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

Minutes: March 8, 2017

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Theobald at 7:00 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 16, 2017 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

Chairman Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

Roll Call  Also Present
Mayor ShortwayNP Jeanne Ann McManus, Board Attorney
John AubergerP Ted Knutelsky, Board Engineer
Councilmember OomsP Malvika Apte, Board Planner
Martin TheobaldP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Richard SpoerlP  
Joseph TadrickNP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Ed RolandoP  
Jessica PaladiniP  
Willard McPeek (#1 Alt)P  
Michael Whitaker (#2 Alt)P  
David Nieves (#3 Alt)P  
Kristi Raperto (#4 Alt)NP  

Mayor Shortway was unable to hear use application and notified board secretary he would not be present and Mr. Tadrick notified the board secretary of his absence as well.

Public Hearings

LU# 1-17-1: HM GG LLC - Block 231, Lot 1 & 12.01, - Preliminary and Final Site Plan for an Aerial Adventures Ropes Course

Deborah Nicholson, attorney for applicant described proposed aerial ropes course and handed copies of Exhibit A-1 showing photos of similar parks to board members. Mr. Knutelsky, noted from Mr. Stoner’s report, four items which were not addressed: environmentally sensitive areas, traffic impact study, landscaping plan and stormwater management plan which may be waived pending expert testimony.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to deem application complete and was seconded by Mr. Spoerl. All members were in favor.

Richard Cline, project manager; Mario Iannelli, civil engineer; Dave Horan, design engineer were sworn in to testify on design and operations of application. Mr. Cline testified park will open seven days a week from May through October from 10:00 a.m. to dusk, open weekends in March, April and November and closed December through February. Guest visits last three hours and course can handle 500 daily with projected visits up to 20,000 per year. Ms. Nicholson presents for file Exhibit A-3, an aerial plan with existing signs and Exhibit A-4 an aerial view of all existing trails on parcel.

Mr. Cline explains visitors will utilize parking lot at Mountain Creek South, allowed through prior agreement, walk across RT 94 to lodge to buy tickets, use restroom and attend orientation. Shuttle will leave every 15 minutes, will transport visitors to lower Legends parking lot, allowed by prior lease agreement, to 15 passenger golf shuttle to course area. Course site improvements will have minimum environment impact keeping a natural setting for best guest experience. Applicant hired certified arborist to perform a site study to identify conditions of trees and found total of 40 trees will be removed as well as underbrush for the course. Mr. Cline testifies there will be no structures or utilities installed and notes, as an amusement park, it is inspected annually by NJ Consumer Affairs. Mr. Cline explains daily inspections of the trees will be performed by employees as well as an annual certification by an arborist. Protocol for handling injuries include, employee first aid training and for major emergencies, ATV vehicles will transport patron to shuttle parking lot to meet the Vernon ambulance. Visitors will have access to port-a-johns at Great Gorge golf course or use restrooms at South Lodge before and after visit.

Ms. Nicholson comments no new signage is being proposed but park will re-purpose 6 existing signs: 5 parking directional signs and one on marquis of South Lodge. Mr. Iannelli explains the parking lot has 982 spaces, which exceeds requirement by ordinance, and lot is not utilized at all during summer by waterpark or mountain biking. Employees will have remote radios for communication and harness equipment will be stored at South Lodge overnight.

Mr. Theobald questioned why the park is at the golf course and not at Mountain Creek which Mr. Cline explained the right trees to support the course were present at this site. He added it is important to the success of the park not to damage trees and the ropes are wrapped with cables onto the trees so expansion from growth is viable.

Board questioned if the public can access course after hours. Mr. Cline explained the course’s retractable stairways will be raised at night making it inaccessible and security detail for all parks already exists. Applicant does not want to install a fence, he would like to keep a natural setting but may look to add cameras in future for added security.

Mr. Iannelli refers to Exhibit C101, showing trails will be well defined, loose boulders will be removed and gravel added to level and stabilize pathway. Mr. Knutelsky notes if more than 5000 sq. ft. is disturbed, applicant must obtain permit from soil conservation district.

Ms. Apte, notes parcel is in mixed village area zone but since no construction is being proposed, waiver is not needed.

Mr. Theobald opens the application to the public. Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Mr. Theobald closed meeting to public.

Ms. Nicholson summarizes the aerial ropes course will add to existing recreational opportunities, promote physical fitness and will support local businesses. She adds should the board approve proposal, a waiver of reading resolution is requested to begin work. Board members ask what is the cost of admission and what age or size limits are there. Ms. Nicholson said no price has been set yet and weight maximum is 300 lbs. and currently there are 30 similar parks within 100 miles of Vernon.

Motion: Made by Ms. Cocula to approve Preliminary and Final Site Plan for an Aerial Adventures Ropes Course on Block 231, Lot 1 & 12.01 and was seconded by Ms. Paladini. ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Y; OOMS: Y; THEOBALD: Y; SPOERL: Y; COCULA: Y; ROLANDO: Y; PALADINI: Y; MCPEEK: Y; WHITAKER: Y. Motion carried.

Motion: Made by Mr. Spoerl to Approve Waiver of Reading Resolution for LU#1-17-1 and was seconded by Ms. Cocula. Applicant aware waiver is at their own risk and board secretary will notify township departments of approval to start work. ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Y; OOMS: Y; THEOBALD: Y; SPOERL: Y; COCULA: Y; ROLANDO: Y; PALADINI: Y; MCPEEK: Y; WHITAKER: Y. Motion carried.

Board notes for record that Council Member Ooms steps down from hearing Cellco Partnership application because it is a use variance.

LU# 9-16-8: Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless - Block 173, Lot 6, Preliminary and Final Site Plan with Use and Bulk Variances to Construct a Monopole with Concealment Branches

Applicant will supply transcription of hearing for land use board file.

Motion: Motion to approve Preliminary and Final Site Plan with Use and Bulk Variances to Construct a Monopole with Concealment Branches as per conditions set in hearing by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Spoerl. ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Y; THEOBALD: Y; SPOERL: Y; COCULA: Y; ROLANDO: Y; PALADINI: Y; MCPEEK: Y. Motion carried.

Public Participation

Mr. Theobald opened the meeting to the public for items other than those listed on the agenda and seeing no one wishing to come forward closed the meeting to the public.

Resolutions

LU# 11-16-10: Hans Gross - Block 146, Lot 6, - Interpretation/Use Variance for Residential Use on the First Floor of the Building

Motion: A motion was made by Mr. Spoerl to approve Resolution for LU #11-16-10 and was seconded by Mr. Auberger. ROLL CALL: AUBERGER: Y; THEOBALD: Y; SPOERL: Y; COCULA: Y; ROLANDO: Y; PALADINI: Y. Motion carried.

LU# 11-16-11: National Winter Activity Center - Block 192.01, Lot 13, - Preliminary/Final Site Plan to Construct Cross Country Ski Trails, Cross Country Facility and a Garage/Pump House

Motion: A motion was made by Ms. Cocula to table Resolution LU#11-16-11 to next agenda and was seconded by Mr. McPeek. All members were in favor. Motion carried.

Land Use Board Discussion Items (action may or may not be taken)

Ordinance #17-03: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey Authorizing Correcting the Zoning Map for Various Properties

Motion: A motion was made to approve Ordinance #17-03 by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Spoerl. All members were in favor. Motion carried.

Minutes

February 8, 2017: Regular Meeting Minutes (Auberger, Theobald, Spoerl, Cocula, Rolando, Paladini, McPeek, Whitaker)

Motion: A motion to approve the minutes of February 8, 2017 was made by Ms. Paladini and was seconded by Mr. Auberger. All members were in favor.

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

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Glenn Kienz, Weiner Lesniak LLP
      1. Land Use Board Business: ($0)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: ($0)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: ($0)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills - Services through 1/11/17 ($75.00) & Services through 2/8/17 ($75.00)

Motion: A motion was made to approve the fees listed by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Ms. Paladini. All members were in favor.

Adjournment

Seeing no more board business, a motion was made by Mr. Spoerl to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by Mr. Auberger. All members were in favor.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:13 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills
Recording Secretary