Berkeley Heights Planning Board Approves Delia Subdivision at Springfield and Baker Avenues, Approves Halls Garden Center Greenhouse Addition

Engineering landscape surveyor William Hollows describes the planned subdivision at the corner of Springfield and Baker Avenues at Wednesday evening's Planning Board meeting.

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The site which once housed holiday ornaments and decorations may someday soon house two new homes, thanks to a subdivision application unanimously approved Wednesday by the Berkeley Heights Planning Board.

Anthony D. Delia sought board approval to subdivide a 35,175 square foot lot at the corner of Springfield and Baker Avenues into two lots measuring 19,123 square feet and 16,500 square feet respectively, according to Michael Rubino, the attorney for Mr. Delia. He noted that for many years, holiday shrubs and trees had been sold on the lot.

The attorney also noted the larger of the new lots would exceed the 16,500 minimum square foot requirement for a corner lot and the smaller lot would exceed the 15,000 minimum square foot requirement for that lot.

According to William Hollows, the engineering land surveyor of Stirling who testified as an expert for Mr. Delia, conceptually the two new lots could someday be the sites of two homes, measuring approximately 3,000 square feet each, although current plans do not call for building on the site. He said Mr. Delia plans to improve the site and sell the subdivision.

An existing one-story building, two sheds and a paved driveway on the site will be removed, the surveyor added.

As a condition of approval, the landowner agreed that any trees removed on the site for future building would comply with township shade tree removal regulations.

In addition, the board granted a waiver for construction of sidewalks along Baker Avenue where none currently exist.  Shade trees currently existing on Springfield and Baker Avenues would be maintained, the existing shrub on the corner of Baker Avenue would be removed and a cut would be made in the new sidewalk to allow for wheelchair access in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Board said.

Also, any shade trees along the perimeter of the property that pose a danger of falling into neighboring properties will be removed.

Michelle Harder of 66 Springfield Avenue said material from one of the trees on the property had fallen onto her property last year and she wanted to make sure this would not happen again.

Since there are no wetlands and no floodplain on the property, Mr. Hollows said the property owner was requesting a waiver of the Environmental Impact Statement requirement, and this was granted by the Board, as well.

Responding to water runoff concerns voiced by Linda DeLuca of 23 Baker Avenue, Township Engineer Thomas R. Solfaro said current seepage pits on the property take care of runoff and any future developer of the site would have to seek approval when obtaining his building permit which would account for any projected increased runoff.

In another action, the board unanimously adopted a resolution on a previously-heard application by Halls Garden Center for construction of a 5,404 square foot greenhouse addition to the front of the existing garden center at 700 Springfield Avenue.

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