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MAHWAH HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
September 12, 2002 MINUTES

The meeting was called to order at 7:43 p.m.

SUNSHINE STATEMENT: The secretary read the Sunshine Statement.

ROLL CALL
PRESENT ABSENT
Marthajean Drago Chair Mark Nichols
John Bristow, Historian Kenneth Cerullo(excused)
Barbara Shanley Paul Gioni, Alternate I (excused)
Gus Vasiliadis (late)
Thomas Thornton
Carol Greene (late)
Colleen Kennedy

*Salute to the Flag:

*PUBLIC SESSION:
Mrs. Drago reported that the presentation by the Masonicus Chapel representative will be postponed due to a death in the family. Mrs. Drago also reported that due to number of presentations tonight she would give her Chair’s report after the applications. It was also decided that the approved of the minutes would be moved after the applications.

NEW BUSINESS
Firehouse Company #1, Miller Road: The secretary introduced the architect for Firehouse Company #1, Mr. Martin Santini, President of Ecoplan Architects, Designers, and Planners. Mr. Santini presented several displays for the proposed addition to the firehouse along with the building materials that Ecoplan is proposing to use to keep the historical characteristics of the stone building. Mr. Santini reviewed the floor plans, which will include a new bay for a large piece of equipment that cannot presently be housed in the firehouse. The top of the building is the first floor, which will house offices, training rooms, and barrier lavatories, which are needed. The addition is approximately 5,000 square feet of new space. The addition will also add an elevator which the building needs to comply with barrier codes, the addition and improvements will bring the building up to Boca and Barrier Free codes. The exterior of the building is made up of indigenous stone to the area and almost impossible to match. Mr. Santini is suggested using cultured stone that is an artificial stone that would blend in with the indigenous stone and at the same time make it functional. The tower that is proposed will also be used for training purposes (ladder training). Mr. Santini also suggested using a synthetic rubberized slate that would also blend with the existing slate and would prove to be cost effective. The building will have a brick base and hardy plank paneling on the second level. Where ever possible Ecoplan will reuse any indigenous stone. By using these artificial building materials Ecoplan is able to keep the historic flavor of the building and still be able to keep within budget. Mr. Santini then asked if the Commission members had any questions.

Mrs. Greene asked, on a scale of one to ten, what is the quality of the artificial building material being proposed. Mr. Santini replied that the material is a ten.

Mr. Vasiliadis asked how long has the artificial building material been in use and what would be the cost if real stone and slate were to be used. Mr. Santini replied that the proposed material has been used in residential buildings for over ten years and that the cost would double if authentic stone and slate were used, besides to find the indigenous stone would be almost impossible. Mr. Santini reported that another alternative would be to remove the existing slate, sell it and replace it with Grand Manor shingle; however, Mr. Santini does not know if the existing slate would withstand removal and reuse.

Mrs. Drago questioned the use of so many materials. Mrs. Drago asked what materials would be facing Franklin Turnpike. Mr. Santini replied, the cultured stone, brick base and cementious plank (which is made of cement) or stucco and copper flashing. The tower will be made of brick and cementious plank. Mrs. Drago questioned the use of stucco. Mr. Santini replied that he is suggesting cementious plank and that only the top of the tower will be seen from Franklin Turnpike.

Mrs. Greene asked if Ecoplan is expanding the building to its maximum use. Mr. Santini replied yes, this addition will bring the building to a state of the art use.

Mr. Bristow asked about the parking issue and the proximity of the new addition to the existing museum. Business Administrator, Brian Campion replied that the Township is looking into a new site plan for parking from Miller Road to King Street for the firehouse, the police station, and the museum.

Mr. Bristow asked how close the proposed addition would be to the Mahwah Museum. Mr. Santini replied 15 feet west of the present wall.

Mrs. Greene asked when this project is to begin. Mr. Santini replied that they are looking to go out to bid in January or February and start the project in early spring and would probably take four months.
Mrs. Drago asked Mr. Santini if he was looking for the Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC) approval for design or construction. Mr. Santini replied that they are looking for both; they are into construction documents right now.

Mrs. Drago made a motion to approve the design and construction of the addition as presented to them by Ecoplan for Firehouse Company #1 and Mrs. Shanley seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 7 yes 0 no.

Mrs. Drago yes Mrs. Shanley yes Mrs. Greene yes Mr. Thornton yes
Mr. Bristow yes Ms. Kennedy yes Mr. Vasiliadis yes.

STREET NAME: None at this time

DEMOLITION APPLICATIONS:
*122 Fardale Avenue, Estate of Edythe Van Voorhis (Bartholf House)
Mrs. Drago recognized Mr. David Becker, Esq., from Jeffer Hopkinson and Nobel representing the applicant, Mr. John Kish. Mr. Becker reported that Mr. Fisk is presenting the contracting purchaser of this property. The contractor is proposing a three lot sub division of this property and during the contract phase it came to their attention that the existing structure needs to be removed. It has now in fact become a condition of the closing and as a process of that they are asking for a demolition permit for the building. Mr. Becker reported that the site is not listed on the Master Plan. Mr. Becker then presented a letter from the Estate of Edythe Van Voorhis and the Executrix for the Estate, Margaret Tuohy stating that they have no objections to the demolition. Mr. Becker then introduced Mr. John Kish. Mrs. Drago pointed out that the property is on the Master Plan and on the Bergen County Historic Site Plan. Mr. Kish reported that he had met with Mrs. Drago and Mr. Vasiliadis at the property. Mr. Kish reported that the house in today’s standards is functionally obsolete. It has no garages, small kitchen, one bathroom, no closet space, and no insulation. It is non-confirming to today’s fire and safety codes. Mrs. Drago interjected that historical homes usually don’t conform. The egress is limited, the stairs are very close, and structurally it is unsound and unsafe. The foundation is failing, the walls are leaning, lolly columns and beams of house are made out of tree branches. It was added onto over the years. The front yard set back is also non conforming (17 feet set back as opposed to current 40 feet set back). Historically the additions that were done to the house were inconsistent; there is not a consistent character. The outer buildings, however, are. There is a piggery, barn with an office, smokehouse, well house and stone wall entrance.

Mrs. Drago reported that Mr. Derbyshire was disappointed the house was coming down. Mrs. Drago explained to him that the only thing that the Historic Preservation Commission can do is give a recommendation to the Construction Code Official, then it is the decision of the Construction Code Official. Mrs. Drago reported that she had met with Mr. Kish and reported that she has seen other historic homes that are in worse condition and it’s a shame to lose this vernacular farm house of Mahwah’s agricultural past that we keep on loosing. It may not be a grand farm house, but it does have historic value, which would appeal to a buyer looking for an historic home. Mr. Becker reported that if it wasn’t for all the wetlands rendering much of the property useless, they might have been able to keep the house. Out of ten acres, they are only able to sub-divide three lots. Mr. Becker was surprised at Mr. Derbyshire’s comments.

Mrs. Greene reported that being a long time friend of the family she knows the house extremely well. Mrs. Greene expressed that the little ancillary buildings on the property are extremely rare and worth saving. Mr. Kish reported that he is planning to keep the ancillary buildings and possibly the stone wall entrance (if the Zoning Board of Adjustments permits). Mrs. Drago also mentioned the bank barn foundation and that the stone maybe reused. Mr. Kish reported that the foundation is ruined and not salvageable. The well could possibly be moved. Mr. Vasiliadis reported that the well is in good shape and could be moved. Mr. Kish reported that he would need to structurally examine the well. The lots would be broken down to over an acre each with the balance as unusable wet lands. The homes would be 80 feet off the road.

Mrs. Greene asked the size of the proposed homes. Mrs. Kish reported between 3600 and 4000 square feet. Mrs. Greene agreed that the house is structurally dysfunctional but asked if the house could be documented.

Mr. Vasiliadis asked if the design of the proposed houses could keep with the style of the existing homes and asked if the new homes could more of a farm house style than a palatial style home.

Mr. Thornton asked when demolition is to take place. Mr. Kish replied within three months. Mr. Thornton asked that the MHPC be notified before the demolition is done.

Mr. Vasiliadis requested that the MHPC be given a chance to document the house and save some of the hand hewn beams and wide planking to be used in the museum.

Mrs. Shanley asked if the house could be moved. Mr. Kish replied no.

The contractor committed to saving the outer building structures, and will try to save the stove wall, but it may be a site plan issue.

Mrs. Drago asked if the contractor would be willing to pay for historical architect drawings up to $1500.00. The contractor agreed up to $1500.00 and noted that it had to be done within 30 days of agreement with a reasonable time extension.

The MHPC agreed to the demolition of the main structure with the agreement that the outer buildings would be maintained: The piggery, barn, smokehouse, well house and stone wall at the entrance (with approval of the Zoning Board of Adjustment). Mrs. Drago reported that the Commission will recommend to the Planning Board that any and all relief available to preserve this structure or any of these structures be granted to the contract purchaser/developer.

Mr. Thornton made a motion to approval the demolition of the main structure at 122 Fardale Avenue known as the Edythe Van Voorhis, (Bartholf House) with the recommendation of keeping and maintaining the following outer structures: The piggery, barn, smokehouse, well house and stone wall at the entrance with the approval of the Planning Board and if possible the bank barn foundation and the MHPC will recommend that any and all relief available to preserve these structures or any of these structures be granted to the contact purchaser/developer. Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 7 yes and 0 no:
Mr. Thornton yes Mrs. Shanley yes Ms. Kennedy yes Mr. Bristow yes
Mrs. Greene yes Mrs. Drago yes Mrs. Vasiliadis yes

APPLICATIONS:
Barbara Wehran, Docket #444 Minor Sub-division was asked by the applicant that the application to tabled to the October 10, 2002 for additional information.

Mr. Bristow made a motion to table Docket #444 Minor Sub-Division and Ms. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 6 yes 1 recuse and 0 no.

Mr. Bristow yes Ms. Kennedy yes Mrs. Drago yes Mrs. Greene recuse
Mr. Thornton yes Mrs. Shanley yes Mr. Vasiliadis yes

*Vista Bahn Estates, Docket 440, Block 23, Lot 53055, Winters House. Mr. Thornton made a motion to table this application until the October 10, 2002 meeting and Mr. Vasiliadis seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 6 yes 1 recuse 0 no.

Mr. Thornton yes Mr. Vasiliadis yes Mrs. Shanley yes Mr. Bristow yes
Ms. Kennedy yes Mr. Drago yes Mrs. Greene reused

*Coach USA, Docket #446, Block 26, Lot 3: Let the minutes reflect that after a thorough discussion Mr. Thornton made a motion to approval Docket #446 with the recommendation that since this area was a major roadway in the 1700’s area known as the Clove, which was a walking path during the American Revolution”,
that an Initial Architectural Survey (IA) report be done and if an IA proves there is an architectural significance a further architectural evaluation is done by an architectural firm (Hunter Research) and Ms. Kennedy seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 6 yes and 1 absent 0 no.

Mr. Thornton yes Ms. Kennedy yes Mrs. Shanley yes Mr. Bristow yes
Mrs. Drago yes Mr. Vasiliadis yes Mrs. Greene absent


MINUTES:
Mr. Bristow made a motion to approve the June 13, 2002 minutes as read and Mr. Vasiliadis seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 6 yes 1 absent 0 no.

Mr. Bristow yes Mr. Vasiliadis yes Mr. Drago yes Mr. Thornton yes
Mrs. Shanley yes Mrs. Kennedy yes

Present members of the Commission were not all present at the July 11, 2002 meeting, therefore, the July 11, 2002 minutes were carried until the October 10, 2002 meeting.

Chair Report:
Mrs. Drago congratulated Mrs. Greene who has been elected President of the NJ Historic Trust.

Mrs. Drago reported that any member who did not receive their Sites survey needs to sign them out tonight. The survey’s are to be returned when members leave the Commission.

Mrs. Drago is continuing her correspondence regarding the Certified Local Government grant (CLG). She also met with Mr. Paton to review Ordinance and explain CLG program.

Mrs. Drago received photo from Mrs. Greene and permission from authors to include time-line in the history sites book.

Mrs. Drago is contacting architectural historians to do additional research on homes on the Ordinance. Mrs. Drago also met with Hunter Research regarding IA report about Continental park.

Mrs. Drago followed up on Temple correspondence that they would follow resolution, but were not prepared to do anything yet due to financial constraints. The resolution prepared by the planning board did not address the concerns put forth by the Commission. Mrs. Drago also discussed the possibility of having Eagle Scouts to construct seating area for Temple. The request would need to come from the Temple. Mrs. Drago asked the Township Attorney to research.

Mrs. Drago met with Mr. Montroy to inspect Darlington School House and barn and discussed concerns regarding parking in front of building.

Mrs. Drago spoke with Township Attorney regarding amending Ordinance to allow Chairman to sign off on applications that are forwarded, but do not involve histories sites, or these sights can be added to agenda as applications which will be voted upon without discussion.

Mrs. Drago spoke with DPW about installing plaque.

Mrs. Drago learned by accident that Masonicus Church as planning to put artificial siding on building. She spoke with and met with new pastor at site and discussed church’s status.

Mrs. Drago spoke to the Suburban News reported about upcoming publication and made arrangements regarding presentation of Resolution to Ms. Weinburg at Township dedication and type set program for ceremony. Mrs. Drago attended September 11 ceremony and presented plaque on behalf of the resident of Mahwah. Mrs. Drago also submitted an article for Township newsletter regarding HPC receiving grant.

Mrs. Drago wrote a letter to Mrs. Pope regarding drawing the 2002 Memories of Mahwah Holiday Ornament.



OLD BUSINESS: Mr. Thornton made a motion to table Old Business until the October 10, 2002 meeting and Mrs. Shanley seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

BILLS: None at this time.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Mr. Bristow reported that the Mahwah Museum will hold an Agricultural exhibit starting September 21, through December.

Mr. Thornton made a motion to close the MHPC meeting and Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

These minutes are a synopsis of the MHPC tapes, which are on file at the Township Hall.

/dms





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