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April 26, 2017

Minutes

APRIL 26, 2017 BOA minutes

The April 26, 2017 Special Meeting of the Board of Adjustment opened at 7:30pm. The clerk read the notice of compliance with the "Open public meetings act." Present were Board members: Mr. Spader, Mr. Kelly, vice-chair Reilly, Chairman Struncius, Mr. Schneider, Mr. DePolo and Ms. Crasper
Absent – Dixon, Reynolds and Davis

Also present – Dennis Galvin, Board attorney, Ray Savacool Board Engineer and Karen Mills, Clerk

Application #2016-40 – 3983 Destination LLC. (Dunes Motel) – 1601 Ocean Avenue – Block 179.02- Lot 5 & 6- Applicant wishes to demolish existing motel and construct a 16 unit residential condominium.
Chairman Struncius has listened to the audio from the previous meeting and signed a certification and is prepared to vote this evening.
Ben Montenegro, applicant’s attorney stated that his applicant went back to the drawing board and made some adjustments and believes that this is the best application that it can be. Units have been reduced to 15 and eliminated the roof top deck. A-8 – revised architectural A-9 (north) & A-10 (south) colored renderings of elevations.
James Montefiore, applicant’s architect, still sworn, reviewed the revisions that have been made - removal of gazebo and elevator tower. There is now a club house on the top floor where the eliminated residential unit was. The building is now 44 feet from BFE (elevation 9) to the highest point reduced from 52 feet. . Ray Savacool stated that the Borough utilized the Preliminary Firm Map. Lighting proposed – Garage lights will be on motion sensor, remaining lights will be recessed lighting. Mr. Kelly inquired if there had been an adjustment on the garbage enclosure. (No)
Mr. Spader clarified that the roof top deck is still there but it is just smaller. Access will just be by ladder for mechanicals.
Ron Gasiorowski, objecting attorney for Gary Stivaly, neighbor questioned if the existing building will be removed. (Yes) Inquired if James Montefiore was aware of the existing zoning. (Yes) Ron Gasiorowski replied that then he should know what is allowed under the existing zoning and Master Plan is three (3) one family residential homes.
Audience Questions
Sam Ippolito, 1414 Ocean Avenue – Inquired how many parking spots are located under the building (32 parking spots) Are there spots for visitors (2 spots)
Michael Zorochin, 1503 Lake Avenue - Inquired where visitors will park. (On street) Worried about overnight parking.
Robert Burdick, Professional Planner/Engineer, previously sworn- reviewed previous planning testimony. Reviewed changes and opined that the new building is more suitable for the area. Replacing 1960’s building with new, safer more aesthetic building. Improving public safety at the site. Parking will be improved and much safer. Reducing impervious coverage by 20% to provide adequate air and light while providing for adequate runoff and recharge. Eliminating motel in favor of condominiums. Believes the variances can be granted without substantial detriment.
Chairman Struncius questioned the massing of the building and how it promotes light and air; this is an overwhelming presence in a residential area. It is the height difference that is such a big change. He also inquired how you reconcile the density.
Ron Gasiorowski questioned if there is anything in the Master Plan that recommends to the Governing body that this property be zoned for multi-family (housing). (N0)Is there anything in the zoning ordinance that permits multi-family housing? (NO) Stated that this is an over powering structure in the zone. Minimum lot size for this project should be two acres.
Karen Kamm, 1505 Ocean Avenue – Questions if someone purchased the empty lots next to the motel if they could build something similar. It was explained that every application is heard on their own merit.
Sam Kamm, 1505 Ocean Avenue - Inquired what the square footage of living space is – (now 5559 square feet, proposed is 13,703) - Almost triple the amount. Inquired what amount of condominiums is allowed now. (None are allowed now)
Richard Yanetelli, 203 Carter Avenue – When you said there are 32 parking spaces are any of them handy-cap? (Yes- 2) Inquired if there was a traffic study done. (Yes) Worried about headlights in his windows as the cars exit the parking garage.
Mike Zorochin, 1503 Lake Avenue – Worried about people parking in front of his home at all hours.
Mr. Spader commented that we are going from 25 bedrooms to 31 bedrooms that will now be year round use as opposed to just summer use.
The Board took a 5 minute break as requested by Mr. Gasiorowski
Roll call
Roger DeNiscia, Professional Planner representing Gary Stivaly, credential accepted, gave a narrative. Proposed use not permitted; irregular undersized lot for this project. Current rooms average 230 square feet average of floor area. Current building and site are in excellent condition. What is proposed is 15 multi-family units. Size range from 750 square to over 1600 square feet. Largest unit is 1688 square feet. Building will cover 57.3% of the site; parking will be on grade service; then three (3) additional floors; 24 parking spaces will be tandem. Building height 44 feet; overall height will exceed 52 feet to highest point. Proposals will increase, mass, density and height which will cause over development of the site. The use variance needs to stand on its own; ounce this use is removed there needs to be proofs that this is better use than the 3 residential homes that would be permitted there.
Ben Montenegro asked Ron DeNiscia if the application proposed is a better zoning alternative then what exist. Mr. DeNiscia does not believe that it is; the best proposed use would be 3 single family homes.
Audience Questions
None

Audience questions/comments
Sam Kamm, sworn – inquired about the new ordinance that requires the second floor to be 85%. He said the person that bought this property knew the zoning when he purchased the property
Bill DeFalco, sworn – 1507 Ocean Avenue – Lives directly across the street; his point of view is a lot of people come back at 1 to 2 am; the police are always there. It is the weak link in the neighborhood; I think the motel is keeping the houses behind it from being sold. His concern is what is to keep him from renting to section 8 or building up that hotel.
Angela Spira, 103 Elizabeth - It is an improvement; her concern is the height.
Nancy Zorochin, 1503 Lake Avenue, sworn – It is beautiful and massive; the only concern she has is the parking.
Richard Yannetelli, sworn - Happy to see that the motel will be gone; would like to see something whose size is more suitable for the neighborhood. Concerned about the traffic pattern; concerned about the overall size of the building. If they rent these places they won’t be concerned about what is going on; I know that the traffic pattern will be to come out on Carter Avenue and make a left to avoid Ocean Avenue and that will change things for the existing neighbors. Believes the density is way too big.
Ron Gasiorowski – Closing statements – Motel has probably been there for 60 years. This applicant is not coming before you and saying I know what is allowed but I would like to build 6 townhomes; he is asking for 15 units.
Ben Montenegro – Closing argument – The zoning Board hears applications on zoning and merit – have pre-existing non-conforming use. The applicant is looking to improve the site and the Borough. One neighbor said that the Board was trying to help on previous application; the aesthetics improved but not the use. With this application the neighbors get the aesthetics and safety upgrade. Believes this application will help the overall residential single family character by helping the single family lots to be sold. Believes that all proofs have been met to approve this application. Public safety with pedestrian sidewalks; flood safety by being FEMA compliant; reduced impervious coverage and improved landscaping. There are green areas – pavers- sidewalks – enhance gateway to town. This is a wonderful opportunity for the town and neighborhood and request the use variance be granted.
Mr. Kelly is inquiring about the condominium documents. Mr. Montenegro stated that a conditions can be that the Master Deed be submitted for review. Mr. Kelly stated the units can be rented weekly or monthly; believes that should be known before approval. Dennis Galvin stated that he does not believe that can be enforced going forward and that we have no control over rental; that is something that should be offered by the applicant.
Dennis Galvin reviewed the proofs needed to grant a D1 use variance.

Deliberations

Spader - Talk about the age of the motel; I remember when it was built. That is about the time of ordinances which are to protect the community. It was determined years ago that there are going to be some tough decisions to be made. Everything has a life expectancy and sooner or later the economic value of continuing with a 70 year old motel is going to run out. No question this building looks better than the other one. Our town leadership decided single family homes should be there. It might take a while; remember 3 months it is being used as a motel; remember 15 units would be used year round. This is over building and the only positive is that it looks nice. Will not be supporting the application.
Kelly – Commend the professionals for their presentation. Tend to agree it is a beautiful building. Would have liked to see a picture of the other side that faces down Ocean Avenue. I have sat on all three applications of the Dunes. I do not know why the lots haven’t sold but being ten feet away from something this size is not what anyone wants. I have reservations about the parking underneath; people are lazy - going to park on street rather than deal with the tandem parking; I do not want to micro manage the parking. There are a lot of negatives. Like to hear the rest of the board.
Reilly - What I like about the proposal - it is obviously architecturally much more attractive - it may be safer – I am not quite sure. It may help with the problems with the motel residents – but it depends on how the units are managed. This is an area that the town fathers have decided is for single family houses. I do not think there is anything like this for two or three blocks in terms of magnitude size. This would be a dramatic change for that area. Not crazy about the stacked parking either. I think the size and height are overwhelming; no matter what standards we look at it just does not match up. It does seem like we are over building; the density is four times the standard. I can understand that we want to get rid of the motel but there are other choices. Maybe three single family homes or a nicer motel – there are a whole bunch of alternatives to look at. Most of the things cited as advantages would be of any alternative. I know nothing going in the direction of higher density. I could not find enough to match the Medici standards. It is not our job to re-zone.
Schneider – There is no doubt that the new structure is much more pleasing to the eye; the density and size is just out of place. Do not see any other positives other than it is attractive. I believe the intent of the Master Plan was to create single family homes. To approve a structure that immense is totally against the Master Plan. Unless something dramatically changes I cannot support this.
DePolo – Positives – beautiful aesthetically pleasing building, FEMA compliant, safer as far as fire code and maybe traffic – connected with Mr. DeFalco as far as the noise from the motel - 2 o’clock in the morning everyone coming back from the bars and the doors slamming. I believe this will improve the quality of life, sometimes you get surprised you don’t realize and think I never thought about that. Now the negatives – last meeting the applicant got the impression 16 units was too much and they came back with 15 units which I think was a mistake in judgement. Downsize to some degree they would have had a better shot. Do not like tandem parking – I think it will be bumper cars down there. Just the massing of the building, the size of it, once they put up single family residents next to it, it’s going to be interesting. I thought Mr. Kamm made a great point when he asked the question about square footage – hit home with me - this will be triple the square footage of living space of the motel. To me that means triple the cars, triple the people – that could be a slight exaggeration, it is definitely going to impact the neighbors as far as parking. Tried to apply the Medici standard – nothing was doing it for me, so that’s where I am at.
Crasper – I think we can all agree on the advantages such as aesthetic upgrades to the new building codes, flood standards, safety issues, cars not backing out – there all definitely advantages. Disadvantages – height of the building even though they removed the roof top deck, it’s still a disadvantage and overall size of the building is massive. Last meeting the applicant said he was going to downsize and he came back and one unit was removed. MLUL requires the applicant establish negative and positive impacts of proposed use as it affects the public welfare, demonstrate special reasons for granting a use variance, do not think that aesthetics are enough, proposed use is not permitted in the SF zone, do not feel that a 15 unit condominium complex would fit in the area so I will have to be opposed the application.
Struncius – A lot of negatives with what exist and a lot of positives of what could be – but we are not at the right scale – I was happy to hear the neighbors in their comments since I saw mostly opposition to it come forward and raise the 2013 case that raised the negative impacts of the hotel. When you get more into single family living you would expect that some of the standards or actions of those type of tenants would be different then hotel tenants – so that is something that is weighed here as a very strong positive for me. You guys were treated to two of the best here in terms of how the attorneys wanted this to go in terms of one saying he is abandoning the use completely starting brand new and the others wanting to say there is something there so let’s let them continue to have something there, but we are going to improve this multi-family living. I know Mr. Galvin cited that you do not want to trade one for the other – that’s not really a basis, but also said you have to strongly weigh the elimination of the less desirable- we have the balance of weighing that. So I land more in that field, of where I think there could have been a tweener application here – one of the things that makes a condominium complex is the common areas – a joint area, common area for people to go, there common are was on the third floor up in the right corner of the building called a red room, it was lacking what I would call clever planning, where I can see a building like this have four corner units with an open quad in the middle, where people could have outdoor living space and there could have been accommodations, but if there would have been truly a thought about light and air not this bulking so I could have lived with a Carousel House which is in the neighborhood, I know it’s not currently running, it did for a long time, at the time it operated in a certain way the it was a level of a condominium – it had 6 or 7 units and it was a certain size and looked like a house in the neighborhood. I don’t think that looking at this rendering that people can really appreciate the size of this building and that’s where I go to and really have my strongest opposition – I go to 57% - the building there now is 37% - that is a big jump – it goes from 20 feet high to 44 feet high, that’s a big jump – and it has density of 44%, so again from a use point of view if it was under control, and it had the right density and the right planning it had the right light and air and it did things to make it manageable I could see a transition from what there to that, I know Mr. Gasiorowski says you razing that, I disagree with that, I understand, I don’t, I think there’s a place where there is a transition, it’s just not that, because I just think that it is too big, you guys would come out of your homes and say “Whoa” what’s before me, it’s just too much, too many people and just a lot of complications with the size and bulking. It’s a beautiful building obviously, it’s safer it’s all those things, it’s just too much for this piece of property. Mr. Gasiorowski said it isn’t a big piece of property, it isn’t bigger than my next door neighbor’s lot and I can’t imagine building this next door to any single family home it’s just too big.


Motion by Mr. Spader, second by vice-chair Reilly to deny application #2016-40 – 3983 Destination LLC. (Dunes Motel) 0f 1601 Ocean Avenue – Block 179.02- Lot 5 & 6

In favor – Spader, Kelly, Reilly, Schneider, DePolo, Crasper and Struncius
Opposed: None

Application Denied






Meeting adjourned at 11:02pm
Attest: Karen L. Mills, LUA
Clerk of the Board


Published June19, 2017 | Board of Adjustment Minutes | 2594


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