Township of Mahwah, NJ
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APRIL 22, 2002



The combined public/work session meeting of the Planning Board of the Township of Mahwah, held at the Municipal Building, 300B Route 17 S., Mahwah, NJ was called to order at 8:00 P.M. by Dr. Ross, Chairman. The Opening Statement was read according to the Sunshine Law, followed by the flag salute and roll call.

These minutes are a synopsis of the meeting. A verbatim audio tape recording is on file with the Board Secretary at the Planning Board Office, 300B Route 17 S., Mahwah, New Jersey. Copies of the tapes may be purchased for a fee.

PRESENT: Mayor Martel, Mr. Arbuckle (8:20), Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer, Mr. Paton (8:17), Mr. Jandris, Ms. Solomon.

PROFESSIONALS: Michael Kelly, P.E., Malcolm Kasler, P.P., Justin Mahon, P.E., Peter Scandariato, Esq.


No bills were presented for payment.


A motion was made by Ms. Omsberg and seconded by Mr. Dekramer to approve the minutes of March 25, 2002 with no changes or corrections, all in favor.


The resolutions were introduced on a motion by Ms. Omsberg and seconded by Mr. Trent. A motion was made by Ms. Omsberg and seconded by Mr. Trent to waive the reading of the resolutions, all in favor.

From 3/25/02 Meeting:

E-BD-216-1297, John P. O’Grady

T/A 02-2009, National Tax Training School

T/A 02-2010, Rete Biomedical Communications

T/A 02-2011, Communications Research, Inc.

A motion to approve was made by Ms. Omsberg and seconded by Mr. Trent. A roll call of members present revealed 7 aye votes by Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer and Mr. Jandris approving the memorializing resolutions from March 25, 2002. Ms. Solomon abstained from voting.


A motion was made to open the meeting to the public by Mr. Trent and seconded by Ms. Omsberg, all were in favor.

Elaine Kowmacki introduced herself and stated that she was at the March 25, 2002 meeting and was told to come back today.

Mr. Scandariato stated that the homeowners brought to the attention of the Board the matter regarding the status of Mountain Avenue. He stated that he had reviewed the files with Ms. Wiley and that the files confirmed basically what he had advised Ms. Kowmacki at the last meeting. In 1988 Mahwah III Associates made an application to subdivide Lot 34 into two single-family building lots. One lot was going to have frontage on Mountain Avenue which appeared to be a public street. That subdivision was classified as a minor subdivision which meant that public notice was not required. The resolution of approval imposed the condition that the applicant return to the Planning Board with plans to improve Mountain Avenue. The old Planning Board imposed that before a building permit could be issued they had to return with satisfactory plans for the improvement of Mountain Avenue. On January 24, 2000, the applicant Mahwah III Associates presented plans for improvement of the roadway. At that time an issue arose regarding the status of Mountain Avenue. In 1930 the governing body of what was then Ho-Ho-Kus Township vacated that as a public street. The applicant’s attorney presented title abstracts and opinions from their title company. Mr. Scandariato stated that if the property owner has a private right the vacation did not take it away. We have a situation where Mountain Avenue was vacated as a public street in or about 1930. We have property that the former Planning Board subdivided in 1988 – 1989 which fronts on that roadway. At this point there is no application before us. Mr. Scandariato advised Ms. Kowmacki that this matter would be discussed in closed session because any action the Board takes would involve litigation.

Mr. Scandariato advised Ms. Kowmacki that the Board is not in a position to make a decision as to who owns the street.

Ms. Kowmacki questioned the status of the property which was deeded over to the Church.

Mr. Scandariato discussed dedication of streets to the Township.

Ms. Kowmacki questioned the responsibility of maintenance of the private road.

Mr. Scandariato stated that if the property fronted on Mountain Avenue it would be the property owner’s obligation to maintain it.

Ms. Kowmacki questioned the increase in property tax in the year 2000.

Mr. Scandariato explained the revaluation done in the Township of Mahwah.

Dr. Ross advised Ms. Kowmacki that the Board would go into closed session at the end of the meeting to determine what the course of action would be in this matter.

Mr. Scandariato advised Ms. Kowmacki that either he or Carol would contact Ms. Kowmacki tomorrow and advised what their course of action would be.

A motion to close the meeting to the public was made by Mr. Trent and seconded by Ms. Solomon. All in favor.


A. T/A 02-2012, Ultra Car, 164 Franklin Tpk.

Nobody appeared on behalf of Ultra Car.

Ms. Wiley advised the Board that Ultra Car was supposed to appear before the Board regarding discrepancies in the parking.

Dr. Ross stated that Ms. Wiley has a diagram showing 13 parking places for Ultra Car.

Mr. Muscarelle advised Dr. Ross that Ultra Car wanted some parking in the front.

A Motion to dismiss without prejudice was made by Mr. Muscarelle and seconded by Ms. Solomon. A roll call of members present revealed 9 aye votes by Mr. Arbuckle, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Mayor Martel, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer and Mr. Paton.

B. T/A River Palm, Tent for Seasonal Use

Dr. Ross asked the applicant if this was the same tent as last year and if it would be for the same time period of May 1st through September 30th.

Applicant – Yes.

A motion to approve was made by Mr. Dekramer and seconded by Ms. Solomon. A roll call of members present revealed 9 aye votes by Mr. Arbuckle, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Mayor Martel, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer and Mr. Paton.


A. BD-216-1262, Horgan, 20 Chestnut St., Soil

Mr. Horgan was sworn in by Mr. Scandariato. Mr. Horgan wants to erect a single family home and demolish the old house on the property. He wants to erect the new house and continue living in the old house while the new modular home is being erected.

Mr. Kelly stated a resubmission was recently made by the applicant. There are some drainage issues that they need their architect to address which are technical in nature.

Mr. Kasler stated his concern that there has to be some assurance that the original house is demolished.

Mr. Scandariato stated that in the past they bonded the demolition. And that the old house should be removed within 60 days of Mr. Horgan obtaining a certificate of occupancy for the new house. He advised Mr. Horgan that he would have to post a bond which would be determined by Mr. Kelly.

Ms. Wiley stated that Mr. Horgan would require a variance.

Ms. Omsberg asked how long it would take to construct. Mr. Horgan - 3 to 4 months.

Mr. Kelly stated that the amount estimated for the performance guaranty did not include demolition of the house.

Mr. Kelly questioned Mr. Horgan as to how he would handle the overlap of the old house and the porch.

Mr. Horgan stated that he will build the new house, demolish the old house and the construct the porch.

There is an existing garage. All the conditions are existing. The shed will be taken down.

A motion was made to open this matter to the public by Ms. Omsberg and seconded by Ms. Solomon. All in favor.

A motion was made to close this matter to the public by Mr. Trent and seconded by Ms. Omsberg. All in favor.

A motion was made to grant conditional approval by Mr. Trent and seconded by Mr. Paton. A roll call of members present 9 aye votes by Mr. Arbuckle, Mr. Muscarelle, Mayor Martel, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer, Mr. Paton and Mr. Jandris, Mr. Brotherton abstained.

B. Dkt. 431, Hawks Nest, S/D and Soil - WITHDRAWN

C. Dkt. 434, Home Depot

Attorney John Giunco introduced himself as attorney for Home Depot and stated that they were here to obtain the Board’s permission to develop Block 64, Lots 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21 and Block 66, Lots 1, 2 and 3 into a Home Depot retail center. This property is located along Highway 17 and Constantine Drive. They are requesting a number of variances. Mr. Giunco introduced Jim Lambkin the Architect for this project.

Mr. James Lambkin of Greenbear Farrow Architecture, Somerset, NJ was sworn in.

Mr. Giunco informed the Board that Mr. Lambkin is a registered architect and requested that he be accepted by the Board as an expert.

No objections.

Under questioning by Mr.Giunco, Mr. Lambkin described the general plan for the retail store. He stated that the proposed hours of operation are 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday. He stated that Home Depot likes to have their deliveries later at night from 10:00 P.M. through 6:00 A.M. as part of their safety program. There will be sporadic deliveries throughout the normal business hours.

Mr. Lambkin described the layout of the store as having one entrance vestibule and one exit vestibule, four loading areas; three of which are at the loading dock area and the fourth is the lumber loading area located in the back of the store. Mr. Lambkin displayed Exhibit A1 which is the site plan dated April 4, 2002. Comparisons to the Paramus Home Depot’s loading areas and times were discussed. Answers will be obtained regarding loading docks, parking of trailers and loading and unloading hours in the Paramus store.

Mr. Lambkin stated that a store of the size they propose will have generally 200 to 225 employees, about 75 employees per shift and about 80% of those employees are full time.

Mr. Lambkin said that the overall design of this Home Depot is consistent with the design of those throughout the State. There are approximately 36 – 38 stores throughout the state and about 1,350 nationwide.

Mr. Kasler asked what the height of the building is.

Mr. Lambkin: The top of the wall is 28 ft. and in the front to the top of the parapet is 36 ft.

Mr. Kasler: How many stories are in the building?

Mr. Lambkin: One story.

Under questioning by Mr. Kasler, Mr. Lambkin stated that it was his position that there would not be a mezzanine.

Mr. Giunco introduced Mr. Alfred Coco with Menlo Engineering, 261 Cleveland Avenue in Highland Park. Mr. Coco was sworn in.

Mr. Giunco requested that Mr. Coco be accepted as an expert in civil engineering design and surveying engineering.

No objections.

Mr. Coco is responsible for the design of the engineering plans submitted to the Board.

Mr. Coco displayed an Exhibit dated April 22, 2002 which is a compilation of the overall plan, zoning data and the landscaping plan.

Under questioning by Mr.Giunco, Mr. Coco presented the design criteria. The existing site has a 25,000 sq. ft., one story masonry manufacturing warehouse like building located in the center northerly portion and there are now 3 or 4 homes and other structures on the site which will be demolished as part of the improvements. The site is bisected by Masonicus Brook which has a flood plain as well as some wetland areas. They have confirmed the wetland areas with DEP and received the Letter of Interpretation.

The proposed design is for a Home Depot which is 107,698 sq. ft. a garden center of 21,701 sq. ft. There are 560 parking spaces proposed. To the right hand side of the main building is a garden center – 41,000 sq. ft. In the back right corner is three truck loading docks as well as a compactor. In the rear left hand side is a concrete lumber pad. Also along the left side of the building is a building material storage area, the office portion of the building located in the center and then the tool rental center in the front left corner as well as outdoor tool rental storage area for (scaffolding, etc.)

They propose locating the existing Constantine Drive further to the south for a right-in/ right-out driveway which will service the Home Depot. Trucks will enter the site and go along the right hand side of the building to the rear, turn around and gain access to the truck loading area and exit to the side. Trucks going to the lumber area traverse around the back of the building and come out the exit driveway located near Rt. 17.

The customer loading area stretches across the front of the building.

There was an original application in February. As a result of conversations with the community the plan has been revised. The first plan had larger building of 117,000 sq. ft., a larger garden center and less parking. The new plan reduces the building and garden center by about 11,000 sq. ft. and adds about 60 parking spaces.

They are proposing to vacate Constantine Drive which is a public right of way up to the limit of Lot 4, take on the water, sewer and bridge structure as part of Home Depot’s property. The preliminary study indicates that the bridge should be replaced. This will be done before Home Depot is open for operation.

There is a seasonal sales area of 7,000 sq. ft. Home Depot proposes that during certain times during the year (spring and fall) that this area would be fenced off and some additional sales would take place in that area. During that time 23 parking spaces would be eliminated.

Mr. Coco said they will look into moving the seasonal pick up retail space over an aisle.

There will be two load-and-go trucks for customer use and convenience.

They will look at moving the proposed seasonal sales area to the southerly side and put an entrance and report back to the Board.

Ms. Omsberg stated that it is required that they have 780 parking spaces each 10’ x 20’ and that they have only 485.

They propose hairpin striping detail. They will use two lines which gets the people to fit into the center of the space.

Ms. Omsberg questioned cart return.

They have an area for cart return. There will be full time employees who will bring the carts back to the cart return area.

Mr. Kasler questioned if this application has been submitted to DOT. - Yes.

Mr. Kasler asked if their ownership ended at the municipal line with Ramsey. – Yes.

Discussion took place regarding the Township’s Ordinance of 1 parking space for every 175 sq. ft. They believe that their parking ratio that they are proposing for this site meets other standards.

One pylon sign is proposed on the south side of the driveway. They are seeking a variance for a larger and higher sign so that there is as much advance warning as possible.

Mr. Muscarelle questioned whether they were discharging their storm water into Masonicus Brook - Yes.

They have received their general permit to fill the wetland area (GP11) and L.O.I. They will submit same to the Board.

Under questioning by Mr. Giunco, Mr. Coco stated that with regard to design it is in the B-40 zone and they comply with all those standards for lot area, setback, coverage, etc. He has prepared a plan that proposes water and sewer service to the site. He has also prepared a lighting plan that illuminates the site to an average of five and one-half foot candles; 30ft. high fixtures spaced throughout the parking area. They are seeking a waiver from the Township’s lighting design ordinance. They have two flood lights in the front of the building which the cone of illumination exceeds 150 ft.

Inside the store there is a trash collection area near the truck loading dock.

The applicant has not yet met with the Mayor and Township Council regarding the vacation of Constantine Drive.

A motion was made to open the meeting to the public by Mayor Martel and seconded by Ms. Solomon. All in favor.

Mr. Bob Simpson stated that he owns Traffic Safety and Boston Market. Do you have plans to widen 17?


Mr. Simpson stated that they have a huge hill behind the buildings will there be any fencing or any use of walls?

We are proposing retaining walls and there will be a fence on the property.

A motion to close the meeting to the public was made by Mayor Martel and seconded by Ms. Omsberg. All in favor.

Home Depot will return on May 13, 2002 with no further notice.



John Mavroudis, attorney for Rio Vista came back to the Board to obtain amended preliminary subdivision approval. Mr. Mavroudis explained it is the property along Campgaw Road which was owned by a previous developer. As part of State approval certain issues arose requiring them to consolidate two lots into one. Mr. Mavroudis stated that they will comply with all of the requirements of the engineering letter which they received. The other issue is the 20” main which is an extension of the Township’s water main which they are cooperating with the Town to put in. They had a meeting with the Township Administrator to work that out and that will be part of the developer’s agreement.

Herb Schlessinger discussed wetland lines, and the elimination of lot 10.

All approvals including DEP approvals are in hand except for DEP approval for the bridge.

They would like to begin construction. They will post inspection fees and the soil and revegetating bonds. This way when the people come in for permits on their site plan, the Board can review them because that period takes about 2-1/2 months. Mr. Schlessinger said the he will have the outstanding approval within that 2 months.

Mr. Mahon stated that there are a few small engineering items which need to be cleaned up and that he is really only knocking a lot out. Mr. Mahon agrees with the idea of allowing them to go ahead with the road.

The culvert is there and the manholes are ordered. The road will take about two months.

Ms. Wiley asked if there would be a developer’s agreement done.

Mr. Mavroudis stated it has been drafted.

Dr. Ross stated that there has to be a developer’s agreement signed, sealed and delivered and bonds posted including the bonding of the 20" water main.

A motion was made to grant conditional approval by Mr. Paton and seconded by Mr. Trent. A roll call of members present 9 aye votes by Mr. Arbuckle, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Mayor Martel, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer, Mr. Paton.


1. T/A 02-2013, SCHERER, 7 MILLER ROAD

A motion was introduced to grant approval of all three tenant applications by Mr. Muscarelle and was seconded by Ms. Solomon.

A roll call of members present revealed eight aye votes, Mr. Arbuckle, Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Muscarelle, Ms. Omsberg, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Dekramer, Mr. Paton. Mr. Jandris and Ms. Solomon abstained.


No old or new business.


A motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Trent, seconded by Ms. Omsberg at 11:00 P.M., all were in favor.

These minutes were prepared by Joan Mandle

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