MINUTES

OF THE

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

 

            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 October 4, 2006, at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

Dale Smith, Chairperson, of the Cranbury Township Planning Board, called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof, and, Josette C. Kratz acted as Secretary of the meeting.

 

 

STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE

 

            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.

 

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

 

Glenn Johnson, Richard Johnson, Adrienne Kemp, Matthew McCarville, Donald Patterson, Frank Shea, Dale Smith

 

 

PROFESSIONALS IN ATTENDANCE

 

Steven Goodell, Esquire, Zoning Board Attorney; Josette C. Kratz, Board Secretary

Debbie Masterson, Acting Court Reporter; Richard Preiss, Planner; Cathleen Marcelli, P.E.; Bruce A. Eisenstein, Phd, P.E.

 

 

MINUTES

 

Upon a motion of the approval of the minutes for May 3, 2006, June 7, 2006, August 2, 2006, and September 6, 2006 with minor changes and seconded the motion passed.

 

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

ZBA 414-00    Cranbury Service Center

                        Block 10, Lot 12.02

                        Route 130

                        Preliminary & Final Site Plan w/Bulk Variance

                        Extension of Time

 

Mr. Shea motioned for the approval of the resolution as written.  Ms. Kemp seconded the motion.

 

ROLL CALL:

 

                   AYES:      Glenn Johnson, Richard Johnson, Adrienne Kemp,

                                    Matthew McCarville, Frank Shea, Dale Smith

                   NAYS:      None

             ABSTAIN:      Donald Patterson

              ABSENT:      Alain Herbert, Jim Gerberich

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

ZBA 115-06    Dreyling, Robert & Luba

                        Block 19, Lot 16

                        32 Old Cranbury – Hightstown Road

                        Use Variance for additional kitchen (Mother/Daughter)

 

Mr. Frank Shea motioned for the approval of the resolution.  Mr. Richard Johnson seconded the motion.

 

ROLL CALL:

 

                   AYES:      Glenn Johnson, Richard Johnson, Adrienne Kemp,

                                    Matthew McCarville, Frank Shea, Dale Smith

                   NAYS:      None

             ABSTAIN:      Donald Patterson

              ABSENT:      Alain Herbert, Jim Gerberich

 

APPLICATIONS

 

ZBA 108-06    Sprint Spectrum L.P. (NY54XC646/Spri990)

                        Block 7, Lot 23.02

                        2682 U.S. Route 130

                        Use Variance for Wireless Telecommunication Facility

 

REPRESENTATIVES:            Diane Constantine

                                                Frank Colasurdo, Engineer

                                                Glenn Pierson, RF Engineer

                                                James Miller, Planner

 

Dale Smith, Matthew McCarville, and Donald Patterson all read the previous transcripts of the missed meetings for the above application and were eligible to vote on this application this evening.

 

Ms. Marcelli and Mr. Preiss gave a brief overview of why the bid proposals for the firehouse cell towers were restricted.  Bids had acceptations listed in bid proposals, creating a flaw in the compliance and where rejected.

 

Ms. Marcelli pointed out that the date on the plans were incorrect, 2009 should be 2006.

 

EXHIBIT A-16            Sheet EXBZ4, last revision date 9/21/06

 

A co-locator would come back to the board for site plan review.

 

EXHIBIT A-17            Sheet EXBZ3 Last revision date 9/21/2009* (date needs to be changed)

 

Only interest shown from other carriers was T-Mobile and Cingular and would have to come before the board for site plan review.

 

Mr. Richard asked what would happen if the building was shifted to the east.  He only saw, on plans, a container.  Answer was that the landlord uses that area to get trucks to the loading docks.

 

EXHIBIT A-18            Isometric of original antenna

                                    Modified Cluster Map

 

EXHIBIT A-19            Cluster Antennas Mounts

 

Mr. Eisenstein explained in more detail the aesthetics of the different proposed antenna choices.

 

Mr. Pierson, previously sworn, explained that different levels of service.  Sprint had three sets of frequency permits due.  They had 2.5 MHz due to the Nextel merger for data. 

 

Mr. Eisenstein said he had no knowledge of them using 2.5 MHz.  He also mentioned that their propagation study would be much less.

 

Ms. Constantine said Sprint has several licenses and they have to use those licensees.  Regardless they have to provide the service.

 

Mr. Smith indicated that he really did not want to see applicants coming back to get modification if it could be helped.  If it looks as if they are likely that they will have to come back to ask for a modification of this in the very near future, I would personally anticipate this and be done with it.

 

Mr. Eisenstein said that it was the other side of this and the board approved this at the sense for the right to put up this for the new 2500 MHZ and it is not satisfactory from a propagation they will come back for another site.

 

EXHIBIT A-20 though to A-23            Crane Test Photos

 

Mr. John Ritter, 101 Plainsboro Road, asked if the board felt that three vendors would collocate on this tower and was the municipality in favor of moving on this location.

 

Ms. Stave had not seen drawings of what the full build-out would be and the photograph simulation.  She felt this was a serious determent to one of the most beautiful scenic vista.  She felt if anyone drove down main street they would say, “What were they thinking?”. 

 

Mr. Smith said that there was considerable discussion and testimony about alternative sites at the beginning of this proposal.  Detailed discussion for other site on the east side of Route 130 and why those sites were not available, etc.

 

 

Mr. Johnson brought up the point in Mr. Preiss’s memo with regard to site improvements to bring some of the non-conformities.

 

Mr. Preiss said that the question was raised in the context of the D2 variance, the expansion of the non-conforming use.  There are a number of existing uses on the property that are non-conforming.  An example was a residential use which is not permitted.  Any addition to the property would be considered an expansion of a non-conforming.  The site is also sub-standard.

 

Mr. Hasselbach said that all uses on the property obtained approval as required.

 

There was quoting of case law between Township Professionals and Applicant’s Professionals. 

 

Mr. Goodell explained that legal the standard so that everyone was on the same page with regard to all the court cases quoted.  The application has changed a couple of times.  The applicant had originally asked for use variances as well bulk variance.  There is nothing pending right now for bulk variances, they have been removed.  The primary issues before the board is the tower itself which was a D3 variance.  If the applicant cannot meet the conditions of the use then they need a D3 proof are similar but they are different.  He read the criterion proofs, both positive and negative, loudly to the board. The satisfy the first prong of the negative criteria the board must determine whether the deviation from the condition causes such damage to the character of the neighborhood as to constitute substantial detriment to the public good.

 

Out door storage is not aloud according to Mr. Preiss’s report. There will be more outdoor storage due to the equipment cabinets which would be an expansion of that pre-existing non-conforming use.  He addressed the second D2 issues.  The site is already non-conforming adds another use to the site, exacerbating the non-conforming nature of the site.  The theory of zoning was that non-conforming uses are disallowed that they should be brought into conformity as quickly as possible.  This board can grant a variance to allow for the continuation for the expansion of the non-conforming use.   Now the positive criterion is “special reasons”. 

 

“Special reasons” are defined as conditions that meet the purposes of zoning as detailed in the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). In the very beginning of the MLUL there is a list called the purposes of zoning and the legislator has listed the reasons why one rezones.  The board should look to this list to find special reasons, and he read them aloud.

 

Mr. Smith questioned Mr. Eisenstein that it appeared from their presentation that they validated the need for a tower somewhere in this area.  Mr. Eisenstein answered that they have submitted evidence indicating that they have significant damaged service in this area.  Mr. Smith said, understanding this that even if this is denied, there would be another application somewhere in this general location.  Mr. Eisenstein said that was correct.  In other words if they have significant damaged service they are initialed for relief under the telecommunications act.

 

Mr. Smith asked that there be a request that the tower be sufficiently engineered to support the emergency services and sufficiently engineering if at sometime necessary allow for an extension to allow additional feet.

 

Mr. McCarville asked if that was open for discussion , in light of the considerations and the concerns of the community of the view from the lake.  His first consideration was that it would be nice to do what ever we need on one tower.  Or we could hamstring ourselves because what we looked in the photos was just one of these things strung on the pole and what the visual affect was at 150 ft.  If this goes high he felt that despite the testimony he felt it was a considerable different view.  He felt that Cranbury would be stuck with a much more obstructed view.

 

Mr. Smith said that they would have to come back to the board and that tower was built and 150 FT was a real whack we do not have to allow them to build to 160 FT, whoever comes back in.  If it is not as bad as we think it is than we could let it go through.

 

Mr. Johnson felt that the board had not met closure to some of the D2 issues.   Although the applicant may not be under any obligations to do certain things the board has heard applicants that have offered to do certain things in the context of the granting of the variances.  This applicant has not responded accept in a debate between D2 vs. D3 vs. expansion of a non-conforming use.  He would ask the question to remove ourselves from those technical issues and find out whether this applicant was willing to address some of the issues that were addressed in the memo by Mr. Preiss. 

 

Mr. Smith explained that there was history with this property.  Mr. Hasselbach had come in years ago for other applications and the board requested certain things to be done at that time.  Driving up and down Route 130 Mr. Hasselbach’s property is usually not the focus, tt certainly does not jump out at you.  He did not know if this was the appropriate time or place to ask for additional activity on the part of the applicant.

 

Mr. McCarville felt that this was the Board’s opportunity, as the board has in other places, to request greater effort to comply with the ordinance.

 

Mr. Goodell said that they could say the dumpster would have to meet design standards of ordinance.  Applicant to prepare a landscaped plan for review by the planner.  If there was a dispute it would come back to the board. Prepare landscape plans designed to screen the outdoor storage on the site.  Ms. Marcelli felt there was plenty of opportunity to provide landscaping. 

 

Mr. Smith asked about the applicant working to provide a consolidation parking plan.  Ms. Constantine said that would have to be with the owner because of the business that was there.

 

Mr. Preiss said that he wasn’t holding the applicant to bring it up to standards, but he could move some things around and do some plantings where he could substantial beautify the site and make it more compatible with surrounding areas.  He was not looking for him to spend a huge amount of money, but feel there was some level of compromise that could be made here that could be reasonable. 

 

Mr. Richard said that he wasn’t trying to say that the landowner was not running the site effectively.  Nor was he indicating that the landowner needed to bring all the existing buildings up to code.  He had suggested that a minimal level of improvements be done on the site at this time.  The applicant will use reasonable efforts to consolidate outdoor storage.  That the applicant will work with the Township Planner to locate approximately 12 trees on the property to provide some means of screening on the property.  It is a five acre site, 24 trees is not a lot of trees.  That the applicant will work with the ordinance to provide screening around the dumpster.

 

Mr. Hasselbach asked which dumpster.  Mr. Richard Johnson said any dumpster.

 

Ms. Constantine said that trees would be no taller than 6 to 8 ft at planting and meet with the planner or engineer.   She said that Mr. Hasselbach would move the truck, back hoe, and horse trailer the best he can to consolidate the outdoor storage.  Trailers move frequently through out the site so they are usually in different locations.  She said he would screen only one dumpster.

 

Mr. Smith said that with those motions in place we are at a 150 FT monopole with possible expansion to 160 Ft and ability to locate the emergency fire antennas and also they are limited to the antenna configuration called alternative antenna mount as shown latest EXPZ4.

 

Frank Shea motioned for the approval of Application No. ZBA 108-06 Sprint.   Donald Patterson seconded the application.

 

ROLL CALL:

 

                   AYES:      Glenn Johnson, Matthew McCarville, Donald Patterson, Frank Shea, Dale Smith

                   NAYS:      Richard Johnson, Adrienne Kemp

             ABSTAIN:      None

              ABSENT:      Alan Hebert, Jim Gerberich

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

ZBA 110-06    Robert and Barbara Dillon

                        Block 10, Lot 11

                        32 Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road

                        Expansion of Non-Conforming Use to Construct Pole Barn

 

REPRESENTATIVES:            Frank Brennan, Esquire

                                                Robert Dillon, Applicant

                                                Geoffery Brown, Princeton Junction Engineering

 

Mr. Brennan introduced himself.  This is an application for the construction of a pole barn.  The pole barn would be on a residential property owned by the Dillon Family on Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road. The twist to the application is that the property is located in the Light-Impact Industrial Zone (L-LI).   Therefore anything you do at a residence such requires a D variance because they a re expanding the pre-existing non-conforming use is a residence in an industrial zone.

 

This is an old farmhouse that has been there for many years.  The applicant is proposing the construction a pole barn to store some antique cars that he has, a boat, a tractor and other equipment he uses related his hobbies and his residential property.  The property itself is on the northwest corner of Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road and Brickyard Road.   The area to the north of Brickyard Road is predominantly wooded and vacant.  That property is the Unexcell property that has received some recent attention here in Cranbury. 

 

Mr. Dillon said that he was building the barn so that he could store his own automobiles and classic cars that he works on restoring.  He loved classic cars.  The barn would only be used for his personal purposes.  He does not want any of his cars outside; only the daily driving vehicles would be kept outside for the most part.

 

The larger door was designed to fit his son’s boat inside.  It would be metal building with metal roof.  The doors he thought would be fiberglass. There are no windows on the side or the back for security purposes.  Color would be barn red.  Size of building was decided by the size of the boat and how much other room would be needed in order to fit the vehicles, storage area with room to work on them.  The doors are lined up with the driveway. 

 

Mr. Brown, gave a brief overview of the present condition of the property.  The variances needed were rear yard variance (50 ft required, 10 ft proposed), front yard variance (75 ft required, 64 ft proposed) these were due to the shape of the property being very long and narrow.  The other variances were related to existing setbacks from the side yard lines and front yard. 

 

They are proposing evergreen screening around the parking area and the front easterly corner.  Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, and small shrubbery.

 

EXHIBIT A-1              Sheet 5 of 5, Landscape & Lighting Plan, Dated 11/22/05, prepared by D. Geoffrey Brown, Princeton Junction Engineering, P.C.

 

Mr. Brennan questioned the engineer’s comment regarding the posting of bonds and escrow account whether those are required for residential construction of which this project is.  Perhaps rather than have that a condition of the approval that could be something that could be worked out.

 

Ms. Marcelli said that because this was a site plan the applicant has to post bonds.  For construction purposes we are still constructing barn on a residential property.

 

Ms. Marcelli said that there are details on there such as the driveway and trees.  Typically the Construction Official, prior to issuing a CO or TCO, will ask for her concurrence that the plan and the construction improvements meet the plan.  She said that she could not do that unless an engineering escrow is in place and it is a guarantee that the improvements are built.

 

Mr. Goodell asked how much the bond would be.  Ms. Marcelli said that they would be bonding for the landscaping and the driveway improvements.

 

Mr. Brennan said the report noted that there was an aluminum shed located over the property line, west of the existing septic bed that may belong to the applicant.  The shed does belong to the applicant and he will relocate it on his property.  The rest of the comment in the report will be incorporated into the final plan.

 

Mr. Smith asked about site lighting and utilities.  They noted that the lighting is noted on the plans.  Mr. Dillon said that there would be electric and maybe a heat pump or something.  He said that there would be no water, he may put something outside.

 

There was no public comment. 

 

Ms. Marcelli asked why the landscaping was not extended up the northern side of the parking area.  Mr. Dillon said he had done that as a security reason.  Ms. Marcelli asked if maybe low bushes.  Mr. Dillon said that he did not have a problem with something was low to the ground.

 

Mr. Preiss said that when first introduced as a pole barn he was thinking something more wooden.  The idea would be to have it blend with the surrounding.  He asked about the white roof, could they use something more subtle. 

 

Mr. Preiss wanted a condition to be that the applicants not run a business out of the barn.  Not work on vehicles take place outdoors. All of the unregistered vehicles and boats must be stored within the barn not outside.

 

Mr. Brennan agreed.

 

Richard Johnson motioned for the approval of Application ZBA 110-06 for Robert and Barbara Dillon.  Matthew McCarville seconded the motion.

 

 

ROLL CALL:

 

                   AYES:      Glenn Johnson, Richard Johnson, Adrienne Kemp,

                                    Matthew McCarville, Donald Patterson, Frank Shea, Dale Smith

                   NAYS:      None

             ABSTAIN:      None

              ABSENT:      Alan Hebert, Jim Gerberich

 

MOTION CARRIED

 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

 

            There being no further business, on a motion duly made, seconded, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned.

 

 

CERTIFICTATE OF SECRETARY

 

            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 October 4, 2006, comprised of 2 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 November 1, 2006.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Josette C. Kratz, CPS

 

/jck