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 13, 2015 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
Dale Disney P
Doreen Edwards P
Alyssa Portaro A
Diane Wexler P

Also Present

Jessi Paladini, Recording Secretary

1. Open Meeting to the Public

Motion to open the meeting to the public was made by Diane Wexler.
Seconded by Dale Disney
All were in favor.

2. Close Meeting to the Public

Seeing no one come forward, Diane Wexler moved to close the meeting to the public.
Doreen Edwards seconded the motion.
All were in favor.

3. Land Use Board Liaison Report

Diane Wexler was not in attendance at recent land use board meetings due to a death in her family, so she asked Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini to give a report. Ms. Paladini reported that the Taco Bell application would be returning the following night to the LUB meeting. She also said the LUB decided to go forward with the approval of the Kadish subdivision application with the non-conforming structures, despite the applicant’s incorrect testimony that at the time he applied for farmland preservation the zone required one acre when according to township zoning ordinances it required three acres. The land use board learned about this inconsistency the day after the applicant had testified before the board. She also said the application for the front yard pool for Joel Schlesinger, for which the environmental commission had no concerns or recommendations, would be forthcoming before the LUB.

4. Applications Under Review

A. Block 103.05 Lot 21, 84 Cedar Tree Drive

The environmental commission had no concerns or recommendations concerning this application.

B. LU4-6-15-5 - MNA Vernon Realty, Taco Bell, Final Site Plan with Variance

The chairwoman asked Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini to discuss this application. Ms. Paladini said the land use board had tried to get the applicant to create a common driveway with the Dunkin’ Donuts to alleviate all the parking problems and the drive-up window problems at Dunkin’ Donuts. The Taco Bell applicant had tried to do that, but there is a driveway and a house in the back owned by Robert Baldwin in-between the two restaurant properties, and Mr. Baldwin would not give permission for an easement for the construction of the common driveway. Mr. Baldwin said he would sell his property and house to Taco Bell, but the Taco Bell applicant was not interested in such a purchase. Therefore, the two restaurants will have separate ingresses and egresses with no common parking lots. The Taco Bell applicant revised plans to slightly move the drive-up window so there would be little or no stacking in the area of the parking lot or out onto Route 94. There was much discussion about a tractor-trailer not being able to get into the property and turn around, and the applicant testified that a small box truck would make deliveries to the Taco Bell. Ms.Paladini also reported that the historic preservation commission requested to photograph the inside and outside of the 1850s Campbell House that sits on the site and also asked for a Phase II archaeological study on the site. The environmental commission had no concerns or recommendations about this application at this time.

5. Old Business


6. New Business

A. Completion of the Forestry Grant

Chairwoman Beverly Budz reported that tree planting from the No Net Loss Grant in the amount of $354,960 from the Department of Forestry will begin around the third week of September. The Department of Public works will plant and maintain the trees from the grant. Chairwoman Budz said she could not send the grant file to the commission members because the file is too large. It is 86 megabytes. She brought a copy of the grant to the meeting and passed it around for the commissioners to review.

Doreen Edwards asked Beverly Budz to notify the commissioners when the trees come in so they could help plant a few of them as a ceremonial event. Beverly Budz agreed to do this. Ms. Budz said any commission member who wants to volunteer to help with the planting could do so. She said the DPW would be planting during the week and not on weekends.

Ms. Budz said the commission was not able to restore the chestnut tree in the township, as had been hoped if the township had purchased Camp Sussex, but they are planting 400 White Atlantic Cedar trees at the Wildlife Refuge.

Doreen Edwards asked who wrote and submitted the grant. Beverly Budz said she did the two forestry grants. Doreen suggested it might be a lot of work for Ms. Budz and perhaps they could get a grant writer to do the work so it is not as much of a burden for her.

B. Water Use and Conservation Management Plan

Beverly Budz discussed this brochure and said it was a very vital thing for commission members to learn about. She will make the brochure available to them.

C. Mosquito Control

Beverly Budz said she would like to discuss this even though it is not on the agenda. She received word late last Friday about mosquito spraying being conducted that very same day. She feels that is not sufficient notification to the commission and to the public and would like to get more information on legally required notification by the Sussex County Mosquito Control. She is concerned about the chemicals being used to spray. Diane Wexler read a list of small animals that could be negatively affected by spraying with Scourge and other chemicals. Ms. Budz said the notification time is insufficient. The commission will investigate what the legal requirements are for notification. Doreen Edwards will research this and report back to the commission at the next meeting. After Doreen Edwards researches and gives a report, Beverly Budz will write a letter to mosquito control, and copy the township mayor, saying the township environmental commission wants more advanced notice of the spraying schedules. Beverly Budz will send a copy of the letter to commission members after it is written for the commissioners to discuss at their next meting. The commission voted for the chairwoman to write the letter.

A motion to write the letter was made by Beverly Budz.
Doreen Edwards seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards, Dale Disney Diane Wexler, and Beverly Budz
Nays: None

7. Approval of Minutes

August 11, 2015 Regular Meeting Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes was made by Beverly Budz.
Doreen Edwards seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Doreen Edwards and Beverly Budz
Nays: None
Abstain: Dale Disney and Diane Wexler

8. Commissioner Comments

Doreen Edwards asked the commissioners to hit “reply to all” when notifying the recording secretary if they will be in attendance at the upcoming meetings so that all know if there will be a quorum. The recording secretary said she has not heard from commissioner Alyssa Portaro regarding meeting attendance. She said members need to respond to her by the Friday preceding every meeting. Doreen Edwards reiterated that commissioners should hit reply to all and not just to the recording secretary. The commissioners agreed to do this.

Doreen Edwards also expressed her regrets to Diane Wexler for the loss of her mother and said she understands Ms. Wexler not being able to attend land use board meetings during that time. Ms. Edwards suggested Ms. Wexler contact the commissioners in the event she is unable to attend and that maybe one of them would be able to attend the meetings to give reports to the environmental commission.

Diane Wexler reported that is starting a campaign about alternative energy and relying less on fossil fuels. She is involved with this organization. There will be a live streaming event about climate change. The organization will sponsor a climate march the week of September 21. Climate Week NYC is holding several events in September. Climate Week NYC brings together influential global figures from the worlds of business, government, and society who are leading the low carbon transition. Diane Wexler said there would also be events in Hamburg and in Teaneck that she plans to attend.

Beverly Budz said she will send the commissioners email about the day the tree planting project will begin so they could participate if they want.

Beverly Budz also said she has not heard from the department of agriculture about the gypsy moth egg count. She will call them again to find out the results in the township. Doreen Edwards asked Ms. Budz to let the Highland Lakes residents who attended the environmental commission meeting know what is going on because they were interested to know what the department of agriculture found out and what the township is doing about the gypsy moth problem for next year. Ms. Budz said she emailed the Highland Lakes residents but has not gotten responses from them.

Recording Secretary Jessi Paladini reported that on October 9, an environmental congress will be held at Raritan Valley Community College. The conference is entitled “Fixing Our Water Woes.” There will be several workshops throughout the day. She said commissioners might be interested in attending the event. Commissioners said they got pamphlets about the event from ANJEC. Several of them said they would attend and suggested they ride together. The commissioners must register to attend before September 23 or there is an additional $15 fee to attend for late registration.


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

The next meeting of the environmental commission is on October 13, 2015.

Transcribed by Jessica Paladini
Recording Secretary
Adopted October 13, 2015