Planning bd. met June 7
Two applications reviewed at board’s regular meeting
HAMMONTON—The Hammonton Planning Board entertained two applications at its meeting on June 7.
The first matter before the board was Application No. 09-23PB, submitted by Fiduciary Trust Company International of PA for Anthony Marquez Self-Settled Special Needs Trust for a curb and sidewalk waiver at 141 E. 15th St. Block 1705/Lot1.03/Zone RR.
The application was seeking relief from the requirement of curb and sidewalk in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy (CO) for his new single-family home.
Attorney Janice Heinold presented the application. Testimony was provided by Teresa Colleran, the managing director and senior trust officer of Fiduciary Trust Company International.
Heinold said that a letter from Town Engineer Mark Herrmann—of Adams, Rehmann and Heggan Associates—recommended requesting the waiver.
“The nearest curb on the southerly side of the road is approximately 600 feet north of the lot, in front of 101 Ranere Ave. There is no sidewalk on the southerly side of the road. The nearest curb and sidewalk on the northerly side of the road is approximately 1,000 feet south of the property,” Heinold read.
Heinold said that the property would look “out of place” if curb and sidewalk were installed.
“It would be different if every other parcel near the property had a curb and sidewalk, but that’s not the situation here,” Heinold said.
Heinold said that, if the board were to grant the waiver, the applicant would agree to two conditions set forth by Herrmann.
“One being a 10-foot wide cleared and area running parallel to the road would be provided, and number two, that the applicant/owner would give irrevocable authorization for the town of Hammonton to devote the owner’s front footage of the assessment of benefits proposal in the event the town, in the future, wanted to install curb and sidewalk in the area,” Heinold said.
During her testimony, Colleran said that she specifically manages the Anthony Marquez Special Needs Trust.
“Mr. Marquez is my client; he is the beneficiary of the trust. The trust itself has purchased the parcel, and is in the process of building the home there. He has certain special needs that have required us to build an accessible home for him on that property,” Colleran said.
Herrmann said that that particular section of Hammonton is part of the Curb and Sidewalk Area Three.
“It’s our least-restrictive, least desirable area—unless you’re near a pedestrian generator, or a commercial corridor or a school, which this area is not,” Herrmann said.
Herrmann said that there is a lot of topographical fall-off on the lots surrounding the road in that area.
“Drainage is what they call an umbrella section; it sheets off the road to the woods. Any curb may affect that in some respects,” Herrmann said.
Board member Michael Messina made a motion to approve the application. Board member Michael Hozik seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by all present.
Councilman Edward Wuillermin and board members Gordon Pherribo, Ray Scipione, Bill Brinkerhoff and Chris Kalani were absent from the meeting.
The board also entertained a zoning application submitted by John and Kelly Celona of 134 Pine Road, Block 4501/Lot3/Zone AP.
The applicants applied for a C-variance to build an addition on their home, which is on an undersized lot; board solicitor Joseph P. McGroarty said that the matter actually required a D-variance.
Both applicants were present to offer testimony, and John Celona presented the application.
“Our current residence—that we’ve been at for about 18 years—we’re looking to get a variance to do an addition to the home. We’ve got two little girls that are now at the age of 10 and 13. It’s a smaller home—one bathroom, currently—so we’re just trying to expand a little bit, and mainly add another bathroom on,” Celona said.
McGroarty asked the applicants if they had an opportunity to read the letter from ARH regarding their application, and Celona replied.
“I did not. We have not received that. All we got was a bill,” he said.
Chairman William Olivo inquired further.
“You did not receive any correspondence from ARH?” Olivo asked.
Celona replied in the negative.
“We have not,” he said.
“Your lot is 0.66 [acres], and you are basically considered a non-conforming structure on that lot, because residential structures are only allowed in that zone if—and there’s two options—if there’s 3.2 and one acre; you don’t fit in either one of those, so basically, you’re considered a pre-existing, non-conforming use on the property,” McGroarty said.
Because the applicants are asking to enhance a non-conforming use, McGroarty said, the application requires a D-variance.
“I won’t try to explain the nuances of that, because you ask three attorneys and they’ll give you different views of that, but, basically, it’s designed to be tougher. The idea is that, if you have a non-conforming use, theoretically they would like that to go away,” McGroarty said.
McGroarty said that, for any variances to be granted, the applicants must establish that there will be no negative impact to either the zoning laws or the surrounding areas.
“I’m sure that all sounds like gobbledygook to you,” McGroarty said.
“It sure is,” he said.
Olivo commented further.
“Since you didn’t get a chance to get anything from ARH, maybe you might want to consider coming back at the next meeting,” Olivo said.
“I won’t speak for what you should do, but—if it was me—I would contact an attorney, only because D-variances are a little bit more difficult than C-variances, and we want to make sure that you put your best foot forward on that,” McGroarty said.
The applicants concurred.
Olivo provided the applicants with his copy of the letter from ARH, and Herrmann said that he would forward the letter to their email immediately.
“Typically, we send it to the board secretary, who disperses it—so I will apologize. I don’t know where it is,” Herrmann said.
McGroarty addressed the applicants again.
“Obviously, there’s time frames that run; you are requesting a continuance?” McGroarty said.
Celona responded in the affirmative, and Hozik made a motion to grant the continuance.
Board member Jonathan Baske seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by all present.
In other business, the board adopted the following resolutions:
• 1100 Bel Air Properties LLC/Tindaro Catania, Application No. 13-23PB—Applicant was approved for a one year extension of his approval of August 7, 2019.
• Amy Lanza Hunter, Application No. 05-23PB—Applicant was granted her request to change lot lines wherein Lots 10 and 10.01 become Lots 10.02 and 10.03 and a C-variance for accessory structure of 1202 square feet where 1000 square feet is the limit.
• Kimberly and Mark Visco, Application No. 22-18PB—Applicant was denied their request for a waiver of curb and sidewalk.
The Hammonton Planning Board regularly meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m.