TOWNSHIP OF MOORESTOWN OCTOBER 21, 2002 The Regular Meeting of the Moorestown Township Council was called to order by Mayor Miller in Town Hall, Conference Room, 111 West Second Street, Moorestown, at 7:30 p.m. on October 21, 2002. Attendance was as follows: Howard A. Miller, Jr., Mayor John T. Terry, Township Manager Kathleen D. Einstein, Councilmember Thomas J. Merchel, Chief Finance Officer Michael T. Nichols, Councilmember Patricia L. Hunt, Township Clerk Jeffrey P. Harding, Councilmember Dennis P. Talty, Township Solicitor Michael Sanyour, Councilmember (7:50pm) Mayor Miller advised that notice of the meeting had been given in accordance with law. Mr. Terry advised that there were some changes to the agenda. He advised that, due to scheduling conflicts, the Economic Development Committee discussion had to be rescheduled until the November 4th meeting. Mr. Terry advised that Marci McKeon had forwarded a letter to Council regarding the parking on North Stanwick Road; however, her letter indicates that she will not be present at the meeting. Mayor Miller opened the meeting to the public. He asked that all comments be limited to one or two minutes. Harry Koons, 123 East Main Street, on behalf of the Business Association, addressed the Council. Mr. Koons complimented the addition of the bus shelters in town but requested that the Council consider inserting backs and sides on the existing and planned bus shelters in town. He stated that the shelters do not protect individuals from the elements of the weather. Mr. Terry advised that the cost to enclose the shelters would be approximately $2,500 per shelter. He also noted that there were previous concerns with regard to vandalism. Mr. Nichols asked what other protection was provided for the people. Mr. Terry stated that the only protection is the overhead. Mayor Miller thanked Mr. Koons for his comments. There being no further comment, the public portion of the meeting was closed. Lisa Knell, 254 Linden Street, a member of the Historical Society, addressed the Council. Ms. Knell advised that although the historical element of the Master Plan had been recently updated, there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the historical value of the town is preserved. Ms. Knell read the Society’s goals aloud indicating that their ultimate goal is to preserve and improve the town’s historical resources and protect its heritage. Ms. Knell provided the Council with a draft ordinance, which would establish a Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, in accordance with the Municipal Land Use Law. Mr. Nichols asked what the differences between a committee and a commission would be.
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Dorothy Guzzo, 324 East Second Street, addressed the Council. She stated that a commission works within the planning and zoning ordinances of the township. Midge Ingersoll, 311 Madison Avenue, addressed the Council. She stated that the Commission would be advisory to the Planning Board. She further stated that she felt it important to be consistent with the MLUL. Great discussion was held regarding various matters such as how a commission may be able to apply for grants; in what capacity it would be advisory to the planning board; the data collection and inventories that would be provided by it; etc. The Society indicated that they would like to see encouragement of restoration of historic structures as opposed to demolition. Dr. Benjamin Smolenski addressed the Council. Mr. Smolenski stated that he believes that if the structures keep getting destroyed, Moorestown will be a “development” town losing its desirability and heritage. Ms. Ingersoll read an email she received into the record. The email was regarding two homes that were slated for demolition and development of new homes in their place. The author was saddened that the homes would be demolished. Ms. Ingersoll explained how a commission could help regulate the demolition process. The Council raised concern with the powers that a commission may hold as opposed to a committee. Louis Colaguori, Esquire, 544 Eaglebrook Drive, explained to the Council the criteria set forth in the Municipal Land Use Law with regard to a commission and its powers and authorities. He explained that the ordinance, which would ultimately be adopted by the Council, would set forth whether the commission would be a strong or a weak commission, insofar as their powers and authority would be concerned. He explained that the commission would be advisory to the planning board. Ms. Einstein inquired again about grants that may be available to assist in restoring properties. Ms. Guzzo explained that currently grant monies are not available to private homeowners. However, there are certain tax credits that eligible homeowners may be able to acquire. She explained to the Council what a Certified Local Government Program is. Discussion regarding grants, tax incentive and tax credit programs ensued. The Mayor asked that the Society keep the Council informed on any programs that may benefit the township. Mayor Miller questioned whether this commission would interfere with the responsibilities of the Appearance Committee. It was recommended that the duties and authorities of the proposed commission be compared with those of the Appearance Committee. Discussion was held on which property owners and what type of development would be subject to the commission’s review. It was stated that any property located within the historical district and/or designated as a historical structure on a formal inventory list prepared by the Historical Society, would be subject to the commission’s approval process. Mr. Colaguori noted that just
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because a structure may be old does not necessarily mean it is on the list of historical structures and subject to the commission’s oversight. Mr. Nichols asked what the impact on commercial developers coming to town would be. Mr. Colaguori stated that he believes the local merchant wants to maintain the quality of the district as same maintains stability. He also stated that statistics have shown that the historical heritage increases property values and surrounding areas usually feed off of the district. Ms. Ingersoll reminded the Council that the Society has performed a survey of the historical structures in town; that survey is ninety-nine percent complete. She indicated that they have taken the first step. The next step would be to establish a commission, which could assist the Council in preparing ordinances to help preserve the historical value. She stated that the ordinances would also set forth architectural design standards for commercial uses, which the township currently has no control over. She also stated that they would propose zoning amendments which would permit some of the property owners of historical structures to make proper use of their buildings, more in tune with the surrounding uses of the neighborhood in which it is located. Mr. Ingersoll said “our historical resources are important in this town, more than ever since we are losing open spaces.” She stated that the town has valuable treasurers to protect and it is lucky to have such knowledgeable people to help in the quest. Mr. Sanyour was concerned with the commission, which would be comprised of residents dictating to other residents what they could and could not do on their properties. Dr. Smolenski reminded the Council that the commission would only be reviewing applications in accordance with the ordinance. Ms. Ingersoll reminded the Council that most of the residents would value the assistance and advice of the commission as they usually want to upgrade their homes in a proper historical manner. Ms. Knell advised that the Society would provide the Council with ordinances of other towns for their review. Ms. Ingersoll recommended that the Council first, establish the commission and then the commission would work in concert with the Council, with input from the public, in establishing ordinances, which would best serve Moorestown. Again great discussion was held regarding the authority of the commission. Mr. Colaguori advised that until the Council adopted a historical district, the commission would not be able to perform its responsibilities; however, until such time, it could be seeking the public’s support and collecting various data. While advising that she and others surveyed every street in the township, Ms. Ingersoll presented a plan designating the proposed district. She further advised that all of the properties depicted on the map are already listed in the newly adopted Master Plan. Mr. Sanyour complimented the Society and stated that he was impressed with the amount of work that had already been done. He also supported the commission serving the Planning Board in an advisory capacity. Nan Pillsbury, 401 Mill Street, addressed the Council. Ms. Pillsbury stated that they are very proud of the what they have done and they want to protect the town’s heritage.
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Discussion regarding the next step ensued. The Council recommended that the Township Attorney provide it with advisory information on what the ramifications and various alternatives for establishing such a commission are, prior to it making any decisions. Mr. Talty recommended that the Council review the various ordinances in the mean time. He also recommended that the Council be prepared to appoint the members at the same time the commission is established. It was the consensus of the Council that any such commission be deemed with advisory powers only. Mr. Harding said that the time has come and there are a lot of great benefits, if it is set up properly; however, the Council must examine the intricacies prior to making any decisions. Ms. Einstein requested that an update of the matter be provided at the December 2, 2002 meeting of the Council. In closing, it was the consensus of the Council that any such commission be a “weak” commission, acting in more of an advisory capacity, than an enforcing capacity. The Council thanked the Society for their input and invited them to keep in touch with them on the matter. There were no more comments. Referring to the tentative agenda for the October 28th meeting, Mr. Terry advised the Council on the proposed resolutions and ordinances, on first and second reading. With regard to ordinances on first reading, Mr. Terry advised that the Council has agreed to sell a portion of public property, located on Beech Street, to the Second Baptist Church, in the amount of $5,000, so that they may utilize same to expand their facilities. Mr. Terry further advised that the matter concerning the 2001 and 2002 Public Works supervisors’ salaries had been successfully settled and therefore, an ordinance regarding their salaries would be heard on first reading. Mr. Terry advised that he spoke with School Board Business Administrator Bob Oldt regarding the student parking problem on North Stanwick Road. He stated he has not received any new information, other than the school is currently looking for additional lands to expand. The Council recommended that Mr. Terry provide the Council with a draft ordinance, pursuant to the Police Department’s recommendations. Thereafter, an ordinance could be scheduled for first reading in November. Council also noted their concern with the lack of input from the School Board. They stated that the adoption of a parking restriction ordinance would be a short-term solution; and they requested that Mr. Terry strongly pursue discussions with the School Board and a long-term solution be proposed. The Council recommended that the ordinance contain a sunset provision terminating the provisions at the end of the 2003 school year. The purpose of the sunset provision would be to provide for the immediate safety of the children, however, the Council will seek a permanent solution in concert with the School Board. Marci McKeon, 768 North Stanwick Road, was present. She acknowledged the Council’s efforts and indicated that she will also press the School Board for an alternative solution. With regard to the Township’s Christmas decorations, Mr. Terry advised that the Appearance Committee did take the Council’s comments into consideration. However, due to the fact that the purchased decorations have been approved by PSE&G and the fact that the manufacturer would charge the Township a $5,000 to $6,000 restocking fee, the Appearance Committee has
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made a decision to keep the decorations previously shown to the Council. However, taking the Council’s comments into consideration, the staff and the Appearance Committee have decided to place two decorations on one pole (on either side) on every other pole. It was their opinion that although every pole would not be decorated, the decorations, when combined, would provide a brighter, nicer effect. Mr. Terry advised that the staff has been communicating with DM Medical Billings regarding billing for ambulance services. He was advised that the billings can run from $180 to $425. He explained the range in costs and other miscellaneous information to Council advising that DM has offered to meet with Council, should it wish to do so. Mr. Terry advised that the resurfacing program is moving ahead. Mr. Terry advised that the skate park’s grand opening is scheduled for October 26, 2002. Mr. Terry advised that both trench sections on North Stanwick Road will be repaved. He noted that the Township has received some calls on the situation. With regard to traffic matters, Mr. Terry advised the sequence of the traffic light near the mall will be changing; the crosswalk on Second Street for the library is in the engineering stages; the relocation of the bus stop at the Episcopal Church (to the CVS) is moving forward; and speed checks are currently being performed on Salem Road in anticipation of a speed limit alteration. Mr. Terry advised that there are a number of traffic issues in town, which are under review. Mr. Terry also advised revising the one-way designation for a portion of Mill Street received NJDOT approval; however, the owner of the hardware store, who requested the study, has indicated that he does not wish to pursue a two-way travel lane at this time, due to the loss of parking. Therefore, no action will be taken. Mr. Talty advised that he attended the recent meeting of the Low and Moderate Income Housing Advisory Committee. He advised that COAH is in the process of updating their numbers so that municipalities will know what their requirements for recertification will be. However, those numbers are not presently available and the NJDCA has adopted a resolution permitting municipalities to apply for an extension. Mr. Talty advised that Mr. David Kinsey, Housing Consultant, recommended that the Township apply for a one-year extension of its Substantive Certification, which is currently due by July 8, 2003; and Council should be receiving a recommendation from the Housing Committee. He noted that there are other aspects of compliance that the Township can be working on in the meantime. Mr. Terry advised that third party contracts for inspection services in the Construction Office will expire at the end of the year. He advised that the Township has received qualification statements and bids from the bidders. The qualification statements are being reviewed and the Construction Official will be making a recommendation to the Council at the next meeting. Thereafter, bids will be opened.
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Referring to a letter dated October 12, 2002 from Leslie and James McChesney, 322 South Church Street, Mr. Nichols asked what the status of the water problem was. Mr. Terry advised that the water is especially dirty during this time of year, due to the fact that the fire hydrants are being flushed. Mr. Terry advised of the costs associated with upgrading the mains and recommended that the matter be reexamined after the flushing of the hydrants. Mr. Harding noted that the Rover rust remover has helped the situation. Mr. Terry advised that there are trouble areas in several neighborhoods and that any improvements would have to be the subject of a capital budget project. He also advised that the Township does provide an individual filter system for residents with chronic water quality problems. Kevin Aberant, 221 Parry Drive, addressed the Council, commenting on the water situation in various neighborhoods. Mr. Harding asked if the monies received from the sale of public property could be earmarked to help pay down the debt for the open space acquired. Mr. Merchel advised that all monies received in this regard would normally be deposited into the Township’s general fund. This matter was briefly discussed. Mr. Merchel indicated he would research the matter. Mr. Sanyour noted that the Chestnut and Third Street property is now clean. He requested that the Council consider designating this as a pocket park for passive recreation. At 9:35 p.m., a motion was made by Mr. Sanyour, seconded by Mr. Nichols, to adopt the standard resolution to enter into closed session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation and land acquisition. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried. At 9:50 p.m., a motion was made by Mr. Harding, seconded by Mr. Sanyour, to adjourn. So moved.
PATRICIA :L. HUNT Township Clerk