Minutes: October 24, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Brenda Susman at 7:52 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

The following statement of compliance was read by Brenda Susman.

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, Dennis Downey, Michael Furrey, David Gornstein (arrived 8:00 p.m.), and Brenda Susman answered the call.

Open Meeting to the Public

No members of the public were present.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

David Gornstein made a motion to approve the October 10, 2006 minutes as amended; Michael Furrey seconded the motion.

Applications Under Review

PB #11-06-16: Thomas Welch, Block 81, Lot 2.07—Minor Site Plan

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

Old Business

Shade Tree Ordinance

Austin Carew advised the EC that the town council members are concerned the ordinance may be restrictive to homeowners. Mr. Carew suggested that it must be made clear that the ordinance addresses clear-cutting rather than homeowners cutting one or two trees.


Austin Carew advised that the Earthfest committee is discussing options to increase public attendance at the event.

EC Membership

Brenda Susman suggested that the EC ordinance should be amended to include two alternate members, preferably, professionals in the environmental field.

Planning Board Liaison Report

David Gornstein suggested to the EC that the EC’s application review may be more efficient if the EC received a copy of the completeness review from the planning board along with each application.

The EC agreed to draft a letter to the planning board requesting that the EC is copied on the completeness review and all documentation relevant to pending applications.

Old Business

Whispering Woods/Woodmont Homes

Michael Furrey addressed the water quality report completed on the Whispering Woods site/Hidden Valley Lake. In his opinion, the report was weak, Lake Conway would have served as a better reference lake because Lake Conway was subjected to a similar clear-cutting situation, and Highland Lakes was an inappropriate reference lake because it has been populated for several decades.

New Business

Storm Water Management for Mountain Creek

David Gornstein reported that Mayor Janet Morrison asked if the EC should review the Schoor DiPalma report and he responded that the EC should wait until the professionals complete their review rather than the EC becoming involved in the middle of the review without knowing the prior details.

Public Interest

The EC discussed how to invoke public interest in the EC meetings. David Gornstein suggested publishing the agenda on the website several days prior to the meeting, Brenda Susman suggested scheduling speakers, and Michael Furrey suggested actively requesting information from the town.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by Dennis Downey to adjourn the meeting; Barrie Beaver seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 9:31 p.m.