All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the Planning/Zoning Department.
Minutes: July 10, 2013
Mr. Tadrick (vice chair) called the meeting to order at 7:00 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, 2013 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
|Roll Call||Also Present|
|Mayor Marotta||P||Michael Garofalo, Esq., Board Attorney|
|Diane Wexler||P||Cory Stoner, Board Engineer|
|Councilmember Rizzuto||P||Kim Decker, Land Use Administrator|
|Martin Theobald||NP||Ken Nelson, Planner (substitute)|
|Richard Spoerl||NP||Cynthia Davis, Recording Secretary|
|Chris Hack (#1 Alt)||P|
|Ed Rolando (#2 Alt)||P|
|Valerie Seufert (#3 Alt)||P|
|Kristi Raperto (#4 Alt)||P|
Note: Mr. Ferrer, Mr. Spoerl, and Mr. Theobald advised the board that they would not be present at tonight’s meeting.
LU# 5-13-2: Theta 456 Assoc. - Block 141.02, Lots 4, 5, 6, - Preliminary/Final Major Site Plan & Bulk Variance for Age Restricted Housing
Note: Mr. Rolando and Ms. Seufert stepped down from the board for this hearing. Mr. Theobald will also step down from this matter.
Stephen McGee, Esq., Russell Del Grosso, Vincent Zinno and David Getz were sworn in by the LUB attorney.
Mr. Getz, Lehman & Getz, project engineer, came forward and explained the project to the board as being a single large building containing 55 one-bedroom apartments which will be constructed on 3 undeveloped lots, totaling 1.2 acres, and will have an age restriction as per the town ordinance. There will be parking provided on the site adjacent to Omega Drive and underneath the building. The site has frontage on Theta Drive and also on Omega Drive giving it 3 front yards. The site slopes toward the north corner and the proposal includes an underground storm water system in which roof water and all parking area water will be collected and treated for water quality and then discharged into an underground pipe system.
Mr. Zinno, the builder and a principal of Theta 456 Assoc., came forward and discussed the plans with the board. He explained that this project satisfies the affordable housing requirements connected with COAH. The application has been submitted to the state as such but at present, the state has not responded to the application for COAH. Mr. Zinno said the units will meet the town center guidelines and will be from 501 to 740 square feet each.
Mr. Garofalo commented that this is a fully conforming zero variance application with the exception of parking spaces. Mr. Garofalo asked for information from the engineer as to why a lesser number of parking spaces would be adequate for this project. Mr. Getz stated that one space per unit is proposed for the 55-unit building. He went on to say that based on his experience in the region, this is an adequate number of spaces for this type of project. Mr. Getz said that the RSIS standard for “Garden Apartments” is 1.8 spaces per unit. The RSIS does not have a category for senior housing. He said another option would be to use the category for assisted living. He feels it is unlikely to have many residents with more than one car each for senior affordable housing. Mr. Getz described certain examples of buildings in Warwick, New York and Newton, NJ.
Mr. Zinno said that 27 spots are located outside which will not be reserved, and the rest will be under the building and will be reserved. There are 8 handicap spaces proposed.
Ms. Paladini asked what would happen if every resident owns a car and there were visitors? Mr. Zinno said possibly there could be a parking area in the recessed curb area. Mr. Stoner commented that the traffic study done for a similar project in Newton showed that .7 spaces per unit were necessary. He said that the rationale used there was this is age-restricted affordable housing with the average age of resident being 70 years old. Mr. Garofalo said that lawyers will not look for the next best category. Lawyers see whether the issue is conforming or not conforming. Mr. McGee said that the parking requirement burden is met because in most instances these units will be one-income residents and, despite the fact that the proposed parking for this building is less than garden apartments, it still works based upon Mr. Getz’ experience with other projects.
Mr. Stoner discussed his report. He confirmed:
- The proposed project meets the requirements for age restricted housing in the town center code
- The building height requirement (38'6")
- The 3 lots (#4, 5, and 6) will be combined
- 28 spaces under the building and 27 spaces outside and said a sidewalk should be added along the parallel parking on Omega Drive where the drivers get out of the left side of the car onto grass
- The grading will be changed to a maximum of 2% in the parking lot
- Put curbing and sidewalks along all 3 sides as per the town center ordinance
- Dumpsters will be fully enclosed
- The mail will be delivered either by a secure mail bank in the lower level vestibule area or outside.
Mayor Marotta confirmed that all neighbors within 200 feet of the site were properly noticed. Mr. Stoner discussed the other issues on his review letter. He noted the project will be tying into the municipal sewer system. Mr. Stoner reminded the builder that if the light fixtures are going to be different from what is specified in the town center ordinance, the applicant must come back before the LUB to have the fixtures approved. He reminded the applicant that any lighting on the sign must be pointed down.
Ken Nelson, Planner (substitute), commented that a condition there should be a color rendering of the building provided to the board. He also suggested a small outside passive recreation area might be included in the proposal. Also, the garage structure may need more ventilation. Mr. Nelson suggested beefing up the landscaping around the building foundation and possibly saving any existing trees. He would like a revised landscape plan submitted. Mr. Nelson said the resolution may need to contain something about the affordability of the units stipulating lower/moderate income for age-restricted occupants. He is not sure this project should be tied into COAH for several reasons.
Once the COAH third round regulations are promulgated, Mayor Marotta asked that the builder agree to fulfill them predicated upon the developer’s agreement that is being worked out between the town and the applicants.
Ms. Raperto inquired about a fire lane at the building. Mr. Stoner commented that the fire sub-official will review this application.
Meeting Opened to the Public
Jean Murphy came forward and clarified that 8% of the units are restricted to 55 years of age and over and 20% may be allowed to be 45 years old and over. Mr. Stoner read the town center ordinance section pertaining to age-restricted housing. It was stated by several that at the present time this project is only qualifying as age-restricted housing until the state accepts it as income restricted or COAH. Ms. Murphy feels there should be visitor parking spaces added to the proposed plan.
Valerie Seufert came forward and asked if all 8 handicap parking spots are not needed, is there the ability to change some of the spaces to regular parking spaces. Mr. McGee said that the applicant would come back before the LUB if any of the parking specifications need to be changed.
The adjacent neighbor, Marsha, came forward and asked whether this senior housing is government run or privately run. Mayor Marotta advised that it is privately owned. She asked who would respond to any emergencies and how seniors would manage without a generator. Mr. Garofalo confirmed that this project is permitted by the town center zoning in Vernon which restricts it to 55 years old and older and/or with some younger. He also confirmed with the applicant that the project is not for assisted living and the occupants may or may not be unhealthy. It is simply going to be marketed for older adults.
Dan Kadish came forward and asked whether there is an emergency notification system as 55 year olds and older do have the tendency to fall. Mr. Garofalo asked for testimony to state that this is not assisted living. These are homes. Mr. Kadish asked if the dumpster is bear-proof and will it be accessible for older adults. What is the fire suppression system in the garage? Mr. Zinno said it will be a dry chemical system. He asked if there were fire breaks throughout the building.
Several other residents asked various questions.
Meeting Closed to the Public
Mr. Stoner discussed the aesthetics with regard to the dumpster placement.
Mr. Zinno reported that there will be 4 different veneers on the building, stone, stucco, shakes and clapboard in earth tones which will all meet the town center specifications.
Motion: Council Member Rizzuto made a motion to approve of the application with the stipulations made and subject to the approval of the board engineer. Ms. Cocula seconded the motion.
The board attorney listed the conditions, as follows: dumpster location, revised landscape plan, color rendering of the building, sidewalks required for the parallel parking, grading to meet ADA requirements, new mail center, connect the inside drains to the underwater storm water facility, submission of additional lighting fixtures acceptable to Mr. Stoner and in accordance with the town center ordinance and developer’s agreement.
ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, RAPERTO - Y. Passed.
LU# 5-13-1: Daniel Bakay - Block 134, Lot 11.06, - Bulk Variance for a Rear Yard Deck
Motion: A motion was made by Mayor Marotta and seconded by Ms. Cocula to approve the above resolution. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, ROLANDO - Y, SEUFERT - Y. PASSED.
June 12, 2013: Regular Meeting Minutes (Marotta, Wexler, Theobald, Tadrick, Cocula, Ferrer, Paladini, Rolando, Seufert)
Motion: A motion was made by Mr. Tadrick and seconded by Mayor Marotta to approve the above minutes. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, ROLANDO - Y, SEUFERT - Y. Passed.
Escrows, Board Fees and Bond Reductions
- Board Fees
- Board Attorney: Michael Garofalo, Laddey, Clark & Ryan
- Land Use Board Business: Services through 5/31/13 ($150.00)
- Bakay: LU# 5-13-1 - Services through 5/24/13 ($45.00)
- Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
- Land Use Board Business: ($0)
- Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
- Land Use Board Business: Services through 5/7/13 (90.00)
- KDC Solar: LU# LU# 8-11-15 - Services through 5/30/13 ($263.00)
- Cellco/Verizon Wireless: LU# 7-10-5 - Services through 5/30/13 ($86.00)
- Mt. Creek Master Plan: PB# 2-91-4 - Services through 5/14/13 ($120.00)
- KDC Solar: LU# 8-11-15 - Services through 5/30/13 ($236.00)
- Urgent Care: LU# 4-12-7 - Services through 5/22/13 ($300.00)
- New Cingular Wireless: Coll. #1 - Services through 5/8/13 ($480.00)
- Daniel Bakay: LU# 5-13-1 - Services through 5/21/13 ($240.00)
- Theta 456: LU# 5-13-2 - Services through 5/24/13 ($420.00)
- Sprint Wireless: Coll. #2 - Services through 5/28/13 ($180.00)
- Sprint Wireless: Coll. #3 - Services through 5/28/13 (180.00)
- Board Recording Secretary: Cynthia Davis - ($45.00)
- Board Attorney: Michael Garofalo, Laddey, Clark & Ryan
Motion: A motion was made by Mayor Marotta and seconded by Ms. Cocula to approve the above Board fees. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, ROLANDO - Y, SEUFERT - Y, RAPERTO - Y. Passed.
- Request for Escrows to be Closed
Motion: Mr. Tadrick made a motion and Ms. Paladini seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:51 p.m. All were in favor.
These minutes were transcribed by Cynthia Davis on July 18, 2013.