Minutes: April 25, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:40 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

The following statement of compliance was read by Craig Williams.

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been communicated from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald and published on January 20, 2006. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call

The roll call of members was called and Barrie Beaver (arrived 7:48 p.m.), Dennis Downey, Gary Grey (arrived 7:48 p.m.), Michael Furrey, David Gornstein (arrived 8:13 p.m.), Brenda Susman and Craig Williams answered the call.

Salute to Flag

Open Meeting to the Public

Jerry Levy, Curtis Drive resident and secretary/trustee of the Hidden Valley Property Owners Association appeared as representative of the Hidden Valley Property Owners. Mr. Levy addressed the EC regarding the condition of the Hidden Valley Lake. Mr. Levy reported that there has been excessive run-off from the woods, silt is filling in the lake, and the lake has turned green. According to Mr. Levy, the lake was of pristine quality, filled with fish and wildlife until recently. Mr. Levy questioned the EC about testing the water in the lake. Craig Williams asked Mr. Levy if the DEP is aware of the situation. Mr. Levy advised that the DEP comes approximately once every two weeks and soil conservation comes once a week. Mr. Levy advised that he is concerned the condition of the lake may be an environmental hazard for the township of Vernon.

Mr. Levy also addressed the EC regarding the Hidden Valley redevelopment concept. He attended the town council meeting on April 24th.

Craig Williams advised that the proposed Hidden Valley redevelopment area falls within the Highlands core. Craig Williams’ opinion is that redevelopment should be contained within the existing footprint.

Mr. Levy obtained a copy of the town council resolution R0653 pertaining to the Hidden Valley Redevelopment. The last page lists the property identification (block and lot) of areas which are being requested for redevelopment approval.

Mr. Levy and the EC discussed the interpretation of redevelopment planning vs. Highlands preservation.

Aaron Stark, Watershed Embassador, addressed the EC regarding clean-up of the Black Creek dump site.

Mr. Stark advised that he spoke with the Sheriff’s Department regarding the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) assisting with the clean-up on May 13th.

Michael Furrey advised that he spoke with Bruce Zaretsky regarding the clean-up. Mr. Zaretsky offered the use of a loader to assist with the clean-up.

Michael Furrey advised that Mountain Creek would schedule their own clean-up during the week.

David Gornstein advised that Don Teolis stated the township may pay for the disposal of trash collected during the clean-up.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

David Gornstein made a motion to approve the April 11, 2006 minutes as amended; Gary Grey seconded the motion. All present approved.

Planning Board Liaison Report

David Gornstein reported the NRI is on the April 26th Agenda which is a closed session. The planning board has received it for review before it is on the agenda for a public session. Lou Kneip has prepared a preliminary report with his comments on the NRI.

David Gornstein also reported there has been a recommendation to change the steep slope requirements. David Gornstein advised that he will e-mail copy of the recommendation to the EC members.

Applications Under Review

ZB #9-05-18: Glenwood Management—Revised Maps, Revised Architectural Plans & Stormwater Maintenance Manual

Craig Williams advised that the ESA mapping indicates ESAs on half of the site, the site includes steep slopes, and the soil types are a concern. The EC agreed the application requires an LOI.

ZB #9-04-20: New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC—Use Variance, Preliminary & Final Site Plan

The EC agreed the application does not create significant environmental impact.

PB #5-06-06: Michael & Gail McKenzie—Minor Subdivision

The EC agreed the application does not create significant environmental impact.

PB #5-06-5: Monica Kafil Major Subdivision Concept Plan

The EC agreed on the following:

  1. The lots require verification of R-3 status.
  2. The stream buffer, steep slopes and soils must be delineated.
  3. The application requires more information.

ZB #5-06-9: Tall Timbers Property Owners Association, Inc.—Use Variance, Preliminary & Final Site Plan

The EC agreed the application does not createsignificant environmental impact.

New Business

Stream Clearing

The EC scheduled the first Saturday in June for stream clearing from the Waywayanda Creek at Borderland Farms to the Black Creek at Maple Grange Road.

Fields of Green Montessori

Brenda Susman reported the school is planning a tree planting ceremony at the Maple Grange Park.

Old Business

Earthfest 2006

The EC discussed their plans for the EC table at Earthfest.

Shade Tree Meeting

Brenda Susman reported she e-mailed Fred Suljic about decreasing the caliper of trees to be protected. To date she has not received a response.

Draft Resolution re: Environs

Michael Furrey will draft a resolution requesting the environs/preserved natural areas include the farmlands between the economic centers of Town Center/Mt. Creek and McAfee.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by Dennis Downey to adjourn the meeting; Barrie Beaver seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.