Minutes: September 6, 2018

Call to Order

7:33 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 14, 2018 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the township clerk.

Salute to the Flag

Roll Call

Lisa Anderson - Corresponding SecretaryP
Mark CilliP
Ronald J. Dupont Jr. - Vice ChairmanA
Dan Kadish - ChairmanP
Paul G. MeleP
Kristi Baldwin Raperto - liaison to the land use boardA
Kirk StephensP

Also Present—Laura Lai-Minteer, Recording Secretary

Public Participation

1. Open Meeting to the Public

Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Mr. Mele and was seconded by Mr. Cilli. All were in favor.

Cameron Connor Minteer - Glenwood Presentation, Troop 48 Eagle Scout App Project Report

Connor said he worked on the Boy Scout plan, which lays out a budget for materials and addresses soliciting businesses for supplies. He said he contacted McAfee Hardware and Lowe’s. Connor said the store manager at Lowe’s told him that Lowe’s has some sort of donation papers but suggested Connor first talk to Patriots’ Path Council. Connor said Cindy Van Carpels with Patriots’ Path explained that the plan should be done only after the proper signatures are in place on the proposal. He has signatures from his unit leader, Jack Rueckel and his unit committee chair, Pam Dean. He does not yet have signatures from the council district approval representative and project coach, Mr. Carlson, because the project beneficiary representative signs first. Connor confirmed that Chairman Kadish received and read the portable document format (PDF) he had emailed, “Navigating the Eagle Scout Service Project.” Connor distributed hard copies of the proposal to HPC members, and Chairman Kadish signed as the project beneficiary representative. Connor said there was a discussion at the last HPC meeting he attended about talking to engineers about sign placement. He showed members pictures he had taken of the area where the sign could potentially be located. Connor asked about the design of the sign, and Chairman Kadish replied that he thought it would be similar to township signs seen at the border when entering Vernon.

Chairman Kadish said that once this is together and designed, it needs to be presented to the landowner with some integration with their server. He said the owner has Wi-Fi and that the township and the owner will probably need to have some kind of an agreement to utilize it. Chairman Kadish said he does not know where the sign will be placed so that it will not interfere with the business but thinks it would have to be located somewhere between the right of the building where there is a wide apron and the post office so that people driving on the highway could actually pull off. Connor said that would be where the main sign with the main quick response (QR) code app on it would be located, and then there would posts located in different areas with different QR codes on them with information specific to each location. Chairman Kadish replied to Connor that the area extends about a mile, including the Grist Mill, the (Apple Valley) Inn across the street, and various other structures. Chairman Kadish said they may have to go to the county freeholders for approval to place posts on Route 517 and Route 565.

Lewis Cameron Minteer (Connor’s father) helped to clarify that the app will work off cellular data and not from anyone’s Wi-Fi. Chairman Kadish asked who absorbs the information and gets it ready for broadcast. Connor explained that he would make the app and answered that he could make it with an interface using a photo editor program that allows text to be updated and pictures to be added. Connor replied to Chairman Kadish that data does come through the phone company providing access to the Internet and that most people now use Google Play Store to download apps. Connor said that using the Apple store is too complicated. Chairman Kadish wanted to know the process of getting the app approved. Connor agreed that the finished app would need to be presented to Google for approval. He replied that there was no charge for this type of app. He said if there was money being made off of it, there is program called Google AdSense. He said there could be a charge if the app was set up to make payments, which is also not going to be the case. Connor said that the QR codes for each of the posts can be embedded into the app. He said each location could have a picture on it along with a textbox with information on it, with perhaps more historical pictures, which could be saved as separate image files. He said each post would have a QR code, so that when the QR is scanned, it would bring up corresponding information.

Connor asked about the origin of the signs around town, and Chairman Kadish said that most of them came out of the DPW and that he would inquire about it. He said they would want the sign to be consistent with other signs in the town. Chairman Kadish mentioned there is a sign on Route 517 coming off Newport Bridge Road, which he said might even be too large for the Glenwood Historic Area sign. Mr. Mele suggested having the same type of sign but scaled down in size. Connor answered Mr. Mele that he has about two years until the deadline to complete his Eagle project. Mr. Cilli said he has seen QR codes in museums and indoors but not for an outside structure and asked if there was a chance of the sun, rain or any other weather element destroying the QR code. Connor replied that the code would be laminated, but there could be a glare with the sun. Connor answered Ms. Anderson that a QR code is made using websites online or apps. Chairman Kadish wondered if the QR code could be silkscreened onto the sign. Connor thought using polycarbonate and rivets is a common way to do it. Chairman Kadish said they would have to come up with something specific, and he would pass it by the planner and engineer. Connor replied to Mr. Mele that they could buy treated four-by-four posts, dig holes, put them in, and rivet the QR codes on.

Chairman Kadish answered Mr. Cilli that he supposed that the HPC would be responsible for any updates and that his contention is that sooner or later another house in that area will be made historical. Connor stated that another post could then be added. Mr. Mele asked if permission needed to be granted for placing the posts at each house or location. Chairman Kadish said that would have to be determined but he was not certain if it would be necessary. He said if all of the houses on the list have been described historic, then he thinks the posts might just need to remain in the county right-of-way. He said this depends on the road returns and when they were done but often they are thirty-three feet. He does not know if it would get in the way of a mower but that they would have to go to the freeholder board to get that permission. He said he cannot imagine why the mayor would not be in support of the project. Mr. Stephens wanted to make sure that whatever laminated material is used is UV resistant. Connor got the idea for the project from Ms. Anderson’s suggestion.

Review of the Minutes

1. August 2, 2018 - Regular Meeting

Chairman Kadish asked for the record to reflect that he had not thoroughly gone through Mr. Zaretsky’s presentation and had not read the minutes in completion. Ms. Anderson said she also had not read the minutes in completion. Chairman Kadish suggested a motion if there was a wish to table approving the minutes. No motion was put forward. Mr. Cilli commented that the minutes do not depict Ms. (Jessi) Paladini approaching and videoing the commissioners at what he felt was an intrusive distance, and he thought it should be reflected in the minutes. He said she has the right to video the session but felt the minutes did not capture the undesirable behavior that was witnessed at the last HPC meeting. Chairman Kadish said he thought he asked her to not record the meeting. Mr. Cilli answered that Chairman Kadish did ask her and she responded that she had the right to record. Mr. Cilli said, though, that she was not sitting in the seats set up for the public. Instead, she was literally a few feet away from a member and circled around. Mr. Cilli said he would like the minutes to reflect that he asked her to sit down and that she said responded that she would not sit down. Chairman Kadish amended his motion to reflect Mr. Cilli’s comments, with an asterisk placed at the point where Chairman Kadish asked Ms. Paladini not to record any longer with another asterisks at the end of the section to include Mr. Cilli’s comments. After discussion and changes, Mr. Cilli moved to approve the amended minutes, seconded by Mr. Stephens.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Ms. Anderson, Mr. Cilli, Chairman Kadish, Mr. Stephens
Abstentions: Mr. Mele

New Business

New business was not discussed.

Old Business

1. Kiln and Burial Site - Canal Road

Chairman Kadish said he had discussed with Mr. Dupont the idea of memorializing the lime kiln and burial site on Canal Road, which he thinks are out about two hundred yards from the creek. He said it is difficult to memorialize something and not indicate the exact location, with a concern that treasure hunters might vandalize it and so it would need to be approached with care. Chairman Kadish said it was suggested to him that Canal Road should be memorialized because it was used to dig the canal and was a connection that cut off certain meandering parts of Waywayanda Creek. He does not know when it was built but that the bridge on Canal Road had been in disrepair and that the front legs of his mother’s horse had fallen through it. He said the town abandoned the road in the 1990s and that most of these roads had been carriage roads and were paved in the 1980s and ’90s but were not designed for use at high speeds.

2. Rickey Homestead Report

Chairman Kadish said only he and Mr. Dupont produced a report. The recording secretary will email the reports again to the commissioners for their review. Chairman Kadish said there are different reports about it, and the last one was about making it a restaurant but that it appeared to be too much of a problem. He thinks people do not want to take the risk of building something over the spring, but it seems to him that it could be done without any impact by driving piles or metal columns down, filling them with concrete, and then building a steel structure with the roof removed and a glass or lucite floor. Mr. Mele thinks there are a lot of problems, including an oil tank. Chairman Kadish agreed and added that the septic field would need a complete revamp but having five acres could allow for building it north away from the water to prevent incursion. Chairman Kadish answered Mr. Mele that the HPC is not moving forward with it due to high costs and not being able to legally. He said the mayor investigated various sources of funding, and the attorney decided it would not be appropriate.

Chairman Kadish had hoped that if Mr. Will Brown purchased it and built an ancillary site for his small vending area, then there would be an automatic parking lot, which could be leased to them for 99 years. Mr. Mele said the question posed to him about the cost estimate is an open answer at this point without more information but that it would probably be at least a half a million dollars liquid just to get started. He answered Ms. Anderson that there were no large grants available. Chairman Kadish was not sure if it can become historically designated by the state, but if it was then there might be grants available, which are usually small. He emailed members the Historic Trust in New Jersey site to explore. Chairman Kadish said if it was a museum, gallery, and information center, he would be very willing to donate his Indian and art collection. Mr. Stephens asked, if Mr. Brown bought the lot strictly for parking, what would have to be done to the house to ensure it did not further degrade, perhaps in a decade or so if there were more options. Mr. Mele said the roof and siding would need maintenance. Chairman Kadish supposed if that happened then it would be done piecemeal to raise funds and make up a complete plan. He would like to see an embossed tin roof, tear down the back porch to stop the leaking problem, add gutters, investigate the windows, and remove all of the toilets.

3. Perry Cemetery

Chairman Kadish said that Ralph Van Blarcom has seen it and knows its exact location but is not sure that the landmarks are still there. He described it as being near a large oak tree at the northern field edge behind a pump station.

4. Mission Statement (Mark Cilli’s Additions)

Mr. Cilli said because the proposed changes were sent out awhile ago, this evening he resent his proposed changes. Chairman Kadish said that while the suggested changes were perhaps relevant to the master plan, he feels they are outside the mission of the HPC, specifically the part about economics. Mr. Cilli said his proposed changes are an attempt to add some practicality and go back to one of the first HPC meetings when a commissioner said that some people think of the HPC as something negative, a struggle, a roadblock. He said it was his attempt to remove the stigma and believes they need to do a better job of this throughout the community of Vernon. Chairman Kadish said what he took from Mr. Cilli’s comments is that the HPC needs to make a position that history is a commercial draw for tourism in Vernon. Chairman Kadish partially agreed with it in specific cases as with the Rickey homestead, the St. Thomas Church and the chapel, the Methodist Church, and the Prices Switch school.

Mr. Cilli agreed with Chairman Kadish’s sentiments from that there is a need in Vernon for economic growth and thinks if each interest group works in silos, things will not get done. He said it was his attempt to say the HPC is here, assembled to educate, perpetuate, and make sure our heritage carries forward. He thinks the HPC needs to do this in a pragmatic way. He said some changes need to happen in this town or there may not be as many future generations living here. Mr. Cilli said the last bullet is his attempt to recognize the town’s current situation and to protect and respect heritage in perhaps a more realistic way. Chairman Kadish agreed with Mr. Cilli that they need to be realistic and thinks Harry (Shortway) is on the right track. He said connecting trails and having various restaurants is part of the answer, along with supporting the farm niche, cheese making, and breweries. He said having a good, coordinated master plan is essential. He thinks the township needs passenger rail service to take a quick trip to the city but that the plan cannot be used because the Franklin firehouse is built across the railroad easement. Mr. Mele said he believes a train service could save the town.

Mr. Cilli said it is also his goal to work through the mission statement changes together as a commission. He asked members to review his proposed mission statement and for them to then delete or add to the suggestions as they see fit. Ms. Anderson shared her proposed changes, which had been prepared and briefly discussed previously. She asked what the argument was for not changing it. Chairman Kadish said the HPC has to use the state guidelines. Ms. Anderson suggesting obtaining those guidelines to compare it. Chairman Kadish thought the HPC should continue discussion and asked to make it an agenda item for the next meeting.

5. Glenwood Presentation

This agenda item was discussed during the open public meeting session.

6. Farmland Historic Area

Chairman Kadish said it is on the mayor’s to-do list, the mayor has been in touch with some other bodies and is obviously in support of it.

7. Methodist/St. Thomas Signs

Chairman Kadish said he has not talked to Charles (Bates) yet because Mr. Dupont had redone the original wording in the Methodist sign to try to reduce costs. Chairman Kadish wants to order it soon while there is money in the budget. He said he will talk to Mr. Bates to ask him contact the church trustees about where the sign can be placed.

8. Certified Local Government (CLG)

Mr. Dupont had suggested the HPC go forward with the CLG program certification, and Chairman Kadish asked HPC members their feelings about it. Mr. Mele said he does not know if there is a downside. Chairman Kadish replied that some people uninterested in history think a non-elected body would have more authority. He and Mr. Cilli expressed that they do not believe that is true. Ms. Anderson pointed out that the LUB is not elected and has some authority but Chairman Kadish said the LUB is state mandated. Mr. Mele stated he is for the HPC moving forward with the CLG. Chairman Kadish said his opinions are personal and not as a member of the LUB because that is Ms. Raperto’s job, who recused herself during the LUB hearing; he did not consider the landscape architect that Bruce (Zaretsky) used as an expert witness to be the best selection for countering the demolition permit. On the other hand, Chairman Kadish said the HPC should be commended because the architect was in awe of the minutes, discussion, and HPC report of January 17, and the witness praised Mr. Dupont for his historical comments. Mr. Stephens agreed that he does not see a downside to it and thought it would be good to get started on the long process. Chairman Kadish asked if members would like to invite head historian of Sussex County Wayne McCabe as a guest speaker. He said Mr. McCabe is in charge of renovating two buildings for the county college along with being involved with and possibly in charge of the county museum. Chairman Kadish said he is in favor of proceeding with the CLG. Ms. Anderson asked what needs to be done for the CLG. Chairman Kadish said Mr. Dupont had suggested it, the HPC has agreed to explore it, but Mr. Dupont is not present.

Chairman Kadish would like to be replaced as chair, expressed to members that he thinks they are all capable of doing it, and asked them to think about who would replace him.

Review of Land Use Board (LUB) Applications

1. Burger King, Block 145, Lot 1 and Lot 4, Cell 6, LUB #5-18-4

Chairman Kadish said this has already been approved. He said there are only changes to the outside of the building, the signage, and the playroom. He suggested looking to companies associated with Burger King to use the playroom as a supplementary store rather than as a storage room. He made a motion that in the Burger King application there does not appear to be any historical significance. Mr. Stephens prefers the current color scheme, which appears to him kind of historical and blends in with the siding of the Methodist Church. He thinks the new plan looks more commercial. Mr. Cilli confirmed that the HPC is voting that nothing in the application interferes with or affects any historic elements within the area.

Mr. Stephens made a motion to forward general commentary to the LUB stating that the proposed changes clash with the historical aesthetics of that downtown area, seconded by Ms. Anderson.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Ms. Anderson*, Mr. Stephens
Nays: Mr. Cilli, Chairman Kadish
Abstentions: Mr. Mele
Motion tied and went to the negative (failed).

Chairman Kadish asked if there was an amendment to the motion. Mr. Stephens said he is not one hundred percent clear where the HPC jurisdiction starts and ends and what it is allowed to comment on. Chairman Kadish said he would probably put the motion as the colors chosen by the designer appear to be clashing whereas the former Burger King had more muted colors, which fit in with some of the historical elements within the area. Mr. Stephens said he does not want to stop construction or renovations forever but thinks that it is pretty mutual commentary. Ms. Anderson said it fits in exactly with what they are going for. Mr. Stephens asked if members would share why they voted no because it does not seem controversial. Mr. Cilli said he would rather fight bigger fights, thinks what they went for in that look is the look of the buildings he sees in the main part of town, and thought it would look relatively nice. Chairman Kadish felt the statement reflected poorly on the HPC. Mr. Cilli added that in his opinion, it is not affecting anything historic. He said if the HPC starts weighing in on the way something looks, it undermines what they are there to do. Ms. Anderson felt this discussion should have occurred prior to voting. Chairman Kadish answered Ms. Anderson that she is allowed to change her vote before the end of the meeting. He said Burger King is an existing commercial establishment, attracting through garishness.

*Ms. Anderson stated she would like to change her vote because she was not really sure what she was voting on. She said after the discussion, she is changing her vote to no because the building is not historic and she does not think the look of it is relevant. She said the new buildings are not in our purview.

Mr. Stephens said what he is hearing is that the HPC does not want to seem obstructionist or that the HPC wants to pick its battles. He said he does not know if there is a benign way to say that it is changing the historic aesthetic of that area. Ms. Anderson thinks that is up to the zoning board. He countered that the LUB is asking the HPC’s opinion, and she disagreed and said she thinks the LUB is only asking if it disrupts anything historically. She said because it does not, she does not think the HPC has any right. Mr. Mele agreed but said he does understand Mr. Stephen’s point regarding the historic look. Chairman Kadish asked if there is a motion to rescind the motion. Mr. Stephens said he will go on record as opposed and asked if there is a different motion that would accomplish what he was trying to accomplish. Chairman Kadish suggested the HPC simply withdraw the motion and make no comment about Burger King and said Mr. Stephens could then put his comments on the record.

Mr. Stephens moved to rescind his motion, “motion to forward general commentary to the LUB stating that the proposed changes clash with the historical aesthetics of that downtown area.” Mr. Cilli seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Ms. Anderson, Mr. Cilli, Chairman Kadish, Mr. Stephens
Abstentions: Mr. Mele

Mr. Stephens’ comment pertaining to LUB #5-18-4: He asked for his comment to be provided to the LUB and expressed dissatisfaction with the new chosen color scheme because he feels it is inappropriately garish and clashes with the historical aesthetics of the downtown area.

2. Dunay Road - Little House

Chairman Kadish said a building known as the Little house on Dunay Road went through the LUB in 2005. He supposes it is now back for a variance because it is said to not have road frontage, which he does not understand because it extends beyond the circle. He said the prescriptive easement gives the landowner certain rights to control what happens on the private road, and is allowed in perpetuity. Chairman Kadish does not think anyone living there is historical but said he has not seen the architecture since he was a teenager. He said HPC members should look at the buildings in that area to give an opinion if a new house would be consistent with the neighborhood and whether it interferes with anything historical. He supposed one way to deal with it would be to look at deeds. He thinks the concern for the HPC is that some of these houses on Dunay are probably quite old. He does not feel prepared to comment and suggested perhaps members take the time to visit the area, become familiar with the tax map, and discuss it at the next HPC meeting. The HPC did not render an opinion.

Commissioners’ Comments

1. Master Plan

Chairman Kadish said the HPC should be provided with a copy of the master plan and thinks one of the criticisms is there is no historical inventory. He remembers there being a huge list in the past but said he has not seen the master plan. He said Dennis Miranda has volunteered to do an inventory of natural resources. Chairman Kadish will request a copy of the plan, review the list, and then the HPC will make recommendations to the LUB.

2. Burger King

Mr. Stephens was surprised by the lack of debate or opinions inserted on the record on the Burger King changes even if it is not the place of the HPC because he has seen through extensive travel that certain communities are more restrictive in how national franchise chains are treated aesthetically. He said the corporate parent could have thirty different facade designs to swap in and out, if appropriate.

Adjournment

Motion to adjourn was made by Mr. Cilli and seconded by Chairman Kadish. All were in favor. Meeting adjourned: 9:00 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Laura Lai-Minteer, Recording Secretary