Call Meeting to Order

Dennis Miranda called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Statement of Compliance

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 adequate notice as defined in Section 4D of Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 has been transmitted from the Vernon Municipal Center to the New Jersey Herald on February 5, 2010, and published on February 10, 2010. Notice is posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call

Jessica Beutel A
Dan Boltz P
Michael Furrey P
David Gornstein P
Carol Kadish P
Allison Petryk P
Tim McCurry P
Dennis Miranda, Chair P

Also Present

Jessica Paladini, Recording Secretary
Ariana Miranda, Student Member

Pledge of Allegiance

Open Meeting to the Public

Dennis Miranda opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one come forward, the meeting was closed to the public.

Closed Meeting to the Public


The commission discussed handouts and displays for their table at Earthfest. Dennis Miranda will lead hikes at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. on that day. They will feature the scenic byway slide show on the laptop and give out handouts of the open space plan. The following members will man the table:

10 a.m. to noon—Dan Boltz and Tim McCurry
12 noon to 2 p.m.—David Gornstein, Jessica Beutel, and Allison Petryk
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.—Michael Furrey and Dan Boltz

Western Highlands Scenic Byway

The commission discussed creating a logo for the scenic byway. Some suggestions were to incorporate art pertaining to Wawayanda Mountain, one-room schoolhouse, farmhouses and barns, a longhouse, church steeple, view of the valley from Route 515. Dennis Miranda said Donna Traylor seemed confident she could get the county to support the byway. Dennis will do a handout on the byway, listing the benefits of having the byway. The council is expected to vote on the byway at its next meeting.

National Park Service

Dennis Miranda announced that the National Park Service has issued a cease and desist for giving tours on the Appalachian Trail. Dennis believes the park service sent the notice because the environmental commission complained in writing to Sarah Branson in Harper’s Ferry, Va., about the wholesale destruction of clear-cutting the brush at the trail.

David Gornstein suggested copying Scott Garrett and Robert Menendez on the letter to Branson. All agreed the commission would send the letter to these two legislators.

Master Plan

Dennis Miranda said the Environmental Commission should not be bound by an arbitrary deadline and asked the liaison to the Land Use Board, David Gornstein, to let the Land Use Board know the Environmental Commission wants the deadline for adopting the Master Plan extended in order for Environmental Commission comments and concerns to be documented. Dennis expressed concerns about the recommendations of the professional planner. Michael Furrey moved to tell the Land Use Board the Environmental Commission wants an extension of time before adopting the new Master Plan. Dennis Miranda seconded. All were in favor.


  1. Wander Ecological—Block 42, Lot 3.01; the commission has no concerns.
  2. Careaga Engineering—Block 20.08, Lot 2; carried to next meeting.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

April 5, 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes

Michael Furrey moved to approve; Dennis Miranda seconded.

Roll call vote: Jessica Beutel, yes; Daniel Boltz, yes; Michael Furrey, yes; Carol Kadish, yes; Allison Petryk, yes; Dennis Miranda, yes.

April 5, 2010 Executive Session Minutes

Carol Kadish moved to approve; Allison Petryk seconded.

Roll call vote: Daniel Boltz, yes; Michael Furrey, yes; Carol Kadish, yes; Allison Petryk, yes; Dennis Miranda, yes.

April 14, 2010 Regular Meeting Minutes

Dan Boltz moved to approve; Carol Kadish seconded.

Roll call vote: Daniel Boltz, yes; Carol Kadish, yes; Allison Petryk, yes; Tim McCurry, yes; Dennis Miranda, yes.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

There was no report.


Dennis Miranda said the Open Space Plan was overall well received by the Land Use Board at The Land Conservancy’s presentation to the board on April 14, but he noted that Land Use Board member Andrea Cocula questioned why wetlands should be preserved.

Michael Furrey said he attended the conference of the American Waterworks Association. The DEP Commissioner was there and he seems very concerned about environmental regulations, he said.

Dan Boltz mentioned he recently had a “Green Audit” at his house. He said if homeowners do green audits of their homes and implement the recommendations made, they will be reimbursed for a portion of the work.

Dennis Miranda said he thought with the present state administration, environmental regulations were going to be much more relaxed.

Allison Petryk spoke about the “Sustainable New Jersey” committee and will report back on it at the next meeting. It is an important issue and is part of the Master Plan, she said.

Dennis Miranda said Nathaniel Sajdak is eager to come back to Vernon Township to do a stormwater management plan. The township failed to complete the last one on the Black Creek/Pochuck Creek complex in conjunction with a grant it had received from the DEP, and the DEP rescinded the grant.

Dennis Miranda and Michael Furrey discussed doing a public demonstration of water testing and possibly get the scouts involved with it.

The commission discussed ecotourism and said Vernon Township needs to market its ecotourism. Dennis Miranda said there is a firm by the name of Ecotourism Infrastructure Marketing whose CEO is Nelson Martinez. Dennis suggested developing a working relationship with Mr. Martinez to market the township’s ecotourism. Dan Boltz discussed a television show he saw on PBS about hydraulic fracturing and how the natural gas industries are pushing for it. He said it is very disturbing and detrimental to the environment. “It’s a scary thing, and if they have their way this could be much worse that anything we’ve talked about tonight,” he said. He encouraged everyone to watch the show.

There being no further business, Dan Boltz moved to adjourn the meeting. Carol Kadish seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The commission meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Jessica S. Paladini, Recording Secretary
Minutes approved: May 3, 2010