Minutes: October 1, 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 FranklinA
Michael FurreyA
Christopher HankeP
Ted LaabsP
Lisaann PermunianP
Laura PettinatoP
Valerie SeufertA

Charles Bates called the meeting to order at 7:10 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

Chairman Charles Bates said he would meet with Mayor Marotta to put together a date for the presentation and the invitation to the community. The meeting will have to be advertised, as there will be a quorum of HPC members present. He said the presentation might serve as the commission’s November meeting.

B. Walker Farm Landmark Designation

Charles Bates reported that he and Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini met with Liz Walker on September 9 to discuss the landmark designation of her farm. Ms. Walker is in favor of this designation, but she is not ready to proceed with it at this time. She is applying for farmland preservation of her property and wants to wait until that has been finalized before she proceeds with township landmark designation. That could take a year or two to complete. She wants to write her own nomination and history for the township landmark designation and does not want to use the documentation that Ron Dupont wrote for the farm.

C. Pochuck Mine

Charles Bates said he received a phone call from township engineer Cory Stoner, who wanted to understand how and why the historic preservation commission became involved with the Pochuck Mine. Mr. Bates explained to Mr. Stoner that in June, Elaine Rettig, manager of the Pleasant Valley Lake community, had attended the commission’s meeting and gave information about the Pochuck Mine and expressed her lake community’s concerns about the safety of building homes on top of the mine and also about its historic value. Ms. Rettig said there are abandoned mines on the property that are between 60-120 feet deep. Joseph and Mario Riccabono own the property and plan to build two homes there.

Mr. Bates told the commission that Mr. Stoner said he did not know anything about the mines on that property. After his conversation with Mr. Stoner, Mr. Bates said he followed up with a phone call to Land Use Administrator Kim Decker, who indicated to him that all of the material about the mine, including the depth of the mine, was being reviewed by Mr. Stoner and also by the land use board.

Mr. Bates also said the Riccabonos applied last week for their final site development and were approved. He said the DEP also approved the project. He said the construction of the two homes, however, could not proceed without an engineering review by Mr. Stoner. The Riccabonos started bulldozing the property in May. Mr. Bates said the HPC does not have jurisdiction or authority with regard to the engineering assessment of the site and suggested the HPC bow out of the project at this time.

D. Vernon United Methodist Church

Charles Bates reported he was allegedly invited to meet with church officials to revisit and again discuss the five-year pending application of landmark nomination and designation of the historic church cemetery. Charles Bates and HPC vice-chairman Chris Hanke were not well received when they went before the church board five years ago, and the church board and their pastor wanted nothing to do with landmark designation. The church has a new board at this time. Mr. Bates will report back to the commission after he meets with the church board.

E. Vernon Township Board of Education Building

Charles Bates said he has had discussions with the mayor regarding this building on Route 515 and what will happen to it in light of the development of a town center. He said the board of education has discussed the possibility of moving into one of the township schools if a school is closed for classroom use due to the decreasing enrollment. The BOE building is historical because it is the oldest building in the township that has been continually in public use. It served as one of the township’s first schools, a municipal center, and now the board of education building. The board of education has discussed the closure of Cedar Mountain School, but there are no plans pending for the BOE building or for school closure at this time.

3. New Business

A. Photos and Excavation of Campbell House

The Campbell House is the site of the proposed Taco Bell Restaurant on Route 94, adjacent to the Dunkin’ Donuts. Taco Bell is pending final approval from the township land use board. The HPC requested permission to photograph the inside and outside of the structure before it is demolished. It also requested permission to do a Phase II archaeology study on the property. Taco Ball developers agreed to both. Charles Bates scheduled October 8 at 11 a.m. as a tentative date for both and asked the recording secretary to contact the developers for permission and confirmation of that date. The recording secretary will notify the commission members.

B. LU9-15-11 Philip and Donna Girlando

This is an application for a minor subdivision at Block 194.05, Lot 14 in Lake Conway. After review, the commission said there is nothing historical on the site.

C. LU9-15-10 Cedars at Black Creek Reserve

This site is on Warren Drive, off Route 94. After review of this application, the commission concluded there is nothing historical about the property and has no concerns.

4. Approval of Minutes

September 3, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes

Ted Laabs moved to adopt the minutes with corrections. Nancy Adam seconded the motion.

Discussion: After discussing some corrections, the commission voted to approve the minutes as corrected.

Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Chris Hanke, Ted Laabs, Lisaann Permunian, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None


Ted Laabs moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:05 p.m.
Chris Hanke seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on November 5, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary