Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Planning Board Meeting Minutes 02/14/11

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Morris Plains Planning Board held on February 14, 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. Leo Nichols

Mr. Hank Sawoski

Mr. Donald Underhill

Mayor Frank Druetzler


Absent: Mr. Ralph Lopez, Chair

Mr. Vincent Novak

Mr. Roman Zabihach


Leon Hall, Borough Engineer

William Denzler, Borough Planner

Christopher Falcon, Board Attorney



The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Leach. Mrs. Leach 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."


Mrs. Leach 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.


Mayor Druetzler advised that Mr. Zabihach is not present at this meeting because he broke his hip.



Mr. Nichols moved that the minutes of the January 17, 2011 Reorganization Meeting be approved as revised, seconded by Mr. Sawoski.


The Board Secretary advised of a correction on Page 101, Paragraph 5 changing the reference from "Borough Attorney" to "the Board’s Attorney."

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mayor Druetzler

Absent: Mr. Lopez, Mr. Novak, Mr. Zabihach

Nays: None

Motion carried.


Mr. Nichols read the Purchase Orders presented for payment:

Maraziti, Falcon & Healey PO#85819 $875.00

For Professional Services rendered to

the Planning Board, January 2011

Mr. Nichols moved that the Purchase Order as read be approved, seconded by Mayor Druetzler

Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mayor Druetzler

Absent: Mr. Lopez, Mr. Novak, Mr. Zabihach

Nays: None

Motion carried.

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

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


Mrs. Leach stated this matter is the next order of business. She requested status updates from the Board’s Professionals.


Mr. Hall referring to his February 9, 2011 memorandum advised that on January 24, 2011 he met with Mr. Stan Omland to discuss the issue of the individual driveway grades, both maximum and minimum. Several options were discussed at this meeting. He wanted the 1.5% minimum driveway grade to be satisfied, but would be somewhat flexible on the maximum of 5%. The resulting grades were 1.5 (minimum) and 5.8 (maximum), which exceeds the Borough’s ordinance by .8%. Sixty-five driveways conformed and only five did not. He also discussed RSIS requirements for street grade (.5% required by RSIS). This has been accomplished.


Mr. Hall advised of a February 4, 2011 meeting with Mr. Omland, Mr. Wyciskala, Mr. Geary,
and himself. At this meeting they reviewed the report provided by the Fire Department. The applicant has agreed to post "No Parking" signage throughout the development at appropriate locations. A second issue discussed related to the Fire Department’s request for two emergency access lanes coming off Littleton Road. It was agreed that one such driveway will be sufficient – the one closest to downtown Morris Plains. He provided additional details about this access driveway. The last subject discussed was the hydrants. The Fire Department requested three locations they preferred for installation of the fire hydrants, and he believes the applicant is agreeable to all locations. There will be no striping along the public street to indicate a fire zone; he provided the reasons why this will not be required or necessary.


The applicant agreed to these requests/recommendations.


Mr. Denzler stated he distributed a memorandum today referring to the number of anticipated public school age children who might reside at this development. Based on 70 units being constructed, he estimates there could be 14 public school age children.


Mr. Hall believes he has provided information on all the issues that required additional data. He briefly commented on items that will require the approval of the Construction Official.


Mr. Falcon read the Resolution that he advised is still in a draft format.


Mrs. Leach opened the meeting for discussion, comments, and questions.


Mr. Nichols asked about sidewalks and whether the changes will be shown on the revised plans along with the fire hydrant placements.


Mr. Hall replied they would be.


Mrs. Leach asked about existing lighting on the street and what side of the street it is on. She asked about construction being done in a "staged" manner – construction being done in phases, not necessarily done all at once. She also asked about Certificates of Occupancy.


Mr. Hall responded he intended to check street lighting prior to coming to the meeting, but he was unable to do so.


Mayor Druetzler advised that temporary certificates would be issued.


Mr. Hall referred to Condition #7 on the bottom of Page 8. The site work would be totally completed prior to the issuance of the first CO. It has to be done for emergency vehicles, fire protection and other issues. All the roads are built, utilities are installed, water lines activated, hydrants working, and sewers installed. There would be a Police Department walk through and a night-time light and noise tests prior to the first CO. There will also be a Fire Department walk through. He also commented on as-builts and guarantees.


Cross discussion about Condition #7, including the timing of various inspections.


Mr. Falcon commented on some revisions that perhaps should be made to the Resolution.


Mr. Wyciskala commented on the night-time light and noise tests.


Mr. Hall stated that these tests could be done after each building is completed and also together as there are two buildings, three buildings, four buildings and so forth and final tests at the completion.


Mayor Druetzler commented that all site work must be done before any CO is issued.


Mayor Druetzler recommended that the fact that the Construction Official will determine the fence should also be included in the Resolution.


Mr. Hall commented on issues relating to the retaining walls and when the Construction Official probably should do various inspections and why.


Mr. Falcon reviewed the proposed revisions to the Resolution with the Board members and the Borough Professionals.


Mr. Nichols asked about the Southeast Water Company letter discussing a single service point for the water main coming in. Has this matter been resolved?


Mr. Hall spoke with Mr. William Hutchinson about this and all is resolved.


Mr. Sawoski moved that the Resolution be approved as amended, seconded by Mayor Druetzler.


Roll Call

Yeas: Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Leach, Mr. Nichols, Mr. Sawoski, Mr. Underhill, Mayor Druetzler

Absent: Mr. Lopez, Mr. Novak, Mr. Zabihach

Nays: None

Motion carried.

A copy of this Resolution is attached and on file in the Board Secretary’s office in the Planning Board’s Resolution Book.

Mr. Wyciskala thanked the Board for its time and consideration.


  • Minor Site Plan Committee

No report was presented.

  • Master Plan Review Committee

No report was presented.


Mayor Druetzler advised of a presentation on the 9-11 Memorial on Route 53 that will take place at the next Council meeting. Referring to a newspaper article he saw about vacancy rates of homes in the State and in various communities, he asked Mr. Denzler if he would provide a demographic breakdown and related kinds of information relating to the Borough’s population to present at the Board’s next meeting. The article indicated that this vacancy rate in Morris Plains was 3%, while the State vacancy rate was at 10%. He also advised that the Borough’s current population is 5,532 residents; 296 more people than in 2000.


Mr. Denzler advised he would be able to access information available in tables included in the housing plan.


Mayor Druetzler also provided information on the number of students attending Borough schools, including grade breakdowns. He also commented that he read recently that according to census date, 70% of New Jersey households have no children living in them.

Cross discussion about the census process and how information was obtained and the diligence of the census takers in returning multiple times to obtain needed information.


Mayor Druetzler advised that Chase Bank bought Ronnie’s (Deli) in November 2010. He believes they have requested the 200’ property owner radius list and therefore will most likely be before the Board in the near future.


Cross discussion about the Chase Bank currently located across the street and the plans for that site.


  • Escrow Report

The Board Secretary reported that all is fine. Funds will be returned to ARC once the necessary paperwork is completed. When the Purchase Order is signed, the funds will be returned.


Mayor Druetzler commented on his efforts over a long period of time to persuade the State to install a third lane on Route 10 EAST from Route 53 to Route 202. In connection with this effort, he requested the Police Department to provide data on accidents that occurred on this stretch of roadway. The timeframe relating to accidents was from May 20, 2009 to December 31, 2010 and reported 113 accidents.


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


Karen M. Coffey

Commission Secretary


Maureen Sullivan