MINUTES

OF THE

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

The regular meeting of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission was held in Town Hall on April 17, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

 

CALL TO ORDER

With a quorum present, Bill Mikula, Acting Chairman of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof, and, Linda M. Scott acted as Recording Secretary of the meeting.

 

STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE

Pursuant with the Sunshine Law, adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meeting Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-6) was provided on January 4, 2006 of this meeting’s date, time, place and agenda, was mailed to the news media, posted on the Township bulletin board, mailed to those requesting personal notice, and filed with the Municipal Clerk.

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

James Applegate, James Gallagher, John Kobland, John Reinfelder and William Mikula, Acting Chair.

 

NON-MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

            Anna Drago, Angela Clerico of the Stonybrook Millstone Watershed Association (SBMWA), and John Ritter.

 

MINUTES

The minutes of the February 21, 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved with a motion by Mr. Applegate, second by Mr. Gallagher, all in favor.  Mr. Kobland and Mr. Reinfelder abstained.

The minutes of the March 20, 2006 meeting were reviewed and approved with a motion by Mr. Kobland, second by Mr. Mikula, all in favor.  Mr. Applegate, Mr. Gallagher, and Mr. Reinfelder abstained.

 

WORK SESSION

The Environmental Commission unanimously voted to extend sincere appreciation to former chairman, Pete Sibley, for his service as chair of the Commission.  Through his leadership, enthusiasm and organizational skills the Environmental Commission enjoyed perhaps the most productive period in its history.  He leaves big shoes to fill and will be sorely missed.  We wish him well at his new home in South Carolina.

 

Stream Corridor Ordinance: Angela Clerico, of the SBMWS, stated Jennifer Coffey gave a presentation at the Township Committee meeting a few weeks ago that focused on the scientific background and benefits of a Stream Corridor Ordinance (SCO).  She was invited to speak of the many benefits of adopting a SCO in Cranbury.  The SBMWA completed a full assessment for Cranbury Township approximately two years ago.  This entailed a review of the Master Plan and existing ordinances that compared the vision of the town and recommendations how to bridge the gap between the regulations and the visions.  One such result was for SCO protection.  The SBMWA, funded through a grant with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, offered to work with Cranbury in creating an SCO. Angela has worked with other municipalities on their SCO, tailoring each SCOs to fulfill their needs.

            Angela distributed a hand out of formatted questions that were used with other municipalities when creating their SCO.  The answers are taken from existing ordinances in Cranbury.  She stated that Cranbury has much farmland that creates a different issue than the historic area or industrial area.  She explained that one township explicitly specified different requirements for different areas for their SCO and that Cranbury could do the same.  Currently, Cranbury lacks a SCO for farms, golf courses, vegetative goals and maintenance with native plants.  Neighboring East Windsor and South Brunswick have a SCO.  A 150’ wide buffer is preferred by SBMWA because they have found inconsistencies with the FEMA 100 year floodplain maps.  Jim Applegate questioned a stream on the supplied map.  He is aware this particular area is an intermittent stream and does not flow year round.  This stream segment would be an example of how we could tailor the SCO for different areas in the Town.  Angela agreed that the streams in Cranbury be walked and mapped.  In addition, these areas in the SCO can be re-addressed in future years, if necessary.  It was stated that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a BMP program that addresses and benefits farming long the stream corridor.  Angela will investigate a SCO for Plainsboro and Monroe Township.  She suggested starting with a purpose statement.

Bill feels that instead of organizing a subcommittee to work on the SCO, integrating the SCO within the regular EC meeting would work fine.  He discussed that bringing in an outside consultant would not be beneficial.  Dave Stout as a liaison will represent and relay to the TC.  Bill feels that a period for producing a draft SCO by September/October can be realistic.  Bill will discuss this schedule with Dave Stout.  The purpose and framework should be defined by the beginning of May.

Secretary will supply SCOs from other towns for the next meeting along with the conservation elements found in the Municipal Land Use Law.

 

Preserve Management Plan:  Jim Applegate received the Conservation Plan from Laura Coover of the NRCS.  Copies will be made for distribution.  Jim explained there are two approaches to planting native grasses, which will include native wildflowers.  One approach is to plant row crops, but this will take a full year.  Another way, and the NRCS’s recommended approach, is to herbicide the effected areas.  Shortly thereafter, light tilling and planting of seed grasses can commence.  Mowing once a year in July or August to encourage perennials and keep the tree saplings at bay.  Benefits are enhanced wildlife habitat and create a natural setting of a native preserve. 

EC discussed the fact that the public may balk at the use of herbicide.  Round Up, the herbicide of choice dissipates quickly.  This may not be so if the EC keeps the public abreast of the planting plan.  After much discussion, EC feels that recommended approach may be best.  Jim will take this information to Dave for his input.  Jim will also talk to the press for coverage.

Bill will keep the Scouts informed when the plan comes to fruition.  The Scouts may be able to flag the boundaries that will receive the herbicide.

 

            Cedar Brook Water Sampling: Bill updated everyone stating that water sampling has not been done.  It was decided at the last meeting to advise the State that the two-water sampling episodes will not be completed before the end of the June 30.  One round of wet weather sampling from Cedar Brook will be completed.  Bill will collect the samples from three locations, beginning near the Monroe Township border and send to Accutest for analyses. 

 

            Environmental Resources Inventory:  No update.

 

DISCUSSION

            A notice of Stream Encroachment Permit was received from Icon Engineering for the Institute of Islamic Studies, Block 16, Lot 8.  After locating site on the tax map, it was decided that EC would wait and make a recommendation when an application is received from Planning/Zoning.

            John Ritter was present to discuss the Boy Scout trail along the Cranbury Brook/Barclay South property.  He appealed to the EC for their support to extend and identify the trail for the public to walk this area.  EC reviewed the Preserve Management Plan for the parcel north of Cranbury Brook on the Barclay property.  EC agreed and offered their support. 

 

 

 

 

CLOSED SESSION

A motion for was made by Mr. Kobland, second by Mr. Gallagher, all in favor, for EC entered into closed session to discuss personnel matters (potential new member).   Shortly thereafter, the session was reopened to the public. 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made by Mr. Kobland, seconded by Mr. Mikula, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned.

 

CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY

 

I, The undersigned, do hereby certify;

 That I am duly elected and acting secretary of the Cranbury Township Environmental Commission and,

That the foregoing minutes of the Environmental Commission, held on April 17, 2005 consisting of 3 pages, constitute a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed the name of said Environmental Commission the ___________________2006.

 

______________________________________

Kristen H. Hamilton, Secretary