Planning Board Public Meeting Minutes 20171205

The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of December 5, 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 7:35 p.m. Following members were present: Mayor Knudsen, Joel Torielli, Richard Joel, Councilman Jeff Voigt, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, and Ms. Patire. Also present were Christopher Martin, Esq., Board Attorney; Village Planner Brigette Bogart; Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser; and Board Secretary Michael Cafarelli. Ms. Barto 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 – Mr. Joel reported the Master Plan subcommittee received responses to the RFP and that committee members will review the responses and report back to the Board at the December 19, 2017 meeting.

Ordinance #3625, which amends Chapter 190, Land Use and Development to permit certain illuminated signs in the B-1, B-2, and C Districts - Ms. Bogart discussed the original ordinance introduced by the Governing Body on public displays and said several Village employees expressed concerned about the enforcement of the ordinance and its applicability to existing ordinance. Ms. Bogart said she had photographs of the existing conditions on Ridgewood Avenue and Board Members asked to see them as well as the video displays. She said the revised ordinance provides details on how to regulate window signs and window displays together. Mr. Torielli stated he thought the percentages proposed are too high and should be lowered. Board members had concerns regarding LED and neon lighting, flickering images and traffic safety. Mayor Knudsen said the basis for the ordinance is to address video displays.

Mr. Joel and Mr. Torielli indicated if this is the basis, additional research should be done on existing conditions, and a two-person subcommittee should be formed. Mr. Rutishauser indicated this is a substantial change in the ordinance that was introduced by the governing body and therefore a new first reading would be necessary. Mr. Torielli and Ms. McWilliams agreed to serve on the Subcommittee. They will meet and address the issues and report to back to the Planning Board.

200/210 South Broad Avenue, LLC, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan and C Variance, Block 3905, Lot 6 and 7– Pubic Hearing continued from November 7, 2017 - to be carried to January 16, 2018 without further notice and without prejudice to the Board – The application was carried to January 19, 2018.

Hopper Ridge Townhomes, Informal Review, Durar Avenue, Block 4104, Lot 3 – Carried from October 3, 2017 without prejudice to the Board - David Rutherford, applicant's counsel introduced the application. Mr. Latincsics presented the retaining wall project and detailed the need for the project based on the gradual failing of the existing retaining wall constructed in 1986. He asked for clarification of the Board's jurisdiction.  Mr. Rutishauser said the existing use as attached singles-family dwellings is a conditional use and there are a number of conditions that need to be met with regard to setbacks of structures. If these conditions are not met, a D variance is required and the Zoning Board would have jurisdiction. There will be a number of variances required for wall height. Mr. Latincsics said they had pre-meetings with the NJDEP and are moving forward with the permit process.  He said soil movement would exceed 3,000 cubic yards. Board members were concerned about the decaying retaining walls and potential toxins affect the community. Mr. Latincsics said the wood would stop rotting when buried.  He said the wall would be 16 feet in height and would need fencing. Board members asked why the entire retaining wall could not be setback twelve feet from the existing wall as has been done at the pinch point.

Mr. Latincsics said they proposed a spilt rail fence on top of the wall that is counted in the wall height. He said the proposed wall would not be tiered and they would need variances. A Board member asked if the residents on Cedar would be impacted by the visual of the new higher wall. Mr. Latincsics said there is a large buffer there and they would plant more material if necessary.

Mr. Latincsics said spicebush would be planted at the base of this wall, as it is a native species and not a rhododendron bush. Board members asked the applicant to narrow the gap between the walls, acknowledged it needs to be repaired, and asked the applicant to reduce the number of trees removed.

Robert Jennee, Minor Subdivision and C Variance, 246 Mountain Road, Block 2509, Lot 13.01- continued from October 17, 2017 without further notice and without prejudice to the Board – David Rutherford the applicant's counsel discussed the application for a minor subdivision and C variance. He introduced Thomas Skrable, the planner and engineer presented the details of the application and responded to Board member questions. Mr. Rutishauser and Ms. Bogart summarized their professional review memorandums and variances required.

Mr. Scheibner recused himself from hearing the application.

Mr. Rutherford summarized application and said it is a strict application of the ordinance of the lot width requirement that causes issues with the site development. He said the variance could be granted under C1 and C2 criteria.

The Board said the application is a C2 not a C1 and that it is a self-created hardship not warranting a variance. The Board made a motion to approve that failed then a motion to deny that passed. The application was denied.

Adoption of Minutes: The minutes from February 7, 2017 were adopted as written

The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 p.m.

Michael Cafarelli
      Board Secretary

Date approved: December 4, 2018


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