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April 24, 2013

Minutes

The April 24, 2013 Regular meeting of the Point Pleasant Beach Board of Adjustment opened at 7:30 pm. The clerk read the notice of compliance with the "Open Public Meetings Act. Present were regular members: Mr. Kelly, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Renner, Mr. Loder, Mr. Davis and Mr. Shamy
Absent: Spader, Reilly, Struncius, Wolfersberger and Ardito

Motion by Mr. Renner, second by Mr. Loder to nominate Mr. Reynolds as acting chair for the evening.
In favor: Kelly, Reynolds, Renner, Loder, Davis and Shamy
Opposed: None

Motion by Mr. Loder, second by Mr. Kelly to memorialize the minutes of March 27, 2013
In favor: Loder, Kelly, Reynolds and Davis
Opposed: None

Letter from Pardes – Re : Surowicz - It was determined that there were not enough members to vote on this and will move the correspondence to the next agenda.

Application #2013-10 – Ronald Cabezas – 213 Washington Avenue – Block 26; Lot 7 – Applicant wishes to renovate and raise existing single family dwelling. There will be a small one story addition and a new open front porch.
The applicant is seeking the following variances; building coverage of 34.96%, whereas 30% is the maximum permitted; front yard setback of 22.88 feet (to the covered porch), 18.88 (to the front stairs), and 29.88 feet (to the dwelling) whereas 25 feet is required.
Marc N. Isenberg, Esquire, stated that the applicant proposes to raise the existing dwelling to make it FEMA compliant. The applicant will also need to raise the deck in the rear yard and replace the front stairs and add a front porch.
The applicant’s Architect, Gregory Cox, R.A., sworn, stated that the house is located on the north side of Washington Avenue; the lot is 50’ x 125’ or 6,250 square feet in size; the applicant was planning on doing some repairs and inside renovation prior to Hurricane Sandy; Hurricane Sandy caused some damage to the house and with the new FEMA regulations, it is necessary to raise the house; The current first floor elevation is set at 9 feet and needs to be raised to 13 feet. Impervious coverage is non-conforming at 55.5% because of the wall at the driveway. The existing driveway will be replaced with pavers which will reduce the impervious coverage to below 50% and bring this property into greater compliance with the Ordinance. The front porch will be 7 feet deep and will run the length of the house. A portion of the house in the front will be squared off which will make it look more attractive. Since the rear deck has to be raised and steps will need to be added, it increases the amount of building coverage. The rear deck on the house is considered a “Boardwalk deck” because it is low to the ground and has open wood slats. The rear deck will remain the same type and size. Due to FEMA regulations, the deck will be raised 4 feet off of the grade. It will have open wooden slates for aquifer recharge, will have dirt underneath, and will have a lattice skirt around the base. The existing house is a one-story house and it will remain a one-story house consisting of two (2) bedrooms, two (2) bathrooms, kitchen, and a living room. The attic has a very low roof line and will have pull down stairs. The new house will be reconstructed on the same foundation and will consist of the same footprint. The front porch will remain open and will not have a railing.


Conditions
1. The driveway pavement is to be replaced with pavers.

2. The existing grade in the front of the house must be elevated as described to the Board at the time of the hearing.

3. The deck is to have a lattice skirt around the bottom.

4. The home is to be constructed as described to the Board at the time of the hearing.

5. The porch and deck are not to be enclosed.

6. The applicant is to submit its landscape plan to the Board’s Engineer for his review and approval showing planters and plantings.

Deliberations
Kelly - This is a Spader ranch and there are countless numbers of these homes east of the tracks. They are somewhat outdated. Very pleased with this Mr. Cox. Was concerned about the 18 feet, but I realized the porch is 7 feet. We gained in the impervious coverage. No objection, I think it is a nice application.
Renner - Happy with the way it looks. Sad it got flooded. Building coverage is a serious issue but the deck needs to be pulled off of grade. In favor and an improvement on the street.
Loder - I like the design very much and based on the impervious coverage reduction and the lifting of the home; it is a good application and the issues are de minimis. I will be in favor
Davis - I echo and agree the variances requested are de minimis and this is a beautiful update. I think it is a very good application.
Shamy - I agree with all my colleagues; I think the positives outweigh the negatives, great application.
Reynolds – If I had issues it would be with the front yard setback; I think it is a good application, In favor.
Motion by Mr. Renner, second by Mr. Loder to approve application #2013-10 of Ronald Cabezas with conditions
In favor: Kelly, Renner, Loder, Davis, Shamy and Reynolds
Opposed: None
Application approved with conditions


Application #2013-13 – Denis LaPlante – 1429 Ocean Front – Block 17.01; Lot 57 – Applicant wishes to demolish existing single family dwelling and construct a new single family home to the base flood elevation.
The applicant is seeking the following variances: side yard setback of 3. feet, whereas 5 feet is required; rear yard setback of 22.8 feet (second story deck), 12 feet (first floor deck), and 9 feet (to stairs), whereas 30 feet is the minimum required; front yard setback of 23.9 feet (to dwelling), and 18.49 feet (to stairs), whereas 25 feet is required; building coverage of 55.2%, whereas 30% is the maximum permitted; impervious coverage of 75.1%, whereas 50% is the maximum permitted; building height (feet) of 41, whereas 35 feet is the maximum permitted and for front yard setback of 22.88 feet (to the covered porch), 18.88 (to the front stairs), and 29.88 feet (to the dwelling) whereas 25 feet is required.
John J. Jackson, Esquire, the attorney for the applicant stated that the applicant’s property is ocean front; applicant proposes to remove the existing house and replace it with a 2 ½ story house in the exact foot print. There is a sand dune of 20 to 22 feet eastward of the house. The applicant is raising the house to comply with FEMA regulations. The applicant had flood damage in the form of water and sand from Hurricane Sandy higher than the proposed ABFE. Professional Engineer, Robert C. Burdick, P.E., sworn, stated the following: The neighborhood consists of 4 separate properties which front on a 15 foot wide alley to Elizabeth Avenue. Each lot has ocean frontage, all are residential, and all are 2-story homes. The applicant will remove and replace the single family home and will build over the existing foot print; building coverage will increase due to the location of the steps to gain access into the house. The applicant will be raising the house to comply with FEMA regulations. The house will be 41 feet in height. The applicant owns surrounding property so that will be a mitigating factor regarding the additional height. The house will be of modular construction and will be built on piles. The existing garage will remain and is in a non-conforming location necessitating the existing side yard setbacks. The garage survived the storm. The applicant will remove some existing concrete reducing the existing impervious coverage; although the amount of remaining impervious coverage will still require variance relief. The attic will be 498 square feet in size. The second floor is 1,595 square feet therefore it meets the criteria of less than 1/3 living space to not be considered a full story. The home suffered significant damage. The high water mark was measured at 17 feet 5 inches. Since there was significant damage to the existing house that occurred above the 14.49 feet required FEMA elevation, the applicant would like to raise the house above the required FEMA regulations to 21 feet. The house will be an aesthetic improvement and will be a safety improvement. The house will be built on piles (less than 6 feet in height to the first floor structure) and will have break away walls. There will not be any habitation underneath. The alley way is paved but is presently covered with sand due to the storm. The deck and steps in the rear of the house is approximately 564 square feet in size and contributes to 10 to 12% of the lot coverage. This will be built at the first floor elevation to replace the existing deck. Sand is covering the existing deck on top of the dune. If it is not there, the applicant would like to replace it. However, the applicant will need to obtain permission from the Governing Body because it is in the Boardwalk right-of-way. The decks on the second story balconies are 12’ x 10’ or 120 square feet in size. The sand dune will be 22 feet and the applicant wants to elevate above the dune. The original size of the house was 3,100 square feet; the proposed house will be 3,500 square feet. The original house had 7 bedrooms and the proposed house will have 7 bedrooms. The crawl space is less than 6 feet in height and will only be used for storage.

Michael Rubino, Esquire, represents Jeanne Hamilton a neighbor to the northern side of the applicant’s property, made the following comments:
He opined that raising the house 16 feet above code will have a negative impact on Ms. Hamilton’s house. He asked about the rear deck on the first floor level. He was informed that the first floor level deck is replacing the surface deck since that deck would have access to uninhabitable space. It will be the same size as the surface deck; however, it will be at the first floor level. There will be 8 steps going down on the ocean front side. The applicant feels it will be less intrusive than stairs going down either side.

Based upon the sworn testimony of Rich Standt, the Operation’s Manager of Force Construction, the Board made the following findings of fact: The home will be a modular home and will cover the exact foot print of the existing house. The house will be free-standing on wood piles and will have break away walls. The alley way will have to be re-built in order for the cranes to get back far enough to put in the modular home. A modular home needs approximately 10 inches of extra space between floors which contribute to the height of the proposed house.
Denis LaPlante, applicant, sworn stated that he has owned the house since 2002. He also represented that he owns Block 17.02 and Lot 1.03 on the east side of the Boardwalk right-of-way. It is a family destination house and will be a full time home for the applicant in the near future. The roof pitch is typical of the area and is aesthetically pleasing. The colors of the façade of the house will be consistent with the renderings shown to the Board at the time of the hearing. The applicant lost all of his furnishings on the first floor after Hurricane Sandy and the eastern half of the house had muck on the ceilings and all of the sheet rock had to be removed. The floor joist collapsed in the living room and had over 3 feet of sand inside. The western part of the house had over 1 foot of sand inside. The right-of-way is public and the applicant will need to obtain permission from Counsel to make any repairs. The existing garage did not receive any structural damage due to the storm. The only damage was to the garage siding which the applicant will replace.
Robert Rodgers of 1424 Ocean Front asked if the applicant considered putting the deck stairs to the side rather than coming down toward the ocean. The applicant thought that it was the best design and the most logical place to put the stairs. But the applicant agreed to relocate the stairs to the south side of the deck.
Mr. Bankalingue, of 1425 Ocean Front supports this application and thinks it will be an aesthetic improvement.
John Karnick, of 1426 Ocean Front supports this application. He also thinks that it is a smart idea to raise the house even higher than the FEMA regulation since the water level came up past the FEMA requirements during Hurricane Sandy. He feels that the house will be safer going forward.
Robert Rogers, of 1424 Ocean Front thinks this will be a very nice and aesthetically pleasing house. He echoes the feeling of others that the house should be raised higher for safety and economic reasons.
Michael Rubino, Esquire, Attorney for Jeanne Hamilton, wanted to inform the Board that his neighbor is concerned that the 55% lot coverage and 41 feet in building height is going to impact her negatively. He stated that the applicant is asking for quite a lot without making any effort to reduce any of the existing nonconformities. The Board disagrees with this argument and the Board found that these excesses are justified by the property conditions.

Conditions
1. The sand-covered wood deck located within the Boardwalk right-of-way cannot be constructed until the applicant obtains permission from the appropriate governmental authorities, including the Borough Council.

2. The crawl space of the home is approximately 6 feet in height. This crawl space is not to be used except for storage.

3. The break-away walls are to be tethered.

4. The home is to be constructed as shown to the Board at the time of the hearing.

5. If it is determined that the Ocean Front right-of-way is Borough property, the applicant must obtain permission to make the needed repairs to the decking in the Boardwalk right-of-way.

6. The garage is to be re-sided.

7. The plan is to be revised to show the deck stairs relocated to the south side of the deck.

Deliberations
Kelly - Commend you on your presentation. This is an overcrowded lot but it is 50 by 100. Fitting a large house on a relatively small lot creating many setback variances. This looks a lot better than what we have there now. Agrees with the restriction about the deck on the right away; there are many neighbors here in favor of it. Has no problem with this application.
Renner – Sorry for the applicants loss; Understanding how hard it is to be out of your home, tough situation. Conflicted about this; does not like impervious and lot coverage, but understands applicant is doing this because he has to. Waiting to hear what the rest of the board has to say.
Loder – All these cases are unique; modular construction adds a little height. Does not believe this home will have a negative effect. Likes the fact that the neighbors are supporting this; leaning in favor of this application.
Davis – Sympathy and sorrow for the applicant’s loss. This is a very difficult and conflicting case. Large house on ocean front is not unpleasant or unexpected. Believes it is an expired right of way and might be worth looking into. The neighbors comments were mostly favorable accept for the neighbor it affects the most. Conflicted but will make a decision.
Shamy – Application was well presented and Mr. Rubino represented his client well representing situations that we should consider. Thanked the neighbors for coming out and sympathies to the applicant. Hasn’t struggled much with the “c” variances. Applicant is staying within the footprint, after listening to the comments and remembering that this is a unique piece of property; being cognitive of the fact that there has to be a maximum at some point; with overall aesthetics of home, this particular case will be OK with height.
Reynolds - Has no problem with the foot print. Impervious and building the same; testimony alleviated my concerns with the height. The tidal surge swayed me…The deck stairs being relocation to the south side; I think it is a good application.

Motion by Mr. Shamy, second by Mr. Kelly to approve application #2013-13 of Denis LaPlante with conditions

In favor: Kelly, Renner, Loder, Davis, Shamy and Reynolds
Opposed: None

Meeting adjourned at 10:47pm
Attest: Karen L. Mills, Clerk of the Board


Published June27, 2013 | Board of Adjustment Minutes | 1631


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