Minutes: November 16, 2020

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. at the Vernon Municipal Building.

Statement of Compliance was read by Chairwoman Wexler

Salute to the Flag

Roll call for attendance:

Present:
Diane Wexler, Chairperson
Craig Williams, Liaison to the Land Use Board
Catherina Sawoszczyk, Commissioner

Absent:
Margaret DiStasi, Vice Chair
Michael Cheski, Commissioner

Approval of Minutes September 21, 2020 meeting. The “red line” copy of the minutes were amended and approved. Craig Williams made the motion, Catherina Sawoszczyk second. All in favor.

Public Participation:

None. Closed the meeting to the public.

Land Use Liaison Report by Craig Williams

Mr. Williams stated that at the last Land Use meeting consisted of two items.

The First Item: Fred Turner application. This was formerly approved but the house size was doubled what was approved years ago. The proposal filled almost all of the available site space. Uphill neighbors complained about a loss of view shed. The applicant can’t relocate the structure but considered lowering the roof-line. Many issues were brought up such as soil erosion and how to handle it, run off, is the access road a drive way, etc. Changes to address these issues were agreed to. It was passed.

Second Item: Love of Mud application had a notice of the environmental commission’s resolution of disapproval because of the byproducts involved with the activity. Peg DiStasi provided the planning office with our resolution to disapprove before the 10 day comment time. This caused the applicant to delay the hearing. The applicant’s testimony regarding the environmental concerns was then provided.

There were a number of people upset about an enterprise in a residential area. There was a lot of testimony from neighbors and it was a late meeting. The Love of Mud will hold 2, three-hour sessions in the evenings. They have the limit capacity of 12 but they only have an average of 6 show up. The application was approved. A Resolution was presented to the LUB on 11/12/20 and included issues such as parking, and signage. All issues were addressed.

Craig Williams discussed the letter from the Land Use Attorney on rules or a blueprint on how to run the meetings using ZOOM. This was three pages long.

PDF Format was discussed. All participants should have access to PDF Format. But it was discussed that the planning office does not get documents or produce them in PDF Format. There was discussion of the cost of PDF.

Applications under Review

Farm 94, LLC #9-20-6

Craig Williams stated that it is interesting but incomplete application. (The drawings and maps were shown to members.) Craig Williams stated that, per the planning and engineering review, information was missing such as the environmental impact statement, no ESA (Environmental sensitive area), the scope of “glam” camping not explained. It is closer to a “nip and tuck” to existing buildings. Camping usually means campfire. A concern of stray embers should have the fire department involved. The hearing is scheduled for January 13, 2021 to allow time to answer all questions. The second floor of the existing barn is to sponsor events. They will remove smaller structures to improve what they have. The store has the largest addition with a warehouse and rest rooms, and product prep/washing. The question remains: Is there on site cooking? We do not know sanitary conditions being addressed.

Catherina Sawoszczyk asked if the “glam sites” are going to have permanent fixtures.

Craig Williams replied that the rest rooms, showers, water heater are permanent. He stated that there is more that we don’t know than what we do know. There was discussion about a more complete application being provided. There is a petition with about 4000 signatures going around.

Old Business

Natural Resource Inventory

Craig Williams stated that the request for pricing was presented to the Mayor and Manager. We need to move on this because we are about 16 years behind and will follow up with the manager.

Tennessee Gas

Chair Diane Wexler passed a draft letter to members concerning this.

Diane OPRA’d the DEP regarding the Wet Lands Permit on Oct 9 and was given a tracking #. We will be getting PDF documents regarding the blanket permit.

Tennessee Maintenance Program

Craig Williams was able to locate Tennessee Gas Pipeline “Systemwide Maintenance Project” reviewed it. He read about some digging in small areas, repair and installation. A difference in earth/soil, grounding rod. Casing inspection, pig examination etc. The problem that popped out to Mr. Williams is the statement: replace pipe for class change going through existing pipes. Why is there a class change? Discussion about increased pressure because of new or expanded pumping stations.

Chair Wexler stated that there is a ZOOM meeting with a few groups (Sierra Club) on November 24 at 1:00 PM. She will get more info.

Catherina Sawoszczyk asked if anyone is overseeing the project.

Chair Wexler stated that the stations are not in Vernon.

The land use committee wants this committee to keep an eye on it (pipeline).

Craig Williams stated that fracking in Pennsylvania and increased demand from Con Ed is causing the upgrades. Some discussion about the economics of Fracking and whether it is a dying industry. Chair Wexler mentioned that similar Pineland projects have stopped, Chair Wexler stated that the Meadowlands power station stopped.

New Business:

Spotted Lanternfly is handled by Mike Cheski who is absent tonight.

Storm Water Pollution and Watersheds:

There are more seminars coming about this topic. On Dec 2 Delaware River Keepers has one and there will be hand-outs.

No public participation so meeting is opened and closed to the public.

Commissioner Comments:

Chairwoman Wexler said she will look into additional information on ZOOM meetings and let us know.

Chair Wexler wants to know when the first meeting in January is scheduled. Chair Wexler would like it January 12th if possible. She also would like to add another meeting to the month if we get busy. She would like the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. If it is not needed we could cancel the meeting. Land Use Board has the second and fourth Wednesday for their routine meeting.

Craig Williams stated that the Land Use applicant has a 10 day window and we have to be ahead of them. Chair Wexler asked for members to come up with some ideas.

Craig Williams mentioned Peg DiStasi dropping off on Kim’s desk in writing was the better thing to do. He feels that is the better way instead of verbally bringing it to the Land Use Board.

Catherina Sawoszczyk asked about the clean up of the Town Brook in front of the Acme/A&P area. Why are they not held responsible? Craig Williams reported it to DEP

Catherina Sawoszczyk asked about the Black Creek pump track area. Chair Wexler explained. Catherina Sawoszczyk wants to know why we don’t have input on environmental issues on this and other township projects. Chair Wexler stated that the DPW or Pump Track is where the stuff was dumped and a question on whose property is it.

Next meeting is December 21, 2020

A motion to adjourn was made by Craig Williams and second by Chairwoman Diane Wexler. All in favor, Meeting ended at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Debbie Coulson, Recording Secretary.