Minutes: June 2, 2016

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 7, 2016. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call

Nancy AdamP
Charles BatesP
Ron Dupont, Jr.P
Dee FranklinP
Christopher HankeP
Ted LaabsA
Laura PettinatoP
Valerie SeufertA

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. Old Business

A. Items Not on the Agenda

1. Vernon United Methodist Church Cemetery

Charles Bates said he wanted to address several things that came up after the agenda was put together and sent to the commissioners. He said he appeared before the township council on May 9 for the first reading of the landmark designation of the Vernon United Methodist Church Cemetery. He will go to the June 13, 2016 township council meeting for the second reading and adoption of the landmark designation. If the council approves it at second reading and public hearing on June 13, the landmark designation will go back to the land use board for memorialization.

2. Campbell House

Chairman Charles Bates asked recording secretary Jessi Paladini to report on this historic structure that will be demolished to construct a Taco Bell restaurant on the Route 94 site, next to the historical society museum. The HPC wants to go into the house to take photographs of the historic structure. Charles Bates also asked Chris Hanke if he would do some shovel tests on the site. Jessi Paladini has spoken with the attorney for the new property owner, and she had to sign release forms on behalf of the historical society and the historic preservation commission to go into the house and to do the shovel tests. The owner gave the historical society exclusive permission to take anything out of the house to keep for its archives.

B. Historic Farming District

Chairman Charles Bates asked Dee Franklin if she had anything to report about the proposed historic farming district. Ms. Franklin said she is not doing any work on it until after the historic preservation seminar next week. Charles Bates said the discussion would be tabled until the July meeting. Chris Hanke asked those attending the conferences to bring back information to share with the commission.

C. Miscellaneous Comments from the Chairman

  1. Charles Bates announced he would be away in August, so he is canceling the August meeting. He said vice-chairman Chris Hanke will be away as well. There will be no HPC meeting in August.
  2. He also reported that he has tried multiple times over several months to meet with Mayor Shortway, but the mayor has always been busy. He was finally able to get a meeting with him and will be meeting with the mayor on Tuesday, June 7. He will discuss grant writing, the Glenwood project, signage, conferences, and budgetary items. He said if any commissioners have ideas for other things to address with the mayor to let him know.
  3. He asked if the commissioners wanted to send a thank you letter to Gail Russell for her four-month tenure as HPC secretary. Commissioners noted the HPC did not get minutes from Ms. Russell for the May meeting and also noted the minutes for January, February, March, and April have not been published on the township website as required. Charles Bates said he does not know where the May meeting minutes are or if they have been compiled but he will look into it.

3. New Business

Land Use Board Applications

A. LU#4-16-3 Minor Subdivision, Borisuk Farm on Maple Grange Road

This is an application for subdivision of the Borisuk Farm, parts of which are in Farmland Preservation. Mr. Borisuk had asked for waivers from all environmental studies required with such an application. Mr. Borisuk received the waivers and also received land use board approval for the subdivision. Charles Bates said he had questions regarding possible Green Acres acquisition of part of this property. Charles Bates also noticed there are significant wetlands on the property. After review of the application, the HPC found no historical reference for concern on the property.

B. LU#11-15-12 Final Site Plan Approval for Satellite Dishes

The commission reviewed the application and deemed there to be no historical significance or concern regarding the site or surrounding area.

4. Approval of Minutes

May 5, 2016 Regular Meeting Minutes

Not having received the May meeting minutes from former HPC secretary Gail Russell, the commission was unable to adopt these minutes. Current recording secretary Jessi Paladini will compose the May minutes from the recording of the meeting and have them ready for adoption at the June meeting.

5. Commissioners Comments

Commissioner Ronald Dupont discussed the fact that there is nothing on the town website where residents could learn about historic preservation in the township and how landmark status might affect a site. He suggested some brief information about the process and what impact it might have on historic sites.

Charles Bates noted that at one time he had created a brochure that included such information, and the brochure was displayed and available to residents at the township clerk’s office. He also noted that at some future date if the current board of education building were given to the historical society for use, information about the HPC could be placed there as well.

Charles Bates asked recording secretary Jessi Paladini if it were possible to place such information on the township website and possibly include a list of already designated township landmarks. She said information and the web page layout design would have to go to the mayor’s office for approval for the township website. Charles Bates asked the secretary if she would prepare something for the township website. The secretary said she would create it and send it to the commissioners for their approval when it is completed. She would then forward it to the mayor’s office for his approval.

There being no further comments or concerns, the meeting was adjourned.


Laura Pettinato moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:23 p.m.
Charles Bates seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on July 7, 2016 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary