Reorganization Meeting

Meeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 7:40 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

The following statement of compliance was read by Craig Williams.

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been communicated from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald and published on January 20, 2006. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to Flag

Roll Call

The roll call of members was called and Dennis Downey, Michael Furrey, David Gornstein (arrived 7:52 p.m.), Brenda Susman and Craig Williams answered the call.

Reorganization Tasks

Meeting Schedule

Brenda Susman made a motion to approve the meeting schedule for the year 2007 to remain the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and the site inspections to be on the second Saturday of each month; Michael Furrey seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Official Newspaper

Brenda Susman made a motion to approve the New Jersey Herald as the EC’s official newspaper; Dennis Downey seconded the motion. All present were in favor.

Open Meeting to the Public

Town council member Austin Carew asked the EC about the status of the shade tree ordinance and he advised that Valerie Seufert would be willing to testify before the town council about her experience with a similar ordinance in Ocean City, Maryland. Craig Williams advised that the EC will be making revisions to the proposed ordinance prior to submission to the town council.

Mr. Carew asked if the EC would be interested in appointing two alternate members and/or a high school student to the EC. The EC agreed they would be interested.

Member Statements

Michael Furrey

Stated that he is interested in assisting with the Black Creek Project. He would like to serve as a liaison between the EC and the Black Creek Project. He anticipates the project moving forward in the spring.

Brenda Susman

Announced that she is the new member of the Sussex County Shade Tree Commission. She would like to serve as the liaison between the EC and Sussex County Shade Tree Commission. She would like the EC to continue their work on the tree ordinance.

Dennis Downey

Stated that he is interested in creating a tracking system for the applications under review in order to improve the EC’s efficiency.

David Gornstein

Stated that he is interested in coordinating the application review process with the planning board. He would like the EC to be updated on the completeness reports in an attempt to avoid a duplication of effort. He would also like to create more public awareness and involvement.

Craig Williams

Stated that he would like the EC to create of a mission statement and prepare the NRI to be placed on the web. He would also like to make comment to the Highlands Preservation Commission regarding protection of the Black Creek Aquifer.

2007 Budget

The EC discussed creating an itemized budget for 2007 and the possible sources of funding.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Dennis Downey made a motion to approve the December 12, 2006 minutes; David Gornstein seconded the motion.

Planning Board Liaison Report

David Gornstein reported the Woodmont Homes application was denied by the planning board on a completeness basis. The stop-work order remains in effect.

David Gornstein further reported the Highland Lakes Real Estate application received preliminary approval.

Applications Under Review

PB #11-06-15: Top of Vernon Corp.—Preliminary Major Subdivision

The EC previously reviewed the application at the November 14, 2006 meeting. The EC agreed the application appears to be sensitive to environmental concerns.

PB #1-07-1: Mountain Creek—General Redevelopment Plan

The EC reviewed the application which does not include property known as the South Mountain or property known as the Top of the Mountain. The application indicates that it will encroach on the wetlands buffer, however, proposes to submit other land as compensation.

The EC agreed on the following comments:

  1. Request the existing hydrangea bushes are relocated or saved.
  2. Request pervious pavement.
  3. Request a filtering berm to act as a buffer to the Black Creek.

New Business

Watershed Embassador

Brenda Susman reported that a new Watershed Embassador has been appointed and she will be attending the next EC meeting.

Gypsy Moth Egg Mass Survey

Brenda Susman reported she is attempting to find out from Don Teolis if the survey took place and if so, she will request a copy of the report.

Canoe Launch Sites

Brenda Susman advised that Pat Segar would like a list of canoe launch sites for an Earthfest brochure.

Old Business

Tree Ordinance

Craig Williams set a target date of February 27, 2007 to complete drafting the shade tree ordinance.

Draft Resolution re: Environs

The EC agreed to review the Town Center application prior to finalizing the environs document.


There being no further items of business for the regular meeting, a motion was made by David Gornstein to adjourn the meeting; Michael Furrey seconded the motion. The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Environmental Commission was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.