Minutes: December 18, 2014
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 23, 2014. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.
Roll Call of Members
Charles Bates called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.
The meeting was opened to the public.
Charles Bates announced the meeting would remain open to the public throughout the duration of the meeting.
1. Applications for Review
There are no applications for review.
2. Approval of Minutes
A. September 18, 2014
Charles Bates corrected the spelling of Dennis Iulo’s name.
All were in favor of adopting the minutes as corrected by Mr. Bates.
B. November 20, 2014
Charles Bates, Andrew Borisuk, Christopher Hanke, and Ted Laabs were in favor of the minutes as written. Carol Kadish abstained, as she was not present at the November 20 meeting.
3. Old Business
A. Historic Preservation Commission Chairperson
Charles Bates reported that Stephen Sokolewicz has resigned from the commission. Mr. Bates said he had expected Mr. Sokolewicz to remain on the commission for the remainder of the year but understands the resignation is effective immediately since Mr. Sokolewicz is not present tonight. Mr. Bates, who is vice-chairman, will act as acting chairperson until the end of the year. Mr. Bates also told the members to make known to Irene Mills if they would like to seek reappointment to the seats on the commission in 2015. The commission’s reorganization meeting will be held on January 15, 2015.
B. Wayne McCabe
Charles Bates said Stephen Sokolewicz was supposed to contact Wayne McCabe to invite him to a meeting in 2015. He is not aware if Mr. Sokolewicz has done that and will contact Mr. McCabe himself.
C. New Meeting Date for 2015 for Historic Preservation Commission
Charles Bates suggested they select a new meeting date where the commission can be in the main municipal courtroom so they can have use of the recording system and where there is more room for the public to attend. For the January 15, 2015 meeting, however, the commission will still meet in the conference room next to the main courtroom. In February the commission will begin meeting in the main courtroom.
Andrew Borisuk moved to change the meetings to the first Thursday of every month.
Chris Hanke moved to second the motion.
All were in favor of the change.
Charles Bates also said the governing body had not finalized the 2015 budget for the historic preservation commission, but he requested $2,000 for the commission for 2015.
D. Glenwood Presentation
Charles Bates said he would like to act on the Glenwood preservation and bring closure to it since they have worked on it for more than one year. He needs to review and finalize the presentation and go over it with the mayor. He would then like the commission to set up a date for a public meeting at the Glenwood Baptist Church for residents of Glenwood and any other interested persons to attend and ask questions about the project.
Ted Laabs said he would like to discuss how the presentation would be organized. He thinks there should not be excessive lecturing but suggested they should get the audience to talk and discuss the project and interact with the commission.
Charles Bates said the invitation that goes out should contain verbiage to spark the interest of the residents to attend. He prefers the meeting to be on a weekday evening.
The commission had suggested at a prior meeting that Stephen Sokolewicz contact Irene Mills to set up a meeting, but that might not have taken place. Charles Bates will check with Irene Mills, and he will schedule a meeting if it had not already been done. He will try to schedule a meeting in April or May. All of the commissioners agreed.
E. Stewart House
Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini provided documentation on the Stewart House that she had from Janet Fittipaldi of the Division of Environmental Resources of the Department of Transportation. The recording secretary had e-mailed the documentation, dated 2005, to all of the commission members. Charles Bates read from the documentation, which states, “As currently designed, the proposed [Mountain Creek] project will have adverse effect on the Stewart House site and the Stewart House due to the permanent acquisition of land, destruction of archaeological features, roadway construction, removal of trees, and installation of traffic control devices.” The state also requested that if the project continues, some type of physical barrier be constructed to protect cultural features on the site.
The commission questioned whether the Stewart House would be moved if the project takes place. Chris Hanke read further from the DOT Cultural Resource Survey that was part of the project that said construction would adversely affect significant archaeological deposits on the site next to the Stewart House. He said the site was eligible for the New Jersey Register of Historical Places under Criterion D, which is that the site has yielded, or is likely to yield, important information in prehistory or history. Chris Hanke also said that according to the state Historic Preservation Office if the Stewart House is moved, it is no longer eligible for state or national historic designation.
Ted Laabs said it is important to understand the importance of the structure to the site.
Carol Kadish asked if anyone knew what developer Andy Mulvihill was doing with the structure or the site. Charles Bates said it is unclear what is the proposal for the house in connection with the construction of the indoor water park. Mr. Bates said he would find out and report back to the commission at the next meeting.
Charles Bates read further from the documentation under the section “Identification of Historic Properties,” which states, “No previously identified historic properties were located within the project area of potential effect.” It goes further to say, “...the Stewart House site, Sandhill site, and the Stewart House are eligible for inclusion on the National Registers of Historic Places.”
Charles Bates asked the commission members what they should be doing with regard to the potential project on the site. Ted Laabs said since the site is eligible for national recognition, it should be considered in a larger scope. The commission suggested contacting Ron Dupont for his input on a possible nomination for inclusion on the national register.
Carol Kadish suggested the commission might be jumping the gun until they see a plan in front of them for the project. There is no specific plan at this stage but merely a proposal. Charles Bates said his only concern with the project is the Stewart House. Andrew Borisuk suggested waiting to see what the project plan is in relation to the Stewart House. The commissioners agreed they need to first find out what is the specific project plan.
The commission agreed to proceed with Charles Bates doing the following:
- He will get the proposed plan for the Stewart House, if it is available.
- He will contact Ron Dupont to discuss the benefit of and application process for national designation.
- He will contact a state official that might be involved with the Stewart House regarding designation at the national level.
4. New Business
Consideration of Sites For Landmark Designation in 2015
- Charles Bates discussed historic designation of the Walker Farm and said he would like to see that happen in 2015.
- Carol Kadish said she could nominate the Struble House, which was a Drew property that goes back to the 1700s. William Drew, one of the first Drews in the township, settled there. She said she could do the application for landmark designation.
- Carol Kadish also suggested Dr. Wiley’s house on DeKay Road.
- Ted Laabs suggested they consider properties in the area of McAfee around the McAfee Bible Church, limekilns along Route 94, and the area around the McAfee Fire Department. Carol Kadish suggested signage for the historic areas there.
- Carol Kadish suggested the Kampe Cemetery off Coon Den Road in Highland Lakes and said she could put together a nomination.
Carol Kadish asked where the documentation of all the township landmarks is filed. Charles Bates said the files are in the township clerk’s office. Ms. Kadish suggested the documentation also be available in the township library.
Chris Hanke said the Historic Preservation Commission is supposed to prepare a report of the year’s business and activities for presentation to the township council. Charles Bates said the commission has never done that before.
Charles Bates reminded everyone that the next meeting is on the third Thursday of the month, on January 15, 2015. After that, the commission will have a new meeting date, which will be the first Thursday of every month in the municipal courtroom.
Carol Kadish moved to adjourn the meeting.
Andrew Borisuk seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:02 p.m.
The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on January 15, 2015.
Transcribed by Jessica Paladini