Planning Board members were in attendance with the exception of Mayor DeIorio and Mr. Velasquez.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes for the July 20, 2009 meeting were moved, seconded, voted on, and approved with no changes nor corrections.

Public Portion

Saul Qersdyn

  • Mr. Qersdyn requested a copy of both the Resolution for Recording of Planning Board meetings and the revised Planning Board Rules & Regulations. Mr. Qersdyn was notified that both agenda items were being tabled and are under attorney review. The matter will be revisited in the September meeting.

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked when will the July minutes be available to the public. He was notified that they would be available later in the week when they are uploaded online and put into the record. Mr. Magiera asked why they were not available this evening. Mr. Reed gave a copy of the minutes he had on-hand to Mr. Magiera.

New Applications

Proposed Change of Permitted Use

103 East Westfield Avenue

  • Cynthia Hellen spoke for the owner, being the person who filled out the applications and a partner in this venture which is intended to be a bakery.
  • Mr. Reed asked that Ms. Hellen speak on her proposal. Ms. Hellen  gave information on three (3) changes to the application, the major one being that there would be no variance needed since the bakery would not be classified as a restaurant. People would be coming in and out and not sit and eat.
  • The bakery would have, at most, three (3) employees and the proposed hours of operation would be from 10 am to 7 pm, six (6) days a week, being closed on Sundays.
  • There would be no structural changes since everything is set up. No interior work has been started because the application process is not at that stage yet.
  • With regard to garbage pick-up, Ms. Hellen stated that she would do research to see how other businesses in town handle it to see if private containers or street pick-up would be best.
  • Ms. Hellen has restaurant experience, having owned a restaurant in Roselle that she sold, which is still open.
  • The establishment will have a professional baker to perform all the baking duties.

The application was opened up for public input.

Alfred Sauer

  • Mr. Sauer is the part owner of the business behind the bakery. He had some concerns with the notice that was sent out in the newspaper and delivered to his business because neither mentioned the purpose of the hearing that would be held this evening. he feels that the notice is deficient and that the board cannot grant the application at this time.
  • There is a site plan application but Mr. Sauer has not seen the site plan.
  • The question as to what will be done about garbage pick-up has not been clearly addressed by the applicant. This issue has already affected Mr. Sauer’s property with another establishment and he can foresee it repeating. Garbage will also end up attracting rodents and vermin as well as become unsightly.
  • The proposed exhausting from the bakery shows a diagram with the intent of the exhaust coming out of the rear of the first floor roof. This would sent exhaust into Mr. Sauer’s establishment. Stephanie’s Barbeque, which also is next to Mr. Sauer’s business, has their exhaust go all the way to the top floor. The bakery is surrounded by taller building which would create a valley which would keep all exhaust in the area. Mr. Sauer asked that the exhaust be at least at the level of the next tallest building.
  • Mr. Sauer stated that there are numerous variances that are required since the property in question is undersized. There may be existing conditions with the change of use application.
  • Mr. Sauer understands that the Borough wants to be business friendly and wants to be inviting to new businesses wanting to open up but he asks that the Borough be mindful of the effects on businesses that are already in the borough. His business has been in Roselle Park for 25 years.
  • If the bakery has a dumpster in the back, it will be in front of Mr. Sauer’s business and he does not want dump trucks in his driveway since there is no public access to pick up garbage from the back of the bakery.
  • There is an ordinance that has a provision that such a business or change of use cannot be allowed to be in nor be attached to a frame building. The bakery is attached to a frame building.
  • Mr. Sauer believes that the hours stated are unrealistic. A bakery will offer coffee and baked good and most likely will want to attract morning traffic which will be earlier than 10 am.

Manuel Mendez (sp?)

  • Mr. Mendez is the owner of the building next to the proposed bakery and he is concerned with both smells from garbage and truck deliveries at 3 am.

Cynthia Hellen

  • Ms. Hellen was asked to come forward in order to have a chance to address any concerns that were brought up by the public.
  • Ms. Hellen understands that neighbors do have concerns and she is willing to work with them to resolve any issues but many of the concerns are talking about possible future issues. She wanted to try this business out and would be willing to look elsewhere but at this time, she has invested a lot of effort and time and money to this particular location and wants to see it through. She is willing to be a good neighbor and communicate and address any concerns.

The board members did ask some questions which re-addressed questions from the public. They wanted to know more information on the hours of operation. Ms. Hellen stated that the hours proposed were the hours intended but, like all businesses, if there is demand for earlier or later hours, she would adjust for that accordingly.

The board also asked the issue of garbage,  since that appeared to be in the forefront of the neighbor’s concerns. Ms. Hellen stated that she would do research to come up with the best solution possible for all parties.

The board asked if there is any chance of expanding or changing the business from a bakery to a restaurant or a sit-down, understanding that tin this economy, businesses might adjust their services to maintain themselves. Ms. Hellen stated that her entire focus is in the venture of a bakery, nothing else.

Mr. Tripodi, the board attorney addressed some legal issues before the board with this application. If the application is maintained as a minor site plan, then many of the variances and protocol that have been called on by Mr. Sauer would not need to be addressed. However, if the board entertains major site plan renovations, then Mr. Sauer’s concerns would need to be addressed and the application would have to be denied. After discussion, the board voted to maintain the application as a minor site plan.

The board voted on the application and unanimously approved it with modifications that were the concerns of neighbors that need to be addressed in order for the application to be formally approved. The application will be formally commemorated at the next Planning Board meeting. This will allow any member of the public to bring up issues or contest the application. Any work done by the applicant between this meeting and that the next one is at the applicant’s risk.

Ms. Hellen asked if this approval allows her to research the issues further. Mr. Reed notified her that it does allow for the research to move forward and he recommended that she contact her neighbors to see what issues could be resolved.

Major Site Plan

565 West Westfield Avenue (7-11)

  • Mr. Hehl spoke for the applicant, gave a summary of the proposed site and called witnesses regarding issues that might arise with the proposed site.
  • Armand Keruian, a 7-11 manager, was called to offer information on the day-to-day operations of a 7-11.
  • Michael Drury, a licensed architect, offered expert opinion on the structure, the design, draining issues, and the impact of the business to the area.
  • Craig Peregoy, a traffic engineer, offered testimony on traffic impact studies made for the business to show how traffic would flow in and out of not only Westfield Avenue but Valley Road, the street perpendicular to Westfield Avenue.
  • The board asked questions with regard to the placement of dumpsters, time and location of deliveries, traffic, and impact on the neighborhood.
  • A request was made to have bollard posts in front of the business.
  • The proposed time frame from beginning to end of construction is three (3) months.
  • Mr. Reed asked if anyone was familiar with the history of the land since there have been issues with contaminated soil. The applicant stated that Phase I  testing has been done and soil borings have been taken.
  • The permit from NJDOT, since it will be on a state highway, will take three to four months to be approved.
  • The board asked if beer will be sold at the 7-11. The applicant responded that no alcohol would be sold.
  • The board asked if the green area would be maintained by a professional landscaper. The applicant responded that yes, that would be the case.
  • The professional planner for the Planning Board made some comments regarding the moving of the dumpster.
  • The fire department and police department were invited to attend the meeting so they could ask questions and address concerns. The police department responded via a letter and the fire department did not respond at all which signifies they have no issues with the application.

Public Input Portion

Elaine McDonald

  • Ms. McDonald, a resident who lives two houses from the proposed site is concerned with the noise that might be coming from the roof since the roof will have the generator.
  • Ms. McDonald is concerned about the traffic on Valley Road. Presently there is a lot of traffic on the road and adding a business on the corner will make matters worse. There are at least two (2) accidents a month on that intersection and with the 7-11, they might end up being more.
  • Ms. McDonald asked if the hours for 7-11 could be cut back from 24 hours to more reasonable hours.
  • Mr. Barberio asked if Ms. McDonald had any suggestions or observations which might better improve any aspect of the situation. Ms. McDonald repeated her observations of addressing possible noise and traffic issues.

Mr & Mrs. Dippolito

  • The Dippolito’s, who are the neighbors right next door to the proposed 7-11,  wanted to address possible draining issues and to offer the opinion that it does not feel that a lot of time was spent on seeing how this business would affect the neighborhood.
  • Mr. Dippolito asked that the board request another traffic study because the findings of the traffic study do not coincide with his personal observations.
  • The Planning Board should ask for serious changes in the application or provide another option for 7-11 to find another property.
  • Mr. Dippolito asked for a variance to extend the current ordinance prohibiting any fence be higher than six (6) feet. He requests an eight-(8) foot fence.
  • A flood study should be performed because presently the area has issues with flooding and with the addition of the 7-11, there will be a greater run off into the area, thereby causing more problems with flooding.
  • There were other issues Mr. Dippolito had with regard to how corporate headquarters requires each franchise to maintain the property and the reality of having open dumpsters and trash strewn about. He used the other 7-11 in Roselle Park as an example.

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked how much water would be displaced if there was a half an inch of rain since the entire property, which is presently grass, would be macadam and concrete and all the water that would presently sit would now run off into the sewer.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there has been a study done on the amount of sewerage capacity now that AvalonBay will be constructing a complex for 249 apartments.

Richard Mirabella

  • Mr. Mirabella stated that his daughter lives on Valley Road and he has traveled that road for 10 years and turning left onto Westfield Avenue is hazardous and with the inclusion of a 7-11, the chances of more accidents happening will increase.

The public portion was closed.

Mr. Tripodi, the board attorney described some legal matters that were brought up during the application hearing. Additionally, the board recommended that the parapet for the roof’s generator be added as part of the application. The change of the dumpster’s location as well as other changes in the property’s design have been included in the modifications. A variance was added to allow for an eight-foot fence. The recommendation from the board was to have 7-11 place some trees so that the neighbor, the Dippolito family, might be afforded some privacy and aesthetic relief from living next to a 7-11.

The application was moved, seconded, voted on, and unanimously approved with the conditions set forth during the application process.

There was a 10-minute recess in the meeting.

The meeting resumed with the Minor Site Plan applications.

516 West Webster Avenue

  • The Stahl family are putting on an additional garage and family room which will necessitate moving the driveway from its present location to the front of the house. The side curb will be closed up and there are no variances needed.
  • There was no one from the public to offer input.
  • There were no comments from the board other than to make certain that the applicant will comply with requirements set forth in ordinances and codes.
  • The application was moved, seconded, voted on, and approved.

Pending Resolutions

  • The resolution for Proposed Change of Permitted Use application for 231A West Westfield Avenue for a graphic design/photography business was moved, seconded, voted on, and approved.

Unfinished Business

  • The Resolution for Recording of Planning Board meetings is tabled until the next meeting due to it being under attorney review.
  • The revised Planning Board Rules & Regulations is dependent upon the Resolution for Recording of Planning Board meetings so it is tabled until the September meeting.
  • The re-evaluation of the Master Plan has formed a committee comprised of Carl Plucchino, Joel Reed, and Glen Costello. Mr. Costello is the chair of the committee. The committee met with Ms. Talli, the planner and meetings will be scheduled to re-evaluate the Master Plan. Ms. Talli stated that Mondays were good. There were no outstanding questions other than the typographical error related to the fee being charged. The typo was addressed and corrected.

Payment Of Bills

  • None. There will be bills that will be submitted shortly. The supply budget of $50 has been used up and there are other bills that will be coming up for payment in the near future.

For the Benefit of the Board

  • The next scheduled Planning Board meeting is Monday, September 21, 2009.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:56 p.m.