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3/18/14 Planning Board Minutes

MARCH 18, 2014
7:15 P.M.

A regular meeting of the Egg Harbor City Planning Board was held on March 18, 2014 with Chairman Gerhard Mueller presiding. Other members in attendance were Vice Chairman Richard Colby, City Official Keith Adams, Regular Member Miriam Mueller, Alternate #1 Jack Peterson, Alternate #2 Gladys Torres, Solicitor Jim Schroeder, City Planner Tim Michel, Engineer Ryan McGowan and Secretary Donna Heffley. (Not present were City Council Member Edward Dennis, Mayor Jiampetti and Regular Member Dennis McKenna).

Roll Call: Mayor Jiampetti no, Mr. Dennis no, Mr. Adams yes, Mr. Colby yes, Mrs. Mueller yes, Mr. McKenna no, Mr. Peterson yes, Mrs. Torres yes, Mr. Mueller yes, Mr. Schroeder yes, Mr. Michel yes, Mr. McGowan yes and Secretary Donna Heffley yes.

This meeting was advertised pursuant to the NJ Open Public Meetings Act. N.J.S.A. 1:4-6 Seq. Notices were sent to official publications for the Planning Board; the Press of Atlantic City, the Egg Harbor News, the Atlantic Current and the Hammonton Gazette. A copy of the notice was posted on the bulletin board of the Egg Harbor City Municipal Building.

The Chairman directed the Secretary to enter this public announcement into the minutes.

Approval of Minutes: Upon motion made by Mr. Colby, seconded by Mr. Peterson and carried.

Approval of Resolution: # 2 of 2014 Accent Fence, LLC
1450 Bremen Avenue
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Block 1003, Lot 11
Business Park
Amendment to Approved Site Plan

Mayor Jiampetti was called into the Court room to vote upon this resolution. The Mayor was present when this application was heard last month on February 18, 2014.
The Mayor entered the court room.
Upon motion made by Mr. Peterson, seconded by Mrs. Torres to approve Resolution #2,
Roll Call: Mayor Jiampetti yes, Mr. Dennis absent, Mr. Adams yes, Mrs. Mueller abstained (absent when application was presented), Mr. Colby yes, Mr. McKenna absent, Mr. Peterson yes, Mrs. Torres yes, Mr. Mueller abstained (absent when application was heard, conflict).

New Business: #14-02PB – Mohammed Mollah
Owner of Property: Cornell Realty, LLC
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Block 103, Lot 15, 16, 17.01
Downtown Redevelopment Area/Highway Commercial
Request for Waiver from Site Plan Review and Approval

The Applicant was represented by Michael Peacock, Esquire who is with Nehmad Perillo & Davis.

Mr. Michel gave an overview of past applications for this site that have come before the board and the implications. It is important for the Board to see that there is a clear distinction between this Applicant and the prior Applicant. The clear distinction is that the prior Applicant was asking for a site plan waiver for sales of automobiles on the site in addition to automobile repair which required a conditional use. This application is much different and under current zoning the parking requirements are much less for this proposed use. Professionals have met with the Applicant and their attorney and issues discussed have been addressed.

Mr. Peacock gave an overview of the Application. Mr. Mollah the leasee and his son Jamiel Basir who will be operating the day to day business will use this property for only what has been permitted in the past; automotive repair, detailing and accessory tire sales. There will be no new or used automobile sales and no outside storage of auto parts or auto equipment. All operations will be conducted indoors. There are two service bays and a business office on the property where the Applicant intends to open a new business that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and zone located on the heaviest traveled commercial corridor in the city.
Two Witnesses were present Mr. Mohammed Mollah the Applicant and his son Jamiel Basir who were sworn in by Mr. Schroeder.

Mr. Peacock questioned Mr. Mollah and Jamiel confirming the above statements about the proposed business referring to exhibit A-1. Mr. Basir stated there will be three employees, no alterations will be proposed to the exterior of the building, and 10 parking spaces for employees and patrons can be provided. Deliveries will be made in regular cars twice a day none before eight a.m. or after five p.m. The Applicant showed the driveways and described the location of proposed planters to improve the overall look of the site. The applicant showed where the lighting will be located, and the signage being proposed. Exhibit A-2 included a series of photos of the existing building.

Mr. Peacock noted any type of signage proposed will be conforming to the City Zoning Ordinance.
The Applicant agreed.

Mr. Michel reviewed his report dated March 13, 2014. Mr. Michel thanked the Applicant for being so cooperative and putting on the record all of the information they provided.

Mr. Michel noted this is a permitted use and is consistent with the prior use. Under the current Redevelopment Plan the site is located in Redevelopment Parcel 5. The previous use was tire sales and Service. Redevelopment Parcel 5 permits pre-existing permitted uses. The pre-existing zoning was Highway Commercial which allows automotive service stations as a conditional use which is consistent with the proposed auto repair and detailing business.

Mr. Michel reviewed bulk requirements and parking.

The Applicant noted the parking spaces will be compliant with the zoning ordinance in terms of length and width.

Mr. Michel suggested the parking spaces should be defined.
Mr. Peacock noted these spaces will be stripped.

Mr. Michel noted this site was a gas station in the past and that the Applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Planning Board that there are no underground storage tanks in the public right of way. A no further action letter or a notarized statement should be submitted.

Mr. Peacock addressed this issue and noted that he did an open public records request with DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) for any information about underground storage tanks for this site for the past 20 years and records did not show a removal or existing tank. Mr. Peacock made a representation on behalf of Mr. Coyle and Cornell Realty that there are no USTs on site and haven’t been for the at least the past 15 years. As far as getting a notarized statement, this all happened before Mr. Coyle took ownership of the property. It may be a hardship to contact the previous owner who resides out of state and to obtain a notarized statement from him. Mr. Peacock noted after their search they are100 % positive there are no underground storage tanks existing on site. No written proof is probably due to the tanks being removed so long ago and prior to the year 2000 before digital records.

Mr. Michel discussed trash and recyclables and noted both will be stored inside the building.

Mr. Michel discussed the clothing bin box on the property located in the City Right of Way and that it must be removed.
Mr. Peacock stated the clothing bin will be removed.

Mr. Michel reviewed the conditions of approval which are 1) No automotive sales may take place on the property. 2) Exterior lighting shall be arranged so that it is deflected away from adjacent land uses and should be arranged so as not to obstruct or deter the visibility of drivers or pedestrians. No blinking or flashing lighting system shall be permitted. 3) All repair work shall be carried on in fully enclosed structures. 4. Outdoor storage of equipment or parts shall not be permitted. 5. Signs, pennants, flags and all advertising displays visible or audible from any public rights- of- way are prohibited, except as allowed under the sign provisions of Egg Harbor City Developmental Ordinance.

Mr. McGowan did not prepare a formal report primarily because what was submitted lacked detail for an engineer’s review. The comments mentioned in Mr. Michel’s review were as follows:
1. The Handicap parking was already discussed with the Applicant which Mr. McGowan reviewed requirements of this parking area.
2. Mr. McGowan reviewed lighting and noted the wall packs were not shown on the survey and suggested reactivating the rear lights on the site for additional lighting.

Lighting and wall pack lighting was discussed.
The Applicant agreed to submit specs to the Engineer and Building Sub code Official for lighting that will be used.

Mr. McGowan expressed his concerns about the underground storage tanks and if there was a No Further Action Letter available from the DEP,.
Mr. Peacock noted if an issue arises with the DEP in the future they will address the issue.

Members and professionals discussed the underground tank issue further.
Mr. Schroeder noted this is a hard situation to prove and if the tanks were installed before regulations and removed when records were not well kept documentation is going to be hard to find. Because there is no record of installation or removal it is hard to say whether DEP will issue a letter and it would be impossible for the Applicant to comply with this request.

Mr. John Coyle owner of the property was sworn in by Mr. Schroeder. Mr. Coyle leased the property on the intent to buy in February 2006 and physically purchased the property November 2012. The people Mr. Coyle purchased the property from had documentation that showed the body shop was a safe and clear place. The owner Billy Cornell assured Mr. Coyle that the attorney Charlie Gimmel who handled the sale of the property and also indicated Test well Craig. Mr. Coyle contacted Test well Craig on this issue and they only keep documents on site for seven years and then they are destroyed.

Discussion continued on removal of the tanks.
The tanks are believed to have been removed in the 1990’s.
Efforts have been made to find documentation on the tanks, but nothing can be found.

Mr. Peacock wanted to confirm that affidavit of notice and service was received by Mrs. Heffley.
Mrs. Heffley confirmed receipt and also Solicitor Jim Schroeder.

Mr. Mueller wanted to confirm with Mr. Peacock that the applicant will submit lighting specifications to the Professionals for their review.
Mr. Peacock noted they will submit the specks for the light wall packs and will show this to the sub code official.

Mr. Mueller also requested that the applicant install a fence to block headlight glare to the adjoining residential property.
The Applicant agreed to do so.

Mr. Colby inquired whether the Applicant will be parking a tow truck on site.
The applicant noted there will be no tow trucks parked on the property.

Mrs. Mueller expressed her concerns about keeping the property clean.

Public Portion: no testimony from the Public.
Upon motion made by Mr. Peterson, seconded by Mr. Adams the public portion was closed.

A motion to approve application 14-02PB was made by Mr. Peterson, seconded by Mr. Adams
Roll Call: Mr. Adams yes, Mrs. Mueller yes, Mr. Colby yes, Mr. Peterson yes, Mrs. Torres yes, and Mr. Mueller yes.

Mr. Peacock indicated with the board’s permission the applicant would like to get started with their business. They have received their approval on record but before the resolution is adopted they would like to move ahead and apply for their mercantile and start working on the conditions that were imposed tonight.

Mr. Schroeder noted they can proceed at their own risk and the applicant will be required to do a notice of decision now so the public is aware that this application has come before the board and another notice of decision after the resolution is adopted.

Other Business: none
Council Report:
Mr. McGowan gave an overview of where the Rittenberg project stands. Hopefully the project will be beginning next Monday. Sidewalks will be torn out, pedestrians will be reverted across Philadelphia Avenue, and work will begin on the storm water pipe and footings and foundation.

Mr. Michel gave an update on Dollar General and noted they are still waiting for final letters from Pinelands and they need an updated highway access permit.

Mr. Adams and Mr. McGowan updated the Board on Water plant issues.

Public comments: none

Adjournment: Upon motion made by Mr. Colby, seconded by Mr. Torres and carried the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted
Donna Heffley/Planning Board Secretary