Minutes: September 3, 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 FurreyP
Christopher HankeP
Ted LaabsP
Lisaann PermunianP
Laura PettinatoP
Valerie SeufertA

Charles Bates called the meeting to order at 7:00 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

The commission wants to designate Glenwood a historic area, which is different from an official historic district. The commission has been working on a presentation for the residents of the Glenwood community. Commissioner Michael Furrey did a final revision of the Glenwood presentation, which he showed to the commission. Commission members made some suggestions for edits while viewing the presentation, which Michael Furrey incorporated. He said after a few more edits and additions, he would send the final presentation to the recording secretary to distribute to the commission members. He asked that they review it for a final time and email him any further suggestions, revisions, or corrections if necessary, and he will incorporate their suggestions or corrections and bring the final presentation to the next meeting. Laura Pettinato and Lisaann Permunian said they would review and edit the final presentation and send comments to Michael Furrey. The commission would like to schedule the presentation to the Glenwood community sometime in October. The recording secretary will advertise the meeting when a date is set. Charles Bates also mentioned that while he was recently on vacation, he visited the historic areas of Sevierville, TN; Gatlinburg, TN; and St. Augustine’s FL.

B. Walker Farm Landmark Designation

Charles Bates said that he and recording secretary Jessi Paladini would meet with Liz Walker during the week of September 8 to discuss the landmark designation of her farm. Ms. Walker is in favor of this designation. Ron Dupont wrote the statement of significance for the farm, which is necessary for the landmark nomination.

C. Pochuck Mine

Charles Bates announced that he wrote a letter to township engineer Cory Stoner, asking Mr. Stoner to review the application concerning caves, excavation of soil, and construction safety. He has not yet heard back from Mr. Stoner. Elaine Rettig, manager of the Pleasant Valley Lake community, attended the June historic preservation commission meeting to give the commission information about the Pochuck Mine, which is located in Pleasant Valley Lake. She brought to the meeting maps and various documents that provide information on the mine. Chairman Charles Bates invited Ms. Rettig to return to the commission’s next meeting with additional concerns or information, but Ms. Rettig was not in attendance tonight. The property of concern is owned by Joseph and Mario Riccabono who plan to build two homes on the former mine property. In early May, they started to bulldoze the property. The commission had discussed with Ms. Rettig the possibility of several mines on the property that range from 60-120 feet. Ms. Rettig was not certain if the Riccabonos were aware of the existence of the former mines. The DEP has given permission to build on the property and soil conservation has inspected the property. Charles Bates will follow up with Cory Stoner.

3. Applications for Review

A. LUB6-15-3, Daniel Kadish, Price’s Switch Road

The commission reviewed the status of this application, which is a request for subdivision and for several accessory structures that do not conform to township zoning. The Kadish house is a designated township landmark and the property is in the Farmland Preservation Program. Mr. Kadish wants to subdivide one acre that the house is on from the remainder of the property. Mr. Kadish testified that at the time he applied for farmland preservation, township zoning laws in the zone where his property is located required only one acre. After Mr. Kadish left the meeting, the land use board learned that Mr. Kadish’s testimony was incorrect and the township zoning ordinance actually required three acres for that zone. On the basis of Mr. Kadish’s testimony, the land use board had approved the application. Charles Bates was concerned about how the application for the subdivision relates to the slave cemetery that is on the property. He questioned where exactly the cemetery was in relation to the historic landmark and the subdivided property. Mr. Bates questioned how the commission could make any recommendations on the application without a full complement of knowledge of where things are and without full disclosure from the applicant. The recording secretary said the application had already been approved. Mr. Bates questioned why Mr. Kadish wanted a subdivision. He said that since the application was approved, he would like to include in the official minutes of the historic preservation commission meeting that at any time Mr. Kadish or a subsequent owner were to enter into a contract for any development on the property the HPC shall recommend that the landowner of the property at that time establish the historical significance of the site if any alteration is done on the site. He also wants that recommendation sent to the land use board. Mr. Bates asked the recording secretary to forward this recommendation to the land use board and also to request a response to the recommendation from the land use board.

B. LU6-15-8, Wilson Facility Management

The commission had no concerns about historical significance of this site.

C. LU6-15-5, Taco Bell

The commission directed the recording secretary to send a recommendation to the land use board that if the applicant gets a demolition permit for the existing 1850s Campbell House on the property, the commission wants to be notified so it can photograph the inside and the outside of the house and property for historic documentation. The commission would also like permission from the applicant to do a Phase 2 archaeological study, which consists of excavating a small hole to retrieve any possible artifacts from there.

D. Variance for a Front Yard Swimming Pool, Joel Schlesinger, Cecilia Court

The applicant is seeking a variance to build a front yard pool. The commission has no historical concerns about this application.

4. Approval of Minutes

June 4, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes

Charles Bates moved to adopt the minutes as written. Michael Furrey seconded the motion.

Discussion: None

Ayes: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Ilene Franklin, Michael Furrey, Ted Laabs, Lisaann Permunian, and Laura Pettinato
Nays: None
Abstain: Chris Hanke


Ted Laabs moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:24 p.m.
Ilene Franklin seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.

The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on October 1, 2015 at 7 p.m.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary