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MAHWAH HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION (HPC)
July 14, 2005 MINUTES

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

SUNSHINE STATEMENT: The secretary read the Sunshine Statement.

ROLL CALL
PRESENT ABSENT
Marthajean Drago, Chair
Thomas Thornton Colleen Kennedy, excused
Carol Greene Barbara Shanley, excused
Gus Vasiliadis (late 7:35pm) John Bristow, excused
Lynn Ballerini
Ken Cerullo

Attorney: Nilufer Descherer, not present

Salute to the Flag:

Minutes:
June 9, 2005 minutes: Mr.Cerullo corrected the roll call to include him as present. Mr. Thornton motioned to approve the minutes as corrected and Mr. Cerullo seconded the motion. The motion was approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, Ballerini; Drago, yes.

PUBLIC SESSION:
Mrs. Greene motioned to open the Public Session and Mr. Thornton seconded the motion. All approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, Ballerini; Drago, yes.

The Public Session was opened at 7:33 p.m.

The Chair recognized Mr. John Edward, 40 Armour Road and Mr. Michael Hinchman, 49 Armour Road. Both Mr. Edward and Mr. Hinchman expressed their concern regarding the Old Miller Reservoir on 30 Miller Road. It appears that the present owner is planning to sub-divide the property where the reservoir sits. It is upsetting to the surrounding property owners that this historic property could be sub-divided and the reservoir filled in. The reservoir was the primary source of water for the Ezra Miller estate. Mr. Edwards submitted a letter to the Commission (copied the Planning Board) addressing their concerns and asked the HPC for direction as to how to preserve this reservoir.

Mrs. Drago thanked Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hinchman for bringing this to the Commission’s attention; however, since this property is not listed as an historic site on the Township Ordinance, and no application for a sub-division has been applied for by the property owner, the Commission cannot act on an assumption. Mr. Edwards also questioned the environmental impact the sub-division would create on the existing stream. Mrs. Drago suggested he contact the Environmental Commission.

Mrs. Drago suggested that Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hinchman consider listing their homes on the Ordinance and encourage their neighbors to do the same. Mrs. Drago offered to discuss the pro’s and con’s of listing a property on the Ordinance with Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hinchman at their convenience. Mr. Thornton suggested that the HPC send the property owner an informal letter explaining to them the historic significance of their property. Mrs. Greene invited Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hinchman to the Historic Museum Society’s September presentation on Cragmere.

The Chair thanked Mr. Edwards and Mr. Hinchman for bringing this to the attention of the Commission.

At 8:10 pm Mrs. Greene recused herself from the HPC meeting table and sat is the public section.

Mrs. Drago recognized Mrs. Carol Greene, Sun Valley Farm, Mahwah, NJ. Mrs. Greene read aloud to the Commission a letter from Richard Greene regarding the Vista Bahn Phase II major sub-division. (copy attached)

Mr. Cerullo made a motion to acknowledge Mrs. Greene back to the HPC table as a Commission member and Mr. Thornton seconded the motion. All approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, Ballerini; Drago, yes.

At 8:25 pm Mrs. Greene returned to the HPC meeting table as a Commission member.

At 8:26pm Mr. Vasiliadis motioned to close the Public Session and Mr. Thornton seconded the motion. Motion was approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

New Business:

The Chair asked if any Commission member would like to discuss anything regarding the Public Session. Mr. Thornton suggested that both letters received from tonight’s Public Session be copied to the Mayor, Business Administrator, Planning Board, Zoning Board, Construction Official, Township Attorney along with a letter from the HPC listing our issues and concerns regarding the submitted letters.

Mr. Cerullo motioned to approve Mr. Thornton’s suggestion regarding submitting the letters and a letter from the Commission and Mrs. Ballerini seconded the motion. Motion was approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

The Chair welcomed Lynn Ballerini to the Commission as a new Class C member. Mrs. Ballerini offered to help work on the 100 Anniversary of Cragmere.

Chair’s Report: The Chair asked to meet individually with each member to discuss project appointments.

County of Bergen GIS historic listings. Mrs. Drago reported that the Commission received a letter from the County of Bergen regarding historic listings on their GIS program and if any member would like to add to this, please contact her by July 27, 2005.

Mrs. Greene motioned to accept Mrs. Drago suggestion to send the County of Bergen Cultural and Historic Affairs an updated listing of Mahwah historic sites and request that they be added to the Bergen County Historic Sites Survey. Mrs. Ballerini seconded the motion. The motion was approved.

Cerullo, yes; Thornton, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

Fall Newsletter: Mrs. Drago will write an article for the HPC for the Fall Newsletter informing the public of the availability of the Memory of Mahwah ornaments and the value of owning an historic property.

Mrs. Drago inquired if any Commission member knew if the Halifax Bridge was condemmed. Mr. Thornton reported that the Halifax Bridge is a private bridge owned by the Polo Club residents. The residents asked for financial aid from the Council to repair the bridge and were denied. Mr. Thornton also reported that the Cleveland Bridge also needs repair. Mr. Thornton volunteered to write a letter to Robin Brown of the County of Bergen Cultural & Historic Affairs Division on the HPC’s behalf requesting the County to repair the Cleveland Bridge and copy the Commission. Mrs. Greene volunteered to follow up with a phone call to Robin Brown. The Chair requested that she also be copied.

Campgaw Road & Fike Road. Mrs. Greene reported that she had sent the property owners copies of the HPC archives regarding the property. Mrs. Drago will forward to the property owners information on how to obtain a copy of the Secretary of the Interior’s recommendations for historic sites.

Encroachment Emergency Permits: The Commission was noticed on the following applications:
Mahwah Hummer, Center for Food Action, Laurjo Construction, Stryker Orthopaidics, Catholics Cemeteries, and 268 Myrtle Avenue.

New Business:
Chair’s Report: None at this time

Legal: No report at this time.

Street Names: The secretary reported that the Sustack family has been notified regarding an alternate street name for Franklin Place and was told by the family that they will be attending a HPC meeting shortly to discuss the possibilities.

Applications:

Mr. Thornton recused himself from the Commission table stating that he is a property owner within 200 feet of Docket 490, minor sub-division and sat in the public.

Mr. Vasiliadis motioned to open the application portion of the meeting to the public and Mr. Cerullo seconded the motion. Motion was approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

Kevin Nelson, Docket 490, Minor Sub-division.

Mr. Vasiliadis motioned to open this application to the Public and Mr. Cerullo seconded the motion. All approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

The Chair recognized Mr. Thomas Thornton of 437 Poets Way and family residence of 16 Bergen Place in Mahwah. Mr. Thornton stated that he had not received any notification of this application.
Mr. Thornton stated that this West Mahwah neighborhood is a starter home neighborhood, 50 x 100 lots, which has been experiencing land encroachment issues during the past few years, including soil mining, water, and multiple structure issues. Mr. Thornton requested that the HPC establish a size, scale and dimension element to the Township Master Plan Ordinance and sub-mit it t the Township Council for review. Mr. Thornton stated that McMansion sub-divisions and McMansion additions to existing neighborhood properties overwhelms the established properties and loses the character of established neighborhoods such as West Mahwah and Cragmere.

After a lengthy discussion, Mrs. Ballerini motioned to close the Public Session for Docket 490, and Mrs. Greene seconded the motion. All approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini; Drago, yes.

Mrs. Greene motioned to deny Kevin Nelson, Docket 490, Minor Sub-division application stating not enough information regarding the non-conformity of the application, and Mrs. Ballerini seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini; Drago, yes.

Mrs. Ballerini motioned to accept Mr. Thornton back to the Commission table and Mrs. Greene seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.


Vista Bahn Estates, LLC, Docket 461 PHIII, Bl 23 Lot 54:

Mr. Vasiliadis moved to open Docket 461 to the public and Mr. Thornton seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Cerullo, yes; Greene, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Mr. Thornton, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

Mrs. Greene recused herself from the Commission table, stating that she was a property owner within 200 feet of the applicant. Mrs. Greene sat with the public.

The Chair recognized Mrs. Greene. Mrs. Greene requested that the Chair or secretary receipt the letter from Richard Greene to the HPC dated July 14, 2005.

Mr. Thornton motioned to close the public session and Mrs. Ballerini seconded the motion. Motion approved.

Thornton, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

Let the minutes reflect that after a thorough discussion, Ms. Ballerini motioned to deny Vista Bahn Estates, LLC, Docket 461 PHIII, Bl 23 Lot 54: stating that the historic form is missing denoting historic structures and that this major sub-division will devastate the historic scenic vista of Ramapo Valley Road. Mr. Thornton seconded the motion.

Motion to deny was approved.

Thornton, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, yes; Ballerini, yes; Drago, yes.

Mrs. Greene returned back to the Commission table.

Airmont Acres, LLC, docket 481F, final Major Sub-division.

Let the minutes reflect that after a thorough discussion, Mr. Thornton moved to approve Airmont Acres, LLC, Docket 481F, final Major Sub-division with recommendations that size, scale and dimension of the new homes be sympathetic to the existing structures of the bordering neighborhood, such as Block 116 Lot 13.01. Ms. Ballerini seconded the motion. Motion was approved.

Thornton, yes; Vasiliadis, yes; Cerullo, yes; Ballerini, yes; Greene, yes; Drago, yes.

Demolition Application: None at this time.

Old Business: No Report

GENERAL DISCUSSION

No Report

Mrs. Greene motioned to adjourn the HPC meeting and Mr. Thornton seconded the motion.

The MHPC meeting was adjourned at 10:30 pm.

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

/dms



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