Minutes: November 5, 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

Nancy AdamP
Charles BatesP
Dee FranklinP
Michael FurreyA
Christopher HankeP
Ted LaabsP
Lisaann PermunianP
Laura PettinatoP
Valerie SeufertP

Charles Bates called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

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. Glenwood Presentation

Commissioner Michael Furrey was going to revise the Glenwood Historic Area PowerPoint presentation and bring it last month to the October meeting of the commission so that an October or November date could be scheduled to present it to the Glenwood community to learn about the designation, but Mr. Furrey did not attend that meeting. Mr. Furrey was also not present at the meeting this month. Chairman Charles Bates has not heard from him. The status of the presentation to the Glenwood community is, therefore, up in the air at this time.

Chairman Bates said he does not know if the presentation and historic area designation will go forward, considering there will be a new mayor and governing body on January 1. He does not know how the new government will receive it. He said he wants to make some changes to the presentation.

Mr. Bates said he would be the designated speaker at the presentation for the community, and he will be the one to answer questions from the community. He wants the meeting with the community to last no more than one hour so that it is not a laborious or boring for the community.

B. Photos and Excavation of Campbell House

Recording secretary Jessi Paladini reported that she called the Taco Bell applicants’ attorney, as directed last month by the commission, to ask if the commission could get inside to photograph the historic structure on the property that will be demolished when the Taco Bell is constructed. The attorney said since the applicants do not yet have title to the property he could not authorize the photographing or excavating for a Phase II archaeological study. The commission directed the recording secretary to call the property owner to get his permission to access the property. At this point, the commission would not likely be able to do the excavation until the spring.

3. New Business

Historic Farming District

The commission is considering a historic farm district along Route 94 to the New York state line. Some of the historic farms along the roadway are the Rickey Farm, the Van Dokkenburg Farm, the Ferrier Martin Farm, Heaven Hill Farm, Borderland Farm, the High Breeze Farm, and possibly the Kadish and Gerard Farms as both are in the environs of Route 94. Agriculture still is and has been the historic use along the entire route.

Jamie Rickey came forward to discuss the prospect of a historic farming designation. His family has owned a farm on Route 94 for six generations, since 1769. He suggested the district begin at the Appalachian Motel near Butternut Road to the New York state line. He noted there is not a single structure along the entire proposed route that is not either a farm or a farmhouse. He also noted that the township’s first settler, Thomas McKay, lived along there.

Mr. Rickey suggested the discussion of the historic farming district could take place in conjunction with the creation of the management plan the township historical society is creating for the Western Highlands Scenic Byway, the eighth scenic byway designated by the state department of transportation in the state of New Jersey. Commission chairman Charles Bates serves on the scenic byway management plan committee, as does the township planner.

Commission member Chris Hanke questioned whether the entire area would have to remain a farming district in perpetuity if it were designated as such. Jamie Rickey suggested the designation could be given locally but not within the state parameters legally. Some of the properties along the proposed route are state-owned lands.

Chairman Charles Bates said Jamie Rickey presented a very good case for the designation. He suggested they speak with the other farm owners along the route to get their feedback on the proposal and suggested perhaps inviting them all to a meeting of the historic preservation commission in the spring to discuss it. It will be on the commission’s agenda for the December meeting for further discussion.

4. Approval of Minutes

October 1, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes

Nancy Adam moved to adopt the minutes. Chris Hanke seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Chris Hanke, Ilene Franklin, Ted Laabs, Lisaann Permunian, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstain: Valerie Seufert

5. Applications Under Review

E2 Project Management

The commission received a letter from the Federal Communications Commission dated October 29, 2015 in reference to E2 Project Management constructing a cell tower along Route 565. In compliance with FCC and federal Section 106 laws, applicants for cell towers must consult with statutorily appointed historical commissions about the potential impact of the cell tower construction on historic properties. The commission determined there is nothing historic in the area of the cell tower, and the commission has no concerns. The recording secretary will write a response to the letter stating there are no historic areas or concerns.

6. Commissioners Comments

Ted Laabs suggested contacting someone regarding the Glenwood presentation in light of the fact there will be a new government in January. Charles Bates said he would discuss the matter with Mayor Marotta and also meet with the incoming mayor about it.

There being no further comments or concerns, the chairman called for an adjournment.


Ted Laabs moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
Valerie Suefert seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on December 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary