PB Meeting Minutes 08-12-19

Call to Order

Chair Wynn called the meeting to order at 7:40 pm and announced that the meeting has been properly noticed in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act and that the meeting is being recorded and can be viewed on the Township website or on Channel 34. 

Roll Call

Chair Wynn, Vice Chair Brodock, Mr. Schwartz, Ms. Willis, Mr. Cook, Mr. Rooney, Mr. Ianuale, Ms. Loughman, Mr. Barr and Mr. Gilmer were present.   Councilor Schlager was excused.  Board Attorney Arthur Neiss, Board Engineer Joseph Vuich and Planning Director Janice Talley were also present.  


A motion to approve the minutes from the July 22, 2019 meeting as amended was made by Ms. Loughman, seconded by Chair Wynn and approved unanimously with Mr. Schwartz, Ms. Willis, Mr. Barr and Mr. Gilmer abstaining.

Chair Wynn announced that the resolution for Application 2566:  59 Glenridge Avenue, LLC – 59 Glenridge Avenue will be carried to the August 26th Planning Board meeting.  He also announced that Application 2592:  Jonathon and Melissa Goidel – 264 Upper Mountain Avenue will be carried to the September 23rd Planning Board meeting and that Application 2623:  Montclair Art Museum – 3 South Mountain Avenue will be carried to the August 26th Planning Board meeting.

Resolution Application 2606:  Adaline Moster Property, LLC – 403-405 Bloomfield Avenue (Block 3205, Lot 11)

A motion to approve the resolution as amended was made by Chair Wynn, seconded by Vice Chair Brodock and approved unanimously.

Application 2610:  Platinum Interiors, LLC – 96 High Street (Block 1916, Lot 30)

The applicant was represented by Alan Trembulak, Esq.   Mr. Trembulak stated that the subject property is an unusually large lot for the neighborhood and that it is also a through lot with frontage on two streets.  He stated that the applicant proposes to create three lots, with one lot fronting on High Street which will contain the existing house and two lots on Nishuane Road which will contain two new houses.  Mr. Trembulak stated that the applicant’s position is that the two proposed smaller homes on Nishuane Road are more consistent with the neighborhood than one large home.

Melanie Factor, owner of Platinum Interiors, LLC, was introduced as the property owner and applicant and sworn in.  Ms. Factor, a real estate attorney, purchased the property in January 2019 and has completed approximately 10 - 12 small development/rehabilitation projects over the past 20 years. She is currently restoring the existing large center hall Colonial house on the property.  She stated that the two smaller houses proposed for the Nishuane Road lots are more consistent with the lots and houses along Nishuane Road.  Each proposed house is approximately 2,114 square feet and will sell for $600,000 to $700,000. 

The Board noted that the applicant is seeking to divide one conforming lot into three nonconforming lots.  In addition, almost all the houses on Nishuane Road in the vicinity of the property have conforming lot widths and asked how the two lots with deficient lot widths would conform to the neighborhood.  The Board stated that more information is needed to determine of the proposed houses will be consistent with the neighborhood.  Details such as the location of the two houses on the lots, along with the driveway width and required parking, are needed. 

The public was invited to question Ms. Factor.

One neighbor asked if the new houses will have basements and Ms. Factor responded that both will have basements.

Another neighbor asked how many trees will be removed in order to build two houses on the lot.  The neighbor noted that there are many mature trees along the Nishuane Road frontage that will need to be removed to build two houses.  Ms. Factor did not know how many trees would be removed but stated that she will preserve as many as possible.

Another neighbor asked if the property had been tested for radon, as there is a long-standing problem with radon in the area.  Ms. Factor stated that the new lots have not been tested for radon.  Another neighbor suggested she call Betsy Donovan at the Environmental Protection Agency to get a current list of properties that have documented radon problems.

Another neighbor questioned how one larger house can be detrimental to the neighborhood compared to two smaller homes.  He noted that Montclair is full of neighborhoods with variable lot widths and house sizes.

Another neighbor asked if an unofficial cut through could be provided on the property.  He stated that the property has historically been used by kids as a cut through from Nishuane Road to High Street.

The applicant requested a recess, after which she asked if they could return to the Board at a future date with a revised plan that addresses the Board’s concerns.  The matter was continued to the October 7 Planning Board meeting with no further notice required.

Payment of Bills

A motion to pay bills was made by Vice Chair Brodock, seconded by Chair Wynn and approved unanimously. 


The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.