Township of Mahwah, NJ
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AUGUST 8, 2005



The combined public/work session meeting of the Planning Board of the Township of Mahwah held at the Municipal Building, 475 Corporate Drive, Mahwah, N. J. was called to order at 7:00 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, 475 Corporate Dr., Mahwah, N. J. Copies of the tapes may be purchased for a fee.

PRESENT: Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Jandris, Mayor Martel, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Rudolph, Mr. Donigian (7:25 pm)

ABSENT: Mr. DaPuzzo, Mr. Crean, Mr. Lamster, Ms. Richter

PROFESSIONALS: Peter Scandariato, Esq., Mike Kelly, P.E., Joe Burgis, P.P.


No bills were presented for payment.


No minutes were presented for approval.




A motion to approve was made by Mr. Trent and seconded by Mr. Brotherton. A roll call of eligible members revealed 5 aye votes by Mr. Brotherton, Mayor Martel, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Rudolph.


A motion to open the meeting to the Public was made by Mayor Martel and seconded by Mr. Trent. All voted in favor.

Eileen Wilcox, 25 Interstate Street, Suffern, N. Y. appeared before the Board. She is a neighbor of Arzee Lumber on Franklin Turnpike and complained that the trees against her property were taken down. She was informed that the Property Maintenance Official, John Lane will take a look at the situation.

A motion to close was made by Mayor Martel and seconded by Mr. Trent. All voted in favor.



Bruce Whitaker, Attorney for the Applicant appeared before the Board.

Mr. Whitaker presented a Letter of Interpretation from the DEP dated July 2003 which was marked Exhibit “A-3”.

Mr. Whitaker reminded the Board that there will be a Homeowner’s Association as it pertains to the drainage issues. There will be a common drainage area that the Homeowner’s Association will maintain. These documents will be supplied to the Board.

Mr. Whitaker stated he would send the necessary documentation to the Department of Community Affairs to allow them to exceed the roadway standards and the other standards as listed in the application.

Mr. Whitaker indicated that he was in touch with the Attorney for the Paddington Square Homeowner’s Association. Mr. Picarski recognizes that the applicant has the ability to hook up to the sewers that already exists.

Thomas Ashbahian, Engineer & Planner, 39 Spring St., Ramsey was sworn in.

Mr. Ashbahian described the property, sewer location, the lighting and gave the Board an overview regarding the proposed drainage and landscaping.

Mr. Ashbahian stated that in connection with the overall drainage pattern and drainage development for this site, it is being prepared by an independent drainage consultant. This report will be reviewed by Mike Kelly.
Mr. Whitaker questioned Mr. Ashbahian on the soil movement aspect of this application. Mr. Ashbahian stated the total cut on site is 9,375 cubic yards, total fill within the site is 5,542 cubic yards and the amount of import (stone and gravel for roadway) is 316 cubic yards for a total soil movement of 9,691 cubic yards.

Mr. Whitaker addressed the Boswell Engineering Report dated May 27, 2005. Mr. Ashbahian stated they can comply with all comments in this report.

Mr. Ashbahian described the buffer area and stated that in his opinion a natural buffer would be more preferable than a fence. Dr. Ross asked about the type of buffer they are considering. He would like to see a double staggered row of 6 to 8 ft. pines. Mr. Whitaker stated they would submit a final plan for Mr. Kelly’s approval and also for Paddington Square’s review.

Mr. Jandris questioned the soil movement. Mr. Ashbahian stated it includes the roadway, the storm water systems, the excavation for the sewer and sanitary lines.

In answer to Mr. Brotherton’s question regarding the tree removal, Mr. Ashbahian stated they are removing 383 trees and replacing 96 trees.

Mayor Martel started a discussion regarding the placement of the storm water system and sanitary system being placed on the border line. Mr. Ashbahian stated the reason being the grading of the property. Mr. Donigian had a problem with the fact they are filling in an acre of wetlands for this development. Mr. Whitaker stated it is under the jurisdiction of the DEP for approval. Mayor Martel feels there is something that can be done to maintain the natural conditions of the border as it is now. He also feels that this can be done by the reduction of one of the lots to accomplish this. Mr. Whitaker stated that it may not require reduction of the number of lots but a reconfiguration of the drainage so there is a greater area to buffer and have plantings on that side of the drainage. He indicated they will review this since this has become an issue.

Mr. Kelly indicated that they need to find out whether the drainage shown on the plan is enough for the subdivision or whether it is too much and if so they could reduce the area of disturbance for the required detention.

Mr. Burgis asked if the applicant has heard from Rockland Electric regarding the street lighting plans. Mr. Whitaker answered they did not. He also indicated that from his experience Rockland Electric does not want to place the lighting until there is an approval. Mr. Kelly indicated that they have always left the street lighting up to the decision of Rockland Electric. If they feel it necessary then it is under their jurisdiction. Mr. Kelly also indicated that they could require Rockland Electric to put up shielded lighting.

Under questioning by Mr. Kelly, Mr. Ashbahian stated the soil movement includes the grading for each individual lot as shown on the plan.

Mr. Whitaker asked if the Board would look favorable upon the applicant creating a 20 ft. wide buffer off the back property line and do a tree inventory to see what could be saved. Dr. Ross answered this would certainly be much better than the proposed 10 ft. area.

Mr. Whitaker recalled Peter Kirch to clarify a concern regarding the water line. He asked Mr. Kirch if he reviewed the Malcolm Pirnie report with his representative. Mr. Kirch indicated that he did and explained what took place. He stated that he asked Malcolm Pirnie to supply him with a copy of the adjoining subdivision plan and give him an idea where he would like them to extend the water line to the property line.

Kenneth R. Scarlatelli, Lodi, N. J. was sworn in. He stated his credentials and was accepted as an expert witness in the field of Environmental Consultant.

Mr. Whitaker asked Mr. Scarlatelli to explain what is being proposed as far as the D.E.P. application is concerned and how he will go about completing and finalizing this. Mr. Scarlatelli stated they are proposing an application authorizing disturbance of up to one acre of isolated freshwater wetlands and also a transition area averaging plan waiver. Mr. Scarlatelli stated the wetlands to be disturbed are isolated wetlands and not a surface water tributary to another wetland or water course. For the transition area waiver application they need to demonstrate that the amount of disturbance within the transition area is compensated for an addition of the transition area adjacent to the same wetland equivalent to the same amount of square footage.

Mr. Donigian had a concern regarding placing the foundation of the single family residence on top of the filled isolated wetlands even though the D.E.P. approved this. He asked if the Town could deny this. Mr. Kelly stated the D.E.P. has jurisdiction. There is nothing in the ordinance that prohibits a structure from being built in the wetlands if the D.E.P. gives the approval to fill in this land. Mr. Kelly also indicated that it is the developer’s responsibility to prove to the Building Dept. that the foundation is going to be on acceptable and suitable bearing capacity soil.

Scott Picarski, Esq. appeared before the Board on behalf of the Paddington Square Association. He indicated that he had meetings with Mr. Whitaker regarding the buffer to come up with some type of agreement. He would like the Home Owner’s Association to be responsible for the buffer area. Mr. Scandariato reminded the Board that the applicant is not required to put up any screening and whatever is done is voluntary on the applicant’s part. Mr. Whitaker stated he does not feel the Homeowner’s Association should be responsible for the buffer area. Dr. Ross suggested the two attorney’s meet to come to some type of agreement.

A motion to open the meeting to the Public was made by Mayor Martel and seconded by Mr. Rudolph. All voted in favor.

Jim McClain, 1474 Cornwall Rd. appeared before the Board. He was concerned about the removal of the mature trees and replacing them with 6ft. to 10 ft. pine trees. He also was concerned about the drainage.
A motion to close the meeting to the Public was made by Mr. Donigian and seconded by Mr. Rudolph. All voted in favor.

Public Hearing is continued on September 12, 2005.



Matthew Rogers, Esq. appeared on behalf of the Appliant.

Mr. Rogers addressed the Boswell Engineering Report. Mike Kelly stated the final subdivision plat that was submitted is the same as the original plat submitted and is acceptable. Mr. Rogers stated they will comply with any of the requests that are still outstanding.

A motion to approve was made by Mr. Donigian and seconded by Mr. Jandris. A roll call of members present revealed 7 aye votes by Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Jandris, Mayor Martel, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Rudolph and Mr. Donigian.


Dick Roberts, Associate Vice President and Contracting Officer of Ramapo College. There is a need for general classroom, laboratory space and offices for full time faculty.

John Lignos, Architect appeared before the Board. He described the proposed building and how it will interact with the Campus. The building will be approximately 85,000 sq. ft. and will have 5 floors. Mr. Lignos described the different type of facilities and class rooms located in the proposed building.

Steven Napolitano appeared before the Board to describe the site plan and location of proposed building. In addition to the new building they are proposing to construct a greenhouse east of the proposed building. The greenhouse is approximately 2200 square feet and will be used for educational purposes. The roadway system will not change.

Dr. Ross asked if the handicapped parking could be moved closer to the building. Mr. Lignos explained that because of a slight drop off it would not be possible.

Mr. Napolitano described the lighting and grading plan. He stated that Mr. Ray Roe of the Mahwah Emergency Management Office has approved the location of the fire hydrants and requested one additional hydrant be placed on site.

Mr. Napolitano stated they have designed an underground detention system to accommodate the increase in impervious coverage.
Mr. Jandris asked if there will be a back up generator system in the new building. Mr. Lignos answered yes. Mr. Roberts stated that the building will have an ice making system. They will make ice at night in order to cool the building during the day. This will allow them to use less peak time electrical.

Mayor Martel asked if a study has been made or will be made on how much additional water will be needed because of this building. Mr. Napolitano stated there has been no study done at this time. He indicated that the College is in the process of completely a fire loop from one side of the College to the other to Ramapo Valley Road. Once this is completed there will be more than enough water for the addition of this building. Mr. Roberts indicated that the making of ice does not increase the use of water.

An Associate Landscape Architect explained the landscape plan.

Mr. Roberts stated they hope to have classes begin by the fall of 2007.

A motion to acknowledge that the Board received this conceptual and acknowledges it was made by Mayor Martel and seconded by Mr. Jandris. A roll call revealed 7 aye votes by Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Jandris, Mayor Martel, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Rudolph, Mr. Donigian.



Mr. Burgis indicated that he, Mara and Mike Kelly met with 2 representatives from Mary Rest Cemetery. They want to make a number of significant modifications to their plan which will create zoning issues.

Mr. Burgis described the changes. First they would like to relocate their main entrance from Seminary to Darlington Ave. The major additions include a 13,600 square foot, two story crypt building which will be 35 feet in height and will be able to accommodate about 3200 crypts. In addition to this they will have smaller crypt buildings located to the rear of the main structure and will accommodate 1,000 crypts and a much smaller building at the perimeter. One structure will be an office of 2300 to 2400 sq. ft. and the other is a garden building. The two zoning issues are as follows: Mr. Burgis stated the two story building is the main building and the ordinance does not permit accessory structures in the front yard of a principle building. There was a discussion regarding whether or not the office should be considered the main building. Mr. Burgis indicated that the other zoning issue is whether the office is a permitted use or not according to the zoning ordinance regarding cemeteries.

Mr. Burgis also indicated that the zoning ordinance permits an elevation of 35 feet. They are proposing 38.5 ft. They did indicate they could scale it down a little bit but would effect the overall design. Mr. Burgis stated that given the character of the façade elevation that was shown to him, the Board may be interested in the slightly higher structure since it has a certain aesthetic appeal.

Mr. Kelly stated that this will be coming before the Board for approval and this gives the Board the opportunity to make any changes to the ordinance based on what is proposed.

The Board had no problem with the 38.5 ft. height. Mr. Burgis stated the building will be set back about 280 ft. from Darlington Ave.


Regarding the reserved parking spaces requested at the Ramapo Center, Mr. Scandariato stated that it is not the function of the Board to reserve parking spaces within private commercial establishments. He also indicated that this cannot be enforced and questioned whether an applicant should come before the Board every time they want to reserve parking spaces.

Mr. Scandariato stated there is nothing in the ordinance that prohibits reserved parking and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Planning Board. These spaces should be given by the Landlord and as stated earlier cannot be enforced.

Mr. Scandariato stated that they have to address the Prime Time Learning Center issue. It was determined that Mr. Jaworski does not have to appear before the Board for an amended site plan to allow the reserved parking signs for the day care center.



A motion to approve the extension was made by Mr. Brotherton and seconded by Mr. Jandris. A roll all of members present revealed 7 aye votes by Mr. Brotherton, Mr. Jandris, Mayor Martel, Dr. Ross, Mr. Trent, Mr. Rudolph and Mr. Donigian.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

These minutes were prepared by Rosalie DeMartino

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