All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the Planning/Zoning Department.

Minutes: January 13, 2021

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Theobald at 7:15 p.m. Meeting held via Zoom Webinar.

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 13, 2020 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building.

Roll Call  Also Present
Mayor’s Designee Diane WexlerP Steve Tombalakian, Board Attorney (partial)
Craig WilliamsP Glenn Kienz, Board Attorney
Councilmember AubergerP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Martin TheobaldP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Richard SpoerlP  
Willard McPeekP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerP  
Kristi RapertoP  
Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1NP  
Joseph Tadrick Alternate #2NP  
Paul Mele Alternate #3P  
Mark Vizzini Alternate #4P  

Record reflects that Mr. Tadrick notified the board of his absence.

Resolutions

LU# 10-18-7: Diamond Communications LLC and T-Mobile Northeast LLC - Block 378, Lot 17, - Preliminary and Final Site Plan Along with Use, Height and Bulk Variances to Construct a 160' Lattice Tower with Twelve (12) Antennas Placed at the Top of the Tower and Related Equipment at the Base of the Tower

Eligible to vote: Williams, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Raperto, Theobald

Motion: A motion was made to approve Resolution LU#10-18-7 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Williams.

ROLL CALL: WILLIAMS: Y; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; RAPERTO: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion passed.

Record reflects that at 7:16 p.m. Attorney Kienz is present at meeting replacing Attorney Tombalakian.

Resolution Appointing and Retaining Board Attorney
Resolution Appointing and Retaining Board Engineer
Resolution Appointing and Retaining Board Planner

Motion: A motion was made to approve resolutions for board attorney, board engineer and board planner simultaneously by Mr. Mele and seconded by Ms. Cocula. All members in favor. Motion passed.

Land Use Board Discussion Items (Action May or May Not Be Taken)

525 Route 515 Redevelopment Plan for Block 413, Lot 10

Board planner Caldwell summarized the proposed non-condemnation redevelopment plan for 525 RT 515 Block 413 Lot 10 which includes redevelopment of existing retail shops, addition of second story apartments and gas station. This redevelopment plan is designed to serve as the zoning for the plan area and to provide guidelines for new construction and establish permitted land uses and building requirements for the area.

Ms. Caldwell stated that this redevelopment plan is consistent with the goals and objectives of the township’s master plan. Also, the developer of the property must adhere to the land use regulations including: Permitted uses; bulk regulations; parking standards; screening, landscaping and street tree regulations; site circulation; sidewalk; and building design standards. Ms. Caldwell added that once redevelopment plan is adopted, a developer must then file a site plan application.

Chairman Theobald explained that the land use board has been requested to review the proposed plan for master plan consistency and provide recommendations of revisions. Mr. Spoerl added developer must provide sidewalks to the three sides that front roadways including the back.

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public.

Suzanne Ishee, director of creative placemaking at NJIT and resident, questioned the need for another gas station and expressed concern of obsolescence due to increase number electric vehicles and potential contaminated area. Ms. Ishee added that Vernon has identified itself as a greenway area for hikers and bikers and does not agree that the proposed gas station, a major visible anchor, is the message we want to send to visitors entering our community. She stated Vernon needs ratables but further questioned if a study was performed to warrant the use of another convenience store and gas station in the town center area.

Seeing no one further wishing to comment, Chairman Theobald closed the meeting to the public.

Mr. Williams questioned the viability of a gas station/convenience store within the town center area where there are two others within a 1/4 mile radius. Ms. Caldwell added the proposed development does not change the existing footprint of the building with gas pumps and tanks added to the front parking area.

Mr. Spoerl stated that the town center guidelines does not allow gas stations and recommends that the developer does something else. No other member seconded recommendation.

Attorney Kienz stated that it is the board’s preference to decide what uses can be allowed. Ms. Caldwell explained that the township has an interested developer for this site, will add a user to the sewer system, and possibly create further interest in town center.

Mr. Williams read the town council resolution directing the land use board to review for master plan consistency, report and make recommendations per NJSA 12A-7.

Ms. Caldwell summarized the discussion that the land use board feels the plan is consistent with the master plan and recommends:

* Restricting internal illumination of exterior
* Limited illumination under canopy
* Not having streetscape of roadway behind

Motion: Motion was made by Mr. Williams to approve the recommendations to the township council of the 525 RT 515 Redevelopment Plan for Block 413 Lot 10 and was seconded by Ms. Wexler. All members except for Mr. Spoerl were in favor. Motion passed.

Minutes

December 9, 2020 - Regular Meeting Minutes (Williams, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Raperto, Mitchell, Mele, Theobald)

Motion: Motion was made by Ms. Cocula to approve regular minutes of December 9, 2020 and was seconded by Mr. Mele.

ROLL CALL: WILLIAMS: Y; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; RAPERTO: Y; MITCHELL: Y; MELE: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion passed.

Appendix A: Escrows, Board Fees, Bond Reductions and Escrow Closures

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP
      1. 1. Board Attorney - Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP
      2. Land Use Board Business - Services through 11/12/20 ($1,012.00)
      3. For Love Of Mud, LLC - LU# 5-20-2 - Services through 11/11/20 ($144.00)
      4. Suez Water NJ Inc. - LU# 10-19-18 - Services through 11/23/20 ($176.00)
      5. Martin Theobald - LU# 12-19-10 - Services through 11/13/20 ($176.00)
      6. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 11/13/20 ($656.00)
      7. Allain & Bilomasaur - LU# 11-20-8 - Services through 11/18/20 ($93.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 11/12/20 ($3,060.00)
      2. For Love Of Mud, LLC - LU# 5-20-2 - Services through 11/10/20 ($125.00)
      3. Allain & Bilomasaur - LU# 11-20-8 - Services through 11/16/20 ($855.00)
      4. Diamond Comm. LLC - LU# 10-18-7 - Services through 11/23/20 ($2,580.00)
      5. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 11/27/20 ($1,500.00)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 10/6/20 ($202.40)
      2. Land Use Board Business - Services through 11/23/20 ($195.00)
      3. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 10/12/20 ($260.00)
      4. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 10/12/20 ($260.00)
      5. Waheguru Gas - LU# 7-16-5 - Services through 11/9/20 ($744.20)
      6. Stephen Peterson - LU# 9-20-7 - Services through 10/6/20 ($397.40)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($75.00)
    5. Board Conflict Attorney - Ursula Leo, Laddey, Clark & Ryan LLP
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 11/23/20 ($336.96)
    6. Dr. Bruce A. Eisenstein, Ph.D., P.E.
      1. Diamond Comm. LLC - LU# 10-18-7 - Services through 11/23/20 ($1,125.00)

Motion: Motion was made by Ms. Cocula to approve the board fees and was seconded by Ms. Wexler. All members were in favor. Motion passed.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public.

Jessi Paladini commended Mr. Spoerl as well as Suzanne Ishee of their comments regarding the proposed redevelopment plan. Ms. Paladini stated she understands the need for ratables but proposing a gas station in the middle of New Jersey’s 8th Scenic Byway within Vernon Township is wrong.

Seeing no one further wishing to comment, Chairman Theobald closed the meeting to the public.

Mr. Williams stated a letter from the environment commission was given to all land use board members one day ago to review the effects of the improvements proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline to Vernon Township residents. Chairman Theobald asked the item to be added to next agenda for discussion.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Ms. Wexler. All members were in favor.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills, Recording Secretary