Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Theobald at 7:00 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 14, 2019 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

Chairman Theobald led the assemblage of the flag.

Roll Call    Also Present
Mayor Harry Shortway NP   Glenn Kienz, Board Attorney
Craig Williams P   Cory Stoner, Board Engineer
Councilmember Auberger P   Kim Decker, Board Secretary
Martin Theobald P    
Richard Spoerl NP    
Willard McPeek P    
Andrea Cocula P    
Michael Whitaker P    
Kristi Raperto P    
Kelly Mitchell (#1 Alt) P    
Joseph Tadrick (#2 Alt) P    
Paul Mele (#3 Alt) NP    
Mark Vizzini (#4 Alt) NP    

Chairman Theobald stated that Mr. Mele and Mayor Shortway informed the board of their absence.

Public Hearings

LU# 6-19-6: Christopher Newsom - Block: 263, Lot: 4 - Major Soil Fill Placement Application

James Zimmerman, Esq, came forward with applicant Chris Newsome and engineer Kenneth Wentink to present testimony and evidence for application. Mr. Zimmerman explained pursuant to new soil fill placement ordinance adopted by the Vernon Township Council, Mr. Newsome had filled site with approximately 5000 cubic yards of soil but was given a stop work order and told to come before the land use board for approval.

Mr. Stoner stated township Ordinance #18-05 had created a section for soil fill placement of which major applications require approval from the land use board due to fact that members are familiar with aspects of major disturbances, grading, drainage and site developments. Mr. Stoner stated he had reviewed the application, performed a site visit and determined application to be complete to move forward.

Mr. Kenneth Wentink, licensed engineer and surveyor, was sworn in and testified that submitted plans included aerial pictures of site prior to soil added and current as built condition. He added sheet 2 & 3 show requirements for soil erosion sediment plan and noted reason for soil is to level the steep slopes on site to build a garage at future date. Mr. Stoner questioned if there will be any more soil needed to future plans which Mr. Wentink did not know yet. Mr. Stoner explained there is conflicting number of yards in application which needs to be specified per the ordinance.

Mr. Chris Newsome, owner of property was sworn in to testify that application is to allow site to be leveled for parking and turn around for trailer and noted more soil may be needed to potential building. Mr. Stoner estimated 5000 cubic yards was approximately 275 truckloads. Mr. Newson explained soil was received by NY Recycling Company and is processed re-grinded aggregate screen filled with no debris or wires. He added that he delivers aggregate in the city and for two years, on his way home, picks up loads of soil from the certified location and can provide tickets for every load.

Mr. Stoner explained that the zoning officer received complaints about loads of soil being dumped causing stop work order and application requirement. He questioned applicant for proof that the materials from ticket records is actually the material on site. Mr. Stoner stated he received via email a report from NY Recycled, 475 Exterior Street, Bronx, NY which illustrates soil testing done at facility. Attorney Kienz questioned if soil bought by applicant is the soil that was tested in the report and also expressed concern report is dated August 2017. Mr. Newsome stated he began the project in 2017 and was told the soil received was clean screen fill and was properly tested.

Ms. Lisa Newsome was sworn in and testified that a representative from NY Recycling, run by the NY Sanitation Department, told her soil is continuously being moved in and out and is tested multiple times daily. She added she has over 200 tickets for soil received and explained to board that she would not be hauling soil on their property if it wasn’t tested.

Attorney Kienz questioned if the operation was going on for 24 months, how will soil previously received marry with the reports or tickets as every day the material mix is different at the recycling site. He added this is the first application heard by the land use board and review of application is important to protect the integrity of the board and township ordinance. Mr. Zimmerman stated the Newsomes have numerous tickets from the truckloads of soil, picked up solely by Mr. Newsome which came from one location in New York delivered to one site.

Mr. Stoner stated there are no major concerns of grading but noted wetland buffer must be properly protected and silt fence must be positioned per requirements of the soil conservation permit.

Mr. Williams questioned if soil fill was placed over existing D-Box of septic system as depicted on page 1 of plan and if soil fill will impact system. Mr. Wentink stated soil fill will not impact septic system. Mr. Williams questioned if silt fence is required on area where soil is stockpiled. Mr. Newsome explained that stockpiles have been there for a long time, are secure and fully grassed over. Mr. Williams questioned how large granularly the soil fill is which Mr. Newsome stated is no larger than 3/8", finer than quarry process. Mr. Stoner added that soil has been spread out level with some pushed up in back of house as a bank to prevent disturbance of wetland areas.

Ms. Mitchell questioned if board can have the soil presently on site sampled. Attorney Kienz states the board can set that requirement but noted every load can be made of a different composition. Mr. Stoner added that testing has been required of others who could not provide reports, load tickets, or had multiple drivers and locations which is not the case here. Mr. Whitaker noted the potential hazard of erosion when top soil layer in added to soil fill due to steep slopes. Mr. Wentink explained site was staked out to mark buffer areas where silt fence was needed and provided additional hay bales to prevent erosion. Mr. Whitaker asked if this soil fill project has any negative impact to any neighbors. Ms. Newsome explained there is one neighbor who owns the three lots surrounding this site and house is set back from roadway.

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one from the public wishing to come forward, Chairman Theobald closed the meeting to the public.

Mr. Stoner stated more information is needed about testing procedures done by NY Recycling and if documentation exists to match reports with load tickets. Attorney Kienz recommended setting a specific number of tests required such as 10%, which would set guidelines for future. He added that Wantage Township requires testing on every load due to previous soil issues. Mr. Tadrick stated that a letter of certification from the soil company should be enough. Mr. McPeek questioned what other materials does NY Recycling distribute. Mr. Newsome stated NY Recycling takes in concrete, then separates out the metal and distributes virgin aggregate and quarry process. Board questioned if New York has different standards of testing than New Jersey which Mr. Stoner was unsure but felt NY would be stricter. Ms. Cocula commented soil fill is a very sensitive issue in Vernon as well as Sussex County and noted the board must be extremely careful in its review.

Attorney Kienz explained applicant needs to provide 10% or 27 testing reports over course of two years which correspond to soil tickets, a soil conservation permit, proof of publication notices, and supporting information or testimony for factors in Ordinance #18-15 §484-10. Chairman Theobald recommended application be carried to September 25, 2019 meeting with no further notice needed and with no work allowed to be done by applicant. He added attorney may prepare a resolution to be ready should all information be submitted.

Motion: A motion was made to table LU # 1-19-1 application to the September 25, 2019 meeting and authorize attorney Kienz to prepare resolution, a motion was made by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Williams.

Motion approved.

Public Participation

Chairman Theobald opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one from the public wishing to come forward, Chairman Theobald closed the meeting to the public.


LU# 1-19-1: Walter Lenartowicz - Block: 143.01, Lot: 14, - Use Variance to Permit Two Separate Residential Homes on a Single Parcel in the R-2 Zone

Motion: A motion was made to approve Resolution for LU # 1-19-1 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. Williams.

Motion passed.


August 14, 2019: Regular Meeting Minutes (Williams, Spoerl, McPeek, Cocula, Raperto, Vizzini, Theobald)

Motion: A motion was made to approve Minutes of August 14, 2019 by Ms. Cocula and seconded by Mr. McPeek.

Motion passed.

Appendix A: Escrows, Board Fees, Bond Reductions and Escrow Closures

  1. Board Fees
    1. Board Attorney: Glenn Kienz, Weiner Law Group LLP
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 7/19/19 ($692.00)
      2. Christopher Newsom: LU# 6-19-6 - Services through 7/8/19 ($45.00)
      3. Six Sigma: LU# 7-19-7 - Services through 7/8/19 ($45.00)
      4. Paul Romano: LU# 6-19-5 - Services through 7/19/19 ($400.00)
      5. Theta 456: LU# 5-13-2 - Services through 7/19/19 ($336.00)
    2. Board Planner: Jessica Caldwell, J. Caldwell & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 8/14/19 ($180.00)
      2. Six Sigma: LU# 7-19-7 - Services through 8/5/19 ($360.00)
    3. Board Engineer: Cory Stoner, Harold E. Pellow & Associates
      1. Land Use Board Business: Services through 7/10/19 ($130.00)
      2. Land Conservancy: LU# 10-18-8 - Services through 7/3/19 ($348.95)
      3. Christopher Newsom: LU# 6-19-6 - Services through 7/11/19 ($494.10)
      4. Waheguru Gas: LU# 7-16-5 - Services through 7/11/19 ($65.00)
    4. Board Recording Secretary: Irene Mills ($75.00)

Motion: A motion was made to approve the board fees by Mr. Auberger and seconded by Mr. Williams. All members voted in favor.
Motion passed.


There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion was made by Mr. Auberger and was seconded by Ms. Cocula. All members were in favor.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
Irene Mills
Recording Secretary