The regular meeting of the Cranbury Township Zoning Board of  Adjustment was held at the Township Hall (Old School Building) Main Meeting Room, 23-A North Main Street, Cranbury, New Jersey, on December 12, 2005, at 7:30 p.m.





            Dale Smith, of the Cranbury Township Zoning Board of Adjustment, called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof.





            Pursuant of the Sunshine Law adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act was provided of this meeting’s date, time, place and agenda was mailed to the news media, posted on the Township’s Bulletin Board, mailed to those requesting personal notice, and filed with the municipal clerk.





Mr. Gerberich, Mr. Hebert, Mr. G. Johnson, Mr. R. Jonhson, Ms. Kemp, Mr. McCarville, Mr. Patterson (0:00 p.m.), Mr. Shea, Mr. Smith





Mr. Jeffrey Green, Esquire, Zoning Board Attorney; Guinta, Court Reporter; Josette C. Kratz, Board Secretary; Cathleen Marcelli, P.E., Township Engineer; Richard Preiss, Township Planner; Andrew Feranda, Traffic Consultant





Mr. Smith announced Mr. Green’s retirement from the Zoning Board of Adjustment as Zoning Board attorney.  Many thanks for 28 years of service Jeff.





ZBA 414-00    Cranbury Service Center

                        Block 10, Lot 12.02

                        Route 130

                        Preliminary & Final Site Plan w/Bulk Variance


REPRESENTATIVES:            Donald S. Driggers, Esquire

                                                Richard Schroeder, Architect

                                                Julia Algeo, P.E. Maser Consulting

                                                Robert Walsh, Environmental engineer



Mr. Hebert had listened to the audio of the September 14, 2005 and swore and signed an affidavit indicating that he had done so.


All professionals remained under oath from the last meeting.


Mr. Driggers had Mr. Walsh report on the status with NJDEP.  Mr. Walsh said the method of remediation had been approved.  Mr. Walsh would supply a copy of the letter to Mr. Driggers who would then distribute it to Ms. Marcelli and Ms. Kratz.  The period from start to finish would be approximately nine months to fourteen months.  The applicant would be able to proceed with site improvements while remediation takes place.


Ms. Marcelli had received all documents necessary as requested from Mr. Walsh.


Ms. Algeo explained the changes made to the paved area resulting in a reduction of width of pavement.


EXHIBIT 12/13/05 No. 1        Revised Site Plan

EXHIBIT 12/13/05 No. 2        Revised Architectural showing architectural improvements to existing building and site sign


The four trailer parking spaces were relocated to the southwest to provide a screen around the truck parking area.  The applicant would be adding an addition to the truck service area for servicing equipment.  The relocation of dumpster to back of site would provided adequate screening.  Additional landscaping had been provided throughout the site.


There would be an entry and exit off of Route 130 and one access onto Brickyard Road, per their meeting with NJDOT.  To access Route 130 south they would exit on Brickyard Road and proceed thru the circle.


The would place the three street trees although consistent with DRC meetings the felt it may impede visibility.  Per their phone discussion with Mr. Levy, the Township’s landscape architect, the applicant would it to the discretion of the Board.  They added a small fenced area behind by the building. They also added more screening around the fenced area in the rear.


The applicant is willing to give total dedication for Brickyard Road for potential improvements as discussed, as a bond.  The applicant’s engineer estimated about $20,000.00 and the Township Engineer estimated $52,000.  If amount was to be $52,000 the applicant requested the need for the ability to get some of that money back. Ms. Marcelli recommended a developer’s agreement to receive compensation if the neighboring property developed or set a time limit.


Ms. Marcelli asked about the conservation easement and said there was an understanding that the applicant had the opportunity to us a buffer average plan in the future.


There were two comments in the landscaper’s report.  There are a couple of large oak trees to be removed and the compensation be the planting of ten additional trees.   

Mr. Smith asked if the Board felt they could leave it to the Township Professional’s discretion.


Mr. Smith asked why the trucks did not end up in the screened area.  Ms. Algeo said that there was not enough room.  The new area gives them more ability to screen.   Ms. Algeo added two more car spaces, giving the applicant the ability to park in a designated space.


All paving would be curbed.


Mr. Feranda asked about north side of site there is a long stretch of curb and could that area be designated “no parking” because of the fueling positions.  He mentioned that the southern most fueling position has a little bit of a curb and could that area be designated for smaller vehicles, such as box trucks or smaller trucks.  Ms. Algeo said that they could comply.


Mr. R. Johnson said previously there was a request for a lighting plan and he indicated that he did not see one provided in this new submission.  Mr. Algeo said the building mounted fixtures were to be removed.  She could not speak for the canopy lighting.


Ms. Algeo said that there was a site lighting plan provided on Sheet 3.  Mr. Schroeder said there was a lighting plan for the architectural drawings.  Mr. R. Johnson said that the architectural drawings only indicated the type of fixtures; no matrix was provided for canopy and existing building.  Mr. Driggers said that there would be no lighting on the existing building.


Mr. R. Johnson if there would be any fixture shining on building.  Ms. Algeo said there would not be.


Ms. Marcelli asked about additional vehicle and trailer parking spaces and wanted a definition of “short term” parking since it seemed to be excessive.


Ms. Algeo said that it would be for serviced vehicles waiting for new assignments and vehicles that are ready for pickup by the customers.  The ten spaces to rear for used for employees and/or costumers; not for unlicensed vehicles or wrecked vehicles.  They would have forty-eight hours to remove vehicles for truck parking.  There would be no other parking on-site except for the designated spots.  Short term parking maybe, to run in and do something, but not longer.


Mr. McCarville indicated that things should be stored in their proper place and remain functional.  From the enforcement perspective if one should not see the same car in the same spot for a month.


Mr. Preiss said the two areas that would be fenced would give an opportunity for the operator to place tools and other equipment internally in those storage areas.



Mr. Smith felt there should be no overnight parking within the car area, with the exception of employee parking.  There was a suggestion to a re-wording of overnight storage of vehicles.


Mr. Hebert asked about the truck circulation and had they thought of the customer on site movement.  Mr. Tassos felt comfortable with the movement pattern.


Ms. Marcelli said, with regard to the discrepancy of the bond, the applicant’s estimate was at half width widening and felt the difference in amount was details in which the applicant did not include. Mr. R. Johnson asked Ms. Marcelli if they disagreed on the finished product or the pricing.  Ms. Marcelli felt that they were in agreement with the finished product. 


Mr. Feranda said the applicant used a 75 ft vehicles (WB50) that gave them the largest turning radius when configuring the plan.


Mr. Patterson asked if applicant wanted it that wide in the rear.  Mr. Tassos said the spots were fine, the sticking out on template said they could get around which should be fine.  Mr. Smith said working on that would be the applicant’s decision.  Mr. Driggers said they could move it to nine spaces and take the bump out.  Ms. Marcelli said she thought the motivation was to provide more green space.


EXHIBIT 12/13/05 No. 3 Revised Elevation of Pump Canopy and truck service building and lighting. Revision date was 12/01/05 on both exibihits.


Mr. Schroeder explained about the shortening of the site sign to 20 ft maximum height.  The color scheme would be tan.  The applicant intended to resurface the entire existing building with a stucco finish and create a dark green line with tan a finish.  There would be a decorative square to the corners and sides. 


The truck service building would be a similar motif with a darker green bottom panel and lighter tan to match existing building’s change.  The 8 foot high fence would have dark green slats similar to the green on building.  The 12 ft x 24 foot shed at the northern eastern corner of building would be used for tool storage.  They widened the opening to provide better access.   The proposed pump canopy would have a green band with tan also.  There would be ten box canopy lights. MH250’s similar to what existing at the Mobile Station.


They would be removing two signs and relocating a larger sign down on the building.


Mr. R. Johnson asked if the service area would be lit.  Mr. Schroeder said it would be lit inside.


Ms. Kemp asked if shed area would have water or electric.  Mr. Schroeder said that there would be electric, he did not believe there would be water.


Mr. Preiss questioned the two surveillance cameras shown on the existing building.  Mr. Tassos said they would remain, that he had vehicles stolen in the past.  Mr. Schroeder asked if they could be moved lower.  Mr. Tassos said that they were covering a far range. There was a suggestion of maybe painting them to match the building.


Ms. Marcelli felt comfortable with French drain system.


Mr. Preiss asked about the truck service canopy building and what means were proposed for enclosure.  He was concerned that over time it would fall into disrepair and suggested the use of a more substantial material.  Mr. Schroeder said they could look into it from that side and try to match green panel and stays looking like building, maybe both north and south elevation.


Mr. R. Johnson suggested using mesh that is attached to chain link, fiberglass mesh used on tennis courts.


Mr. Driggers said that there were three variance, existing variances. There was a design waiver already given on combined detention facility.


Mr. Smith opened the meeting to the public of which there were no public present.


Mr. Smith said that he appreciate the applicant’s effort in making the building look better, but was disappointed there would be an ugly rusty sign remaining.  He asked why the applicant wanted to keep it.  Mr. Tassos said that it was fiberglass.  Mr. Driggers said they would resubmit a sign design, but did not want that to hold up the application.


Mr. Smith said they would accept a new sign no larger than the existing sign.  He said that there were a number of questions regarding the joint use.  Ms. Marcelli said that they were to submit all the documents for the file.


Mr. Balint said that they would be preparing an agreement and submitting it for the Board’s review, which was a condition for Perrine’s approval also.


Mr. Smith asked what the restrictions placed on the applications, which had to be done in order to get a CO and the relationship to what improvements for each site.  Ms. Marcelli said the key issue was the detention facility.  The applicant was still obligated to build the detention facility and be built in accordance to the plans before any TCO would be provided.


Mr. Smith voiced his concern of going through with the whole effort and nothing ever happening on the Cranbury Service site.  Mr. Preiss asked if the applicant assumed the Cranbury Service would remain open during construction.  Mr. Tasso hoped so, he would start the estimate and hoped to begin construction in the fall of 2006.  Ms. Marcelli asked if both applicants jointly used contractors would it reduce cost since the work was the same on both sites.


Mr. Perrine said some of the work could be consolidate, but probably not for paving.  The construction of the building had no link between to the two sites either.


Mr. Smith said that part of the granting of the subdivision was to enhance the whole area.


Mr. Driggers said that there was a court case with regard to the Cranbury Service Station on hold in the Plainsboro Court.  Mr. Smith asked if everyone was comfortable with six months.   Ms. Algeo said that she was reluctant because of NJDOT.  Mr. R. Johnson said that other things could start during the process. 


Mr. Smith said that he would feel more comfortable with June or July. 


Mr. Green asked if they had Middlesex County approval.  Mr. Driggers said they did not.  Ms. Marcelli said that if they come back with regular submissions, but if not made by June of 2006. 


Mr. Smith said that other times they have just sat there for years with nothing happening.  Mr. Driggers said they had a time limit with rights under the land use law for site plan.  Mr. Preiss said there should be a period of time in which it should begin construction.


Ms. Marcelli said the worse case scenario should be six months.  Mr. Tassos said he was thinking more for the fall since work slows down.


June 30, 2006 for all permits, July 31, 2006 to start construction and complete by December 31, 2006.


Straw vote was favorable with plans with conditions.




1.                  There are no wrecked or unlicensed vehicles in ten spaces and two handicapped spaces.

2.                  Four trailers spaces on southwest would be limited to short term parking,  overnight no more than 48 hours.

3.                  No parking except in designated spaces.

4.                  All storage of misc equipment at night would be within fenced in area.

5.                  No overnight storage of vehicles within the 12 spaces with exception of employees.

6.                  Three street trees.  Ten trees three of which to be street trees located per Township Engineer.

7.                  Agreement of further correspondence received by DEP to be forwarded to PB/ZBA office and township engineer.

8.                  Wording of sign to be reviewed by Township Engineer.  Same sized sign, essentially the same.

9.                  Developers’ agreements for widening of road.

10.              The time frames. June 30, 2006 for all permits, July 31, 2006 to start construction and complete by December 31, 2006.

11.              Lighting to be no greater than adjacent Mobile Station.

12.              Hours of operation Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 7 to 5 p.m., towing 24/7 hours.  Mr. Smith disagreed with restricting the applicant.  Mr. Tasso was concerned if he sold the site it would over restrict.  The suggestion was to split the pumps from service.  Fueling would be to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 7 days per week.

13.              Define a conservation easement as in Ms. Marcelli’s report.

14.              Buildings would be as presented on exhibits with exception of rolling gate with opaque mesh and surveillance cameras painted.  Option given.  Final decision could be made by the Township Engineer for final judicaiton.

15.              Comply with the professionals’ reports.

16.              All outside agency approvals.

17.              Bond with agreement between township and applicant for road widening improvements.

18.              There is only approval for two signs only 9one freestanding and one on building), other signed they would have to come back for approval.  Exception was no parking signs.


Motion made by Mr. Richard Johnson

Seconded by Mr. Frank Shea




       AYES:      Mr. Hebert, Mr. R. Johnson, Ms. Kemp, Mr. McCarville, Mr. Patterson, Mr. Shea, Mr. Smith

       NAYS:      None

ABSTAIN:      None

  ABSENT:      None


Motion Carried


Motion made and seconded to go into closed session to discuss future litigation updates.





            There being no further business, on a motion duly made, seconded, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned at 10:05 p.m.





            I, undersigned, do herby certify; that I am duly elected and acting secretary of the Cranbury Township and, that the foregoing minutes of the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, held on December 12, 2005, comprised of 8 pages, constitute a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name of said this January 11, 2006.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Josette C. Kratz, CPS