530 West Hill Road Glen
The 823rd Regular Meeting of the Lebanon Township Planning Board was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman Gary MacQueen. Present were: Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Gerlich, Mr. Piasecki, Mr. Rich, Ms. Bleck, Mr. Weiler, Attorney Gallina and Planner Bolan. Excused: Ms. Schriver and Mr. Weeks.
This meeting was noticed in
the “Annual Meeting Notice Schedule” adopted by this board on January 13, 2009,
mailed to the Hunterdon Review, Hunterdon County Democrat, Express Times,
Courier News, Star Ledger and posted on the bulletin board in the
PRESENTATION OF MINUTES: November 3, 2009 Regular Meeting
Mr. Rich complimented Ms. Glashoff on the minutes. Motion by Mr. Rich and seconded by Mr. Piasecki to approve the minutes as presented. Unanimously approved.
The following ordinances were adopted on November 4, 2009: Minor Site Plan Ordinance, Amend Fee Schedule Ord., Amend Existing Checklist Ordinance and Minor Site Plan Checklist Ordinance.
Notice of this discussion on
the Highland Plan Element was published in the Hunterdon Review on November 18th
& November 25, 2009. A copy of the
Land Breakdown for
Planner Bolan made a presentation to the board and the members of the public who were present on the draft of the Highlands Preservation Area Element for Municipal Master Plans. Planner Bolan noted that in his cover memorandum this is a supplement to our existing Master Plan. It is not replacing the existing Master Plan. Planner Bolan referred to the colored maps during his presentation. Planner Bolan referred to page 1 and the minor change he had to make regarding the 7 acres on Route 31. Page 9 there were two optional provisions and they were deleted because they were not appropriate because, one was related to mix use development projects and center based planning initiatives with the other referring to compact center language. Page 13, in the second paragraph inserted excluding exempt development because the standards don’t apply to exempt development. Page 15, last paragraph refers to having a Cluster Development Ordinance and to incorporate all applicable provisions of the Highlands RMP. On pages 17 & 19 Planner Bolan said he crossed out the 70% impervious coverage because it is too high of a standard for rural community.
The housing plan will be done
in June 2010. The next revisions are on
page 28, the Lake Management Area including the Spruce Run Reservoir. On page 42 is the Circulation Page, we have a
circulation plan which is old and didn’t want to prepare a new one because not
a lot has change in the past 30 years.
There is a list of projects and changes to the transportation
system. Most are implacable and the two
that will be left in are Bicycle Plan and Pedestrian safety enhancement. Planner Bolan felt that the Environmental
Commission might be interested in those two items. Page 46, under item 2, it was all deleted
along with the
At this time, Chairman
MacQueen asked the board for their comments.
Mr. Schmidt said that this is
Mr. Rich said he echo’s a lot of what Mr. Schmidt said and has felt this way for a long time. Mr. Rich said he feels it will be overturned eventually and still has not gotten a clear answer as to whether the Township opens themselves up to lawsuits or not. Mr. Rich went on to say from what he has read, he feels the Township does open themselves up to lawsuits and wishes that the Township Committee members had been here this evening. Other members of the committee should have been here since this is probably the
December 1, 2009
most important decision the
committee will make in many years and they are not here to get any of the
flavor of this meeting. The board needs
to communicate to the Township Committee what the board discussed tonight and
how they feel about it. This is a
tragedy in his opinion. Ms. Bleck said
she is overwhelmed with it and her concern is what Mr. Rich said about lawsuits
and people who are stuck with their land.
But asked what is our recourse and the board was told that the
Mr. Piasecki asked about the lawsuits. What is the basis and what are the chances of its success. The Township has immunity for the decisions it makes and when we are compelled by state legislation to do the things we are doing, there is no liability. Mr. Piasecki stated that not one person has addressed the fact that our legislature has taken upon themselves to preserve one of the most pristine areas in this state for the conservation of resources that it just should go by the wayside. Mr. Schmidt referred to the time when Mr. Gerish came before the Planning Board to do a subdivision. Mr. Gerish was subdividing 100 acres with a cluster subdivision with 12 lots. It was based on the Highlands Act at that time. The 25 and 88 acres hadn’t been established. After the board approved the application, then the 25 and 88 acres were established. The DEP turned down the subdivision. Planner Bolan stated the original act said that DEP would develop standards for septic density and that’s where the 25 and 88 acres came from. Attorney Gallina said that regulations can be amended.
Mr. Gerlich said this legislation isn’t going anywhere and said if we don’t work with them, they will roll us over and what will it cost us in the end. Mr. Gerlich said we are at the point of having to deal with it. We need to make it work for us. Ms. Bleck referred to the time when municipalities made their comments and suggestions whether they were good or bad and wanted to know if there was any compromise and any benefit from all the comments. Planner Bolan said there where some compromises some places. Referring to the preservation area, the Highlands Council has tried to do what they can with the preservation area. Planner Bolan stated that for conforming municipalities to have local control on things like exemptions so people would not have to go to DEP to get an exemption. If you don’t conform you will not have that opportunity.
Being no further comments
from the board, Chairman MacQueen opened the meeting to the public for any
comments on the board’s discussion. The
following people made statements and comments:
Hank Klumpp of Cokesbury Califon Road.
Mr. Klumpp owns property in
Ed Gagne a resident and land
December 1, 2009
David Tullo a resident and
land owner on
At the conclusion of the public comments and the board’s lengthy discussion, motion by Mr. Rich and seconded by Mr. Schmidt to recommend to the Township Committee that they vote not to submit a petition for Plan Conformance to the Highlands Council for lands in the Township lying in the Preservation Area.
ROLL CALL Yes: Mr. Schmidt Ms. Bleck No: Mr. Gerlich Absent: Mr. Weeks
Mr. Rich Mr. Weiler Mr. Piasecki Ms. Schriver
Ms. Glashoff will prepare a Memo to the Township Committee for their meeting on December 2, 2009
FYI: Copy of Email regarding “
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
a. Set Reorganization Meeting Date: January 12th or January 19th 2010 7:00 p.m.
The board agreed to have their Reorganization meeting on January 12, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
b. The following board terms expire on December 31, 2009: Class I – Mayor, Class II – Art Gerlich (1
year terms) Class IV- 4 Year Terms - Gary MacQueen, Rick Weiler, Chris Piasecki & Darryl Schmidt
Everyone present whose terms are up said they would like to be considered for reappointment. Ms. Glashoff will send a memo to the Township Committee for their next meeting on December 16th.
c. Alternative Energy Ordinance – Planner Bolan
Planner Bolan stated the two definitions that are in the proposed ordinance are from the new state act SB#1303. Planner Bolan said he used the definition from that act and said using it won’t do us any harm. This act deals with if it is not permitted. It gives a definition to the Zoning Board for applications of what is an Inherently Beneficial Use. When you need a use variance before the Zoning Board there are two prongs to it. The first is the special reasons which are considered the positive criteria and second is the negative criteria which are substantial detriments to the public good, substantial impairment to the zone plan and zoning ordinance. If you are an inherently beneficial use you do not have to prove before the zoning board the special reasons, you are deemed satisfied. They would then go to the negative criteria for the review of the application. Mr. Rich asked about Section II of the proposed ordinance. Planner Bolan said that we are adding a Subsection D to Section 400-10 under Accessory Uses and Structures.
Planner Bolan went over the draft of the proposed ordinance with the board. Solar Energy facilities will be permitted on the roof of buildings and ground mounted solar energy facilities shall comply with the setbacks for the principal structure. Outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall have a minimum lot size of 7.5 acres, minimum height of the chimney shall be 12’ from ground level with a maximum height being 2’ higher than the peak of any residence. Period of operation shall be October 1st to April 30th. Only seasoned wood may be utilized and stoves shall be located a minimum of 200’ from any property line. Windmills will have a minimum of 25 acres. The maximum height shall be 120’ and the minimum setback from any property line shall be 200% of the windmill’s height and will not be permitted in the front yard. Mr. Rich had many suggestions to add to the Windmill portion of the ordinance which he shared with the board and Planner Bolan. Planner Bolan added several of the suggestions to the ordinance.
The board discussed the proposed ordinance at length. In conclusion, Planner Bolan will make the revisions and have it ready to be on the agenda for January 12, 2010.
d. Inherently Beneficial Uses/Renewable Energy Sources (Court Ruling & SB #1303)
This was discussed under c “Alternative Energy Ordinance”. Planner Bolan did note that SB1303 is now law and in the Municipal Land Use Book.
December 1, 2009
PRESENTATION OF BILLS & REPORT:
a. NJPO – Membership Dues 2010 $ 140.00 – PB share of bill
b. John Gallina, Esq. $ 455.00
c. Michael Bolan, PP $1,055.20
d. Bayer/Risse Engrs. $ 119.50
Ms. Glashoff informed the board since this is the last meeting for the year; she had a few more vouchers to add to the bill list. One bill from Attorney Gallina $770.00 and several from Planner Bolan for $700.20, totaling $1,470.20, with a grand total of $3,239.90. Motion by Mr. Gerlich and seconded by Mr. Rich to approve the bills as amended. Unanimously approved.
CORRESPONDENCE: NJPO Newsletter – November 2009
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
John Locker from Route 513
had a couple of questions regarding the discussion on Inherently Beneficial
Uses. David Tullo had a question
regarding the Wood Burning Furnaces and David Shope thanked the board in
reference to the
Being no further business to come before the board, nor comments from the public, motion by Ms. Bleck and seconded by Mr. Rich to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m. Unanimously approved.
CHAIRMAN GARY MACQUEEN
GAIL W. GLASHOFF, PLANNING BOARD CLERK