Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Planning Board Meeting Minutes 01/17/11

Minutes of the Reorganization Meeting of the Morris Plains Planning Board held on January 17, 2011 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers, 531 Speedwell Avenue. The following members were present:

Present: Mr. Andre Jensen

Mrs. Sydney Leach, Vice Chair

Mr. Ralph Lopez, Chair

Mr. Leo Nichols

Mr. Vincent Novak

Mr. Hank Sawoski

Mr. Donald Underhill

Mr. Roman Zabihach

Mayor Frank Druetzler

Leon Hall, Borough Engineer

William Denzler, Borough Planner

Christopher Falcon, Board Attorney



The meeting was called to order by Mayor Druetzler. Mayor Druetzler made the statement that adequate notice of this meeting has been published and posted in accordance with Chapter 231 of the Public Law of 1975, "Open Public Meetings Act."

Mayor Druetzler stated the first order of business is the reorganization of the Board for 2011. The following members were re-appointed to the Planning Board. Mr. Vincent Novak and Mr. Henry Sawoski were re-appointed as Class IV members, Mr. Donald Underhill was appointed as a Class II member and Mr. Roman Zabihach was re-appointed as a Class III member, representative from the Governing Body.



Mayor Druetzler stated the next order of business is the nomination of Board Officers to serve to 2011.




Mr. Underhill nominated Mr. Ralph Lopez for Chairman of the Planning Board for the year 2011, seconded by Mrs. Leach.


Mayor Druetzler asked if there were any additional nominations. There being no further nominations, Mayor Druetzler declared the nominations closed and asked for a roll call on the nomination of Mr. Lopez as Chairman.

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak, Mr. Sawoski,

Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

Abstain: Mr. Lopez

Nays: None

Motion carried.




Mr. Nichols nominated Mrs. Sydney Leach for Vice Chair of the Planning Board for the year 2011, seconded by Mr. Lopez.


Mayor Druetzler asked if there were any additional nominations. There being no further nominations, Mayor Druetzler declared the nominations closed and asked for a roll call on the nomination of Sydney Leach as Vice Chair.

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak, Mr. Sawoski,

Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

Abstain: Mrs. Leach

Nays: None

Motion carried.


Mayor Druetzler congratulated Mr. Lopez and Mrs. Leach on their re-election to their positions of Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Planning Board. He also thanked all Board members for their time and service.


Mr. Lopez thanked the Board for their confidence in his chairmanship, stating he looks forward to a very productive year.


Mr. Lopez stated the next order of business is to adopt the Resolution to approve meeting dates for 2011, Planning Board Resolution #11-01 - "Notice of Meeting Dates". Mr. Lopez read the following Resolution:



BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Morris Plains, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey as follows:

WHEREAS, Chapter 231 of the Public Laws of the State of New Jersey for 1975, known as and hereinafter designated as the "Open Public Meetings Act", requires notification of meetings of public bodies, as therein defined, in the manner therein set forth.

NOW THEREFORE, for purposes of compliance with the "Open Public Meetings Act" aforesaid, the Planning Board of the Borough of Morris Plains hereby makes the following designations:

  1. The Morris News Bee and the Morris County Daily Record are hereby designated as the two newspapers to receive notice of meetings as required by any and all sections of the "Open Public Meetings Act", it appearing that those newspapers are most likely to inform the local public of such meetings.


    1. The location for the posting of the notice of meetings shall be the bulletin board of the Borough Hall.


    1. The sum of $5.00 is hereby fixed as the amount to be paid by any persons requesting individual notice of meetings as provided in Section 14 of the "Open Public Meetings Act".



      1. The regular meetings of the Planning Board for the year 2011 shall be:

      February 14th, March 21st, April 18th, May 16th, June 20th, July 18th,

      August 15th, September 19th, October 17th, November 21st, December 12th, and January 16th, 2012 at 7:30 PM.


      1. All meetings of the Planning Board shall be open to the public.


      * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Mr. Zabihach moved that Planning Board Resolution 11-01 be approved as read, seconded by Mrs. Leach.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.


      Mr. Lopez stated the next order of business is to adopt of a Resolution for Professional Services for the year 2011, Planning Board Resolution #11-02 "Professional Services". Mr. Lopez read the following Resolution:








      WHEREAS, the Planning Board of the Borough of Morris Plains desires to retain the services of a planning consultant, an engineer and an attorney to perform professional services as required for the year 2011; and


      WHEREAS, the foregoing services are "professional" services as in N.J.S.A. 40A:11-2(6) which are permitted to be contracted without public bidding as set forth in N.J.S.A 40A:11-5(1) (a) and as a "non-fair and open" contract pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5; and


      WHEREAS, the Board has determined that the value of each of the professional services will exceed $17,500; and,


      WHEREAS, each of the professional consultants named below have completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that each firm has not made any reportable contributions to a political or candidate committee represented by a Board member in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit the below listed firms from making any reportable contribution through the term of the contract; and


      WHEREAS, the Board has determined after due consideration that the following named individuals shall be appointed to fill the positions hereinafter designated:


      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Morris Plains as follows:


        1. The Board retains the services of the following to be compensated pursuant to the sums appropriated for the purpose in the duly adopted municipal budget for the year 2011;

        1. Planning Consultant – William C. Denzler of William Denzler and Associates.

        3. Engineer – Leon C. Hall of Anderson and Denzler Associates, Inc.

        5. Board Attorney – Christopher H. Falcon, Esq. of Maraziti, Falcon & Healey.

      2. The Business Disclosure Entity Certification and the Determination of Value be placed on file with this resolution, and,

      3. The Board Secretary shall cause a copy of this Resolution to be published in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5 (1) (a) (i).

      1. This Resolution shall take effect as provided by law.


      * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Mr. Nichols moved that Planning Board Resolution 11-02 be approved as read, seconded by Mr. Zabihach.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.


      Mr. Lopez stated the next order of business is to adopt of a Resolution for Minor Site Plan Committee for the year 2011 Planning Board Resolution #11-03 "Minor Site Plan Committee". Mr. Lopez read the following Resolution:





      BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of

      Morris Plains in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey on

      this 17th day of January, 2011:

        1. The following individuals are hereby appointed to the Minor Site Plan Committee from the date hereof until December 31, 2011:
          1. Vince Novak, Chairman
          2. Hank Sawoski
          3. Don Underhill
        2. This Resolution shall take effect as provided by law.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Mr. Nichols moved that Planning Board Resolution 11-03 be adopted as read, seconded by Mrs. Leach.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.


      Mr. Lopez stated the next order of business is to adopt of a Resolution for Master Plan Review for the year 2011, Master Plan Review Resolution #11-04 "Master Plan Review". Mr. Lopez read the following Resolution:





      BE IT RESOLVED by the Planning Board of the Borough of Morris Plains in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey on this 17th day of January, 2011:

        1. The following individuals are hereby appointed to the

      Master Plan Review Committee from the date hereof

      until December 31, 2011:

          1. Roman Zabihach, Chairman
          2. Andre Jensen
          3. Sidney Leach
          4. Leo Nichols

      2. This Resolution shall take effect as provided by law.

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Mr. Nichols moved that Planning Board Resolution 11-04 be adopted as read, seconded Mr. Sawoski.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.



      Mr. Ralph Lopez opened the meeting to the public to speak on matters other than those on the agenda. No comments were forthcoming, and this portion of the meeting was closed to the public.



      Mr. Nichols moved that the minutes of the September 20, 2010 Regular Meeting be approved, seconded by Mrs. Leach.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach

      Absent: Mr. Sawoski, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.



      Mr. Nichols read the bills Purchase Orders presented for payment:

      Anderson Denzler & Associates PO#85805 $ 71.00

      For Professional Services rendered to the Planning Board, December 2010


      William Denzler & Associates
      PO#85804 $230.00

      For Professional Services rendered to the Planning Board, December 2010


      Maraziti, Falcon & Healey PO#85807 $875.00

      For Professional Legal Services Rendered to the Pl. Bd., December 2010


      Mr. Nichols moved that the Purchase Orders as read be approved, seconded by Mr. Underhill.

      Roll Call

      Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

      Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

      Nays: None

      Motion carried.


      PB-6-10 – ACP Morris Plains, LLC – 177-199 Littleton Road

      Block: 171/Lots: 39, 40, 41, and 42


Mr. John Wyciskala of the law firm of Inglesino, Pearlman, Wyciskala & Taylor introduced himself as the attorney for the applicant. He commented that the first order of business is to address the issue of completeness of this application.


Mr. Hall referred to their January 7, 2011 memorandum and reviewed their checklist items list commenting as necessary on the items. He stated that outstanding items have been applied for although not yet in hand. He also believed that additional information would be forthcoming through testimony and that there would be certain conditions. He recommended that this application be deemed complete.


Mr. Denzler referred to their January 12, 2011 memorandum stating that they, too, recommend the application be deemed complete. They noted the same two submission items that require submission waiver relief by the Board: the NJDEP LOI and the soil.


Mayor Druetzler moved that the application be deemed complete and the waivers be granted as per the recommendations of the Professionals, seconded by Mr. Zabihach.

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

Nays: None

Motion carried.


Mr. Wyciskala thanked the Board for its deeming the application complete. He briefly reviewed the approval history of this property referring back to the initial application and approval of same for age-restricted housing in 2006. The applicant is seeking preliminary and final site plan approval with one variance for approval of a 70-unit interlocking town home development on this site. He reviewed several ordinance requirements that will pertain to the development. He advised as to the witnesses who will present testimony.


The Borough Professionals and the applicant’s witnesses were sworn in.


Mr. Stanley T. Omland, Omland Engineering, Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, was called to testify. He provided the Board with his professional work background and educational credentials.


Mr. Omland was accepted as an expert witness.


Mr. Omland stated that he prepared the plans that are before the Board this evening. He reviewed two exhibits related to the site plan. He marked the exhibits as A-1 and A-2 with the date. Exhibit A-1 is entitled "Existing Conditions Aerial for Coventry Park at Morris Plains." Exhibit A-2 is entitled "Rendering of Coventry Park at Morris Plains." They have worked with the project team to evaluate the land for development in consideration of the Borough’s ordinances, the Residential Site Improvements Standards (RSIS), State regulations governing residential development in New Jersey, the County of Morris standards, industry standards, general engineering judgment, and the physical characteristics of the land. Using Exhibit A-1 Mr. Omland reviewed additional details of the plan. It is an almost 5-acre tract of land that will be developed. He described what had been there previously and also what currently exists in the surrounding area, including some wetlands and streams. The applicant has submitted information to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to obtain a Letter of Interpretation (LOI). An LOI was granted for the application that was previously approved for this tract; however, it has now expired. All the previously existing structures that were on this tract have been demolished. The topography of the tract is "very gentle." He provided specific topographic details of the site. Approval will be need by this Board, the Morris County Planning Board, the Morris County Soil Conservation District, and several approvals from the NJDEP. Morris Township, the treatment plant provider, has endorsed this development. Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority is the water purveyor and has signed an application for the project.


Mr. Omland next reviewed the information shown by Exhibit A-2. It is color rendered to show the differentiation between parking lots, buildings, and landscaping. The applicant believes it complies with most of the bulk standards, including building height, setbacks, density, impervious coverage, unit size, buildings and building setbacks, signs, sign sizes, sign locations and setbacks, parking numbers and setback, landscape buffers and other zoning criteria. The applicant seeks relief for a variance for a retaining wall, a waiver for lighting intensity in two locations, a possible waiver related to the driveway, and de minimus exceptions from the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) for two items: (1) sidewalk on one side of the street and (2) a matter related to the water system. He stated the areas where there is not compliance with the Borough’s ordinances and issues contained in the Professionals’ reports will also be discussed.


Continuing, Mr. Omland discussed additional aspects of what is shown on Exhibit A-2, including a slight widening of Littleton Road; there will be a left-hand turn lane into the development from southbound Littleton Road; the access will be mid-block of the tract; it will be a boulevard entrance; there will be six buildings in a brown earth tone; size will range from a maximum of 18 units to a minimum of six units with a total of 70 units; and there will be 35 two-bedroom units and 35 three-bedroom units. Parking requirements are designated by RSIS. Two-bedroom units need 2.3 parking spaces; three-bedroom units need 2.4 parking spaces. The total number of parking spaces required for this project is 165; the applicant will be providing a total of 175 parking spaces, 10 spaces in excess of what it required as a minimum by RSIS. Each unit has its own one-car garage and one driveway parking space. The RSIS specifically states that this means each unit has two parking spaces. There will also be 35 surface parking spaces for overflow parking and for visitors. He commented on the RSIS requirements for the size of the parking spaces, how big the drive aisles and roadways should be, and details about the four proposed roadways within the development.


Mr. Omland next discussed information pertaining to signage, which he stated would be attractive. He further stated that he does not believe there will be many children residing at this development, but there is small area that would serve as a recreational facility. There will be curbside pick-up of solid waste. There is no circular circulation; there is no driving in and driving out without having to back up. This relates to access for emergency vehicles, particularly fire trucks. He believes that with adequate supervision there will be no problems with the backing up of a truck. While overall the topography is "gentle", there are some unusual features. He commented these features in light of discussing grading and soil disturbance issues. No contractor has yet been selected. He estimated the applicant will be bringing in approximately 5,100 cubic yards of soil, requiring about 250 to 300 trucks over the duration of the early construction phase. The applicant is seeking variance relief for portions of the proposed retaining wall that by ordinance cannot be more than 6’ high. He explained the reason why this retaining wall is needed. Portions of the retaining wall will be visible to only certain residents of the proposed development. The total length of the retaining wall will be 600’; two sections of the wall need to exceed 6’ in height to a maximum height of 10.5’.


There will be new utilities for the entire property, and all will be installed underground. There will be two hydrants on the property. There will be no sanitation sewer nor water system maintenance obligations for the Borough since these systems will be owned by the homeowners’ association. He next discussed stormwater management which he stated can be a most difficult issue to do and comply with these days. For this development it was done under the last project proposed for the site and only minor modifications are now required. He reviewed some of the provisions of the Clean Water Act, their impact on stormwater management, and details of the three most critical components of the Act, water quality, recharge, and detention, and how the applicant proposes to comply with all measures.


Mr. Omland, continued, discussing the proposed landscaping details. There are four or five free-form berms shown on the plan for the front of the property. They are a natural feature that can have plants, shrubs and trees placed on top of them, and they also provide a visual berm/barrier to the project. There will be 76 6’ to 8’ high Evergreen trees planted, 32 shade trees that will be 2.5" to 3" caliper, and 29 ornamental trees, for a total of 137 trees. There will also be 522 Evergreen and deciduous shrubs spread throughout the project. There will also be 165 different ornamental grasses and perennials for ground cover.


There are 12 15’ high light fixtures proposed throughout the project. They will be 150 watt metal halite lights, residential ornamental in appearance and shown on the details. The lighting will be residential in character. House side shields are contemplated to minimize what glare may occur. He reviewed a Borough ordinance relating to lighting, commenting on lighting issues in general and specifics in connection with this project. He discussed the consideration of LED lighting, but it was ruled out for a variety of reasons. He commented on a few traffic issues, but stated he was not a traffic expert.


Mayor Druetzler asked about a walking path, roadways and widening issues.


Mr. Omland replied that he will review the details of their plans. He also referred to data shown on Sheet 8.


Cross discussion about the Sheet 8 data.


Mr. Wyciskala suggested calling the applicant’s project architect at this time.


Mr. David Minno, a licensed architect and a licensed planner in the State of New Jersey, introduced himself to the Board and Professionals. He is a principal in the firm of Minno & Wasko, Lambertville, New Jersey. He provided information about his professional and educational background.


Mr. Minno was accepted as an expert witness.


Mr. Minno confirmed that his firm created the architectural plans for this project. He stated he has five exhibits.


Mr. Wyciskala marked Mr. Minno’s exhibits as Exhibit A-3 through Exhibit A-7.


Mr. Minno provided commentary in connection with Sheet A-1, entitled "Unit Plan" and contains today’s date. He pointed out the location of the garage and reviewed the layout of a typical two-bedroom unit (Unit A). He also reviewed a typical three-bedroom unit (Unit B). He stated they are of an interlocking design. The two-bedroom unit, not including the garage, is 1,437 SF and the three-bedroom unit, again, not including the garage, is 1,809 SF. He next reviewed Exhibit A-4 showing three elevations, front, rear, and side. He also provided information pertaining to the attic portion. He commented on shutters, windows, and garages. He marked Exhibit A-5 that shows a corner view. He believes the buildings are attractive and that there is the feel of a townhouse even though there is the interlocking aspect. There will be heavy-duty vinyl siding and an applied stone material for the building sides. He provided specific information regarding the materials that are proposed for the building sides.


He next reviewed Exhibits A-6 and Exhibits A-7. One exhibit pertains to HVAC issues which he provided commentary on. The pad itself is 3 x 3, the actual condensing unit is a bit smaller.


Mr. Hall raised some concern about the pad and condensing unit and the space being allowed at least in the area of Buildings 5 and 6. He stated there is just 4’ of grass between the buildings and the sidewalk. He advised that at least a 5’ minimum would be needed.


Mr. Minno reviewed Exhibit A-7 which addresses the residential building lighting. He provided specific information about the color circles shown on the exhibit and the lighting proposed for different areas of the buildings and garages. Certain lighting will be light sensor controlled and go on and off automatically at certain hours.


Mr. Hall requested that Mr. Minno describe the wall-mounted lighting to the rear, the side entry and over the garages.


Mr. Minno replied they are small carriage lamps with wattage of 50 to 75. He would not anticipate they would cause any problem to nearby neighbors.


Mr. Hall asked about a spot elevation on the grading plan that is 1’ lower than the first floor elevation.


Mr. Minno responded that this is because the garage has a slope to it. He also provided sound information that may or may not be different because of the interlocking nature of the units. He advised that there should be no sound/noise issues related to the interlocking design.


Mrs. Leach asked about noise related to a laundry being on the third floor and what is underneath it. [This relates to Unit B as defined previously.]


Mr. Minno advised that it is over a closet in the resident’s own unit and not over living areas. He also commented on issues relating to solar panels and light bulbs that would be used.


Mr. Hall asked about the three-dimensional color elevation shown asking if the color scheme shown is what is actually proposed for the development or is it just for informational purposes.


Mr. Minno replied the color scheme shown is for informational purposes.


Mr. Denzler asked about any changes for the site plan calculations.


Mr. Minno stated he did not know the answer to the question, but believed that looking at the entire site any changes would be de minimus.


With the exception of the question just asked by Mr. Denzler, Messrs. Hall and Denzler both stated their questions pertaining to architecture have been answered.


Mr. Lopez opened this portion of the meeting to the public for questions pertaining to the testimony presented. Hearing no questions, he closed this portion of the meeting to the public.


Mr. Lopez then opened this portion of the meeting to questions from Board members. He also advised that the Fire Department will be submitting a report once their review is complete.


Mr. Minno provided information relating to the proposed heating system.


Mr. Lopez opened this portion of the meeting to comments from the public on the testimony presented thus far. Hearing no comments, he closed this

portion of the meeting to the public. He also called a 10-minute break.


Mr. Wyciskala asked Mr. Omland to review the reports of the Borough Professionals.


Mr. Lopez stated he would like Mr. Hall to review his report prior to Mr. Omland provided any answers or commentary.


Mr. Hall reviewed his January 7, 2011 report. He stated the applicant requested a waiver from the RSIS requirement for sidewalks on both sides. He commented on Highgate Drive, the main access drive coming into the site, stating he believes sidewalks should be on both sides of this road; he does not have an issue with the a waiver for the balance of the roads.


The consensus of the Board was also for sidewalks on both sides of Highgate Drive as recommended by Mr. Hall.


Mr. Hall continued the review of his report, covering water mains being installed in loops and numbers of units installed that can be installed on a dead-end water main; that the applicant gave him a copy of a letter dated January 14, 2011 from the Southeast Morris County MUA to Mr. Eric Keller of Omland Engineering;


Mr. Wyciskala requested that this letter be marked Exhibit A-8.


Mr. Hall read this letter into the record:


"In response to your inquiry regarding layout and ownership

of water mains within multi-family developments, it has

been the Authority’s longstanding policy that we do not

assume ownership of water mains that are not within public

rights of way. Those water mains placed within private

streets or easements of multi-family developments will not

be the responsibility of the Authority. Further, it is our

requirement that a water meter pit (with a single service

point) be provided, accessible to a public street, for all

multi-unit developments on privately owned land.


We trust that this information clarifies your request as

generated by the review comments raised by Leon Hall,

Morris Plains Borough Engineer. Should you have any

further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office."


Mr. Hall advised that what the water company is requiring is actually contrary to RSIS, and he sees this as somewhat of a justification for the applicant to be granted the waiver.


Cross discussion about water pressure issues, water meters, and number of gallons of water.


Mayor Druetzler asked about the ownership plan and what the residents will be paying for, will there be any reimbursements between the Borough and residents, etc.


Mr. Wyciskala responded that it is much like the prior application in that a homeowners association will have to be established as well as HOA documents.


Mr. Omland commented on the issue of double taxing and the Kelly Bill from 10 years ago, specifically mentioning lighting, garbage removal, and plowing. They are private roads and the cost of plowing is either reimbursed to the homeowners association or is done by the municipality, the cost of lighting is reimbursed by the municipality, and garbage removal/recycling can be done at the site, the municipality does this. This is his understanding of reimbursement agreements between private developments and the municipality.


Mr. Hall stated this is his understanding also. The maintenance of the roadways – the pavement, the curbing – is something the homeowners association would be responsible for.


Cross discussion about issues relating to capital accounts and available money for what the homeowner’s association obligations are.


Mr. Wyciskala referred to a portion of an agreement addressing what services the Borough would provide: (1) snow plowing excluding parking areas, sidewalks, and individual unit driveways; (2) leaf pick-up; (3) garbage and recycling collection; and (4) reimbursement of electricity used for street lighting required by the Borough.


Mr. Omland commented on work that would be contracted out; for example, stormwater management repairs, deed restrictions and recording of the maintenance agreement so that it runs with the land in perpetuity to the homeowners association.


Mayor Druetzler asked about the location of the hydrants.


Mr. Omland pointed out the planned locations subject to guidance from the fire Department.


Mr. Hall stated that under RSIS hydrants are required at the terminus of every dead-end water main and are for maintenance purposes and is not on the plans currently. This is why he flagged it as a waiver. It is up to the Board to grant the waiver or not.


Continuing, Mr. Hall commented on Mr. Omland’s testimony pertaining to Highgate Drive’s intersection with Littleton Road and why it is a good idea to have sufficient lighting at this point. This would be a de minimus waiver. He is not overly concerned with the proposed lighting at other locations primarily because it is not adjacent to residential use and the fact that there is a note on the plans that the entire lighting system will be subject to a nighttime light test. Fixtures causing excessive glare will be fitted with shields. There is a safety plan built in. He does not see this as a potential issue, but the Board has jurisdiction subject to the nighttime light test.


Cross discussion about elements of the lighting plan.


Mr. Omland discussed information about the proposed signage. Ground mounted fixtures will provide light to signage, focused solely on the signage. He also mentioned the fact that there are existing street lights on their side of Littleton Road. These lights may already be exceeding the Borough ordinance, but they are within the County right of way.


Mr. Falcon reviewed where the Board stands with regard to the granting of waivers.


Mr. Hall next discussed the slope of the individual driveways going from the multi-family access drives up into the individual garages. The Borough’s ordinance requires a landing area 20’ long and not to exceed 2% in grade. From the garage out, the ordinance requires a maximum of 5% grade for a distance of at least 20’. While this ordinance was most likely written with single family houses in mind, there is an appropriate component to it for this type of housing and this is the 5% gradeout from the garage for a distance of 20’. He believes the 5% grade should be maintained throughout the development; individual driveways are as short as 18’. He provided his reasons for why he believes this.


Mr. Omland advised they field tested slopes in his parking lot – slopes up to 8.5% -- with five different vehicles at a variety of open door positions and parking variations. He understands the ordinance as it applies to single family houses and that the 5% is a number; the difference between 5% and 8% on 18’ is unperceivable to the human eye in his opinion. It did not cause the event that is causing concern. He also made reference to a publication by the ITT titled Recommended Guidelines for Subdivision Streets. This publication has information relating to driveway slopes and bottoming out. He read from Page 10 concerning the driveway grade and that as a general rule it should not exceed 8% within the right of way area. Change in grade should not exceed 12% within any 10’ of distances. He requested that Mr. Hall and the Board consider his thoughts and testimony on this; he will provide documentation as needed.


Continuing, Mr. Omland commented on drainage from roadways and driveways, ponding issues, and roadway slopes being steeper than those of a driveway. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) does not want anything less than .5% either. He stated that the internal garage slope is pitched away so that no water will make it into the garage.


Mr. Hall stated that a 5" slope over 18’ he believes is about a 3% slope. He is concerned the applicant will be asking for drainage issues. He disagreed with Mr. Omland regarding the 5% versus 8%, and he provided his reasons. He said the ordinance is there for a reason and that it should stay at 5%.


Mr. Minno provided additional information regarding the discussion of slope, the driveways, and the garages.


Mr. Omland advised it is only some of the driveway slopes that do not comply with the 1.5 minimum.


Mr. Hall suggested meeting with the applicant’s engineer and they can review this in detail and identify how many driveways are non conforming and see if the grades can be brought closer to 5%; perhaps they can be brought to at least 6%. There is also a waiver request that relates to grade of the road. RSIS requires that all streets have a minimum grade of .5%; some of the roads are dead flat and do not comply. There will be puddles and the roads should be corrected. Drainage is a concern.


Mr. Lopez cautioned that every effort must be taken to ensure that no unanticipated problems are likely to occur as a result of granting any of the requested waivers.


Mr. Wyciskala advised that when they meet with the Fire Department any and all issues as appropriate will be discussed. He also stated the applicant will agree with the requests of the Board as raised in these discussions.


Mr. Hall discussed types of fencing that should be used at the development. His recommendation was for a post and rail fence with a wire mesh as a safety factor. This would be better than a picket fence. This is his opinion.


Mr. Denzler advised the other type of fence would be aluminum.


The final decision was to comply with the Construction Official’s recommendations regarding fencing.


Mr. Hall stated he is fine with this. As to stormwater management, he stated he believes Mr. Wyciskala advised they would comply with his (Mr. Hall’s) comments and the comments of the Morris County Planning Board. He also wants all the advisory comments and requirement comments addressed and every stormwater comment in the Morris County Planning Board report addressed also.


Mr. Omland stated the only one they would like to discuss is Item D. He provided his comments on the issues of importance to the applicant in connection with this item. Mr. Omland requested clarification of his understanding as to exactly what is being asked for.


Clarification was provided.


Mr. Denzler stated he is in agreement with the landscaping and buffering proposed.


Mr. Hall reviewed the remaining items from his report, which included the need for the Council to approve the street names, the need for street signs, and details of the patio.


Mr. Denzler referred to his report. He reviewed the various topics already discussed including the variance for the wall, noise limits as a condition, and traffic changes. He asked about on-site traffic circulation, particularly fire trucks, emergency vehicles and garbage trucks having to back up/out from the site and whether this is a safe procedure.


Mr. Omland replied that this is probably not optimum, and he would prefer to have circular circulation which would be safer, but this does not stop it from being normal in design.


Mr. Denzler asked about plans for snow removal and where will all the snow be placed.


Mr. Omland responded that with light snows there will be space to dispose of the snow at the sides and at the ends of such sub-street. A plow can plow straight ahead and snow can go over the wall. He thought it would not be unusual for loaders to be brought in to transport the snow off site. He believes the options are adequate.


Mr. Denzler asked whether the applicant provided a breakdown of the impervious coverage to himself and the Board.


Mr. Omland stated yes.


Mrs. Leach asked about the HVAC units and noise levels and limits.


Mr. Denzler advised this is measured at the property line. There are no standards for unit to unit; it is for one property line to another. To the south and the west it is non residential which will help. As Mr. Hall covered most of the issues in terms of the detail, he is only looking for clarifying testimony in connection with the variance.


Mr. Omland referred to Municipal Land Use Law at 40:55D-70c. that provides for two C variance proofs, one a hardship and the other is planning/flexible variance. The applicant has a variance for walls that exceed 6’ in two locations. Behind Building 6 the wall is up to 10.5’. He commented on the hardship that the property has – the wall will not be visible to the public and cannot have impact to the public in terms of a detriment. It will not impair the zone plan nor the zoning ordinance. It is a modular block type of wall, is behind Building 6, and is approximately 60’ to 70’ long where it exceeds the 6’ height. The other segment of wall is behind Building 1 and this is a Class 2 variance or flexible variance; the benefits outweigh the detriments. This portion of wall will stand at a maximum of 7’ but generally 6.5’. Granting these variances will reduce the need for greater tree removal and reduce land disturbance, especially to the environmental sensitive areas.


The suggestion was made that if the wall is going to be of concrete there should be plantings on the wall to soften it and produce a decorative appearance.


Mr. Omland advised the walls are not concrete, they are modular block walls and there is a dramatic difference between the two. There is only one location where anyone would be looking at the wall. Otherwise, one would be looking out over the wall – the wall is holding up the patio as it is at the top of the wall. This is what generated the earlier discussion about fencing.


Approximately three units will see a wall in excess of 6’.


Cross discussion about the wall(s), including varying heights at various locations on the site.


Mayor Druetzler asked about the elevation of the Mack-Cali driveway. What is the elevation on the proposed site before it is filled in.


Mr. Omland responded it is 366, 362. The elevation before it is filled in, up on 202, it is approximately 368 and then it drops down. It will be raised from 360 to 362. The floor level is 365. He also mentioned a swale.


Mr. Hall asked that Mr. Wyciskala provide a copy of the January 14, 2011 letter from the water company to the Board. He asked Mr. Omland about the status of the TWA application. Jim Slate from Morris Township sent back the signed application in November; he expects this will be submitted to the Mayor and Council for action.


Mr. Omland replied that they would want to submit it now if the Mayor and Council would consider endorsing it early, otherwise they will await approval assuming it is forthcoming from the Board.


Mr. Hall recommended submitting this to the Mayor and Council as soon as possible.


Mayor Druetzler advised the Council will meet this coming Thursday.


Mr. Wyciskala stated it would be in tomorrow morning.


Mr. Hall asked about he soil disturbance permit. What is the applicant precisely asking for.


Mr. Omland said that earlier in this meeting the applicant was deemed complete with this item outstanding because the testing of the soils and the origins of the soils the applicant does not know at this time. He asked that it not be a condition of approval since they do not know when they will know this information; it may not be available at the time the plans are signed and it is put out to bid. Prior to a pre-construction meeting or commencing with the construction, they can provide the lab results of the soil testing to ensure the soils are clean. This is due to the timing of the various phases of a bid being awarded, getting the soil, having it tested, and having the lab results available.


Mr. Hall explained details of this process stating that it is a two-month process at minimum.


Cross discussion about issues relating to soil sources, acquiring the soil and testing of the soil.


Mr. Lopez opened this portion of the meeting for questions of this witness. Hearing no comments, he closed this portion of the meeting to the public.


Mayor Druetzler stated he believes it is time to have the Board Attorney along with the consultants prepare a resolution of approval, and all the conditions should be reviewed. There are also items that Mr. Hall needs to discuss with the applicant’s engineer.


Mayor Druetzler moved that the Board authorize the attorney to draft a resolution of approval in consultation with the Professionals, seconded by Mrs. Leach.


Cross discussion about specific elements related to development, such as how many children would reside at the development, impact of teen-age drivers who might live at the development, details related to traffic issues, and change from a loft to a third bedroom.


Mr. Wyciskala commented on the issue of children residing at the development.


Mr. Omland stated that Rutgers is the authority in all of the municipal discussions that he has regarding children residing in such developments. It is categorized by the type of development: apartment, townhomes, condominiums, close to mass transit, rural, suburban or urban. Each of these types produces different ratios of school-age children. The ratios are very small and are based on real projects in New Jersey. All planners use this data as their projections of school-age children.


Mayor Druetzler asked about the original plans and how many two- and three-bedrooms were planned. He believes it was always half two bedrooms and half three bedrooms.


Mr. Hall remembers that this issue was discussed at length back in the spring and the summer when it was before the Mayor and Council and the Planning Board for potential re-zoning. An expert did testify as to projections for school-age children.


Mayor Druetzler stated that number was 12 to 13 children. Mr. Denzler researched other similar developments, and he determined it was less than that in reality. He does not remember there ever being plans for a loft.


Earlier plans were checked and, indeed, a loft was indicated.


Mr. Falcon commented that all of the facts have to be taken into consideration. He discussed waivers


Mayor Druetzler requested that Mr. Denzler try to obtain the figures again of the amount of children. He also asked about the applicant’s escrow account. He questioned ACP and does ARC still exist or is it completed. A decision will need to be made in this regard.


Mr. Wyciskala will speak with Mr. Falcon on this matter.

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Lopez, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Novak,

Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mr. Zabihach, Mayor Druetzler

Nays: None

Motion carried.




  • Minor Site Plan Committee

    No presentation was given.


  • Master Plan Review Committee

    No presentation was given.




  • Escrow Report

    The Board Secretary presented the Escrow Report. She reviewed the escrow Purchase Orders that were sent out for signature.



There will a DEP hearing/meeting on February 9, 2011 on waste water. One or two Council members are planning to attend, most likely Mr. Zabihach and Ms. Fu.


Mayor Druetzler asked Mr. Denzler what the status is on receiving the reimbursement back from the Highlands work.


Mr. Denzler stated he is working on receiving these funds. They have been contacted and additional breakdowns of his time were provided. They also are asking for more documentation from the various modules.


There being no further business, Mr. Underhill moved that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Mr. Jensen. Voice vote. All in favor. Motion carried.


Karen Coffey

Board Secretary


Maureen Sullivan

Recording Secretary