All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: March 7, 2019
A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING
1. Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Loveys. 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 Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record on November 29, 2018 by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 1, 2018. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and the Daily Record on December 6, 2018.
2. Roll Call
Deputy Mayor Carey
Also present: Township Manager Mountain, Ed Buzak from the Buzak Law Group, and Christy Hodde from the American Cancer Society
3. Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Loveys led the Pledge of Allegiance.
1. Proclaiming March 2019 as American Red Cross Month
Mayor Loveys explained that the American Red Cross provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, emergency preparedness education, blood drives and more; they also run programs at the Randolph YMCA. The organization has existed since 1881; the first chapter was established in upstate New York. The Mayor presented Christy Hodde with a proclamation and read:
AMERICAN RED CROSS MONTH MARCH 2019
WHEREAS, more than 137 years ago, the American Red cross was established as a humanitarian organization guided by seven fundamental principles—including humanity, impartiality and independence—to provide services to those in need regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or citizenship status. Today, the American Red Cross is one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world, and delivers its mission every day to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies; and
WHEREAS, every year, the American Red Cross responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters across the country, from small home fires to devastating massive disasters.
WHEREAS, in New Jersey, the Red Cross has a long history of helping our neighbors in need. The Red Cross New Jersey Region assisted with 90 local disasters in the past year alone and helped save lives through our Home Fire Campaign. Since the campaign launched in October 2014, the New Jersey Region has worked with community partners to install more than 31,761 smoke alarms. Meanwhile, in our area, the Red Cross handles an average of 5,100 emergency military calls every year and collects an average of 95,000 units of blood from our generous blood donors; and
WHEREAS, the American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families; and
WHEREAS, we dedicate the month of March to all those who support the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Our community depends on the American Red Cross, which relies on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, James B. Loveys, Mayor of Randolph, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Randolph and New Jersey, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as American Red Cross Month. I encourage all Americans to support this organization and its noble humanitarian mission.
March 7, 2019
James B. Loveys, Mayor
Christy Hodde thanked the Mayor and Council. She explained that the American Red Cross is on call 24/7; there are a lot of people from New Jersey who are actively involved in disaster response. Over 250 people from NJ were sent to California last fall to help with the wildfires. Christy stated that these volunteers are ordinary citizens who become extraordinary because of their humanitarian compassion.
C. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
D. MANAGER’S REPORT
Manager Mountain reported the following:
- Engineering Administrator—he appointed Wayne Corsey to fill the Engineering/Water & Sewer Administrator position vacated by Ralph Carchia. Wayne comes to Randolph from Bowman Engineering, formerly Omlen Engineering where he has worked for the past 22 years. He is familiar with Randolph, having worked on projects in the township. Wayne will join the organization on March 18, 2019.
- He attended the quarterly meeting of the Morris County Administrators/Managers group that County Administrator John Bonanni hosts. John and his staff reviewed the proposed 2019 County budget, both operating and capital. The proposed budget includes a number of things that Randolph will be happy to see, particularly the paving of Dover Chester Road from Sussex Turnpike to Chester and a significant section of Quaker Church Road. The budget includes a modest impact on taxes, a 0.9% increase or $11.32 on the average tax payer. Several years ago the Freeholders committed to absorbing any increases in the County dispatch system, which Randolph benefits from; therefore, this has helped to keep the township’s budget level. He and many of the other municipal managers and administrators shared their support for the County budget; the concern would be if there were any last minute attempts to cut as they would likely result in a reduction of services.
- Affordable Housing Process—he and Mayor Loveys have been working with the Township Attorney, land use professionals, and staff on the development of the draft housing element and fair share housing plan update as directed by the court; the submission date is May 1st. In the upcoming month they should have the draft to the Council for review and discussion.
- Liberty Tree Preservation—he and the Council Facilities Workgroup met with township staff and representatives from the Environmental & Landmarks Committee to follow up on the Liberty Tree preservation projects as presented at the last Council meeting. Everyone left with a better understanding of the proposed projects; they also identified follow up action items. They will have one more meeting before making recommendations for the Council to consider.
E. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
1. Approving Regular Council Meeting Minutes from January 17, 2019
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the Regular Minutes of the January 17, 2019 Council meeting. Councilman Nisivoccia seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Carey
F. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Mayor Loveys noted that the backup documents for Resolutions R-64-19 and R-65-19 were sent to the Council; he found that R-65-19 was difficult to follow.
Mayor Loveys asked for clarification on what precipitated the increase related to Resolution R-66-19. Manager Mountain explained that after the original resolution was presented to the Council, in following up with the Board of Health, it was recognized that the “not-to-exceed” number was set too low for the amount they intended to spend for the year.
1. Refund Tax Sale Certificate for Block 168, Lot 98, 3 Deepdale Drive to C&E Tax Lien Fund I—Christina T C/F Lien Holder—$6,687.76
WHEREAS, Tax Sale Certificate #18-38 held by C&E Tax Lien Fund I/Christina T C/F and currently assessed to the Estate of John Sheridan and known as, Block 168 Lot 98 and also known as 3 Deepdale Dr., and;
WHEREAS, the above mentioned Tax Sale Certificate has been redeemed by Celink representing the owner of the property. The redemption includes principal and interest in the amount of $3,687.76. There is also a premium due in the amount of $3,000.00.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, acknowledges that the Tax Collector redeem and refund the total amount of $6,687.76 to C&E Tax Lien Fund I/Christina T C/F lien holder of Tax Sale Certificate #18-38.
2. Refund Tax Sale Certificate for Block 5, Lot 7, 1584 Sussex Turnpike to US Bank C/F Tower DB VIII Trst2018 Lien Holder—$33,121.09
WHEREAS, Tax Sale Certificate #18-01 held by US Bank C/F Tower DB VIII Trst2018 and currently assessed to Jhon Simbana and known as Block 5 Lot 7 and also known as 1584 Sussex Tpke., and;
WHEREAS, the above mentioned Tax Sale Certificate has been redeemed by Lawrence J. Fox, Esq. representing the owner of the property. The redemption includes principal and interest in the amount of $22,421.09. There is also a premium due in the amount of $10,700.00.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, acknowledges that the Tax Collector redeem and refund the total amount of $33,121.09 to US Bank C/F Tower DB VIII Trst2018 lien holder of Tax Sale Certificate #18-01.
3. Authorizing the Township Manager to Endorse Treatment Works Approval Application—TWA—to NJDEP for the Construction of a Sewer Force Main Along Route 10 and Connecting to the Township Sanitary Sewer Collection System
WHEREAS, Metro Storage, (the “Applicant”) has planned the construction of a low pressure force main along Route 10 East; and
WHEREAS, the permit is to convey the effluent from a self storage warehouse facility with a total design flow of 196 gallons per day through the Randolph Township system to the RVRSA treatment facility; and
WHEREAS, the application must be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to obtain a TWA approval for the construction of the privately owned pump station and force main for this project; and
WHEREAS in order for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to consider the application, the same must be endorsed by the Township among others; and
WHEREAS the Township desires to authorize the execution of the endorsement of the said application,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey;
- The Township Manager is herby authorized and directed to execute the appropriate endorsements for the Treatment Works Approval, together with other appropriate officers and employees of the Township of Randolph, and hereby authorized to take all actions necessary to effectuate the purpose.
- This resolution shall take effect immediately.
4. Amending Contract with MSP Construction Corp for the Meadowbrook Road Watermain Replacement/Road Improvement—Section 1 Project—Changing a Typographical Error on Change Order #1 to Reflect an Increase of $2,332,054.50 Rather than “An Increase of $2,342,054.50” and Authorizing Change Order #2 for Additional Piping Required to Relocate the New Water Main due to Existing Utility Conflicts, Which Increases the Contract by $26,400.00—New Contract Total $2,358,454.50
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph Council awarded a contract for the Meadowbrook Road Watermain Replacement/Road Improvement—Section 1 Project to M.S.P. Construction Corporation (“M.S.P.”) on October 2, 2018 via R 275-18 for $2,025,454.50; and
WHEREAS, Change Order #1 was approved on January 17, 2019 via R 34-19 increasing the contract amount by $306,600 from $2,025,454.50 to $2,342,054.50 (an approximate 15.14% increase); and
WHEREAS, there was a typographical error in the increased award amount for Change Order #1 which should have been $2,332,054.50, with the stated approximate 15.14% increase still accurate; and
WHEREAS, the Engineering Administrator is requesting another change as a result of additional piping required to relocate the new water main due to existing utility conflicts at each wet tap location; and
WHEREAS, the items to be increased and the resulting dollar amount increases are listed below:
|Item #||Description||Unit Price Bid||Initial + Change Order #1 Quantity||Initial + Change Order #1 Total||Change Order #2 Quantity Increase||Change Order #2 Quantity Increase Total||Revised Total|
|12||8” Class 52, DIP incl. Fittings and Appurtenances (per LF)||$100.00||5412 + 2175 = 7587||$541,200.00 + $217,500.00 = $758,700.00||264||$26,400.00||$785,100.00|
|Change Order #2 amount:||$26,400.00|
WHEREAS, this change order will increase the contract amount by $26,400 from $2,332,054.50 to $2,358,454.50 (an approximate 1.13% increase over Change Order #1, with an overall 16.44% increase over the original contract award amount); and
WHEREAS, the Finance Officer has certified to the availability of funds for this increase from 06-215-55-916-602.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that Change Order #2 to M.S.P. be approved and the contract amount amended per the above.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: March 7, 2019
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Darren Maloney, Director of Finance for the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available in the Water Capital Fund, Ordinance 13-18 to award a change order contract to MSP Construction, per its response to a solicitation of bids by the township.
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Accounts: 06-215-55-916-302 (not to exceed $26,400)
5. Authorizing Change Order #2 with CMS Construction in the Amount of $28,644.00 for Additional Rock Excavation for the Butterworth III/Mt. Freedom Pump Station—Rebid Project, Bringing the New Total from $1,505,602.20 (including change order #1)—New Contract Total $1,534,246.20
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph Council awarded a contract for the Butterworth III/Mt. Freedom Pump Station-Rebid project to CMS Construction Inc. (“CMS”) on March 1, 2018 via R 72-18 for $1,464,669.00; and
WHEREAS, Change Order #1 was approved on December 6, 2018 via R 364-18 increasing the contract amount by $40,933.20 from $1,464,669 to $1,505,602.20 (an approximate 2.795% increase); and
WHEREAS, the Engineering Administrator is requesting another change due to additional rock excavation during pipe installation; and
WHEREAS, the additional measured field quantity of 124 cubic yards was confirmed by the Township’s Field Inspector; and
WHEREAS, CMS bid $231.00 per cubic yard for Contract Line Item #16; and
WHEREAS, the initial (100 cubic yards) and increased (177.20 cubic yards) quantity for Contract Line Item #16—Rock Excavation equals 277.20 cubic yards; and
WHEREAS, the initial ($23,100) and additional ($40,933.20) amount of Rock Excavation totals $64,033.20; and
WHEREAS, the additional 124 cubic yards of Rock Excavation will increase the line item amount by $28,644.00 to $92,677.20; and
WHEREAS, this change order will increase the contract amount by $28,644.00 from $1,505,602.20 to $1,534,246.20 (an approximate 1.9% increase over Change Order #1 with an overall 4.75% increase over the original contract award amount); and
WHEREAS, the Finance Officer has certified to the availability of funds for this increase from 08-215-55-912-300.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that Change Order #2 to CMS be approved and the contract amount amended per the above.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: March 7, 2019
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Darren Maloney, Director of Finance for the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available in the Sewer Capital Fund, Ordinance 23-15 to award a change order contract to CMS Construction, per its response to a solicitation of bids by the township.
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Accounts: 08-215-55-912-300 (not to exceed $28,644)
6. Amending Resolution No. 28-19 Authorizing the Award of Professional Services Agreements with American Animal Hospital and Animal Clinic of Morris Plains for Veterinary Services for 2019—Increasing the Entire Aggregate Contract Amount with Both Vendors Not to Exceed $8,000.00
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph (“Township”) requires veterinary services for the 2019 calendar year; and
WHEREAS, on January 17, 2019 via R 28-19 the Township Council awarded Professional Services Agreements to American Animal Hospital of Randolph, NJ and Animal Clinic of Morris Plains, NJ for the entire aggregate not to exceed contract amount with both providers of $5,350 (#12-225-00-000-002 ($3,750) and #12-225-00-000-002 (Rabies Clinic) ($1,600)); and
WHEREAS, the entire aggregate contract amount is increased to the not to exceed amount of $8,000; and
WHEREAS, the Finance Officer has certified to the availability of funds for the retention of such professional services in account #12-225-00-000-002.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, as follows:
- Resolution 28-19 is hereby amended increasing the entire aggregate contract amount with both vendors to the not to exceed amount of $8,000.
- The entire amount will be charged to #12-225-00-000-002 with nothing being charged to #12-225-00-000-002 (Rabies Clinic).
- The Mayor and Township Clerk, together with all appropriate officers, employees, professionals and staff of the Township are hereby authorized and directed to take all steps necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Resolution.
- It is hereby directed that Notice of Award of this Contract shall be published once in the official designated newspaper of the Township within ten (10) days of the date hereof.
- This Resolution shall take effect immediately.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: March 7, 2019
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Darren Maloney, Director of Finance for the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds will be available in the Animal Control Trust Fund, to award a contract to American Animal Hospital and Animal Clinic of Morris Plains, per its proposal to the township.
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Accounts: 12-225-00-000-002 (not to exceed $8,000)
7. Authorizing the Township to Join the Morris County Adaptive Recreation Program (McArp) and Contribute an Amount According to the Fair Share Ratio Schedule—$3,259.00
WHEREAS, there has been created a Morris County Adaptive Recreation Program (McArp); and
WHEREAS, said program intends to provide recreational services for persons with disabilities of all ages, and further to give said persons an opportunity to explore new leisure time skills in conjunction with their age and abilities; and
WHEREAS, the total project cost is estimated to exceed $ 300,000.00; and
WHEREAS, the Randolph Township costs with respect thereto will be approximately $ 3,259.00 to the Fair Share Ratio schedule.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the council of Randolph Township as follows:
That Randolph Township hereby intends to join the Morris County Adaptive Recreation Program (McArp) as described above and contribute thereto in the amount not in excess of the Fair Share Assessment for one year.
8. Release of Police Detail Escrow for Woodmont Condominium Association—$70.00
WHEREAS, the Finance Department received escrow funds for Police Detail.
WHEREAS, the Detail work has been completed.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey that it is recommended by the Finance Department that the escrow funds for the following amounts be refunded:
Woodmont Condominium Association $70.00
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the Combined Action Resolutions. Councilwoman Potter seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Carey
G. UPCOMING EVENTS
- Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Morristown on Saturday, March 9 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Library Event: Danny & the Boys, Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.—registration required—973-895-3556
- Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Free Quarterly Networking Event at Provident Bank, March 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Council Only—Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown—Opening of a Cache of Kinetic Art: Simply Steampunk on Thursday, March 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.—RSVP to 973-971-3721
- Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Networking Luncheon at LaStrada Ristorante, March 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
- ALL IN for Randolph Schools, the Randolph PTO Council, Friday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m., Hanover Marriott, 140 Route 10 East, Whippany—Basket Raffle at 6:45 p.m., Dinner and Entertainment
- (added) March 20—MAC is hosting speaker Matt Bellace at 7:00 p.m. at RMS
H. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. Discussion on Proposed Ordinance Amendment—Certificate of Habitability—Short Term Rentals
Manager Mountain introduced Health Officer Mark Caputo to explain the current regulations for rental properties and to provide background on some of the recent issues the township has encountered related to such properties.
Mark Caputo explained that the Health Department conducts inspections and issues the Certificate of Habitability for rental properties; the ordinance was adopted in the 1970s in response to the concern at the time that some rental properties warranted a higher level of surveillance to ensure the quality of life was maintained and property issues were quickly addressed. In 2006 it was amended to include single family rentals. From a regulatory standpoint, the program is successful; with this program, the township documents for the operators how a given apartment looked before it was rented. The department has seen a slight change in application of this program, particularly related to websites such as Airbnb and Homeaway. These sites are available for people to rent their home for short periods, even as short as one night. For the last two years, the Health Department has been addressing that new type of rental; there have been two properties in Randolph in the last two years. The issue with the way the ordinance is currently written is that it doesn’t specifically address short term rentals. Mark advised that the ordinance be reviewed and revised to reflect the current rental trends; the recommendation is to modify the ordinance to define a short term rental as anything under 30 days. Mark explained that the short term rentals have raised quality of life issues in the last two years. Manager Mountain added that the issue is not one of quantity; they are not getting complaints regarding short term rentals for a lot of properties. However, where these type of rentals have been active, they have often been groups renting the properties, not families; the renters have not been sightseeing nearby and staying in the house in the evening, they have been renting the house as the destination for the weekend. The trouble with the current ordinance is that the inspection can take place and the number of people renting compared to the number of bedrooms can be reviewed; however, when a follow up needs to be done, trying to ascertain who is renting and who is visiting is often impossible. There are often more people and more vehicles at the rental property, and people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Noise can be a problem, but it often doesn’t reach the level that would violate the noise ordinance. Sometimes there are issues with garbage or people milling around. The complaints have been generated from residents unable to enjoy their own properties because of neighboring properties with these types of issues from short term rentals. Manager Mountain explained that there have been a couple of persistent properties; one of which has since gotten out of Airbnb and gone to a more traditional rental.
Manager Mountain explained that they wanted to have the Council discussion prior to drafting any ordinances; the Board of Health has already had a discussion. If the Council desires a next step be taken and a draft be written, the Manager and Mark Caputo will work with the Township Attorney’s office to prepare a draft for a future meeting.
Deputy Mayor Carey clarified that the Board of Health has discussed the issue and recommended the 30 day timeframe. She asked about the number of short term rentals in the township. Manager Mountain explained that in the past two years there have been two Airbnb rental properties that have risen to the level of a problem; however, there have been more than two Airbnb rentals in the township without any issues. He explained that the township constantly monitors these rental websites to determine any rental properties. The township only inspects and issues the Certificate of Habitability if they find there is an actual rental, but sometimes it is difficult to identify.
Mark Caputo stated that in fairness to the property owners who have had these types of rentals, there has been compliance when the Health Department staff has asked them to submit to the Certificate of Habitability process. The township’s process and presence has helped to rein in any potential “animal house” situations. Manager Mountain added that there is a burden on the property owner who is renting since each time they have a rental, they must go through the inspection process. The process gave the township a little more control; however, when a complaint is received after a weekend, it’s very difficult to determine whether there was a violation under the current ordinance.
Councilman Forstenhausler added that he fielded quite a few phone calls in 2018; there were two specific properties, but multiple calls regarding each of them on multiple occasions. He felt it was a good idea to revise the terms of the ordinance related to rentals.
Councilwoman Veech noted that Governor Murphy just instituted a large tax on rentals through Airbnb, Homeaway, and similar companies. She asked if the township receives any of that revenue; Manager Mountain stated it did not.
Mark Caputo added that some cities have adopted ordinances to implement a short term rental tax; they are expanding their hotel tax to include these short term rentals.
The Council noted that they instituted a hotel tax last year, but it does not apply to these short term rental properties.
Councilwoman Veech clarified that if a resident wanted to rent their property, it would be a minimum of 30 days. Mark Caputo confirmed that was the proposal.
Mayor Loveys asked if anyone had researched if other communities had similar issues. Manager Mountain replied that there are many others facing the issue; however, in his informal questioning of other colleagues in Morris County, he got the sense that in similar suburban towns the issue had not yet become a problem. Towns outside of Morris County, such as Ridgewood, Paramus, Rutherford, Fort Lee, and some others have had issues, and have instituted the 30 day timeframe for short term rentals. The Manager and township staff purposely did not look at the shore communities because their issues are very different than Randolph.
Mayor Loveys stated that, although he wasn’t comfortable with government dictating what people can or cannot do with their private property, it has unfortunately affected the quality of life of those who surround certain properties. He stated that he hadn’t realized it was an issue, but having heard this discussion, he felt it might be necessary to institute the rental restriction before the situation gets any worse.
Mark Caputo explained that one of the enforcement challenges has been that if there was a violation issued, it was a Notice of Violation, with a specified time to correct. By that time, the one or two night problem tenant is long gone. He felt that by modifying the ordinance, this particular challenge would no longer exist.
Mayor Loveys stated that he wanted to ensure that alternative ideas were reviewed and discussed prior to recommending the 30 day rental restriction. Manager Mountain explained that his philosophy over the past two years has been to try to manage this issue through the enforcement of other existing ordinances and not have to propose another ordinance. Initially, that worked when there was one property that had some complaints; however, last year a second property started renting, and complaints were received that could not be enforced under the current ordinances.
Manager Mountain explained that if it is the consensus of the Council, an ordinance will be drafted. However, if he discovers that another town has instituted a better solution to this problem, he would bring it to their attention. Deputy Mayor Carey stated that she was generally in favor of the 30 day restriction, but if there was a better alternative, she would like to hear about it. She asked what would prevent someone from renting for 30 days and only staying for a weekend. Manager Mountain replied that they considered that, but felt that the price point for 30 days would make it not worth the cost for staying for only a few days.
Attorney Buzak added that sometimes addressing issues is evolutionary; you take a step, see if it works, and if it doesn’t, you try something else. You may not be able to solve a problem all at once. Hopefully over a period of time, the ordinance and regulations are developed that accomplishes the original objective.
Councilwoman Veech asked if there had been any lawsuits related to having such an ordinance in place. Ed Buzak replied that he was unaware of any; he thought there were a couple of Morris County municipalities that have had significant issues with the rentals. Councilwoman Veech asked if the homeowner has rights under the law and if they could sue. Attorney Buzak again replied that he had not heard of any reported cases that had tested this yet. She stated that she was in favor of amending the ordinance.
Mayor Loveys stated that there was consensus from the Council to moving forward with amending the ordinance as discussed. He asked the Manager to work with Attorney Buzak’s office to draft an ordinance.
I. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Adam Malik of 25 Skyline Drive, Matthew Parsons of 18 Poppy’s Place, and Nick Gabler of 8 Nathan Drive addressed the Council. Nick explained that they were from the Boy Scouts of America Pack 166 from Center Grove School; they were all currently in 5th grade. They were attending in order to obtain a badge by meeting a town official. The Mayor and Council welcomed the boys, and thanked them for coming.
Matthew Elejalde of 1 Village Court and Troop 109 asked why there was a limit on the number of people who can stay in the Airbnb rentals. Mayor Loveys explained that his position was that it was a safety issue; dwellings are constructed to house a certain number of people. It is also a quality of life issue for the residents in the area. Mark Caputo added that over occupancy laws are common to many towns throughout the country. The laws are in place for the reasons the Mayor stated, as well as public health. Overcrowded conditions can transfer disease; there are limits to the number of people who can sleep in a given size bedroom. Another issue particular to Randolph is septic system; they are designed for a specific number of bedrooms. Matthew thanked the Mayor and Health Officer for the explanation.
Jim McConnell of 45 Carrell Road stated that he has lived in Randolph for over 50 years. When the bungalow ordinance was written in the 1960s or 1970s, it was poorly done, but they no longer exist. He felt that it was not up to the town to tell him who he can have in his home, how many he can have, or how long they can stay. He felt the ordinance needs to be written very carefully in order to avoid any type of litigation. There was a discussion between Mr. McConnell and members of the Council about the quality of life issue.
Pat Daley of 12 South Road stated that he would invite Jim McConnell to his home one weekend when there was a raging party next door. He also believes in individual rights, but this has been a continual problem. He has had to call the police every weekend, he has spoken to Councilman Forstenhausler when he was the Mayor, to Manager Mountain, and to Mark Caputo and they have all been great. Mr. Daley stated that he does not like to complain, but the situation across the street from him has been a nightmare, with parties every weekend. He stated that Manager Mountain explained everything very well; he felt that the 30 day minimum would definitely help. Mr. Daley also felt that the change to the ordinance would not adversely affect anyone.
Pam Nicholas of 7 South Road stated that the house that is rented is a flag lot, which sits right behind her home. There are often as many as 30-40 cars; sometimes these cars are parked all the way down Cromwell Drive or on her front lawn or blocking her driveway. She reiterated that it happens every weekend. She has also spoken with the Manager and former mayor, who have been helpful. Ms. Nicholas stated that it happens every weekend from April through October.
David Cameron of 7 Patriot’s Way stated that he had a similar experience with one of his neighbors; he lives on a quiet cul-de-sac, with woods across the street. In his situation, the biggest issue was noise; these situations are like living next to a fraternity house. Other issues arise such as people jumping fences and trash left on the property.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
J. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilwoman Potter attended the Traffic Advisory Committee meeting. They voted to purchase another traffic counting device since the first one was very successful in collecting data. The first device was on Dover Chester Road for eight days, and approximately 8,000 vehicles were counted. The speed limit where the device was located is 35 mph; average speed recorded was 37.48 mph, with 85% of the cars driving under 42 mph and the fastest speed being 72 mph. The Police Department continued the initiative to follow school buses; in 50 hours, following 43 bus routes, five summonses were issued.
Councilman Nisivoccia attended the Randolph Rescue Squad and the Ironia Fire Department installation dinners. He was impressed and appreciative of the number of volunteers and the length of their service to the township.
Councilman Forstenhausler attended the MAC meeting. Speaker Matt Bellace will be presenting to the middle school students during the day on March 20th and in the evening for parents. The MAC is also hosting a Mental Health First Aid Training; it is a two-part training on March 23rd and March 30th at St. Matthew’s Parish. Mary Vineas will be the instructor; it will be promoted through the various township media outlets. There will also be a mental health workshop at CCM on March 28th; MAC is providing pizza and beverages. MAC is hosting a Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Expo on May 4th at the Randolph Community Center. Councilman Forstenhausler explained that the members of MAC are very dedicated to drug and alcohol prevention, as well as mental health issues in the community.
Councilman Forstenhausler reiterated that the Facilities Workgroup met with the Liberty Tree Committee. The wood from the tree is currently being stored. There are several plans that will be brought before the Council within the next month or so.
Councilman Tkacs reported that the Planning Board has not yet met for the year. He agreed with Councilman Nisivoccia’s comments regarding the installation dinners and the volunteer first responders.
Councilwoman Veech reported that she and four members of the Randolph Community Garden (RCG) subcommittee attended the Garden Coordinator’s Conference at the Arboretum on Hanover Avenue; there were approximately 120 garden coordinators in attendance from all over the state. There were great ideas which will be shared at the next community garden meeting. Registration for garden plots begins on April 1st; the fee is $40 per year. There are 168 plots (16’x18’), and registration is on a first come, first served basis.
Councilwoman Forstenhausler noted that Councilmen Nisivoccia and Tkacs mentioned the first responders at the Rescue Squad and Fire Department. He explained that, as a firefighter he had responded to an elevator emergency the previous week; there was a power outage and they rescued a woman and her two young children. The woman and her children were very appreciative and happy to get out of the elevator. Councilman Forstenhausler explained that their reaction to the rescue effort is what keeps the first responders energized.
Deputy Mayor Carey reported that she also attended the Facilities Workgroup meeting. She also attended an Eagle Court of Honor at Ironia Firehouse for four scouts.
Deputy Mayor Carey also enjoyed the installation dinners at the Rescue Squad and Ironia Fire Department. She added that on the previous Saturday she called 911 because her carbon monoxide detector was going off. She discovered that her furnace was malfunctioning and spewing carbon monoxide throughout her house. The Randolph firefighters and police officers responded, and fortunately there was a good outcome.
Mayor Loveys also concurred with the others’ comments regarding the first responded; he added that the township is fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers across the board. He encouraged the Boy Scouts in attendance to get involved in their communities in the future.
Mayor Loveys had the pleasure of reading to students at Fernbrook School and Shongum School as part of Read Across America.
Mayor Loveys spoke at the Senior Club meeting; he provided an update on the things happening in the township.
Mayor Loveys thanked the DPW and other employees who cleared and maintained the roadways and walkways during the winter months.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Loveys attended the weekly coffee and conversation held by the members of the VFW.
K. EXECUTIVE SESSION
There was no Executive Session.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:28 p.m. Deputy Mayor Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Carey