Call Meeting to Order

Vice Chairman Michael Furrey called the meeting to order at 7:10 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 January 11, 2011, and published on January 14, 2011. Notice is posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Roll Call

Michael Cheski P
Michael Furrey P
David Gornstein P
Allison Petryk P
Dennis Miranda A
Ariana Miranda A

Also Present

Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary

Pledge of Allegiance

Michael Furrey led the assemblage in the pledge of allegiance.

Mr. Furrey proposed the Environmental Commission (EC) meet once per month since the Land Conservancy contract was turned down by the Township Council, thereby limiting the Open Space agenda. All members agreed to meet the first Monday of the month and continue to have the time available for a second meeting, when necessary. Mr. Furrey commented that if the goals were more defined, there might be a chance for an Open Space agenda in the future. EC members agreed that they would like to see the Open Space agenda return and suggestions were made for the EC to meet with the council to request signing the contract with the Land Conservancy be reconsidered. Mr. Gornstein commented that the council should have notified EC that the Open Space contract was going to be voted on so that the EC would have had the ability to offer their input. Ms. Petryk suggested educating the public on Open Space before the election, so as to define the overall goals.

Source Water Plan

Mr. Furrey advised that Jay sent a new draft including EC comments. Jay will cover all United Water Systems next. Mr. Furrey will distribute the new draft to Mr. Gornstein so he can forward it to the Land Use Board (LUB). April was discussed for a presentation by Jay to the LUB. Mr. Furrey also reported that the discharge to groundwater permit was disappointing because it did not adequately protect our water supply.


Ms. Petryk reported that she provided a list of questions to Pat Seger in regard to Earthfest, since the meetings are now being held during the day. Mr. Furrey spoke to Pat Seger about advertising water testing, whereby visitors can bring their own water samples to be tested at Earthfest. Mr. Gornstein suggested providing a list of vendors to the people who bring water samples for testing. Ms. Petryk suggested that everything to do with water should be in same section at Earthfest. Ms. Petryk reported that she is still trying to set up a hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Sustainable NJ

EC members planned to request time at the council meeting on March 28th for a presentation regarding Sustainable NJ.

Open Meeting to the Public

Closed Meeting to the Public

Seeing no one present from the public, the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Applications for Review

Application No. LU2-11-3
Applicant: Mountain Gate, LLC

EC members discussed the application for the Vernon Family Recreation Facility which would include paint ball, trails and two small solar farms. The EC expressed concerns that the property is in an environmentally sensitive area that borders the watershed. Concerns were also noted because the property is wooded and would require clearing trees, in addition to having steep slopes. It was also noted that the property is in a preservation area and the applicant would need to seek a Highlands permit approval. Mr. Gornstein will forward the engineering and planner’s report for this application to EC members.

Application No. LU2-11-2
Applicants: James and Wendy Robinson

This application seeks a bulk variance for an addition to a single family dwelling in Barry Lakes. The EC discussed concerns regarding the proposed addition’s distance to the lake being noncompliant. The EC also noted that the proposed addition is in a Highlands preservation area.

Application No. LU2-11-1

This application seeks a lot line adjustment for a garage. The EC noted no obvious environmental issues; however Mr. Gornstein advised that the planner had questions as to the owner’s use for the garage. At this point, the EC had no further comment on the application until the LUB finds out what the use of the structure will be.

Approval of Minutes

Allison Petryk made a motion to approve regular meeting minutes from 2-7-11. David Gornstein seconded the motion.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Michael Cheski, Michael Furrey, David Gornstein, Allison Petryk
Nays: None

Liaison Report

No report


Mr. Gornstein asked if anyone spoke to Dennis regarding the byway. Mr. Furrey stated that he spoke to Dennis Miranda two weeks ago when Dennis stated that he would complete the rest of the Scenic Byway application on his own. EC members will try to get in touch with Dennis regarding updates on the Scenic Byway project.

Recruitment of new EC members was discussed.

Mike Furrey suggested each commission member bring concems or issues to be put on the agenda.

Mike Cheski discussed problems with people not picking up after their dogs at Maple Grange Park. Mike Furrey suggested drafting a letter to the Sussex County Board of Health addressing the issue. It was questioned if there is a current ordinance prohibiting this. Mr. Furrey requested that Mr. Cheski look into possible solutions and report back at the next meeting.

Allison Petryk made a motion to adjourn. David Gornstein seconded the motion, with all members in favor. There being no further business, the commission adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Aida Cahill, Recording Secretary
Minutes approved: April 4, 2011