Board of Adjustment, Planning Board Combine

Jefferson Township’s new Land Use Board held its organization meeting on Monday, January 27, with tie votes and some discussion about which professionals should advise the members.

Dr. Clifford Williams was elected chair in a 7 to 4 vote over Patricia Galfo. The vote for position of vice chair ended in a tie between Galfo and John Palko. Instead of breaking the tie, Williams chose to name them co-vice chairs. He said they could alternate service as chair if he is ever absent from a meeting.

Williams was chair of the former planning board. The former board of adjustment chair, Robert VanderPloeg, requested he not be appointed to another term when his term expired at the end of 2019. Galfo was board of adjustment vice chair and Palko was planning board vice chair.

The board chose Stephanie McCormack, who had been secretary of both boards, to remain as secretary.

The township sent out requests for proposals to a number of land use attorneys. The board chose Glenn Kienz of Wiener Law Group in Parsippany over Matthew Posada of Schenck, Price, Smith and King in Sparta, by a vote of seven to three. All of the board members admitted Kienz is very qualified, a few thought Posada more personable.

The board will keep planning board engineer John Ruschke of Mott McDonald of Morristown. Although the township is contracting with the firm, Williams assured the rest of the board Ruschke will be the engineer that serves the Land Use Board. He said that was the case with the planning board.

Jill Hartmann, who has been township planner, was reappointed

Williams decided to combine the completeness subcommittee with the zoning review subcommittee. The subcommittees were separate on the planning board. He appointed James Hine, Patty Fallon, James Jacoby, Tom Galfo, and Paul Castimore to that committee.

The planning board also had a master plan committee. A master plan review will begin sometime this year, Mayor Eric Wilsusen said. He said he received an update on the master plan review from Hartmann and the board will receive it.

Williams appointed the new master plan committee with no set date for it to start working. The members are Palko, Hine, James Small and both Patricia and Tom Galfo. Williams serves as ex-officio member of all committees, he said.

McCormack told the board there are still some carryover applications from the previous boards. She said she will determine if the applicants can appear at the February 24 meeting.

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