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 8, 2021

Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Theobald at 7:00 p.m.

Chairman Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

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 Jessica Caldwell, Board Planner
Craig WilliamsP Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary
Councilmember AubergerP  
Martin TheobaldP  
Richard SpoerlNP  
Willard McPeekP  
Andrea CoculaP  
Michael WhitakerP  
Kristi RapertoNP  
Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1NP  
Joseph Tadrick Alternate #2NP  
Paul Mele Alternate #3NP  
Mark Vizzini Alternate #4NP  

Chairman Theobald stated that Mr. Spoerl, Mr. Tadrick and Ms. Raperto informed the board of their absence.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one present nor wishing to comment, Chairman Theobald closed meeting to the public.

Public Hearings

PLAN ENDORSEMENT APPROVAL

Ms. Caldwell explained the Plan Endorsement approval before board is to extend the Vernon Town Center Designation previously approved in 2003. The Plan was submitted to the State Planning Commission for review of consistency with the State Plan and qualifying for Plan Endorsement. On July 7, 2021, the Petition for Plan Endorsement was approved by the State and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Plan Implementation Agreement (PIA) was approved by Township Council on July 23, 2021.

Ms. Caldwell explained the goals of Plan Endorsement are: to promote economic development; stabilize infrastructure; create an expanded Town Center and to support local authorities. She added the vision of the Town Center includes: promote Agri-eco tourism of four-season community; promote businesses for residents and tourists; create mixed-use Town Center; encourage strong civic responsibility; create high quality of life; promote local resorts; sustainable infrastructure; support farmland preservation, natural resources and develop recreation, trails, and greenways.

Ms. Caldwell explained the Plan Endorsement process includes ten steps within a ten-year period including the Recreation and Open Space Plan, Climate and Resiliency Plan, Land Use Plan, Housing Development & Fair Share Plan, Conservation Element, Circulation Plan, Farmland Preservation. The Township was granted waivers for creation of an Advisory committee and Visioning Plan and noted the Master Plan items will be completed in next three years. Ms. Caldwell explained that while Vernon does not currently have a Farmland Preservation Plan, grants may be available through Sussex County as the Farmland PIA grants are primarily for larger farm parcels.

Ms. Caldwell noted that Vernon Township did recently receive grants to prepare the Recreation & Open Space Plan, Farmland Preservation Plan from The Land Conservancy.

Motion: Motion to Support Plan Endorsement Approval was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Williams.

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

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

Ordinance #21-25: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending and Supplementing Chapter 330 Entitled "Land Development" to Permit Retail Sales of Legalized Cannabis

Chairman Theobald read the title of Ordinance #21-25 and explained board review is for Master Plan consistency. Board discussed that only three retail, three dispensary licenses or 3 in a combination will be allowed in Vernon Township per Ordinance. Mr. McPeek questioned if Ordinance limits amount of THC in retail products or will State have a regulatory process. Ms. Caldwell noted the state will regulate through the State Commission rules. Mr. Williams stated it would be beneficial to require multiple kinds of licenses within Vernon and recommended change to Ordinance. Ms. Caldwell explained in other states, both medical and retail dispensaries are in same building location which may occur in New Jersey.

Motion: Motion to approve that Ordinance #21-25 is consistent with Master Plan was made by Mr. Theobald and was seconded by Mr. Whitaker.

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

Ordinance #21-28 - Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 330 Entitled "Land Development" to Regulate Multi-Generational Family Accommodations

Chairman Theobald read the title of Ordinance #21-28 and explained board review is for Master Plan consistency. Mr. Williams expressed concern that Ordinance requires separate living spaces/ appliances but with common entrance and locked door in between which could become a fire hazard. Chairman Theobald explained that property would be controlled by Building and Fire Code regulations. Ms. Caldwell added Ordinance has controls that keep property as a single-family residence without the ability to rent separate apartment.

Motion: Motion to approve that Ordinance #21-28 is consistent with Master Plan was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Ms. Wexler.

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

Minutes

August 11, 2021 - Regular Meeting Minutes (Wexler, Williams, Auberger, McPeek, Cocula, Theobald)

Motion: Motion to Approve Minutes of August 11, 2021, was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Auberger.

ROLL CALL: WEXLER: Y; WILLIAMS: Y; AUBERGER: Y; MCPEEK: Y; COCULA: Y; THEOBALD: Y.
Motion passed.

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

Chairman Theobald stated three additional fees need to be read into the record for approval:

Board Planner Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates

  • $500.00 HM GG, LLC - LU # 8-21-7
  • $125.00 Land Use Board Business
  • $4,140.00 Master Plan Re-Examination
  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP
      1. Land Use Board Business - Services through 7/20/21 ($836.00)
      2. Suez Water NJ - LU# 7-21-6 - Services through 7/12/21 ($45.00)
      3. Gieger - LU# 6-21-5 - Services through 7/26/21 ($422.50)
    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)
      2. Snowshoe Homes LLC - LU# 3-21-3 - Services through 7/28/21 ($167.75)
      3. Allain & Bilomauser - LU# 11-20-8 - Services through 7/20/21 ($130.00)
      4. 515 Vernon Property LLC - LU# 7-20-4 - Services through 7/20/21 ($390.00)
      5. Gieger - LU# 6-21-5 - Services through 7/2/21 ($219.13)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($75.00)
  1. Request for Escrows to Be Closed
    1. LU# 10-14-7 - D.M. Borstad Co. - Block 231, Lot 26, - Minor Subdivision ($313.12)

Motion: Motion to approve board fees and close escrow account was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Auberger.

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 Ms. Wexler. All members were in favor. Meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills, Recording Secretary