Vernon Township

21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
Phone: 973.764.4055


Minutes March 22, 2023




March 22, 2023


Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Spoerl 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 17, 2023, by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the Municipal Building.

Salute to the Flag

Vice Chairman Spoerl led the assemblage of the Flag.


Roll Call

 Mayor’s Designee John Auberge  P
 Craig Williams  P
 Councilmember Joseph Tadrick  P
 Martin Theobald  NP
 Richard Spoerl  P
 Willard McPeek  P
 Andrea Cocula  P
 Michael Whitaker  P
 Jacqueline Haley  P
 Kelly Mitchell Alternate #1  NP
 Mark Heftler   Alternate #2   P
 Paul Mele Alternate #3    NP
  Mark Vizzini Alternate #4   NP


Also Present:

Louis Karp, Board Attorney 

Cory Stoner, Board Engineer

Allison Kopsco, Board Planner

Kimberley Decker, Board Secretary


Record reflects that Mr. Theobald, Mr. Mele and Ms. Mitchell notified the Board of their absence.

Public Hearings


LU# 1-23-1 – Minerals Resort & Spa SPE LLC – Block 527, Lot 1, - Preliminary & Final Site Plan with Variances for proposed construction of pickle ball courts

Attorney Karp stated that applicant for LU#1-23-1 requested application be carried to April 12, 2023. No further notice will be given.

LU# 2-23-2 – FW Webb/Vintage Clothes, LLC – Block 391, Lot 11, - Preliminary & Final Site Plan to install a concrete storage pad in the rear yard of the lot

Roger Thomas, Attorney from Dolan and Dolan came forward on behalf of applicant for preliminary and final site plan application for expansion of storage plan per plans submitted.

Mr. Stoner stated application requested waivers per report of March 20, 2023:

#12 Delineation -Calculation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas

#21 Road profiles showing Utilities and structures.

#26 Certification drives meet A.A.S.H.T.O. requirements.

#20 Environmental Impact Statement

#23 Landscaping and Lighting Plan

#25 Notation of site in Highlands Planning Area

#30 Indicate Soil Types and Boundary lines

#31 Provide CD disk of plans for Township files

 #34 Traffic Impact Analysis

Mr. Stoner stated the waiver items requested can be waived for purpose of completeness and hearing application but applicant should be prepared to discuss the impacts during testimony and may be required as condition of approval.

Motion: Motion to approve Recommendations of Board Engineer to waive items listed for purpose of hearing application was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Auberger. All Members were in favor. Motion Passed.

Mr. Thomas stated there are three witnesses who will provide testimony for the application. Attorney Karp, swore in Andrew McBeth, Design Rep. 2 Wills Ave Wayne NJ; Emanuel Vasilescu, PE, 601 Madison St. Hoboken, NJ; and Jim Madgwick, Store Manager, Vernon, NJ.

Mr. McBeth described FW Webb as a wholesale distributor for plumbing, mechanical and HVAC items to contractors since 2017 and previously by Masters Plumbing since 1970’s. Operations are handled through counter sales and delivery by truck with 95% to contractors and 5% retail. The building includes three main areas: office, counter, and warehouse storage. Mr. McBeth stated the main purpose for the application is due to increased growth of business, creating the need for more storage for items that can be maintained outside including propane and oil tanks and pvc pipes. He added the hours of operation are currently Monday thru Friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am to 12:00pm, which will remain the same if expansion is approved.

Mr. McBeth stated there are ten employees currently and will add two to five more with expansion and growth of business. While parking has been adequate for current business, spaces for employees on the side of the building will remain unchanged while additional spaces will be added to the existing three spots at the front entrance. Mr. McBeth explained that based on experience, the front flood lights are adequate but if the Board requires, more down facing flood lights will be added for pedestrian safety. The traffic flow of the operation includes 25 to 50 customers daily and small pickup truck deliveries made twice daily with FW67 tractor trailer delivery happening on Wednesday mornings.

Store Manager Mr. Madgwick stated he has been with FW Webb for six years and agrees with all testimony provided by Mr. McBeth. He added the average stay of customers is up to half hour, with most only ten minutes and agreed that parking is adequate for business.

Mr. McBeth described photographs submitted in application and depicted as Exhibit A1 of locations of existing site including: front entrance; loading dock; employee parking; existing yard; view from Black Creek Drive of building side. He explained the rear yard will be increased in size, with new 8’ black vinyl chain link fencing with slats which will tie into the existing fence, increasing security. Fencing will not have outriggers (barbed wire). Landscaping improvements will be made in front of the site, improving the aesthetics. Mr. McBeth described the photograph, Exhibit A2, with a view of the site from Route 94 down Black Creek Drive showing 40 ft distance from proposed expansion and stated the expansion will reflect the same character of the Town Center neighborhood.  He added that Exhibits A3 and A4 show black vinyl fencing with slats and proposed tank storage. He noted the proposed gate on the west side is a better option to withstand the day-to-day operations rather than a wooden one.

Vice Chairman Spoerl questioned if the red Conex box structure pictured will be removed and expressed concern of parking needs. Mr. McBeth stated the Conex box will not be there in the future but other accessory building near the loading dock will remain due to limited interior space. Board members discussed possible condition of approval may include relocation of the box out of public view and parking requirements.

Vice Chairman Spoerl opened hearing to public for questions of Mr. McBeth and Mr. Madgwick only. Seeing no one coming forward, Vice Chairman Spoerl closed hearing to public.

Mr. Emanuel Vasilescu, PE presented his qualifications to testify on behalf of the applicant. Regarding drainage and stormwater management, he stated there are three existing drainage patterns on site and there is 40 ft differential from RT 94 down Black Creek Drive. In order to mitigate increased impervious coverage, dense vegetation, a detention basin and inlets have been proposed to comply with stormwater regulations. Mr. Vasilescu stated he has been working with the Township Engineer for a revised design to comply and will submit calculations to be verified.

Mr. Vasilescu stated, although not added yet to plans, in order for compliance of parking spaces, six more spaces will be created within the new storage pad for employee use only. He described Landscaping Plan proposal, noted Exhibit A6, will include two maple trees two evergreen trees plus shrubs in front to improve aesthetics. Overall proposal will increase efficiency of business while improving existing conditions and maintaining character of Town Center area.

Attorney Thomas stated there is no further testimony for application.

Board Engineer Stoner explained the design presented became a major project because of drainage concerns, recharge and water quantity. He explained concerns of direct discharge onto Township property and the need for a drainage easement. Revisions to drainage plans will need to be reviewed and calculations will be required for all discharge leaving the property. Mr. Stoner added a Stormwater Permit may be required to meet criteria.

Mr. Stoner confirmed the delivery truck schedule as testified and explained any soil fill must be recorded and clean. He added any retaining walls over 4 ft high will need engineering certification. Regarding utilities, sewer lateral locations as well as existing and proposed lighting showing night coverage test need to be added to plans. Mr. Stoner noted the plans need to show improvements to the front sidewalk and curbs, side sidewalk to be repaired and existing handicap space and ADA ramp.

Township Planner Kopsco stated per state statutes, modifications to existing parking lots must show ‘Make Ready’ conduits on plans for EV stations. She stated plans show 34 parking spaces with six being added to the proposed concrete pad for compliance. Attorney Thomas stated based on prior testimony and drainage concerns, a variance for six parking spaces will provide flexibility needed to address the drainage and stormwater concerns of Board Engineer.  Ms. Kopsco added a two-year maintenance guarantee per landscaping plan will need to be maintained to preserve the aesthetic of the site. Mr. Stoner noted the southwest corner of property shows overlap into Township right-of way.

Vice Chairman Spoerl opened the Hearing to the Public.

Sally Rinker, Vernon came forward to express concern over increased impervious coverage of property and its potential negative effect of runoff onto brand new Township Pump Track and Walking Trail.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Vice Chairman Spoerl closed the meeting to the Public.

Attorney Thomas summarized application requesting preliminary and final site plan approval for

needed expansion of storage pad for very successful business within the Vernon Town Center. He added the drainage concerns are being addressed with Board Engineer to mitigate concerns of runoff. He stated applicant is requesting a variance for parking spaces to allow flexibility to meet drainage requirements and to prevent runoff onto Township property. Attorney Thomas stated, as condition of an approval, the applicant’s Engineer will work with Board Engineer on alternatives to resolve all concerns to protect and preserve the applicant’s and neighboring properties. Mr. Stoner added the drainage report contains historical data for Sussex County area, not for specific property, and soil log may be needed to show infiltration.

Ms. Cocula recommended the Board Engineer work with applicant to mitigate the drainage concerns and meet requirements.

Attorney Karp listed conditions of Approval as testified:

1)      Drainage Plan subject to Board Engineer approval

2)      Municipal approval for easement discharge

3)      Soil Types Denoted on plans

4)      CAD Files to Township

5)      Container Removed /Relocated behind fence

6)      No barbed wire on fencing

7)      Updated plans

8)      Landscaping Plans per Board Professionals added

9)      Utilities/Sewer laterals marked on plans

10)  Lighting Plan added

11)  Curbs/Sidewalks Improvements on plans

12)  EV Ready Space on plans

13)  Dedication of Overlap Right-of-Way in southeast corner

14)  Parking Variance

Motion: Motion to Approve LU#2-23-2 with variance and conditions as noted was made by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Auberger.


Motion Passed.

Public Participation


Vice Chairman Spoerl opened the Meeting to the Public. Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Vice Chairman Spoerl closed the meeting to the Public.




Ø  March 8, 2023 – Regular Meeting Minutes (Auberger, Tadrick, Spoerl, McPeek, Cocula, Whitaker, Haley, Mitchell, Heftler)

Motion: Motion to Approve Regular Minutes of March 8, 2023, was made by Ms. Cocula and was seconded by Mr. Whitaker.


Motion Passed.

Appendix A – escrows, board fees, bond reductions and escrow closure


   escrows, board fee-s and bond reductions


A.         Board Fees


1.           Board Attorney – Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP

Ø  Land Use Board Business – ($0)

2.      Board Planner – Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates

Ø  Land Use Board Business – Services Through 2/17/23 ($705.00)

3.   Board Engineer – Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates

Ø Land Use Board Business – Services Through 1/11/23 ($135.00)

Ø  Veolia Water NJ – LU# 8-22-8 – Services Through 1/13/23 ($405.00)

Ø  PAL – LU# 9-22-9 – Services Through 1/9/23 ($69.00)


4.      Board Recording Secretary – Irene Mills ($75.00)

Motion: Motion to Approve Payment of Fees was made by Mr. Williams and was seconded by Mr. Auberger. Board Members were all in Favor. Motion Passed.




There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion was made by Mr. Auberger and was seconded by Mr. Williams. All Members were in favor.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:51 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted                        

Irene Mills, Recording Secretary




Vernon Township

21 Church Street
Vernon, NJ 07462

Phone: 973.764.4055 

Township Hours

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Emergencies Dial 9-1-1
Non-Emergencies Dial 973-764-6155


Current Agendas

Township Council

Land Use Board