Lake Commission Working with Municipalities on Site Plans
Lake Hopatcong Commission secretary Colleen Conover will assure that the commission has access to all planning and zoning applications around the lake at least 10 days before the municipalities review them.
Conover and Robert Tessier, the state Department of Community Affairs representative to the commission, met to discuss the best way for the four municipalities to comply with state regulations that require the commission review all site plans within the watershed of the lake.
At the commission meeting on Monday, May 14, they proposed that Conover check with each of the four municipalities 10 days before their land use board meetings to determine if there are new applications within the lake’s watershed. Tessier explained that state law requires the municipalities to notify the commission, but not to send the entire application package. Conover can look over the applications to determine if there could be any impact on the lake. If so, the commission will review the application. Tessier called the new protocol proactive.
Commissioner Anne Pravs said the municipalities believe the commission only has jurisdiction if the application involves property within 300 feet of the lake. Tessier pointed out that the applications are public record. Conover said none of the four municipalities wants to send an entire application to the commission because of cost.
The commission’s business plan subcommittee – Tessier; Dan McCarthy, Hopatcong Borough representative; and Fred Steinbaum, a gubernatorial appointment – will start working with Benecke Economics of Pompton Lakes to find alternative funding for the commission’s necessary work, such as weed control. The commission voted in January to contract with Benecke, which has previously worked with Jefferson Township, including on a current property in need of redeveloping. The firm has offered to help the commission create special local improvement districts to address problems like control of stormwater runoff, nonpoint source pollution, and the preservation of certain environmental areas.
Marty Kane, chair of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation board, reported to the commission that the state will hold a Boat Regulatory Commission meeting on July 11 at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club. The commission usually meets at a shore location. Kane said the commission will discuss wake surfing rules and a section of the commission’s bylaws that covers Lake Hopatcong and its restaurants specifically.