All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.

Minutes: May 4, 2017

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 12, 2017. 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
Christopher HankeP
Dan KadishP
Ted LaabsP
Laura Pettinato—arrived at 7:25P

Chairwoman Laura Pettinato called and said she was in traffic and would be late. Vice-Chairman Ted Laabs presided over the meeting.

Public Participation

Vice-chairman Ted Laabs opened the meeting to the public.

No one came forward.

New Business

1. Approval of March 2, 2017 Minutes

Nancy Adam moved to approve the March 2, 2017 meeting minutes.
Ronald Dupont seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ronald Dupont, Daniel Kadish, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstentions: Ted Laabs, Chris Hanke

2. Change in Monthly Meeting Time

Laura Pettinato asked to change the time for the commission’s meetings to 7:30 because her new job will make it difficult for her to arrive by 7 p.m. Ronald Dupont, who works until 7 p.m., said the new meeting time would be better for him as well.

Laura Pettinato moved to change the meeting time to 7:30 p.m.
Ronald Dupont seconded the motion.

Ayes: Nancy Adam, Ronald Dupont, Chris Hanke, Daniel Kadish, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: Charles Bates

Laura Pettinato took over to chair the meeting, apologizing that her bus was 40 minutes late. She said with her new position she is unable to get to the meetings by 7 p.m. from her job in New York.

Laura Pettinato said she would notice the new meeting time in the newspaper.

3. HPC Ordinance

Chairperson Laura Pettinato appointed subcommittees to work on various projects.

VUMC
Charles Bates
Nancy Adam
Chris Hanke

Glenwood Project
Ronald Dupont
Charles Bates
Laura Pettinato

Historic Farmland
Daniel Kadish
Ronald Dupont
Chris Hanke

St. Thomas Church
Nancy Adam
Charles Bates
Ted Laabs

VanDokkenburg
Chris Hanke
Ronald Dupont
Daniel Kadish

HPC Code
Laura Pettinato
Daniel Kadish

Outreach/Education
Ted Laabs
Nancy Adam

CLG
Laura Pettinato
Ted Laabs

Daniel Kadish moved to adopt the subcommittees.
Ted Laabs seconded it.
All were in favor

Charles Bates asked what the scope of responsibilities would be for the subcommittees. Laura Pettinato said they could discuss the responsibilities at the next meeting. Commissioners should each establish a brief framework for the committees and bring it to the next meeting.

4. St. Thomas Nomination

Laura Pettinato said she was in contact with John Garde of St. Thomas Church. She said although he was not in agreement with going forward with historic designation of the church campus, he said he was willing to attend an HPC meeting in June. Ms. Pettinato wanted to discuss their approach on what they should bring up at that meeting. She asked commission members to prepare questions and comments.

Charles Bates said every commission member needs to be prepared for the confrontation with Mr. Garde at the meeting. He said when he and Ron Dupont met with Mr. Garde, he presented as a very aggressive personality. If they are not prepared, he will overwhelm them, Mr. Bates said. He suggested that when dealing with this type of personality, the commissioners let Mr. Garde do most of the talking. Charles Bates stated Mr. Garde is opposed to the historic designation.

Ronald Dupont said he came away from the meeting with Mr. Garde with the understanding that they, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, did not want historic designation anywhere on their properties. It is not their policy to consent to that because they do not want their hands tied, he said.

Ms. Pettinato asked the commissioners to individually email her questions and comments for the June meeting on St. Thomas. She also said they need to make Mr. Garde understand that if they go through with the historic designation, the HPC has no authority and that they have a very weak historic preservation code. They have never told anyone they cannot alter the facade of a structure, she added.

Ted Laabs suggested they present it in a way of asking what they could do to help the church and the congregation to recognize the value to the community. He said by showing Mr. Garde the quality of preservation and how it contributes to the value of the facility and the buildings, he might be more agreeable. They need to take a different approach and ask Mr. Garde what are his concerns about designating the property historic, Mr. Laabs said.

Charles Bates said to be careful not to lecture Mr. Garde because that’s his forte in life as a lawyer.

Ted Laabs said to the contrary they need to ask Mr. Garde what he values in the church so the HPC can help him with those values and with historic preservation.

Charles Bates said Mr. Garde did not want the HPC to impede his efforts to lease the facility to the Bible Church that was coming in. Mr. Garde felt that if the HPC went forward with historic preservation, the Bible Church might walk away. Charles Bates was informed last week the Episcopal Diocese is very close to signing a lease with the Bible church.

Laura Pettinato said the commissioners should send her email with their questions and comments for the meeting with Mr. Garde. She will put them all together in a format for an agenda for the meeting and try to dispel some of Mr. Garde’s fears.

5. Alternate Candidates

Laura Pettinato said the HPC needs more members to prevent having a lack of quorum for meetings. She contacted Business Administrator Charles Voelker and asked him to ask Mayor Shortway to appoint two alternate members. She said if anyone knows someone interested in joining the HPC, they should contact her.

New Business

1. HPC Budget

Laura Pettinato said the business administrator asked her for a budget for 2017. The municipal budget allocates $2,000 for the HPC. She prepared a $4,950 budget for the HPC for 2017. The breakdown is as follows: Recording Secretary, $1,000; Commemorative Signage, $3,500; Training & Seminars, $300; Misc. Office Expenses, $150.

Daniel Kadish said he would like to have Laura Pettinato impress upon the administrator that one of the purposes of the hotel occupancy tax that comes back to the municipality is supposed to be for historic preservation and historic purposes.

Charles Bates suggested increasing the budget amount for commemorative signage. Each sign costs about $1700. They would probably erect two signs for the Glenwood project and one for the Vernon United Methodist Church, he said.

Laura Pettinato said she could increase the amount for signage to $5,250 for three signs at about $1750 per sign.

Charles Bates suggested adding $5,250 for signage, along with $1,450 for the remaining budget items, for a total requested budget of $6,700.

Laura Pettinato moved to request a budget of $6,700 for the HPC for 2017.
Nancy Adam seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ron Dupont, Chris Hanke, Ted Laabs, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstention: Daniel Kadish

2. 2016 Annual Report

Laura Pettinato said she does not recall whether Charles Bates had created the 2016 HPC report and submitted it to the township. Mr. Bates said he has not. He said he has the report on his computer. Ms. Pettinato asked him to forward the report to all of the commissioners so they could review it and vote on it at the June meeting.

Ted Laabs moved to have a five-minute recess.
Nancy Adams seconded the motion.
All were in favor
The HPC recessed at 8:05 p.m.

Chris Hanke moved to reconvene the meeting.
Nancy Adams seconded the motion.
All were in favor
The HPC reconvened at 8:11 p.m.

Land Use Board Applications

1. PB #8-07-9: Kirk Stevens—Vernon Valley Farm

The commission reviewed the application and has decided there is no concern for historic significance regarding this application.

Laura Pettinato moved to report to the land use board that the HPC has reviewed the application and has no concerns or recommendations regarding any historical significance to the property.

Charles Bates seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ron Dupont, Chris Hanke, Dan Kadish, Ted Laabs, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: none

2. LU #11-16-12: National Winter Activity Center

The commission reviewed the application after it was already approved by the land use board and has nothing to add and has decided there is no concern for historic significance regarding this application.

Laura Pettinato moved to report to the land use board that the HPC finds nothing of historic significance regarding this application.
Chris Hanke seconded the motion.

Discussion: Charles Bates asked what the application was about. Laura Pettinato said they are building a ski lodge and expanding a cross-country ski trail.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ron Dupont, Chris Hanke, Ted Laabs, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstention: Daniel Kadish

3. LU# 4-17-2: Decker Preliminary, Adding Addition to Make Two More Bays

The commission reviewed this application on Vernon Crossing Road.

Chris Hanke moved to report the HPC finds no historic significance to the property and has no comment or recommendation.
Laura Pettinato seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ron Dupont, Chris Hanke, Dan Kadish, Ted Laabs, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: none

4. LU #6-15-5: Taco Bell, Final Site Plan

The commission reviewed this application on Route 94. Laura Pettinato commented that the land use board did a very good job in designing this building. She said it is the nicest Taco Bell she has ever seen. Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini, who is on the land use board, said this is the only Taco Bell with a colonial architecture, and it was constructed that way based on the LUB’s specifications.

Charles Bates moved to declare the HPC found no historical significance on the site.
Chris Hanke seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ron Dupont, Chris Hanke, Ted Laabs, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstention: Daniel Kadish

Commissioners’ Comments

Laura Pettinato said she would have to go back to the Glenwood Baptist Church for new dates for the Glenwood presentation. She suggested any Saturday during the month of July. The presentation would be at the church. Charles Bates said he is not available during the months of July and August. Nancy Adam said she is not available during the month of August. Laura Pettinato said she would try to schedule a September date for the presentation.

Adjournment

Charles Bates moved to adjourn the meeting.
Nancy Adam seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission is on June 1, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary