Minutes: May 23, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:44 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 8:19 p.m.), Dennis Downey, Gary Grey, Michael Furrey, David Gornstein (arrived 9:05 p.m.), Brenda Susman and Craig Williams answered the call.

Open Meeting to the Public

Timothy Lawler introduced himself to the EC as a Vernon resident and an employee of the Sussex County Soil Conservation District. He advised the EC that he was not addressing the EC on behalf of Sussex County Soil Conservation rather out of concern over the information he read in the Vernon Advertiser article regarding Whispering Woods. Mr. Lawler stated that the article contained misinformation and falsehoods.

The EC and Mr. Lawler discussed the detention basin. Craig Williams expressed the EC’s concern with the clear-cutting, the lack of soil stabilization and the subsequent run-off into the lake. Mr. Lawler advised that the Sussex County Soil Conservation District has 1-1/2 years of reports and photos of the entire project.

The EC and Mr. Lawler discussed the pictures taken by the Hidden Valley homeowners which depict run-off into the lake. Mr. Lawler stated that the pictures show water containing sediment, however, the run-off in the pictures is not necessarily from the construction. He suggested they are accurate photos but, they misrepresent the situation and that is what he included in his report.

Craig Williams stated that when the plans were reviewed by the EC in 2002, the EC was against the development because the EC anticipated the problems that are occurring today.

Mr. Lawler advised that prior to a storm, he contacts the builder, advises what precautions must be taken and he inspects after the storm.

To date, the DEP has issued one notice of violation and Sussex County Soil Conservation has issued one notice of violation.

Mr. Lawler recommended that a liaison from the Sussex County Soil Conservation attend the EC meetings. He also recommended the EC complete a request form to obtain copies of the Whispering Woods reports.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Michael Furrey made a motion to approve the April 25, 2006 minutes; Dennis Downey seconded the motion.

Applications Under Review

PB #6-06-7: William & Susan Bravenboer—Minor Subdivision

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

PB #5-06-6: Michael & Gail McKenzie—Revisions for Minor Subdivision

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

Old Business

Black Restoration

Michael Furrey reported that he attended the meeting. The study cannot begin until the DEP approves the quality assurance plan. While waiting for the approval, the Black Creek area has been inventoried.

Stream Clearing

The stream clearing date was rescheduled for Saturday, June 10, 2006.

Shade Tree Ordinance

Brenda Susman reported she has not received a response from Don Teolis or Lou Kneip. Gary Grey suggested David Gornstein mention the ordinance at the next PB meeting.

New Business

Ordinance #06-11

The EC reviewed and discussed the proposed ordinance which amends the administrative code relating to environmentally sensitive areas.

Planning Board Liaison Report

The EC spoke to David Gornstein about the lack of feedback from the town regarding the shade tree ordinance. David Gornstein suggested that it is more of a town council issue than a planning board issue.

David Gornstein reported the NRI is on the planning board agenda for May 24th.

Old Business

Green Challenge

Craig Williams spoke about the successful use of porous pavement at a location in Massachusetts which has freeze/thaw cycles similar to Vernon. The EC discussed the similar use of porous pavement in the Town Center.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by Brenda Susman to adjourn the meeting; Michael Furrey seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.