The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of March 3, 2015. 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: Chairman Nalbantian called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. The following members were present: Mayor Aronsohn, Ms. Bigos, Mr. Nalbantian, Councilwoman Knudsen, Mr. Reilly, Ms. Altano, Mr. Thurston, Mr. Abdalla, and Ms. Peters. Also present were: Gail Price, Esq., Board Attorney; Christopher Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Blais Brancheau, Village Planner; and Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary. Mr. Joel and Ms. Dockray were not present.
Chairman Nalbantian made opening remarks regarding safety issues and the hearing process.
Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – No one came forward at this time.
Correspondence received by the Board – There was none
Malbin Minor Subdivision, 201 and 218 Heights Road, Block 1816, Lots 15 & 16
David Rutherford appeared before the Board and described his clients' application, the proposed subdivision, and how the split lot configuration is more logical.
Mr. Brancheau and Mr. Massimo Piazza were sworn. Mr. Nalbantian asked Mr. Brancheau to summarize his report. Mr. Brancheau described the lot, subdivision, and summarized the remainder of his report.
Mr. Rutherford questioned Mr. Piazza as to his qualifications and expertise; his credentials were accepted. Mr. Piazza described the application, its functional location, and said the layout was better as proposed than as existing. He said the plan does not exacerbate existing violations.
The Board asked questions about the increase of development potential on Lot 15, if there was discussion with neighbors regarding the subdivision /merger of a small projection in the North West corner, the potential subdivision of lot 16, the relocation of zone boundary in Council jurisdiction, lot numbers, and possible encroachment mentioned in Mr. Rutishauser, the Village Engineer's letter. Mr. Rutherford said the nature of the development could increase due to the increased size of the lot. He said he did not know of neighbors being notified and that it was strictly a transaction between the seller and the buyer. Mr. Brancheau said the plan does not increase the potential for encroachment and the sub-division makes it less possible for this to occur.
Ms. Price discussed changing the lot numbers to 15.01 and 16.01 and Mr. Brancheau said it would be reflected on the tax map.
The Board discussed the application and deliberated the issues raised. Ms. Price outlined the conditions and a there was a motion to vote on the application. The Board voted in favor of the motion 8 to 0.
World Mission Society, Church of God, Preliminary and Final Site Plan Application, 305 Godwin Avenue, Block 2403, Lot 23
Marc Liebman, Attorney, Robert Costa, Engineer, and Joe Burgis, Planner for the applicant were sworn. Mr. Liebman discussed the background, the Church's application, and the scope of improvements already made and to be completed.
Mr. Costa described the application, improvements and offered to make several modifications to meet the Planning Board's concerns. He said they would remove the lights in the trees and add a speed bump. He described the changes to be made to the parking area to eliminate eight parking spaces, stripe the parking area showing 'no parking' to comply with the Village Fire Department and restripe the ADA van space for a total of four ADA spaces, three vehicles, and one van.
Mr. Brancheau was sworn and provided a summary and the scope of his review of the Church of God's application.
8:35 p.m. Mr. Rutishauser arrived and was sworn by Ms. Price. Mr. Rutishauser said he and Mr. Brancheau met with Mr. Liebman and Mr. Costa. He said he received a letter from Bergen County Storm Water Management, he checked with the building department and there was not a Certificate of Occupancy or permits for lighting.
Mr. Liebman responded to Mr. Rutishauser's report stating they are seeking parking waivers, will not move the fence, the ADA parking will be done, and be ADA compliant. He said they would comply with all regulatory requirements and he said he contacted Bergen County Department of Planning and is waiting for a response.
Mr. Rutishauser said he was generally satisfied with the applicant's testimony and storm water management plans. He said the applicant can put timers on the sign lights, there was no soil erosion plan, the fence shown belonged to the neighbors, applicant will address ADA parking by moving the entrance, and they will obtain Bergen County approval/waiver and acquire a grading/storm permit.
There was a discussion on the lighting, safety issues, and the impact on residents. Questions were asked about the type of lighting and if the applicant had a permit for the solar lighting. The applicant said it was nailed to the tree and they did not need permits for solar lighting. Mr. Brancheau said if the lighting required a conduit, they would need a permit.
Board members asked questions about the parking layout and the lighting. Mr. Costas said the applicant would make the needed changes to comply with the Board's recommendations regarding the parking area and lighting. There were questions about the illumination of the parking area and that the lights remained on all night. Mr. Costa said he would adjust the light timers. There were other questions about moving lights away from residents and Mr. Brancheau said there are a number of options the applicant can implement to remedy the issue.
Mr. Joseph Burgis, Planner was sworn and he reviewed his credentials. Mr. Burgis discussed the Zoning Ordinance specific for houses of Worship. He said the church was compliant with the ordinances except for the steeple. He talked about violations requiring exceptions not variances. He talked about the size of parking spaces and said that 9 x18 and eight x 23 for parallel parking were typical. He discussed the lighting and coverage of parking spaces and said the planned lighting would cover the number of parking spaces.
There were questions from the Board about the curbs, aisle width, lighting, and signage. Mr. Burgis responded to these questions. Exhibit A6 was introduced which described the aerial photograph of site and neighborhood.
Mr. Rutishauser said he generally agrees with the applicants proposals subject to the conditions. He said he had issued summons that were dismissed because the applicant came before the Board.
Mr. Liebman requested Mr. Brancheau to provide a list of outstanding issues and he said they would provide the Board with revised plans.
Mr. Nalbantian said the Board would carry the meeting for Mr. Brancheau's presentation to April 21, 2015. Mr. Brancheau will provide an updated report after review of the revised plans.
Executive Session – Mr. Nalbantian moved to start an Executive Session at 10:30 P.M.
The Board returned from Executive Session at 11:05 p.m. and the meeting was adjourned.
Date approved: December 15, 2015
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