Municipal Building 530 West Hill Road Glen Gardner, N.J.
The Regular Meeting of the Lebanon Township Board of Adjustment was called to order at 7:33 p.m. by Chairman Bruce Terzuolo. Present were: Mr. Machauer, Mr. Kozlowski, Mr. MacQueen, Mr. Perry, Mr. Abuchowski, Mr. Nagie, 2nd Alternate Maurizio, Attorney Gallina and Engineer Risse. Excused: Mr. Eberle.
Notice of this meeting was
provided for in the “Annual Meeting Notice Schedule” adopted by this board on
January 28, 2009, mailed to the Hunterdon Review, Hunterdon County Democrat,
Express Times, Courier News, Star Ledger and posted on
the bulletin board in the
PRESENTATION OF MINUTES:
Patrick Allen Block #16
666 JIN XIU Road
PUBLIC HEARING Rebuild second house on private road with additional variances
Section 400:8.b7 & Section 400: Attachment 4:1
Mr. Kozlowski announced he was recusing himself and stepped down from this application. Attorney Gallina announced that all the notices were in order and the board can proceed with the hearing. The following items were marked into evidence: A1-Taxes Paid, A2-Affadavit of Proof of Service, A3-Notice to Property Owners, A4-Certified List of Property Owners, A5-POD Slips, A6-Notice in Newspaper.
Attorney Robert Boak was
present to represent Patrick Allen along with Engineer Robert Zederbaum. Attorney Boak informed the board that the
applicant was unable to attend the meeting since he is in
The site plan was marked into
evidence as: A7-Site Plan/Variance
prepared by Engr. Zederbaum dated 7/10/2008 consisting of 4 sheets. Engineer Zederbaum noted on sheet 3 the
orientation of the property. There are
12 residential properties on
Engineer Zederbaum continued
with his testimony. The pool house with
the deck which is partially on State property also violates the rear yard
setback requirements. At the conclusion
of Engineer Zederbaums testimony, Chairman Terzuolo asked if the board had
questions. Mr. Machauer asked how many
homes if any were pass the Allen property.
Engineer Zederbaum did not know.
Mr. Machauer asked about the accessibility of the road. Engineer Zederbaum said in most parts it is
a two lane road. Mr. Machauer asked
since the applicant lives in
April 29, 2009
would be living in the house if it is rebuilt. Engineer Zederbaum did not know the plans of the applicant. Mr. Machauer asked about any guests that lived in the accessory apartment. Attorney
Boak said the in-laws had
lived in the apartment but didn’t know for what duration. It was noted that there is no intent on
renting out the accessory apartment. Mr.
Machauer asked if the apartment, converted garage was up to code per electric and
plumbing. Engineer Zederbaum did not
know if the apartment was up to code.
Attorney Boak stated the original building probably predates township
records, but Mr. Allen will have to take responsibility for raising the roof
and putting the second floor on without any permits. When the question was asked regarding when
the fire occurred, Mr. Perry who is on the Lebanon Township Fire Dept. noted
that the fire occurred during the day.
The question was also asked if the house was being occupied at the time
of the fire. Attorney Boak did not know.
Mr. Machauer asked about access
regarding fire and rescue to the property.
Mr. Maurizio referred to the comment about the house being rebuilt on
the same footprint and is it a requirement of the
Attorney Boak noted the
neighbor in question is the State of
Chairman Terzuolo asked if the pool is functional and on the applicant’s property. Engineer Zederbaum said it will take a lot of work and it is on the applicant’s property, only a portion that is over the property is the back portion of the pool house. Chairman Terzuolo asked how much of the building was over the line. Engineer Zederbaum stated about 15.8 feet is on the State property. He went on to say that the wooden deck could be removed without jeopardizing the structural stability of the pool. The encroachment would be small and he didn’t have the dimensions but it would only be a couple of feet over the line. The majority of the encroachment could be removed. Engineer Zederbaum did not feel the encroachment that would remain could be removed easily. Chairman Terzuolo wanted to know if it could be removed and reconstructed to maintain the integrity of the retaining wall. Engineer Zederbaum said since he did not know if this retaining wall was structurally sound, he did not know if it could be cut off and rebuild without jeopardizing the pool. Chairman Terzuolo asked about the two wooden docks and wooden deck. Engineer Zederbaum said at one time there were rowboats for the lake. Engineer Zederbaum said even the lake will need maintenance because of all the vegetation growing in it.
Mr. Nagie asked about the
metal tower on the property. Engineer
Zederbaum could not answer the question regarding the tower. Mr. Nagie asked
about other foundations on the property.
Engineer Zederbaum did not come across any.
Planner Bolan said the issue is a variance for a supplementary apartment expanded without permits. Planner Bolan asked Engineer Zederbaum to testify to the items in the Supplementary Apartment Ordinance as to whether or not this may or may not conform. Attorney Boak asked for a recess at this time. The board recessed at 8:17 p.m. and reconvened at 8:25 p.m.
April 29, 2009
When the board reconvened Planner
Bolan noted that the board has not heard any testimony on the 16 conditions of
the Supplementary Apartment Ordinance.
Planner Bolan asked Engineer Zederbaum how do they
plan to meet those conditions. Engineer
Zederbaum said they either meet the conditions or can meet them. Planner Bolan asked that they go thru each
condition to show how they meet them. As Engineer Zederbaum went through the
conditions, it became obvious that they were unable to meet the conditions in
the ordinance. Planner Bolan informed
Engineer Zederbaum that this board has dealt with many applications on
supplementary apartments. Attorney Boak
said they would have the appropriate official review the conditions and
confirm. Planner Bolan stated the
applicant can not defer to the local official to review. This board has to decide on whether these
conditions are met or not. Planner Bolan
suggested they submit a floor plan as to what is in the structure. Attorney Boak said this would be difficult
since the applicant is in
Planner Bolan asked about the positive and negative criteria specifically relating to this supplementary apartment issue the testimony given was simply a yes or no response to the Attorney’s questions and asked if Engineer Zederbaum could elaborate on how it meets the special reasons for a D3 Conditional Use Variance and also how it meets the negative criteria. Engineer Zederbaum said the property is in a state of disrepair but can be brought back up to an unbelievable standard. Also, the structure that burned down was fairly small. Mr. Abuchowski asked about if the apartment had its own septic. Engineer Zederbaum did not know.
Chairman Terzuolo opened the hearing to the public for questions. Mr. Schmidt asked several questions of Engineer Zederbaum. Mr. Abuchowski asked what the square footage of the house before it burned down. Attorney Boak did not know. Nancy Darios had a question regarding the accessory structure versus the principal structure. It was noted that Mr. Allen purchased the property in 1997 and the main house burned down in 2006. Planner Bolan asked if building permits have been issued to rebuild the main house. The answer was no. Planner Bolan noted that this is a private road and asked if they have an access agreement to use this private road. Attorney Boak said it’s in the deeds which were sent to Attorney Gallina. Planner Bolan asked about a driveway that services an adjoining lot and also on another adjoining lot and there is a declaration of restriction on the plan and an easement agreement and asked if this had been provided to the board attorney and engineer. Attorney Boak said yes.
From the public, Mr. Kozlowski asked who occupied the main house and apartment. Attorney Boak said that Mr. Allen occupied the main house before the fire and his in-laws occupied the apartment. There were questions regarding the apartment. The board reviewed the supplementary apartment ordinance going over the criteria. Attorney Boak said at the time of the fire no one lived on the property. At the conclusion of Engineer Zederbaums testimony along with questions from the board and public, Attorney Boak announced that he did not have any other witnesses to give testimony. Attorney Gallina had Planner Bolan and Engineer Risse sworn in at this time. After a brief discussion, the board decided they would have Mr. Perry and Mr. MacQueen sworn in to give testimony as to their knowledge of the Allen property.
Engineer Risse said the main issue is the pass ability of the road and the right to access the property. Engineer Risse stated he did an inspection of the property with Engineer Zederbaum. Since this is not creating a new lot there is no need to improve the lane to a Class III common driveway. This road is fairly passable compared to other private roads in the Township. Mr. Machauer asked about large vehicles being able to turn around. Engineer Risse said a minimum of a K-turn should be provided. At the conclusion of the Engineer’s testimony, board questions, Chairman Terzuolo opened the hearing to the public for questions, there were none. Planner Bolan noted with prior testimony given we have a D3 Variance. Planner Bolan said a D3 Variance is a simpler variance then a D1. On the negative criteria the board has to reconcile the grant of the variance from the legislative determination that condition should be imposed. The board needs to focus on the surrounding properties and based on the testimony that we had it sounds like they have variances for a supplementary apartment from subsection: a,b,c,l,o. At the
conclusion of Planner Bolan’s testimony, there were no questions from the board, applicant or the public. Mr. Perry and Mr. MacQueen were sworn in at this time. Mr. Perry referred to the fire
April 29, 2009
that took place back in 2006 stating that he checked out the supplementary apartment, there was no fire and it didn’t look like anyone was living in the apartment. Mr. Perry then proceeded to the rear of the main house where he encountered a Chinese man who spoke no English. Mr. Perry did not know if this person was living in the main house or not. Attorney Boak said that it might be Mr. Allen’s father-in-law. Mr. MacQueen said that he worked for the owner back in 1970-1971. Mr. MacQueen said back then it was a beautiful piece of property. Mr. MacQueen described for the board the layout of the swimming pool and pool house. He remembered the different outbuildings, the garage and the owners parking their car in it. Mr. MacQueen said he was at the property a few days after the fire and said that the property wasn’t being maintained. The board asked many questions of Mr. Perry and Mr. MacQueen. When the hearing was opened to the public the following person asked questions: Mr. Schmidt.
At this time Chairman Terzuolo opened the hearing for statements and comments. The following person made a statement: Mark Milan. Attorney Gallina had Mr. Milan sworn in. Mr. Perry had a question of Mr. Milan. Attorney Gallina asked Mr. Milan if he knew the layout of the supplementary apartment. (Unable to hear what Mr. Milan said). Mr. Maurizio asked Mr. Milan to look at a picture of the building which houses the apartment and tell the board where the entrance was located. It was noted that the kitchen and bathroom were located on the ground floor. Attorney Gallina had the picture marked into evidence. A9-picture of building housing the accessory apartment which captions stating: July 1970’s guest quarters over garage, 1987 second floor apartment, 2001 garage removed, made into house, current owner made into house for in-laws. Ms. Glashoff informed the board and applicant that the picture is from the Tax Assessor.
Chairman Terzuolo asked
Attorney Boak to give his summation at this time. Chairman Terzuolo announced that the evidence
taking portion of the hearing is now closed.
During the board’s deliberations, the deck which encroaches on the state
property, the supplementary apartment which was expanded over time without
permits or board approval, the shed on the
PRESENTATION OF BILLS:
a. John Gallina, Esq. $373.75 – Phone confs. w/Bd Chair, Attend Mtg 4/8/09
$201.25 – Review transcript/review corres. from Atty Gilbert
phone conf. Bd Sec. (Transtar)
b. Court Stenographer $200.00 – Attend 4/22/09 Meeting
Ms. Glashoff noted the additional bills that were on the Agenda Addendum and informed the board that the total is corrected to read $2,387.20 bringing the grand total to $3,162.20. Motion by Mr. Nagie and seconded by Mr. Perry to approve the bills with a total correction. Unanimously approved.
Ms. Glashoff reviewed for the board the upcoming meetings through June. Being no further business to come before the board, nor comments from the public, motion by Mr. Nagie and seconded by Mr. Perry to adjourn the meeting at 10:05 p.m. Unanimously approved.
CHAIRMAN BRUCE TERZUOLO
GAIL W. GLASHOFF, BOARD SECRETARY