All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the Planning/Zoning Department.

Minutes: August 14, 2019

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Theobald at 7:06 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 14, 2019 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to the Flag

Chairman Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

Roll Call  Also Present
Mayor Harry ShortwayNP Glenn Kienz, Board Attorney
Craig WilliamsP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Councilmember AubergerNP Kim Decker, Board Secretaryr
Martin TheobaldP  
Richard SpoerlP  
Willard McPeekP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerNP  
Kristi RapertoP  
Kelly Mitchell (#1 Alt)NP  
Joseph Tadrick (#2 Alt)NP  
Paul Mele (#3 Alt)NP  
Mark Vizzini (#4 Alt)P  

Chairman Theobald stated that Mr. Whitaker, Ms. Mitchell, Mr. Tadrick, Council Member Auberger, Mayor Shortway, and Mr. Mele informed the board of their absence.

Public Hearings

LU# 1-19-1: Walter Lenartowicz - Block: 143.01, Lot: 14, - Use Variance to Permit Two Separate Residential Homes on a Single Parcel in the R-2 Zone

Chairman Theobald read the title of the application and stated that board members Cocula and McPeek were not present at the previous meeting but listened to the meeting recording and are eligible to vote on this application.

Mr. William Haggerty, Esq. from firm of Dolan & Dolan summarized previous testimony from the May 22, 2019 meeting. He stated, at the May 22nd meeting, testimony was presented as well as written documents which concern the use of two principal structures, one being a 3-bedroom residence and the other being a one-bedroom residence which was designed and used by the owner as a residence for the last fifteen years. Mr. Haggerty explained exhibits previously submitted included revaluation document from 2008 that recognized two separate buildings and recognized one three bedroom residence and one one-bedroom residence. Also submitted was a septic inspection from 2009 which indicated a four-bedroom capacity to the property and recognizing the two structures. Mr. Haggerty stated that seven permits were issued by Vernon Township including an as-built map from the septic application showing the three-bedroom structure and the one-bedroom structure. He added that the owner came to the board due to a mortgage refinancing requirement and did not hide or disguise the issue nor were there any outside complaints received.

Mr. Haggerty stated the public and board addressed the matter at the May 22nd meeting and expressed concern that approval of this application would set a precedent. He argued that approval would not set a precedent due to exhibits submitted showing permits were issued and taxes paid based on township revaluation inspection that two residential structures were present on the property. He added that approval would not negatively affect any neighbors and that an amendment has been made to add a deed restriction to allow client to reside in the second residence only through lifetime and will then revert back an approved accessory building.

Mr. Haggerty explained that this application is a very unique situation where documents presented show the property was inspected and taxed with two residences and which will not set a precedent. He asked the board to consider allowing the lifetime occupancy of the one-bedroom structure.

Attorney Kienz questioned how long the structures were on their lot and if the buildings are non-confirming pre-existing to zoning requirements in Vernon Township since the Vernon Building Department was unable to locate any files when structures were built. Mr. Haggerty stated the property’s structures do not precede the adoption of the zoning ordinance. Mr. Haggerty testified there was no further testimony to present.

Attorney Kienz summarized the application for a use variance to permit two separate residential homes on a single parcel with life estate on second building which will revert to other use based on the testimony on record.

Attorney Kienz explained the public hearing for the application was held at the May 22, 2019 meeting and only the new testimony about a life estate agreement that will revert back to a non-residential structure can be commented on tonight in the second public hearing.

Chairman Theobald opened the application to the public.

Ann Pfaff, 8 Butternut Road, commented that she does not mind that he is living there but accessory building was an office with no permits to be a residence or fire prevention protection. Chairman Theobald explained the land use board has no jurisdiction on enforcing fire prevention or construction codes.

Evelyn Stone, 14 Butternut Drive, opined the building was an office and not a residence when it was built and commented it is not fair to other homeowners who are not allowed to have two.

She added if this application is approved, the property values will decrease in the neighborhood negatively affecting others.

Mr. Haggerty explained the revaluation of 2008 was ordered by the township and established the use of the second structure as a residence, said document was provided as testimony.

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to come forward, Chairman Theobald closed the application to the public.

Mr. McPeek questioned when the garage was converted to a second residence.

Mr. Lenartowicz stated it was his intention when built as a garage that it would be a second residence and noted he was unaware that was not allowed.

Mr. Williams stated the intent and not knowing the law doesn’t excuse one from conforming to the code and law. Mr. Haggerty acknowledged the board’s concern but noted that Mr. Lenartowicz received building permits, septic permits and the use was established by the 2008 revaluation. He added the owner has been living in the second residence for fifteen years and the use will not intensify impact on anyone.

There were no more questions from the board members and Chairman Theobald asked for a motion for the application.

Motion: A motion was made to approve resolution for LU # 1-19-1 with the life estate agreement as proposed by Mr. Spoerl and seconded by Mr. Vizzini.

ROLL CALL: WILLIAMS: Y; SPOERL: N; MCPEEK: N; COCULA: N; RAPERTO: N; VIZZINI: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion failed. Application was denied.

Mr. Williams commented that this is the first multiple residential application in a single residential zone for mainly commercial reasons not humanitarian. Mr. Haggerty thanked the board’s consideration in the matter.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one from the public wishing to come forward, Chairman Theobald closed the meeting to the public.

Resolutions

LU# 5-13-2: Theta 456 Assoc. - Block 141.02, Lots 4, 5, 6, - Preliminary/Final Major Site Plane & Bulk Variance for Age Restricted Housing - Extension of Approval

Motion: A motion was made to approve resolution for LU # 5-13-2 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Spoerl.

ROLL CALL: WILLIAMS: Y; SPOERL: Y; MCPEEK: Y; COCULA: Y.
Motion passed.

LU# 6-19-5: Paul Romano - Block: 12, Lot: 29, - Use and Bulk Variances to Permit Two Separate Residential Homes on a Single Parcel in the R-1 Zone

Motion: A motion was made to approve resolution for LU # 6-19-5 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Williams.

ROLL CALL: WILLIAMS: Y; SPOERL: Y; MCPEEK: Y; COCULA: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion passed.

Minutes

July 10, 2019: Regular Meeting Minutes (Williams, Spoerl, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Mitchell, Mele, Vizzini)

Motion: A motion was made to approve minutes of July 10, 2019 by Mr. Williams and seconded by Ms. Cocula.

All members were in favor.
Motion passed.

Appendix A: Escrows, Board Fees, Bond Reductions and Escrow Closures

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 6/26/19 ($256.00)
      2. Robert Shuppon - LU# 12-17-6 - Services through 6/27/19 ($128.00)
      3. Land Conservancy - LU# 10-18-8 - Services through 6/12/19 ($256.00)
      4. Paul Romano - LU# 6-19-5 - Services through 6/10/19 ($45.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 7/10/19 ($172.50)
      2. Paul Romano - LU# 6-19-5 - Services through 7/3/19 ($360.00)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through ($0)
      2. Rosemark Realty - PB# 11-08-7 - Services through 6/20/19 ($168.19)
      3. Paul Romano - LU# 6-19-5 - Services through 6/19/19 ($398.80)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($75.00)

Motion: A motion was made to approve the board fees by Mr. Spoerl and seconded by Mr. McPeek. All members voted in favor.
Motion passed.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Mr. Spoerl. All members were in favor.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:36 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills
Recording Secretary