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JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006

Presiding:            Chairman DiFrisco     

Secretary:            Joanne Meyer

 

Present:                                                            Also Present:

Mr. Jenisch                                                      Kurt Senesky, Board Attorney

Vice Chairman Ackerson                                 Joaquim Fernandes, Board Engineer

Ms. Galfo                   

Mr. Culp                                                          Absent:

Ms. Valva                                                        Mr. Pignatore

Mr. VanderPloeg                                        Ms. Morris

Chairman DiFrisco                                              

                                                             

REGULAR MEETING:

 

RESOLUTIONS:

 

Ranger Development, LLC                 No. 36-05        Block 195, Lot 17.01

                                                                                    54 Nolan?s Point Road

                                                                                    Bulk Area Variance

 

            Vice Chairman Ackerson moved to approve the resolution.  Ms. Valva seconded the motion.

 

In Favor:            Vice Chairman Ackerson, Ms. Valva, and Chairman DiFrisco.

 

 

Sinisgalli                                                No. 19-06        Block 198, Lot 22

                                                                                    45 Homestead Road

                                                                                    Bulk Area Variance

 

Vice Chairman Ackerson moved to approve the resolution.  Ms. Valva seconded the motion.            

 

In Favor:            Vice Chairman Ackerson, Mr. Culp, Ms. Valva, and Chairman DiFrisco.

 

 

Giampapa                                                         No. 20-06        Block 473.02, Lot 2

                                                                                                4 Whispering Pine

                                                                                                Bulk Area Variance

 

Ms. Valva moved to approve the resolution.  Vice Chairman Ackerson seconded the motion.

 

In Favor:            Vice Chairman Ackerson, Mr. Culp, Ms. Valva, and Chairman DiFrisco.

 

 

Howe                                                               No. 21-06        Block 166, Lot 18

                                                                                                8 Dublin Hill Road

                                                                                                Bulk Area Variance

 

Ms. Valva moved to approve the resolution.  Chairman DiFrisco seconded the motion.

                       

In Favor:            Vice Chairman Ackerson, Mr. Culp, Ms. Valva, and Chairman DiFrisco.

 

Wellington                                                         No. 33-05        Blocks 490 & 508, Lots 22&38

                                                                                                Wildwood Road

                                                                                                Bulk Area Variance

 

            Carried to July 24, 2006.

 

APPLICATIONS:

 

Quick Chek Food Stores, Inc.                              No. 70-04        Block 273.01, Lots 11 & 12

                                                                                                Block 273.02, Lots 1 & 2

                                                                                                Hellers Lane

                                                                                                Preliminary & Final Major

Subdivision

                                                                                                Preliminary & Final Site Plan

 

            Mr. J. David Ramsey representing the applicant is present.

 

            Mr. Senesky stated we have six members here tonight and five are eligible to vote.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated we would like to present some additional information to the board tonight, but we will not be doing closing arguments and we are not asking the board for a vote tonight.  We last here in January 2006.  We have spent some time since then looking at some of the issues the board raised, specifically with the intersection of Route 15 and Bowling Green Parkway.  We would like to present some testimony to the direction we are trying to head and why we have been delayed in getting back to you.  We have been trying to reach a solution with the DOT that we think would be a benefit to the Township.

 

            Mr. Raymond DiPasquale, Traffic Expert, is present and previously sworn in.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated referring to exhibit A3, which is a rendered version of the Quick Chek site plan; we show a proposed improvement to Hellers Lane, which provides for access out to Bowling Green Parkway.  We also show an inbound movement off of Route 15 north to access the Quick Chek facility.

 

            Mr. Ramsey asked what is the applicant proposing to do with the intersection of Bowling Green Parkway and Route 15 North to improve the traffic situation that exists even today.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated Bowling Green is a left turn movement out to Route 15 North.  We recognize there are cars queued to exit Bowling Green onto Route 15 under current conditions and we would be adding to that vehicle queue via the improved Hellers Lane.  We looked at an opportunity to come up with a better configuration for that area.  We would like to submit an exhibit entitled Bowling Green Parkway and Hellers Lane re-alignment aerial exhibit (marked A5), prepared by Bohler Engineering, and dated 7/10/2006.  This is a colorized aerial rendering with the site plan superimposed on the aerial.  What we also show is a different alignment for Hellers Lane transversing the site in a north to south direction to the intersection with Route 15 northbound.  We looked at the topography and the different terrain elements and said what if we had the ability to realign Hellers Lane and create a signalized intersection with Route 15.  We would then provide for a better means of accessing the state highway system as well as discharging the patronage from the Quick Chek site.  What we also envisioned was because the Bowling Green Parkway traffic volumes, although they are somewhat minor in nature, we could create a T intersection with Bowling Green being the minor street and Hellers Lane extension being the major street and then petitioning the DOT to signalize the access point on Route 15 North.  This way we could control the flow in and out of the site on to 15 North.  We heard concerns about the traffic flow northbound and the speeding that occurs there.  The installation of a traffic control signal would help to alleviate some of the speeding problems and would also allow for the future commercial development along the 15 North corridor.

 

            Mr. Ramsey asked if the applicant had been approached by an adjoining property owner about an interest in accessing Bowling Green.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated it is his understanding that the property owner of the larger vacant parcel to the south and west is interested in looking at alternative means of accessing Route 15 as well.  That property would not have direct frontage on Route 15.  It would ultimately have to bring forth a program that would allow for reasonable access out to that area.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated in comparing the two exhibits, the difference is Hellers Lane now becomes the major road and visually it appears it intersects with Bowling Green Parkway further back.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated yes, the intersection with Bowling Green would be pushed back approximately 185-200 feet away and that would allow for stacking and we could make it one way from the intersection to Route 15 North.  This would allow for a double stacking on Bowling Green.

 

            Mr. Ramsey asked what type of application does this require.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated technically this would be part of our major application process with them right now.  We would have to modify our application to include these changes.

 

            Mr. Jenisch asked why wouldn?t the state come back and say that would impede the traffic going north.  Is that a possibility?

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated it is a possibility.  The installation of a signal has to meet specific warrants (guidelines) for allowing a signal to be placed in a state right of way.  If it doesn?t meet those warrants, then they can?t allow the procedure to move any further.  They would not grant authorization to design if you don?t meet the specific warrants.

 

            Mr. Senesky stated there is another signal further south on Route 15 north.  How far back is that?

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated he can check that because he has the diagrams in the book.

 

            Mr. Senesky asked if he were able to indicate what the timing of the light would be.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated they have not designed the signal yet.  We wanted to get feed back from the board to see if it makes sense to move forward with this.  We would definitely have to put together a progression analysis.

 

            Chairman DiFrisco stated right now if you are at that intersection you could get 4-6 cars out before the cars turning onto 15 from the Edison Road light make it to the Bowling Green intersection during the evenings.  Even if the DOT does not go for this, is it still your proposal to keep Hellers Lane where you are showing it now.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated this is a better alignment whether the intersection is signalized or not, but it does require cooperation of adjacent property owners.  That property owner has now come forward and contacted our group; it made sense to look at other options.  He doesn?t know if that satisfies the board?s concerns about the access point on 15.

 

            Chairman DiFrisco stated this would help.  The intersection being signalized would be ideal, but this helps.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated we could time the signal so it does break up the traffic flow during certain hours of the day.  There is an advantage to having the speeds somewhat slower in this area.

 

            Mr. Senesky asked if the proposed realignment, which involves the cooperation of another property owner, would involve a further subdivision.  Are you talking about incorporating that property into this proposal?

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated the way we have it aligned, the adjacent property owner would have to allow for a right of way dedication to allow Bowling Green to curve up further to the north and west.  We would need some construction easements from them, but no actual subdivision of the property to create the right of way for the new road.  The new right of way could occur within the subject property.

 

            Chairman DiFrisco asked about the township and if they would need approval from them since Bowling Green is a township road.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated yes, we would need approval.

 

            Mr. VanderPloeg asked if the new proposed road would be an exit only from Bowling Green Parkway onto 15 or will you allow for a left turn into Bowling Green.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated he would not recommend an allowance for a left turn in, other then to accept traffic from the opposite side of 15.  The section between Bowling Green and 15 North would essentially be one way.

 

            Mr. Senesky asked if that has been the substance of their discussions with DOT.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated yes, that is our general agreement.

 

            Vice Chairman Ackerson asked if the DOT has seen both these exhibits.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated he doesn?t think the DOT has seen the aerial exhibit, but they have seen A3 and sketch work of A5.

 

            Mr. Senesky stated if you pursue this, you need to provide copies to the board and the objector?s attorney as well.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated he would do that.  They wanted to get a sense of direction from the board as to whether this was a good idea or not.  We would have a number of steps to still go through yet.  We need to reach an agreement with the adjoining owner, discuss it with the governing body of the township, and if those two things make sense then they can go ahead to the DOT and tell them this is something we can do.

 

            Mr. Senesky stated so you are in the very early discussions with the DOT.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated as to this particular plan, yes.  We have had other discussions with the DOT up to this point in time.

 

            Mr. VanderPloeg asked if Hellers Lane would be for two-way traffic.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated between Bowling Green and 15 South it would be two way.  His recommendation is that between Bowling Green and 15 North it would be one way out.

 

            Mr. Fernandes stated he has some concerns about the new configuration of Hellers Lane and the impact and increase of the traffic and the potential for people to use that exit to Route 15 North.  If the light were to be installed it would reduce some of the concerns.  There is potentially a concern of traffic from Bowling Green Parkway using Hellers Lane as an exit out to Route 15 and any traffic on Route 15 that may want to use this new improved road as a u-turn.  If this happens, the existing configuration of Route 15 South and Hellers Lane may be problematic.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated the interchange is just north of here and it functions pretty well.  It would seem to U-turn using Hellers Lane would be a very disjointed movement nor a convenient movement.

 

            Ms. Valva asked if they could push the exit off Route 15 north to their site any further to the north?

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated they could push it a few feet further.  We have a no access point to deal with.

 

            Ms. Valva stated that is where it goes to three lanes.  The more separation you could get there the better it would be.  If you don?t get the signal there, you would have cars turning left from Bowling Green and cars on 15 North slowing down to exit onto your site.

 

            Mr. Senesky asked what the distance is now between Bowling Green and the proposed entrance to the site.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated 370 feet from centerline to centerline.  We could extend that somewhat, but there were some grading concerns.

             

            Chairman DiFrisco opened the meeting up to the public.

            There being no comment the public portion is closed.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated we are trying to satisfy what we view as being the most significant issue that has been raised by the board.  We are trying to take the time necessary to accomplish it in the best way we can.  Is there anything else we should be looking at while we are spending our time doing this?

 

            Chairman DiFrisco stated what you are showing is much better then the original and if you could move the entrance that would be better.

 

            Ms. Valva stated she doesn?t know about making Bowling Green one-way to Route 15 from the Hellers Lane intersection.  She would hate to see two cars side by side trying to turn onto Route 15 if it is not signaled.  If it is signaled then fine.

 

            Mr. DiPasquale stated she is right.  If there is no signal, then we would not do a double left.

 

            Mr. Ramsey stated we would need two or three months before we are heard again.  We will not have DOT approval by then, but we will know that the adjoining property owner is willing to participate in this, the town is likely to be willing to participate in this and we can make a full blown application they can accept.

 

            Vice Chairman Ackerson moved to carry the application to November 13, 2006 with no further notice needed.  Ms. Galfo seconded the motion.

 

In Favor:            Mr. Jenisch, Vice Chairman Ackerson, Ms. Galfo, Mr. Culp, Ms. Valva, Mr. VanderPloeg, and Chairman DiFrisco.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES DATED JUNE 26, 2006:

 

            Mr. Culp moved to approve the minutes.  Chairman DiFrisco seconded the motion.

 

In Favor:            All.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Ms. Galfo moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:11 PM.

            Vice Chairman Ackerson seconded the motion.

 

            In Favor:  All

 

                                                                                                                   Respectfully submitted,

 

 

________________________________________

                        Joanne Meyer, Board of Adjustment Secretary


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