May 6, 2009

Regular Meeting


Salute to Flag:




This is a Regular Meeting of the Wanaque Board of Adjustment and adequate notice has been duly advertised by the mailing of a notice to the Suburban Trends and Herald & News on February 5, 2009 and a notice thereof has been posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building and a copy thereof is on file with the Borough Clerk.


ROLL CALL:  Chairman Jack Dunning, William Grygus, Frank Covelli, Don Ludwig, Ed Leonard, Eric Willse, Dominick Cortellessa, Attorney Ronald Mondello and Engineer Christopher Nash.


MEMBERS ABSENT:  Peter Hoffman and Joseph D’Alessio.


Application #23-06 Realty Associates Redevelopment, LLC, 547 Ringwood Ave., Block 231 Lot 11.  Use Variance & Bulk Variances:

Chairman Dunning said that this application is on a six-month furlough at the request of the applicant and will run to about June 2009.


Application #02-08 William Englishman, 128 Greenwood Ave., Block 460 Lot 12 & 13. Use Variance, Minor Subdivision with Bulk Variances:

Chairman Dunning said this application also is on hold for six-months and will run about to July 2009.


 Application #01-09 Charles Sahanas, 5 Humbert Place, Block 200 Lot 13, Bulk Variance:

Charles Sahanas, the applicant, stepped forward and was sworn in by Atty. Mondello.  Mr. Sahanas explained his application is for the construction of a 26 X 28 detached garage. Mr. Sahanas explained that the reason his Building Permit was denied is because of the front yard setback and also height.

Chairman Dunning asked Eng. Nash to go over his report dated April 24, 2009. Eng. Nash said back at the beginning of March there was an initial plan that was submitted which is not the final. Eng. Nash did have some concerns and had a meeting with Surveyor, John Miceli and they worked through some of the issues that Eng. Nash had.  Eng. Nash was looking for some specific grading around the garage. Eng. Nash said if you look at the site plan, on interval contour lines, you don’t get to see the detail. The grade differences are critical and the walls are only 4 ft. high and the grading around the wall and the septic system he felt needed additional detail. Eng. Nash was told he was going to get the plan before tonight’s meeting but he didn’t. Eng Nash doesn’t see that its something that’s a deathblow to the application and is just an engineering detail that can always be worked out. He also had some concerns about the proximity of the retaining wall with respect to  the septic system. Understanding that the Board of Health is the final call and the Board of Health did issue a letter subsequent to Eng. Nash’s letter and they disagreed with Eng. Nash’s comments and they accepted the plan submitted. Eng. Nash said his concerns are if you have a wall that’s 4 ft. high adjacent to a septic system, it’s susceptible to leaking from the wall. Eng. Nash’s suggestion was to move the wall so that the wall is actually coincident with the garage walls which are actually the retaining walls same as the back of the garage.

Mr. Sahanas said he didn’t have any problem with that suggestion and actually it would be better. Eng. Nash said the applicant could remove the retaining wall and the south wall of the garage would act as a retaining wall and the applicant may have to extend it slightly into the 10 ft. offset and this would also save the homeowner money.

Atty. Mondello said he wants to be clear about this and as he understands it, the applicant is to use the garage wall as a retaining wall and will take it out further to the property line and probably impact on the 10 ft. he’s proposing but since the ordinance considers this to be a “fence” and you can take your fence to the property line, no additional variance is required and is not exasperating the one that he is seeking.

Chairman Dunning asked Mr. Sahanas the purpose of this garage and Mr. Sahanas said it was to be used for his sport utility Expedition and a pick up truck with a rack on it and they can’t fit in his existing garage and it will also be used for some storage. The new proposed garage will have a 10 ft. single car garage door.

As far as electric for the new garage, the applicant will have a new panel and meter coming off the pole and not off the applicant’s house. There will be some outlets and fluorescent lights and outdoor lights for the garage.

Chairman Dunning asked Mr. Sahanas if he ever had an issue with water because of the terrain, would the water flood out the back of the proposed garage? Mr. Sahanas answered and said he never had a problem with water in the area because it’s all bank run. When he redid his septic system with new tanks in 2000, the engineer said he could use the soil that was right there and not bring any soil in because the soil was that good.

Atty. Mondello asked Mr. Sahanas if he had any objections to Member Ludwig sitting in on this application because Mr. Ludwig did some work for Mr. Sahanas some twenty years ago and Mr. Sahanas said he did not have any objections.

Member Leonard asked if there would be a second floor in this garage and Mr. Sahanas said there would be room for storage up on top and isn’t sure where the stairs will be but probably on the inside. Member Ludwig wanted to know if there was enough room up there for an apartment and Mr. Sahanas said no. Atty. Mondello asked Mr. Sahanas if he had any objections to putting in the resolution that the garage is never to be used as living quarters and wouldn’t be converted into an apartment or anything of the like and Mr. Sahanas said he has no problem with that being put into the resolution. Member Leonard wanted to know if there would be water going to this garage and Mr. Sahanas said no.




MOTION TO APPROVE:  made by Member Ludwig, seconded by Member Leonard, voting yes were Chairman Dunning, Members Grygus, Covelli, Ludwig, Leonard, Willse and Cortellessa.






CORRESPONDENCE: No questions asked.




MINUTES: from the Meeting of March 4, 2009.


MOTION TO APPROVE:  made by Member Leonard, seconded Member Cortellessa, voting yes were Chairman Dunning, Members Ludwig, Leonard, Willse and Cortellessa.  Members Grygus and Covelli not qualified.


ENGINEER’S REPORT: Eng. Nash said Land Surveyor John Miceli indicated he has another application coming in but it hasn’t been submitted yet.



Atty. Mondello was given a copy of Atty. Anthony Fiorello’s letter dated September 17, 2008 to the Board Secretary with regard to the “Permit Extension Act”.  Atty. Mondello will research it and get back to the Board with his interpretation.


Member Leonard asked about the “Parsco Application”. Chairman Dunning said they changed attorneys because the original attorney had problems doing the deed and he’s gone. At the March Meeting, the new attorney showed up asking for a six-month extension which was granted so he could take the paper work and try and get it all back together again. In the meantime, they have submitted a revised plan, as per the Board’s approval,

to Eng. Gregor. Chairman Dunning hasn’t heard back from Eng. Gregor whether it is the right plan or not.


Member Grygus mentioned that he’s assuming that the Englishman and Realty Applications will have to re-notice when they go forward again. Chairman Dunning added that the Englishman Application is waiting for the lawsuit on Elwood to settle to see if it will go to the Board of Adjustment or the Planning Board.


Member Grygus asked the Board Secretary to ask the Building Inspector to take a look at the resolution and approval for “Strengthen Our Sisters”, because Member Grygus noticed they have a sign up for a Day Care and part of the Board’s approval was to have a fenced in play area in the back. Member Covelli said he saw a fence up in the back.


Chairman Dunning also asked the Board Secretary to ask the Building Inspector about the Staropoli Application and the road improvement on the side street. Chairman Dunning said the CO should be held up until that work is done.


MOTION TO ADJOURN AT 8:35 P.M.: carried by a voice vote.




Gerri Marotta

Board of Adjustment Secretary