Minutes: January 10, 2006 (R)

Reorganization Meeting

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:47 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 facsimiled and mailed from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald on January 14, 2005. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to Flag

Roll Call

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

Nomination and Election of Vice Chairperson

Dennis Downey nominated Brenda Susman for the position of Vice Chairperson; Barrie Beaver seconded the nomination. All present were in favor.

Reading of David Gornstein’s Letter of Interest

Craig Williams read aloud a copy of David Gornstein’s letter to Ira Weiner regarding his interest to serve on the EC.

Craig Williams explained to David Gornstein the responsibility of the planning board liaison.

Members’ Statements

Barrie Beaver

Stated that he had hoped the tree ordinance would have been implemented by now and he would like to see the tree ordinance pursued in the upcoming year. He would like to save the remaining farmland in town such as the Sammis Farm and the Drew Farm.

Brenda Susman

Agreed with Barrie Beaver’s statements. In addition, she would like to see a “phosphate free fertilizer ordinance.”

Dennis Downey

Stated that he would like to see the NRI approved. He would like to take a pro-active stand with the Open Space Commission. With regard to the tree ordinance he feels that there should be a program encouraging people to plant trees and restrictions for initial lot clearing but he does not feel that an ordinance with penalties will work due to a lack of manpower to enforce the penalties.

Gary Grey

Stated that he would like to see properties identified to be included in open space preservation.

Organization Tasks

Meeting Schedule

Brenda Susman made a motion to approve the meeting schedule for the year 2006 to remain the second and fourth Tuesday of each month; David Gornstein seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Site Meetings

David Gornstein made a motion to hold site meetings, if necessary, on the second Saturday of the month; Gary Grey seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Official Newspaper

Brenda Susman made a motion to approve the New Jersey Herald as the EC’s official newspaper; David Gornstein seconded the motion. All present were in favor.


Craig Williams will draft a letter of appreciation to Donald Sledgeski for his membership on the EC for the last three years.

Craig Williams also thanked Gary Grey for his position as planning board liaison.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Dennis Downey made a motion to approve the December 13, 2006 minutes as amended; Brenda Susman seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Open Meeting to the Public

Austin Carew, of the town council, addressed the EC regarding the NRI and his belief that the town will be required to reference the NRI as part of its redevelopment plan.

Mr. Carew stated that the Chamber of Commerce is asking for participation/contribution from the EC for the Earthfest.

Mr. Carew stated that the town council is concerned that the town paid approximately two million dollars of tax money to the county for open space and farmland preservation and to date the town has only received approximately $30,000.00 in return. In response, Craig Williams explained that the county approved approximately $80,000.00 to purchase two properties in town for open space purposes, neither of the properties has closed to date. However, there are several properties in town that have received farmland preservation. Craig Williams is not certain how much funding came back to the township via the county in those transactions.

Brenda Susman and Dennis Downey volunteered to be participate with Earthfest as representatives of the EC.

Applications Under Review

PB #4-05-4: Highland Lakes Real Estate—Revised Major Subdivision

The EC reviewed and discussed stream classification, buffer requirements and soil classifications. The EC agreed a site visit is necessary to make further determinations.

ZB #9-15-18: Glenwood Management LP—Revised Preliminary Site Plan

The EC reviewed soil classifications. The EC was concerned the detention pond will be located in high water table.

ZB #1-06-1: Inns of Vernon—Site Plan Approval

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

Planning Board Liaison Report

Gary Grey reported the applications reviewed at the last PB meeting did not create significant environmental impact.

Old Business


To date, no feedback or approval from the PB.

Shade Tree Ordinance

The EC agreed they would draft an ordinance.

New Business

Draft of Annual Report

The EC reviewed the draft of the 2005 annual report to be submitted to the town council. Barrie Beaver made a motion to approve the draft as written by Craig Williams; Dennis Downey seconded the motion.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Craig Williams reported that Vernon Township received $51,552.00 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in lieu of taxes for property located in Wildlife Management. The EC discussed requesting the township apply a portion of said funds to Earthfest.

Craig Williams reported that Don Teolis asked for his input regarding Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program which offers opportunities for private land owners to restore creek beds, wildlife habitat, wetlands, etc.

Dennis Miranda

Mr. Miranda contacted Craig Williams to inquire about the Black Creek study. Mr. Miranda told Craig Williams that he questioned the integrity of the septic located at the George Inn.

Upper Plateau

LOI was completed and it is the opinion of the EC the delineation infringes on the construction areas. The official LOI letter has not been issued to date.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by Dennis Downey to adjourn the meeting; David Gornstein seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.