Vice President Birmingham Arrived at 7:56 p.m.
Moscagiuri, Township Attorney
Magnotti, Township Clerk
Mrs. Magnotti said, “Let the record
show that Mayor Felter be arriving around 8:00 p.m. Administrator Leach is on vacation, however, Jeff Elam, Director
of Public Works is here.
President Yocum asked that everyone rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Yocum said, “This
Council Workshop meeting for October 12, 2005, commencing at 7:30 p.m. has been
properly noticed in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act by notice to
the official newspapers of the Township on October 6, 2005.”
Economic Advisory Board Open Issues
Cruz of the Economic Advisory Board came forward and explained to the Council
that the EAB sent the Memorandum because they feel one of the few things the
Board could affect in town is specifically the Sign Ordinance and the Design
Ordinance. Another issue they feel that
could impact the economic wellbeing of the town is the lifting of the one-mile
restriction in the Liquor License Ordinance.
When the Economic Survey was returned two years ago, the residents voiced
the opinion that they would like to have family-oriented chain
restaurants. The EAB spoke about how
the one-mile restriction can be lifted from the two main business districts of
the Township and that is the reason why it was decided to ask the Council to
revisit this issue. Yocum stated that
since the Liquor License issue was last discussed, the Highlands Legislation
has come into play and this restricts sewer and water hookups in certain areas. Lifting the one-mile restriction in certain
areas of town may not be legal, however, the Council will obtain a legal
opinion. The present population of the
town allows for 6.78 plenary consumption licenses in town and there are
currently 28. In the Town Ordinance,
there is a cap of 13 licenses. Yocum
stated that in his opinion, the Ordinance is business friendly to the 28
established businesses in town. Yocum
further stated that there is no guarantee that the demographics of Jefferson
and this area would attract a national franchise. If there were a representative from a franchise here asking for a
change in our ordinance, that would be different from changing it in the hopes
of attracting a business. Cruz stated
that part of being business friendly is not protecting the few businesses that
we have, it is opening the town up. If
the town is not open for business, then with all due respect, there is no need
for an Economic Advisory Board. Cruz
stated that there is not a lot that they can do at this point with the
Highlands Act. He explained that having
businesses co-located in a close proximity promotes and attracts business. Yocum agreed, history shows that when a Ruby
Tuesdays, Bennigans or similar restaurant opens, the other similar businesses
in that area have increased customer traffic.
There are currently 24 businesses operating in town. Sanchelli stated that he also would like to
see a major franchise come in and request the change. If there was interest, he would support the change. Hardy stated that the number of licenses is
already being restricted by the State, why should the town be further
protecting those businesses. He went on
to say that he brought this up 3 years ago and he feels that this is a
protective type of Ordinance and business restrictive. With the Highlands Act, now there is no
capability of putting in sewers or water lines that would be needed. Hardy stated that 3 years ago they did a lot
of research and received information from the State regarding restrictions in
other townships in New Jersey. No new
licenses can be issued in Jefferson, so there is no threat of bringing in more
licenses. Sanchelli stated that this
would enhance the value of licenses for sale by current owners. Merz added that perhaps if they focused on
the properties that are left to be developed and go out to specifically solicit
these types of businesses. Work can be
done ahead of time to see if these franchises would be interested in locating
in specific locations with the sewer and water issues before upsetting
everything. There may even be a piece
of property left that is appropriate.
Sanchelli commented that changing the one-mile restriction in the two
business areas may not be feasible or equitable for everyone. Yocum stated that they are seeking a legal
opinion. Cruz stated that assuming that
a restaurant would need sewers and water, the A&P property is empty. He stated that he feels the change of the
Ordinance should not be shot down on the basis that no one has shown up here
yet. The Council needs to decide if
they are open to new businesses or are they going to protect the licenses that
are already here. Jefferson has the
most restrictive ordinance in the State of New Jersey. Hardy stated that not one of the
establishments that currently exist, doesn’t have someone within a mile. Yocum stated that, all indications are that
a change in the restriction probably would not make a difference at this
point. Cruz stated that he feels it
would make a difference and there is really no valid reason for the restriction
to be in place except for the protection of the current businesses.
Sign & Design
stated that Elam is here this evening as the representative of the
Administration. The Council has not
been happy with the lack of progress on the sign and design ordinances.
arrived at 7:56 p.m.
stated that at the Planning Board meeting last evening, the addendum to the
Sign Ordinance for political signs was put on the Agenda for the next couple
months. The members were asked to
review the Ordinance and it is on the Agenda for full discussion. Yocum stated that it will come back to the
Council after that review and they can expect to have this in November or
December. Yocum stated that this issue
sat for too long and was not addressed.
Merz commented that the matter is progressing because it has gone from
the Planner to the Boards. Yocum stated
that from this point forward this matter will be a much larger priority for the
Administration and they have 60 days to move forward with this or the Council
can act without their recommendation.
advised that a week ago questions were asked about the new development going in
on Berkshire Valley Road where the existing home now stands on a cliff. The developer will be building a wall and
Yocum read from a memo from Coe.
Berkshire Valley Road will be widened by 8’.
arrived at 8:08 p.m.
Sanchelli explained that this all
has to be done because of sight distance problems and the County is enforcing
this. On the top of the property where
the house sits, a railing will have to be installed at the top of the wall
constructed from 3” galvanized, steel piping.
The developer guaranteed that the structure of the existing home and the
quality of their well will not be impacted by any of the construction that is taking
place. Felter stated that the town
could not interfere with the agreement between the developer and the homeowner.
No Smoking on Municipal
stated that smoking can be restricted on Municipal Recreational property and to
change the Township Ordinance the Director of Recreation will have to identify
all the properties. The current
Ordinance states that no one under the age of 18 may smoke on any public
property. This is a request that no one
be permitted to smoke on recreational property. Birmingham commented that cars on the property should be included
in the ordinance. There will be fines
associated with the ordinance and people will be asked to cooperate. Yocum asked if the Council agrees and would
like to move forward with an amendment to the Ordinance to create no smoking on
Municipal Recreational properties? The
Council was in agreement.
Domain/Assemblyman Carroll/Gregg Request for
to Limit Eminent Domain to Traditional Public Purposes
advised that Leach spoke to Counsel prior to the meeting and there may be some
Constitutional issues at the Federal level.
If the Council supports this it may be more of a statement of support
for this initiative and it is the opposite position than the League of
Municipalities has taken.
Request Constitutional Amendment to Limit Eminent Domain to Traditional Public
Motion: Hardy, Sanchelli
was some discussion about the Constitutional Amendment and two separate
bills. Yocum suggested that the Council
review both of the bills and come back for further discussion.
President Birmingham Aye
Request from Verizon for
FiOS TV and Francise Reform
stated that he along with Hardy and Jack Kelly met with a representative from
Verizon last week. Verizon is changing
all their lines to fiber optic. Their
DSL will be 40 percent faster than it is now.
They will also be able to compete against cable television. The town has a franchise agreement with the
cable company that runs out in 2007.
Verizon would like to have a statewide franchise for television services
with the 4 percent going to the town.
Felter explained that they would like more competition and they would
like the State to look at this because it will be good for the residents to
have a choice. Jefferson Highlights
would not be supplemented money from Cablevision anymore and the town would
have to budget for that. Hardy
commented that the cable access channel is about $2,500 a year. Felter added that the change to 4 percent in
franchise fees back from Verizon would be a significant amount of money. Magnotti asked if the Council agreed that
this Resolution can be put on the Consent Agenda of the next meeting since it
has already been discussed and everyone agreed.
stated that she has been contacted by residents in town about the display of
pornographic material. After research
she located a State Ordinance, 2C:34-3.2, the Display of Obscene Material,
Ordinance to Establish Petty Disorderly Offense. A municipality may enact an ordinance making it a petty
disorderly persons offense for a retailer to display or permit to be displayed
at his business premise any obscene material as defined in NJS2C:2-3 at the
height of less than 5’ or without a binder or covering placed or printed on the
front of the material displayed. Any
such ordinance shall contain a provision stating that the public display of the
obscene material shall constitute presumptive evidence that the retailer
knowingly made or permitted the display.
Merz stated that this was adopted in 1988. Jefferson is not the type of Township that would have a lot of
this type of material displayed, however, there are at least two establishments
in town with this type of material.
Moscagiuri stated that the State Ordinance gives the municipality the
ability to enact an ordinance. Yocum
suggested that the Council adopt an Ordinance and that way it will be
advertised and the local stores will pay attention to it. The Council agreed that Cohen should prepare
added that massage parlors are now proliferating throughout New Jersey. The majority are responsible, therapeutic
businesses that help people. On the
other side, there are illegal activities going on inside other businesses
operating as massage parlors. Jefferson
Township has been involved with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in
investigations and charges against a couple businesses. Yocum stated that he would like the
Administration to look into what can be done to make sure that the businesses
that operate within the Township are operating within the law. Hardy asked if they have to have a
permit. Felter stated that they are
difficult to curtail, however, the town has been very active in monitoring
them. Yocum added that they would just
like to be sure that everything is being done to be sure that they are
operating within the parameters of the law.
Felter stated that not only will the Administration deal with it but he
will speak with Deputy Chief Sibel.
Yocum said that he is not sure why the State has not made a massage
parlor something that requires a license.
Police surveillance is the biggest part of controlling this problem.
reported that Birmingham brought this up at the last meeting and the list was
received back from the Administration with an update. The Council was provided with two lists: one that shows the responses and one that
shows the continuing open items. Yocum
asked if there are any open items that members of Council would like to address
specifically. Birmingham commented that
the View Sheds and Vistas come up at Open Space Advisory Board meetings and now
it seems according to the Administration that this item has been “put to
bed”. He will report that because of
the Highlands Legislation, there is no further need to take any action to
protect the ridgeline properties.
Birmingham stated that the electronic payment of bills and taxes are not
on here but is being taken care of.
Yocum commented that one of the
other items was the recycling of hazardous substances at the Recycling Center
and the Administration has advised that this program can cause major liability
exposure and it is not recommended by the DPW or the Recycling Department. They ask that this issue be taken off the
table to protect the Township. Birmingham
stated that 5 years ago they toured West Milford’s Recycling Center and they
recycle motor oil. Walmarts have
recycling centers where you can go and dump motor oil. It was discussed to allow the residents to
have the opportunity to get rid of their motor oil in a supervised way and have
a company come in and process the oil.
Yocum asked if a concrete pad would have to be poured to place the
receptacle along with a chain link fence?
He asked what the cost would be and asked for a document from the
Administration explaining the cost and liability reasons why the town should
not do this. Felter stated that it is
his position that this should not be done.
This has been discussed with the recycling people and it is not a
service that will be provided. Merz
stated that G. Recksiek looked into this and he reported to the Council that it
would be extremely costly to run this program.
He also explained the expense to Leach.
Yocum explained that the Council would need to see the research as far
as the cost, the environmental issues in order to make a decision. Felter stated that he will get the
information and the cost for the Council.
stated that another issue was the drug free school zones and crosswalks at the
schools. Felter reported that he spoke
to the Chief today and there are some concerns. Yocum stated that Chief Palko has determined that the only
potential place to enact this is in the vicinity of White Rock but he and the
Administration do not feel it is necessary.
The existing traffic laws are adequate.
Birmingham stated that Middle School students walk along Weldon Road and
cross wherever they want. There was
discussion about having a trail along Weldon Road going from the Library down
to Mahlon Dickerson or the way the children cross from the Middle School to the
Library. It is a busy thoroughfare and
if there is a small path made of crushed stone there can be a crosswalk with
the sign. This would increase the
penalty for drunk driving and it would be a deterrent. Felter stated that there is already a path
from the High School soccer field to the bus compound that would lead to the
Municipal Complex driveway and then there can be a crosswalk across. Felter commented that the Board of Education
should be brought into the discussion because they may not want to encourage
children walking home from school. They
should be involved with a discussion about walking trails from their
facility. White Rock is the first
option because there are children that walk to that school.
asked if there are any other open issues that the Council would like to discuss. Birmingham asked about the items that are
marked for Elam to give an update.
Yocum stated that anything that is identified with a response from Elam
or Coe will come to the Council in the form of a brief memo or report over the
next 4 to 6 weeks.
asked if there were any members of the public that would like to come forward
with a question or comment and Wendy Connelly of Berkshire Valley Road came
forward. She reported to the Council
that last Tuesday the Lake Swannanoa Board had a presentation by an acquatic
analyst. There was a question about
whether the Township uses rock salt, salt or sand because there is an issue
with sand building up in the lake areas.
Elam answered that currently the town uses rock salt. He will be attending a seminar at Rutgers in
a couple weeks with the latest thoughts and procedures on that. Both sand and salt have certain issues. Rock salt is generally less harmful to the
lake but it can contaminate some parts of the ecology. Connelly stated that the Federal government
quantifies a lake by a depth of 6’ or more.
If you do not have 6’ or more, it is considered a pond or wetlands. For the DEP to oversee a lake it has to be
50 acres or more. Swannanoa does not
come under that heading and would actually be overseen by the County. The south lake is about 17 or 18 acres. The north lake is a maximum of 3’ at any
time. So in actuality it may not be a
lake. Connelly asked how she would go
about having some of the Lakefront taxes reassessed because in actuality they
are not. Elam said that the State would
still have jurisdiction over the dam.
Connelly again said that if you need 6’ of water, then the people on the
north lake are not lakefront. Felter
stated that the new revaluation is being done on comparable resales and not
lakefront. Sanchelli stated that at the
County DPW they use no grit on the roads because under Stormwater Management
Rules, the roads would have to be swept within 7 days. Elam next reported that the storm centers
were purchased and will be installed within the next 2 to 4 weeks. They will be installed on Carib Trail and
the Swannanoa boat dock.
asked if there is anyone else with a question or comment and seeing no one come
forward, he closed the public portion of the meeting.
National Martial Arts Day (153-A)
read the Proclamation for National Martial Arts Day.
stated that the new Utility Director is off to a good start and he has been
working with him.
asked Felter for an update on the Briggs Road residents with the well
problems. Felter stated that they
currently have a water buffalo in place for non-potable use and potable water
from Lakeside Field. He has not heard
from them recently. Yocum thanked
Felter and Leach for taking the problem seriously.
Adjournment at 9:18
Motion: Yocum, second Merz
President Birmingham Aye
Dated: October 12, 2005
Lydia Magnotti, Township Clerk Richard
W. Yocum, Council President