Township Committee Meeting: 9/18

All committee members were in attendance.

Demolition Delay Ordinance – TC Will Consider Next Month

Harding has an ordinance (from April 2003) that governs the process of Demolition of buildings considered historical. The Planning Board, with input from the Historical Preservation Committee has asked the TC to consider changes to this ordinance. The TC voted unanimously to take a look at this ordinance for possible revision. As it stands, the ordinance requires delay of up to 11 months, extensive submissions and notification of the public in local newspapers. These provisions will be the subject of the discussion and any changes to the ordinance.

Ordinance Regarding Gates, Pillars and Posts Fails to Be Introduced

In a rare occurrence, a proposed ordinance failed to even be formally introduced. The ordinance was to regulate driveway gates and associated pillars and posts. Specifically it would regulate how far a gate had to be from the road (or center line of the road) and how far apart the pillars or posts had to be as well as access codes. Certain gate configurations that are too close to the road and too narrow are thought to be safety hazards because fire trucks can not get in and the rear of other vehicles will block the road while they are keying in access codes. Surprisingly defining all these issues requires a complicated ordinance and was anathema to some TC members. As well on TC member strenuously chastised the township engineer for presenting photographs of a particular residence with an SUV blocking the road, — the TC member believe singling out a particular home was not in keeping with Harding’s civic culture. However there was support from other TC members and a couple members of the public for some action to curb the proliferation of gates so that Harding does not become “Gate City”. Ultimately the ordinance was kicked back to the township engineer for re-drafting.

Other Business: Escrows were released, fireworks permit was granted, bills were paid, very clean annual audit (cost $31K) was accepted (available at Kemmerer Library), contract was awarded for IT Network services (“base cost” of $21.6K less than current contract), GIS-IT contract to Chris Allyn increased (due to additional work for COAH), approved NJDOT grant application to resurface Kitchell Road and reduced bond for Frelinghuysen Subdivision (saves Harding money).

The TC went into executive session to authorize recruitment of a police officer.