Old Bridge Township Zoning Board Addresses Multiple Variances, Emphasizes Permit Compliance

At the recent Old Bridge Township Zoning Board meeting, several homeowners sought variances for property improvements ranging from driveway expansions to deck constructions. The meeting also saw Louis Izzo sworn in as a full voting member and an alternate member, D Singh, welcomed aboard. A D1 use variance relief application for a property on Englishtown Road was discussed and approved, paving the way for the demolition of an existing structure and the construction of a new building for storing construction equipment and supplies.

One of the foremost issues at the meeting involved a homeowner who had expanded their driveway without a permit. Despite the homeowner’s history of obtaining proper permits for other renovations, the driveway expansion was completed without approval, raising concerns from the board members about the precedent it would set in the neighborhood. The homeowner’s neighbor supported the expansion, emphasizing the benefits of off-street parking and community cohesion. The board grappled with the decision, ultimately questioning the homeowner and neighbor about potential solutions, such as adjusting the driveway to meet setback requirements.

Another case involved a property owner seeking variances for a patio setback, landscape area ratio, and a shed extension. The property owner cited the necessity of the variances due to their home-based graphic installation business requiring additional storage. After extensive deliberation, the board members voted in favor of granting the variances and advised the applicant to secure the necessary permits.

The board also reviewed an application for a covered Portico porch on the front of a house on Exer Street. The applicant aimed to construct a porch that would encroach slightly on the required setback. With no public objections, the board members voted to approve the project, supporting the aesthetic enhancement and neighborhood conformity it would provide. However, they reiterated the importance of adherence to setback requirements.

The topic of driveway expansions continued with the case of Candido Carasco, who expanded his driveway without zoning approval. The board members expressed concerns about the impact of granting variances for such cases on the neighborhood’s character and lot lines. The discussion touched on compliance with zoning regulations and the implications for future property sales.

A discussion ensued about an ordinance related to granting variances for properties near lot lines. The board members were wary of setting a precedent for such approvals, debating whether to consider a one-foot setback instead of the required five feet. The debate led to the decision to continue the matter, giving the applicant time to reconsider their plan.

The meeting concluded with the approval of a variance request for a deck expansion by a family that had become grandparents and needed additional space. The board took into account the emotional and financial impact of their decisions on the applicants, approving the variance for the setback pending the resolution being submitted to the building department.

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.

Debbie Walker
Zoning Board Officials:
James Sullivan, James Connor, Benjamin Stoner, Doreen Chevalier, Leon Scogno, Rosanne Andrews, Patricia Testaverde, Louis Izzo, Michael Victoria, Christopher Dasti (Attorney)

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