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MAHWAH HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION (MHPC)



September 11, 2003 MINUTES



The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.



SUNSHINE STATEMENT: The secretary read the Sunshine Statement.



ROLL CALL



PRESENT ABSENT



Marthajean Drago Chair

John Bristow, Historian

Colleen Kennedy

Paul Gioni, Alternate I

Gus Vasiliadis

Barbara Shanley (late)

Kenneth Cerullo

Carol Greene

Mark Nichols

Thomas Thornton

Technical Assistant: Wayne McCabe

Attorney: Nilufer DeScherer, Esq.



Salute to the Flag:



Minutes:



August 21, 2004 minutes: Ms. Kennedy corrected that she was not in attendance at the August 21, 2004 meeting. Under Public Session “Nobody’s Inn, seventh paragraph, Mr. McCabe corrected that he stated that the contractor could use cement plank in place of stucco face. The contractor can find this material under the trade name of Hardy Cement Plank. Mr. McCabe also stated that this material would be more economical.



Mr. Bristow made a motion to approve the August 21, 2004 minutes as corrected and Mr. Gioni seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved with a vote of 10 yes and 0 no.



PUBLIC SESSION:



Mr. Bristow made a motion to open the Public Session and Mr. Gioni seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 10 yes, 0 no. The Public Session was opened at 7:35 p.m.



The Chair recognized Mr. Richard Greene. Mr. Richard Greene stated that he resides at Sun Valley Farm, 800 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ, which is across the street from the Constantine property, now known as Vista Bahn Estates. Mr. Greene read a prepared statement (see attachment) regarding Docket #461, Vista Bahn Estates, LLC.







Mrs. DeScherer interrupted Mr. Greene and asked if there was a Commission member who lives within 200 feet of this application. Mrs. Greene stated that she lives at 800 Ramapo Valley Road just west of the application property and within 200 feet of the property. Mrs. Greene then recused herself from any participation regarding this application and left the meeting table and sat with the general public.



The Commission thanked Mr. Greene for his comments.



Mrs. Greene at this time returned to the HPC discussion table.



Mrs. Drago recognized Mr. Steven Perrini of 1 Rock Ridge Road, Mahwah regarding his demolition permit application for 153 Airmont Avenue. Mr. Perrini reported that the house on 153 Airmont Avenue is presently boarded up and in disrepair. Mr. Perrini reported that the house has already been used by the fire department as a fire practice site and the interior of the house is not safe. Mr. Perrini presented pictures of the house for the members review. Mrs. Drago reported that the house is not visible from the road and dates back to 1880 and has had several additions done. Mrs. Drago also reported that the house is not on the HPC Ordinance, Master Plan or any other historic records, however, it was built in the 1880’s circa and is of historic value.



Mr. McCabe reported that this house is on this meeting’s agenda and suggested that Mr. Perrini hold any further comments on this property until the Demolition Application is discussed.



There was no further discussion from the public. Mr. Bristow made a motion to close the Public Session and Mrs. Shanley seconded the motion. The Public Session was unanimously approved with a vote of 10 yes 0 no.



DEMOLITION APPLICATIONS:



153 Airmont Avenue, Circo 1880: Mr. McCabe reported that Mr. Perrini is seeking a demolition permit for 153 Airmont Avenue. This building is boarded up but the exterior is still reasonably intact. However, the roof on the north end and main section has been severely punctured and the windows have been broken allowing the elements to come in and cause damage. Mr. McCabe summarized his report (see attached) and recommended that prior to demolition, the owner be required to produce floor plans and elevation drawings of the building, prepared by a licensed architect. Additionally, the applicant should be required to provide a full set of 8” x 10” color photographs (produced from film versus electronic imaging) showing the four sides of the building. A detailed photograph of one of the remaining two/two double hung windows, and three-quarter views from the four corners of the structure.



Mr. Perrini asked if the HPC wanted him to hire an architect to document the house. Mr. McCabe replied that he could hire a draftsman. Mr. Perrini replied that a draftsman would cost around $150.00 per hour. Mr. McCabe reported that he has hired draftsmen at far less than $150.00. Mr. Perrini reported that he will be living at the site and that he is on a shoe string budget and that any additional cost would create a financial burden to him. He is doing much of the work himself. Mr. McCabe replied that he understands what Mr. Perrini is saying, but the Commission by written ruling of the Attorney General says that the HPC cannot take economic conditions into consideration. However, that is something that will play in the back of peoples mind. Mr. McCabe understands the financial constraints of the applicant, but there needs to be some type of historic record maintained of what type of historic architecturally significant buildings the Township has had. Otherwise the Township will loose its past.



Mr. Gioni respectfully disagreed with the necessity of drawings, not based on the economic considerations, but he doesn’t think the drawings would tell the members anything more that another set of photographs could tell the members. Mr. Gioni recommends that Mr. Perrini steps back as far as he can from each of the four angles so he can get as flat perspective as possible with an indication of scale. It could be a piece of wood painted in foot stripes so that in the future, if there is interest, scale drawings could be made. Mr. McCabe respectfully disagreed.



After a through discussion, the Chair opened the discussion to the public. There were no comments from the public. Mrs. Greene made a motion to close the public discussion on this application and Mr. Vasiliadis seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 10 yes and 0 no.



Let the minutes reflect that Mr. Thornton made a motion to comply with Mr. McCabes revised requests that the applicant himself prepare and present to the HPC the following:



1. A to scale floor plan of the first floor including the porches



2. A copy of the title search that had been conducted when the property was acquired.



3. Color photographs of the full elevations of all four side of the building. Each of the photographic prints are to be 5” x 7” in size, and a red and white measuring pole included in each photograph. The measured increments are to be in one foot segments.





4. Title Survey showing back title of all former owners prior to any demolition work.



Mr. Perrini is to send the above materials to Mr. McCabe for his approval and sign off. Mr. Gioni seconded the motion. Mr. Perrini reported that he might be able to get all these requirements together for the Commission before their next meeting. If this is the case, does he need to wait until the October 9, 2003 meeting for their approval? Mr. Thornton amended the motion to include that the application can be reviewed and approved by Mr. McCabe and Mr. Gioni seconded the motion. Let the minutes reflect that the amended motion was approved with a vote of 9 yes and 1 no.



Thornton yes Cerullo yes Kennedy yes Drago no

Greene yes Gioni yes Bristow yes Nichols yes

Vasiliadis yes Shanley yes





Ms. Kennedy excused herself at 8:30 p.m.



It was agreed that the HPC needs to track the Fire Department’s process for using houses as fire practice sites. The Fire Department needs to inform the HPC when they are using a building for a fire site, to insure that it is not an historic structure. Mrs. Drago suggested that the HPC send a letter to the Construction Official and copy the Fire Chief requesting notification from the Construction Department when a property is to be used as a fire practice site.







The secretary stated for the record that she gave Mr. McCabe the demolition application for 153 Airmont Avenue for his sign off. Mr. McCabe will return the demolition application with his comments to the secretary.



Mr. Gioni left the meeting at 8:44 p.m. and returned at 8:46 p.m.



CHAIR’S REPORT:



Planning Board Schedule: Mrs. Drago reported that the HPC needs to establish a Planning Board attendance schedule. It is important that a member of the HPC be present at a Planning Board meeting when applications that the HPC has been asked to review are on the Planning Board Agenda.



The following schedule was established:



September 22, 2003 Mr. Thornton

October 13, 2003 Mr. Vasiliadis

October 27, 2003 Mrs. Drago

November 10, 2003 Mrs. Greene

November 24, 2003 Mr. Cerullo

December 1, 2003 Mr. Gioni

December 15, 2003 Mrs. Shanley



Mahwah Heritage Month Award Nominations: Mrs. Drago asked for nominations for November’s Mahwah Heritage Award presentation. Mrs. Drago nominated the Westervelt-Hoosey house for an accurate historic renovation. Mr. Vasiliadis suggested the Kohler Mansion after completion of the renovation. Mrs. Greene suggested honoring the late Mayor Frank Kraus for life time achievement award posthumously.



Let the minutes reflect that Mrs. Shanley made a motion to nominate the Westervelt-Hoosey house and the late Mayor Frank Kraus for a Mahwah Heritage Award and Mrs. Greene seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.



Mr. Vasiliadis volunteered to do the presentation to Frank Kraus and Mrs. Greene will assist. Mr. Cerullo will do the presentation for the Westervelt-Hoosey house.



LEGAL: Ms. DeScherer reported that she will comment as Mr. McCabe makes his recommendations.



TECHNICAL ASSISTANT: Mr. Wayne McCabe



APPLICATIONS:



Cremar, LLC, Docket 392A: Mr. McCabe reported that there are no cultural resources that will be effected in this application. Therefore, Mr. McCabe recommended that the HPC approve this application with no comments. Mrs. DeScherer had no comments.



Let the minutes reflect that Mrs. Greene made a motion to approve Docket 392A with no comments as Mr. McCabe recommended and Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 9 yes and 0 no.







Thornton yes Cerullo yes Drago yes

Greene yes Gioni yes Bristow yes Nichols yes

Vasiliadis yes Shanley yes



Woodcliff Lake Developers, Docket 455: Mr. McCabe reported that this application was reviewed on February 7, 2003. The current application dropped from 15 lots to 14 lots. Mr. McCabe recommended that the HPC approve this application with the same recommendations contained in the February 7, 2003 application (see attached). Mrs. DeScherer had no further comments.



Mr. Cerullo made a motion to open the meeting to the public and Mrs. Shanley seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved. There was no public discussion. Mrs. Greene made a motion to close the public session and Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 9 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Cerullo yes Drago yes

Greene yes Gioni yes Bristow yes Nichols yes

Vasiliadis yes Shanley yes



Let the minutes reflect that Mr. Gioni made a motion to approve Docket 455 as recommended by Mr. McCabe and Mr. Vasiliadis seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 9 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Cerullo yes Drago yes

Greene yes Gioni yes Bristow yes Nichols yes

Vasiliadis yes Shanley yes





Vista Bahn Estates, LLC, Docket #461.



Mrs. Greene recused herself from the discussion and returned to the public seating.



Mr. McCabe read his written report (see attached) After a thorough review of the application, Mr. McCabe restated his recommendations.



1. Lot 1, with the historic structures, would become a sub-standard lot, and the eastern parcel footage from Lot 1 would be transfered to Lot 2. Access to Lot 1 should be from roadway #1.



2. Have the Farmhouse, well, and the Barn as a stand alone lot with the historic easement on it to insure the long term preservation, usage, and maintenance of the identifiable cultural structures on the property, which are listed on the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey and considered to be significant.



3. Relocate the Barn during the construction of the detention basin, and return barn to current location once detention basin is complete.



4. HPC needs exact details regarding the applicants “historic easement” and how it will effect the historic structures.



5. The plans be amended to denote the location of the existing stone walls and that a note be added to the plans stating “All walls to remain intact”.



6. The plans should be amended to show the location of the existing cistern/pump house of the Intervale Estate and that a note be added on the plans stating that the “cistern/pump house of the Intervale Estate to remain”.



7. The plans should be amended to show the location of the ruins of the Garrison/Dater/Price house site, and that a note be placed on the plans stating “Bergen County Culturla Resource Survey Site #0233-97-Runis of house to remain intact”.



8. The Winter House noted on the plans should have a note appended stating “Bergen County Cultural Resources Survey Site #0233-96”.



9. Note on the plan which structure is the Intervale Estate greenhouse, which dates to c. 1900. A note will be included on the plans indicating that the “greenhouse structure to remain intact”.





Mrs. Drago will submit to Mrs. DeScherer samples of “historic easements” from other municipalities for her review and recommendation to the HPC. Mrs. Descherer reported that the HPC “historic easement” recommendation would then be applied to the application and submitted to the Planning Board for their review. If the Planning Board approves the HPC “historic easement” then the applicant would need to amend their application to incorporate the HPC “historic easement” requirements into their application. Mrs. DeScherer will defer her suggestions as per Mr. McCabes recommendations.



Mr. Cerullo excused himself from the meeting at 10:05 p.m.



Mrs. Drago opened the meeting for public discussion. There was no discussion from the public.



Let the minutes reflect that Mr. Vasiliadis made a motion to deny Docket #461, without prejudice due to the fact that the HPC does not have enough information reqarding the applicants details of “historic easement” and that the buildings on the southern lot be identified as to what they are and that the following historic sites be included and will remain intact:



1. The plans be amended to denote the location of the existing stone walls and that a note be added to the plans stating “All walls to remain intact”.



2. The plans should be amended to show the location of the existing cistern/pump house of the Intervale Estate and that a note be added on the plans stating that the “cistern/pump house of the Intervale Estate to remain”.



3. The plans should be amended to show the location of the ruins of the Garrison/Dater/Price house site, and that a note be placed on the plans stating “Bergen County Culturla Resource Survey Site #0233-97-Runis of house to remain intact”.



4. The Winter House noted on the plans should have a note appended stating “Bergen County Cultural Resources Survey Site #0233-96”.



5. Note on the plan which structure is the Intervale Estate greenhouse, which dates to c. 1900. A note will be included on the plans indicating that the “greenhouse structure to remain intact”.



And that the aforementioned recommendations from Mr. McCabe be addressed.



Mr. Thornton seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 7 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Vasiliadis yes Gioni yes Nichols yes

Bristow yes Shanley yes Drago yes



Mrs. Greene, who excused herself from all discussions regarding Docket 461, returned to the HPC discussion table.



STREET NAME: None at this time.



OLD BUSINESS:



2003 Ornament: Mr. Nichols asked for approval for the artists rendering of the Westervelt-Hoosey house which will be depicted on the 2003 Holiday Ornament. The Commission unanimously approved the artists rendering of the 2003 ornament.



Mrs. Drago suggested that due to the late hour that the remaining Old Business items be tabled until the October 9, 2003 meeting. Mrs. Greene made a motion to table the remaining Old Business items until the October 9, 2003 meeting and Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 7 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Vasiliadis yes Gioni yes Nichols yes

Bristow yes Shanley yes Drago yes



PUBLIC SESSION: Mrs. Shanley made a motion to re-open the Public Session portion of the meeting and Mr. Nichols seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved. At the 10:30 p.m. the Public Session was re-opened.



Ms. Daryl Dator introduced herself as part owner of the Maramapo Farm and asked for the HPC’s support in her efforts to keep the State of NJ from taking over the farm. The State is looking to take the farm and giving it to Ramapo College for their use. Ms. Drago stated that in her opinion public outcry will save this property. Mr. McCabe reported that before Maramapo Farm could take any recourse, the property needs to be on the National and State Historic Register. Ms. Dator asked for help in filing for National and State Historic Register status. Mr. McCabe replied that he would talk to George Chidley, from the state, as to what steps need to be taken and will call Ms. Dator with his findings.



Ms. Jean Kuflow, architectural historic with McCabe & Associates and has been working on the historic resource survey and part of that survey is identifying historic sites on Ramapo Valley Road. She has identified eight historic sites along the Ramapo Valley Road, and she is beginning to think that there could possibly be a historic district that would string together all these sites along Ramapo Valley Road which would give historic protection to the roadway and river banks and prior agricultural sites in the area.



Mrs. Greene reported that she also worked on the historic value of Ramapo Valley Road when she applied for the State designating the section of Ramapo Valley Road in Mahwah as the Continental Soldiers Highway. In fact Oakland has now been included in the designation.





Mr. McCabe will call Ms. Dator after he talks to Mr. Chidley tomorrow to start the process.



Mrs. Shanley made a motion to close the Public Session and Mr. Bristow seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.



Mr. Nichols made a motion to authorize Mc Cabe & Associates contact the State Preservation Office to start proceedings for eligibility of the Maramapo Farm to be listed on the State and National Historic Register and Mr. Gioni seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 7 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Vasiliadis yes Gioni yes Nichols yes

Bristow yes Shanley yes Drago yes



BILLS: None at this time



GENERAL DISCUSSION: None at this time.



Mr. Thornton made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mrs. Greene seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved with a vote of 7 yes and 0 no.



Thornton yes Vasiliadis yes Gioni yes Nichols yes

Bristow yes Shanley yes Drago yes



The meeting was closed at 10:58 p.m.



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



/dms












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