're saying this is the vehicle passing through and this is the time that we're getting, and the delay that we're getting.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Can I just jump in? I just have a question. I'm sorry, Carrie.

  1. MS. GIORDANO: Yes.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Could you just state where you got that information from, the report that you're referring to?

  1. MR. FERANDA: The report that I am referring to is the Ridgewood Downtown Zoning Impact Analysis for the Village of Ridgewood.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Year? What year?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Oh, I'm sorry. And the year on it, it says March 2016. Engineering ‑‑ Ridgewood Downtown Zoning Impact Analysis, Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Would your analysis on ‑‑ let's just take, for instance, that one particular location we were just discussing, would your analysis be somewhat different than that? Is that what you're suggesting?

  1. MR. FERANDA: What I'm saying is I have not done an analysis, all I have is my visual experience in passing through the intersections over the last several weeks in observing that intersection.
  2. MR. MARTIN: MR. FERANDA, just for the record to make it clear, was that report that you just cited to from March 2016, is that generated by the applicant or some other source?
  3. MR. TUVEL: That was generated by the Village.
  4. MR. FERANDA: So ‑‑ so ‑‑  
  5. MR. TUVEL: And then the applicant did a separate report as well.
  6. MR. MARTIN: I need some ‑‑ for the record I need some testimony on it ‑‑
  7. MR. TUVEL: Oh.
  8. MR. MARTIN: For the people here and also the record, I need to know whether that's the applicant, board, or some sort of outside of this application review, I think it's important.
  9. MR. FERANDA: I'll read directly from the cover of the report.

"Prepared for the Village of Ridgewood, 131 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, New Jersey, 07450, prepared by BFJ Planning, 115 Fifth      Avenue, New York, New York, 10003."

  1. MR. MARTIN: So that's outside of this application, that was prepared for the village overall.
  2. MR. FERANDA: Correct. That's my understanding.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: But just for the record, is that Gordon Meth's report?  Can you name the engineer that ‑‑ the traffic engineer that did the work. 

  1. MR. FERANDA: Inside the cover it says, "Prepared by BFJ Planning, RBA Group, Ross Haber Associates, Urbanomics"

Yes, next page in: "Acknowledgements, RBA Group, Gordon Meth, BFJ Planning Group, Susan Favate and Noah Levine, Ross Haber & Associates, Ross Haber and Urbanomics, Tina Lund."

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Just a question. If you went back and did the same ‑‑ if you went back and do the analysis, let's just say at that point, that place, and your analysis determined that the intersection was an F, how would that change your report? How dramatically would your report change?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Again, I haven't done that analysis, I'm relying on other engineers and on engineering ‑‑ two engineering groups who looked at it and have used it. The one that prepared it in this report and the one that used it for their report, the applicant.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So the applicant used Mr. Meth's report. And you relied on it, and yet thus far for this particular site plan application no one has actually gone out and physically done a study of that particular intersection just for the point of this discussion; would that be accurate?

  1. MR. FERANDA: I think you would have to ask the applicant what they did for their report.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Could we just take a five‑minute break, if you don't mind?

  1. MR. MARTIN: Okay.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.  Five‑minute break.

(Whereupon, a brief recess is taken.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Let's go back on the record. 

Michael, call the roll?

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Here. 

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?

VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. M Here.
  2. MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Here.

  1. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. GIORDANO?
  2. MS. GIORDANO: Here.
  3. MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
  4. MS. BARTO: Here.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does anyone have any further questions for MR. FERANDA

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: Carrie had a question.
  2. MS. GIORDANO: I'm done.
  3. MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay. So I remember that the testimony, I think it's April 18th, where we ‑‑ where it was noted that the intersection operated at C to D ‑‑ or D and E, certain aspects of that.
  4. MR. FERANDA: Certain movements ‑‑
  5. MS. McWILLIAMS: Right.
  6. MR. FERANDA: ‑‑ within the intersection operate at D and E.
  7. MS. McWILLIAMS: And I'm aware of the fact that the traffic study being used here was generated by ‑‑ was one of four, I believe, impact studies done by the previous council. And being you, you know, in the vein of passing the ordinances that bring about this development, and I'm also aware that no further traffic studies are being presented here tonight for this development, and I can make all of the observations that I want and talk it over with all of the engineers I want. I've gone and ‑‑ through that intersection, I can't even guess how many times, or through that underpass up Broad Street, up Chestnut, down Chestnut, right and left off of Chestnut. So my own analysis, if what we're actually basing our board commentary on tonight is our own analysis, my own analysis is that it is almost never a convenient area of town to travel through. It is ‑‑ I ‑‑ I can't ‑‑ I mean, if it's at a Level of Service B or C I would really actually hate to actually ever be in a D or an E. And I share every single person's concerns up here that ‑‑ about financing traffic lights that are going to make it acceptable, financing traffic lights up and down that corridor. And we can act like they're 60 miles apart, they're a block apart. They're a few hundred feet apart from one end of that street to the other. It's a few hundred feet. We have a bike lane that takes up an entire lane of traffic, so that you've now bottlenecked people trying to get through that intersection in any which direction, and now we're going to also have people with significant more regularity trying to make a left at that underpass, and, oh, in addition, there'll be a sitting area to people watch.

(Laughter).

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Traffic watch.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Please, don't speak out.

Do you have a question for him specifically?

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: Yes. Is this, like, completely ludicrous or just a little ludicrous? Because I'm not 100 percent sure any more what I'm listening to. (Applause.)
  2. MS. McWILLIAMS: We're discussing our own analysis and we're using traffic studies that were generated, you know, I sat with those interviews, I watched Gordon Meth's interview. And I watched Gordon Meth come back a month later with a completely different story from what he sat there in his interview and said.

So are we going to generate some valid, new, in my opinion, legitimate traffic data or are we going to go based on our own analysis? So ‑‑ and ‑‑ and I have appreciated everything you've said. I feel like you've answered our questions really, really well. And I really appreciate all of your input. And I feel like what you're saying to us is that you see this as a difficult area. We're saying there's budgetary constraints. What do you suggest we do? Because there is no way ‑‑ we have had pedestrian fatalities on this block in a few ‑‑ within feet. 

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Uh‑huh.

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: And I want to know what we're going to do to mitigate that and stop that and promise the residents that it's not going to happen again when we put these buildings in. And the buildings are what create further dangerous situations. So I really ‑‑ I struggle with what we should do, so I'm asking you where do we go? We need new traffic data. We have no adequate, impartial traffic data that we're all looking at.
  2. MR. FERANDA: Where this questioning began was can this be done without improvements to the intersection, and I think my analysis is, no, we need something in this Village to be done at that intersection. Not only at the intersection, the corridor needs to be coordinated. There needs to be actuation. And that's where we're going. The analysis that was done, whatever was done in the past, if these improvements were made, you have a new intersection, you have new equipment, you have things that will be done in the future that can be done better. There will be coordination. There'll be actuation. There'll be pedestrian crossings that's actually not just pre‑timed giving them a certain amount of time and hoping the can cross, but timing that will work with the pedestrian crossing. So where the initial line of questioning was what would happen if you did nothing, and I stated the conditions and the nothing conditions would continue or get worse if you did nothing. But my suggestion and recommendations and in my letter of recommendation in all these improvements that something has to be done to this.
  3. MS. McWILLIAMS: Even if we didn't ‑‑ even if these site plans weren't before us you would suggest those improvements? But specifically now with these site plans before us they literally have to be done in order for it to be a safe, passable area. Okay. I wasn't asking what would happen if they were never done. I may be going a step past that to what Jeff said that after that which is that we can't afford it, and what Susan said, we can't afford it, we don't have it in our budget. So what next? Because I sat, you know, if that ingress were to be closed off based on how unsafe it would be if we cannot afford it, and if the county's paying part of it, the builder's paying part of it, and we're required to pay part of it and we can't afford it, these are needs and wants. Like, I don't ‑‑ I ‑‑ there's needs and wants. I don't ‑‑ I don't understand ‑‑ so then what? We're going to be ‑‑ we're going to be putting people in 200 feet into Chestnut Street to get in and out of the development and the 5500 square feet of retail space. There's no option other than to put the signal.
  4. MR. FERANDA: I believe the applicant has agreed that they ‑‑
  5. MS. McWILLIAMS: No, no. I ‑‑ they've agreed, but we would have a share that we'd have to pay too, though, that we can't afford. Right? And so if we can't afford it, it isn't safe if we can't ‑‑ if they can't get it.
  6. MR. FERANDA: I can only testify to changes need to be made.
  7. MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is there any other questions on this side? 

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I just have one last question, how long would it take you to confirm the counts at that particular intersection and maybe the Chestnut, how long would it take you to actually go back out there and confirm the count? 

  1. MR. FERANDA: Do a traffic count and traffic analysis of those intersections?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, that we could use.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Typically we can get that done within 30, 45 days.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.

  1. MR. FERANDA: That's typical turnaround for something like that.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: I just have a question, that report, is that something that you would reasonably rely upon and it doesn't give you pause at all?

  1. MR. FERANDA: The traffic report?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, the traffic report.

  1. MR. FERANDA: Based on the information I have, knowing that ‑‑ which traffic report, the report that the applicant ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: The Village Council one. Were you comfortable with that and you didn't feel the need to do any further counts or analysis on it?

  1. MR. FERANDA: It was done by multiple professional groups and, therefore, I relied on it because it was done for the Village and done by multiple professional groups. This was based on ‑‑ that I have reviewed for this intersection because it had the intersections of this application involved them.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: And your observations kind of confirm what was in there? Did you get a sense, you know, that things were ‑‑

  1. MR. FERANDA: In general my observations do confirm what's in there, but I do have a concern about especially that eastbound approach that comes under the bridge where it says Level of Service B or C. And when it's queuing all the way back to the signal and around the bend there, something is just a little bit off with the analysis that says its passing in under 30 seconds.
  2. MR. MARTIN: MR. FERANDA, could you ‑‑ within 30 days could you come up with the actual direct data yourself just to confirm or revise anything that may be inconsistent in your eyes?
  3. MR. FERANDA: We would send somebody out there to do the analysis and whether that matches what's here or doesn't, the Village would then have to look at the data and would have, you know, the different reports to then go through. Again, typically, when professional traffic engineers do the counts and do the analysis, typically the results will come up the same; however, in this case there would be a special focus on some of the more delayed movements, the longer queues, and we would look at that specifically, whereas if it were done as part of an overall corridor and they wanted to get all the counts in and just analyze them without specific focus on certain problematic movements, maybe that might have not been a focus of that analysis for this particular intersection.
  4. MR. MARTIN: And you could finalize that and go over with the applicant's traffic engineer if you needed to, correct? You can do it independently at this point.
  5. MR. FERANDA: Certainly, yes. That could be ‑‑ that could be something worked in.
  6. MR. MARTIN: Thank you. And based upon your review up to date of this matter, can you see if the intersection of Franklin Avenue and North Broad Street had any ‑‑ would be directly impacted by this particular application?
  7. MR. FERANDA: The intersection of Franklin and North Broad Street?
  8. MR. MARTIN: Yes.
  9. MR. FERANDA: Would be impacted by?
  10. MR. MARTIN: Directly impacted by this application. There would be some nexus to the application at the intersection whatever it may be.
  11. MR. FERANDA: Let me step back, as I'm telling you we can do this count, we can certainly do the count analysis. What this is going to do is record the existing conditions. This is the existing conditions with the existing pre‑timed signal. Again, my recommendation is that there be signal improvements in the future. We can certainly do the analysis with the signal improvements, but things will change based on that signal being put in place. So I'm ‑‑ and I want to make sure the board gets what it's looking for, but I don't want to go out and do a study and another analysis and something else that is just going to be a record of existing conditions without that future condition which this signal will improve.
  12. MR. MARTIN: A couple things on that, okay, number one, I'll get to the look‑back in a second. And I think MR. TUVEL and I discussed this at the last hearing, but just, I'm going to ask you about certain intersections and whether you, based upon your review of this matter, believe that there is an impact directly by this application or not. Okay? Franklin and North Broad; do you believe that intersection is going to be impacted?
  13. MR. FERANDA: Absolutely.
  14. MR. MARTIN: Excuse me?
  15. MR. FERANDA: Franklin and North Broad, absolutely. It's the driveway is going to ‑‑
  16. MR. MARTIN: Okay. I'm just trying to set a record here.

Franklin and Chestnut; yes or no?

  1. MR. FERANDA: Yes.
  2. MR. MARTIN: Franklin and Oak Street, same question.
  3. MR. FERANDA: Yes.
  4. MR. MARTIN: Finally, North Broad Street and Ridgewood Avenue; same question.
  5. MR. FERANDA: Yes.
  6. MR. MARTIN: All right. Now, in regard to what you just testified to and maybe it's going to get a little ‑‑ maybe I'm getting a little punchy now, it's 20 to 11, but generally over the 27 years of doing this, there's look‑backs that applicants agree to, where then we spoke about at the last hearing, if there's any kind of change based upon the actual as‑built project, the traffic engineers will come back and they'll say, okay, listen, at this point we're going to put up a no‑left turn sign because traffic is really a dangerous condition in that regard. At this point we're going to have to put up a little buzzer because when you come out of the garage there's traffic and people walk by too quickly that an alarm goes off, things like that. Would that be beneficial in terms of this case, that after six months of being constructed you could take a look back with the applicant's engineer and say, hey, listen, this is good, this is bad, this needs to be improved?
  7. MR. FERANDA: I think that is a good idea in where this board should go. I believe that getting the signal with these improvements and the ability to detect ‑‑ to actuate the different approaches with the pedestrian improvements, with the signal heads, with the controller being improved, synchronization having that in place and then post‑development going back and redoing the study, rather than doing another study upfront and getting existing conditions, we all know that the existing conditions aren't great. But getting a study done after the signal is in place, having the equipment there, then you can use the actual volumes and re‑time the signals, use the equipment that would be improving, signals now in place, and then a new study can tell you what the best timing would be to use ‑‑ to most efficiently use that new equipment that's there.
  8. MR. MARTIN: And that look‑back can address vehicular traffic?
  9. MR. FERANDA: Vehicular and pedestrian.
  10. MR. MARTIN: Sidewalks and pedestrians?
  11. MR. FERANDA: Correct.
  12. MR. MARTIN: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Anyone else on the board have any questions for MR. FERANDA

(No response.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does the applicant have any questions for MR. FERANDA

  1. MR. TUVEL: Not at this time. I'll let the public go because I know they've been patiently waiting.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Does anyone from the public have questions for MR. FERANDA?

  1. MS. KOTCH: Yup, I do.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Line up. A little anxious, aren't we?

State your name and address.

  1. MS. KOTCH: Linda Kotch, K‑O‑T‑C‑H, 60 North Hillside Place. I'm sorry, sir, what's your name again?
  2. MR. FERANDA: Andrew Feranda.
  3. MS. KOTCH: Feranda.
  4. MR. FERANDA: Andy, Andrew.
  5. MS. KOTCH: Okay. So I listened to what you're saying and just listening to the grading that you were saying, I got to tell you, I got a little nervous, because I was waiting for the F, because I think I literally read War and Peace waiting to get under that trestle. And what make me ‑‑ gives me pause is the last statement you made, what I understood you to say is that your suggestion would be to look at after and make some changes. Well, that makes me nervous because that bike lane that was put in there under that trestle, the bike lane to nowhere, that is so dangerous because you have that fear factor. People aren't quite sure how to negotiate it. And I said earlier, I saw one cyclist in the time that that's been in there. This poor kid riding without a helmet, flip‑flops on, like a bat out of hell, the wrong direction. So she's coming around a blind curve. And everybody's, like, waiting to get through on the F‑intersection. So rather than approaching this as an after‑the‑fact, why aren't we looking forward and say let's make sure we're addressing it. I think, for the vehicles, the pedestrians and the cyclists, that was a disaster, the bike path. And I'm all for bike paths. But let's be holistic in the whole egress safety, look at this holistically rather than react. That's my two cents. Thank you.
  6. MR. FERANDA: May I respond?
  7. MS. KOTCH: Oh, yes, I'm sorry.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, please.

  1. MR. FERANDA: I'm assuming that was a question. I know the bike lane is out there and it appears to be a bike lane to nowhere. It starts at this site and then continues up. There also is median striping in the middle that, in my opinion, if I had a blank slate to work from, and a signal design is part of that blank slate because we'd be putting in new signal, new improvements at the intersection, because there would be left turns into this site, I would take away that bike lane, I would take away that median. I would put in a left‑turn lane so that any left turning vehicles could move to the side and allow the through traffic to pass by.
  2. MS. KOTCH: I ‑‑ bravo.
  3. MR. FERANDA: But, again, that would be an option when the signal design is actually done.
  4. MS. KOTCH: Were you aware when this bike lane was being ‑‑
  5. MR. FERANDA: No.
  6. MS. KOTCH: ‑‑ put in? Okay.
  7. MR. FERANDA: I was not part of that bike lane.
  8. MS. KOTCH: We had to fight to make it wider because originally that median was even wider and you couldn't get an emergency vehicle over there.

So maybe we got the grant to do this project and we're probably wound up spending a lot more than the grant to do something that doesn't even serve us. So thank you.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: State your name and address.

  1. MR. DANI: Good evening, Saurabh Dani S‑A‑U‑R‑A‑B‑H, last name is Dani, D‑A‑N‑I, 390 Bedford Road in Ridgewood. I have ‑‑ I have heard two very different statements from two different bodies here in this Ridgewood, in this courtroom, one is Village Council when we asked if there is an impact fee. They told us the Planning Board would impose that. And the Planning Board said that would have been done by the Village Council. So in your experience when we are seeing that a new building or new development will have an impact of five ‑‑ four or five traffic signals, in your experience, who pays for that impact?
  2. MR. FERANDA: Typically the developer is ‑‑ as a fair‑share contribution they put in a pro‑rata fair share based on their contribution to the intersections. Now, because there's two intersections that are immediately adjacent to this site, they would have a greater impact on them by the site traffic. As you get further away in the roadway network and the grid, traffic disperses through the roadway network and there are less and less vehicles going through the intersections, but there is an impact. There is ‑‑ and the questioning before was is there any impact at this intersection, and this intersection and further away at this intersection. My answers were yes because vehicles will go through them. The impact is obviously lessened as it gets farther away. As you're a mile away from the site ‑‑
  3. MR. DANI: Right, but there is an impact ‑‑
  4. MR. FERANDA: ‑‑ there is less impact. Yes, there is an impact.
  5. MR. DANI: ‑‑ and in your professional experience, have you seen that other planning boards did not run away from that. They did ask the other person to pay their fair share.
  6. MR. FERANDA: Correct. They asked for the fair share and typically that fair share is applied towards the intersections that are most impacted, and those would be the ones closest to the site, whether they be adjacent or the next intersections that ‑‑
  7. MR. DANI: And to COUNCILMAN VOIGT's point as of yet, we don't know what their fair share is, what that expense it. How is that fair, how is that ‑‑ how are you going to calculate what is it ‑‑ what is it going to cost and what is that fair share?
  8. MR. FERANDA: That's a pro‑rata fair share. That's based on the traffic contributed by the site. That's something that a formula that's set, traffic engineering uses ‑‑
  9. MR. DANI: And is that done at this stage of the planning or is that done later on?
  10. MR. FERANDA: Typically what is done, the board would put it as a condition that the applicant contribute their fair‑share cost towards the intersections and to that extent, I prepared a letter, an April 13th letter, which listed the adjacent intersections that would be mostly impacted, and I requested that fair share. I believe at the last hearing that was agreed to that the conditions of my letter for fair‑share contribution had been agreed to.
  11. MR. TUVEL: Yes, we agreed to all of the upgrades and contributions and improvements that MR. FERANDA recommended in his report at the last meeting, so those included the light at Franklin and Broad, that included the light at Franklin and Oak, as well as some other crosswalks, ADA ramp improvements. There was a list of about six or seven items in his report, I believe there were six items in the report and we had stipulated that we would pay our pro‑rata share for all of those items, yes.
  12. MR. MARTIN: And sidewalks.
  13. MR. TUVEL: Yes.
  14. MR. MARTIN: The sidewalks as well?
  15. MR. TUVEL: Yes, yes. I'm sorry if I didn't cover every single thing, curbing, I think was in there as well.
  16. MR. DANI: And when you did the analysis, Andrew, did you include the new DOT requirements that HoHoKus train track will be changed to one‑way in this ‑‑ later this year?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I hope not. 

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I hope not. That's my ‑‑ I hope not. 

  1. MR. DANI: Yes, but that's DOT ‑‑ that's ‑‑ that was done to be part of the Village Council meeting about this March 2016 traffic report. That currently HoHoKus train intersection is two‑way street or two‑way all the way and that will be changed to one‑way so that traffic has to be diverted to other intersections, so that would be either this intersection or some ‑‑ or something ‑‑ where else would it go?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I think that that's why the whole fact becomes critical because this is something that we anticipate with some level of certainty. MR. DANI's point about the traffic review in the likely result of a greater flux of commuters to this area.

  1. MR. DANI: Right, commuters and people who just have to cross, people who have to go west side to east ‑‑ east side to west side, because that will be changed only to one way.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right. It changes the traffic ‑‑

  1. MR. DANI: But I guess ‑‑

MAYOR KNUDSEN: It actually changes the traffic dramatically if that is to happen. It's a dramatic change to that area. There's no doubt.

  1. MR. FERANDA: I am not aware that this is a final plan.
  2. MR. DANI: So the two changes that we heard that will impact the board, one is the shut down DOT wants to put a bus station at the train station, so they want to move the bus then or the bus station which is currently at Van Ness to a different intersection that is DOT's plan, and Ridgewood engineer is supporting that, so if that happens then a lot of the buses would be going to this underpass. And if there's HoHoKus two‑way traffic changes to only one way, then some of that traffic would be diverted here. So there would be even more traffic at this intersection and even more commuters will be coming here, so the focus will be greater here.
  3. MR. FERANDA: Those are reasonable considerations and I don't want to say that, no, they shouldn't be considered. But it sounds to me like they're not final plans and those particular applications would have to take into account their impacts just as this applicant is taking into account their ‑‑
  4. MR. DANI: No, those are not applications. Those are coming from DOT. Those are happening ‑‑

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So can I ‑‑ can i just jump in again with a ‑‑

  1. MR. DANI: Sure.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: ‑‑ with a little bit of a correction here. That plan for the buses to leave the train station was just an old plan that was revived, I guess, from the Village engineering department when the issue came up as to whether or not to add parking to the ‑‑

  1. MR. DANI: Train station.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: ‑‑ north side of the train station.

  1. MR. DANI: Right.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So that would have been on the south parking lot. But since that time we started to realize that it was just really not feasible and there was just too many traffic implications with that and the buses couldn't really make those turns, we have since abandoned that and will not be pursuing that. So just a point of clarification.

  1. MR. DANI: But the HoHoKus roadway that is ‑‑

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, the HoHoKus issue is, I believe, is still a problem. So that I see it's ‑‑

  1. MR. DANI: Right. Because the way it was presented to us at the Council meeting by the engineer is that the Village does not have a choice, it is coming from DOT and we have to do that. This is already agreed to. That's how it was presented.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: We're aware of it.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Mr. Chairman, could I just ask a question?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, sure.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I thought at the last meeting, and I thought we were going into public comment because I thought that we had gone through all the experts. I know there some follow‑up questions based on MS. McMANUS' testimony, that was really questions that were really geared towards traffic. But I thought we ‑‑ that's what I thought we were doing tonight, we were getting into public comment.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes. Well, COUNCILMAN VOIGT had questions for the traffic engineer and then since it was open, other people can ask and then ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: So are we reopening the cross of the traffic expert because ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, just because he testified I mean you have to give the opportunity ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: Just as to those issues that he ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yeah. Pretty much what was just discussed, not a ‑‑ a whole replay of everything.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Well, that's my concern.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yeah. For the additional ‑‑ yes, I mean, I give some leeway, because sometimes people ‑‑ and you've been patient, too, on that. So, are there any more questions for the traffic engineer? I see just one more.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: You can keep it towards what he just testified to.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: You may as well hold on to the mike you're going to need it. Dave Slomin, S‑L‑O‑M‑I‑N, 36 Heights Road. You might not need it for the first one, but the second one.
  2. MR. TUVEL: All right.
  3. MR. SLOMIN: I guess it's ultimately a traffic question. I think the question for Chris, I didn't bring the ordinance with me tonight, but I believe last time I read it, it does require that the ‑‑ that the board know costs of items related. Isn't that a fact? Related to improvements, off‑site improvements? Isn't that a factor in the ordinance?
  4. MR. MARTIN: It says that if they are related and ‑‑
  5. MR. SLOMIN: But didn't it ‑‑ didn't it have a point that they have to be ‑‑ certain knowledge of what they are and defined. That it's not just ‑‑ it's can't be an open‑ended?

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: It says total cost.

  1. MR. MARTIN: If you could not agree, right.

COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Total cost.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Okay. So that's right. We have to be able to agree on the total cost. Are you able to, at this point, define what is the total cost of the traffic improvements needed along Franklin Avenue, both specifically the two at the site and the ancillary impact, I guess, zones along Franklin? Do you know what the costs will be.
  2. MR. FERANDA: I've given that range; 300 to 400,000. I believe that's a reasonable cost range based on what's proposed to be done for the improvements at that intersection. The costs cannot be given until there's a detailed traffic signal plan. You would actually look at each piece of equipment and take off the linear feet of striping or number of signal heads or mast arms, poles, the new controller costs, that would all have to be on signal plan to detail the cost estimate. But from my experience, and I have done quite a few of these signals, the cost to make these improvements that we're talking about would be in the range ‑‑
  3. MR. SLOMIN: Per intersection.
  4. MR. FERANDA: I'm specifically talking about the intersection of North Broad and Franklin. The other intersections I have not looked at as closely, but the improvements that were suggested for those intersections, actuation, the coordination, the synchronization, that could be $5 to $10,000.00 per the necessary equipment to make those work. That doesn't mean that other improvements wouldn't be needed. I'm thinking of the Oak and Franklin. I believe that intersection may be as old as this particular intersection. Chris might have better information on that, but that signal also needs improvements. Again, the actuation, the pedestrian provisions. It may need some signal arrows for some phasing that would improve the left turn phase. So the detail, the actual cost will come out of the plans when they're designed. But for now we have costs that can apply a percent towards. The fair‑share contribution is a percent, whatever the cost is, if it's 100,000 and their fair‑share cost is whatever the number is, 10 percent, 25 percent. It's a percent of the total cost. If it's 10,000, it's a percent of that total cost. Whatever the cost is, their fair share towards it is a pro‑rata fair share based on their traffic contribution.
  5. MR. MARTIN: Dave, may I ask a question?
  6. MR. SLOMIN: Yes.
  7. MR. MARTIN: I didn't see specific but section I is consistent with the ‑‑ what I read. And it's also consistent with case law. This is what happens on off‑tract improvements especially with motor vehicle traffic. If the application is denied because there is problems with height or size or variance issues or something that ‑‑ or health and safety issues on‑site it's denied, that's easy. Okay. Let's say it's granted. There's off‑tract improvements that must be considered and have a nexus to the project. You've got to pay a percentage. Yes, I agree to pay my percentage, absolutely, right? So the project is built. The engineers come around and they say wait a minute, we think that this is directly related and it's $45,000.00 or $500,000.00. Now that things are gelling this is what it is. And applicant says, no, I don't think it's $200,000.00 and 10 percent. That's not something under the law and is inconsistent with section I, they can't turn down the application for the off‑site improvements. But if you can't agree after the fact, they put a deposit in and then we go and we work it out in the court as to what the percentage is and what's proper. So if we can't work it out amongst themselves, as the development is being built and the off‑site improvements need to be done ‑‑ and, Andy, correct me if I'm wrong, then they have to put it in escrow and the Village presents evidence as to why they should pay more. So that's perfectly consistent with I. It's perfectly consistent with the law. But it's not something that the law allows in terms of an acceptance or a denial.
  8. MR. SLOMIN: I mean what I heard, and I appreciate the consistency of your testimony from last meeting to this one, which is refreshing and appreciated. And ‑‑ but what I'm hearing is there's a lot of things we don't know and it would help to know some more, and I ‑‑ and you were asked specifically earlier tonight, you know, do you have any issues or do you agree with everything in that report? And it was a ‑‑ that's a yes or no answer. And it was a ‑‑ you gave a thoughtful answer, but it was not a yes or no. You didn't say, yes, I agree with it. I guess you may have ‑‑ there may be defects, it sounds like there may be defects in this ordinance that you may not be able to get around, and I don't know how, you know, if you have a contract and one thing's defective, you don't throw the whole thing out. I don't ‑‑ I don't know how it works in an ordinance. But there's issues clearly some things don't comport with law in these ordinances ‑‑
  9. MR. MARTIN: Well ‑‑
  10. MR. SLOMIN: ‑‑ but, so how do we get to a point where they can make a ‑‑ I mean, you guys ‑‑ this is the planning board, not the applicant board. I mean, how do they plan for this? I think we're already heard tonight, we'll pay our pro‑rata share, someone asked, will you just pay for the whole thing? Nobody ‑‑ again, nobody ‑‑ you guys didn't say, you know what, we're going to make a lot of money here, we're going to give this couple of lights back to the Village. You could say that. You could offer that up, but you didn't. So how ‑‑ how do you get to ‑‑
  11. MR. TUVEL: Just ‑‑ I'll let you keep going, but just chime in on two points that you just made.

Going back to what Andy had said, in addition to what Chris mentioned regarding the deposit that would be put in the event that there's a disagreement on the amounts we owe, we also have a bond for any public improvements that are made by the applicant. We'd have to post performance guarantees as well, because any time you do any type of public improvement in any sort of right‑of‑way, whether it be county, state, or municipal, you have to ‑‑ you have to post a bond. So that's another aspect of it that I want to mention, that's one. Number two, the other thing that you had mentioned as well is we have to ‑‑ we can only pay what we're legally required to pay. So I can't ‑‑ that's what the law says. I can't go beyond what the law requires.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: But that's actually not true.
  2. MR. TUVEL: Okay.
  3. MR. SLOMIN: You could only be required to pay what the law legally requires you to pay, but you cannot you, you're the attorney for them, I understand your position, but the developers, the owners of the property, can say you know what, Ridgewood clearly has an issue here related to our development. They can't afford these lights. Right now we've been trying for years to get a comprehensive Master Plan going, but the cost of it has been an issue. As I hear it, the cost of these lights is more than a comprehensive Master Plan. That's crazy.
  4. MR. TUVEL: All I'm saying, MR. SLOMIN, is that there has to be a rational nexus for any sort of off‑tract contribution. That's all.
  5. MR. SLOMIN: We've been looking for a rational nexus for the last five years.
  6. MR. TUVEL: I'm just telling you, that's what I'm saying. That's the legal standard so...
  7. MR. SLOMIN: I ‑‑
  8. MR. TUVEL: We're talking about the legal standard.
  9. MR. SLOMIN: But the thing is there are plenty of development that happen where that ‑‑ where the developer, just to get something approved, will give a park to the town, will give extra parking, will give a traffic light. There has ‑‑ there has been nothing offered here. So ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Let's get back on track. Make it a question to the traffic engineer.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Well, I was ‑‑ I was asked a question I had to respond.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: That's all right. Yes.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: So I guess ‑‑ I guess, you know, ultimately the question is, is that they need to make a decision based on shared costs, can you, given that it seems like ‑‑ even at the last meeting you said, well, we really don't know what's going to happen. We're going to have to live with the impacts after the fact. I don't see a lot of, you know, promises here to give that, hey, we're going to be a little more generous here. Can you define what Ridgewood's ultimate responsibility is going to be here and can you say we can afford it?
  2. MR. FERANDA: I cannot say exactly what the cost to Ridgewood would be without having those exact design plans for those intersections. What I can say is the applicant, as in any application throughout the state, will be contributing a fair‑share pro‑rata amount towards those improvements. That's the law and that's the traffic basis for what they would contribute for off‑site improvements. I cannot say what the total cost would be, the remaining cost, not covered by their fair share for the other improvements.
  3. MR. TUVEL: And what would happen as part of the ‑‑ sorry. What would happen is part of the ‑‑ once the board identifies the off‑tract contributions that are going to be made which were ‑‑ which were set forth in the traffic engineer's letter, what we typically would do, as a condition of approval, is provide a cost estimate. That's also done as part of the bonding for any site improvements that we do as part of any development project. We provide a cost estimate to the municipal professionals; board engineer, board traffic engineer. They would review that. Sometimes actually they offer to prepare it. Sometimes the applicant prepares it, whatever. Both sides review it. So there is going to be an itemized cost of all of the improvements that's prepared, based on what the board decides are the off‑tract improvements that need to be a part of this application based on that rational nexus. So there will be itemized numbers given as to what the cost will be.
  4. MR. MARTIN: And, generally, how I write my resolutions is it's at the discretion of the board's traffic engineer. Sometimes the applicants don't like that, but often they have to.
  5. MR. SLOMIN: And is this isn't a question, but it seems like there's something of a discussion, I think it's a positive discussion, I appreciate what you're saying. Ridgewood is a generous town with generous people in this town. The residents of this town have built huge playgrounds behind Ridge School. I was part of that. Given thousands and tens of thousands of dollars to playgrounds. Citizens Park came as a result of residents donating a park. One of the other developers on Chestnut, I believe, he donated the money ‑‑ to rebuild the old library, correct? What I don't see here is any give from the developers certainly from this site saying what can we do to maybe help the town a little? Like I said, we can't afford ‑‑ we've been struggling to afford a Master Plan review that we really need. And we know we need it now. You can do more. It's called generosity. It's called talking. It's called you don't have to, it's not in the law, but you can. That's what ‑‑ that's what I'm saying.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do you have any more questions? 

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Yes.

Again, one more, the ‑‑ I guess, again, with the idea of this board being a planning board and not an applicant board, they are faced with four applications at once. Chestnut Village impacts the intersection here at Chestnut and Franklin. The Brogan site will impact the Broad and Franklin. The Enclave will impact all up and down Franklin. Again, one of the things I haven't heard, because I gather you're forced to take this testimony in and of itself, but, again, it's the planning board, not the applicant board. What ‑‑ can you offer anything to help this board make a decision for planning for Ridgewood, not for the applicant, but planning for Ridgewood on how this can work. Because, yes, you might give us two lights here, but then you're also going to do one you're going in heard on the Enclave, well, we need to do this at Franklin. We need to do this at Cottage, and that impacts here. Oh, we haven't looked at what's going on, on the Brogan site. So I ‑‑ you know, say, look, that's not their job, this is the applicant, they have to hear this one. But, again, that's why, you know, residents are here ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frame it as a question, I guess ‑‑

  1. MR. SLOMIN: I said why ‑‑ I did.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Has he taken a comprehensive view ‑‑

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Can, you know can ‑‑ what can you do to offer this board to take a comprehensive view and can they really do this right without it.
  2. MR. FERANDA: My job as the conflict engineer was to review this application, and this application's impact on the adjacent roadway network and sidewalks. Those other applications are being reviewed as well by other engineers and they will have their own fair‑share contribution. This board knows of all that, I don't know all ‑‑ I know of those projects, but I don't know the detail, I don't know the traffic that's being contributed. I know that they will also be required to do their fair‑share contribution, pro‑rata fair share based on their traffic generated. So that's just a traffic standard. It is the board's decision to put all that together. It's ‑‑ they have to connect all these things together as a planning board. That's what weighs into their decision. I'm here to give the information, the best information, to help them understand this application and what this application will do to as an impact to the Village.
  3. MR. SLOMIN: Are you able to do that without knowing all the information on the other sites?
  4. MR. FERANDA: I cannot tell you exactly what the impact of those other sites would be. I cannot. The board may know that. But, again, my focus for this application is the impacts of the site traffic generated by the site on the roadway and intersections, sidewalks, crosswalks, that are immediately adjacent and immediately, maybe, the next signal or two.
  5. MR. SLOMIN: So while we're talking about nexus and looking for a nexus, would it be helpful to the board to have a unified vision from the ‑‑ all ‑‑ again, I don't think the traffic engineers are ‑‑ but having you guys work together to, say, we're looking at this all? And that's my final question.
  6. MR. TUVEL: So, I wanted MR. SLOMIN to get his questions in, I didn't want to interrupt, but the reason I object to a lot of what was said, in terms of the discussion is that, again, I know this is not a popular statement for me to make, but that was all done already. And that's why these uses are all permitted. And that's why we have these bulk standards that we have. And that's why we have the FAR and height requirements that we have. All of this was already done. So what your traffic engineer said was absolutely correct which is now we look at the individual applications. And we look at the individual application and what reasonable conditions we can impose, based on its impact on these off‑tract issues. We don't even consider off‑site traffic. That's actually not even something that should be considered by the board for any basis to deny the application. Instead what we have to look at are the reasonable conditions that can be implemented by way of off‑tract improvements or on‑site reasonable conditions, and I think that was done in the engineering letter that was provided. And I think in terms of some additional work that was suggested, what you had said earlier, Andy, with respect to the existing traffic and taking an extra look at that is really irrelevant because we're going to change the signal and do all these upgrades anyway, as you proposed in your report, then that all goes away because all the levels of service will be essentially mitigated or fixed as a result of making those improvements. But you also suggested monitoring it while the improvements were in place in order to just ensure that it turns out the way that it's supposed to turn out; is that pretty much what was had said?
  7. MR. FERANDA: And that is very much what I said.
  8. MR. MARTIN: I object to the leading nature of the question, but go ahead.
  9. MR. FERANDA: That is pretty much ‑‑ that's a summary of what I said. It was called a look‑back or monitoring. My recommendation is when the building is mostly occupied what you ‑‑ what would you determine mostly occupied, 80 percent, 90 percent, there may never be a full occupancy of the building, but at some point you can pick a timeframe, maybe six months after the building gets a CO, if the building doesn't get filled that quickly maybe it's a year later, but at some point after when most of the building is occupied, its tenants are in the retail space, most of the building is occupied by the residents, that's when you go to the study and see, confirm that the numbers in the report are what they are. And that if signal timings need to be made for the signal to adjust if you were trying to, say, Franklin Avenue didn't have as much traffic as you thought coming from the driveway, that's when you make the adjustments, based on the actual traffic that's going through the intersections.
  10. MR. MARTIN: Which is different than on‑site issues that were not looked at for the various concerns with the health and safety of the residents, if they were on‑site circulation issues or turning issues, sight‑line issues, all of that kind of stuff, that's something that needs to be addressed now. Correct?
  11. MR. FERANDA: That would‑‑ that would be ‑‑ right.
  12. MR. MARTIN: And you had testified that all of the requests in that regard that you made of the applicant's engineer have been complied with or have been agreed to comply with?
  13. MR. FERANDA: They've agreed to comply. But we had the initial review letter which they've gone through in detail and said they would comply with and they gave reasons what they would do. That was the initial traffic testimony and addressing our comments. And then there was the conditions letter which imposed the off‑site improvements that would be necessary for this site to work with the adjacent roadways and intersections.
  14. MR. MARTIN: And, lastly, MR. SLOMIN's comments all about the numerous different projects, if you will, or applications in this particular zone, you don't have any comment about that, although you agree that it's logical that it will have a context to the impact as to everything in the aggregate, correct?
  15. MR. FERANDA: Correct.
  16. MR. MARTIN: All right. MR. TUVEL, it's quarter after 11, do we have another question ‑‑ let him ask a question.
  17. MR. TUVEL: Okay. I'm sorry.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Please state your name and address, police.

  1. MS. D'ANGELO: Ardis D'Angelo. A‑R‑D‑I‑S, D' A‑N‑G‑E‑L‑O. I live at 414 Red Birch Court. Just two questions. What about the kids that live in that building? They're going to need to be bused to school. So where is the safe bus stop, in the midst of all that traffic, for those kids to get on and off that bus? And second question, how is the school bus stop going to effect all of the regular traffic?
  2. MR. FERANDA: I believe it was testified to and it's not necessarily a traffic issue, that there will be school children. This isn't an age‑restricted ‑‑ this isn't something that would be age‑restricted. So there will be school children. A bus stop would be planned by the school district, probably at a centralized location somewhere where they have an ability to safely allow the students to wait. My guess is it probably would be on the corner of, say, Chestnut and Franklin, in that location, or maybe further along on Franklin. When school bus stops, all traffic stops, so safety is built into people obeying the law and stopping for the bus. So what that would do to the traffic on the road is what any ‑‑ what would happen at any traffic at a school bus stop.
  3. MS. D'ANGELO: Right. But this area is a specifically congested area, it's not like a school bus stop on a local street.
  4. MR. MARTIN: So the question is where would the bus stop be? It's an excellent question.

Chris, you have talked about this at other hearings, could you just explain to the questioner how that will be determined?

  1. MR. RUTISHAUSER: As Andrew said, the school bus location will be up to the board of ed and how they route where they would go. It could be picked up on the westbound direction of Franklin Avenue in front of the development, if the bus routing was going underneath the trestle to the west. If the board of ed's routing had them coming east to pick them up in the morning, they may want to consider having the bus making a left turn onto Chestnut, possibly having a pick up on Chestnut because it's a lowered trafficked street. Then again, the bus would go up Chestnut and if there's any school children in the Chestnut Village development, it could pick those children up also, make a right turn either on Robinson or the street just north and get down to Oak Street and go whatever direction they needed to.
  2. MR. MARTIN: And does the board of ed work in conjunction with the Ridgewood Police Department in regard to any of the routes?
  3. MR. RUTISHAUSER: Absolutely. There would ‑‑ the police department and traffic safety bureau would have a significant input as to where the bus would stop to make sure it's the most safest location. We have at least three highly trained traffic officers in the bureau.
  4. MR. MARTIN: And these considerations, were they brought up originally when the ordinance was addressed?
  5. MR. RUTISHAUSER: That I don't recall. It's been a while. I apologize.
  6. MR. MARTIN: Okay.
  7. MR. TUVEL: Could we just take two minutes just to confer and figure out what we're going to do?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Sure.

(Whereupon, a brief recess is taken.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. We're back on the record. I guess this application ‑‑ was there any more public questions at all? (No response.)

CHAIRMAN JOEL: That was done.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Yes. I believe the planner and traffic engineer had testified, village engineer, I don't know if there's any testimony.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is there any additional we need from you, Chris?

  1. MR. RUTISHAUSER: I don't know, but I'm always available if there are because I think at a prior meeting we had discussed sanitary sewer issues. And I don't know if there's any other issues that the board wants to vet with the applicant.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. I don't know. Anyone else have questions of Chris?

  1. MR. SCHEIBNER: I do, on the sanitary sewer issue.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. No, I was just trying to gauge what we have.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I have some questions as well.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Yes, I think MR. TUVEL was trying to find out what is left.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

  1. MR. MARTIN: Public comment, Chris and public comment. And that's it.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, technically public testimony.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Yeah. I mean, the way I looked at it, I think Chris has testified, I think at almost every meeting with regard to a specific issues. If the board, during deliberation, wants to ask him questions or seeks clarification on certain things, I think that's fine. But I don't think ‑‑ I mean, he's been at almost every single meeting, asked to testify on certain issues. We've agreed to comply with all of the recommendations in his report. I don't think we need to open it up again for direct testimony and again, if the board has questions, that's pretty common when you deliberate to ask the professionals to clarify something.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. So I guess Chris would be willing to answer additional questions.

Then we move over to the public testimony, then public comment and then closing statement.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Well, public testimony and public comment are basically the same thing, right? Everyone comes up and says what they want to say about the application, correct?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: It's not ‑‑ no. Public testimony would be that person can be cross‑examined. That's if they're offering evidence.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. Fine.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: But, you know, a lot of times people say we just want to give some comment.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. That's fine.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

  1. MS. REYNOLDS: I have a question of Chris. Like, I don't think the public got to ask Chris questions or if they did, I don't ‑‑ whatever.
  2. MR. MARTIN: Yes, we had public questions.
  3. MS. REYNOLDS: I have questions. I think other people might have questions of Chris.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, he was ‑‑ he did have prior testimony before and there were questions asked of him. But I guess if the board has a couple more questions and if it's germane to that, then I think you can ask additional questions, but it's not going to be a reopening of everything.

  1. MS. REYNOLDS: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay?

  1. MR. TUVEL: And I don't mind during public comment if part of the public comment is asking a question that someone's unsure about or seeking clarification on.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Sure.

  1. MR. TUVEL: That's fine, too.

But I just don't want to do things twice.

  1. MR. MARTIN: We'll have our professionals here then; is that correct?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. This is going to be carried to June 19th, and it's going to be a special session at 7:00 without further notice and without prejudice to the board; is that correct?

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. In this room, correct?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, we've got to check on the availability, but Michael is going to check on availability for the room. If it's not here then it would be at an alternate site.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I think we need to get that on the record now. If we're going to carry it, we need to say the location.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: When is the high school graduation?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Later that week, that be Thursday or the following Thursday. Always Thursday.

  1. MR. TUVEL: What's that?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: I just wanted to make sure we weren't scheduling this on the high school graduation night.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay.
  2. MS. REYNOLDS: No, it's either the night before BF or middle school graduation, it's two nights before high school graduation.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: So it's not the 19th.

  1. MS. REYNOLDS: The high school graduation is the 21st ‑‑

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.

  1. MS. REYNOLDS: But I think middle school graduation is the 20th.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay, good.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. So let me just make this clear, so we don't know where it's going to be as of right now; is that correct?

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Why don't we tentatively say it's Here. I don't think there's anything ‑‑

  1. MR. TUVEL: This is ‑‑ can I make a suggestion?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

  1. MR. TUVEL: You have a meeting before that meeting, correct?
  2. MR. MARTIN: We have a meeting next month.
  3. MR. TUVEL: You have a meeting June 6th, correct?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. So this is my ‑‑ this is a suggestion. Carry it to June 6th. At that meeting you'll know by then where the room is going to be for June 19th, and then carry it again to June 19th for the special meeting saying exactly where it is so that there's no break in any of the notices that have been done.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.

  1. MR. TUVEL: However No one from the public's got to be concerned about where ‑‑ what building they have to go to.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. So this application is going to be carried to June 6th, 2017, without prejudice to the board, and it's most likely going to be further carried to special session and date.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: So it's just to preserve the notice. No further notice is required. And it's without prejudice to the board.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Hold on one second.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, sure.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Can public ask one question? Will public comment and testimony be on the 6th or the 19th? I ask because the 19th is a terrible night to schedule public testimony and/or ‑‑ because people can't make it because of the graduations.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No. We just heard that it's on different days.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: Oh we're going to now be on the 6th.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No, 19th.

  1. MR. SLOMIN: That's the bad ‑‑ I'm just saying, if you're scheduling a meeting where the main ‑‑ one of the main events is public commentary and public testimony, it has ‑‑ it's scheduled on a really bad night.
  2. MS. McWILLIAMS: What's on the 19th?
  3. MR. SLOMIN: For that ‑‑ it's just, it's graduation week. It's the last week of school. I mean, just ‑‑ can you do it? Yeah. Can people make it? It's a really bad week for it. I'm just saying, if that can happen on the 6th, that would be ‑‑ that would be ‑‑ make more sense.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. So, Chris, yes? 

  1. MR. RUTISHAUSER: I checked my calendar I have a conflict for the 19th. I would likely not be able to make it.

MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, we'll still carry it to June 6th, but I think ‑‑ if you wanted some certainty for a date.

  1. MR. TUVEL: What do you have on the agenda June 6th?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: There's three items that are on.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. Some of them are the other multifamily applications as well?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No. These are other things that have to be heard and that have been sitting long.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay. So what date can we ‑‑

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Well, we're going to carry it to June 6th.

  1. MR. TUVEL: I know, but that's just for purposes of just further carrying it to a date certain. But I just want to see ‑‑ come up with that date now. (Whereupon, off‑the‑record discussion is held.)
  2. MR. MARTIN: How's the next Monday, Jason?
  3. MR. TUVEL: What's that?
  4. MR. MARTIN: It's the next Monday.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: June 26th work?

  1. MR. MARTIN: All the graduations will be over.  

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: The 6th. The 6th. The 6th.

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: We can't do the 6th.
  2. MR. MARTIN: No, the 26th.
  3. MS. McWILLIAMS: No, they were saying can it be the 6th.
  4. MR. TUVEL: Okay. We'll make it work.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.

  1. MR. TUVEL: So we have this room, we know that, for June 26th, or we still have to check.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: We still have to check. So we'll carry this matter to June 6, and that's without further notice, without prejudice to the board. And the intention is to carry it further to June 26th.

  1. MR. TUVEL: All right. So June 6th, 7:30 in this room, right?

To be carried to another date, to be finalized at that meeting at that time.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.

  1. MR. TUVEL: Okay.
  2. MR. MARTIN: June 26th will probably be at 7.
  3. MR. TUVEL: All right. But no further notice to June 6th as of right now.
  4. MR. MARTIN: No prejudice to the board.
  5. MR. TUVEL: Yes.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. All right.

  1. MR. TUVEL: So, Chris, I'll just communicate with you regarding, confirming at what venue it will happen.
  2. MS. McWILLIAMS: You guys all got that?

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: What's that?

  1. MS. McWILLIAMS: You guys all got that? Carried to the 6th to be carried to the 26th.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it won't be discussed on the 6th.

CHAIRMAN JOEL: No, just a carry date.

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can I ask a quick question for Andy?

CHAIRMAN JOEL: We're done with the application here. You can ask him in private if you'd like.

(Whereupon, this matter will be continuing at a future date. Time noted 11:39 p.m.)

 

Approval of Minutes: The minutes for February 2, 2016 and February 16, 2016 were approved as written.

 

Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                                        Michael Cafarelli

                                                                        Board Secretary

Date approved: April 17, 2018

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