Millburn Town Zoning Board Greenlights Numerous Applications Amid Debates over Property Modifications

The recent assembly of the Millburn Town Zoning Board saw the approval of multiple applications for property modifications while sparking debates over the impact of these changes on the local neighborhood and environment. Concerns raised during the meeting included potential disturbances of steep slopes, tree removal, stormwater management, and the overall aesthetic impact on the neighborhood.

The meeting kicked off with the approval of several applications, including Calendar 391022 by Triple One Holdings LLC, Calendar 3923 by Lawrence and Lauren CRA at 44 Lake, and others by Aaron and Emily Prince, Yun Sayyan Wang, Abanov Aral, and Danielle Forsolley. These applications were approved without corrections or changes by board members Gary Rosen, Regina Truitt, Jessica Glatt, and Craig Ploetner.

One of the most intensely debated topics was Application 394923 for 46 Far FL car adjust. The applicants, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy CL, had already started construction with the intent to provide their daughter with a better education and a level backyard, given the current steep slope. The couple’s architect, Timothy, explained they had a building permit allowing a disturbance of a thousand square feet but were seeking a variance for an additional disturbance of about 10% of the lot area.

The board’s concerns centered around the requested disturbance and its impact on the property, with engineer Harrison Barney testifying about the definition of steep slopes and the requested deviations. The plans involved the removal of 32 trees and the construction of a retaining wall, dry wells, and a rainwater harvesting tank. Despite unresolved soil testing for dry wells, the board acknowledged the need to address stormwater runoff and retain water on the property while exconcerns about the removal of trees and the extent of slope disturbance.

In another application, a resident outlined plans to level parts of their property and construct a retaining wall. The board was quick to question the potential for flooding and the impact on a tree that might be affected by the proposed grading. The resident’s ambition to install a patio and create a nature trail was met with concerns over safety, leading to the proposal of a four-foot fence around the higher part of the wall for protection.

Responding to a concern raised by local resident Jeff Frankle over potential runoff from a neighboring property, the board assured him that the proposed retaining walls would include drainage pipes to collect and redirect water away from his property. This assurance, however, didn’t quell concerns from other audience members regarding the proposed variance for the project, with some questioning the need for such a large expansion and its possible impact on surrounding trees and cliffs.

Amidst these debates, board member Craig Ploetner expressed support for the variances, stating they would advance several goals of the municipal land use law by bringing the home up to current standards. However, other board members, including Gary Rosen, Jessica Glatt, and Amy Lawrence, expressed reservations about the size and massing of the house and its potential impact on the neighborhood.

In a separate application, Ashito Sharma sought variances for a house renovation on Winding Way. The variances included building coverage and floor area ratio, both of which were defended by the architect who emphasized that the proposed deviations were modest and in line with the lot’s peculiar location.

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.

Maggie Miggins
Zoning Board Officials:
Craig Ploetner, Jessica Glatt, Ashley Avigdor, Chandru Harjani, Amy Lawrence, Gary Rosen, Regina Truitt, Joseph Caulfield, Robert Simon (Attorney), Eileen Davitt (Zoning Officer/Board Secretary)

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