Minutes: April 2, 2015

Statement of Compliance

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, had been forwarded to the New Jersey Herald on January 15, 2015. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call of Members

Nancy AdamP
Charles BatesP
Dee FranklinP
Michael FurreyP
Christopher HankeP
Ted Laabs (arrived at 7:08 after roll call)P
Lisaann PermunianP
Laura PettinatoP
Valerie SeufertA

Charles Bates called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and welcomed new members Lisaann Permunian and Laura Pettinato.

1. Open the Meeting to the Public

Charles Bates opened the meeting to the public and kept it open throughout the duration of the meeting.

2. Approval of Minutes

February 5, 2014

Michael Furrey moved to adopt the minutes as written. Nancy Adam seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ilene Franklin, and Michael Furrey
Nays: None

3. Old Business

A. Stewart House

Charles Bates said he is trying to find out why artifacts that were dug up from the Stewart House were buried back into the ground. He has had a preliminary discussion with the mayor but does not have an answer at this time. The excavation was done prior to Mayor Marotta being in office.

B. Glenwood Presentation

Michael Furrey discussed his revisions of the PowerPoint presentation for the Glenwood Historic Area designation. Mr. Furrey added some slides, photographs and text to the presentation. The commission will present the PowerPoint and the intent of the project to the mayor and council, after which a public hearing will be held at the Glenwood Baptist Church for Glenwood residents and anyone else wishing to attend. The presentation will be advertised since there will be a quorum of the commission present. Charles Bates said the Glenwood historic area designation has been one-and-a-half years in review by the commission, and he wants to move it forward immediately and set a date for presenting to the mayor and council and for the public hearing. Once both of these are accomplished and the mayor and council approve the designation, historic signage will be erected throughout Glenwood identifying some of its historic features. The money for the signage could come from the hotel occupancy tax revenues the township receives. Chris Hanke explained the reason for designating Glenwood a historic area rather than an official historic district. Historic district designation might place certain restrictions on properties whereas informal designating it a historic area and erecting interpretive signage would not require the legal process or any restrictions in place within local and state historic ordinances for landmarks and historic sites. Ted Laabs explained that a historic area is appropriate designation for an area that no longer has some of the prominent landmarks that used to be there. The commission discussed what restrictions or limitations might be on historic designation of landmarks, districts, or historically significant areas. There are no controls being placed on the area but rather recognition that it was a historic area of the township. Such a designation basically brings education to the area and involvement for the public. The PowerPoint presentation includes photographs of what the area looked like in the past and what it looks like now. Charles Bates and Michael Furrey will meet with the mayor first to present the project to him. Mr. Bates will discuss some potential dates to meet with the mayor. He wants to complete this project as soon as possible, hopefully by June or July.

C. 2015 Goals for the Historic Preservation Commission

Charles Bates said he is working with Liz Walker on the historic landmark designation for her Vernon Valley Farmhouse and property. He would like to visit the site with recording secretary Jessi Paladini to speak with Ms. Walker about proceeding with the designation. This landmark designation is the next on the list to move forward with, he said.

4. New Business

A. New Members

Charles Bates welcomed new members Lisaann Permunian, Alternate #1, and Laura Pettinato, Alternate #2. They are serving four years terms that will expire on December 31, 2019.

B. 2015 Annual Historic Preservation Commission Report

Charles Bates read the report on the commission’s activities for 2014, and annual summary statement required of the commission to present to the mayor and council according to the township’s HPC ordinance. This summary report will be given to the township clerk to be presented to the mayor and council at its next meeting. The annual report is as follows.

Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission Summary for 2014

This year has been one of transition as our former chairman had to leave his role due to commitment with a new career path.

The year 2014 has not been one where we have designated a structure or site as being historically significant. However, we have discussed a number of sites as being historical in nature.

We pursued through discussion and application the Drew Farm, owned by Dennis Iulo. After much thought, Dennis did not want to pursue a historical designation at this time.

The HPC has discussed and prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the Glenwood area of the township. This presentation will be different in that the HPC is pursuing recognition without application and presentation to the land use board and township council for formal approval. At some point during 2015, the HPC will make a presentation to the town of Glenwood for their approval. We will, however, make a presentation to the members of our township council in order to keep them aware before proceeding.

Charles Bates
Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission

5. Applications for Review

LU# 2-15-1: EDWARD J. MALEC - Block 140, Lot 1.01, Conditional Use Variance for Motorcycle Repair and Sales on Vernon Crossing Road

The HPC reviewed this application after it had already been approved by the land use board due to the fact the HPC March meeting had been canceled for inclement weather. The HPC still reviewed the application and had no concerns about historic significance.

6. Commissioner Comments

Ted Laabs said one of the requirements for the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program and statutorily appointed historic preservation commissions is that the commissioners are required to attend at least once a year a seminar or workshop given by the state, such as the one that he and commissioner Laura Pettinato attended on March 28.

Charles Bates said none of the other commissioner currently on the HPC has been a part of officially nominating and designating township landmarks. He said one of the nominated landmarks still not completed is the United Methodist Church Cemetery. Mr. Bates said he spoke with Nancy Adam, who is a trustee of the church, to approach the subject again with church officials. Nancy Adam said she has spoken with the minister of the church and with other trustees, and they see no problem with historic landmark designation of the cemetery. They seem to be amenable to the idea but will check with the church’s lawyer before proceeding. She will discuss it with the church attorney and report back to the HPC. She also said church officials would prefer that Charles Bates and/or other HPC commissioners meet with church officials, such as Dick Fitch, to discuss it.

The application for the landmark designation of the United Methodist Church cemetery has already been written and was prepared to proceed several years ago. Mr. Bates said they could meet with church trustees at one of their meetings. Nancy Adam will get back to Charlie Bates on a date.

Mr. Bates said there are about 43 cemeteries in the township. Many have long been plowed over. The HPC has designated 12 cemeteries as historic landmarks. These cemeteries have gone through the official process and are now part of the township’s master plan.


Michael Furrey moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m.
Nancy Adam seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on May 7, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary