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

Minutes: November 12, 2020

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

Salute to the Flag

Chairman Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

Roll Call  Also Present
Mayor’s Designee Diane WexlerP Louis Karp, Board Attorney
Craig WilliamsNP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Councilmember AubergerNP  
Martin TheobaldP  
Richard SpoerlP  
Willard McPeekP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerP  
Kristi RapertoP  
Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1NP  
Joseph Tadrick Alternate #2P  
Paul Mele Alternate #3P  
Mark Vizzini Alternate #4NP  

Record reflects that Mr. Williams, Mr. Auberger, Ms. Mitchell, and Mr. Vizzini notified the board of their absence.

Chairman Theobald announced that the public hearing for LU#9-20-6 has been carried to the January 13, 2021 meeting.

LU# 9-20-6 - Farm 94, LLC - Block: 58, Lot: 2, - Preliminary and Major Site Plan with Conditional, Bulk and Use Variances to Improve and Upgrade the Parking Lot Additions to Two On-Site Buildings with Proposed Uses of an Art Gallery, Craft Space, Event/Conference Space, Butcher Shop, Outdoor Retail Sales and a Glamping Area

Public Hearings

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

Chairman Theobald stepped down from application. Vice Chairman Spoerl led the meeting.

Mr. Martin Theobald stated he does not have his attorney present and is requesting an extension of time for minor subdivision which was approved previously by the land use board. He stated the reason for extension of time is because he has not yet received approval by Sussex County Planning due to discrepancy in requirements.

Attorney Louis Karp explained the period to file the minor subdivision deed for the application runs to November 19, 2020 and because county approval has not been obtained, an extension of time is needed. He added the board can grant an extension if all governmental approvals are not yet received which can be up to 180 days. Board members had no further questions.

Motion: A motion was made to approve an extension of 180 days for LU#12-19-10 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Mele.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Abst; SPOERL: Y; MCPEEK: Y: COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; RAPERTO: Y; TADRICK: Y; MELE: Y.
Motion passed.

Chairman Theobald returned to chair the meeting.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public and explained it will be the only time to comment on any item on the agenda and each person will have a three-minute time limit.

Ed Seger, 22 Palomino Trail, Vernon, stated he provided the board a letter with important information regarding the pottery school business and respectively requests the board revisit the application’s approval. He asked the board to reconsider their decision because the municipal land use law states that if a use is not specifically stated in the zoning ordinance, then a variance should be required for the intended use. Mr. Seger added that Vernon Township has invested in planning the character of residential and business areas of town and opined that a pottery business is a good idea but belongs in the Town Center area.

Mr. Seger stated that should the approval stand the resolution should contains conditions for parking, safety, and maximum number of classes held per week. He thanked the board for their volunteerism by serving the public and encouraged the members to protect the professionalism of the board.

Pat Seger, 22 Palomino Trail, Vernon, stated she was surprised the Resolution was on the agenda for approval and not just for review of the conditions as previously stated by the board attorney at last meeting. She added that Vernon Township spent a lot of money preparing the master plan and noted this use was not included which was in the board planner’s report. Ms. Seger stated that per the municipal land use law, if a use is not specifically stated then it is not permissible, and a variance is required.

Todd Hooker, attorney for applicant of For Love of Mud, stated he received Mr. Seger’s letter, dated October 30, 2020, today. He explained that the application was submitted to the board in May 2020 and all information should have been submitted to the board in advance of the September hearing date. Mr. Hooker asked the board to disregard Mr. Seger’s letter because prior approval is procedurally protected.

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

Attorney Karp advised the board members that their vote can only be based on the testimony and exhibits proffered at the public hearing for an application. Members cannot consider anything seen or heard subsequent to the last vote including information in emails.

Resolutions

LU# 8-20-5 - Fred Turner - Block 39, Lot 12, - Amended Site Plan to Construct a Single-Family Dwelling

Eligible to vote: Wexler, Williams, Cocula, Whitaker, Mitchell, Tadrick, Mele, Theobald

Motion: Motion was made by Ms. Cocula to approve Resolution for LU#8-20-5 and was seconded by Mr. Mele.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; TADRICK: Y; MELE: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion passed.

LU# 5-20-2 - For Love of Mud - Block: 376, Lot: 3, - Interpretation, or Alternatively, Use Variance and Minor Site Plan to Conduct Pottery Classes at a Residential Home

Eligible to vote: Wexler, Williams, Spoerl, Tadrick, Mele

Board members questioned if all of the conditions set in the approval of the application were incorporated in the resolution. Mr. Whitaker read the conditions in the resolution for the record.

  1. This interpretation shall apply to this use, this site, on this property operated by the applicant and shall not constitute any precedential value for any other activities under the Home Occupation section of the ordinance without the express approval by the board.
  2. Applicant shall, to the maximum extent practical and feasible, ensure that all cars are parked on subject property. All parking related to the pottery studio shall be on the subject property with no parking in the municipal street.
  3. Cleaning and maintenance of area shall be as testified to and consistent with the documents reviewed by the board and made a part of this resolution.
  4. No signage of any kind whatsoever shall be permitted in conjunction with this activity.
  5. The activity shall be confined to the basement area in approximately 1200 sq. ft as specifically as testified to by applicant. No classes shall ever occur outside.
  6. Payment of fees, costs and escrows due are to become due. Any monies are to be paid within twenty (20) days of said request board secretary.
  7. Certification that taxes are paid to date of approval
  8. Subject to all other applicable rules, regulations, ordinances and statutes of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, and any other jurisdiction.

Board questioned if applicant’s testimony requested permission for pottery classes with wine served. Chairman Theobald stated alcohol use was not requested in testimony and not part of the resolution.

Motion: Motion was made by Mr. Tadrick to approve resolution for LU#5-20-2 and was seconded by Ms. Wexler.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; SPOERL: Y; TADRICK: Y; MELE: Y.
Motion passed.

Minutes

September 23, 2020 - Regular Meeting Minutes (Wexler, Williams, Spoerl, Cocula, Whitaker, Mitchell, Tadrick, Mele, Theobald)

Motion: Motion was made by Ms. Cocula to approve regular minutes of September 23, 2020 and was seconded by Mr. Whitaker.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; SPOERL: Y; COCULA: Y; WHITAKER: Y; TADRICK: Y; MELE: Y; THEOBALD: Y.

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 9/30/20 ($596.00)
      2. For Love of Mud - LU# 5-20-2 - Services through 9/30/20 ($1,296.00)
      3. Stephen Peterson - LU# 9-20-7 - Services through 7/24/20 ($45.00)
      4. Frederick Turner - LU# 8-20-5 - Services through 9/23/20 ($80.00)
      5. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 9/11/20 ($45.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 9/30/20 ($625.00)
      2. Land Use Board Business - Services through 9/23/20 ($922.50)
      3. Land Use Board Business - Services through 10/5/20 ($750.00)
      4. Land Use Board Business - Services through 10/6/20 ($125.00)
      5. Land Use Board Business - Services through 10/21/20 ($4,890.00)
      6. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 9/29/20 ($910.00)
      7. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 10/29/20 ($730.00)
      8. For Love of Mud - LU# 5-20-2 - Services through 9/23/20 ($125.00)
      9. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 9/17/20 ($960.00)
      10. Farm 94, LLC - LU# 9-20-6 - Services through 10/9/20 ($1,720.00)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 9/23/20 ($455.00)
      2. Frederick Turner - LU# 8-20-5 - Services through 8/25/20 ($404.80)
      3. Suez Water NJ LU# 10-19-8 - Services through 8/6/20 ($195.00)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($125.00)

Motion: Motion was made by Mr. Whitaker to approve board fees and was seconded by Mr. McPeek. 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. Spoerl and was seconded by Mr. McPeek. All members were in favor.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills, Recording Secretary