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

Minutes: September 26, 2012

Mr. Theobald called the meeting to order at 7:04 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 15, 2012 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 MarottaNP Jennifer Kovach, Board Attorney
Diane WexlerNP Cory Stoner, Board Engineer
Councilmember RizzutoP Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Martin TheobaldP Kim Decker, Planning & Zoning Admin. Asst.
Richard SpoerlP Cynthia Davis, Board Secretary
Joseph TadrickNP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Joseph FerrerNP  
Jessica Paladini (arrived at 7:12 p.m.)P  
Chris Hack (#1 Alt)P  
Ed Rolando (#2 Alt)P  
Valerie Seufert (#3 Alt)NP  
Kristi Raperto (#4 Alt)NP  

(Note: Mr. Theobald advised that all members not present had called to say that they would not be in attendance tonight.)


PB#2-05-3: Sussex National Development - Block 231, Lots 9, 9.01 &11 - Block 233.05, Lots 5 & 6, - Extension of Time for Preliminary Site Plan

John Fetterly, Esq. came forward on behalf of the applicant. He advised that the applicant is requesting an extension of the site plan approval that was originally granted in 2005, and subsequently granted extensions in 2008 and 2010, the last of which expires this year. Mr. Fetterly said that it is not economically viable for the applicant to move forward with the development at this time and the applicant would like to keep the protections afforded under this approval from expiring.

Mr. Fetterly explained that the applicant had originally moved quickly to get a preliminary site plan approval in order to comply with the administrative consent agreement between Vernon and the DEP so that the property would stay in the sewer service area. It is also located within the county wastewater management plan which is about to be adopted. The applicant would like to keep the approval in effect to lock-in the sewer service area for this piece of property.

Mr. Fetterly said that the MLUL and the Vernon code both state that if the preliminary site plan is for a project 50 acres or greater, (this one is 66 acres), the LUB can grant extensions for such additional periods of time as shall be reasonable including for reasons of economic conditions.

The applicant is requesting an extension for 3 years at this time. At Mr. Theobald’s request, Mr. Fetterly described the project as consisting of 2 hotels with sports related amenities. Mr. Fetterly said that the complete ownership of the property has been acquired by the applicant and was done in 2 phases during 2011 and this year.

Motion: Mr. Spoerl made a motion to grant a 2-year extension to the applicant. Ms. Cocula seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: RIZZUTO - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI -Y, HACK - Y, ROLANDO - Y, THEOBALD - Y. Passed.

ZB# 10-06-17: Sally Rinker - Block 122, Lot 1, - Extension of Time for Preliminary & Final Major Subdivision & Use Variance

Mr. Robert Jordan, LLS, came forward on behalf of the applicant to request a 2-year extension for final approval of a major subdivision: a 15-lot subdivision with a large remainder lot. The applicant is unable at the current time to start construction due to the economic times. In 2010, a 2-year extension was granted. This will be the second request.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to grant a 2-year extension to the applicant. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: RIZZUTO - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI -Y, HACK - Y, ROLANDO - Y, THEOBALD - Y. Passed.

Public Participation

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

Sandy Ohms came forward and asked the board how long after a site plan is approved, referring to the dog park, does the applicant have to comply? Ms. Kovach stated that it depends on the type of approval and whether or not they had requested any subsequent extensions. Ms. Paladini asked whether or not the park was completed. Mr. Stoner advised that the park, which is located on municipal property, went under a courtesy review by the LUB. He went on to say that the park is being utilized to some degree while not having all of the conditions for the county approval addressed which consists of closing out their road opening permit. He said the zoning officer had issued a letter to the Dogs of Vernon stating that they had to cease the use of the property until they had all the county approvals addressed. Ms. Ohms said the dog park is being used and creates a problem to her and her neighbors by people turning around in her driveway because they do not know where the driveway to the park is located.

Mr. Stoner advised that there is no Certificate of Occupancy required in this matter which makes this a unique project.

Mr. Rolando advised that at the end of the next week he will be curbing and paving the opening to the gravel driveway.

Ms. Ohms said that she feels let down by the town with the initiation of a dog park in a residential area. She advised that people are using the dog park at night and she would like the park locked at night. Mr. Stoner suggested that she reach out to the Dogs of Vernon people first. She thanked the LUB for providing her with some answers that she was looking for. It was suggested that she can speak with the town about her concerns and possibly they can be addressed within the lease process.

Closed Meeting to the Public

Highlands Master Plan Element & Master Plan Reexamination—Public Hearing

Ms. Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner, came forward and discussed the Master Plan Reexamination Report and Highlands Preservation Area Master Plan Element as the public hearing part required by the Highlands Act. She stated that the planning area was optional and was originally voted to be left out by the LUB.

Ms. Caldwell explained that the MLUL provides that periodically a municipality review its master plan. She said the LUB reviewed the master plan in 2009/10 and adopted it in July 2010. Ms. Caldwell reported that in May 2012, the Highlands Council approved Vernon Township’s petition for plan conformance. Ms. Caldwell explained that all the documents that are a part of that petition need to be adopted and brought into the ordinance and master plan. Essentially, the LUB is going through a reexamination of the master plan and adopting the master plan element just for the Highlands Preservation Area only, which is roughly 66% of the municipality.

Ms. Caldwell said that plan conformance will bring some of the approvals within the preservation area back to the township and before the LUB instead of having to go before the Highlands Council. She said it may also provide more options to land owners. The municipal officials will be trained in how to process highlands applications.

Ms. Caldwell recommended that the LUB adopt the Highlands Preservation Master Plan Element and begin work on the Highlands Preservation Area Land Use ordinance. She discussed the plan element and said that it’s kind of like a mini version of the regional master plan for the preservation area, only. It acts as an overlay to the existing master plan and zones and includes overlay highlands zones including a protection zone, a conservation zone and an existing community zone. There are also some sub-zones. Existing development is exempted.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to approve the Master Plan Reexamination Report and Highlands Preservation Area Master Plan Element. Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: RIZZUTO - Y, SPOERL - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y, HACK - Y, ROLANDO - Y, THEOBALD - Y. Passed.


Amendment to the Land Use Board Attorneys Resolution

Motion: Mr. Theobald made a motion to approve of the resolution, above. Ms. Cocula seconded the motion. All were in favor.

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

Conflict Planner for Senior Housing Project

This was tabled.


August 22, 2012: Regular Meeting Minutes (Marotta, Wexler, Rizzuto, Tadrick, Cocula, Paladini, Raperto)

Motion: A motion was made by Council Member Rizzuto to approve of the minutes, above. Ms. Paladini seconded the motion. ROLL CALL: RIZZUTO - Y, COCULA - Y, PALADINI - Y. Passed.

Escrows, Board Fees and Bond Reductions

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Jennifer Kovach, Daggett, Kraemer, Kovach & Gjeslvik
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 7/25/12 ($150.00)
      2. Mountain Creek: LU# 4-12-7 - Services through 7/15/12 ($60.00)
      3. Mitelin Motors: LU# 5-12-9 - Services through 7/20/12 ($195.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: ($0)
      2. Mt. Creek Day Lodge: PB# 2-08-2 - Services through 7/3/12 ($120.00)
      3. KDC Solar: LU# 8-11-15 - Services through 8/2/12 ($819.00)
      4. Mt. Creek Water Park Master Plan: PB# 2-91-4 - Services through 7/31/12 ($870.00)
      5. Mt. Creek Urgent Care: LU# 4-12-7 - Services through 7/9/12 ($300.00)
      6. Market Square Management: LU# 4-11-6 - Services through 7/19/12 ($30.00)
      7. Mitelin Motors: LU# 5-12-9 - Services through 7/31/12 ($300.00)
      8. New Cingular Wir.: ZB# 3-05-3 - Services through 9/17/12 ($84.00)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Cynthia Davis - ($18.75)

Motion: Council Member Rizzuto made a motion to approve of the above listed board fees. Mr. Hack seconded the motion. All were in favor.

  1. Request for Escrows to be Closed
    1. PB# 3-08-3: Andrew Borisuk - Block 91, Lot 1, - Minor Subdivision ($121.79)
    2. ZB# 4-06-7A: Andrew Borisuk - Block 93, Lot 6, - Minor Subdivision with Variances ($0.30)
    3. ZB# 5-06-9: Tall Timbers Assoc. - Block 171.02, Lot 5, - Preliminary & Final Site Plan with a Use Variance for a Maintenance Building ($1,256.00)
    4. ZB# 5-07-7: TS Nye, LLC - Block 182, Lot 4.01, - Use Variance for a Two Story Mixed Office ($255.90)
    5. LU# 5-11-9: Alan Saccente - Block 190.09, Lot 8, - Minor Site Plan & Use Variances for Batting Cages ($3,275.75)
    6. LU# 5-11-10: Chris Kass - Block 205.10, Lot 5, - Front Yard Variance for a Deck ($62.50)
    7. LU# 1-12-1: Veronica Haltner - Block 20.03, Lot 19, - Back & Side Yard Variance for a Deck ($369.00)
    8. LU# 1-12-2: Noemy Toste - Block 143.01, Lot 6, - Front Yard Variance for an Addition ($414.00)
    9. LU# 2-12-5: Daniel O’Keefe - Block 204.07, Lot 1, - Front Porch Roof over Existing Slab ($500.00)
    10. ZB# 11-07-17: Gurumayi Corp - Block 262, Lot 3.01, - Minor Site Plan & Use Variance for an Addition on the Hotel

Motion: Ms. Paladini made a motion to approve payment for the escrows listed above. Council Member Rizzuto seconded the motion. All were in favor.


Ms. Paladini asked what the status is regarding the town center expired approval. Ms. Caldwell advised that the state adopted a new plan which changed the center. She said they are recognizing centers that have expired and giving them some credence but they haven’t come up with a new process for having town centers re-designated. She has been working with the mayor on updating the town center ordinances which will be coming before the LUB soon.

Mr. Stoner reported that KDC Solar is stopping the project temporarily for the winter. They are having trouble purchasing all of the solar panels and there will be some down time until they get the panels. The drainage has been installed, storm water retention facilities and clearing has been done, to date.

Mr. Stoner reported that the Mountain Creek snow tubing slope has soil erosion issues which Mountain Creek is working on. New earth will be used to construct a berm on the bottom of the hill.

Closed Session

Mr. Theobald advised that the board is going into closed session to discuss the professional services for the year 2013. All board professionals left the meeting room.

The closed session resolution was read by the board secretary stating the purpose of the closed session.

Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion to go into closed session at 8:08 p.m. Ms. Paladini seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The meeting came back into open session at 8:16 p.m.


Motion: Ms. Cocula made a motion and Mr. Spoerl seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:16 p.m. All were in favor.

These minutes were transcribed by Cynthia Davis on October 2, 2012.