REGULAR MEETING

 

Lebanon Township Planning Board                                                                                             August 5, 2008

Municipal Bldg   530 West Hill Road   Glen Gardner, N.J.

 

The 811th Regular Meeting of the Lebanon Township Planning Board was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Vice Chairwoman Doreen Bleck.  Present were:  Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Rich, Mr. Weiler, Mr. Piazza, Attorney Gallina, Planner Bolan and Engineer Risse.  Excused:  Mr. MacQueen, Mr. Piasecki and Mr. Weeks

 

Notice of this meeting was provided for in the “Annual Meeting Notice Schedule” adopted by this board on January 8, 2008, mailed to the Hunterdon Review, Hunterdon County Democrat, Express Times, Courier News, Star Ledger and posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building on July 30, 2008.

 

PRESENTATION OF MINUTES:               June 17, 2008     Regular Meeting

 

Mr. Rich noted under Items for Discussion, Create a mechanism for completeness of applications, that the wording of 90 days was not included and asked that it be included in the appropriate sentence.  Motion by Mr. Piazza and seconded by Mr. Rich to approve the minutes with the minor amendment.  Unanimously approved.

 

EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE DEEDS:

 

James Butters                                                       Block #16    Lot #20

1 Lot Minor Subdivision with                            Hoffmans Crossing Road    RC

conditions

 

Attorney Michael Selvaggi was present to represent the applicant James Butters.  Attorney Gallina stated the board has a letter from Attorney Selvaggi requesting a 90 day extension of time to file the deeds.  Attorney Selvaggi stated they discovered possibly some old roads within the property.   They might have to reconfigure the driveway.  Attorney Selvaggi recommended to Mr. Butters that they get the common driveway maintenance agreement and subdivision deed done.   They would like to put in the deed the right to relocate the driveway and if it happened then in the deed there would be language that would say subject to an amended application and approval by the board.  At the conclusion of the board’s discussion, motion by Mr. Schmidt and seconded by Mr. Piazza to grant the request for a 90 day extension of time to file deeds.  Unanimously approved.

 

Mr. Schmidt asked if the Highlands were amendable to exemptions or exceptions or are they strictly by the letter.   Attorney Selvaggi stated that what he has seen is that the only applications that are brought for the exceptions are ones that have conformed to what the Highlands considers an exception.  Regarding agricultural subdivisions, per the MLUL they don’t qualify as subdivisions or under the Highlands Act.  Both lots will have to be dedicated and used for agricultural purposes.  The Highlands will only kick in when Mr. Butters decides to develop the newly created lot with a house.  Then the new lot with the house will have to conform to the Highlands regulations.  

 

RESOLUTION:

 

a.  Cellco Partnership/Verizon Wireless                           Block #6    Lot #3

     Conditional Use/Site Plan/Bulk Variances                Route 31    B2

     with conditions

 

Motion by Mr. Rich and seconded by Mr. Piazza to approve the resolution for Cellco Partnership as presented.

 

ROLL CALL       Yes:  Mr. Schmidt                Abstain:  Ms. Bleck            Absent:  Mr. Piasecki

                                         Mr. Rich                                         Mr. Weiler                           Mr. Gerlich

                                         Mr. Piazza                                                                                    Mr. Weeks

FYI:

 

a.  Letter received by Ms. Glashoff from COAH on July 29th

 

Vice Chairwoman Bleck asked Planner Bolan to address the letter received from COAH.  Planner Bolan stated this letter is dealing with the Roberts Bill A500/S1783 that the Governor signed June 17th which was the same day that the Highlands Master Plan was approved.   This bill changes the non-residential development fee to 2.5% and exempts certain uses such as hospitals & nursing homes.  How it will affect us is that there will be no RCA’s which we relied on with the last round.  The 2.5% is for non-residential which includes agricultural buildings.  In reviewing this letter regarding the legislation, Planner Bolan stated it is a nightmare.  Mr. Piazza informed the board that at the Township Committee, twice Clinton Township has asked us to join in with them in their lawsuit against COAH which would cost the Township approximately $8,000.00.  The League of Municipalities has also asked that we join them.  They are asking for $500.00 per municipality to join in on their lawsuit against COAH.  Planner Bolan stated that whatever happens with these lawsuits the municipality will benefit.  Planner Bolan went on to say that if the Township decides to join in on one of the lawsuit, they should consider the League of Municipality.  Out of the 270 towns under COAH’s jurisdiction, 220 of those towns have joined the League with their lawsuit.  Planner Bolan stated the League’s lawsuit is more reasonable and a more winnable lawsuit.  Planner Bolan

 

Lebanon Township Planning Board

August 5, 2008

Page 2

 

said that with our work on the Housing Plan we should hold off as long as we can.  We know the deadline is December 31, 2008; we need to wait and see how things play out.  We can come up with a Plan which

won’t be much different than the Plan of 2005.   At the conclusion of the discussion, Ms. Glashoff informed the board that in their new tax bills is a flyer from her regarding the Accessory Apartment Ordinance for COAH.  Ms. Glashoff noted that in the ordinance it does not refer to the RC zone.  Planner Bolan stated that he has the ordinance done which includes the RC zone in a draft form.  When we submitted our plan to COAH in December 2005 we received a comment letter from COAH and then in October 2006 we sent them supplemental information which was amending the Accessory Apartment/ Rehabilitation Ordinance.   Ms. Glashoff said she is already getting phone calls on her flyer.  Planner Bolan stated he will send the amended ordinance on to the Township Attorney and hopefully it can be on the Township Committee’s next agenda of August 20, 2008.

 

ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:

 

a.  Change Meeting Date from 3rd Tuesday to 1st Tuesday with 3rd Tuesday as backup.

 

When Vice Chairwoman Bleck asked about the dates, Ms. Glashoff referred the change to Planner Bolan for his input.  Planner Bolan informed the board that he has been hired by West Amwell Township to be their Planner.  The Planning Board meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month and asked if the board would consider moving our date to the 1st Tuesday with the 3rd Tuesday as our backup.  After a brief discussion, motion by Mr. Piazza and seconded by Mr. Rich to switch our meeting dates around from the 3rd Tuesday to the 1st Tuesday with the 3rd Tuesday as backup.   Also, the meeting of September 16th will be cancelled and the next meeting will be held on October 7th.  Unanimously approved.  Ms. Glashoff suggested rescheduling the December meeting from December 16th to Tuesday December 9th since she will be on vacation the first week in December.  The board agreed and Ms. Glashoff will place the notice in the newspaper for these changes.  The board congratulated Planner Bolan on his appointment to West Amwell Twp.

 

b.  Increase Escrow Fees – Memo from Board Clerk

 

Ms. Glashoff asked if anyone had any questions regarding her memo.  Ms. Bleck asked about the Butters escrow.  Attorney Gallina stated the MLUL provides that no action can be taken by a board when escrow bills are outstanding and they have to be replenished.  Ms. Glashoff said that when it becomes a real problem is when the application has been approved and bills will come in after the approval which is normal.  She said that she has put one application on hold with the professionals because the applicant owes escrow monies.  Ms. Glashoff explained to the board the procedures that were in place before last September.  Now each escrow account has its own checking account and when the funds are low and a bill comes in that exceeds the balance, she has to contact the applicant to get more money.  This new procedure means spending more time tracking escrow accounts.  Ms. Glashoff stated she prefers to not have to constantly be chasing applicants for money.   Ms. Glashoff noted the recommendations she made in the memo to increase the escrow fees and reviewed them with the board.    It was agreed to amend the recommendations to increase the escrows on Extension of Time from $500.00 to $750.00 and on Conditional Uses from $1,000.00 to $1,500.00.  At the conclusion of the board’s discussion, motion by Mr. Rich and seconded by Mr. Schmidt to approve the recommendations with amendments.  Unanimously approved.  Attorney Gallina will draft the ordinance amendment to have on the agenda for Introduction at the Township Committee Meeting of August 20, 2008.

 

c.  Letter from Zoning Officer referred by Township Committee  re: Alternative Energy Ordinance

 

The board reviewed Mr. Flemming letter and discussed the issues at length.  During the discussion, concerns with Height, Stormwater, Noise and smoke from outside wood furnaces.  They felt all three items should be encouraged with safeguards.   Since the board agreed with the suggestions and recommendations by Mr. Flemming, they decided to put together a subcommittee to work on this and to include Planner Bolan.  The following people will sit on the subcommittee:  Mr. Rich, Mr. Schmidt, Planner Bolan and Zoning Officer Flemming.

 

PRESENTATION OF BILLS & REPORT:

 

a.   John Gallina, Esq.                         $1,155.00

b.  Michael Bolan, PP                         $4,070.00

c.  Bayer/Risse Engrs.                         $   862.50

                                                Total:    $6,087.50

 

Motion by Mr. Rich and seconded by Mr. Piazza to approve the bills for payment.  Unanimously approved.

 

Being no further business to come before the board, nor comments from the public, motion by Mr. Piazza and seconded by Mr. Rich to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m.  Unanimously approved.

                                                                                                ___________________________________________

                                                                                                VICE CHAIRWOMAN DOREEN BLECK

________________________________________________

GAIL W. GLASHOFF, PLANNING BOARD CLERK