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

Minutes: July 14, 2021

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Spoerl at 7:02 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 18, 2021 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
Craig WilliamsNP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Councilmember AubergerP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Martin TheobaldNP  
Richard SpoerlP  
Willard McPeekP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerP  
Kristi RapertoNP  
Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1NP  
Joseph Tadrick Alternate #2NP  
Paul Mele Alternate #3P  
Mark Vizzini Alternate #4NP  

Vice Chairman Spoerl stated that Mr. Theobald, Mr. Tadrick, Mr. Vizzini and Mr. Williams informed the board of their absence.

Public Hearings

LU# 6-21-5 - David & Devon Gieger - Bulk Variance for a Proposed Detached Garage over Fifteen Feet in Height

David and Devon Gieger were sworn in and explained application is to build a 26' by 32' garage totaling 832 sq ft with total height of 16 1/2' which requires a variance. Mr. Gieger added purpose of garage is to house a 23' sailboat with trailer and allow extra height for maintenance.

Ms. Caldwell explained per report dated 7-6-2021, site is located at 7 Long View Lane in the PLC Zone and while located in the Highlands Preservation Area, site qualifies for exemption #5. She added application requests a variance for height of 16 1/2' where 15' is permitted and that testimony should explain that better planning is a positive alternative that outweighs any negative impact to surrounding neighbors.

Mr. Gieger stated proposed garage will move boat from being stored outside to inside the garage which is positive for the neighborhood. Also, per engineer’s recommendation, a seepage pit will be added to improve drainage on site with house gutters to be added in near future. Mr. Gieger noted there was an approved variance for the site when original house was demolished to build a new home. He added the garage will provide area to store the boat as well as one vehicle.

Mr. Mele questioned if garage could be attached to house so no variance would be needed. Mr. Gieger explained he does not want to attach the garage to house for safety reasons. He added the view of the garage height from the street will not be excessive as the proposed foundation will be 2-3 ft below grade.

Vice Chairman Spoerl opened meeting to the public. Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Vice Chairman Spoerl closed meeting to the public.

David and Devon Gieger agreed as condition of approval that a seepage pit will be installed per township engineer’s review and approval to improve site drainage.

Motion: Motion to Approve Resolution for LU#7-20-4 was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Ms. Wexler.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; AUBERGER: Y; MCPEEK: Y; COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; MELE: Y; SPOERL: Y.
Motion passed.

Public Participation

Vice Chairman Spoerl opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one wishing to comment, Vice Chairman Spoerl closed meeting to the public.

Resolutions

LU# 7-20-4 - 515 Vernon Property LLC - Block 413, Lot 10, - Preliminary and Final Site Plan for a Proposed Mixed Use Multi-Tenant Retail Business That Could Include a Convenience Store, Fast Food with Drive-Thru, Personal Service Business, Professional Office, Apartment Units, Auto Service and Fueling Station

Eligible to vote: Williams, Auberger, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Raperto, Mitchell, Tadrick, Theobald

Motion: Motion to approve resolution for LU#7-20-4 was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Whitaker.

ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Abstain; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y.
Motion passed.

LU# 12-19-10 - Martin Theobald - Block 57, Lot 5, - Minor Subdivision - Extension of Time

Eligible to vote: Williams, Auberger, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Raperto, Mitchell, Tadrick,

Motion: Motion to approve resolution for LU#12-19-10 was made by Mr. Auberger and was seconded by Mr. McPeek.

ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Y; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y.
Motion passed.

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

Resolution #21-161 - Resolution Referring Redevelopment Plan for Block 404, Lot 4 to the Land Use Board for Recommendations and Master Plan Consistency

Board Planner, Jessica Caldwell explained there is a redevelopment plan for Block 404 Lot 4, 8 Theta Drive to allow a car wash on site which the township council referred to the land use board for master plan consistency. She added generally the township doesn’t allow an auto use in town center however, an interested party came forward and since there are no existing car washes in Vernon, the governing body feels it would be beneficial for the community.

Ms. Caldwell explained the goals of the master plan are to foster community sense and identity; provide economic development; encourage commercial use to enhance character of the township create use policies per state master plan and encourage potential commercials uses in the sewer service area.

Attorney Tombalakian explained the two ways ordinances can be referred to the land use board. First the mayor and council can introduce an ordinance than refer to land use board for master plan consistency. The land use board will provide decision to council for review or approval to proceed to public hearing and adoption. The second option, as this resolution was done, the mayor and council sent the proposal to the land use board prior to introduction of an ordinance for the consistency review and if changes are recommended.

Mr. McPeek questioned if redeveloper has approval from Suez for water or will it utilize the township sewer system. Ms. Caldwell stated she believes developer has been in contact with both utilities for water and sewer. Mr. Mele added that most car washes recycle water, and it would be a great service to the community.

Motion: Motion that the land use board feels ordinance, as written with no changes, is consistent with the master plan dated July 2010, was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Mele.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; AUBERGER: Y; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; MELE: Y; SPOERL: Y.
Motion passed.

Ordinance #21-16 - An Ordinance Amending, Revising, and Supplementing Section 330-4 Titled “Definitions,” Section 330, Schedule A Titled “Permitted, Conditional and Accessory Uses and Structures” and Section 330-164 Titled “Offensive Uses Prohibited” of the Land Development Code of the Township of Vernon to Regulate the Cultivation, Processing, Sales and Distribution of Legal Cannabis within the Township of Vernon

Vice Chairman Spoerl read title of Ordinance #21-16 and asked land use board for recommendations. Ms. Caldwell explained the mayor and council have introduced Ordinance#21-16 and forwarded it to the land use board for master plan consistency. The state has required all municipalities to adopt rules regulating cannabis by August 21, 2021, and if they don’t, Vernon would default to state rules for five years. She explained the mayor and council have decided to be proactive by regulating the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution of cannabis while prohibiting entirely retail cannabis within Vernon Township. Mr. Mele questioned who issues licenses for cannabis. Ms. Caldwell explained the state has created a commission to finalize the regulations and procedure to apply for all licenses which then will be approved and issued by the state. Board members discussed and agreed the ordinance is consistent with the master plan and to recommend amendment to Ordinance #21-16 to permit Class #5 retail sales of legal cannabis.

Motion: Motion was made by Mr. Spoerl and was seconded by Ms. Wexler that the land use board considers Ordinance #21-16 to be consistent with the master plan dated July 2010 and recommends amendment to permit Class #5 retail sales of legal cannabis.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; AUBERGER: Y; MCPEEK: N: COCULA: Abstain; WHITAKER: Y; MELE: Y; SPOERL: Y.
Motion passed.

MINUTES

June 9, 2021 - Regular Meeting Minutes (Williams, Auberger, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Raperto, Mitchell, Tadrick, Theobald)

Motion: Motion to Approve Minutes of June 9, 2021, was made by Mr. Auberger and was seconded by Ms. Cocula. All Members present were in favor.
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. Land Use Board Business - Services through 5/24/21 ($416.00)
      2. Allain & Bilomauser - LU# 11-20-8 - Services through 5/3/21 ($48.00)
      3. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 5/3/21 ($45.00)
      4. Snowshoe Homes LLC - LU# 3-21-3 - Services through 5/6/21 ($96.00)
      5. Kenneth Boschert - LU# 3-21-4 - Services through 5/17/21 ($352.00)
      6. Suez Water NJ Inc. - LU# 7-21-6 - Services through 4/20/21 ($451.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 6/9/21 ($312.50)
      2. Gieger - LU# 6-21-5 - Services through 4/16/21 ($312.00)
      3. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 6/17/21 ($480.00)
      4. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 6/3/21 ($875.00)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 4/2/21 ($390.00)
      2. Land Use Board Business - Services through 5/12/21 ($65.00)
      3. Snowshoe Homes LLC - LU# 3-21-3 - Services through 4/15/21 ($847.70)
      4. Kenneth Boschert - LU# 3-21-4 - Services through 4/15/21 ($616.51)
      5. C. Newsom - LU# 2-21-2 - Services through 4/14/21 (323.44)
      6. Allain & Bilomauser - LU# 11-20-8 - Services through 4/23/21 ($513.76)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($125.00)

Motion: Motion to approve fees was made by Mr. Whitaker and was seconded by Ms. Wexler.

All members were in favor. Motion passed.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion was made by Mr. Auberger and was seconded by Mr. Mele. All members were in favor. Meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills, Recording Secretary