MINUTES

OF THE

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

 

 

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

A special meeting of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Commission was held at the Town Hall, Cranbury, New Jersey, on September 5, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

 

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 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.

 

CALL TO ORDER

With a quorum present, Chair Bobbie Marlowe called the meeting to order, and, Linda M. Scott, Secretary for the Commission, performed as Secretary.

 

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE

Diane Stasi, Alana Stops, and Chair Bobbie Marlowe, were present.  Harry Williams informed the secretary that he would be unable to attend this meeting.

 

MINUTES

The minutes of August 15, 2006 were reviewed, amended and approved with a motion by Diane Stasi, second by Bobbie Marlowe, all in favor. 

 

APPLICATIONS

            43 South Main Street, (B18,L7) In Historic District;  information has been received regarding the proposed brick material for the chimneys.  The corner bricks will wrap around.  The existing flashing, believed to be copper, will be reused.  A bluestone cap will be used.  HPC reviewed the information, realize that the two chimneys are non-functioning, and current foundation will not withstand the weight of real brick.  Approved application will state that ordinarily HPC would not approve brick veneer under these circumstances.  However because there is no brick foundation to support the weight of true bricks, approval of 1” brick facing with brick corners is approved.  A verbal vote to approve this application as present:

Ayes:   Ms. Marlowe, Ms. Stasi. Ms. Stops

 

 

DISCUSSION

            Prior to discussion of the cell tower, the secretary placed a phone call to Betty Wagner asking if she would be attending this meeting regarding the cell tower located in the Historic District.  Secretary stated that Betty Wagner would be unable to attend, but that Betty inquired if the radius coverage of the Route 130 proposed cell tower was known.  Betty relayed that the fewest number of cell towers that would do the best and most good in the township would be best in her opinion.  She prefers to have the minimal amount of cell towers in the town.

            Committee member Pari Stave is attending this meeting to present the history of how the Township Committee (TC) created the bid spec for the cell tower, located in Memorial Park near the firehouse.  She began by stating that she cannot and may not comment on the Route 130 cell tower application.  (continued on next page)

 

Pari stated that in the summer of 2004 prior to any other applications, Sprint came to the TC with a proposed cell tower.  Sprint presented a large gap in coverage located at the western portion of Cranbury near North Main Street and Plainsboro Road.  The TC hired experts to perform a mapping study that verified this.  Pari stated the FCC permits cell providers to put cell towers wherever they need coverage, while working with local laws.  With this in mind, the experts identified two township owned sites for installation of a cell tower.  One site is the West Property and the other is the existing firehouse cell tower.  The Fire Co. endorses this proposed site.  However, this existing tower cannot support any carriers. Existing utilities prevent any re-location of the tower to behind the firehouse.  Any income produced from carriers on the proposed tower would benefit the township.  The Township’s interest in accommodating any applicant is to minimize the amount of cell towers within Cranbury.  Pari stated that if a tower is located on municipally owned land, the town is in a better position to compel other applicants to collocate on the existing site, should it not be municipally owned land, some control that the township may have could be lost.  This may result in additional towers.

Bobbie asked about the size of the existing tower base.  John Frisch, resident, stated that the existing concrete base is triangular, measuring 7’ x 7’ x 7’ and the distance from the flagpole to the existing pad is 33’.  Pari stated the existing pole is approximately 120’ high and will increase 10’, not to exceed 130’.  The lattice design, height limit and compound perimeter enclosure is determined by State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  There is still a question to the actual dimension of the tower base on the map presented (8.8.06 Hatch Mott MacDonald Conceptual Plan to Accompany Materials for Construction and Maintenance of Wireless Communications Tower and Appurtenant Facilities).

Pari read that all equipment associated with the tower must be housed within an equipment compound located at the base of the tower.  The equipment compound shall be designed to accommodate 12’ x 20’ shelters or 10’ x 20’ pads, as needed up to four carriers.  The compound shall be fully enclosed by a combination of walls and fences at least 8’ high as follows. 

1.      walls-the northern and eastern side of the compound shall be enclosed by a wall constructed of block or stucco facing matching the color and texture and design of the wall of the fire house. 

2.      fencing-southern and western side of the compound shall be enclosed by an opaque chain link fence with slats of a color and material satisfactory to  the Township.  The fence shall contain a gate to enable maintenance personnel to access the equipment cabinet and shall further be designed so that a portion of the fence can be removed in the event that equipment cabinetry needs to be upgraded. 

HPC expressed this is the first opportunity that they have heard or were aware of the details regarding the cell tower since it is located within the Historic District (HD).  Pari previously requested that HPC be provided a copy of the proposal and will see that HPC receives a copy.  HPC stated that elevation drawings would be helpful to visualize both the equipment compound and tower.  It was expressed that perhaps there may be another location outside the village and away from the center of the HD. 

HPC stated that a previous cell tower application to be located on Plainsboro Road was denied by the Zoning Board due to the vista of HD.  This current application is in the center of the HD.  Would this denial be applicable to this current cell tower application?  When the existing firehouse cell tower was built (1995-96), it had a life expectancy of 40 years. 

Pari stated the water tower is not under consideration.  Since it is not municipally owned, the Township will have no control.  A question was raised regarding should another tower in an industrial site be built, would it not have the radius coverage for this area.  Pari stated that the professional consultant could best answer this question.  Pari raised a concerned that multiple carriers could or would not collocate on such a tower and could possibly cause more towers to be built.  The lease for the proposed tower is 5 years.

John Frisch and David Szabo, both of South Main Street were in attendance.  John asked if residents living within a certain perimeter needed to be informed of the proposed tower.  (continued)

 

he feels that not enough was done for public awareness of such important issues aside from the articles in the Cranbury Press.  Pari replied that public notice was published in the Cranbury Press.  John agrees that the center of the HD is not the place for a cell tower and prefers to see smaller towers placed, where needed, outside on the perimeter of Cranbury.  He also stated that Cranbury code stipulates cell towers should minimize the visual impact on the HD, he spoke of the 800’ radius notice or lack thereof, which is the reason he is present this evening.  He concluded by asking that TC consider the health and safety issues. 

The Zoning Board addresses the Route 130 site tomorrow.  The TC will address the firehouse site at an upcoming meeting.          

Alana Stops graciously volunteered to write a short article for the Township Newsletter.  The topic will be tax credits for income producing properties. 

HPC entered into closed session to review the executive minutes of August 15, 2006.  After review of these minutes, meeting was opened to the public.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Bobbie Marlowe, second by Alana Stops, all in favor.

            The Guidelines will be placed on the next agenda for review and discussion.  Being that they are dated 2004, there may be updates.  In the past, there have been applicants who have asked for written guidelines. 

            There have been the Historic District and Buffer Zone homeowner letters returned whether undeliverable or unclaimed.  These letters will be resent to assure that the homeowners are aware of their responsibility as property owners in the districts.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF MEETING

There being no further business, on motion duly made by Bobbie Marlowe, seconded by Alana Stops, and carried, the meeting was thereupon adjourned at 9:20 pm.

 

 

CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY

I, Undersigned, do hereby certify;

That I am duly acting secretary of the Cranbury Township Historic Preservation Commission and,

That the foregoing minutes, of the Historic Preservation Commission, held on September 5, 2006, consisting of 3 pages, constitutes 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 Commission this October 3, 2006.

 

 

 

__________________________________________

Linda M. Scott, Secretary