Minutes: August 5, 2009

Call Meeting to Order

Mr. Williams called the meeting to order at 7:22 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 4D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been transmitted from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald on January 15, 2009, and published on January 20, 2009. Notice is posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call

Barrie BeaverA
Dennis DowneyP
Michael FurreyA
David GornsteinP
Dan BoltzP
Craig Williams, ChairP
Allison PetrykP

Also Present

Cynthia Davis, Recording Secretary
Megan Haidet, TLC

Pledge of Allegiance

Open Meeting to the Public

No one came forward.

Closed Meeting to the Public

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Ms. Petryk made a motion to accept the minutes for the Environmental Commission (the “EC”) meeting of July 1, 2009. Mr. Downey seconded the motion. All were in favor.

Open Space Follow-Up Meeting with Megan Haidet, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey

Ms. Haidet came forward. The members discussed the draft outreach letter prepared by Ms. Haidet. This letter would be sent to certain landowners letting them know of the Open Space Committee’s (“OSC”) interest in preserving their property or a portion of their property.

Mr. Williams explained that in many cases, to stretch the available resources, the OSC is not looking to preserve entire parcels of land but are looking for a right to purchase an easement.

Closed Session at 7:47 p.m.

Opened Session at 7:55 p.m.

Mr. Downey advised Ms. Haidet that land or easements need to be acquired to finish the bike path from Maple Grange Park to Vernon Crossing to Sandhill Road. Sending the outreach letter for this portion of the bike path was approved by Vernon Township’s legal counsel and the Town Council.

Mr. Williams would like to accomplish getting the bike path through St. Frances De Sales (Block 134, Lot 26.01) and have it connect with Block 134, Lot 17 then down to Drew Mountain Road and to the Hauck property, at the intersection of Drew Road and Sandhill Road.

Next week Ms. Haidet will be submitting the competitive grant application to the county for the Rinker property for a portion of $230,000, which is the amount available for open space from Sussex County. The EC/OSC should hear whether they will receive the grant sometime around Thanksgiving.

Mr. Downey reminded Ms. Haidet that the OSC is interested in acquiring easements with a light footprint along the wooded edge of properties so as not to impinge on any farming activities. Ms. Haidet advised that Sussex County has money available for farmland preservation and suggested that the farms along the bike path be approached with this in mind. However, she advised that a bike path easement should be negotiated first. Mr. Downey advised Ms. Haidet that if she needed any information on the properties to contact him.

Ms. Haidet advised that she was approached by a landowner, Mr. Lyons, regarding a fee sale on part of the Lyons estate and farmland easement on the other part. She will send further information to the OSC members.

The target date for having the outreach letters sent to the landowners of the targeted area will be September 15, 2009. Ms. Haidet commented that within the next month or two meetings will begin regarding the Open Space Plan update with Kathleen Caccavalle, TLC Consultant, coordinating the update.

Applications for Review

LUB #12-05-13: Mitelin Motors—Preliminary & Final Major Site Plan

Mr. Williams discussed the issue of this particular location being a key recharge area because of the underlying limestone and sink holes and how it would be beneficial for the applicant to use a pervious surface for the parking area to allow for the straight down drainage of water as opposed to having a detention pond. Mr. Williams advised that a pervious surface looks identical to a paved surface. The difference is the final coating to the surface which allows water to drain straight through. Mr. Gornstein will discuss this with Mr. Kneip.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Mr. Gornstein advised that the Land Use Board is requesting a report from the EC regarding the Cellco application.

Mr. Downey commented that the EC has discussed the unimproved road and the drainage issues that exist today and the permits that were never obtained to put in roads.

Mr. Williams commented that during his site visit he saw what he felt was a dual-purpose piece of property where part of it was residential and another part of it was storing work vehicles, storage sheds and a pile of wood. He went on to say that he saw extremely steep slopes which looked to be the result of moving earth to create a clearing, indicative of some sort of construction site and there was evidence of outcropping and thin soils not inconsistent with that area.

Mr. Gornstein advised that Cellco is scheduled to be heard again at the LUB meeting on September 9, 2009. Mr. Gornstein will advise the Land Use Board of the above information.

Old Business

Glenwood ACT (discussed above)

New Business

NJ Environmental Federation

NJ Environmental Federation, aka Clean Water Action out of Montclair, New Jersey, has sent an application. They advised that they are “back again” for their annual informational door-to-door canvassing to educate about clean water projects within our region. The hours will be 4:00 - 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.


Tennessee Gas Pipeline has sent information to the EC regarding a site in Vernon with plans available for perusal with the Township Clerk.

Bike Lanes

Mr. Williams discussed the proposal of bike lanes being added to certain streets in Vernon including Route 517 and Drew Road.

The next meeting of the Environmental Commission will be held on September 2, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.


Mr. Boltz made a motion and Mr. Downey seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:19 p.m.

Transcribed by Cynthia Davis on August 9, 2009.

Minutes approved: September 2, 2009