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

Minutes: March 14, 2012

Mr. Theobald called the meeting to order at 7:11 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 15, 2012 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 MarottaP Jennifer Kovach, Esq., Board Attorney
Diane WexlerP Jessica Caldwell, LUB Planner (7:30 p.m.)
Councilmember RizzutoP Corey Stoner, Board Engineer
Martin TheobaldP Kim Decker, Planning & Zoning Admin. Asst.
Richard SpoerlP  
Joseph Tadrick (7:45 p.m.)P  
Andrea CoculaP  
Joseph FerrerNP  
Jessica PaladiniP  
Chris Hack (#1 Alt)P  
Ed Rolando (#2 Alt)NP  
Valerie Seufert (#3 Alt)NP  
Kristi Raperto (#4 Alt)P  

Hearings

PB# 6-06-8: Crystal Springs Builders, LLC, Block 270, Lots 11 & 26, Preliminary Major Subdivision & Preliminary/Final Site Plan & Conditional Use Approval - Request for an Extension of Time.

John Fetterly, Esq., came forward on behalf of Crystal Springs Builders. He advised that the applicant is requesting an extension of time due to the current economic climate which has delayed some of their development projects.

Mr. Fetterly explained that a portion of this land was granted a subsequent approval for KDC Solar in November 2011, which included land for cluster development.

The project that the applicant is requesting an extension for, and received a preliminary major subdivision approval in 2006, along with (3) subsequent 1-year extensions, created 11 buildable lots and a large golf course lot. The golf course has been built. The housing has not been built. The solar project approval covers the lots originally approved for housing. With the solar panels in place, the housing cannot be built. However, if the solar panels are not built, the applicant would like the original cluster housing approvals to remain in place.

Even though there have been (3) extensions, this extension request falls under Vernon’s Code Section 330-56 that deals with planned developments. The approval for KDC Solar, according to Mr. Fetterly, does not negate the prior 2006 approval for this project. On the outside chance that the solar project is not constructed, the applicant does not want to lose the work put into the original approvals. He requested a 2-year extension.

Jennifer Kovach, Esq., recommended that the board continue in the precedent of a 1-year extension if they are considering any extension at all.

Mr. Fetterly stands by his statement that as long as the zoning or code has not changed, then the original approval will still be valid after 20 years when the solar panel project is finished.

Mr. Stoner commented that a change of use may negate that approval. He also reported that KDC Solar has begun tree clearing. However, they are still working on conditions of their approval.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to grant a 1-year extension. Mr. Hack seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, RAPERTO - Y. Passed.

Mayor Marotta stated that he would like the Vernon Code to be researched with regard to the original approval standing after 20 years when the use changes.

LU# 1-12-2: Noemy Toste, Block 143.01, Lot 6, - Bulk Variance for Front Yard Addition

Mr. Huhn and Mark Palus, Engineer, came forward on behalf of the applicant and were sworn in by the LUB attorney. The applicant would like to construct a covered porch and a bumped-out addition on a ranch-style home that would exceed the front yard setback of 75 feet. The setback is currently 74.7 feet. Any addition will trigger a variance. The larger addition of a garage, pool and patio area are not intended to be included with this approval. The applicant is also obtaining approval from the Sussex County Health Department for a septic alteration. Ms. Decker stated that she spoke with the health department and they said they have no objection to the front porch being constructed. The applicant feels that this project will add character to the home and the neighborhood.

Mr. Stoner commented, and Mr. Theobald confirmed, that approval for all of the projects should be asked for tonight, rather than come back before the LUB. Ms. Kovach didn’t think the applicant would need to come back before this LUB for approvals on the other projects.

Mr. Stoner advised that if the applicant goes for a lot development plan, he will be tied to this submitted plan. Mr. Theobald said that once the board approves a plan, it can’t be changed without coming back before the board.

Mr. Huhn stated that the applicant will be maintaining the existing driveway, building a walkway connecting the driveway to the new front porch (8 feet x 13 feet). At this point the driveway, garage, the pool and deck are being removed from the application.

Meeting was opened to the public

No one came forward.

Meeting was closed to the public

Motion: Mayor Marotta made a motion to approve of the variance. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, RAPERTO - Y. Passed.

Mr. Stoner requested an updated plan from the applicant showing the approved revisions.

LU# 3-12-6: Peter and Linda Tczap, Block 44.02, Lot 13, - Bulk Variance for an Attached Garage

Robert Jordan, Land Surveyor/Planner and Vincent Zinno, Contractor, came forward and were sworn in by the board attorney.

Mr. Jordan explained that the proposed addition is a 12 x 26 one-car garage to the existing dwelling. The current house does not meet the front and side yard setbacks for the PLZ zone. The topography on the right side of the house is too steep for an addition and aesthetically it will look better on the left side. Mrs. Tczap would like to store her car out of the weather so she is ready to get to work as an ICU nurse during inclement weather. The lot coverage will be well under the 35% requirement.

Mr. Stoner reviewed the setbacks that require a variance which would be front yard for the addition and side yard (5.8 feet—requirement is 10 feet). Mr. Jordan advised that the fenced-in area will be relocated to be even with the back face of the garage and will go over to the side property line with a gate. The side yard spotlight will be re-located to the back of the garage pointing into the backyard. The spotlight on the corner of the existing garage will stay. There will be no new spotlights. Mr. Stoner suggested softening/adding landscaping between this house and the side neighbor.

Meeting was opened to the public

Richard ______, 44 Hummingbird Trail, neighbor came forward and asked if the variance requirements should be changed. He said that the rest of the neighborhood homes are spread out from each other. He also asked whether a variance would not be required in the future if this variance were granted, changing the footprint, and the current or future owners want to build a second story addition. Ms. Caldwell advised that there is no variance requirement on a second floor addition once you get the variance on the first floor.

The applicant stated that he has no intention of putting a second story over the garage. Mayor Marotta suggested putting a condition in the ordinance stating that there cannot be a 2nd story addition. The applicant had no objections.

Meeting was closed to the public

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve the variance with the conditions of the restriction for no second floor addition above the garage and the landscaping to be approved by Mr. Stoner at the time of applying for the building permit. Ms. Wexler seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, RAPERTO - Y. Passed.

Mrs. ________ came forward and stated that she lives next to this project and there is less than 16 feet between the property lines. She said she “did not move up to Highland Lakes to live next to an alley.” Mayor Marotta advised her that the law allows for an application for a variance. Mr. Theobald stated that the LUB members did not feel that 4 feet was not unreasonable. It is her feeling that in this neighborhood, it IS unreasonable to have this little space in between property lines.

LU# 11-11-18: Toye Real Estate, LLC, Block 171.17, Lots 6 & 7, Preliminary/Major Subdivision, Use Variance & Interpretation for a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Campground

Note: Mayor Marotta and Council Member Rizzuto stepped down from this hearing.

Jeanne Ann McManus, Esq., of Wiener Lesniak, came forward and explained that this application is for a preliminary subdivision approval on a large tract of land (lots 6 & 17) consolidating two lots into one which would then be split into 3 residential lots, Lot 6, proposed lots 6.01, 6.02 & and a remainder lot, lot 17, which would contain the pre-existing campground. The application does not propose any new development on the property. The lots would either contain existing structures and uses and one of the lots will be a totally undeveloped lot. She went over all of the approved uses for the land including the uses for the existing buildings. She explained that the campground is not being expanded; it is being decreased by this application. The campground use is pre-existing, non-conforming and was noted in resolution #ZB 6-8732, adopted in December of 1987.

Mr. Ken Wentink, PE, PLS and Ms. McManus were sworn in by the LUB attorney.

Ms. McManus explained that the applicant is requesting use variance approval with respect to Building B which was originally a one story clubhouse and then a 2nd story addition was added containing 3 apartments. Ms. McManus stated that prior resolutions, adopted in 1999, certified that the uses and structures and, their location, on the property are pre-existing and non-conforming.

Ms. Caldwell disagreed and stated that with her research she found that every structure approved in 1999 or in prior resolutions have had a different amount of apartments at the time of their approvals compared to what they have now. She feels there should be additional variances to cover the current uses.

Ms. McManus said that the applicant is requesting an interpretation affirming the existence of 6 permitted residential uses, as follows:

Buildings that require approval for D variances

  • Building A contains 2 apartments—1 on 1st floor and 1 on 2nd floor (needs D variance to approve the additional apartment, originally approved for 1 apartment)
  • Building F contains 1 apartment, solely (needs D variance for the 1 apartment)
  • Building B contains 3 apartments on 2nd floor, 1st floor contains a snack bar and office areas (needs D variance for the 3 apartments, originally approved for a single family unit)

Buildings that were pre-approved as pre-existing non-conforming Lot 6.0

  • Building C—Lot 6.0 main dwelling constructed in 1760, certified as a pre-existing non-conforming use containing 2 apartments in 1999
  • Building D, (proposed lot 6.01) is a detached single family house constructed in the 1940s
  • Building E (proposed lot 6.01) contains an old barn converted to a single-bay garage and a single apartment prior to 1999 (approved prior)

Ms. Caldwell commented that she thinks the other aspect of the use variance is to either confirm the existence of a number of pre-existing non-conforming campsites or to request the expansion of the number of campsites. She is not clear on how many campsites there are. She suggested that 10 sites be designated for the tent sites.

Ms. McManus stated that the applicant applied for an approval for 32 total campsites, on Lot 17, plus 10 tent sites, which is a reduction in what was approved in a resolution from 1987 (60 campsites) and a reduction from the original request of 46 campsites.

Mr. Tadrick commented that he felt this matter was becoming convoluted since the maps are incorrect and didn’t feel comfortable going further until the maps were revised. Mr. Theobald suggested getting the details straight tonight.

Subdivision

Mr. Wentink described the proposed subdivision of lots. Proposed lot 6.01 (3.06 acres) would have buildings D & E on it. Proposed lot 6.01 would have 2 residential units. Proposed lot 6.02 (8.7 acres) is vacant and to be sold. The remainder lot 17 would be the campsite property (41.558 acres).

Ms. Caldwell confirmed that the campground was approved originally as a seasonal use May 1 - October 30, which would stay the same. The residential uses would be year-round.

Mr. Stoner discussed and confirmed the location of the septics, building permits and approvals for same, and the fact that buildings D & E share a single well and septic system. Building C has its own septic system and well. With regard to lot 6.01, the access to lot 5.0 passes over lot 6.01, which crossover will need to be added to the map. Mr. Stoner added that the new lot 6.02 is a buildable lot with conditions that can be met but will a tough buildable lot that needs a County approval. Mr. Stoner added that he would want 25 feet from the center line of the county road on the applicant’s side of the road for a right-of-way. The applicant agreed to work this out with Mr. Stoner.

Ms. Kovach asked the applicant what his reasons are for the subdivision. Ms. McManus advised that the property was re-zoned to R2 residential. The purpose in doing this subdivision is to separate those pieces of the property that had strictly residential uses from the other uses which is related to the operation of the campground.

Ms. McManus commented that there is no need to seek an interpretation in this application after all. She summarized by saying that the applicant is looking at preliminary subdivision approval and the various use variances and the 2 side-yard setback variances.

Meeting was opened to the public

No one came forward.

Meeting was closed to the public

Ms. Kovach summarized the requests by the applicant. Ms. Caldwell summarized the D variance requests as shown above.

Mr. Spoerl suggested that the maps be revised before voting on the application. Mr. Stoner added that all of the campsites have to be shown with their facilities and Ms. Kovach confirmed those recommendations.

Ms. McManus confirmed the LUB revision requests, as follows:

  • The campsites and tent sites on the campground
  • The dedication of the right-of-way
  • All septic systems and wells and locate what is connected to each campsite

Mr. Theobald asked for a letter from the applicant stating what is requested for each building.

Ms. McManus asked that the hearing be carried to the next LUB meeting on April 11, 2012, at 7 p.m. The LUB members had no objection.

Public Participation

Open meeting to the public for items other than those listed on the agenda.

No one came forward.

Closed Meeting to the Public

Resolutions

LU# 1-12-1: Veronica Haltner, Block 20.03, Lot 19 - Bulk Variance for Side and Rear Yard Deck

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve of the above resolution with the revision that the deck stairs go along the house toward the back yard. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y. Passed.

Minutes

February 8, 2012, Meeting Minutes

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to accept the minutes of the LUB reorganization meeting on February 8, 2012. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA-Y, PALADINI-Y, RAPERTO - Y.

Escrows, Board Fees and Bond Reductions

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Jennifer Kovach, Daggett, Kraemer, Kovach & Gjeslvik
      1. Land Use Board Business: None
      2. Robert Baldwin: LU# 11-10-10 - Services through 1/9/12 ($60.00)
      3. Guthrie Corner: LU# 10-11-16 - Services through 1/9/12 ($105.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 12/30/11 to 2/2/12 ($56.50)
      2. Market Square Manag.: LU# 11-11-17 - Services through 2/2/12 ($56.50)
      3. Toye Real Estate: LU# 11-11-18 - Services through 2/2/12 ($169.50)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 12/30/11 to 2/2/12 ($420.00)
      2. KDC Solar: LU# 5-11-11 - Services through 2/2/12 ($240.00)
      3. KDC Solar: LU # 8-11-15 - Services through 2/2/12 ($390.00)
      4. Mountain Creek: Day Lodge - PB# 2-08-2 - Services through 2/2/12 ($690.00)
      5. Mountain Creek: Water Park Master Plan - PB# 2-91-4 - Services through 2/2/12 ($2,294.51)
      6. Cellco/Verizon Wireless: LU#7-10-5 - Services Through 2/2/12 ($90.00)
      7. NS Enterprises: LU# 1-09-2 - Services through 2/2/12 ($120.00)
      8. Haltner: LU# 1-12-1 - Services through 2/2/12 ($286.00)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Cynthia Davis
      1. Services through 2/14/12 ($60.00)

Motion: Ms. Paladini made a motion to accept the fees, listed above. Ms. Wexler seconded the motion. All were in favor.

  1. Request for Escrows to be Closed
    1. LU# 5-11-12: Darlene Kleeschulte - Block 132.09, Lot 10 - Bulk Variance for Addition ($170.00)

      Motion: Mr. Spoerl made a motion to approve of the above escrow to be closed. Ms. Cocula seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Pending Land Use Board Business—Status of Pending Applications

Ms. Decker listed the pending applications, as follows:

  • Market Square Management—bulk variance for parking is on for 3/28
  • Daniel O’Keefe—porch roof over existing slab is on for 3/28
  • Both of T-Mobile applications for existing antennas on for 4/11

Land Use Board Discussion Items

Mr. Theobald said that Mayor Marotta asked, before he left tonight, that the LUB attorney look into whether an approval tonight could last for 20 years (see testimony, above, for Crystal Spring Builders.)

Land Use Board Application Procedures & Fees

Mr. Stoner said that there are 2 packages that are handed out to applicants—a planning board package which is 41 pages and a zoning board package which is 27 pages. He proposed that a universal application and one checklist be put together for applicants.

Mr. Stoner reported that the fee schedules seem to be a little out of whack compared to other towns. Mr. Theobald thought that the fees may not fit the scope of some projects and said that the fees need to be adjusted more toward the actual cost vs. the acreage.

Ms. Paladini stated that she would like to add to the application checklists a question as to whether the site is state or nationally registered as historic.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve that the Engineer prepare a revised application package consolidating the planning and zoning board packages and permission for the LUB attorney to research the question regarding approval expiration. Mr. Tadrick seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Adjournment

Motion: Ms. Paladini made a motion and Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:03 p.m. All were in favor.

These minutes were transcribed by Cynthia Davis on April 4, 2012 and approved on April 11, 2012.