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

Minutes: December 8, 2021

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairperson Theobald at 7:00 p.m.

Statement of Compliance Was Read by Board Secretary

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this Regular Meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 18, 2021, by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the Municipal Building.

Chairperson Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

Roll Call  Also Present
Mayor’s Designee Diane WexlerNP Glenn Kienz, Board Attorney
Craig WilliamsP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Councilmember AubergerNP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Martin TheobaldP  
Richard SpoerlNP  
Willard McPeekNP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerNP  
Kristi RapertoP  
Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1P  
Joseph Tadrick Alternate #2P  
Paul Mele Alternate #3P  
Mark Vizzini Alternate #4NP  

Chairperson Theobald stated Mr. McPeek, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Auberger, Mr. Spoerl and Ms. Wexler notified the Board of their absence.

Public Hearings

LU# 11-21-9 - Daniel Bakay - Block 368, Lot 16, - Rear Yard Variance for a Proposed In-Ground Pool

Carly and Daniel Bakay came forward and were sworn in to testify on application to install an inground pool which requires a variance for rear yard setback in an R2 Zone. Mr. Bakay stated his home is located on main road with house set back which limits area for pools location to rear yard away from septic and seepage pit. He added proposed location is for children's safety from bears, strangers and for easy view and access to house. Mr. Bakay stated when property was originally subdivided, rear yard property line was only forty' from house causing hardship. In 2013, a variance was granted by the Land Use Board to install a deck off the back of the house.

Mr. Bakay explained plan is to add a concrete patio around pool causing rear yard setback of three feet and add landscaping with fencing as per building requirements.

Ms. Caldwell explained, per December 1, 2021 report, that a bulk variance is required to install inground pool in proposed location with request for rear yard setback of 3 ft where thirty feet is required. She requested further testimony on negative criteria and impact to neighbors.

Ms. Bakay stated neighbors back yard is on opposite side of house and Mr. Bakay added there is approximately sixty feet between neighbors with trees in between.

Attorney Kienz stated that reason for children's safety is not an allowable criterion for a variance and asked applicants to change location to increase setbacks.

Mr. Bakay stated a stream takes up 2/3rds of lot which is why house is setback for environmental concerns and there is a drainage pit and large hill on other side of house. Ms. Bakay added there is no window or door access on other side of house.

Chairperson Theobald opened the meeting to the public.

Karen and Kevin Lynch, 3 Travel Road, came forward and read statement about the application. The Bakays are requesting a variance for a 16 x 32 ft in ground pool with thirteen' setback plus a ten' patio which will be three' from property line where setback is 30 ft. Ms. Lynch stating they are opposing approval of the variance requested but not opposing the installation of the pool. She asked applicants to consider other locations on the 2-acre lot and noted the hardship described was self-created by the owner or previous owners by addition of extremely large parking area, deck, shed and home addition. She stated they are not opposed to the installation of a pool but proposing a relocation that would not impact our property.

Ms. Lynch stated she is concerned that excavation for the pool and existing steep slopes are so close to property line it will cause soil erosion to her property. Ms. Lynch provided eight (8) pictures she took as evidence for file with brief description of each. Attorney Kienz labeled as Exhibits A1 through A-8:

A1 Edge of house to their house
A2 Side yard to their house
A3 Halfway down hill to their house
A4 From side door
A5 From side door
A6 From bottom hill
A7 from bottom hill
A8 from our side yard near garden

Pictures were distributed to Board Members for review. Members also viewed website Google Earth for layout of nearby properties.

Ms. Lynch stated concern of impact of soil erosion and questioned the percentage of imperviable surface of site and location of installed pipes for drainage of pool if needed. Ms. Lynch stated she was not properly noticed or aware of the variance application when the Bakays' built their deck which towers over property causing privacy issues. She added the Township stated her name was not on the notification list due to a clerical error. Ms. Lynch explained she is not opposed to the installation of a pool but is against the location encroaching on the property line when 30 ft is required.

Mr. Lynch stated the applicant's hardship was self-designed by the owner with the construction of an addition, large parking area and opined they are not being forthright with options. Mr. Lynch described location of pool at only three feet from property line to be un-neighborly and asking too much from the town.

Chairman Theobald stated the Board understands the Lynch's concerns.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Chairperson Theobald closed the Meeting to the Public.

Mr. and Ms. Bakay stated they had no further testimony.

Board Members discussed alternatives of pool location by using portion of driveway, reducing width of patio, or swapping shed. Attorney Kienz suggested applicants redesign location for pool to address public concerns and decrease intrusion on rear property line and impact to neighbors as reasonably possible.

Ms. Bakay questioned if application is changed to install an above ground pool does that change setbacks, which Board Chairman answered that same rules apply.

Mr. Bakay requested application to be carried for 30 days to next meeting on January 12, 2022, for review options and plans to be amended based on concerns. Attorney Kienz stated that no further public notice is required for application and applicant should contact Land Use Office to confirm date of hearing.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public.

Karen Lynch came forward and questioned why she was not provided notification of variance hearing of her adjacent property owner 's 2013 application. She stated she did not understand how it was possible for clerical error to happen. Attorney Kienz stated law says an applicant is entitled to rely on list provided and cause was due to Scribner's error. Ms. Lynch wanted to convey her concerns to the Board about the 2013 as well as the proposed application by the Bakays.

Seeing no one present nor wishing to comment, Chairman Theobald closed meeting to the public.

Resolutions

LU# 10-21-8 - Mountain Creek Resort, Inc. - Block 378, Lot 20, - Minor Site Plan to Move the Snow Tubing Site

Motion: Motion to approve Resolution for LU#10-21-8 was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Ms. Tadrick.

ROLL CALL: COCULA: Y; MITCHELL: Y; TADRICK: Y. Motion passed.

Minutes

November 10, 2021 - Regular Meeting Minutes (Auberger, McPeek, Cocula, Mitchell, Tadrick, Vizzini)

Motion: Motion to approve minutes of November 10, 2021, was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Tadrick. 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 10/28/21 ($96.00)
      2. Mountain Creek Resort - LU# 10-21-8 - Services through 10/29/21 ($45.00)
      3. Suez Water NJ - LU# 7-21-6 - Services through 10/18/21 ($24.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - ($0)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - ($0)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($75.00)

Chairman Theobald read into record two additional fees to be approved to pay:

Board Planner - Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
LU#11-21-9 - Daniel Bakay ($500.00)

Board Engineer - Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
LU#3-21-4 - Kenneth Boschert ($51.38)

Motion: Motion to approve fees was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Mr. Mele. All members were in favor. Motion passed.

Chairman Theobald reminded all members whose term is expiring at end of year and would like to be considered for reappointment to submit a volunteer application to the Mayor.

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 Ms. Cocula. All members were in favor. Meeting adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills, Recording Secretary