TOWNSHIP OF FRANKLIN PLANNING BOARD COUNTY OF SOMERSET, NEW JERSEY REGULAR MEETING June 15, 2005 The regular meeting of the Township of Franklin Planning Board was held at 475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, New Jersey and was called to order at 7:40 p.m. by Chairman Chase. The Sunshine Law was read and the Pledge of Allegiance said. The roll was called as follows: _____________________________________________________________________________ PRESENT: Frank Hasner, Robert Mettler (arrived at 7:44), Michael Orsini, Rozalyn Sherman, Councilwoman Ellen Ritchie, Kenneth Langdon and Chairman Chase Joseph Danielsen, Alex Mansaray, Terry Wesley and Marvin Coble
ABSENT: ALSO PRESENT:
Angelo Cifelli, Board Attorney; Mark Healey, Professional Planner; Olga Burke, Administrative Officer and Diane Milgram, Recording Secretary _____________________________________________________________________________
MINUTES • Work Session Meeting – May 25, 2005
Dr. Orsini made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Councilwoman Ritchie seconded the motion. The roll was called as follows: FOR: Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman, Mr. Langdon and Chairman Chase None
Regular Meeting – June 1, 2005
Mr. Langdon made a motion to approve the minutes as submitted. Dr. Orsini seconded the motion. The roll was called as follows: FOR: Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman and Mr. Langdon None
DISCUSSION Payment of Voucher – • Piro, Zinna, Cifelli, Paris & Genitempo – Planning Board Attorney For services rendered from May 1 to May 30, 2005 Councilwoman Ritchie made a motion to approve the voucher as submitted. Mr. Langdon seconded the motion. The roll was called as follows:
Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman, Mr. Langdon and Chairman Chase None
RESOLUTION Docket #PLN 2004-0068 / Bor-John, LLC – Minor Subdivision Mr. Langdon made a motion to accept the resolution as submitted. Councilwoman Ritchie seconded the motion. The roll was called as follows: FOR: Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman and Mr. Langdon None
HEARINGS • DOCKET #PLN 2004-0063 / Peter Fiorentino
Michelle Tullio, Esq., 428 Elizabeth Ave., appeared on behalf of the applicant. David M. Roskos, Esq., appeared on behalf of Pristine Properties, the owner of 1503 Route 27, Somerset, whose property lies within 200 feet of the applicant’s property. Mr. Roskos has an objection to the jurisdiction of the Planning Board. Mr. Roskos’ intention was to appeal the determination of the Zoning Officer that this is a permitted use. Ms. Tullio was aware of this action. Mr. Cifelli advised the Board that this matter should be adjourned until the objector could be heard before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to verify that the use is permitted. Dr. Orsini made a motion to adjourn this matter until August 3, 2005. Mr. Langdon seconded the motion. There would be no new notice required. FOR: Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman, Mr. Langdon and Chairman Chase None
DOCKET #PLN 2005-0019 / Churchill Estates, LLC
Peter Lanfrit, Esq., 428 Elizabeth Ave., appeared on behalf of the applicant. The applicant is seeking approval for a Preliminary and Final Major Subdivision to create 22 single family residential lots located on Annapolis Avenue, Churchill Avenue and Delmonico Avenue, Block 100 Lots 19-22 and Block 101 Lots 56-69, 74, 75, 77-84 in the R-10 Residential Zone. The following items were marked into evidence: Exhibit A-1 is an aerial photograph of the existing condition of the property. Exhibit A-2 is a drawing of the subject property, prepared by Van Cleef Engineering. Exhibit A-3 is a color rendering of the proposed subdivision plan. Exhibit A-4 is a reconfigured plan prepared by Mr. Ford for Lot 7.
Exhibit A-5 is a single photograph of the adjoining property taken on June 15, 2005, which shows the driveway encroachment. Exhibit A-6 is the proposed floor plan and a photograph of a model home. Mr. Lanfrit explained that there is a preexisting, nonconforming paper recycling and transfer station on the property. The property was also used as a maintenance site for vehicles in conjunction with the recycling company. Mr. Lanfrit explained that his client is proposing 13 variances for rear yard setback based on the proposed rear decks. The approximate sizes of the decks are 16 by 16 square feet. Mr. Lanfrit stated that he could withdraw this request if the Board would want the Board of Adjustment to hear this matter on a case-by-case base. Mr. Lanfrit explained that two through lots are proposed, Lots 18 and 19, which is prohibited. The lots have sufficient frontage on the proposed street but lack frontage on the rear of the property, Delmonico Avenue. The houses face the new proposed roadway. Mr. Lanfrit agreed to impose a deed restriction on these lots so that there is no access to Delmonico Avenue. Mr. Lanfrit explained that for Lot 15, frontage is 98.99 feet and a minimum of 100 feet is required. The frontage for all the lots facing Churchill Avenue is 698.99 feet. The house on Lot 10 requires a rear yard setback. The applicant is proposing 38.45 feet and a minimum of 40 feet is required. Mr. Lanfrit explained that Lot 22 is an undersized lot and requires variances for lot area, lot frontage, front yard setback, and side yard setback. Lot 3 requires a frontage variance. As for Lot 7, the house has been reconfigured and no longer requires any variances. Lot 4 requires a lot frontage variance, 99.16 feet is proposed and 100 feet is required. Mr. Lanfrit explained that Lot 21 has frontage on a partial street. It is required to have 100 feet paved frontage and the applicant is proposing 65 feet. The property fronts on Delmonico Avenue. The applicant proposes to extend and improve Delmonico Avenue beyond the frontage of the property. The extension would allow sufficient room for a driveway and backing out. Mr. Lanfrit would extend the road if required but that the extension of pavement would be unnecessary. Chairman Chase asked about the cul-de-sac as recommended in the staff reports for this road. Mr. Lanfrit stated that they could widen or flare the road out if the Board recommends this action. Several Board members agreed not to extend the road beyond what the applicant proposes. A traffic report was submitted and it was determined that this project would result in less traffic then what was previously generated by the paper recycling business. Michael Ford, Engineer, Van Cleef Engineering Associates, was sworn and the Board accepted his qualifications. Mr. Ford explained that Lot 7 was reconfigured to meeting the Township requirements except for the needed deck variance. The building envelope for Lot 7 is different from the others lots in the project but is suitable for a house, which would be compatible to the area. Mr. Ford explained that the applicant went to the fire department to solicit their input prior to designing the cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sac was redesigned, increasing the right of way to 60 feet with a 50-foot curb return. The Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) for a cul-de-sac requires a 48 foot right-of-way and a 40 foot curb return. This design change affected Lot 7, which decreased the lot size and the building envelope. The applicant requires the Board’s authorization to deviate from the RSIS because the cul-de-sac does not comply. Mr. Lanfrit reviewed Mr. Hauss’s report, dated June 6, 2005. Item 1 – the applicant will comply with changing the street name to something other than Alexander Drive.
Item 2 – the applicant agrees to increase the water main size. Item 3 – the RSIS does not require a loop water system as requested in Mr. Hauss’s report. However, the applicant would agree to this request. The applicant requires a waiver for deviating from the RSIS standards to allow for this system. Item 4 – the applicant agrees to provide two additional fire hydrants and requires a waiver for deviating from the RSIS standards. Item 5 – the applicant will put the fire hydrant detail on the plan. Item 6 – the applicant requested that they not be required to provide an emergency access easement for a second access point to the homes on the proposed Alexander Drive. Mr. Ford explained that the cul-de-sac provides adequate access and access through a residential lot would be a nuisance and not warranted. Several members of the Board stated their agreement that the easement is not required. Mr. Lanfrit continued with the required variances. Lot 3 requires a frontage variance. The minimum requirement is 100 feet and the applicant is proposing 61.23 feet. Mr. Ford explained that the Township ordinance allows for a reduction on lot frontage on a cul-de-sac street. This is typical just at the curve at the end of the cul-de-sac. Lot 3 frontage is similar since it sits on a curve, the frontage is narrower and the two side property lines flare out. All other requirements, i.e. lot area and setbacks, are within the minimum requirements. Mr. Ford stated that the lot frontage does not preclude or restrict the suitability of this lot for a single-family dwelling. The proposed deck on this lot does not require a variance. The separations between dwellings are sufficient to comply with the side yard setbacks. Mr. Ford stated that all the lots meet the Township’s side yards setback requirements. No side yards setback variances are required. For Lot 22, the applicant requires a front yard setback variance because they are proposing 11 feet and the minimum requirement is 25 feet. The lot complies with the side yard setback. The applicant is seeking additional variances for lot area and lot frontage. If the variances are not granted for this lot, it would lay as a vacant lot and a potential nuisance. The lot is not a contiguous with any other properties associated with this subdivision so it could not be annexed to any other proposed lots. Exhibit A-6 is the model home that is proposed for Lot 22. Mr. Ford stated that there is nothing that could be done to eliminate any of the variances without sacrificing the property itself. Chairman Chase asked if the applicant has met with the owners of Lot 76 to make an offer to buy or sell any land. Mr. Lanfrit stated that his client has spoken to Mr. Brown but his client has no obligation to purchase the property since there is a dwelling on the property. Mr. Lanfrit’s client indicated that Mr. Brown is not in a position to acquire Lot 22. There was a discussion regarding swapping of land to make the lot more conforming. Mr. Lanfrit will explore this recommendation and will amend the plans if required. Mr. Lanfrit reviewed the staff reports with Mr. Ford. As for Mr. Healey’s report, the following comments were discussed: Item 3 – Delmonico Avenue – Partially Unimproved, Mr. Ford described the area as it currently exists. He stated that his client is seeking a technical variance not to extend the road any further. The road ends at approximately half of the frontage and adequately services that lot. The variance that the applicant is seeking could be eliminated if the Board recommends further paving of the street. Mr. Ford stated that it would be unnecessary to pave the street further as it would not serve as an access to the lot. He cited the long-term maintenance and the upkeep of the road while increasing the impervious coverage for the area. There was a brief discussion regarding whether a cul-de-sac or a hammerhead end should be required. Several members of the Board stated their agreement with the applicant. It was suggested that the applicant clean up the area.
Mr. Ford stated that they would comply with Items 4 and 5. The applicant agreed to replace the Norway Maples as requested. The applicant agreed to put on their landscaping plans their agreement for the materials for two years. The applicant agreed to calculate the amount of recharge gained over the project site utilizing the NJDEP’s spreadsheet for Groundwater Recharge. Water Utility Report – Mr. Ford stated that they agree to comply with all requests listed in the report. Public Works Report – Mr. Lanfrit stated that the applicant agrees that all driveways that meet public roads would be paved and would have depressed curbs. Drainage would be installed with heads and grates as per the new storm water regulations. As for the curbs and sidewalks, Mr. Lanfrit stated that they would come back to this issue. Environmental Commission – Mr. Ford responded to the report explaining that the light poles’ height is in accordance with the Township Ordinance. The light wattage would remain at 100 watts. Sewerage Report – This project, as stated by Mr. Lanfrit, is under review by the Authority’s Consulting Engineer and any approval by the Planning Board would be subject to their approval. Traffic Safety Bureau – Items 1 and 2 were discussed regarding changing the name of Alexander Drive and the request for a cul-de-sac at the end of Delmonico Avenue. Item 3 references curbing and sidewalks and will be addressed later. Township Engineering Report – Mr. Ford stated that he has reviewed the report in its entirety. Mr. Ford stated that other than the Items under the heading “Layout” they agree to comply with the report. Layout – Item 1: Mr. Ford explained that the applicant is requesting a waiver from the RSIS to install sidewalks on both sides of all Neighborhood Streets. The proposed Alexander Drive is 30 feet wide with curbs on both sides. Mr. Ford explained that the curbing will help with drainage and the width will provide on-street parking. The normal width for a cul-de-sac street is approximately 20 feet with a graded area beyond the street. Mr. Ford stated that sidewalks are not necessary coupled with the wider pavement. There is no curbing or sidewalks proposed along Churchill or Delmonico Avenue. Layout – Item 2 suggested that the Board consider having the applicant widen the surrounding roadways as part of the off-site contributions as noted in the Township Ordinance. Mr. Ford stated that Churchill Avenue is already fully developed. As for resurfacing the roadway, the applicant agreed to resurface both sides of the roadway along the frontage of his property to the preexisting condition of 2003. Layout – Item 3 regarding Lot 76 utilizing Lot 77 as a driveway, Mr. Lanfrit stated that they will contact Mr. and Mrs. Brown and discuss this matter with him. Stormwater Impact Report – Item 1 was discussed regarding Groundwater Recharge. Stormwater Impact Report – Item 2 - Mr. Ford addressed the non-structural measures and the removal rate for total suspended solids. He stated that by the nature of the residential project there would be a reduction in the total suspended solids for the area. There will be swells along the property lines but requested that the applicant not be required to create easements around the swelling. Mr. Langdon made a motion to open the meeting to the public for their questions. Mr. Mettler seconded the motion. All members were in favor. Ms. Sanders, 124 Codington Avenue, was sworn in. Ms. Sanders agreed that sidewalks would not be in character with the neighborhood. Ms. Sanders discussed the neighborhood in general, the width of
streets, not paving Delmonico Avenue or requiring a cul-de-sac on this street. She stated that she does not support the proposed 22 home project, as they would look squeezed in. Ms. Nagy, 128 Churchill Avenue, was sworn in. Ms. Nagy stated that she has been a resident of the neighborhood for 50 years and does not agree with this project. Ms. Nagy inquired about a Texas Gas Line along Churchill Avenue. Mr. Lanfrit responded that there is no pipeline or easements though this property. Mr. Lanfrit stated that the only utilities that exist are the sanitary sewage water lines and gas lines to provide service the houses on Churchill Avenue. Ms. Nagy stated her concerns regarding the traffic in the area and access for emergency vehicles. Ms. Nagy asked who would be responsible for cleaning up the area. Mr. Lanfrit responded that, if the application is approved, then the applicant would proceed with removing all the structures and cleaning up the property. An Environmental audit was completed and there were no issues regarding contamination. Ms. Nagy asked about a House of Worship along Churchill Avenue and Mr. Hasner explained that it is not an approved use. Mr. Langdon made a motion to close the public portion of the meeting. Councilwoman Ritchie seconded the motion. All members were in favor. Mr. Lanfrit explained to the public and to the Board that the proposed application is replacing an undesirable business in this neighborhood. The project would be a substantial improvement to the area. The houses, except for one, meet or exceed lot area for the zone and therefore the applicant is not squeezing or cramming houses onto the lots. Mr. Lanfrit stated that the applicant is trying to preserve the character of the neighborhood. The Board had several comments and questions. Mr. Langdon agreed with Mr. Lanfrit that the houses are replacing an eyesore. Ms. Sherman asked about what the Board could do in regards to the traffic in the area. Mr. Lanfrit responded that a Traffic Study report was submitted as part of the application. The report clearly indicated that the level of service would not be affected in this area and that there is a substantial reduction compared to the previous condition. There was a discussion regarding the local traffic conditions on Churchill Avenue and it was suggested that the Township Manager be contacted about this matter. Mr. Hasner stated that this area is zoned industrial and he would prefer to have this project approved rather then to have another similar use such as the recycling center at this location. Mr. Mettler agreed that the proposed project would be an improvement to the area. Dr. Orsini stated that he would like to see the applicant and Mr. and Mrs. Brown work out a solution regarding Lot 22 and agrees with the project. Councilwoman Ritchie questioned the procedure if Lot 22 was reconfigured. Mr. Lanfrit stated that he would amend the application for Lot 22. Mr. Hasner made a motion to approve the application with the conditions as discussed. Ms. Sherman seconded the motion. The roll was called as follows: FOR: Mr. Hasner, Mr. Mettler, Dr. Orsini, Councilwoman Ritchie, Ms. Sherman, Mr. Langdon and Chairman Chase None
WORK SESSION / NEW BUSINESS Chairman Chase reminded the Board members that there is a work session scheduled for June 22, 2005.
MEETING ADJOURNED A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m. All members were in favor.
Respectfully submitted, _____________________________ Diane Milgram, Recording Secretary June 21, 2005