PB Meeting Minutes 09-09-19

Call to Order

Chair Wynn called the meeting to order at 7:35 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, Councilor Schlager, Ms. Willis, Mr. Cook, Mr. Rooney, Mr. Barr, Ms. Loughman and Mr. Gilmer were present.   Mr. Ianuale was excused.  Conflict Board Attorney Dennis Galvin, Board Engineer Joseph Vuich, Planning Director Janice Talley, Board Architect Barton Ross, Board Traffic Engineer Joseph Fishinger and Board Parking Expert Gerard Giosa were also present.  


A motion to approve the minutes from the August 26, 2019 meeting as amended was made by Chair Wynn, seconded by Ms. Loughman and approved unanimously with Mr. Barr and Vice Chair Brodock abstaining.

Application 2582:  HP 37 Orange Road – 33 & 37 Orange Road (Block 1404, Lots 19 & 20)

The applicant was represented by Thomas Trautner, Esq. 

Mr. Schwartz read a statement into the record noting his concerns that inappropriate Township procedures may have impacted the density proposed in the current application before the Board.  Chair Wynn noted that Mr. Schwartz statement is his sole  opinion, not that of the Board, and that the application hearing should proceed.

Mr. Trautner introduced Stuart Johnson, a licensed architect with Minno Wasko.  Mr. Johnson provided his credentials, was accepted by the Board and sworn in.  Mr. Johnson described the site, noting that the property previously contained a vehicle repair shop with multiple driveways and a disjointed sidewalk condition that is not conducive to pedestrian circulation. He summarized the site plan, noting that it includes a 3,000 square foot public plaza in the front yard and 2,300 square feet of retail space that will be used as a boutique food hall.  The proposed building is 4-stories tall with three floors of residential use totaling 46 units above first floor retail and parking.  A 10-foot wide drop off area is provided in front of the lobby entrance to the building.  The building is 52 feet high, the height of the garage is 12-1/2 feet tall and a one-foot stepback and material change is provided at the fourth floor.  A full-time valet parking attendant will be provided.  A loading area is provided on CentroVerde Drive where garbage trucks, deliveries and moving trucks can park for loading activities.  Mr. Johnson discussed the site amenities, which include an outdoor kitchen and lounging area on the roof, a green roof and a rear courtyard on the second floor.  The mechanical equipment will be located on the roof and will be screened.

The Board asked about the noise level of the mechanical equipment and about the type of plants proposed for the green roof. Mr. Johnson stated that he will come back to the Board with more information about noise and the green roof plantings.  The Board noted that some of the mechanical equipment is located within the 10-foot setback on the roof.  Mr. Johnson responded that he will revise the plan to ensure that none of the mechanical equipment is in the setback.

The Board questioned how the proposed massing meets the requirement of Section 4.2 of the Redevelopment Plan.  Mr. Johnson presented elevations and renderings of the proposed building to show how the proposed massing works with the surrounding buildings.  The Board asked that a rear elevation and a list of other buildings in the Montclair Town Center historic district from which inspiration for the proposed building was drawn be provided.  The Board also requested the specific percentage of proposed materials on each façade be provided.

One Board member stated that the windows should be aluminum-clad, not vinyl, and that fiber cement panels and metal panels should not be used.  Mr. Johnson responded that they will change to aluminum-clad windows and noted that the fiber cement panels will have a reveal, not a batten, to improve appearance as requested in Mr. Ross’s report.  Mr. Johnson also stated that he will consider using stucco rather than fiber cement panels.

Another Board member stated that the proposed 2,300 square foot retail space is too small.  Mr. Johnson responded that the retail space occupies 20 to 30 percent of the first-floor façade.

Mr. Trautner stated that the master signage plan for the property will be provided at a future date.

The public was invited to ask questions.

William Scott asked why the applicant is only providing a 10 percent affordable housing set aside.  Mr. Trautner responded that they are not required to provide more than a 10 percent set aside in the Redevelopment Plan.  Mr. Scott asked why the plan was not submitted to the Housing Commission for advisory review.  Mr. Trautner noted that by law only the Environmental Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission are advisory bodies to the Planning Board.

Esther Freeman of 30 Orange Road asked about how to reduce the impact of construction of the building to the surrounding neighborhood, particularly regarding parking, circulation, garbage and noise.  Mr. Trautner stated that he will work with the neighborhood to minimize the impacts during construction. 

The Board took a break at 9:20 and the public hearing continued at 9:35. Mr. Schwartz left the meeting.

Paul Hayden, an architect and sustainability expert with Minno Wasko, presented his credentials, was approved by the Board and sworn in.  Mr. Hayden is a certified LEED and Green Globes professional.  He stated that no deviation from the Redevelopment Plan is proposed but requested that a 2 Green Globes certification be accepted in place of the LEED certification required in Section 4.6 of the Redevelopment Plan.  The Green Globes program is nationally recognized and is used by the State of New Jersey and many municipalities. It is preferred to LEED certification in that it provides 3rd party substantiation of sustainability during construction, not after construction is completed.  He noted that the requirements for 2 Green Globes slightly exceed the requirements for LEED certification.

Mr. Hayden stated that the green roof occupies 26 percent of the roof.  He stated that the 50 percent requirement for solar panels is not achievable because of the combination of amenity space, the green roof, mechanical equipment and 10-foot setback for solar panels.  He testified that only 15 percent of the roof can support solar panels but noted that a structure can be built over the mechanical equipment to provide solar panels.   He stated that the applicant proposes to purchase a 20-year contract for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset the lack of solar panels on the roof.  He noted that both LEED and Green Globes accept RECs as an alternative to solar panels.   Mr. Hayden stated that the applicant will purchase 1,740 mwh of REC for 20 years from the Pennsylvania/Jersey/Maryland grid.

The Board was concerned that the 20-year REC is not comparable to providing solar panels on a permanent basis on the roof of the building.  The Board asked how much roof area can be used for solar panels if the rooftop amenity space is eliminated.  Mr. Hayden responded about 40 percent, noting that it may be reduced to 30 percent when allowing for circulation between the panels.  The Board asked that the applicant consider maximizing solar panels on the roof and purchasing RECs for the remainder to achieve the required 50 percent.

The public hearing was carried to the October 7 meeting with no further notice and the applicant granted the Board an extension of the time of decision. 

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 10:30 pm.