All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: March 16, 2006
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:00 p.m. by Mayor Algeier. This meeting is held pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. Adequate notice of the meeting has been provided by posting written notice of the time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of the meeting in Randolph Township. This notice was posted on the Bulletin Board within Town Hall, it was filed with the Township Clerk, and it was provided to those persons or entities requesting notification. Notice was also provided to the Morris County Daily Record and the Randolph Reporter on January 6, 2006 by faxing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on January 5, 2006. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Morris County Daily Record, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, on January 9, 2006 and in the Randolph Reporter on February 2, 2006.
Deputy Mayor Obremski
ABSENT: Councilwoman Price
Also present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Buzak
Mayor Algeier led the Pledge of Allegiance.
PRESENTATION BY JIM GRECCO—CONCEPT FOR COMMERCIAL PROJECT—ROUTE 10
Howard Spear, the attorney representing Grecco Realty, noted that Mr. Grecco owns approximately 11 1/2 acres of property along the northerly side of Route 10. He introduced Mr. Grecco, who will be speaking about proposed plans for that property.
Mr. Grecco presented the Council with his plans for the property, which would be an upscale colonial-style shopping center of about 100,000 square feet, similar to the Denville strip mall along Route 10. He summarized the types of stores he is interested in having there. He noted that one major concern is whether he can obtain access to Quaker Church Road from the back of his complex. He is very interested in working with the Council to make this shopping center a realty for Randolph.
Jim DiBarberi, the project architect, summarized the layout and ordinance requirements for the shopping center.
Gary Dean, a professional planner/engineer/traffic expert, presented information obtained from a traffic study of Quaker Church Road and how traffic would be impacted from access to the shopping center. It is their contention that limiting ingress and egress to Route 10 would be inconvenient and a safety concern for patrons of the shopping center.
Councilman Huston expressed concern that he wouldn’t want to see a rear access to Quaker Church Road used as a vehicular cut-through during rush hour traffic. He would be interested in hearing about an alternative to the straight line pass-through, perhaps something more serpentine in shape.
Mr. Dean noted that there was an issue with relocating the driveway due to limited site concerns as well as an elevation difference on the property.
Councilwoman Mitsch asked Mr. Grecco if he knows how many stores will be at this location.
Mr. Grecco replied that the number would depend on the amount of square footage each individual store required, but he envisions somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty.
Councilman Napoliello asked where the entrance from Quaker Church Road is located related to the entrance for Fernbrook School.
Mr. Dean replied that the entrance would be about 300 feet west of the entrance to Fernbrook School.
Mayor Algeier suggested limiting access to Quaker Church Road by use of two sharply angled cuts that would result in right turn in/right turn out movement of traffic. He also noted that signs for the Denville shopping center are not obvious to drivers, and suggested this shopping center have more obvious signage.
Manager Lovell noted that Mr. Grecco can either make an application for zone changes to the Town Council to modify the zone or appear before the Board of Adjustment on this project. He anticipates Mr. Grecco will make his decision and inform him within the next couple of days.
MASTER PLAN AND NATURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN—MARY BURGOON AND ROBERT MICHAELS
Ms. Burgoon and Mr. Michaels presented an overview of the work that’s been done over the past eighteen months. Several studies were done—a Route 10 study, a Mt. Freedom study, updating the 1992 Master Plan, and a Natural Resource Protection and Management Plan. Copies were provided to the Council for them to read over at their leisure.
In regard to the Route 10 study, the purpose was to understand the positive and negative aspects of what is happening along Route 10 and make recommendations. Several sections were divided into character areas and recommendations were made for each of these areas. Some of the recommendations include:
- Preserving visual character and requiring deep landscape setbacks
- Phasing out of billboards
- Additional environmental regulations
- The rezoning of several areas
- Update zoning in some areas to reflect government use zoning
- Encouraging egress and ingress via Route 10 for Morris County College
- Restrict access for non-residential development to Route 10 only
- Redevelopment of certain properties to be more in line with Master Plan vision
- Creating an overlay zone district encouraging parcels to redevelop and consolidate
- Consider some multi-family development
- Encourage hotel development at the current TDI site
Ms. Burgoon presented photos and examples of several architectural styles and the details that make significant impact on the appearance of a building.
The Mayor opened the presentation for public questions or comments.
Sandra Brinker, 25 Bedminster Road, expressed concern and disappointment with the proposed zone change for the Skylands property. She feels that the new zoning will encourage hotel development in that area.
Mr. Michaels noted that wetlands regulations will prohibit development of either the wetlands or the transition areas to the wetlands. The zone change is recommended in order to limit development to an appropriate use should the Skylands close.
Ms. Burgoon and Mr. Michaels presented their study on the Mt. Freedom area and highlighted some of the recommendations. Development in this area is strongly tied to the availability of sewers and improvements to Sussex Turnpike. Some of the recommendations include:
- Creating a village center with small scale shops and services within a safe and relaxing environment, tree-lined streets, colonial styling, well-defined walkways, open spaces, designed for all ages, detailing such as lighting, seasonal flowers, awnings, benches, etc.
- Redevelopment of existing businesses
- Extension of Millbrook Avenue to intersect with Woodlawn Terrace
- Some cottage-style housing
- More flexibility in the development of the Zion tract
- Connecting West Hanover Avenue to Brookside Road
- Various zoning changes
- Several township actions such as public improvements, sidewalks, street improvements, street trees, lighting, public parking, etc.
- The adoption of a pattern book to be used in conjunction with the ordinances and design standards to create consistent and compatible architectural treatment for new and renovated buildings
- Monitor state and county actions regarding improvements to Sussex Turnpike, underground utilities and sewering
Councilman Huston congratulated them for the concept of extending Millbrook Avenue to Woodlawn Terrace.
The Mayor opened the discussion to public comments or questions.
An attorney representing the owners of Lot 5, Block 224, noted that his clients have a proposal to present and would like the opportunity to appear before the Council before any rezoning of that property is done.
Mayor Algeier suggested they contact Manager Lovell and/or Township Attorney Buzak. He noted that the Master Plan has already been approved by the Planning Board, but he assured him that they would be happy to hear their presentation.
Ms. Burgoon and Mr. Michaels summarized the Master Plan process, which consisted of updating the 1992 plan. They used information provided by the Township staff, the Parks Committee, and the Environmental Commission as well as the Master Plan Committee. Many of the recommendations were discussed during the Route 10 and Mt. Freedom presentations. The intent was to be consistent with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan and also the Highlands Protection Act. The plan also reiterates and endorses many recommendations of the 1992 Master Plan. A major recommendation is for the township to continue to interconnect residential and commercial development with vehicular and pedestrian linkages.
A discussion followed on Randolph’s surplus of affordable housing and how that relates to the Master Plan and the new Growth Share Program.
Councilman Huston expressed concern that the money available from the developers fee ordinance would not be enough to build an affordable housing unit in the event Randolph exhaust its surplus.
Attorney Buzak summarized the differences between our developers fee ordinance and a proposed growth share ordinance.
Councilman Huston noted that housing costs in Randolph are high and the workers employed by the businesses in town can not afford to live here. He feels that it’s an integral part of economic development to provide housing for the workers.
Sandra Brinker, 25 Bedminster Road, stated that Randolph has a desperate need for affordable housing. Regardless of state regulations, it is immoral not to have homes for people. It is her opinion that eight affordable houses should be built for every one large home built.
Ms. Burgoon and Mr. Michaels presented highlights of the Natural Resource Protection and Management Plan. The purpose of this study was to identify what were some of the potential threats to the health, bio-diversity and integrity of the community’s natural resources and then to identify those land use and natural resource planning practices in order to plan management techniques as well as educating the local community of those potential threats. It also looked at current ordinances to identify where there are environmental controls and environmental ordinances and then make recommendations for new ones. This study will be a pilot study for the Highlands Council to show other communities how such an important plan can be done.
Manager Lovell stated that the Highlands Plan will be announced in June and any changes to zoning in that affected area should wait until after that time. However, he feels the Route 10 and Mt. Freedom zoning changes can be studied at this time.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS
Deputy Mayor Obremski reported that the Parks Committee rejected the Center Road property as a potential pocket park. The plan will now go back to the Open Space Committee.
Manager Lovell noted that the Center Road Association will be invited to the Open Space Committee discussion.
Councilman Napoliello noted that the Open Space Committee has included that property for their upcoming annual tour of properties for possible recommendation for purchase. The Center Road Association has been invited to be a part of that tour.
Deputy Mayor Obremski stated that 650 players are using the turf field, which was actually plowed after a snow fall, while no other fields in town are open at this time.
Manager Lovell added that the high school teams are using the turf field during hours recreation teams are not on the field.
Deputy Mayor Obremski reported that the refreshment stand at Heistein’s Park is currently undergoing renovations to the kitchen. The Parks crew is performing standard spring maintenance to the town’s parks.
Councilman Huston noted that the brush clearing along the transmission lines is continuing and he also stated that some of the clearing is very aggressive.
Deputy Mayor Obremski stated that there was one complaint about the aggressive clearing from a resident living in an area where the transmission line experienced a problem about six years ago. He believes her issues have been resolved at this point.
Mayor Algeier referred to a letter from the County imposing an April 1 deadline in regard to the Nitti property.
Manager Lovell responded that he and Assistant Manager Russo will be making a personal appearance at the County Open Space Meeting regarding this issue.
Mayor Algeier stated that several Council members enjoyed reading to local school children as part of Read Across America Day. After he read to a class, he asked the children why they enjoyed living in Randolph and noted their responses included they felt safe, they had a lot of good friends, they lived in a nice neighborhood, and attended good schools.
Manager Lovell noted that MAC is inviting all to attend a Start Talking Before They Start Drinking community discussion on March 28 at 5:00 p.m. at the Morris Museum in Morristown.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Hearing no comments from the public, the public portion was closed.
(1) Authorize Nitti Property Acquisition
Manager Lovell stated that this ordinance will allow us to enter into a contract for the acquisition of the Nitti property. Council should recognize that this project required an open space set aside and there was also a buy-down. Because of this, there will be only 25 lots developed instead of 32 or 33. Total acreage acquired will be 77.5 for a purchase price of $1.1 million. Morris County is providing $660,000.00 and the balance will come from Green Acres. Township contributions will be very minor for this project.
Councilman Manning noted that the price per acre, at $61,111.00, is high and sets a new record for the township purchasing property.
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISTION OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY TO BE KNOWN AS BLOCK 146, LOT 72.11 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS BLOCK 146, LOTS 81, 7, 25, 23 AND PORTIONS OF LOTS 85 AND 72) AS SHOWN ON THE PLAN ENTITLED “PROPOSED OPEN SPACE BLOCK 146, LOT 72.11” BY PAULUS, SOKOLOWSKI AND SARTOR, L.L.C., DATED FEBRUARY 13, 2006 be introduced, read by title by the Township Clerk and passed on first reading.
BE IT RESOLVED that said Ordinance shall be further considered for final passage at the meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Randolph on April 6, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. in the evening, prevailing time, at the Municipal Building in said Township, at which time and place all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Clerk be authorized and directed to advertise said ordinance in full with the Notice of Introduction thereof, in the official designated newspaper according to law.
Councilman Napoliello moved approval of the ordinance. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Obremski
ABSENT: Councilwoman Price
COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTION
A. Authorizing an Award of Contract for Fencing Materials and/or Installation for the Township
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph wishes to award a contract for Fencing Materials and/or Installation for the Township of Randolph for a period of one (1) year (April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2007); and
WHEREAS, bids have been advertised and received on February 28, 2006 in accordance with the “Local Public Contracts Law”; and
WHEREAS, ten (10) bid packets were mailed and one was received from General Metal Mfg. Co. (GM Fence), East Hanover, New Jersey.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the contract be awarded to General Metal Mfg. Co. (GM Fence) for Supply and/or Installation of Fencing Materials on an “as-needed basis” for the contract term April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2007.
B. Refunding Remaining Legal Escrow for 33 Dogwood Trail to Joseph and Sherri Celentano—$642.50
WHEREAS, Ordinance #21-05 to remove a drainage easement from 33 Dogwood Trail was approved by the Council on April 19, 2005; and
WHEREAS, Joseph and Sherri Celentano submitted Check No. 1504 in the amount of $1,000.00 which was received and deposited with the Finance Department for the purposes of covering the legal escrow; and
WHEREAS, the fees charged to this escrow were $357.50; and
WHEREAS, Ed Buzak’s Law Office included this charge in his monthly retainer fee, which is paid by the Township; and
WHEREAS, Joseph and Sherri Celentano are requesting a refund of the remainder of the escrow.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that it is recommended by John Lovell, Township Manager, that the amount of $642.50 be refunded to Joseph and Sherri Celentano, 33 Dogwood Trail, Randolph, NJ 07869.
(1) Application for a Raffle License, Randolph High School PTSA, Off-Premise Merchandise, June 6, 2006, Meadow Wood Manor, Route 10, Randolph
(2) Application for a Raffle License, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs, On-Premise 50/50, April 27, 2006, Meadow Wood Manor, Route 10, Randolph
(3) Application for a Raffle License, Randolph Township Women’s Club, Off-Premise 50/50, July 1, 2006, County College of Morris, Randolph, NJ
(4) Application to Amend Raffle License, Randolph High School Band Parents Association, Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ, Off-Premise 50/50—Change Date from March 2, 2006 to May 18, 2006
(5) Application for Special Permit for Social Affair—Randolph Lions Club at the Randolph Recreation Center Comedy Night Fundraiser on April 28, 2006 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
(6) Application for a Raffle License, Roxbury Rotary, Skylands, Route 10, Randolph, NJ, On-Premise 50/50—March 18, 2006
(7) Application for a Raffle License, Greek Orthodox Community Center, 1447 Sussex Turnpike, Randolph, NJ Tricky Tray, May 19, 2006
(8) Application for a Raffle License, Fernbrook School PTA, 206 Quaker Church Road, Randolph, NJ—On-Premise Tricky Tray—June 9, 2006
(9) Application for a Raffle License, Fernbrook School PTA, 206 Quaker Church Road, Randolph, NJ—Off-Premise 50/50—June 9, 2006
(10) Application for a Raffle License, Fernbrook School PTA, 206 Quaker Church Road, Randolph, NJ—On-Premise Merchandise—June 9, 2006
(11) Application for a Raffle License, Fernbrook School PTA, 206 Quaker Church Road, Randolph, NJ—Bingo—June 9, 2006
Deputy Mayor Obremski made a motion to approve the Combined Action items. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Obremski
ABSENT: Councilwoman Price
CONTINUED 2006 BUDGET DISCUSSION
Manager Lovell discussed three memorandums he placed in Council’s backup regarding personnel transitions occurring since he has been in Randolph Township, a look at our annual reports from various departments, and a document from John Van Brunt dealing with the parks maintenance operation review. The Manager asks that Council read through these documents and be prepared to discuss them at the next budget meeting. He stressed the importance of Randolph’s Mission Statement and his desire to have all township employees embrace the mission.
Councilman Huston asked if there was any confidence in the numbers for garbage collection and recycling.
Manager Lovell stated that he had confidence in the total tonnage numbers.
There were no comments from the Council.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Hearing no comments from the public, the public portion was closed.
Mayor Algeier adjourned the meeting at 10:40 p.m.
Donna Marie Luciani
Acting Township Clerk