Minutes: April 26, 2007

Meeting was called to order by Donna Wilson at 7:40 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

The following statement of compliance was read by Donna Wilson. 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 forwarded to the New Jersey Herald and published on February 5, 2007. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call of Members

The roll call of members was called and Charles Bates, Charles Blessing, Andrew Borsiuk, Sharon Cheadle, Dolores Dobbs, Dick Wetzel, Donna Wilson, Christopher Hanke, and Donna Wilson answered the call.

Approval of Minutes

Christopher Hanke made a motion to approve the March 22, 2007 minutes; Charles Blessing seconded the motion.

Old Business

Status of Sign at St. Thomas Church

Donna Wilson advised the county is ordering a kit to correct the misspelled name on the sign. She further advised the minister of the church has complained that the sign is too high for children to read. The HPC agreed the county should be requested to lower the sign.

Deed Restrictions

Charles Blessing advised that he is attempting to speak with the county to determine if designated structures should specify their historic designation as a deed restriction.

Stewart House

Charles Blessing commented that he spoke with the state Cultural Resources Department several months ago requesting a copy of the Stewart House Mitigation Report. To date the report has not been received. He will follow-up on the status of the report.

Meeting Opened to the Public

Janet Morrison, Vernon Township mayor and David Gornstein, planning board member addressed the HPC regarding the proposed historic designation of the Board of Education building. Mayor Morrison advised that the designation creates economic concerns. She is concerned designation limits the value of the building in the Town Center and government bodies should not do anything to devalue property that the public owns.

Donna Wilson responded that the HPC does not want the original structure to disappear. The HPC and Mayor Morrison discussed the limitations and restrictions that would be transferred to a future owner if the building received designation.

Donna Wilson explained that the wings could be removed from the building. It is the original part of the building the HPC is attempting to save.

The mayor advised that she will not encourage moving forward on the designation at this time. She is not yet inclined to bring it to a vote.

The Longwell/Drew Cemetery resolution was discussed. The resolution is moving forward through the process.

Donna Wilson asked about the status of the budget. Mayor Morrison advised there is currently no news about the budget.

Meeting closed to the public at 8:46 p.m.

New Business

Review Cemetery List

Donna Wilson advised she forwarded the list to Bob Longcore and requested he review the list. Discussion to be carried until the HPC receives a response from Mr. Longcore.

Cultural Resource Investigation

The HPC reviewed Richard Grubb & Associates Executive Summary for improvements to county Route 515. The HPC agreed more detailed site plans are required. The summary references adverse effect to the Hurt Wood Parker Farmstead. The HPC agreed to request more details about the adverse effects.

Grand Opening of Black Creek Site

Donna Wilson advised that Chris Hanke and she have volunteered for a committee that is preparing the grand opening ceremony for the Black Creek Site. The date is tentatively set for September 23, 2007.

Vernon 20/20

Charles Bates agreed to be the HPC representative on the committee.

Application Review

PB #5-07-4: Phillip & Helen Longano—Lot Line Relocation

The HPC agreed the application does not create significant historic impact.

PB #5-07-5: Edward Talmo, The Cedars @ Black Creek Reservation—Preliminary Major Subdivision

The HPC agreed the application does not create significant historic impact.

PB #5-07-07: Vernon Center LLC, David Licata—Preliminary and Final Site Plan

The HPC agreed the application does not create significant historic impact.

PB #5-07-6: Top of Vernon—Final Major Subdivision

The HPC agreed the application does not create significant historic impact.

ZB #5-07-4: Nextel Communications—Site Plan and Variance

The HPC agreed the application does not create significant historic impact.

ZB #5-07-8: Bruce Zaretzky—Variance for Mixed Use Building

The HPC reviewed and agreed the application may have archeological significance. Further investigation is required.

Photo Review

The HPC reviewed and discussed photos of properties eligible for historic designation.


There being no further items of business for the Regular Meeting, a motion was made by Christopher Hanke to adjourn the meeting; Charles Bates seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.