Minutes: September 12, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:48 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 Dennis Downey, David Gornstein, Gary Grey (arrived 8:00 p.m.), Brenda Susman and Craig Williams 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 August 22, 2006 minutes; Brenda Susman seconded the motion.

Applications Under Review

PB #9-03-14: Vest-In-Land—Minor Subdivision—Revised Maps

It is the understanding of the EC that the revision involves the relocation of driveway openings. Therefore, the revision does not create significant environmental impact.

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

The EC reviewed the application and agreed on the following:

  1. The application requires more detailed soil logs.
  2. Steep slope issues exist.
  3. The application requires an LOI and an environmental impact statement.
  4. Lots 7, 8, and 9 have substandard improvable area due to ESAs.

Planning Board Liaison Report

David Gornstein reported there has not been a planning board meeting.

New Business

Whispering Woods Subdivision

Austin Carew provided the EC with a memorandum from Louis Kneip regarding the Ecological Assessment for Hidden Valley Lake and the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Assessment for Whispering Woods. Mr. Kneip’s memorandum agreed with the assessment and gave the following brief overview of the findings:

Erosion from the subdivision is having a negative effect on Hidden Valley Lake. There is clear evidence sediment was and is being deposited on the easterly shore of the lake.

The reasons sited include:

  1. Inadequate soil erosion and sediment control practices.
  2. Steep topography within the subdivision.
  3. Higher than normal rainfall.
  4. Clear-cutting on the site.

The report indicated the lake remains healthy despite the problems. But the health could be jeopardized if the erosion control problems are not addressed.

The report included seven recommendations for improving the soil erosion and sediment control practices within the current and future phases of the subdivision. Soil erosion and sediment control is within the jurisdiction of the Sussex County Soil Conservation District, therefore, it is recommended the report is forwarded to them along with a request they compel the developer to implement the additional measures immediately.

Walkill Wildlife Refuge

David Gornstein reported the Wallkill Wildlife Refuge is scheduling an open house on October 14, 2006 and they want to know if the EC would like to participate. The EC agreed to participate with a table at the event.

Old Business

Shade Tree Ordinance

Brenda Susman presented the EC with a draft of a letter addressed to the town council outlining the EC’s concerns and reasons for pursuing the shade tree ordinance. The EC reviewed and revised the draft.


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 9:53 p.m.