Monthly Archives: February 2014

What You Missed at the February 26, 2014 Planning Board Meeting

Attendance: Members present: Len Capristo, Patricia Cindea, Kathleen Crippen, Richard Diver, Roy Francolino, Mayor Butch Maccanico, Frederic Manger, Robert Merriken. Absent: James Hackett

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. The first order of business was to appoint a new slate of officers. Robert Merriken nominated Richard Diver as chairman, and the Board voted unanimously. Diver then nominated Merriken as his Vice-chair and the Board again vote unanimously. Eileen Eilenberger was unanimously voted as corresponding secretary and Deputy Clerk Janine Gillis as recording secretary.

Long-time planning board engineer Joe May was again appointed, although the appointment for Board attorney was tabled so that a Request for Proposals could be circulated and bids received for the position. Current Board attorney George MacGill will remain as the attorney until which time the Board decides to either reappoint him or appoint a new attorney.

Chairman Diver proposed that the Planning Board meetings be moved from the fourth Wednesday of the month to the third Thursday. He noted that often, the Board meets the night before the Board of Adjustment. If a planning board matter is carried over to its next meeting, this can cause delays to the Board of Adjustment if they are hearing a related matter. He felt that adding a week between meetings would allow for easier notifications between Boards. The majority of the Board members agreed to move the meeting day.

The reorganization portion of the meeting ended at 7:15 PM and the regular meeting convened at 7:18. The Board heard two applications.

The first, from TFM Builders, sought and received a sub-division for lots located at 114 Tenth Avenue. The applicants noted that they were tearing down two non-conforming structures on one large lot, and wanted to split the parcel into two conforming lots each with its own single-family home. Resident Michelle Wood expressed a concern that the back edge of the lots bounded on the Jersey Avenue dead end and she asked if a stipulation could be made that there would be no lot access from this direction. The Board agreed. Additional stipulations included the remediation of an old septic system on the parcel along with the removal of two large pine trees which were leaning over a neighboring lot. The Board granted unanimous approval.

The second application was from the Amoscato Family LLC for commercial development along Route 71 and Allaire Road. This is in the area recently rezoned as B-3 in order to accommodate light retail use and prevent the building of hotels or motels. Despite concerns expressed this past campaign season that the Borough would see run-away development, the applicant submitted a modest proposal for two buildings to be located just behind the existing Central Jersey Bank building. Designed by architect Christopher Rice of Sea Girt in the “seaside Colonial” style, the front building is 3,000 square foot and the rear building is 2,000 square foot. The layout included ample parking and an exceptionally wide vegetative buffer of native hollies and evergreens along the border of the Wyckham Manor community.

Patricia Cindea, who is the Council’s representative on the Board, expressed concerns over traffic and asked the applicant’s traffic expert to explain her study. The traffic expert noted that the peak traffic hours in the area are from 7 AM to 9 or 10 AM and again from 5 PM to 6 PM. She noted that the bank already has morning traffic because they open at 8 AM and said there should be no increased traffic with the new development because the stores would not be open that early. She felt that there would be a small increase in traffic during the evening hours. The existing driveway into the bank along Route 71 would be moved a few yards further north, in accordance with current standards.

The nearest neighbor to the north, Patricia Durkin-Wignall, expressed concerns over the location of the parcel’s dumpster and the close proximity of the parking lot to her rental units. The applicant noted that they could not move the dumpster across the lot into the buffer of the residential property. The lots to the north are zoned commercial and have no such buffer restrictions. However, the applicant was willing to negotiate a design waver on the parking spaces directly behind the rental units, moving them slightly west in order to give Ms. Durkin-Wignal a somewhat broader vegetative buffer.

Other stipulations included repaving of the bank parking lot and working closely with the Planning Board engineer on some soil and drainage issues. The Board voted to approve the application, with Ms. Cindea the lone dissenting vote.

Chairman Diver made one final change in the Board’s proceedings. He implemented a “Voice of the Public” segment to the meeting, so that residents wishing to speak on any land use concern might do so. It had been a criticism of the Planning Board in the past that there was no mechanism for public input. Mr. Diver indicated that he felt there should be and asked if anyone in the audience wished to say anything or ask a question. No one wishing to speak, and with no further business, the Board adjourned at approximately 9:55 PM.

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What You Missed at the February 24, 2014 SLH Borough Council Meeting

Roll Call:  Mayor Maccanico, Council persons Cindea, King, O’Brien, Shuler and Tienken present. Councilman Vorbach absent.

There being no presentations or public hearings, the meeting proceeded directly to the First Voice of the Public. Resident Sharon Batteau asked about an item listed under correspondence, that of the Monmouth County Community Development Housing Rehablitation Program.  Borough Administrator Jay Delaney explained that the Council in 2009 had entered into an agreement with the County in order to satisfy part of the Borough’s obligation under the Affordable Housing Act. When asked by Councilman Tienken why the Borough had not followed through on this, Mr. Delaney said he could only surmise that it was because when Governor Christie entered office, he tried to dissolve the Council on Affordable Housing and most towns had put meeting their obligations on hold. Councilwoman Cindea, who previously sat on the Borough’s Affordable Housing Committee, said it would cost the Borough upwards of $50,000 a unit for rehabilitation and felt this was too costly a commitment. Councilman Tienken tried again to answer whether any resident in town would benefit from the program but Mr. Delaney explained that information would only come to light after the commitment was made and residents applied for it.

The Council agreed to allow Mr. Delaney to contact the County and indicate the Borough no longer wished to pursue this. The program could have benefitted senior citizens or others who may be in need of housing renovations but did not have the ready income to undertake such projects.

Resident Kathleen Crippen asked about the lack of meeting minutes, noting that the Council was obligated by law to produce them. March 2013 was one of the last meetings that had approved minutes, although Councilwoman King had been successful in having the January 1 reorganization meeting minutes produced and approved. Once again, Councilwoman Cindea displayed her usual rudeness and unprofessional behavior, laughing and smirking all the time Ms. Crippen spoke; she obviously felt it was a huge joke that the Council was negligent in its duties. After the meeting, Cindea was seen approaching Mr. Delaney and laughingly telling him to make sure he produced the minutes “chop-chop” and get on it right away.

Resolutions discussed and passed during the meeting included approval of the annual mosquito control program by the County, authorization of a refund for overpaid taxes to a resident, and the approval to move bills to the Finance Committee.

During the Second Voice of the Public, resident Sharon Batteau again asked a question. This time, she noted that in Spring Lake, the Council representative to the Planning Board was not allowed to vote on any land use issues that came before the Council; she wanted to know if Spring Lake Heights followed this policy. A discussion ensued in which members of the Council suggested that Spring Lake has a combined land use board, and not a separate Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment that SLH has. Mayor Maccanico noted that the Planning Board meets on Wed. night and he would raise this question to the Planning Board attorney.

There be no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council is Monday, March 10.

What You Missed at the February 10, 2014 Council Meeting

Attendance: Mayor Maccanico, Councilpersons Cindea, King, O’Brien, Shuler, Tienken. Councilman Vorbach absent.

 The meeting began with the remaining professional appointments for 2014. Scott Kenneally was named as Borough Attorney to represent the firm of Starkey, Kelly, Kenneally, Cunningham & Turnbach, Brick. Suplee Clooney was appointed as Borough Auditors. Louis N. Rainone was named as Labor Attorney to represent the firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, Teaneck. All firms have shown support for the Democratic Party in the past.

 During the first Voice of the Public, resident Evelyn Condello asked about the total balance of the Recreation Trust Fund and was told by the borough administrator that he could provide her with this total.

 Borough Engineer Joe May spoke about a possible grant for post-Sandy projects. Monmouth County had approved of the Borough’s proposal to seek funding to renovate the two sewage stations in the borough. One is sited on Shore Road and the railroad, along Wreck Pond and the other is at the foot of Sixth Avenue on the north side of Black Creek. Both are plagued by aging infrastructure and are a threat to the environment, as a failure at either station could cause a sewage spill into the waterway. Mr. May asked for and was granted the Council’s approval to complete the application, which would require Federal approval.

 Councilman O’Brien asked that, if the Borough did not get the funding, would they be required to pay for it anyway. Mr. May responded no, the borough would not be required but would probably want to invest some money to update the stations.

 During the second Voice of the Public, resident Gladys Erbe thanked the public works department for their hard work during the recent snow storms. She hoped that whomever takes the place of retiring Public Work Superintendent Art Herner runs as tight a ship as Mr. Herner does.

 Resident Evelyn Condello, who for many years has supervised the senior activities of the Trendsetters organization, spoke of her concern of the programs coming under the Borough’s Recreation Committee umbrella. She felt the transition has not been smooth and there has been a lack of communication. Councilman Tienken, who chairs the Recreation Committee, felt that the transition had been moving along smoothly and asked that Mrs. Condello provided him with more information on her concerns.

 The next regularly scheduled Council meeting is Monday, February 24 at 8:00 PM.