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 P
Cathy McCartney (arrived at 7:35 p.m.) P
Alyssa Portaro P
Diane Wexler P

Also Present

Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary

Open Meeting to Public

Chairwoman Beverly Budz opened the meeting to the public.

Close Meeting to Public

Seeing no one come forward, Chairwoman Beverly Budz closed the meeting to the public. Cathy McCartney seconded the motion.

Land Use Board Liaison Report

Land Use Board Liaison Diane Wexler said she had no report because there had been no LUB applications and meetings were canceled.

Applications under Review

  1. The commission discussed an application by a homeowner at 104 Poplar Lane seeking a determination from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for a freshwater wetlands boundary and delineation. The commission had no concerns.
  2. The commission had no comments about a treatment plant at the Hidden Valley.
  3. The commission discussed an application by Sprint and its request for a determination regarding certain exemptions at a tract at 1768-1776 Route 565 but did not have sufficient documentation to discuss any concerns or recommendations.
  4. The commission reviewed the maps presented by the CVS Pharmacy for a new 13,288 square foot store on Route 94 and Main Street in the town center. After brief review the commissioners said in the absence of the town engineer’s or planner’s reports on the project, they had no comments. The commission directed the secretary to contact the land use office and request planners’ and engineers’ reports with the applications in the future.

Old Business

1. Camp Sussex

Chairwoman Beverly Budz said the township council had voted affirmatively to seek a declaratory judgment from the Superior Court regarding the legality and validity of the petition submitted by members of the Vernon Taxpayers Association opposing the purchase of the camp. The court hearing is scheduled for September 26. Chairwoman Budz and commission member Doreen Edwards will attend the hearing in Superior Court in Morristown.

2. Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

The commission agreed to again forward the resolution banning fracking and heavy industry within the township to the governing body and asked the secretary to do so when Chairwoman Budz directs her to.

3. Three-Minute Idle Law

Chairwoman Beverly Budz will send the resolution to the township clerk, along with a cover letter and the recommended signage. The Three-Minute Idle Law is already a state law, but the resolution is aimed at creating greater awareness of it within the community, particularly in large parking lots and areas where there are many standing vehicles.

New Business

Mountain Creek Hotel and Indoor Water Park

The commission discussed the proposed indoor water park by Mountain Creek and agreed to invite the applicant, Andrew Mulvihill, to a commission meeting to answer the commissioners’ questions about the project. The secretary will contact Mr. Mulvihill and invite him to a meeting.

Commissioners’ Comments

Commissioners briefly discussed the proposed 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, and said pending further review they will schedule it on the agenda for a possible vote.

The commission also briefly discussed a pending resolution sponsored by the Sierra Club opposing a pipeline for possible support by the Vernon Township Environmental Commission. They will discuss it at the next meeting.

Commissioner Beverly Budz said there has been a 94% decline in the Monarch butterfly population and believes it is due to the herbicide “Roundup.”

Approval of Minutes

August 12, 2014 Regular Meeting Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes was made by Diane Wexler and seconded by Cathy McCartney.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards, Cathy McCartney, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None

Motion to Adjourn

Diane Wexler moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:44 p.m. Doreen Edwards seconded the motion. All were in favor.

The next meeting of the environmental commission will be on October 14, 2014.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted October 14, 2014