DECEMBER 1, 2010


Salute to Flag: 8:05 p.m.


This is a Regular Meeting of the Wanaque Board of Adjustment and adequate notice has been given and it has been duly advertised by the placement of a notice in the Suburban Trends and Herald News on January 17, 2010 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, Vice Chairman William Grygus, Members Frank Covelli, Peter Hoffman, Ed Leonard, Don Ludwig, Jaime Landis, Joseph D'Alessio, Attorney Ronald Mondello, and Engineer Christopher Nash.


APPLICATION: #ZBA-2010-02 – 1040 Ringwood Avenue, LLC
LOCATION: 1040 Ringwood Avenue, Haskell, NJ (Block 431/Lot 8)
VARIANCE: Use And Bulk Area Variances (CD 10/1//2010)

Arthur Linderman, Esq., attorney for the Applicant, 1040 Ringwood Avenue, LLC. The application is to take an existing gas station and give it a modern "facelift", bring the building up to code as to how gas should be dispensed, stored and sold and also add to it a coffee shop drive thru.

Testifying tonight, on behalf of the applicant, will be:
First: Daniel Dougherty, Engineer
Second: Charles Olivo, Traffic Expert
Third: Allison Coffin, Planner

Attorney Mondello, has reviewed the Hearing Notice served on property owners, Affidavit of Service and Notice for Publication, and recommends to the Board that the Application be deemed complete.

Attorney Mondello swore in Daniel J. Dougherty, Dynamic Engineering Consultants, PC, 1904 Main Street, Lake Como, New Jersey.
Credentials: Worked for Dynamic Engineering for about 5-1/2 years as an engineering consultant. He has been practicing as an engineering consultant for land development in New Jersey throughout his career. Graduated Villanova University with Bachelors of Civil Engineering, and has been a licensed engineer in New Jersey since 1999. He has been qualified as an expert in the field of engineering only (not an architect).

Engineer Dougherty's Testimony:
The current building is an existing combination fuel-filling station and auto repair shop. Proposed project is to enhance the fuel-filling element of the business by adding two additional service pumps so there is a total of four pumps and to renovate the existing auto repair building for a proposed coffee shop with drive thru.

There are several variances associated with the project, which are listed in the engineer's memo. All the variances that are under the proposed conditions are existing, non-conformities with the existing use on the site. There are three existing variance conditions which will be eliminated with the new proposal so that, in fact, there will be three less non-conforming elements of the plan compared to the existing conditions. We would need the Board's approval to move forward on this, not only because variances are required for approval, but testimony will support that there is a use variance required because there will be two principal uses within the site, as there are today. It is just that one of the uses will be different.

Exhibit A-2 – Colorized version of an Aerial View of the property dated 5/12/10, Revision #1, which has been previously provided to the Board.
This site is located in a Business Zone at the northeast corner of the intersection of Ringwood Avenue and Fourth Avenue. The site has an existing gasoline service station with auto repair. The auto repair element has three service bays along the front of the building and the filling station has two pumps with an individual island and a canopy.

Exhibit A-3 – Colorized version of the Site Survey of the property (existing conditions rendering). It is very similar to the Demolition Plan in the package, which has been previously provided to the Board.
The existing site has four driveway access points, which are presently being used; two from Ringwood Avenue and two from Fourth Avenue.

Exhibit A-4 – Colorized version of the Site Plan Drawing, which shows proposed landscaping. Refer to Sheet 4 for the Drawing; and Sheet 6 shows the landscape plantings.
The proposed project will enhance the fuel-filling aspect of the site by adding one pump island with two pumps on it and a larger canopy to cover the additional island. The canopy will be very similar to the same Exxon canopy that is presently on the site. There will be recessed lighting underneath the canopy, with the Exxon logo on it.
The existing building is to be renovated from the current use as a repair shop. The auto repair bays will be removed and replaced with the operations for the inside of the coffee shop. There will be no car storage on the site and no additions to the building. The building will be kept very similar to the existing material with new windows and different doorway locations.
The western-most driveway on Fourth Avenue will be closed and eliminated. This is the entrance on Fourth Avenue closest to Ringwood Avenue. The other three driveways will remain for access to the site.
There are nine (9) additional parking spots that are proposed for the coffee shop along the Fourth Avenue frontage, which includes one ADA spot, and three (3) parallel parking spots just north of the existing building, for a total of twelve (12) parking spaces.
Drive thru circulation will proceed counterclockwise along the rear of the building. There will be a menu board at the northeast corner of the building facing the drivers and facing towards the southeast, at which point customers will place their orders and then proceed around to the north side of the building where the drive-thru window is, receive and pay for their product and proceed out of the site.
No seating is proposed inside the building.

Attorney Mondello asked Engineer Dougherty's if, in his opinion, the drive-thru window requires a variance? Engineer Dougherty doesn't believe so because this is all part of the restaurant use that's conforming and permitted within this zone. It is the combination of the two uses that is requiring the use variance.

All the variances that are proposed for this project are all the same elements of the existing non-conformities. There are several that are slightly exacerbated, but there are no proposed variances where there is a pre-existing non-conformity. There are three existing non-conforming uses that we are conforming in the proposal, thus, reducing non-conforming elements: (a) front yard parking setback to Ringwood Avenue; (b) rear yard parking setback; and (c) front yard landscape buffer.

Regarding storm water management, the proposed project reduces impervious coverage by about 1300 square feet. Storm water run-off produced by the site is going to be reduced because there is going to be more landscape area on the site and water quality run-off from the site will be improved since there will be less paved area. Per NJDEP Regulations and Borough Code, no storm water management measures are required because the project will produce an improved storm water management status because we are reducing the impervious cover.

All existing utility services are to be retained. The one-inch water service should be sufficient; however, at this point, there is no tenant for this building. Once a tenant is secured, the plumbing engineer and designer will confirm whether or not a new water service may be needed.

Presently, there are two existing pole-mounted light fixtures at each of the Ringwood Avenue driveways, which will be retained. We will be adding three new pole-mounted fixtures, which are shoebox fixtures. All lighting elements within the fixture are shielded and all lighting is cast down to minimize any glare. Also, where appropriate, installing forward-throw fixtures with shields to minimize any spillage of light off the property. There are also three wall sconce fixtures, which are utilized to light the area around the building for the drive thru area. The proposed fixtures for lighting under the canopy are fully recessed within the canopy and are flush with the ceiling inside the canopy so there will be no bulb hanging down to throw light and glare in all directions. The light will be directed down to the pavement surface that is below the canopy rather than having the spillage associated with exposed bulbs.

Exhibit A-5 – Architectural Plan-Preliminary Floor Plan and Elevation (no copies given to the Board) Drawing of existing building, using the existing brick face and replacing with matching brick face in places where necessary. New window elements will replace the three existing repair bays, which will be removed. South side of the building will be used as the entranceway for walk-in traffic. This area was previously used as a mini mart. Even though there is seating including in this Plan, no seating is proposed for this project. Attorney Mondello requested a new plan be submitted without seating being included.
While referencing this plan, until an actual tenant is secured, revisions will be necessary as to the exact layout. However, there will be restrooms, storage area, counter space, etc., inside the building. The drive thru window will be where it is indicated on the Plan, and the access points will also be where indicated. There will be the main door in the front of the building, and an emergency door/service door at the rear of the building

Proposed hours of operation are 6am until 9pm. We will not be a twenty-four hour operation. Filling station business will stay as Exxon, but the tenant is still to be determined.

Vice Chairman Grygus questioned the Vehicle Circulation Plan (Sheet 11) and what happens when the truck comes to service the dumpsters and a vehicle comes in right behind the truck into the drive thru lane. Engineer Dougherty responded that typically the trash removal can be scheduled, as well as deliveries, during non-peak/off hours, since the owner doesn't want anything to interfere with the business during its peak hours. The loading area is also on the south side of the building, near the handicap ramp.

Vice Chairman Grygus also addressed concerns about snow removal and the loss of parking spaces since this area contains the drive thru driveway, dumpsters and a fence along the driveway. Engineer Dougherty believes that, since they are proposing a new driveway and landscaping areas, there will be 1300 square feet of additional area to store snow. In extreme snow conditions, typically owners have someone come in and remove the snow off site.

Member Covelli questioned if the dumpster could be relocated from its present site because, of all the locations on this site, the dumpster is presently located next to the residential home. This dumpster could have the potential to have both petroleum and food odors emitting from it. Engineer Dougherty believes, because of the existing conditions on the site, there is no really reasonable recourse for another trash enclosure location that allows appropriate usage and also doesn't put it in the front yard.
Member Covelli wants the applicant to be mindful of that fact that this northeast corner, right next to the residential home, contains parking right up against the fence, no shrubbery/sound buffer proposed, idling, noisy cars at the drive thru window and a dumpster. Engineer Dougherty said they have reviewed this aspect of the application, but will work with the Board's Engineer to find a solution. He believes the applicant will be amendable to installing a new, higher fence in lieu of the existing one, possibly an eight-foot high fence as a buffer. Unfortunately, the neighbor's house is only a few feet from a business district and an existing commercial business site.

Chairman Dunning asked if notice was given to the County. Engineer Dougherty advised that there is a pending application before the Passaic County Planning Board, but no comments have been received yet.

Vice Chairman Grygus referenced Sheet 12, which shows the gasoline delivery truck entering the site from Ringwood Avenue south. Since tractor-trailers are not allowed on Skyline Drive, in all likelihood, all deliveries to this site are going to be coming north on Ringwood Avenue. Because of this, can the truck enter the site without crossing the double yellow line on Ringwood Avenue? Engineer Dougherty advised that he would have to model the truck to appropriately answer the question. However, the tanks shown on the drawing are very similar to the tank locations on the existing site and the Ringwood Avenue and Fourth Avenue driveways are the same that are being used today for truck deliveries.

The mechanical units will be located in the landscaped area along the rear of the building (east side of the building). There is no other appropriate location for them. In order to buffer the sound and for appearance, installing a low picket or vinyl fence around the units is recommended.

No irrigation system is planned at this time.

Vice Chairman Grygus referenced Sheet 4S – Signage Table. What will the "POS" signs be? This is a promotional sign that is within the ordinance as a permitted 3 x 5 sign for this conditional use. Attorney Mondello reviewed and read the ordinance. The proposed sign dimensions of 2 x 4 was based upon a sign previously located in the landscape island between the Ringwood Avenue driveways, which is no longer there.
The pump-mounted three square foot sign would be the Exxon logo sign on each dispenser; one pump with a dispenser on either side (Sign Ordinance 114-17C)
Canopy-mounted sign – There is no mention of canopy signs in the Borough's Ordinance. Per Chairman Dunning, if needed, the Board can grant any variances necessary for the canopy signs.
No window signs are proposed.

Vice Chairman Grygus questioned if there was any second floor in the structure? Engineer Dougherty responded "no".
Member Covelli questioned, because of the height of the building, if anything was proposed for the extra space that will be available with removing the auto repair bays and lifts. Because the roof is gabled, Engineer Dougherty thought the bay height was only about twelve feet in height. There could be attic space for storage, but there is no second floor or mezzanine proposed for offices.

Engineer Nash advised the Board that, because he prepared a letter in October to the applicant, and there was no meeting in November, the applicant had an opportunity to respond to his concerns/questions and they did so in writing. Presently, the only outstanding issue is, how is the noise going to be dealt with? You have the idling cars, the people speaking when ordering at the menu board and during the transaction at the drive thru window.
Engineer Dougherty advised that the menu board faces southeast towards the driver as they are proceeding north. Because of new technology, the volume of the speakers associated with the menu board can be adjusted so that, rather than sticking with a standard volume level that suits all situations, they actually sense lower levels of ambient noise so that the volume on the speaker is dropped. In this situation, the speaker is pointed away from the existing residence. It is pointed to the southeast towards the vacant fire department property. As far as the idling of the vehicles, one of the things to think about is, not only are we proposing the improved, higher fence, but we are also eliminating a use which has a lot of noise associated with it from tools (mechanical tools, air drills, air compressors, etc.) used in repairing vehicles. Because of the present gasoline filling station at the site, there is and will continue to be vehicle noises.

Chairman Dunning believes that the present placement of the mechanical units will interfere with the menu ordering board and speakers. Maybe they can be placed inside the building above a suspended ceiling. The Board's concern seems to be that there is a tunnel of noise being created behind the building.
Engineer Dougherty suggested maybe modifying the roof at the back of the building to allow installing the units either inside or directly on the roof.

Chairman Dunning questioned the lighting plan. The plan shows a zero spillage of light onto the property of the neighbor to the north. How is this possible?
Engineer Dougherty testified the problem with the glare from the new Gulf Station is the huge fixtures that are hanging underneath the canopy. The cut-off fixtures we propose really isolate the direction the light is thrown. They throw it to the immediate area below the fixture. There is also a house-side shield that hangs below the body of the lens to further cutoff spillage and glare that might come from the fixture. The light will be sixteen feet, which is the same as the existing poles. Also, the fence will also keep the light from getting off the property. There will be zero light levels on the neighbor's property, at grade.

Board Members discussed with Engineer Dougherty design changes for queuing, drive thru window, access points and landscaping. Board Members are concerned about how this project will impact the residence and traffic.

Board took a break at 9:30pm
Board reconvened at 9:40pm with all Board Members present from original Roll Call.

Attorney Linderman stated that, during the break and after receiving the comments of the various Members of the Board, the Applicant has determined that it would be wise, and in his best interest, to reconsider the project. We would like to carry this application in order that the engineers and/or architects have enough time to prepare and re-submit the necessary paperwork for reconsideration of this same project as a Tiger Mart, to possibly have a business, such as Dunkin Donuts or Subway, inside the building with some seating and remove the drive-in aspect of this application.

There would be no need to re-notice or re-publish and Attorney Linderman waived any time requirements.

Chairman Dunning advised Attorney Linderman that, any new members who may be appointed at the January Re-organization Meeting, will be asked to listen to the recording of tonight's meeting so they can participate in any vote of this application. Also, any plans that are to be submitted, must be on file at least ten (10) days before the meeting.

Attorney Mondello advised the public at the meeting that this application will be carried to February 2, 2011, without any additional publication or notices.

MOTION TO CARRY THE APPLICATION UNTIL THE FEBRUARY 2, 2011 MEETING: made by Vice Chairman Grygus, seconded by Member D'Alessio. Voting yes were Chairman Dunning, Vice Chairman Grygus, Members Covelli, Hoffman, Leonard, Ludwig, Landis and D'Alessio.



CORRESPONDENCE: Christmas Card from Boswell Engineering

VOUCHERS: submitted by Ronald P. Mondello, Esq. for attendance at the December 1, 2010 meeting in the amount of $300.
MOTION TO APPROVE: made by Member Ludwig, seconded by Member D'Alessio. Voting yes were Chairman Dunning, Vice Chairman Grygus, Members Hoffman, Leonard, Ludwig, Landis and D'Alessio.
Member Covelli recused himself and left the dais before this vote was taken.
Member Covelli returned to the Board after this vote was finalized.

MOTION TO APPROVE NOVEMBER 3, 2010 MINUTES: made by Member Ludwig, seconded by Member Vice Chairman Grygus. Voting yes were Chairman Dunning, Vice Chairman Grygus, Members Hoffman, Leonard, Ludwig, Landis and D'Alessio. Member Covelli abstained.

ENGINEER'S REPORT: Board Secretary gave out to all members present a new application for a front porch on Bergen Avenue. Engineer Nash will prepare a report so the matter can be scheduled for the January 5, 2011 meeting.

DISCUSSION: The Board thanked Member Ed Leonard for his years of service on this Board and to the community and congratulated him on the election and winning the council seat.

MOTION TO ADJOURN AT 9:55 P.M.: Motion made by Member Ludwig, and seconded by Member Landis. Motion carried by a voice vote.

Jennifer A. Fiorito
Board of Adjustment Secretary