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

Minutes: September 28, 2006

Meeting was called to order by Donna Wilson at 7:40 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 3, 2006. 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 Dolores Dobbs, Charles Bates, Charles Blessing, Dick Wetzel, Christopher Hanke, and Donna Wilson answered the call.

Public Hearing for Historic Designation of the Vernon School, Now Known as the Board of Education Building

Representatives of the Board of Education were present. In attendance were Howard Whidden, Jr., president of the Board of Education; Cynthia Auberger, vice president of the Board of Education; and Ed Gilson, chairman of the Grounds Committee.

Charles Bates thanked the Board of Education representatives for their presence at the meeting and thanked Ronald Dupont for providing the information necessary to complete the historic designation application for the Vernon School, now known as, the Board of Education building. Charles Bates made a presentation outlining the history of the Board of Education building, otherwise known as Block 144, Lot 31 on the tax map of Vernon Township. The building’s history included use as the Vernon School from 1903 to 1958, the township municipal building from 1958 to 1978, and the Board of Education building from 1978 to the present.

The representatives were asked if they had any questions.

Ed Gilson questioned when were the wings added on to the building. Charles Bates responded that he thought they were added during the 1960s. Mr. Gilson and the HPC discussed historic designation of only the core of the building, therefore, not effecting the wings of the building by the designation.

Howard Whidden, Jr. questioned what is the value of historic designation. Chris Hanke responded that the HPC wants to ensure that the building is not demolished. Donna Wilson added that the HPC wants to preserve the history in the Town Center.

Cynthia Auberger questioned if historic designation would protect the building from eminent domain. Donna Wilson responded that it is uncertain if designation would protect the building from eminent domain.

Donna Wilson explained to the representatives that if a building receives historic designation and the owner plans to alter the exterior of the building, the owner must appear before the HPC. The HPC will review the plans and attempt to save the building’s historic value.

Charles Bates added that a major concern of the HPC is that some of the Town Center conceptual plans do not include the Board of Education building to remain.

Howard Whidden, Jr. stated that in his opinion the exterior of the Board of Education building has been altered to an extent that the original structure can no longer be recognized. Cynthia Auberger and Ed Gilson questioned what restrictions would designation apply to the building. The HPC responded that alterations to the designated core would require the use of “like” materials and the designated core would be protected from demolition.

Charles Blessing suggested that one or all of the representatives appear at the planning board hearing on the designation.

In closing, Donna Wilson stated to the representatives that the HPC does not have a tremendous amount of control over designated buildings, however, the HPC would like the opportunity to work with the owners of historic buildings undergoing alteration. It is the HPC’s goal to ensure that the original structure is incorporated into the owner’s plans and to assist in seeking “like” materials for the alterations.

Charles Blessing suggested that the recommendation for historic designation include a survey and a photo of the building.

The Board of Education representatives commended the HPC for their efforts to designate the building.

HPC Vote for Historic Designation of the Vernon School, Now Known as the Board of Education Building

Charles Blessing made a motion to recommend the Vernon School, now known as, the Board of Education building for historic designation; Charles Bates seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Dolores Dobbs, yes; Charles Bates, yes; Charles Blessing, yes; Chris Hanke, yes; Dick Wetzel, yes; Donna Wilson, yes

Approval of Minutes

Charles Bates made a motion to approve the August 24, 2006 minutes as amended; Chris Hanke seconded the motion.

Old Business

Baxter Homestead Ordinance

Charles Blessing reported the planning board voted to amend the Master Plan. The ordinance will be included on the next town council agenda.

Denton/Wallace House

Charles Blessing reported the planning board voted to authorize Fred Suljic to proceed with a public hearing.

Longwell/Drew Cemetery

Donna Wilson reported there has not been any change in status. Donna Wilson further stated that she investigated West Milford’s process for designating cemeteries and found that they designate the cemeteries regardless of whether or not a lot and block identification exists.

Status of Photo/Card Review

Charles Blessing stated that he needs a volunteer to compare information on the historic property list with the tax assessor’s information. The HPC discussed how to proceed.

Charles Bates made a motion for a township employee, namely Stacy Zurbach, to verify the information on the historic list with the tax assessor’s information; Dick Wetzel seconded the motion.

Status of Sign at St. Thomas Church

To be carried to the next meeting.

Recording Secretary/HPC Member

Charles Blessing asked if Don Teolis responded to the question of whether or not the recording secretary may be a member of the HPC.

Donna Wilson responded that Don Teolis’ answer was yes.

New Business

Hatch Mott MacDonald’s Request for Assistance Locating Historical Sites in the Vicinity of the Proposed Sewer Project

The HPC reviewed the plans for the proposed sewer project. The HPC agreed there may be historic concerns in the area of the Town Center.

Donna Wilson will forward a response letter to Hatch Mott MacDonald.

RGA Cultural Resource Consultants

The HPC received a letter and plans from RGA Cultural Resource Consultants regarding a proposed antenna project on 44 Waywayanda Road in Highland Lakes. The HPC reviewed and agreed the project does not create significant historic impact.

Marker Program

Donna Wilson reported that she spoke with Mayor Janet Morrison at Earthfest regarding historic markers and the mayor’s response was that the HPC should include the request in the 2007 HPC budget.

Historical Society

Donna Wilson advised the HPC members they are not permitted to discuss any Historical Society business during any HPC meeting.

Historic House Research

Charles Blessing advised that he attended a lecture by John Longcore on researching historic houses and he has a listing of resource materials which may be beneficial to the HPC.

Application Review

PB #10-06-13: James Smith—Lot Line Relocation

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

PB #10-06-14: Woodmont Homes, Inc.—Amendment to Final Major Subdivision

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

PB #4-05-4: Highland Lakes Real Estate—Preliminary Major Subdivision

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

PB #9-03-14: Vest-In-Land—Revised Final Subdivision

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

Adjournment

There being no further items of business for the Regular Meeting, a motion was made by Chris Hanke to adjourn the meeting; Charles Bates seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission was adjourned at 10:25 p.m.