Chairperson Beverly Budz called the meeting to order at 7 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 3, 2014 by delivering to the press such notice and posting same at the municipal building and filed with the office of the Township Clerk.

Salute to the Flag

Roll Call

Beverly Budz P
Doreen Edwards A
Cathy McCartney P
Alyssa Portaro A
Diane Wexler P

Also Present

Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary

Open Meeting to Public

Diane Wexler moved to open the meeting to the public.
Cathy McCartney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was opened to the public.

Close Meeting to Public

Seeing no one come forward, Diane Wexler moved to close the meeting to the public.
Cathy McCartney seconded the motion.
All were in favor.
The meeting was closed to the public.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Land use board liaison Diane Wexler reported that there had been no meetings because there were no applications. She said on August 13 the land use board would review a minor application for waiver from setback requirements for front steps on a single-family home.

Applications under Review

  1. The owner of a single-family home on Elm Tree Drive in Barry Lakes is seeking a variance for front yard setback after already constructing new front stairs on his property. The new steps violate zoning laws. The commission stated no concerns about the application.
  2. The owner of a single-family home in Sun Valley is requesting permission to create a new lot line for a slightly undersized lot. The commission had no concerns about the application.

Old Business

1. Camp Sussex

Chairwoman Beverly Budz said negotiations were still under way and there was no news. She reported that a petition had been handed in prohibiting the purchase of Camp Sussex but was not sure what would happen with the negotiations and the petition. The council must adopt the petition at its next meeting, or the question will go on the ballot in the November election. The commission also discussed former commissioner Michael Cheski’s involvement in circulating and certifying a petition opposing the purchase of Camp Sussex when he, as a sworn environmental commission member, was in favor of the purchase when the commissioners were polled on April 8, 2014 when he was on the commission. Cheski resigned due to his inability to attend meetings because he now had a full-time job. While a commissioner, he supported the purchase of Camp Sussex but soon after resigning from the commission he circulated a petition opposing the purchase of Camp Sussex and he notarized the petition as the circulator. The commission questioned his oath to the position and the integrity and ethics of Cheski’s contradictory actions.

2. Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

The township council has not yet considered the resolution.

3. Three-Minute Idle Law

Chairwoman Beverly Budz reported the commission is ready to forward to resolution to the governing body again. The Three-Minute Idle Law is already a state law. The commission would like to bring greater awareness to the community on the limitation of idling for no more than three minutes.

New Business

1. Black Bear Statue

Chairwoman Beverly Budz said the unveiling of the black bear statue went very well, and there were many people in attendance. The statue was a gift from the B.E.A.R. group and was created by artist Gary Adamkovich.

2. Mountain Creek Hotel and Indoor Water Park

The commission members discussed their concerns about the indoor water park proposed by Mountain Creek. Developer Andrew Mulvihill and resort director Bill Benneyan did a presentation of the proposed project. It will consist of an indoor water park in a new hotel built on Route 94. All patrons of the water park will have to be overnight guests at the hotel. The water park will not be open to the general public if they do not stay overnight. The commission directed the secretary to create a list of the environmental commission’s concerns about the project and forward those concerns to the developers for responses.

The concerns are as follows:

  1. Will the project result in increased traffic or busing?
  2. Will there be the release of vapors from the indoor water park?
  3. How many rooms will there be in the hotel associated with the project?
  4. How much water will be needed? Will the water be recycled? If so, what volume of water will be recycled before it is discharged and resupplied?
  5. What is the breakdown of chemicals that will be used? Is there an MSDS for the project?
  6. Is there or will there be an environmental impact statement?
  7. Where will the chemicals used be stored?
  8. Where would the water for the project come from?
  9. How will this project impact neighboring wells?

Commissioner Diane Wexler moved to accept the questions and forward them to the developer, pending the approval of the mayor and council.
Beverly Budz seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Cathy McCartney, Diane Wexler, Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Commissioners’ Comments

Cathy McCartney asked whether the environmental commission could adopt a resolution to support Bear Smart legislation S687, which requires all people living in areas of high bear populations to acquire bear resistant garbage cans and dumpsters for the protection of wildlife and residents.

Chairwoman Budz said she did not know if the environmental commission could sponsor or support the legislation because some members of the commission are members of B.E.A.R. She said the resolution needs more review.

Cathy McCartney also discussed a pending resolution sponsored by the Sierra Club opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline and asked if the environmental commission could consider supporting it. The commissioners agreed they would need further review of the resolution. The resolution was tabled to the next meeting.

Commissioner Beverly Budz stated she has not seen any Monarch butterflies this year and questioned if the aerial spraying of pesticides could be affecting the butterfly population.

Approval of Minutes

June 10, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes was made by Beverly Budz.
Seconded by Diane Wexler

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Cathy McCartney, Diane Wexler, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Motion to Adjourn

Diane Wexler moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Cathy McCartney seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The next meeting of the environmental commission will be on September 9, 2014.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted upon revision on January 13, 2015