Planning Board Special Public Meeting Minutes 20171018

The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board Special meeting of October 18, 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 8:00 p.m. Following members were present: MAYOR KNUDSEN, Joel Torielli, Richard Joel, Councilman Jeff Voigt, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, and Francis Barto. Also present were Christopher Martin, Esq., Board Attorney; Village Planner Elizabeth McManus; Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser; and Board Secretary Michael Cafarelli. Mr. James Van Goor and Ms. Patire were not present.
257 Ridgewood Avenue, LLC, Block 3703, Lot 4, 6, & 8.01, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan Ridgewood Water, Informal Review, 205 East Glen Avenue, Block 3107, Lot 33.01, and Dead End of Salem Lane, Block 4805, Lot 4 - Following is the transcript of this portion of the meeting, prepared by Laura A. Carucci, C.C.R., R.P.R.:
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I'd like top call this Planning Board public meeting to order. It is Wednesday, October 18, 2017. It's a special meeting. We're at the Village Hall courtroom. It's approximately 8:05.
Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Thank you. Rich.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8(d) of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in the meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspaper and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village Municipal Offices at 131 North Maple Avenue and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Please stand for the flag salute.
(Whereupon, everyone stands for a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Roll call, Michael?
MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
MR. SCHEIBNER: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Patire?
(No response.)
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MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
MS. BARTO: Here.
MR. CAFARELLI: Chief Van Goor?
(No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thanks, Michael.
All right. We have a quorum. And we are -- and this is a special meeting so we have only one item on the agenda. It's continued, it's 257 Ridgewood Avenue, LLC, Block 3703, Lot 4, 6 and 8.01, preliminary and final major site plan. The attorney on this matter is Tom Bruinooge.
Tom, I guess we've had three hearings so far, July 18th, August 15th and September 19th.
And the last time we heard from the architect and traffic engineer. So you have the floor to proceed.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. First of all on behalf of my client, thank you for scheduling this special meeting. We are pleased to be here and to present what we hope to be concluding witnesses this evening so we can bring this matter to a conclusion and a vote. Earlier this evening I delivered to your secretary Proof of Publication, and Affidavit of Service as well as Proof of Publication. I have the proof of mailed so that the particular provisions of the statute or statutes that were addressed and met, so that I would suggest, MR. MARTIN, a review of the documentation given to MR. CAFARELLI and I'm sure jurisdiction is established. Notice is properly given.
MR. MARTIN: Thank you, MR. BRUINOOGE.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes, sir. So you're right, Mr. Chairman, that at the last meeting we finished hearing from the traffic engineer, Eric Keller. As the board might recall as we came to the end of -- not quite the end of the evening, but the evening ended, your consultant indicating that he felt it was appropriate that the matter conclude at that point -- testimony conclude at that point, and he would be in touch with my -- as I understood it, we can read the record, to ask of Mr. Keller, but that he was going to communicate with Mr. Keller in respect to some of the capacity analyses in the intervening time since the last meeting and tonight. And it's my understanding that that conversation has taken place, some other questions apparently may have been addressed by MR. JAHR, but I'll let him speak to it himself. My witness has nothing further to say, but we're here -- he's here, Mr. Keller's here available to answer questions for you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I guess, John, did you want to report on that, your meeting?
MR. JAHR: Certainly, board.
MR. MARTIN: MR. JAHR was previously sworn.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Chris, do we need to swear in MR. JAHR?
MR. MARTIN: Let's do it again this evening.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you God?
MR. JAHR: I do.
J O H N J A H R, Having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:
MR. MARTIN: And you were previously qualified.
MR. BRUINOOGE, is that correct?
MR. BRUINOOGE: That's correct.
MR. JAHR: Thank you. The board, for the sake of the record and to make sure I have -- I cover
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everything I had for review, I did indeed meet with Mr. Keller and we have forged through the traffic matters. My last report was dated September 7th. And I just want to go over the list of things that I reviewed for this application and what the conclusion is. We were provided reports on January 31st, 2013, a revised report May 27, 2014, a new report of May 31st, 2016 and another new report of July 9th, 2017. These are the various reports which I reviewed for The Enclave project which is before the board currently. And in my analysis and what was contained in those reports are various traffic analyses and parking analyses. At our meeting with Mr. Keller yesterday on the 17th, he also provided me with additional traffic data and some summary reports that I requested in my September 7th memorandum. For the sake of my September memorandum I would like to point out to the board that Mr. Keller has satisfied all of the questions and comments which are contained in that memorandum and we feel that he has now provided all the necessary traffic data and information as needed so that we can properly review this application and render an opinion. As discussed with Mr. Keller, we discussed the Fair Share Traffic Evaluation and we estimated the cost to replace the traffic signal on Franklin and North Maple at somewhere between 250,000 and $300,000.00. The applicant has agreed to stipulate to the contribution to this traffic improvement of $60,000.00. This equates to approximately 20 percent contribution. Based on their traffic analysis, their percent of traffic impact is less than 25 percent. Therefore, my report to this board is that this is a fair and reasonable arrangement for them to have to mitigate any traffic impacts that are caused by this project. And that is my report.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you. Anyone have any questions for John? Jeff, do you have any?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: John, what was the extent of the 250,000, $300,000.00 upgrade for the light what did that -- what was -- what was that made up of?
MR. JAHR: That was an hour-and-a-half of arguing over what the improvement should be.
And, in my opinion it needed to be a completely new traffic signal, new handicap ramps, curb ramps, pedestrian push buttons, pedestrian indications, milling and resurfacing of the intersection. And the only thing that wasn't included in that was any drainage improvements. I thought that if we had drainage issues there that that probably was reasonable for the town or the county to take some responsibility. So such as -- everything I could imagine goes into that 250 to 300.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Does that include an actuated light is that --
MR. JAHR: Video detection cameras and pedestrian actuated multi-push buttons.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So -- so how does that effect the other lights that are along Franklin and -- and the other light at East Ridgewood Avenue, Maple Avenue, that are not actuated? What does that do?
MR. JAHR: Well, any traffic light which we can improve in Ridgewood will be an improvement for everything. Sadly, I'll be pushing the congestion down to the next light if I fix this one.
So, for example, if we fix the light here, most likely the light on Oak is going to experience some additional congestion because we're going to be able to process the traffic more efficiently at this location. So, sadly, unless we improve all the lights some day, you know, when we fix one, it's going to push some of the traffic to the next light causing some additional delay there.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Well, now I'm confused because it sounds like it's not making -- it's making it better at that intersection, but it's making it worse at all the other intersections.
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And I don't know how it effects our -- our overall traffic flow downtown. I mean can you help me with that?
MR. JAHR: The further we get from the subject intersection that we're improving, you know, obviously, the more of the traffic will disperse and, you know, go throughout the town to their destinations. So as far as the add -- the noticeability on it, the further we get, the less numbers it will be. But, honestly, this is a common-sense approach. If I make Franklin work better and North Maple work better, more traffic is going to get through that intersection and make it's way to Oak. We already have problems at Oak. Oak backs up past the Starbucks driveway every morning. And, so, you know, I -- if I fix one intersection, realistically, the traffic is going to continue to move down the line.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Dave?
MR. SCHEIBNER: As a follow-up to that question, why does that not constitute part of their burden when fixing that one intersection just pushes the problem further out?
MR. JAHR: It causes dispersion. By the time we get to Oak, the percentage impact they have on it is not noticeable enough. All right. The further I get from their site, the less their impact is.
So we focus -- we have to focus on where they have the greatest impact, to gain the best benefit to the Village.
MR. SCHEIBNER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Just as we are working with the county to ensure that all of the lights are appropriately upgraded, this would -- we could actually just, I guess, hand it all to the county and their portion would be applied to the total overall cost. That -- would that -- that would work then, right? If they did all the, kind of, engineering work and...
MR. JAHR: My understanding that the agreement with the developer, and he can clarify it, is that they are going to simply hand the Village this compensation and then the Village will now have that and then use it as yours.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right. So, okay, fine. That's perfect.
MR. JAHR: Yes, that's definitely within the Village's best interests, for it to be ours to give to the county as our contribution.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right, because then the county will take the whole thing and then we'll put in our portion. And we'll apply their portion. And then the county, hopefully, will come to an agreement and then make a -- you know, do their share, so everyone will work together.
MR. JAHR: That would be our hope.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frances?
MS. BARTO: I don't have any questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: You -- you negotiated that -- is that what --
MR. JAHR: We --- I -- obviously -- I have many, many reports and lots of traffic data. There was a significant discussion about the percentage as well. I am confident that their percent of impact is less than 20 percent. Therefore, 20 percent, in my opinion, is a very fair and reasonable assessment.
MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay. I'm actually -- but I -- I'm not sure if there's any more to say about
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that, but...
MR. JAHR: Well, from -- from a number standpoint they -- I mean I know what the numbers are. All right. So we can calculate the percent of their traffic, that they're putting there based on what's already there. And that's how we can come up with the percent impact.
So it's a mathematic calculation -- it's actually easier.
MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: No questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Was the 60,000 -- and I'm sure you tried to obtain more, but under the circumstances, that's fair and reasonable?
MR. JAHR: Absolutely. Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks.
Chris, did you have any questions?
MR. MARTIN: Chris, you remain sworn and qualified.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
C H R I S T O P H E R R U T I S H A U S E R, having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:
MR. RUTISHAUSER: The county and our engineering division have been discussing improvements on the Maple Avenue corridor, looking at a macro approach, looking at coordinating intersections of Maple and East Ridgewood Avenue with the traffic light at Franklin and Maple. The county has provided a sketch of some of their thoughts. We've provided a counter-sketch to some of our thoughts based on certain traffic movements we see very prevalent in this corridor. One of the big concerns we have is the right-lane bus from East Ridgewood Avenue going north onto North Maple. That corner is very tight where the Jersey Mike's is. We've had some exchange of emails and ideas and that's about where it is.
The only thing that may effect this application is the -- depending where, if they have any front yard variances and if the county would be looking for an additional taking for widening the corridor. But they haven't done that yet.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Beth, do you have any questions for John?
MS. McMANUS: No, I do not.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I --
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Actually I have one, so just to kind of remind me because we had that road widening easement, that was the staircase was -- am I recalling this correctly, the staircase was in the road widening easement and that may have been a problem for the county?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Are you referring to the ADA accessible ramp on East Ridgewood Avenue? That was something that was --
MAYOR KNUDSEN: On Maple -- on Maple on the front of the structure. On the plan -- I thought Chris said Ridgewood Avenue and Maple, did you say Ridgewood Avenue?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, there's the Council granted an encroachment agreement with PNC Bank on East Ridgewood Avenue for that corner.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No. But I'm talking about the road widening easement on Maple Avenue.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: There are some things that may be a little bit in the way.
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Again, that's how -- that's to be determined in how the design process goes forward.
Working with the county, it's not exactly a rapid process. Usually you send them an email, in a few months they'll give you a response.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Could I ask a Chris a question? Is that possible?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Good. Chris, your report of August 14th, 2017, preliminary review of subdivision, you mentioned -- you mentioned about traffic, you said Franklin Avenue and North Maple Avenue are Bergen County roads and as such the county may want the roads widened -- road widening easement as part of the approval process?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes. That -- this application also has to get County Planning Board approval.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I'm not quite sure where they are in that process and whether the County Planning Board has given them approval yet. They'll have to get it, nonetheless, if there's any significant changes to their proposal due to complying with the county requirements, they may have to come back to this board.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I think MR. BRUINOOGE may have a more up-to-date comment on that.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.
So does that effect the estimate of 250 to $300,000.00 if we have to widen that whole area?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: It can considerably.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So, john, how do you feel about that, the fact that we may have to widen that whole intersection? I mean it sounds like it's going to be a lot of money.
MR. JAHR: If -- if there's widening required by the -- first of all, I don't know if the county will do one corner or -- I think it would be very difficult to widen because it's not under their control. But if the County Planning Board desires that, I don't know if there's room to work, to widen out there, tough. Is there -- does it make sense to make that wider? I mean it's already a three-lane approach on -- on the Franklin side.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Well, Chris, you had mentioned before that the Brake-O-Rama, that you wanted to kind of cutoff some of that and widen it at that area to make it more manageable, is that kind of your thought?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That was one of the areas we looked at. I know the county would like to take the bend out of the road a little bit. Basically it's like, if you're going southbound on Maple as you approach Franklin, looking towards Ridgewood you'll see that there's a bit of a bend in the road. They're looking at kind of cutting that bend back, making more of a tangent cut there. How that will fit within the existing easements that have already been granted in the past applications and what the design would be, remains to be seen. And, also, as I said what the Bergen County Planning Board may require.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So is that, like, an eminent domain kind of thing we have to deal with if we need to widen that?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: There may be an eminent domain issue. We're good -- I mean the goal would be to design something within the existing right-of-way as best as possible to avoid that type of action.
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COUNCILMAN VOIGT: That -- this all seems, like, much more of a problem than initially suggested. I don't know, I think that's kind of the way I'm feeling right now.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I don't think --
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I just think --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: -- it is because the county has come back to us, I believe you were with us when we met with the county engineering staff. I think the drawing that they sent to us for -- to look at, was a result of that meeting and yours and the Village Manager's request, for the county assistance and the county involvement in improving our intersections. So they are getting back. I feel they're being responsive to the Village's requests. It's going to be a design process with both parties, the Village and Bergen County and also, obviously, the applicant, for improving that corridor.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So what happens if it costs more than the 300,000? I mean who eats that?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Well, right now if the county -- the direction the county is going is they will take over the operation and the ownership of the traffic lights. Currently the Village owns the traffic light at East Ridgewood Avenue and Maple and at Maple and Franklin. We operate. We maintain. We change the bulbs and so forth. With a new upgraded light funded by the county they would have that right and also that obligation to maintain the light.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So they would pay for it, is what you're saying?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I believe they're indicating they would pay for it. Would they pay for it 100 percent in full? That's not yet been determined.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That's certainly the hope that we would have on the Village's behalf.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Thank you.
MR. MARTIN: What could make it fairly simple is that if we discuss any approval process with MR. BRUINOOGE and if there is a recommendation by the board's traffic consultant, in accordance with any approval and as agreed upon by the applicant, if there's any change to that, and there's the nexus of off-tract improvement that is related to the application, built into the resolution, they would agree to up any additional amount that's related to that.
For example, if Chris, and I believe, is accurate, the county is responsible for economic costs of this new intersection, fine. But if it's visited upon the Village then that nexus would be a percentage tied to the applicant. And I find that to be a reasonable request in the resolution so I'm sure they would agree.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I think it's a very good approach. I think the contribution amount that John had negotiated with them and the manner that it would be based as a set aside in escrow by the Village for signalized intersection improvements, would also work very well with any hardship the Village has with the county.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: MR. BRUINOOGE, has the applicant or any of its professionals been in the touch with the county on this? (Whereupon, an off-the-record discussion is held.)
MR. BRUINOOGE: At this point, no.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. I guess you're waiting for the result of this and then --
MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes, we'll move forward, you know, accordingly. And, you know, MR. MARTIN has referred to a basic theory I think we both know. We're happy to discuss it. Please
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don't take my standing here and willingness to discuss it as an agreement to do anything other than to abide by, really, what the case law says, I call it the Dunkin Donuts situation of the case -- it's a development case. And so I'm not really -- I don't think it's appropriate or necessary for me to get into the leads or the legal legalities of such an exaction. But, nonetheless, we'll see what the end result of the exercise with the county is. And there's no question, it's a reality it's going to have to be addressed.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. All right. I guess does the public have any questions for John Jahr at all?
(No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We'll move on. You can present your next witness.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you. The notice that was provided tonight, for tonight's meeting, incorporated the application filed by 257, and particularly by Mike Dipple on behalf of 257, for a major soil movement permit. And So because there are some elements to that -- to that information which touch on planning, we are suggesting that Dipple go forward with presenting to the board the major soil movement documents and plan, discuss it, answer whatever questions you may have and then move right along an bring up John Szabo who brings the reasons as to why we believe the applicant -- or the proof to get the variance we requested including any of the planning aspects related to the soil movement permit.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Proceed.
MR. MARTIN: I see MR. DIPPLE is setting up. You remain sworn and qualified.
Thank you.
M I C H A E L D I P P L E, Having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:
MR. DIPPLE: Thank you.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I need to mark these new exhibits, MR. MARTIN.
MR. MARTIN: My last exhibit is AR-13.
MR. BRUINOOGE: So that's AR-13.
Is it two sheets, Mike.
MR. DIPPLE: It's two sheets, Yeah.
MR. BRUINOOGE: So the first sheet would be AR-13, just mark it if you would and we'll get the reference to it in the record in a second.
And the second would be AR-14.
(Whereupon, Sheet SMO-1, Ground Floor Soil Movement Calculation is received and marked as Exhibit AR-13 for identification.)
(Whereupon, Sheet SMO-2, First Floor Soil Movement Calculation and depicts the upper floor which coincides with Franklin Avenue is received and marked as Exhibit AR-14 for identification.)
DIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. BRUINOOGE:
Q. MR. DIPPLE, you have marked two sheets. Would you, for the purposes of the record describe, please, the sheets that you have marked, and explain what they are.
A. Sure. The first sheet, SMO-1 is ground floor soil movement calculation. And it depicts the site and it has some calculations which I'll describe later. And the second sheet is SMO-2 which is -- thank you -- which is the first floor soil movement calculation. And it depicts the upper floor which coincides with Franklin Avenue. So it's set up the same way as my site plan is set up,
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ground floor being accessible to North Maple and the first floor being accessible to Franklin Avenue. Okay. So, essentially, what we did is we created a grid pattern because of the irregularity of the site and -- and the changes in the slope and the fact that there are buildings on the site. And this is what we typically do if we have kind of an odd-shaped property or undulating property is we set up a grid and we just calculate the change in grade at each corner. We average the four corners, we multiply it by the area and it just gives us the volume of the soil that's going to be moved within that little grid. So if you were to look at that you see these little numbers and then down here (indicating) is a spreadsheet that calculates exactly -- in the same fashion exactly what the soil cut and soil fill would be. So, in summary, on the first floor we have a cut of 3,938 cubic yards. And that results from the ground level parking, the ground floor parking level that I've discussed where the grade naturally rises in the back so when we bring a relatively level parking garage in, we do remove that wedge of soil starting at North Maple and continuing back where we have the wall that supports the ground level garage.
Q. And let me interrupt you to say, just so the record is clear, you're referring now to the exhibit that you've already marked as AR-13?
A. This is AR-13.
Q. Right. And AR-13 describes, generally speaking, the site of the proposed project.
Is that so?
A. That's correct.
Q. And that site information is consistent with the survey and the site plan prepared by your off -- I shouldn't say the survey was prepared by your office, but the survey utilized by your office and -- and the site plan prepared by your office which you previously testified to which is in -- marked in for identification subject to the discussion prior to this evening's meeting?
A. That's correct.
Q. And so what you have done now is explain how, as an engineer, you've gone about calculating the volume of material to be moved and -- and placed consistent with what?
A. Consistent with the proposed construction.
Q. Yeah.
A. Right. So in this case, as I've described, it's really on the ground floor, it's completely an excavation. We have a cut column here (indicating) and then we would normally have a fill column which we often do in green and that would show cut and fill and then they would total up. But because this entire floor is an excavation, we only have cut and our total cut is 3,938 cubic yards which, by itself, qualifies for a major soil movement permit application. And that's why it was filed. I'm going to flip over to the second page, AR-14, Exhibit AR-14, if it allows me.
And now we show some change in grade along the proposed parking lot which is accessible from Franklin Avenue. And we do the same methodology for that small rectangular area where we set up a grid, we checked the four corners, we multiply it by the area, and we have, our calculations show a total cut of only 178 cubic yards and we do have a slight fill of a 10th of a cubic yard just because some of the grade changes slightly, to make it to the new structure.
So, as a result, adding them together get 178 cubic yards. So when we combine the ground floor and the first floor we have total soil movement which appears on our application of 4,116 cubic yards and which we paid a fee of $1,179.00.
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Q. You just made reference to the application, the application filed by your office on behalf of 257 and that was delivered to MR. RUTISHAUSER as the Village Engineer?
A. Yes.
Q. You reviewed with him -- I believe it's fair to say that you met with the Village Engineer and gone over your calculations?
A. I have discussed it briefly with him at the end of last week.
Q. Any questions, issues or comments from the Village Engineer with respect to the consistency of the application with the ordinance and the conclusions you've reached?
A. I -- I believe that I described to MR. RUTISHAUSER where -- how the cut -- how the cut -- we resulted in such a cut and I believe I can say that he concurred with that. And I present these plans and present them here for the board.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I have no further questions of the witness on this issue of the soil movement.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Jeff, do you have any questions?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Dave?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frances?
MS. BARTO: No questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Oh I don't have any. Chris, do you have any questions?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: No, the testimony was consistent with the meeting that we had. The project, unfortunately, is a major soil permit, due to the size and scope and the process with that.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And then I guess you monitor the removal. And they have certain regulations that they have to follow for everything?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yeah. There'll be a comprehensive resolution for the governing body to approve. They'll be involved in it with our police department. We need to know what the trucking routes are, where they're going. If they're going through a school zone. For example, if they're going to go down East Ridgewood Avenue toward Route 17 we're going to ask that they not truck during prime in-flow and out-flow from the high school and so forth. Usually the traffic bureau, we call them they are always on top of that.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And there will be provisions that there is not dirt on the roads and things like that then?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, because any contractor that leaves mud on the road inevitably will end up in municipal court.
MR. MARTIN: I suggest a usual stipulation, I am sure from MR. BRUINOOGE would agree with that.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I'm sorry. I heard -- I think I heard my name mentioned.
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MR. MARTIN: In terms of the soil movement process with the truck routes, coordinating with the police and things like that, responsible for cleanup, and things, that's usually requested.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Absolutely and certainly, you know we understand what the ordinance says. I believe the action of the board is actually to send this application to the Village Council.
MR. MARTIN: That's exactly right.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Beth, do you have any questions?
MS. McMANUS: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: John, do you have any questions of the traffic?
MR. JAHR: No.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I have a quick question, how many truckloads is that?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: We basically only have an approximation because soil --
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, approximate. I wouldn't hold you to it.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: And it also depends, if you use, like, a 15 yard tandem or if you use tri-axel vehicles.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Just an average, how many?
Say that again?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: How many yards did you say, MR. DIPPLE?
MR. DIPPLE: 4,000 roughly.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is that 350?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: 20, 22, 23 truckloads export. But you also have to consider it's not going to be all at once. It might be three, four, five trucks in the day.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I didn't hear you the first time.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: It's not all at once. It might be three, four trucks a day, five trucks a day because it is a tight site because so they're not going to be able to do a mass excavation all at once.
MR. DIPPLE, correct me if I misjudged that.
MR. DIPPLE: I concur with his -- with his numbers. And it does go relatively quickly. It does seem like a lot of trucks, but it -- you know, it -- it does go relatively quick. And, you know, the impact -- it's a big number but the impact is not as it seems. The trucks, you know, recirculate.
And I agree that we could be -- we haven't planned exactly how the construction goes, but we will be demolishing a building and we could be working in the area and then, you know, putting up the wall that surrounds the parking deck and then moving some soil and -- so it may be spread out a little bit. But it -- it's not -- it's not as big a number as -- as it kind of seems. It's not -- in relative construction terms, it's a relatively small number.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Anyone from the public have any questions?
(No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Seeing there's none.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Thanks, MR. DIPPLE.
Our final witness, I call John Szabo.
MR. MARTIN: MR. SZABO, how are you?
MR. SZABO: I'm good. Thank you.
MR. MARTIN: Raise your right hand.
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Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. SZABO: I do.
J O H N S Z A B O, 25 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:
MR. MARTIN: And just for the record your name and business address.
MR. SZABO: Sure.
My name is John, middle initial P. Szabo, S-Z-A-B-O, Junior. I'm a senior associate with Burgis Associates. Our business office is at 25 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, New Jersey.
MR. MARTIN: And you're a professional planner licensed in the State of New Jersey?
MR. SZABO: I'm a licensed professional planner in the State of New Jersey. I've been practicing planning for over 30 years. I'm also a certified planner member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, which is an umbrella organization of the APA that's nationally recognized as a planning credential. I have testified before numerous boards throughout the State of New Jersey. My primary practice has always been in municipal panning.
In fact, I have appeared before this board as well as the Ridgewood Board of Adjustment.
MR. MARTIN: And so qualified tonight as a professional planner. Thank you.
MR. SZABO: Yes.
MR. BRUINOOGE: We so move and ask you accepted him as a planner.
MR. MARTIN: Sure.
DIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. BRUINOOGE:
Q. So, MR. SZABO, having qualified as an expert, you were engaged by 257 Ridgewood Avenue, LLC to do a review of the proposed project consistent with the site plans and other documents that have been filed as part of this application.
Is that correct?
A. That is correct.
Q. And you reviewed it from the point of view of the planning issues that the application seeks or presents I should say. So tell us, if you would, your understanding of the project is and -- and let's take it work through the project and from your unique perspective and approach, if you will, from a planning perspective?
A. Over the course of four hearings the board has heard a lot about how this developer would proceed from the engineer in terms of how the site is going to be laid out, the architect as to how the building is going to be designed, both interiorly and exteriorly. We've heard from the traffic engineer as to how traffic impacts are analyzed and handled and the parking as well.
I'm going to talk more about the why, you know, why this fits into the community, how and why it's a good project in terms of planning and your zoning ordinances and, most particularly, with respect to your Master Plan. By doing so I think I'm going to really focus on the planning end of it and not get into repetitive testimony that you've heard before. I -- I appreciate and recognize that this is a special meeting. So I'll proceed and focus mostly on the planning aspects of this application and not get into a lot of the engineering details and the architectural details that have been previously testified to other than as it supports my testimony as the applicant's planner. But it is important, although the board is well acquainted with the subject property I think, for purposes of the record, we want to be on the same page and identify the property
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that we are discussing. The property address is 253-257 East Ridgewood Avenue. It is identified as Block 3703, Lots 4, 6 and 8.01 by tax assessment records. And it's going to be relevant to my testimony later on, but it is an irregularly-shaped parcel with three street frontages: 114 feet of frontage on East Ridgewood Avenue, which runs east/west; 351 feet of front on North Maple Avenue which runs north/south; and 50 feet of frontage on Franklin Avenue which runs east/west. The site occupies an area of 1.37 acres. And we -- we all know it as the former Sealfons Department Store which is now basically a mixed-commercial use project.
In terms of its location and adjoining land use, the site is located within the -- basically the edge of the Village's Central Business District which is characterized by commercial uses.
There are some multifamily uses in the area. In fact, one directly across the street on Franklin Avenue from the subject property. The applicant proposes to renovate the former Sealfons building and demolish a portion of the building, as well to redevelop it as a mixed use commercial residential site. It will have ancillary parking both below and integrated into the building. And it will also include 39 market-rate rental units along with eight affordable housing rental units as well which will consist of 15 bedrooms. And that was testified to by Mr. Thomas Toronto who is president of the Bergen County United Way as to the type of units. These are going to be special-needs units. One that will also qualify as affordable housing units under your COAH requirements which is important because that is a very particular requirement of the B-3-R Zone in which this property is located. So, as I said, the property is located in the B-3-R Zone. Now the zone was created in direct response to a very specific Master Plan amendment that was adopted by the Planning Board on June 2nd of 2015, which really sought to permit the type of mixed-use development the applicant is proposing within certain very specific properties and areas close by and within the Central Business District. So it permits a variety of mixed uses as well as for residential development to occur above store fronts. There is a requirement in this particular case with the B-3-R Zone because of the density of the proposed project of 13 percent of the affordable units that are being set-aside as part of this project will be, in fact, dedicated for very low income households. That was testified to by Mr. Toronto and clearly this will be a compliant project with respect to that requirement. Now I think from the perspective of the zone, the B-3-R Zone, it's an obvious observation that the proposal is in substantial compliance with the zone requirements. The only variance with respect to bulk, setback area and all that that is required is really the building height variance to permit a building height of 54.92 feet where 50 feet is the maximum height. Now, we're going to treat this as a (c) or bulk height variance as opposed to a (d)(6) variance because it's beneath the 10 foot and 10 percent material that would trigger a use variance. So it's within the site plan (c) variance context that I would be talking to later on. Other than that, the project is in substantial compliance, but it does require some relief. And they're enumerated in your planner's report. And I'll repeat it for the record so we know what we're going to address for this board in terms of the variances. In terms of parking, it has been called out that there are 141 parking spaces required and 131 parking spaces provided, so that there is a parking variance that may be triggered by this application. But as I will discuss later on, the ordinance does permit a shared parking arrangement that was testified to by the applicant's traffic engineer, which can satisfy the parking demand that's being presented to the village board on behalf of this project. The variances required from 190-118.4(F)12(b)(2) to permit front yard
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parking on Franklin Avenue. A variance is required from 190 -- Section 190-118.4(F)12(b)(3) to permit -- which requires a 5-foot parking setback from the side and rear lot lines. The parking setbacks that are proposed or 2.14 -- 2.14 feet from Lot 15 and 3.16 feet from Lot 5.
A variance required from Section 190-118.4F(10)(d) which requires screening of parking beneath buildings by structural elements, there is visibility of the parking structure from Franklin Avenue and Ridgewood Avenue on certain aspects of that remain unscreened.
There is a variance that is required under Section 190-124F(2)(b) which is a setback for retaining walls with fence. The requirement is that the setback equal the height of the retaining wall which is 8.5 feet, 1.14 feet is proposed. And, finally, a variance is required from Section 190-124F(2) which limits the retaining wall height to 6 feet and 8.5 feet is proposed.
There are also some design exceptions that are required as a result of the development. Section 190-84 which references street trees where 10 trees are required. There are eight trees that are existing, two are to be removed, therefore four are required as identified by your planner. In terms of the depth of the parking spaces under Section 190-90, parking without the 2-foot overhang is required to be 20 feet. The applicant is proposing 18. And then Section 190-80 requires curbing. And there is curbing missing in some limited locations within the parking area.
Q. John, let me interrupt you for a second. Clearly your knowledge of the site and all the material is apparent from your ability to move this quickly, but is completely as you need to describe the relief that the applicant is seeking. Clearly we're looking for some (c) variances and want to go through some waivers. Talk to the board, if you recall, based on your experience, your knowledge and your education on just what the variances are all about and what the standard of proof is and just like if you can so testify, what the applicant has shown by way of testimony that has been elicited so far.
A. Whenever we get into the planning aspects of why is the relief required and basis upon which I believe that a board can grant the relief, and it boils down to the statutory criteria. And it's been outlined by your planner and I'm just going to kind of summarize it.
There are two basic criteria upon which a board can grant relief under the (c) variance.
There is the -- what you probably heard many times the (c)(1) variance criteria which is really where the strict application of regulation would result in peculiar and exceptional practical difficulty and exceptional undue hardship due to some aspect of the property that creates a hardship because of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, shape of a parcel because of extreme or exceptional topographic conditions or physical features that would prevent an applicant from complying or by some reason of extraordinary or exceptional situation uniquely effecting a specific piece of property or the structures that are lawfully on that parcel that would create a hardship. That would be your (c)(1) hardship. But there's also the (c)(2) criteria. And the (c)(2) was introduced by the state legislature with the intent of kind of liberalizing the variance application process. And it's commonly referred to as the Flexible C because it's not tied to hardship or to some physical feature of the property, but rather that the benefit of granting a variance outweighs any substantial detriment that might ensue as a result of that. And the way you go about addressing that is you have to show that by granting the variance -- the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law are advanced by the deviation, that the grant -- and, you know that somehow that benefit outweighs any detriment, and that benefit
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accrues to the community as a whole. It cannot be specific to a particular property owner, but it has to be to the benefit of the community. And that's an important aspect of the (c)(2). And the way I like to characterize the (c)(2) is that where there's a better plan alternative to the strict application of a zone requirement that generally common sense place and would encourage the board to grant relief where it would make sense. I mean that's really the benefit of the (c)(2). I believe that in terms of this application that the variances that I cited could be granted both under the (c)(1) and (c)(2) criteria. And it is possible to have both criteria in play when you address variances because they are both, in this case, very relevant to the board's consideration.
Q. John, now, you've basically laid out, again, very clearly and rather succinctly the standards that the board has to take into account to grant the relief that -- that we seek both the variance relief and the waiver relief. As familiar as you are with the project and with the site, with the project, the environs, et cetera, can you tell the board what you believe the basis for relief is with respect to the granting of the variances required.
A. Certainly. In terms of the (c)(1) physical hardships, the -- I said earlier, I described the property is irregularly shaped. The property has a narrow frontage along Franklin Avenue, East Ridgewood Avenue and widens towards the middle and along its frontage on Maple. And it's got this very strange oblong shape. So we're dealing with an irregularly-shaped parcel.
And despite the fact that it has this strange configuration, a non-conventional configuration, the development is able to comply with almost all of the requirements of the Village zoning code except for what I would consider very, very minor, de minimis type of relief that is required by this application, A majority of the requirements of the Village are being satisfied by this development. I know over the course of the numerous hearings that have been held as a result of the dialogue that has occurred between the board, the board's professionals and the applicant's professionals there have been iterations to address many of the concerns that have been expressed and that's a very positive development as this moves forward. And so right now what we're dealing with is the -- the leftover of what really can't be dealt with in terms of physical constraints that the applicant is facing developing the property. So in terms of the way the site is configured, it does constrain the applicant's ability to configure the parking, for example, avoid parking within the front yard on Franklin and to comply with the parking setback requirements from Lot 15 and 5 and comply with the retaining wall setback because of the narrowness of the lot. When you start to try to force compliance with those particular sections of the code, you can't develop the property in a way that would implement the purposes of the zoning ordinance and the Master Plan as has been defined for this area and for this zone. So I think that that creates a physical hardship for the applicant with respect to those variances. Now the property has frontages on three roadways which creates another extraordinary problem. I don't know in my experience if I've ever had a property -- any time I've had a property with multiple frontages it always presents an issue with front yard setback, parking, and everything else because now you're dealing with a very unusual situation, certainly with respect to this property and the area. So the fact that it has three frontages creates a hardship on the applicant in terms of the relief that is required for the Franklin Avenue parking. The priority goes to trying to comply with the RSIS requirements, provide the parking that's required under the Village code. And so the ability to move and shift parking away from
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Franklin Avenue just doesn't give due to the configuration of the parcel. There isn't enough room is really what it amounts to. Now you heard the applicant's engineer describe the topography of the site and just most recently within 10 minutes he described the kind of filling and actually the cutting that has to occur as a result of the existing slopes that are there on the property. It's going to require grading.
And it's because of these grade differences that exist on the property that it creates the issue with the height of the building, the retaining wall height because when you take the strict application of the ordinance and how you measure height, the differences in elevation between this property, adjoining properties and the way that the ordinance requires you to measure height creates a situation where we do, in fact, exceed the 50-foot minimum -- maximum height to the height that's being proposed of 54 feet. So, again, it's a function of the topography of the site and what the applicant has to deal with.
Remember the applicant here is dealing with redeveloping an existing site. So we're dealing with conditions that are less than perfect and working within the constraints of the property and really resolving as many difficulties with the issues that that presents the applicant and with respect to complying with the code that, for the most part, the applicant's able to comply.
But in the case of the topography there's not much we can do. And we all understand and recognize the way the property is laid out. So, again, that creates a visible hardship.
So, as I said, those are the physical aspects of the parcel. But I also believe there are (c)(2) arguments that could be presented to the board for consideration. And, in summary, some of are the proposed development is permitted in the zone, clearly this is something that the whole zoning ordinance is seeking to promote in terms of use. The development, itself, is in substantial compliance with the Village Zoning Ordinance. But, most importantly, it implements -- the project implements the recommendations of the Village's most recent Master Plan documents. And that, I think, is a very important aspect of this application and really is very -- is very much informed by the Master Plan documents that have been adopted by the Village. Specifically the 2006 re-examination, most importantly the 2015 Master Plan Land Use Amendment and 2016 Master Plan re-exam. Now I'm not going to go chapter and verse of all these documents. I'm just going to summarize how they're relevant to the proceedings that are here tonight. The 2006 Master Plan re-exam acknowledged that there's a need to diversify the housing stock in the Borough -- in the Village, that there was a need to introduce some different types of housing because the Village was primarily a single-family community. Then in 2015 there was a very specific Master Plan Land Use Amendment that -- that was adopted by the board back on June 2nd, 2015 that recommended the creation of the Affordable Housing 2 Zone, the B-3-R Zone, the C-R Zone and the C Zone districts. And what's interesting about the document, when we read it, is that it actually incorporates references to certain purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law. And then -- and then fuses that into the framework of the document in terms of its own objectives. And I found that very intriguing. And so, for example, on Page 1 of the document, there's a general objective that reflects the Municipal Land Use Law. One of the objectives is to promote the establishment of population densities and concentrations that will contribute to the well-being of persons, neighborhoods, communities, and regions. That's corresponding to purpose No. 2(e) of the Land Use Law. And the objective that ties into that in the amendment of the Master Plan was
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that the proposed zone district contributes to the well-being of persons in a community by meeting the housing needs of various households. So there's a direct correlation between the purposes of the act and the objective that's contained in the Master Plan document. And there are numerous examples of that throughout the document. It recognizes the synergy between residential development, promotion of mass transit and economic development. It tied that into Purpose 2(g) which is -- of the Municipal Land Use Law which states that to provide sufficient space in appropriate locations for a variety of residential and commercial uses. And, again, the objective of the plan tied to that, the Municipal Land Use Law purpose, is that the proposed zone district in which the B-3-R is created will promote space in appropriate locations for both commercial and residential uses. Another objective or purpose of the Land Use Law is -- that was tied into this document is 2(h) which talks about to encourage the location and design of transportation routes. And, again, the plan went on to talk about the virtues of these properties being designated for development as mixed-use centers, near the train stations and various mass transit facilities, like, bus stops and routes. So, again, there's a direct connection between the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law and the objectives of the 2015 Master Plan document. So then there's the 2016 re-examination report. And at that point the Village was already considering the amendments to the Village Zoning Ordinance to implement the 2015 Land Use Amendment and it was encouraging that the Village do so. Again, for the purpose of furthering mixed-use development, transit-friendly development, and to spur diversity of housing and to also spur economic activity.
So by implementing the Village Master Plan, the purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law, I think, are also being advanced, because this project is in substantial compliance with the zoning ordinance and is effectuating the purposes of the Master Plan documents that I've described, I think that you're advancing the intent and purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law and, therefore, can be recognized as a (c)(2) benefit to the public. Now, there are two other, I think, purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law that I think are advanced by this project. Purpose 2(c) which talks about providing adequate light, air and open space, I think because this property has been developed appropriately in conformance with your setback requirements and all your coverage requirements that we're in compliance with -- with your zoning, that we are, in fact, satisfying and advancing that purpose. And I think also importantly we're advancing Purpose 2(i) which is to promote a desirable visual environment and creative design, that meets good civic design and arrangements. I think that there has been tremendous testimony, exhibits presented to the board, that shows how the architecture of this development fits within the character of your downtown, how it will enhance the downtown, how sensitive it is to design criteria that's embodied in your own ordinances. And that was testified to extensively by the applicant's architect. And, I agree, I think it's a very attractive development, and one that will fit in very well with the community. So, again, and -- and, finally, I don't want to lose sight of the fact that this will provide eight units of special needs housing that would be affordable to very low income families and -- and households. And that's an important aspect of the development because, first of all, that is one of the purposes that is driving the B-3-R Zone, I means it cannot -- according to the ordinance and according to B-3-R, you cannot approve a project without some affordable housing component which this has. This will provide in excess of 13 percent for very low affordable housing which will be a benefit to the Village in terms of its
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compliance with its affordable housing obligations and the Mount Laurel doctrine. And so that is a very, I think, important consideration in furtherance of the purposes of the Land Use Law, but also in furtherance of your own Master Planning documents and obligations under the affordable housing laws.
Now, no variance can be granted without demonstrating that the relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good, to your zone plan and to your zoning ordinance. And the zone plan, generally, what they're referring to as your Master Plan. And I think the negative criteria is satisfied. I think the proposed development is in substantial compliance with the zoning ordinance and with the -- and implements the Village's Master Plan documents which I think is a very important aspect of the application. I think that the variance that's -- the variances that have been requested are fairly de minimus in the context of the overall development and how its compliant with most of the requirements. I think that the architect has done an admirable job of demonstrating through testimony and exhibits that the building is designed to fit into the character of the surrounding area and is architecturally attractive. There was an exhibit that was testified to, presented to the board, that the building fits within the heights of other buildings in the area. It's not going to be overwhelming. In fact, it's not even going to be the tallest building in the area. There are others that are taller. And that analysis was presented to the board in terms of the exhibit testified to by the applicant's architect.
The retaining walls that are referenced in the document and the variances are really required to facilitate the development of the project in conformance with the use provisions of the B-3-R Zone. The project cannot proceed with the walls where they are because of the narrowness of the site. You can't really move the walls and really it has no impact on -- on adjoining properties. They face mostly existing paved areas and the municipal parking lot.
There is really no change in the property's relationship to the adjoining lots in terms of pavement facing pavement. That's with regard to the setbacks of the parking areas.
Again, I think due to the grade and circulation access requirements we cannot completely screen the structured parking. But it's really, for a portion of the -- of the parking areas it's not the entire section so we get a glimpse of it, but it's not overwhelming to the site because you have the building that kind of encapsulates the parking in the area. I think that that does so to the extent that it can. And everything that could be done to screen or address that issue has been done. What's remaining is really vestiges of the site the way it's laid out and the way the project is required to proceed.
There is no substantial traffic impact as has been testified to by the traffic engineer. And parking requirements are really, in my opinion, satisfied through the shared parking arrangement and which is a factor that is permitted in the board's consideration, in determining whether there's adequate parking. It's been testified to by the applicant's traffic engineer. Based upon his analysis using a comparison of the before-and-after analysis of shared parking arrangements that at no time under the proposed development is there a shared parking arrangement where there's a shortage of parking. There's adequate parking being addressed by the site at all times as opposed to now. And let's talk about the change in parking from what exits today and what will be under the proposed development. Right now you have a shortage of almost 58, 60 percent in terms of the parking that is required under the current ordinance. Right now you require 181 spaces and only 76 are provided.
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Now under the proposed development, 141 spaces are required and 131 spaces are provided, because the development changes the mix of uses on the property in conformance with the B-3-R zoning requirements, you are actually reducing demand, but also increasing supply as a result of the development so that there's only a 7 percent shortfall in the technical application of the 141 spaces that would be deemed technically required as calculated by code. But, again, I bring the board back to the fact that shared parking arrangements are permitted, that analysis was done. There is more than adequate parking to support this project without any negative impact on the surrounding area. I also note that there's train service, bus service, adequate facilities within the area as well as municipal parking -- excuse me -- facilities that are available to address customers who want to visit the site for the first -- for commercial uses and it will function just fine. The final aspect of the application that I was asked to address was the soil movement permit. Section 246-11 requires a finding by the Planning Board at the public hearing with notice that the issuance of such a permit will comply with the purposes of the chapter and can be granted without impairment to the intent and purposes of the zone plan and Master Plan of the Village. As testified to by the applicant's engineer and can be affirmed by the village engineer, there's no way that the site can be developed in accordance with your zoning as desired by the Master Plan without soil movement. The grades, the topography exists, in order to get this development built it will require movement of the soil. That's been testified to. I think it is consistent with the requirements of the B-3-R Zone. I don't think it presents a detriment and I think it would be promoting the purposes of the Master Plan as its been adopted by the Village. So I think that the permit can receive a favorable recommendation with the appropriate conditions that normally -- that normally accompany such recommendations and are usually imposed by Council in such situations like bonding, truck traffic routing, et cetera, that the applicant, of course, would agree to in consultation with the village engineer.
Q. John, just in reviewing my notes and as we have discussed from time to time in preparation for your appearance here this evening, will you refresh my recollection, and perhaps I was not really fully attentive to what you're saying, with respect to the design standards and the waivers that we are requesting, I think the architect has fairly well-testified as to the standards that he utilized. But with respect to the four waivers that are part of the application, do you have anything that you'd like the offer to the board?
A. Well, with respect to the street trees the applicant, the village planner, consulting planner, offered alternatives to mitigate that situation and the applicant has amended the plans to address the concerns that were expressed with regard to 190-84 street trees that he read -- that's reflected in the latest revised plans. Lighting was testified to by the applicant's engineer. We, of course, will comply with the lighting requirements of the Village and that's standard language. In terms of the depth of the parking space, while we do not have or provide a 2-foot overhang which requires a 20-foot aisle depth for a parking stall, an 18-foot stall is consistent with RSIS standards which is usually a 9 by 18 stall configuration and it will operate just fine in that situation. And in terms of the missing curbing in some locations that was testified to by the applicant's engineer and that's really a function of allowing for circulation within the parking garage where it can get a little tight so we want to be able to move vehicles and not have obstructions to cars that really don't serve any real purpose within the interior
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parking lot.
Q. Clearly the parking and shared parking is an issue and the applicant's position, obviously, is the parking situation is markedly and positively improved by the proposed project --
A. Substantially improved.
Q. Yes, I would agree with that, but with that said, the ordinance is rather specific with respect to parking and the parking analysis here is based upon the fact that some portion of the existing Sealfons building is being converted from office into special needs residential.
Is that so?
A. Yes, that is so.
Q. And how does that tie into the ordinance and the parking requirement and, therefore, in compliance with the ordinance?
A. Well, it was testified to by Mr. Toronto that for the eight special needs units they were going to need two parking spaces because the special needs households they -- they receive certain services, maybe some aide visitation, But they don't necessarily require vehicles because they have access to -- to the mass transit facilities that are connected to the downtown of Ridgewood. So that reduces the parking demand. And then, of course, we're using the RSIS standards for parking as determined by bedroom count. And, again, I testified earlier because the -- the land use combination is changing here the parking demand is changing to the positive with respect to parking demand.
Q. I'd like you to address specifically, however, the concern -- I guess I shouldn't say concern, the issue, at least, identified by Mrs. McManus with respect to the affordability controls and the issue of the ordinance -- I shouldn't say "issue" but the requirements that we present to the board as the proofs that we're prepared to show that the affordable housing credits that would have been generated.
A. I'm sorry. I thought you were talking about parking demand. The -- the applicant has an affirmative obligation to address the affordable housing requirements in the B-3-R zone. And that will be accomplished through the dedication of eight apartments, 15 bedrooms to special needs housing that would be done. Now, what happened is there will be -- that's been testified to, We are in compliance with that requirement, that would be embodied in any resolution that this board will adopt in granting any approval if it's so inclined to this project. It would carry over into the affordable housing plan eventually that will be prepared on behalf of the Village.
And so it would become then restricted, in compliance with COAH requirements, so that it can be counted as a -- towards your obligation and so that you can receive credit for it as well.
And so it would have to be compliant with COAH regulations and that would be embodied within the agreements pursuant to the resolution and approval and any documents are ensuing from that as a result of the Village's affordable housing plan.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Thank you.
I have nothing further to ask MR. SZABO at this time. And we welcome questions from the board.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you.
MR. BRUINOOGE: You're welcome.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Jeff, do you have any questions?
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COUNCILMAN VOIGT: You refer to Elizabeth McManus' report, August 11, 2017; is that correct?
MR. SZABO: Yes.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MR. SZABO: That's the most current.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. And, actually, Elizabeth, you might be able to answer this question because you wrote it. So Page 5, which has parking, and you did an interesting thing here, you -- when you look at the minimum number of parking spaces you have broken into nonresidential uses and residential uses. And that looks like, you know, the residential use -- there's no variance as far as number of parking spaces that are needed. But on the non-residential side you mention that there were 62 spaces required and there's only 53 available. So there's a shortage, I guess, of nine for the non-residential uses. And then you went down to say on the shared parking side, the shared parking ordinance, it says, you know, shared parking permitted, provided the practical number of parking spaces needed is based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the nature of the non-residential uses. So I guess my question is, are there non-residential uses that would actually exacerbate this and make it worse? And, you know, I think you talked about this before, if a restaurant went in there or a real estate agent went in there, I mean you could increase the number of spaces needed significantly based on not just the demand that those particular types of uses would require. So does that necessarily mean that we have to preclude those types of uses because it would seem to me to make the situation worse. So should that be a stipulation if we're going to allow them to build this that they can't have those kind of uses in there because it would just make everything worse.
MR. MARTIN: And, Elizabeth McManus, you remain sworn and qualified as a professional planner and the village planner.
Agreed, MR. BRUINOOGE?
MR. BRUINOOGE: I agree.
E L I Z A B E T H M c M A N U S, Having been previously sworn, continues to testify as follows:
MS. McMANUS: Yes. Okay. To answer your question, give me one moment. So, in general, I think you raised a valid point. Yes, not all non-residential uses are created equal in terms of parking generation. Similarly not all -- not all tenants of a particular use are created equal. And that is some retail uses might generate more traffic, some restaurant uses might generate more traffic than others. But the heart of your question is, I think, should the -- should the Planning Board consider a prohibition of certain uses, permitted uses, in the building in order to preclude parking problems on the site. Ultimately, I think I'm going to have to defer my comments to John Jahr since he's going to be better qualified to talk about the particular parking generation from specific uses. But, in general, I think it's reasonable to conclude that there is a certain amount of flexibility that's built into a shared parking -- shared parking scenario in terms of expecting that some non-residential uses may generate more traffic than others, but at some point there is a threshold that may create a parking issue for the community. But with that, I'm sorry to say, I'm going to have to defer to John Jahr as to whether there's a certain threshold for a particular use, for example, that may be a problem.
MR. SZABO: Maybe I could just chime in just for a moment. What I would point you to is to the
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traffic engineer's testimony and report that talk about the shared parking conditions.
And I'm going to go through Table 8 and 9 of that report because it talks to what the surplus is of the parking that's available as a result of the shared parking analysis that he presented.
This was given to the board. And I'm referring to Table 8.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Is this the Bowman thingy?
MR. SZABO: Yes. And I understand our traffic engineer is here to further testify if he's needed, but it speaks for itself. If you look at Table 8 proposed shared parking analysis weekday, based on Village RSIS parking standards, if you look at the timeframe for the weekday from 7:00 in the morning to 10:00 at no time is there a deficit. And if you look at the surplus total or deficit total, they're all surpluses, 65, 72, 66 going down from 7:00 to 10, all the way, they range from 65, 70 down to 58. That gives you the cushion where I think you have a situation where you have enough of a cushion where I don't necessarily think it's necessary nor advisable to start handcuffing the application against putting in another permitted use like a restaurant if we have this kind of a situation where you have a -- a good surplus that absorbs some of that additional demand. Because uses come and go as well. You could have retail one moment, you could have a restaurant in another moment, they've always turn over in the downtown and so it's a dynamic situation. And I think the focus of the board and I think what I always advise how is the situation handled in this particular case? And what I am suggesting respectfully to the board is if you look at the shared parking analysis and the weekday -- and I'll touch on weekend which is similar, you have a cushion built in that I think would address any overload or any additional demand that might occur as a result of a change in use that you may be concerned with. Again, Table 9, if you look at Saturday, again, you've got from 7:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night, you have surpluses of -- of parking spaces of 52, 49, 59, 43, going all the way down. Again, that cushion exists where you could absorb changes in use here without an impact. And that was, I think, the intent and purpose behind the incorporation of shared parking into the zoning ordinance in the first place, in the calculation of parking, because there was a desire to allow that flexibility, recognizing as your Master Plan documents do, that we have a transit -- a very transit friendly community, a very transit friendly Village and a very transit friendly location. You have the rail station. You have bus stops. You have a bus depot. All of that is working in favor of -- of mitigating against traffic and parking. So, again -- and that's embodied in the documents, in the analysis that the Village went through a few years ago when it adopted the zoning in the first place. So I would encourage the board to consider the deficit -- the surplus as opposed to the deficit that currently exists, as a cushion that I think is sufficient to absorb any change in use that you, sir, would be so concerned with.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: John?
MR. JAHR: I reviewed the parking extensively for the parking analysis on this project is very, very technical and it is quite extensive. And I discussed it at length with Mr. Keller. I agree with the planner's testimony. There -- in my opinion, there is going to exist a cushion of available parking. The retail amount is 9,731 square feet.
Is that still accurate?
MR. SZABO: Yes.
To the best of my knowledge, yes.
MR. JAHR: Okay. This -- this is the -- this is where things could change, right?
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I reason is -- I think that the office is probably going to pretty fixed and I think the residential units are definitely fixed. So the part that I think you're concerned with is that retail parking -- what exactly retail will it be? Will it be a five-and-dime? Will it be a restaurant?
And, of course, depending on what that turns out to be, that's where we need to have some flexibility in parking. Okay. After our review, we feel that the amount of space that's going to be provided, based on -- remember the -- what they call temporal distribution. Okay. They look at the parking over a period of time and figure out how much per hour, right? So that's why you have this table in here, it says that -- again, it's a very comprehensive evaluation on an hour-by-hour basis of the amount of parking that they predict they're going to need and then the amount of parking that's going to be available and then they -- the gave us the surplus or deficit tables and in every case they come up with a surplus. I think the smallest surplus is 22 spaces during the noon hour. And we know in the noon hour here is a very tight parking. We do have a lot of the restaurants and retail, business, a lot folks go out for lunch so the noon hour is busy. The other hour that things are a little tight, is the evening hour, again dinner time, seem that -- that -- but they are indicating they have a 41 surplus. I feel that this gives us some flexibility and some factor of safety. So if there are changes within that retail piece, remember it's only 9,700 square feet. So if there are some changes in it, we -- you know, we can feel comfortable that they're not going to create another over-parked situation. Currently, now, there is -- sometimes it's hard to find -- it's hard to find parking over there. Does that answer the your question? Was it helpful?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. I just kind of do some simple math.
So if we have a 60-seat restaurant and some of the ordinances that are in and around this area say for every two seats you need one parking place, so let's assume that a 60-seat restaurant you need 30 parking spots.
MR. JAHR: Yeah.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And that's the first. And then let's assume, just as kind of a worst case scenario, we put a realtor -- a realtor goes in there. And so a realtor, you know, they typically have, I don't know, 30 -- 20, 30 cars at any point in time so you're squeezing up against that number with not much -- not much wiggle room. And I guess that's what concerns me is that I don't know if you'd have enough if you looked at it kind of a worst case scenario. We had -- I guess I'd ask that, you guys did this before, at the last meeting, and there was no analysis that was done. I'm actually surprised you didn't do it. So I'm still concerned about it.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Excuse me. There was no analysis of what, sir?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I had asked you guys to look at a worst case scenario on this.
Okay. Looking at the worst case as far as types of businesses that will go in there the last meeting and I -- I -- MR. BRUINOOGE, I think you kind of blew me off.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Excuse me?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I think you blew me off on this you just kind of pooh-poohed it. And --
MR. BRUINOOGE: Well, the record will speak for itself. I resent you suggesting that I would blow you or any other member of the board off, sir. But, nonetheless, I would suggest to you that the answer provided by the planner this evening in detail referencing the -- the traffic report addresses what you have described as worst case, a very subjective word, but I don't know what worst case is. You can conjure up, I suppose, all sorts of horrific conditions,
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whatever your purpose might be, but nonetheless I think the question has been adequately answered.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'm not satisfied with it, so, thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Dave, do you have questions of MR. SZABO?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I'm good right now.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frances?
MS. BARTO: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Beth, do you have any questions for MR. SZABO?
MS. McMANUS: I don't have any questions, I think they actually -- they went through the criteria properly and addressed the variances. I'm happy to answer any questions that the board members might have but...
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Chris, do you have any questions?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Not at this time. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: John, do you have any questions?
MR. JAHR: No. Thank you. No, no questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Does anyone from the public want to ask questions of MR. SZABO, the planner? Oh, there's one. No, I meant you standing there. All right. Seeing there's no one from the public, we'll move onto -- You have no other witnesses?
MR. BRUINOOGE: I have no other witnesses to call. We would respectfully request that the board take the matter under consideration and move the matter to a vote. I think the record is replete with the facts that support the requested variance relief as well as waiver relief. I think that the positive and negative criteria have been laid out in great detail by MR. SZABO. And I think that there's every reason under the Municipal Land Use Law, your local ordinance and the case law to grant the relief requested which, of course, would be the variances applied for, the waivers applied for, preliminary and final site plan approval and, hopefully, a positive vote with respect to the Municipal Land Use Law purposes as well. Thank you for your time and attention.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: We're going to move on to our professionals. Beth, do you want to give a report?
MS. McMANUS: Sure. So as was referenced in testimony just a little while ago, I issued a report on April 11th of this year. Many of the comments throughout this report have actually been addressed by the applicant throughout the board -- you know, throughout the board hearings on this application. Notwithstanding, I will further address our review in addressing outstanding items. Section 1, of course, is the project description. No commentary there is necessary. Section 2, zoning compliance, and in this section it identifies the items of non-compliance the applicant was referencing during the planning testimony and I'll also give the board some background as to what the zoning requires and what the applicant is proposing. As stated they do require a number of outstanding -- excuse me -- a number of variances and exceptions that
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are identified in here. I just -- but, once again, a summary the applicant is seeking relief from the maximum building height. However, since this is before the Planning Board it is within 10 percent of the maximum permitted in the zone district. And so, as such, this is the (c) variance rather than a (d) variance. They're also seeking relief for parking space number, parking space location in terms of whether it's located in the front yard setback along the frontage. Also screening for the parking in terms of where it's located beneath the building. And, lastly, for -- really for the retaining wall setback and, also, the height of it. And so each of those items are enumerated in Section 2. Also included in Section 2 is a reference to the affordable housing being proposed. I'm satisfied that the applicant has the ability to and intends to meet all of the applicable requirements to ensure that the Village gets affordable housing credit for this project which, of course, is one of the underlying purposes of the Master Plan policy that was put in place for the B-3-R district. Moving on to Section 3, this provides the statutory criteria for granting a (c) variance. For those that might be thinking back to MR. SZABO's planning testimony, this may be a good reference. And Section 4 provides architectural commentary. And in this section I provided a series of 13 comments on the architecture. However, if you -- if you take a look at this memo, all of the items have been satisfied with the exception -- or noted as satisfied with the exceptions of Item 4.1, .2 and .5. 4.1 -- and, I'm sorry, I said 4.2 because it was simply repeated, it simply requested that the applicant provide architectural samples and detailed information about what was being proposed in terms of renderings to give the board a better idea of the appearance of the building that was done during testimony. 4.5 requested that the applicant provide additional clarity as to materials for the -- that was actually done on Sheet A-9 so that comment actually has opinion satisfied. Section 5, plantings, all of these comments have been -- all these comments have been satisfied and recommended -- we recommended a number of changes in regards to plant species, plant locations and so forth. Section 6, lighting, the applicant has indicated that they will meet the Village land use ordinance and with that, that satisfies the majority of my -- satisfies my concerns. The applicant, the one final item is that they -- I believe that they indicated that the lighting plan will be revised to eliminate the light spillover to surrounding properties.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I believe that was the testimony.
Is that correct?
MR. SZABO: Yes, it is.
MS. McMANUS: And so with that, that closes the lighting section. The second to the last section is, of course, parking and circulation. These items have been addressed in the sense that either they're simply items of relief, that they've agreed to request and they have provided planning testimony on or they've indicated that they'll be satisfied. So, for example, the vehicle clearance was addressed via testimony indicating that emergency vehicles would not be going underneath or within the parking garage. And sight triangles will be provided on a final plan. The last item of substance, last section of substance is the refuse disposal area and that final comment has been satisfied. So, as such, my report has been addressed by the applicant, either through making amendments to the plan or going ahead and requesting the relief identified therein. So, with that, I'm open to questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thanks, Beth. Jeff, did you have questions for Beth?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No.
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CHAIRMAN JOEL: Dave?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes. Would you go back to 7.2 on the curbing, on the parking, could you just kind of walk us through that again?
MS. McMANUS: Item 7.2, curbs, this is on Page 11 of the report.
As the applicant requested they're seeking relief from Section 190-80 which requires that all parking areas be bounded by curbing. However there are several places within the parking area that doesn't include that. And, so as a result they need variance relief, the testimony that was provided is because this is an -- if I can paraphrase it, a bit of an unusual parking situation in that this is not your typical surface parking lot where all of the -- where all of the parking spaces are in the development are on -- on one level. And as a result of that, and as a result of the configuration of the lot, they removed some curbing in order to better facilitate vehicle movement in a -- in a safe manner and community manner, more or less. Does that answer your question?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I guess I'm asking your position --
MS. McMANUS: Oh.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: -- your position on that.
MS. McMANUS: Oh, I'm sorry. I misunderstood your question. I'm comfortable with the relief of the curbing although, to be fair, I see it -- while whether or not relief would be granted is certainly a planning jurisdiction, since it's required relief and so they need to meet the criteria, notwithstanding whether or not a parking area requires curbing is largely a concern for engineering and traffic engineer to ensure safe vehicle circulation and turning movements. I've heard no objection from either your board traffic engineer or your board engineer and so that combined with my review of the plans makes me comfortable with the relief requested.
MR. MARTIN: So, technically, that is not variance, it's a design waiver?
MS. McMANUS: Correct.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I just want to -- I don't know and it's not addressed in here, but it was a conversation that came up regarding design and the -- I guess the north facing, south facing and west facing walls that are essentially blank. And I don't know if anyone's ever spoken to those design elements and I'm just wondering what your thoughts on that were, even though it's not in here. I think they're -- you know it's a huge building and it's extremely visible, towering over everything. It will be very visible from a variety of sides and the only finished side is the front.
So do you have any commentary on that?
MS. McMANUS: Yeah I do think that the applicant had made some improvements to the architecture of the plans on those particular building facades adding some additional detailing.
While if -- there is certainly no -- even in the fact that they're not treated the same as the front of the facade, I am comfortable with the architecture of those building facades. And I say that because, while they will be visible from the surrounding area they're certainly not the prominent feature and I expect that they are going to be intervening buildings within sight from many -- from many locations. So as you -- as you're looking, perhaps, down -- down Ridgewood Avenue towards the sight line, the back of the building is not going to be your primary view of the building, for example. Similarly, viewing the back of the building from the parking lot, from
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an interior parking lot, I have less concern over the aesthetics of that building, since it's not going to be visible from that location from the public right-of-way. And so, in sum, I think it's reasonable to -- to have lesser architectural detailing on secondary facades, as it is the primary facade. And I'm comfortable that the applicant has made the -- has made the movements towards improving the building architecture that they did. So there is some visual interest. It's a change of materials and some -- some other items that they have done to try to prevent -- tried to cut down or reduce the mass of the building along those areas.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
I'm finished for now.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frances?
MS. BARTO: I don't have any questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Passing. I had a couple of questions that were answered just now.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I have a couple quick questions. The applicant's planner described the site conditions a couple of different ways, one time said it would be less than perfect, the other times he said they're extremely exceptional, specifically reciting the (c)(1) variance. How would you describe this site as a planner because using the (c)(1) criteria as an exceptional, I guess it's a subjective term, and I want to hear your opinion on it as the planner.
MS. McMANUS: So whether or not it meets the (c)(1) criteria?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Correct.
MS. McMANUS: The site is awkwardly shaped, that's true, and I think part of what the planner's testimony was trying to achieve is highlighting the fact that an irregularly-shaped lot, when you have a rectangle or square, it's easier to achieve setback requirements, for example.
I think some of those variances that have been referenced at that time were in terms of the retaining wall setback and parking screening part. In terms of the parking screening, I certainly think that -- and this is the parking along Franklin Avenue, I think the (c)(1) criteria is a good fit for that because that is an awkward portion of the property. It's a -- it's a dog's leg so-to-speak. And, in fact, I certainly think that's reasonable to apply the (c)(1) variance criteria. For some of these other (c)(1) variances that were referenced, such as the retaining wall, I also find that reasonable because some of the other -- because in part the property shape along the rear is -- is one of the more awkward property lines. You can see there is a jog in Lot 8.01 and Lot 6 on the property. So that awkward configuration can result in awkward site improvements such as a retaining wall that's too close to the property line. I think that's reasonable to apply the (c)(1) variance criteria to.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: But can I bother you to just answer into the microphone.
MS. McMANUS: Oh, I'm sorry. And for those similar reasons, as stated with retaining wall setback in terms of the property line jog between Lots 8.01 and Lot 6, for those reasons I think it's also reasonable to apply the (c)(1) criteria to the property setbacks since those are the locations where we've got the 2.14 and 3.16 parking setback variances that are being applied for as well.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I have no questions.
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Tom, do you have any questions?
MR. BRUINOOGE: Not at this time.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does anyone from the public have any questions for the planner?
(No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Seeing none. We'll move on, Chris, do you want to provide a report?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I did a review. I believe the applicant has heard my -- most of my observations. I think the key challenge going forward will be having the applicant as a party with the Village and county in improving that corridor between Ridgewood Avenue and Franklin along with Maple. As I mentioned earlier, we don't know what it's going to be. It's going to be a long, drawn out process. And I look forward to working with the applicant and improving that corridor. That's it.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Jeff, did you have any questions for Chris?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No. No, I do not.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I just had a question -- Excuse me. I'm sorry. I was busy writing.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Oh, That's okay.
Chris was just providing a report and I was just seeing if Jeff had any questions for Chris.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes. And, Chris, this is your August 14th report, right, you're referring to?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yeah.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
[So], yeah, you had some issues with the environmental issues.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: What about --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: The subject site is, unfortunately, towards the receiving end of a plume that originates on Chestnut Street.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: They are aware of it. They'll have to address it accordingly.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: You also mentioned there is a venting pipe there may be an underground storage tank there, did -- do you --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: No.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Is that -- I don't know.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That hasn't -- I haven't investigated that further. When the demolition occurs if there is a UST there, the applicant will have to get the requisite permits from the Building Department prior to removal.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. In the event some of the -- some of the things on the site -- site plan you requested the applicant show how pedestrian movements would safely occur for the development and the public. Does that need to be addressed?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That's going to be a tricky thing with the county because they may encroach a little bit on the sidewalk for vehicle movement yet we still want to maintain a reasonable thoroughfare for pedestrians.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. And Then you also talked about snow and ice removal.
Did we talk about that or no?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I don't recall what testimony the applicant gave on that. A lot of their parking is covered, so that should be a more minor issue than some of the other locations.
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COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. Sanitary -- sanitary service -- sanitary sewer service, you mentioned something about the NJ DEP sewer extension approval?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: They'll have to file a TWA treatment works approval if their projected flow exceeds the regulatory threshold, I don't recall what that number is, it's 8 or 9,000 gallons a day.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. And then they got to provide you with some anticipated flow volumes from the site, I guess, is that --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes, that's going to be part of determining whether they have to prepare -- a prepare a treatment works approval for the site.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Oh, and then the other thing you mentioned was an 8-inch-diameter sanitary sewer connection needs to be changed to a 10 inch.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Let's see.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: That's the fourth bullet point down -- fifth bullet point down. I'm sorry.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yeah. Like I said it should be done with a manhole rather than the line that's shown on Drawing C-5.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That's a recommendation.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, I think that's it. Thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: David?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: They were just asked.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
Frances.
MS. BARTO: I have no questions.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Just quickly I believe the last hearing you said something about the sidewalk and the amount of traffic coming in through it and the line that ran underneath the sidewalk, was going to be taking some kind of -- like some amount of extra weight over or traffic that would cause you to have concern about it, off of Ridgewood Avenue?
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I think --
MS. McWILLIAMS: Something -- I'm sorry. Never mind.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: I think you're referring to the storm drainage line on the west of the periphery of the site that runs to East Ridgewood Avenue. There is a storm drain line. I did make mention of it in my review memo, it is relatively shallow. And I made a recommendation that none of the equipment be operated in its vicinity to avoid a failure of that line. Is that what you're referring to?
MS. McWILLIAMS: I believe so, but I think it was answered actually.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Okay. And, Again, it's something that we're aware of, the applicant should be aware of and construction operations should take into consideration.
MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: You're welcome.
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CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel, do you have any questions?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: No questions for Chris.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I have no questions. Tom, did you have any questions for Chris?
MR. BRUINOOGE: No, I don't. Not at this time. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I guess, John, we kind of had your report. Did you have anything to add?
MR. JAHR: I don't. It's all in the report.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: No? Did anyone have any further questions for John Jahr at all? (No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Tom, do you have any questions for --
MR. BRUINOOGE: No, I don't.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Does anyone from the public have any questions for John Jahr?
(No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I don't think I asked for Chris. Did anyone -- for Chris Rutishauser, did anyone from the public have any questions for Chris Rutishauser? (No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Seeing none. I guess a motion to open up to the public comment would be the next step. I need a motion.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: So moved.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And do we have a second?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Motion by Joel, and then Melanie.
Call the roll, Michael.
MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
MS. BARTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is there anyone from the public that wants to make a comment on this project? (No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Seeing there are none.
I guess you can provide a summation now.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I've said it all.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. All right. So we're going to come down to a decision time. And we can discuss it now or if people feel that they have to take the information in and review it and put it for another meeting, let's have input. Jeff, do you have input on how you want to proceed?
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COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'm -- I'm still worried about the shared parking issue. I'm just not comfortable with it. You asked me -- I mean I got to think about -- I don't know, I guess that means I got to think about it.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So...
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Dave, do you have some input?
MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes. If we don't deliberate and -- and vote tonight, when would we do that? At the next meeting?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: When would be the next open meeting for -- do you know?
MR. CAFARELLI: The next meeting would be the second meeting in January. I think the first meeting is -- is open but it's -- I talked to KS Broad II, for that date, but that's something that, you know, we can move and put you on for that.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do you have a feeling one way or the other?
MR. SCHEIBNER: I -- that's a long time.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yeah.
MR. SCHEIBNER: I'm -- I'm willing to go ahead tonight.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Susan, do you have...
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yeah, I would like to hear what everyone else has the say.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
Frances?
MS. BARTO: I'm comfortable with moving ahead. And we heard a lot the testimony here so...
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: I'm not -- I mean I think I'd like to think about it as well, but I also think it's been a long time. I'm not 100 percent sure if much else can be answered by -- by waiting other than I mean maybe some more information from the county but beyond that, I'd go ahead tonight as well.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I'm happy to do it tonight as well.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: So am I.
I'm happy to deliberate tonight.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Good.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Can we just have a motion formally to close the meeting and then enter into deliberations?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I make the motion to close the hearing.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Do we have a second?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Melanie second.
Call the roll, Michael.
MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Is this to deliberate tonight, is that the --
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CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yeah.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: No.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
MS. McWILLIAMS: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
MS. BARTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Motion carries we're going to deliberate now. All right. I guess we'll start with discussions. Jeff, do you want to give your input?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. I mentioned I'm concerned about the shared parking in that area and the intensity of the use of any kind of commercial entity that goes in there. And, you know, unless it's a lower intensity of use type of business, it can -- my -- my thinking it would create an issue as far as parking in that area. And, you know, any kind a shared cushion -- parking cushion that we have any time during the day, again it depends upon the intensity of the use. My preference would be as a stipulation be put in there that they have to be certain types of businesses that wouldn't create a tremendous amount of demand for -- for parking in that -- in that area. So, you know, I think if that stipulation was put in place, I would be comfortable moving forward in saying, yes, but unless it -- if it isn't I'm uncomfortable, that's really the point.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Let's see if that's feasible. John, did they ever have stipulations limiting the types of use to cut down on the traffic and parking?
MR. JAHR: There definitely -- there definitely have been, you know, where a land use board can, you know, say that certain uses are permitted in a zone. This is more of a question for Beth, isn't it?
MS. McMANUS: Yeah, it may be. I'm familiar with projects that have mixed-uses whether it's mixed commercial or mixed residential and so forth, that prohibit some of more of the permitted uses from being built on the property. That's certainly occurred in other projects.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Would a restaurant be the most intensive use for the parking?
MR. JAHR: The thing here is they're putting -- they're providing as much as 40, 61 spaces for -- all right. So there's a 9,000-square-foot -- 9,700-square-foot retail space and they're providing as many as 61 spaces. I -- I mean even if it was a high turnover restaurant it doesn't need that many parking spaces. So the number of spaces which are available for that use, if you take what they provided for retail and the surplus, I can't think of a use other than, you know, maybe a medical use, maybe a medical office, sometimes small medical offices have a significant, tremendous parking demand. We've done studies. It's actually, the smaller the medical office, the more parking they need. It's crazy, but that's how it works.
From a retail aspect, I don't think medical office would be allowed. That -- would medical be allowed in this space?
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MAYOR KNUDSEN: On that -- that's a B -- the first, the front Sealfons part is would still B-1 -- B-2 -- I'm sorry -- B-2.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right, so B-2. So it -- and I think --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: To the Mayor's point what the board could consider is the prior site used as Sealfons had a stipulation, if I recall, in an approval resolution that any change of use had to come before this board, Even as simple as changing from small business office to, say, a real estate office they had to come back to this board. I know the applicant's attorney at the time, Chuck Collins, complained about it frequently and we saw them frequently whenever there was a tenancy change. That is something possibly that the board could consider.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'd be okay with that.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, my recollection is they came for the bank. Did they --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: They came for PNC and for Re/Max.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: For the PNC bank --
MR. RUTISHAUSER: And for Re/Max.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: For everything.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: As far as -- I think it's good, so if that is how we want to put the language.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: That may give the board the oversight review of the tenancies that you're seeking in seeing how you can preserve the parking.
MR. MARTIN: As opposed to the residential component which they would not have to come back when there's a change in tenancy.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: No.
MR. MARTIN: It would be the commercial only.
MR. RUTISHAUSER: Particularly it would just be for the commercial portion of the project.
MR. JAHR: That's actually very close to what the DOT does with the driveway permits. Is that any time there was a change of use they need to come back before them for either a letter of no interest or a new driveway application, it's just very -- you know, that's a pretty reasonable approach for them.
MR. MARTIN: One of my boards asks you to come back when there's a change of CO and there's a new tenant. So it's kind of common.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I mean this does - doing this then kind of leaves it open to a conversation without tying the hands of the property owner in being so restrictive so you would be able to then have a conversation and they would be able to put forth a plan as to how they would deal with the parking constraints then.
MR. MARTIN: I think Beth would agree and MR. BRUINOOGE would probably say when it then comes back, the law still applies and the board is constrained in certain regards as to whether they can do anything or not.
MS. McMANUS: Yes. Absolutely.
MR. MARTIN: That's consistent.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I would interested to see how you can handle that in a resolution, Chris, you don't want to prevent -- you don't want to create just a free-for-all and say, okay, it can't be a pizzeria. It could be a restaurant or it could be a dance studio. But you have to -- you
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can't be totally subjective, right, what the use is in there.
MR. MARTIN: The last five minutes of conversation were if there's a change in use, I didn't hear what is allowed yet --
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Correct.
MR. MARTIN: -- unless, you know, it's allowed in the zone.
And, again, I've been speaking for MR. BRUINOOGE a lot tonight, but I would imagine if it's allowed in the zone, he would want to be able to have that right.
MR. BRUINOOGE: If I can, if what you just said, we -- if the question is, do we want to be afforded the benefits of the B-3-R zoning? The answer is of course.
MR. MARTIN: That's what he would say.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: But can't you use other standards? I mean we don't have it in our town, but we -- other towns have standards as to, you know, the number of parking places per restaurant seat. Couldn't we look at -- use that as kind of a base line?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Oh, we can -- we can actually, as part of just our own efforts to mitigate the parking situation, is we always have the option to advance different zoning rules and regulations and ordinances that whatever moves into the future. So if something's grandfathered in then it would not apply. But we certainly have the option to change zoning and -- and add that. What you're -- what you're looking for is in terms of 'X' number of seats in a restaurant, you want to see one spot for every two seats, whatever that formula is that you want to use. We always have the option to adopt that kind of a zoning.
MR. MARTIN: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So I mean and that would be something we should likely consider very soon and aggressively.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do you have any other thoughts or discussion points.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I still kind of like Chris' idea I mean if they -- if they decided to come up with a -- another tenant that we get the opportunity to review it and just consider it, you know. I don't think it's necessarily going to -- I don't think it's going to create a lot of hardship to be honest with you. I mean and it's going -- it's going to allow us to, you know -- to think about whether or not it can -- you know, the parking can accommodate whatever type business it is. I just don't see such a -- I don't see that it's such a detriment.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No, I'm not disagreeing with you. I think we can still put that in.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I'm not saying still do that, but I'm saying do that --
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: -- on this as -- as part of a stipulation.
But for future --
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: We can say -- we can adopt different zoning rules and regulations that would address those parking issues that are of concern.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So we would do that, what you're suggesting as a stipulation as part of the resolution if that's the way we're going and then address the other issues in a more timely fashion.
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COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: David, did you have any questions, comments or thought?
MR. SCHEIBNER: I also had issues with the parking, but it the concept of the shared parking doesn't bother me. But what does bother me is that the number -- a number of the parking spaces that are being used for this are not meeting the standard. They are not too deep. And on Level 1 of the building, the first floor, where quite a bit of the residential parking is located, there are three apartments that have no view except for the parking on that level. One of them is -- is even under the canopy of the upper floors. And I think design-wise -- I don't think there is enough effort put into putting more parking spaces on the first floor. So if the parking along the driveway off of Franklin was parallel parking, instead, and you -- and you eliminated these apartments that have no view except for the cars parked out -- outside their wall, it seems like you could have plenty of parking and have a better overall plan. The -- the other variances I don't have any problems with.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So those -- the 18-foot stall meets the standard, right? It's a design exception, but it meets the residential standard?
MR. JAHR: The 9 by 18 meets the standard, yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: It does, 9 by 18.
MR. JAHR: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I'm just asking the question, yes, right? You said yes, right.
MR. JAHR: Yes, 9 by 18 is the standard stall size.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: All right. So I agree with you and I don't know what the answer to that is. I don't know if there's -- well, there's two things that I would be concerned with if is -- is that piece. I would like to see a stipulation that brings back to a -- a just very small review committee or somebody what the back and side of the building is going to look like. I would like to see some kind of design on that. To Dave's point, what can we do to address that? I would be --
MR. MARTIN: The design, the architectural component?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: That's one piece. But to Dave's point about his concerns about the stalls and that overhang because those -- I guess those units are kind of locked into -- that one in particular, is that where you were pointing at right there (indicating).
MR. SCHEIBNER: On this, okay. The northern most, north -- okay. Let's call it the northwest corner apartment, on the first floor, more than 50 percent of their exterior wall that could possibly have windows is covered by the overhang. And the rest of their view is three parking spaces. It's, like, a cheap hotel, you know. The -- the other two western apartments on that floor, you know, there's -- at least there's a sky above. It just -- it just doesn't seem like a good design to me.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I think, Dave, what you're saying is if they could achieve their objective of developing the site and developing residential property there and allow this as-of-right without some of these variances, maybe increase the parking take out that ridiculous unit -- I mean the height and screening the parking. They have achieved a lot of these things -- I mean that's where, you know, I'm struggling with the (c)(1), I see that they could achieve a lot of their objectives and as-of-right and be here for a site plan review as opposed to -- I lost count at least eight variances, probably missing some. That's why I'm struggling with
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the application.
MR. MARTIN: Just one -- on this issue, MR. BRUINOOGE, I think this -- we can get this off the table so it's consistent. Most of the applications that are similar in terms of the multi-housing issues, they require integrated housing for low to moderate income persons, that is different in this situation based upon whether -- I see Mr. Toronto is here, so these particular units would not be part of anything in terms of the developmentally disabled people?
MR. BRUINOOGE: The "Affordable Housing" is going to be presented on site for the benefit of this project as well as the KS Broad project and that's the eight special needs units, 15 beds located in a -- I forget the square footage, the old Sealfons building that's being converted.
MR. MARTIN: So this would be the ones that Dave and Joel just brought up would be market-value units?
MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes, but I'm not exactly certain what the gentlemen were -- for which units they were referring to. But, nonetheless, whatever they're referring to they're referring to units that are on the site and the architecture.
MR. MARTIN: But not for any required --
MR. BRUINOOGE: They're not -- it's not affordable. Those are not affordable units, that's correct.
MR. MARTIN: That's -- so I thought that was pretty straight forward. But, yes, I just wanted to confirm that.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I think the question for me is, look, I -- if somebody has a business plan, this is just, you know, it's just the real world, somebody has a business plan, in their business plan they have incorporated an apartment that is stuck in the middle of nowhere land and is looking at a bunch of parking spaces. If that business plan includes renting that unit out, well, then maybe their business plan isn't great and that unit won't get rented out. So that's just maybe bad design and that will be the burden of the developer. Your -- your question as to whether or not, you know, maybe that was a question, you know, two meetings ago in terms of just the stall size, I think is -- is more relevant because -- because somebody wants to offer up an apartment that's bad, then nobody is going to rent it, nobody's going to pay rent or they won't get their money out of it. Right?
MR. SCHEIBNER: And I -- and I understand that. The reason I bring up the -- the deficiencies of those particular apartments is because they are directly adjacent to the parking area. And they could have been considered as being part of the parking area.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right.
MR. SCHEIBNER: So if -- instead of building three difficult-to-rent apartments, why didn't they just make the parking bigger and eliminate some of this issue with how many parking spaces there are.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right, which I guess is a -- I mean I guess it would have been a great question to pose for, you know, the architect.
MR. SCHEIBNER: To be --
MS. McWILLIAMS: I think Debbie and I --
MR. SCHEIBNER: -- honest --
MS. McWILLIAMS: -- may have posed the question about those units facing the parking at the
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time. I think we both brought it up at some point back in the beginning. I remember the first time hearing that. But I think also I want to say Debbie asked, if the parking spots were made to be 2-feet bigger than they need to be, how much more deficient would the parking actually have been and I don't know if that ever got answered.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So is that something -- is that something that can be stipulated as part of the approval, is that the parking -- those stalls be modified? Is that something that we, you know, would entertain?
MR. MARTIN: It's a good question, Mayor, but the stipulation apparently needs the applicant to --
MR. BRUINOOGE: Well, if you're asking -- if you're asking the applicant whether the applicant is going to stipulate to conditions other than expressed in the application and the plans, the application before you under the Municipal Land Use Law and your ordinance requires you to make a decision based on the proofs that are put before you.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right. I know.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I understand how everyone has his or her own view of the perceived beauty, the perceived appropriateness of the aesthetics. I suppose there are more than enough opinions that are beyond the number of people in this room as to whether or not the project is financially worthwhile and conceivable. And the simple fact of the matter is, it's the applicant is putting his capital at risk and the simple fact of the matter is, the responsibility of the board under the Municipal Land Use Law is to go forward and take the evidence that's been presented to you and render a decision on the application, based on the evidence that's presented. And I suggest to you that the evidence has been overwhelmingly in support of the relief sought and requested. Your planner agrees with that. Your traffic consultant agrees with that. And I think the -- the application is -- is what it is. It's as simple as that. If a unit is required to sell -- to rent for a few dollars less than other units in the building that should be of absolutely no concern to this board. As a matter of fact, it being a concern of the board should be a concern.
MR. MARTIN: One thing that was mentioned by the Mayor was what was done with, I believe, one of the principals for your clients, KS Broad, which was there would be a subcommittee in terms of final architectural approval.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I have no idea what happened with KS Board application, that's not my client.
MR. MARTIN: No. No. I'm not -- I'm not saying that. But it is the board's decision tonight, too, for consideration. MR. SARACENO was involved in the other matter that there was advice and counsel by some members that were approved for the design and the ultimate construction which was sort of a good faith opportunity. If your client wants to foreclose any discussion at this point, that's fine.
MR. BRUINOOGE: No one suggested we're foreclosing discussion. I'm sitting here listening. And I would be happy to respond to comments, questions, suggestions. But I have no knowledge of what you're speaking of, so I can't talk about it.
MR. MARTIN: Well, maybe your -- maybe your client can.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Maybe he can, I don't know.
MR. MARTIN: Well, somebody --
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CHAIRMAN JOEL: What do you say, you can ask him.
MR. MARTIN: It's something to consider, but if you tell the board you're not going to consider it, we'll not consider it.
MR. BRUINOOGE: Mr. --
MR. MARTIN: -- then I'll tell the board the board cannot consider it.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: No, I don't --
MR. MARTIN: I think MR. SARACENO is going to approach he wants to --
MR. SARACENO: Do I need to be sworn in or something like that? I don't want to anything wrong at this point.
MR. MARTIN: You know that you are an applicant so if you don't mind, raise your right hand.
MR. SARACENO: Yes.
MR. MARTIN: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
MR. SARACENO: I do.
J O H N S A R A C E N O, 17 Coventry Court, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:
MR. MARTIN: And just identify your name and address, that's all.
MR. SARACENO: Sure, John Saraceno, 17 Coventry Court, managing partner of 257 Ridgewood the owner of the property. Your issue, so, like everything, this drawing started 8.5 years ago. We're still doing this drawing. I don't like that unit either. I don't mind the other two, the others to the left don't bother me as much. The one you referenced all the way to the north is the one I dislike. We have actually toyed with, and looking at, on the top floor there is a balcony off to the southern side of the top floor and exchanging that unit with the common area, make the top floor unit, which is currently a balcony, into a unit. But, like everything, these things progress over time. And we're not ignorant to the fact that that's going to be a tough unit.
It would not actually increase parking as designed because it would actually end up being a fairly awkward spot. If we were to lose all three of these units the economics doesn't really work if we lost three units. And the other two units, in my opinion, are fairly commonplace for what they are. The one that's under the overhang is obviously the most complicated one. We're sensitive to it and we're not ignorant to it. But we can't keep giving you guys different drawings every time we come up with a different idea. You change your mind just like we do.
But we understand it. As the architectural details, like as the case with KS, We did agree to that, but we all know that that application has now been superseded by a new application which addresses many of the architectural details because we did have an open dialogue about it.
As it relates to the other fascia you talked about, we played with it. As a resident, I'm equally sensitive to it. I want to build something that's nice. I have no, sort of -- I'm not going to build something that doesn't respect the site, respect the Village, but it is sort of like, you know, three units you can say we would love the additional parking, I'm not going to disagree with you in a non-economic environment that would probably be nice, making more parking in those three units, but we can't afford to lose those three units. It's just -- the economics don't work.
But I'm more than happy to engage in a conversation, "subcommittee" is a term scaring the heck out of me. But I'm more than happy to sit with the Mayor and anybody who would like to sit with me, and anybody on the Planning Board that would like to sit with me in an informal
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way, and discuss it, and show them some of the finishes. We have not finished the design of the outside of the building. This is a site plan application. It's not construction drawings for a building. We haven't completed the bidding process to see what we can afford to do. If I can make the back as nice as the front, I'll do it. I mean we're not looking to skimp it by any stretch.
So I'm more than happy to, I prefer not to have a formal subcommittee, but as I think I've said from the beginning of this process, if someone has an idea, I'm more than happy to listen to it and I'll engage in a conversation. So if that satisfies the board, I hope it does, but I don't want to get into something that makes a condition of subcommittees and a lot of different opinions because it gets kind of difficult.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Do you have any other questions?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Just one point of order, Richard.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Did we reopen the hearing, because we're kind of getting more testimony.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: No. That was part of the dialogue just to see what the applicant -- see if he was responding to the comments. Any more comments, Susan?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Frances, comment?
MS. BARTO: There's been a lot of discussion about parking and I think it's an issue that we have been dealing with in many different applications. COUNCILMAN VOIGT, you know I do agree I have concerns about the non-residential parking and the potential uses of the various tenants coming and going. And I like MR. MARTIN's idea about putting some language in the resolution that would apprise us, this board, of what types of tenants are going to these spaces so we have some control over do we have a bigger problem, you know, than has been presented here.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie?
MS. McWILLIAMS: I don't -- I don't have much else to add, except I share everybody's similar concerns I don't know that I agree with everything being put in a resolution this language is really going to have to be the answer. I think it maybe even kind of confuses things more.
I would want -- I would really love to see the map because I think the parking spaces were made to code because there's a variance there, too. How many more in addition do we need? I would look to that -- I'm stuck on just that one for the moment so I don't have anything else to say right now.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Is the stall size a variance or design?
MS. McWILLIAMS: I thought that the parking was a variance.
MR. MARTIN: Parking is a variance, the stall size, I guess, is an exception.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: The stall size was a design. It's a design exception. It's not a variance.
MS. McWILLIAMS: All right.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I think that's an important distinction, that we need to make.
MS. McWILLIAMS: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I'd really think we want some sort of look back on the parking situation as part of any kind of approval. We have to be able to, you know, we accepted the
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calculations on that and some of us feel the reality would be different than what's in the book for our Village. So I would like to look back at that. I don't know what they can do for us, if we were to look back at it after it's built, I feel like, at that point, that there isn't much that can be done. So I mean if you really -- at least the applicant heard the issue.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I have similar concerns with the parking. I think that additional language would help. I mean it would make an effort for that. And it's also the architectural details is important to me in that you have a nice front and I think it should be nice on the other sides that are visible. It's kind of a landmark building in town. I think it's very viewable driving along, you know, North Maple. So, you know, I would like to see it to be the best that it can be.
All right. Does anyone want to make a motion or have more discussion?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Well, The applicant is just saying he doesn't want a formal review of the architectural --
MR. BRUINOOGE: Mayor.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Mayor, I can't hear what you're saying.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: The applicant is just saying he doesn't want a formal review --
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Can't hear what you're saying.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Oh, I'm sorry. So I know that the applicant is saying he doesn't want a formal review, but how -- what kind of language would we use in any resolution that opens up that conversation to a final product being reviewed.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I think the -- with KS Board, Beth, wasn't it you were designated.
MS. McMANUS: Yes, I believe that resolution did designate me or part of the applicant work with my office to identify some architectural revisions. Perhaps we could parrot that language, should the board be inclined to issue an approval for this application.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And then Beth is free to contact us, you know, either, with a small committee or just input on it, you know, she can be the conduit.
MS. McWILLIAMS: Is a small committee different than a subcommittee?
MR. MARTIN: Now, actually she could just report to the board if there are any more comment --
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MR. MARTIN: -- any other comments, it could be noted that they meet the requirements.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is anyone going to make a motion on this application?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, I make a motion to approve based on the following stipulations, and please add them in if I forget. One of them is that, you know, the types of businesses that are in non-residential uses, are we able to at least evaluate to see what the intensity of use is as the businesses turn over just to make sure that we're comfortable with the parking and the shared parking. The other one relates to -- I think maybe this is on a periodic basis, I don't know what it is, maybe every couple of years or so, is we look at that -- the residents that are in these units to see what the parking demand is for those particular units, themselves. With those are the stipulations -- did I miss anything on the parking? No?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No. You're good.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So if those stipulations are put in, I would make a motion to approve the application.
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MR. MARTIN: Jeff, could you repeat the second one for me. The first one is the review of any changes with the commercial business.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yeah. The other one is I don't know what that timeframe is, but I would like us to be able to look at least at the residents who are in the residential units to see what the parking demand is for those particular units.
MR. MARTIN: So if --
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: How many cars they have.
MR. MARTIN: -- the ability to have our traffic consultant review the -- within six months after the final CO is issued as to the parking, if there is any adjustments that need to be made?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, and then maybe over time, you know, maybe it's every -- I don't know, every couple of years or something like that, just so that this turnover in the units, you know, we understand if there's an increase, an increase in the demand of the parking, there's got to be a change in the units.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Something we could look back in six months and a year.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: That's fine. That's fine.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Maybe we do a look-back in six months earlier and then we're done.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: That's fine. Yes, that's find.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: And we want the -- so we also want to have Beth as the conduit for the design to address those concerns and also for those architectural details.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is that okay if that's appended to your motion, Jeff?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Sure, absolutely.
MR. MARTIN: So the second look-back would be the traffic consultant, that is MR. JAHR.
And the third one which is the planner would work in conjunction with the applicant as to architectural review of the plans and the furtherance of the zoning and the Master Plan.
MS. McMANUS: Will the resolution identify that one or more board members would also participate in the architectural review?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I would like it to.
MS. McMANUS: You know I'm happy to perform that work on behalf of the board, but I think that type of input works best when at least one board member is there to provide their input and give the -- and give the rest of the board some confidence that -- that your views as represented by other board members will be discussed in the meeting.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I want to actually say two board members. I almost feel like it needs to be two board members. So, I mean, so I think that's kind of critical so that that flow of information and it -- I guess, would serve to allay any concerns that have been expressed here and I think that the concerns should be considered seriously. So maybe that is that -- the mechanism for that, I don't know.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Is there a board members that you would want for that?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Well, I nominate Joel. And I'm happy -- I mean I'm happy to be on that with Joel.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Sure.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: You're volunteering.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: That's okay.
Ridgewood Planning Board
October 18, 2017
Page 42
CHAIRMAN JOEL: So is there anything else on that motion, Jeff, that you wanted to add? So it's the architectural details and the parking, anything else that we have?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Dave, do you want extra windows?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: All right.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. So as Jeff stated his motion do you want to just review it quickly just, again, so everyone hears it as one motion.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. So the motion to approve based on the stipulations of parking, an evaluation of non-residential uses and the turnover; evaluation of residential uses in six month to one year timeframe and then a subcommittee to work with Beth on the architectural designs of the building itself. So is that -- is that everything?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. That's a motion to approve.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Do we have a second on it.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I'll second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Susan seconded.
Okay. Michael, call the roll.
MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
MR. SCHEIBNER: No.
MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
MS. McWILLIAMS: No.
MR. CAFARELLI: MS. BARTO?
MS. BARTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Your motion carries.
It's approved with the conditions and stipulations.
MR. BRUINOOGE: I look forward to seeing your resolution.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Congratulations. The hearing adjourns at 10:30 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:33 p.m.
Michael Cafarelli
Board Secretary
Date approved:

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