January 24, 2022 Regular Meeting

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ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

January 24, 2022 – Regular Meeting

A REORGANIZATION AND REGULAR MEETING OF THE Stillwater Township Zoning Board of Adjustment was held on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 7:30 p.m..  The oaths of office were administered to Mr. Kochenthal and Ms. Mountford.  The meeting was called to order by Attorney William Haggerty in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.  The flag was saluted and roll call taken:

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Lippencott, Mr. Sarni, Mr. van der Haeghen, Ms. Mountford, Mr. Kochenthal, Mrs. Draghi, and Mr. Wykoff.

MEMBERS ABSENT:     Mr. Straub

ALSO PRESENT:            Attorney Haggerty and Engineer Golden

REORGANIZATION

Election of Chairperson:

   Mrs. Draghi made the motion to nominate Mr. Lippencott as Chairperson for 2022.  Motion seconded by Ms. Mountford.  With there being no further nominations, the nominations were closed and a roll call was taken, in favor:  Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

Election of Vice-Chairperson

   Mr. Wykoff made the motion to nominate Mr. Sarni as Vice-Chairperson for 2022.  Motion seconded by Mr. van der Haeghen.  With there being no further nominations, the nominations were closed and a roll call was taken, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

Appointment of Board Secretary

   Mr. Sarni made the motion to appoint Alfia Schemm as the Board Secretary for 2022.  Motion seconded by Mr. Kochenthal.  Roll call vote, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

Appointment of Board Attorney

A motion was made by Mrs. Draghi to appoint William Haggherty, Esq. of Dolan & Dolan for the calendar year 2022 at a rate of $170.00 per hour; and $340.00 per meeting up until 9:30 p.m., $170.00 per hour after 9:30 p.m., as per the contract, seconded by Mr. Wykoff and unanimously carried that the following Resolution be adopted:

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5, “The Local Public Contract Law,” permits governing bodies to Contract for Certain Professional Services Without Competitive Bidding,”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Stillwater, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey that the following appointment is made for the calendar year 2022 for the statutory term of the respective office:

William Haggerty, Esq.

Dolan & Dolan

One Legal Lane

53 Spring Street

Newton, New Jersey 07860

Roll call vote, in favor:  Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

   Appointment of Board Engineer

A motion was made by Mr. Sarni to appoint Joseph Golden, P.E., for the 2022 calendar year at a rate of $120.00  per hour, on an as needed basis, as per the contract, seconded by Mr. van der Haeghen and unanimously carried that the following Resolution be adopted:

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5, “The Local Public Contract Law,” permits governing bodies to Contract for Certain Professional Services Without Competitive Bidding,”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Township of Stillwater, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey that the following appointment is made for the calendar year 2022 for the statutory term of the respective office:

Joseph Golden

22 Angelo Drive

Sparta, New Jersey 07871

Roll call vote, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

 Official Newspaper  and Meeting Dates

Mrs. Draghi made a motion to designate the daily New Jersey Herald and the Sunday New Jersey Herald as the official newspapers of the Stillwater Township Zoning Board of Adjustment for 2022 along with approving the following meeting dates for 2022, seconded by Mr. Sarni.

January 24, 2022                                             July 25, 2022

February 28, 2022                                           August 22, 2022

March 28, 2022                                               September 26, 2022

April 25, 2022                                                 October 24, 2022

May 23, 2022                                                   November 28, 2022

June 27, 2022                                                  December 26, 2022

January 23, 2023 (Reorganization/Regular)

Roll call vote, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

 Annual Summary Report for 2021

Deferred until next month.

MINUTES:

Mrs. Draghi made the motion to approve the minutes of December 27, 2021, seconded by Mr. Kochenthal.  Roll call vote, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mr. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

MEMORIALIZING RESOLUTION:

#618   First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, Block 3202, Lots 2 & 3

Mr. Haggerty reviewed the Resolution and the minor modifications that were incorporated into the distributed draft.  Mr. Kochenthal made the motion to approve the Resolution.  Motion seconded by Ms. Mountford:  Roll call vote, in favor: Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mr. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Abstain

HEARING:

   #619   Louis Sylvester, Block 2602, Lot 8.12 – Appeal

Mr. Haggerty gave a brief summary of the submitted appeal filed by Mr. Sylvester.  .

Louis Sylvester was sworn in and he stated that in addition to the submitted hard copies of his appeal submission he will also be sharing his health concerns (over the diseases that mosquitoes carry and the creation of a breeding ground for mosquitoes) through a power point slide presentation, which was marked as an Exhibit:

A-1   Power Point Slide Presentation

Mr. Sylvester reviewed Township Ordinance 123 in regards to: brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps and roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash and debris. He then addressed the findings/opinions outlined in the 8/16/21 Zoning Officer Report and the Zoning Officers visit to the subject site.  He stated that he feels that he can demonstrate that the stump piles are huge, that they are near stagnant water, and they present a health risk with mosquito borne diseases by creating a mosquito breeding ground.  He reviewed the slides in the power point presentation with the Board and he stated his concern over the amount of trees that were removed.  The Board Members/Professionals questioned and discussed what occurred with the issuance of the zoning permit for the tree removal, the soil erosion permit, and the appeal before the Board.

Joseph Dougherty was sworn in and he acknowledged that the presentation made this evening by Mr. Sylvester is accurate and he read his statement into the record.

The hearing was then opened to the public.  With there being no public comment, the hearing was closed to the public.

The Board continued to discuss the issues and Mr. Sylvester stated that he did provide notice, to the present property owner, who is not present this evening.  The Board continued to discuss the soil erosion permit, the zoning officer’s permit, the zoning officer’s memo, the Township Ordinance, and if there is evidence that there is a health hazard/concern.  The Board continued to discuss what additional information may be needed in order to make a decision (a professional/qualified individual performing an inspection and then providing expert health information) and maybe sending another letter to the present property owner advising them of the present situation.  Mr. Sylvester stated that he can carry his appeal to next month in order to try and provide the Board with what they are requesting, conditioned upon being notified of additional fees being charged to his escrow and that no additional escrow will be required.  Mr. Golden stated that he is not waiving his fees.  Mr. Sylvester stated that he feels that that the Board has enough information (that there is a health hazard on the property) and he would like a determination this evening.  The Board continued to discuss whether evidence was presented/provided regarding there being a public health, safety, or general welfare hazard.

Mrs. Draghi made the motion to reverse the decision made by Mr. Dixon in his report of 8/16/21.    Motion seconded by Mr. Wykoff.  Discussion on the motion:  The Board continued to discuss the issues.  Roll call vote, in favor:  Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-No, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mr. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

Mr. Sylvester thanked the Board for their time.

BILLS

Mr. Sarni made the motion to pay the following bills, funds permitting, seconded by Mr. Wykoff.

Dolan & Dolan              Re:  Garber                                     41.25

Dolan & Dolan              Re:  First Presbyterian Church     132.00

Roll call vote, in favor:  Mr. Lippencott-Yes, Ms. Mountford-Yes, Mr. Sarni-Yes, Mr. Kochenthal-Yes, Mr. Wykoff-Yes, Mrs. Draghi-Yes, and Mr. van der Haeghen-Yes

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:

Chairman Lippencott opened the meeting to the public at 9:36 p.m.

A member of the public asked about a lot on Possum Hill Road and whether it is buildable.  He stated that he has spoken and has a letter from Mr. Dixon and was advised that the lot is buildable. The Board noted the zoning and building within the required setbacks.  He was advised to discuss his proposal with the Zoning Officer and Construction Department.

Mr. Sylvester asked if there will be a Resolution adopted in regards to his Appeal.   The Board discussed the procedure in adopting the Resolution, replenishment of the escrow account, notifyication to the Township, and the appeal period after the adoption of the Resolution.

With there being no further public comment, the meeting was closed to the public at 9:42 p.m.

COMMITEE LIAISON REPORT:

Ms. Chammings was in attendance and she thanked the Board for hearing the appeal.  The Board then went on to discuss the proposal to combine the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment into a Land Use Board.  The Board discussed the volume of applications, if there is a benefit to one board, if there really is a savings when there could still potentially be two meetings a month, and the autonomy of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  The Board continued to discuss the issues and if they should/could submit letters stating their concerns.  Ms.  Chammings stated that the Board should be receiving a memo from the Mayor addressing the matter.

ADJOURNMENT:

With there being no further business, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at

10:00 p.m.  In a voice vote, all were in favor.

 

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________________            _______________________________

Alfia Schemm, Board Secretary                                        George Lippencott, Chairman

2/25/22

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