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

Minutes: October 12, 2011

Mr. Theobald called the meeting to order at 7:07 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 July 22, 2011 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    Also Present
Mayor MarottaP Jennifer Kovach, Esq., Board Attorney
Diane WexlerP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Councilmember RizzutoP Corey Stoner, Board Engineer
Martin TheobaldP Kim Decker, Planning & Zoning Administrative Assistant
Richard SpoerlP Cynthia Davis, Recording/Board Secretary
Joseph TadrickP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Joseph FerrerNP  
Jessica PaladiniP  
Chris Hack (#1 Alt)P  
Ed Rolando (#2 Alt)P  
Valerie Seufert (#3 Alt)P  
Kristi Raperto (#4 Alt)NP  

Hearings

LU# 7-11-14: Carlo Ruggerio, Block 230.15, Lot 19 - Bulk Variance for a carport

Mr. Bill Hanks, Esq. and Carlo Ruggerio came forward and advised that they are before the LUB to gain approval of a non-conforming 2-car carport had previously been constructed on the applicant’s property. Mr. Ruggerio stated that he has lived at the property since 1985. Mr. Ruggerio explained that he had experienced damage to his vehicles due to the trees on his property. He said that the open-sided carport was constructed by him and he used materials to match the rusticity of the house. He advised that there is no electricity in the carport. He also advised that the landscaping is wooded between the applicant’s home and the neighbor.

Mr. Bob Conklin, Mr. Ruggerio’s neighbor, came forward and advised that he did not object to the carport and, in fact, encouraged his neighbor to construct it due to the damage of the vehicles. He said he felt that two cars look better under the carport than without a carport. Mr. Rolando commented that the carport looks like it has been there since the house was built.

Mr. Stoner said that everything in his review letter was covered by the testimony.

Meeting was opened to the public

No one came forward.

Meeting was closed to the public

Ms. Kovach summarized that the applicant is requesting approval of two C-1 variances for a front yard setback and side yard setback.

Motion: Ms. Paladini made a motion to approve of the variances. Mr. Tadrick seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y.

Resolutions

LU# 5-11-11: KDC Solar, LLC, Block 183, Lot 12, - Block190, Lots 11, 10.01, 10, 9, 10.02, 16, - Block 184, Lot 13, - Block 231, Lots 12, 12.04, - Block 233, Lot 7.01, - Block 188.01, Lot 20, - Block 141, Lot 12.02 - Bulk Variance and Site Plan for Solar Panels

Eligible to vote: Marotta, Wexler, Spoerl, Tadrick, Cocula, Hack, Raperto

Motion: Mayor Marotta made a motion to approve of the resolution. Mr. Hack seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, HACK - Y.

PB# 6-08-5: Sally Rinker, Block 190.06, Lot 7 - Preliminary & Final Site Plan w/Variances - Request for Extension of Time

Eligible to vote: Marotta, Wexler, Spoerl, Tadrick, Cocula, Hack, Raperto

Motion: Mr. Spoerl made a motion to approve of the resolution. Mayor Marrotta seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y.

LU# 5-11-13: Nextel of New York, Inc., Block 82, Lot 2.01 - Site Plan with Bulk & Use Variance Relief

Eligible to vote: Wexler, Theobald, Spoerl, Tadrick, Cocula, Paladini.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve of the resolution. Ms. Wexler seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Abstained, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y.

Minutes

August 24, 2011: Regular Meeting Minutes (Marotta, Wexler, Rizzuto, Theobald, Spoerl, Tadrick, Cocula, Paladini, Hack)

Motion: Mr. Hack made a motion to approve of the 8/24/11 minutes. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: MAROTTA - Y, WEXLER - Y, RIZZUTO - Y, THEOBALD - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y.

Hearings

LU# 8-11-15: KDC Solar, LLC, Block144, Lot 16, - Block 270, Lots 11 & 26, - Block 141, Lot 12.02, - Block 184, Lot 13, - Bulk Variance, Use Variance, Site Plan & Minor Subdivision for Solar Panels

(Note: Mr. Theobald, Mayor Marotta, Council member Rizzuto and Mr. Rolando stepped down from this hearing.)

Glenn Kienz, Esq., attorney for the applicant, KDC Solar, came forward. He explained that the testimony tonight will be on the second part of the Mountain Creek application to install ground-mounted solar panels on undeveloped land in two areas 1) “Standhill” - R4 zone and, 2) “Tissington” - CR zone. Standhill requires a use variance as the panels are not located on the premises to where the electricity is being supplied, Black Creek and Cobbler. Tissington, on the other hand, is located on the border between Vernon and Hardyston and will provide electricity for Grand Cascades. Tissington does not require a Use Variance.

Thomas Donohue, the engineer, Thomas Lynch of KDC Solar, Frank Cielo of KDC Solar, Carl Phillips, professional Planner, and Tim Kessler were sworn in by the LUB attorney.

Thomas Donohue
Thomas Donohue came forward and described the overall development plan, which was passed out to the members. Phase II encompasses two properties - one called “Standhill” located on Lot 141, Block 16, between the JCP&L easement line and the railroad line. Access would be from Black Creek Drive. The transmission lines from the facility will run along the easement line and service the Black Creek residential property and the Cobblers Village. The second area is called “Tissington” and located on the Grand Cascades golf course. The transmission lines will run down and service the Grand Cascades clubhouse.

Standhill
Mr. Donohue discussed the following: The Standhill area is located in the R-4 zone and is a major facility because the property is not located on the same property as the property being serviced. The project complies with all of the standards for a major facility with the exception of a landscape buffer. The site consists of 114.7 acres with the majority of the property being wetlands. The development area is proposed to be 6.45 acres or 5.6% of the property. The panels will take up 2.2 acres with the other acreage being composed of the 20 foot areas between the panels and a 15 foot access way from the end of Black Creek Drive to the site. The panels are ground mounted and are 2 feet off the ground on the lower side and 7-10 feet off the ground on the higher side. There will be (3) 8x21 inverter pads on the facility. Noise will be studied and if there is an issue fences will be installed around the inverters.

The applicant submitted an application to the DEP for an LOI. There is a gravel access drive owned by the Township of Vernon that the applicant will ask permission to use if the application is approved as a condition of approval. A 6-foot high black chain link fence with access gates is proposed to be installed around the entire development area. A plan will be provided to Sussex County for them to certify for soil management purposes which are being reviewed now by the Township engineer. No buffers are proposed for Standhill as there are natural buffers.

Corey Stoner, LUB Engineer
Mr. Stoner discussed the following items in his report: He feels there should be a condition of approval that an agreement is put in place regarding using the driveway owned by the town. He said the sewer lines for the Town Center come down the power line and run along the southerly property line and do not interfere with this development. With regard to an LOI, Mr. Stoner said that the applicant need a GP21 permit because there is a wetlands area that the transmission line will go under and advised that the pipe will be jacked underneath the wetlands without an open cut. Also, the applicant will need to demonstrate how the noise standards will be met. This is a major project so water quantity and water infiltration will need to be done and will be a condition of approval. The applicant will need a soil erosion permit and a maintenance plan for the storm water facility.

Questions
Mr. Spoerl asked if there are any deed restrictions on this property. Mr. Kienz advised that they could find nothing restricting development.

Ms. Wexler asked if the Environmental Commission had issued any reports to which Ms. Decker replied that she hadn’t gotten a report from the EC to date.

Ms. Paladini asked if any parts of the solar panels are located on prior set aside lands or lands that are supposed to remain as open space. Mr. Kienz advised that they could find nothing stating this.

Tissington
Mr. Donohue showed the access to the property as located in Hardyston. Mr. Kienz stated that he wasn’t sure whether or not this LUB has jurisdiction over this location and he advised that the applicant has all ready gotten land use relief from Hardyston. This project is on 109.8 acres (lots 11 & 26 - with a minor subdivision proposed) of which 24 acres will be disturbed. The panels will take up 6.45 acres of the property.

Frank Cielo came forward and explained that this property was originally an approved subdivision for six or so 5-acre residences attached to the golf course. Mr. Spoerl is concerned that there may have been a deed restriction to this property stating what could or could not be developed. Mr. Cielo commented that it the lots were approved for housing.

Mr. Donohue stated that in a CR zone the setbacks are 100 feet deep on all sides. The applicant is proposing a 100 foot setback on side yard to the east and south, and on the western and north sides the applicant is proposing 25 foot setbacks. This area will be fenced with a 6-foot high black chain link fence on the inside of the buffer until the access road where the fence will go back along the property line on the east side. Existing trees will be cleared from the golf course on the eastern property line and the southeast area will remain as “natural.” A 50 foot wide landscape buffer is proposed along the eastern and southern property lines. No landscape buffer is proposed for areas (west & north) adjacent to the golf course. There will be no landscaping plan for this area. All of the issues regarding noise, storm water, soil conservation are the same as Standhill.

Mr. Tadrick asked whether the inverters could possibly pose a danger to a child coming in contact with them. Mr. Donohue advised that the inverters are enclosed electrical structures with no contact points outside of the box.

Mr. Stoner commented that with regard to the subdivision issue, the site plans are correct and asked that the subdivision maps be corrected with the accurate setbacks shown on them.

It was agreed that interested residents may take wood from the trees that are cut down for this project.

Tim Kessler, Engineer
Mr. Kessler came forward and described the aerial photographs of the Standhill property. He explained that the solar panels will be well-screened from almost all directions. He advised that Tissington is also well-screened from most sides except for the golf course and from the higher floors in Grand Cascades Lodge. He said he could not find any views of the solar panels from the town of Vernon.

Ms. Seufert asked if the panels would produce glare. Mr. Kessler replied that the glass used for the panels is low-glare and designed to absorb the energy from the sun. Therefore, there is some glare but not much and not the same glare you would get from a mirror.

Carl Phillips, Planner
Mr. Phillips came forward. He discussed Standhill first with regard to the balancing test to determine whether a variance should be granted and feels that Standhill passes the test and he sees no negative impacts at all.

Mr. Phillips discussed Tissington and said it involves a new subdivision configuration and setback relief on the non-residential sides. He went on to say that the golf club owner approves of the development on the golf course side. He feels the relief can be granted based on flexible C2 criteria where the benefits of granting the variance effectuating solar energy on the property as inherently beneficial outweigh any negative impacts.

Jessica Caldwell
Mr. Phillips said that he felt comfortable with Ms. Caldwell’s question regarding whether the applicant would provide the 75% screening from the residential area within 5 years as required by the ordinance. Mr. Kienz confirmed that the applicant will provide a maintenance guarantee as provided by the MLUL.

Meeting was opened to the public

Ms. Hargrove came forward and advised that her family owns the fruit farm adjacent to tissington. She stated that she is concerned if there is no buffer, as the applicant will be clearing up to her property line, she will be able to see the fence from her home. The applicant suggested that the fence could be installed on the inside of the buffer area which will give another 50 feet of space. Mr. Stoner said that the property line issue will need to be settled prior to any clearing.

Meeting was closed to the public

Motions

Ms. Kovach requested a motion in reference to the Tissington area, to approve the relief requested for a minor subdivision to create 2 different configured lots from Lots 11 & 26.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve of the minor subdivision. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, SEUFERT - Y.

Ms. Kovach requested a motion for approval of preliminary and final site plan for the Tissington property with the conditions mentioned by Mr. Kienz and (2) C-variances for setbacks and a variance for the removal of the landscape buffer.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve of the preliminary and final site plan as described, above. Ms. Paladini seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, SEUFERT - Y.

Ms. Kovach requested a motion for the approval of the Standhill property location for a use variance.

Motion: Ms. Seufert made a motion to approve of the use variance. Ms. Cocula seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, SEUFERT - Y.

Ms. Kovach requested a motion for approval of the Standhill property final major site plan with the conditions listed by Mr. Kienz.

Motion: Ms. Seufert made a motion to approve of the final site plan as described, above. Mr. Hack seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: WEXLER - Y, SPOERL - Y, TADRICK - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, SEUFERT - Y.

Open meeting to the public for items other than those listed on the agenda

No one came forward.

Closed meeting to the public

Land Use Board Discussion Items

Mr. Theobald moved the discussion of the Solar Ordinance and Legal Definitions to the next meeting.

Escrows, Board Fees and Bond Reductions

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Jennifer Kovach, Daggett, Kraemer, Kovach & Gjeslvik
      1. Land Use Board Business: ($0)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 7/1/11 to 7/28/11 ($536.75)
      2. KDC Solar: LU# 5-11-11 - Services through 7/28/11 ($762.75)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 7/1/11 to 7/28/11 ($1,020.00)
      2. Market Square Management: LU# 4-11-6 - Services through 7/28/11 ($270.00)
      3. David Kleeschulte: LU# 5-11-12 - Services through 7/28/11 ($180.00)
      4. Coppola: ZB# 10-04-21 - Services through 7/28/11 ($127.50)
      5. KDC Solar: LU# 5-11-11 - Services through 7/28/11 ($210.00)
      6. Mountain Creek: Day Lodge - PB# 2-08-2 - Services through 7/28/11 ($770.00)
      7. Mountain Creek: Water Park Master Plan - PB# 2-91-4 - Services through 7/28/11 ($434.00)
      8. Nextel of New York: LU# 5-11-13 - Services through 7/28/11 ($120.00)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Cynthia Davis - ($59.50)

Motion: A motion was made Ms. Seufert and seconded by Mr. Spoerl to approve of the Board Fees. All were in favor.

  1. Request for Escrows to be Closed
    1. PB# 12-05-13: Mitelin Motors - Block 270, Lot 6.05 - Amended Prel/Final Site Plan

Ms. Decker explained that this application was to construct a Day Care facility and was subsequently changed to construct offices for doctors. Nothing has been built to date. The applicant has until 12/31/2012 to start construction and if the applicant starts construction, the escrow will be replenished.

Motion: Ms. Seufert made a motion and Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion to accept the above escrow to be closed. All were in favor.

Adjournment

Motion: Mr. Tadrick made a motion and Ms. Seufert seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:06 p.m. All were in favor.

These minutes were transcribed by Cynthia Davis on October 31, 2011.