Long Hill Planning Board Faces Complex Subdivision, Extension Requests

The Long Hill Planning Board’s recent meeting tackled a series of challenging topics, including contentious extension requests for Prism Millington and other properties, a minor subdivision application complicated by historical constraints, and a debate over the conditions of a resolution regarding a storage shed straddling a property line. Concerns over potential litigation, the impact on local drainage, and responsibilities for easement maintenance were issues addressed by the board.

During the meeting, the issue of extension requests for certain lots took center stage, with the potential legal consequences of the board’s decisions coming into sharp focus. The discussion revealed that the extensions were sought due to pending requirements, such as a letter of interpretation from the Department of Environmental Protection and the involvement of New Jersey American Water. Concerns were raised about the repercussions should the resolutions not pass, which included the possibility of the approvals lapsing and the applicants having to restart the process entirely. There was a pointed concern about potential litigation if these extensions were not granted.

Another matter discussed was the minor subdivision application for a lot line adjustment. The applicant aimed to make the backyard lines more traditional and had the consent of the rear property owners. The board considered the sufficiency of the notice for the application and confirmed jurisdiction over the case. Despite the absence of the applicant, the board prepared to question them under oath. The lot line adjustment was deemed to have no adverse effect on the neighborhood or adjacent property owners, implying a favorable outcome.

Moreover, a complex situation involving a storage shed straddling a property line, owned by a neighbor and not the applicant, was examined. The applicant sought relief from a 1994 resolution restriction, contending it was not applicable to their current application. The board’s professionals raised questions regarding the jaggedness of the lots, the shed on the property line, and the lack of information from the old resolution. The applicant’s engineer provided visual aids and rationale for the proposed lot line change, which aimed to improve the usability of the properties by creating a more balanced distribution. The discussion delved into the historical development of the properties, highlighting the complexities faced when dealing with the repercussions of past planning decisions.

Additionally, debates centered around whether conditions of a resolution pertaining to a subdivision application needed modification or complete excision. The applicant had agreed to the conditions outlined in the board professionals’ memos, and it was clarified that the subdivision application had been submitted to the Morris County planning board, which issued a letter of exemption. A clerical note about updating a boundary map for an original subdivision was resolved as a recommendation for recordation purposes.

Public comments brought forward resident concerns about the potential impact of building on the subdivided lot and the maintenance of an easement. Despite assurances from the applicant about the lack of development intentions, conflicting statements about the completion of the subdivision and prior deeds for individual lots were noted. The question of maintenance responsibilities for the easement was redirected to the township committee for further discussion.

The board also reviewed the minor subdivision application, with the attorney summarizing the applicant’s request to modify a prior condition to permit the subdivision without variance relief. The conditions stipulated by the applicant were noted, and a resolution was moved, seconded, and approved by a roll call vote to reflect that the application did not involve any ground improvements.

Questions arose regarding a letter from Prism from a year ago, which led to a debate about the necessity of a resolution for the development to proceed. Concerns were voiced about public confusion regarding procedures post-application approval. The chair announced committee assignments, emphasizing the importance of connecting with other Township committees and the need to focus on legal timeframes, particularly concerning stormwater control ordinance and zoning regulations.

The meeting concluded with an announcement about a training course offered by the Somerset Bar Association, designed to aid both new and existing members, and was adjourned following a motion and a second.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Guy Piserchia
Planning Board Officials:
Scott Lavender, Theresa Dill, Brendan Rae, Dennis Sandow, Don Richardson, David Hands, Thomas Jones, Tom Malinousky, Tony Opalka, Debra Coonce (Board Secretary/Planning & Zoning Coordinator), Steven K. Warner, Esq. (Board Attorney), Elizabeth Leheny, Pp, AICP (Board Planner), Joe Vuich, Pe, Pp, CME (Board Engineer)

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