Minutes: March 22, 2007

Meeting was called to order by Donna Wilson at 7:17 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 Blessing, Sharon Cheadle, Dolores Dobbs, Dick Wetzel, Christopher Hanke, and Donna Wilson answered the call.

Meeting Opened to the Public

Appearing before the HPC were Debra Smorto, owner of Fledglings Montessori School and Carmen Romanelli, owner of the property the school currently occupies.

Donna Wilson explained the HPC must review the renovation plans for the school because the building is designated a landmark by ordinance.

Ms. Smorto advised the renovation will convert an existing garage into a classroom. The HPC reviewed the plans for the renovation.

Donna Wilson read to the HPC a statement by Ronald Dupont, “...this portion of the house was added on probably in the mid-1950s to provide a garage on the lower level and a sun room upstairs. The work now requiring the permit involves converting the lower level originally garage to a classroom space. This 1950s addition does not contribute to the historical or architectural significance of this structure... As such, it is my opinion that this construction work will have no negative impact on the historical integrity of the dwelling.”

The HPC agreed the renovation is acceptable.

The HPC advised the owners of grants that are available to designated structures.

Donna Wilson requested the owners include the HPC in the planning of the future addition to the school. The owners agreed to include the HPC in future plans.

Open Meeting closed at 7:42 p.m.

Approval of Minutes

Charles Blessing made a motion to approve the November 30, 2006 minutes; Dick Wetzel seconded the motion.

Christopher Hanke made a motion to approve the January 25, 2007 reorganization meeting minutes; Dick Wetzel seconded the motion.

Charles Blessing made a motion to approve the January 25, 2007 regular meeting minutes; Christopher Hanke seconded the motion.

Old Business

Status of Board of Education Building Resolution

Glenn McLaughlin discussed the idea of removing the additions thereby reducing the building to its original size. The concept involves using the building in its original form as a visitors center. Mr. McLaughlin plans on discussing the idea with Fred Suljic. The HPC agreed with the concept.

Mr. McLaughlin further advised the HPC of the concept of “branding” Vernon as a tourist destination. The chamber of commerce will be making a presentation at the next town council meeting regarding “branding” and economic development which will access funds from the hotel tax. The funds would be invested back into the town through the HPC, the EC, recreation, etc.

The committee being formed to support Economic Development is Vernon 20/20.

Status of Denton-Wallace House Resolution

Charles Blessing advised that the ordinance has been passed.

Status of Longwell-Drew Cemetery Resolution

The amended resolution was delivered to the PB on February 21, 2007.

Status of Photo/Card Review

The book will be submitted to the Historical Society for review. The HPC discussed how to include the sites of structures which no longer exist. Charles Blessing suggested a viewing of the photos at the April HPC meeting.

Status of St. Thomas Church Marker

Donna Wilson spoke to the Sussex County Historical Marker Committee and explained the marker contains a misspelled word. It has been determined it was the error of the marker maker. A repair kit has been ordered. The HPC discussed what property should be nominated for the next county marker. Suggestions included the Simonson House, the Denton-Wallace House, Meadowburn Farm and High Breeze Farm. The HPC agreed to carry the decision to the next meeting.

2007 HPC Budget

The HPC reviewed the budget with Glenn McLaughlin and agreed upon a budget request of $3,500.00.

New Business

Review Cemetery List

The HPC agreed to review the cemetery List for completeness and also to invite Bob Longcore to comment on the list.

Cultural Resources Investigation Improvements to Route 515

The HPC agreed to review the summary and discuss at the next meeting.

Historic Landmark Deed Restriction

Charles Blessing volunteered to contact the county and inquire if an owner of a designated structure is obligated to include the designation on the deed.

Application Review

PB #10-06-14: Woodmont Homes—Revised Site Plan & Wetlands Fill Removal Plan; Revised Restoration Plan & Sealed Survey

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

PB #12-06-17: Patrick Turzi—Revised Site Plan & Stormwater; Architectural

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

PB #3-07-02: John Holmes/Maureen Dunlap—Lot Line Relocation

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

PB #3-07-3: Robert & Jean Martin—Minor Subdivision

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

ZB #10-06-17: Sally Rinker—Revised Open Space

The HPC agreed the application does not create historic impact.


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