Minutes: March 28, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:30 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.

Salute to Flag

Roll Call

The roll call of members was called and Barrie Beaver (arrived 7:55 p.m.), Dennis Downey, Michael Furrey, David Gornstein (arrived 8:04 p.m.), Brenda Susman and Craig Williams answered the call.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Brenda Susman made a motion to approve the March 14, 2006 minutes; Michael Furrey seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Open Meeting to the Public

Owen Hyland introduced himself as a resident interested in energy systems as related to our economy. A number of years ago he became familiar with the U.S. Green Builders Association, an organization which developed a construction standard referred to as LEED (leadership energy efficient design). Mr. Hyland thought this may be beneficial in the planning of the town center. He suggested the idea to Austin Carew who felt the town council may be inclined to consider the development information.

Mr. Hyland indicated that he would be interested in sharing his knowledge to help the EC pursue energy efficiency in the town center design.

Craig Williams suggested that an environmental “wish list” for the town center should include active solar, passive solar, geothermal heating/cooling, and permeable surfaces. Mr. Hyland advised the EC about the LEED “point system.”

Austin Carew advised that the town council would be receptive to new ideas at this point. Craig Williams suggested there should be a benefit/incentive offered to the developer, builder or future owner who participated in environmental/energy efficient development.

Austin Carew suggested contacting the design firm Looney, Ricks, Kiss to present energy efficient ideas and invite them to an EC meeting to discuss options and inquire about construction costs.

Owen Hyland advised that he spoke with Don Teolis about including energy standards into the construction code. Don Teolis advised that cannot be done because there is a uniform construction code and any changes would have to be adopted by the state legislature. Don Teolis did advise that it would be possible to zone for a LEED.

Craig Williams advised that he will draft a letter to Looney, Ricks, Kiss.

Close the meeting to the public at 8:27 p.m.

Applications Under Review

ZB #4-06-6: Glenwood Management—Final Site Plan and Storm Water Maintenance and Drainage Report

The EC studied the plans to determine if the 50' wetlands buffer was correct for the classification of wetlands surrounding the project. The EC discussed the various classifications of the Black Creek. Craig Williams stated that almost half of the footprint of the construction area is on environmentally sensitive land and questioned how the applicant can construct a detention pond in an area with high water table. The applicant requires an LOI to determine delineation of the wetlands and the setbacks based on the value of the wetlands.

The EC discussed soil suitability factors.

Craig Williams stated he would draft a letter to the zoning board addressing the EC concerns.

ZB #4-06-7A: Andrew Borsiuk—Minor Subdivision

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

PB #2-06-2: Riccobono Development, LLC—Revised Plan

The EC agreed the application does not include adequate wetlands buffer.

Planning Board Liaison Report

David Gornstein reported the PB is expecting a preliminary report on the NRI on April 12, 2006 and a vote at the following meeting which is April 26, 2006.

New Business

Draft Resolution re: Environs

Craig Williams read the EC a draft resolution written by John Logan. Mr. Logan’s goal in preparing the draft resolution is to urge the town council to prepare a Master Plan Amendment changing the zoning from commercial recreation to agri eco tourism for the contiguous parcels known as the Sammis and Kelly farms on Route 94 and the Great Gorge Golf Course on Route 517.

All present voted to not accept the draft resolution in its current form.

Craig Williams advised he would draft a letter to the town council incorporating the ideas of Mr. Logan’s draft resolution, however, expand on the environmental aspects relating to the properties in question.

Old Business

Upper Plateau

The EC reviewed a fax from Jerry Levy, a resident on Curtis Drive. The fax was a copy of an e-mail from Lou Kneip to Stuart Koenig regarding the Upper Plateau subdivision. The e-mail addressed the direct stormwater discharge towards the lake with no detention basin and the runoff and erosion problems.

The EC reviewed a second fax from Jerry Levy. The fax was a copy of an e-mail from Lou Kneip to Rich Spoerl regarding Whispering Woods a/k/a Upper Plateau subdivision. The e-mail advised of a NJDEP site meeting. The site meeting addressed the wetlands buffer which will be determined by the NJDEP.

Craig Williams reported that Jerry Levy called and advised him that the Hidden Valley Lake is currently green. The EC discussed possible causes of the green color and agreed to contact the health department.

Black Creek Clean-Up

Michael Furrey reported that he spoke with Bruce Zaretsky regarding the dump site located on Mr. Zaretsky’s McAfee property. Mr. Zaretsky visited the site and reported to Michael Furrey that he felt 99% of the material is on Mountain Creek’s property. Mr. Zaretsky advised that he would speak to a local contractor about supplying heavy equipment to remove the debris.

David Gornstein reported that he spoke with the manager of Mountain Creek regarding their portion of the dump site. Mountain Creek is willing to support the clean-up.

The EC discussed coordinating a clean-up of the site.

The EC scheduled a site inspection for Saturday, April 8, 2006.

Shade Tree Meeting

Brenda Susman reported that the shade tree meeting with Lou Kneip was held and the following shade tree requirements were developed:

  1. minimize the limits of disturbance
  2. discourage clear-cutting
  3. encourage preservation of trees within the limits of disturbance
  4. protect specimen trees 18" or larger

The EC discussed decreasing the size of specimen trees to be protected. The EC agreed to request Lou Kneip change the size of specimen trees to be protected to read 8" or larger.

Brenda Susman advised that at the meeting a shade tree commission was discouraged but it was suggested that the EC have a shade tree committee.

Earthfest 2006

Barrie Beaver reported that he contacted the high school principal and advised that the EC would like the science department to participate in the Earthfest by doing something of an environmental nature.

Craig Williams reported the EC financial contribution to the event, at this point, is insurance coverage for the event. Due to the EC involvement, the event is considered a township event.

A&P Waste Disposal

The EC agreed to a site inspection on Saturday, April 8, 2006.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by Barrie Beaver to adjourn the meeting; David Gornstein seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 10:08 p.m.