MINUTES

OF THE

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

The regular meeting of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission was held at the Town Hall, Cranbury, New Jersey, on January 20, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.

 

CALL TO ORDER

With a quorum present, Ms. Marlowe, called the meeting to order and acted as the Chairman thereof, and Kathleen S. Wasson performed as Secretary.

 

STATEMENT OF ADEQUATE NOTICE

Pursuant of the Sunshine Law, adequate notice in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-5) was provided on January 7, 2003 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

Cynthia Hinson, Bobbie Marlowe, Diane Stasi and Don Jo Swanagan.

 

REORGANIZATION

            Motion by Ms. Marlowe, second by Ms. Stasi, to maintain the status quo:  Michelle Donato was reappointed as attorney, Ms. Marlowe was reappointed as Vice-Chair; and Ms. Scott was reappointed as secretary.  The vote was unanimous.

 

MINUTES

The minutes of the January 6, 2004 meeting were reviewed, amended, and then approved.  A motion by Ms. Stasi to approve the minutes, seconded by Ms. Marlowe, all were in favor.

 

APPLICATIONS

None.

 

DISCUSSION

            Ms. Stasi saw a proposed ordinance, No. 01-04-04, published in the Cranbury Press, concerning expanding the composition and removal clause for HPAC.  Ms. Stasi spoke with Ms. Donato, who had not been informed of the ordinance.  Ms. Donato will speak with Ms. Waterbury, the Township Attorney, and clarify the purpose of the language in the ordinance.  Ms. Marlowe believes that the ordinance will not be acted upon until Mr. Stannard is back in town – he is away right now.  Ms. Marlowe believes that there might be something in the old ordinance, which addresses the issues. 

A discussion of the proposed ordinance took place, whereby the commission members talked about the interpretation of what is written.  Ms. Hinson wondered why this proposed change needs to take place now.  Ms. Marlowe said that she would like to proceed by asking Mr. Stannard to answer their questions and concerns first, and then attend the Township Committee meeting if there are remaining questions.  Ms. Stasi wants clarification and explanation of the use of the terms “removal for cause”.

Ms. Stasi proposed that the Secretary request, in writing, that the Commission attorney provide an opinion to the members concerning the proposed ordinance and that Mr. Stannard be present at the next HPAC meeting. 

            The Commission members updated Ms. Marlowe about the proposal received by Mr. Turner for HPAC to be the guest of honor at their March 19, 2004 potluck dinner.  A discussion took place about how best to put together a presentation and who should be involved.  Ms. Marlowe suggested having Betty Wagner involved in the planning process, since she is knowledgeable on the history of HPAC.  Mr. Swanagan suggested having two people get together first and come up with an outline, then having the full commission meet to finalize the presentation.  Ms. Stasi thinks that this is a good opportunity for HPAC.  Ms. Hinson agreed.  Mr. Swanagan, Ms. Marlowe and Ms. Stasi agreed to commit to working on the presentation.  Mr. Swanagan agreed that he is able to provide the history of HPAC and its purpose.  Ms. Stasi said that she could speak about the ordinance and how HPAC carries out its duties.  Ms. Marlowe will speak with Mr. Turner and let him know the thoughts of HPAC. 

Ms. Stasi had a question about how to expand the historic district to include properties which have not been included in the expansion areas, in particular on South Main Street.  It was felt that these properties be specifically identified and included in the ordinance.  Ms. Hunton may be able to discuss this issue with the Commission.  Keitlinski and Whitman, 97 South Main, are two of the properties, which are not included but should be, according to the Commission.  There are 14 parcels of land on the south side of the lake, that would be included in the revised historic district, because they are contiguous.   

The members had a general discussion about the house on Bunker Hill Road.  In January, there was discussion of taking steps to propose an ordinance concerning scale consideration.  It would address overbuilding on a lot and tearing down existing structures to replace them with larger ones.  The Commission feels that this is an important issue, which falls outside the purview of HPAC but should be addressed by the Planning Board.  Ms. Marlowe said that she believes that the character of older neighborhoods, such as Evans Drive, will be changed and smaller homes would be torn down and replaced with larger homes.  She proposes getting Bill Bunting and Betty Wagner together with members of HPAC and have them go to the Planning Board informally, to raise this as an issue.  Ms. Marlowe will discuss this with Bill Bunting and Betty Wagner.  Mr. Swanagan discussed the tear-down issue, and how it was handled in Dallas, Texas.  There, the rule was that a house must be over 80% gone before approval would be given to demolish a house.  Ms. Stasi said that in Hudson, New York, historic homes are being demolished for the salvage value of the contents.  Ms. Hinson suggests that an ordinance limiting what can be built in Cranbury if a house is torn down will discourage such action.  Bill Bunting and Betty Wagner are concerned with areas like Evans Drive and the Estates, which, although not in the historic zone, should be protected from a size perspective.  Mr. Swanagan suggested that appropriate FARs for specific areas must be established, and that each area may have a different FAR.  It was felt that this would be a large, time-consuming process for a professional planner and that it should be started as soon as possible.  Ms. Marlowe said that the Bunker Hill house is a good example and provides a good point of discussion for the presentation at the Historical Society potluck supper to speak about what HPAC has control over and what they can not control.

Ms. Marlowe asked if anyone knows what is happening with the Updike barn.  Mr. Swanagan said that it will be stored until a site is determined for its permanent location. 

The Commission telephoned Gail Hunton to ask her the questions about the expansion of the historic district by including the two separate sites on South Main.  Gail replied the two will not be included on the district map at this time but could be added in the future.  While Ms. Stasi spoke with Ms. Hunton, the other Commission members reviewed the revised draft design guidelines document, which was provided to the Commission members this evening.  The Commission asked that the Secretary note that the names of the Township Committee members and the HPAC members, listed on the cover of the document, may change and should be updated prior to finalization.  The contiguous part will be added in; the homeowners must be notified of the change.  The zoning ordinance will be changed to designate the homes as being in the historic district.  There is an original report that Gail prepared years ago that should be given to Linda Scott, which shows that the Township Committee approved of the inclusion of these properties in the historic district at that time.  Gail recommended that she and Michele Donato should be present when the proposal is presented to the Township Committee.  The Secretary will be asked to contact Michele Donato and let her know that the Commission is ready to move forward with this document.  The Secretary should then coordinate the schedules of Michele Donato and Gail Hunton with the Township Committee schedule of meetings to set a date for presentation of the document to the Township Committee.  Ms. Marlowe said that the Commission must determine what, if any, rules apply and what procedures must be followed if all of the HPAC members wish to attend that Township Committee meeting, i.e., notice a joint meeting of the two committees.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made by Mr. Swanagan, seconded by Ms. Hinson, and carried, the meeting was thereupon, adjourned at 9:20 p.m.  All in favor.

 

CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY

I, Undersigned, do hereby certify;

That I acted as secretary of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and,

That the foregoing minutes of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, held on January 20, 2004, consisting of 3 pages, constitute a true and correct copy of the minutes of the said meeting.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto do subscribe, my name of said Historic Preservation Advisory Commission this February 18, 2004.

 

 

 

__________________________________________

Kathleen S. Wasson, Acting Secretary