Debbi Abrams, left, shows a sign promoting Family Meal Week, while Gail Barry, coordinator of Millburn’s Millburn Alliance Committee (MMAC), explains the benefits of family time in deterring alcohol and drug abuse. The Township Committee proclaimed April as Alcohol Awareness Month at Tuesday’s meeting.
Millburn Township Committee Tackles Water Issues; Hears Proposed Parking Deck is Unnecessary
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 • 7:00pm
MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Committee last night introduced two ordinances dealing with water issues.
The first ordinance regulates sump pumps and pipe drains discharge. Recommended by the police department, the measure seeks to keep water from flooding streets and/or sidewalks.
The second ordinance establishes riparian zones, which are lands adjacent to streams, lakes or other bodies of water, and sets out permitted and prohibited uses for those areas.
The development regulations were drafted to comply with state law.
Public hearings on the two measures will be held at the Committee’s next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, April 20.
Also during the session, township residents Ellen Steinberg and Peter Humphreys of Kenilworth Drive presented the governing body with information they had gathered on parking in the downtown. Steinberg and Humphreys have previously stated their position that a proposed parking deck for commuters is not needed.
Steinberg said she had surveyed current commuter parking lots from March 7 to 18. Counts were taken between 9:15 and 10:15 a.m.
The former Committee member presented her findings on how many spaces were filled in three lots near the Millburn train station. She then added another observation.
“Anecdotally, when we asked commuters if they ever had a problem parking, with one exception, everyone said ‘no,’” she said.
In a written study she circulated, Steinberg concluded that residents are satisfied with existing commuter parking service. Any overflow can be absorbed by reconfiguring Lot 9 and bringing valet numbers up to prior counts. She also said there is additional surface lot inventory at the Short Hills train station lot that can be used.
Humphreys said he had met with Township Engineer Thomas Watkinson to explore additional parking by the Short Hills train station.
Humphreys passed out a map showing how Lot 3B by the train station could be reconfigured to yield 28 more spaces. Also, he said, changing parallel spaces along Chatham Road to perpendicular ones could add 11 to 18 more spaces.
In all, he contended, 45 new spaces could be created.
In explaining the discharge ordinance, Committee member Robert Tillotson said new sump pumps and pipe drains must be tied into an existing storm sewer line or the discharge must be diverted so it does not drain to township streets or adjacent properties.
Existing sump pumps and pipe drains may continue at the location where the discharge was made as long as the discharge does not create a further nuisance or contribute to a build-up of icing, standing water or algae growth or cause erosion of pavement on the street or sidewalk.
An existing sump pump or pipe drain discharge that is creating a problem must be corrected by the owner. The township engineer may require that the sump pump or pipe drain be directed within the limits of the owner’s property so the discharge will not immediately drain into the street or adjacent properties.
Regarding the riparian zone ordinance, Watkinson told the Committee, “You’re essentially adopting the state model.”
The measure establishes a 300 foot buffer zone along both sides of any body of water and all upstream tributaries situated within the same watershed.
The zone is to remain in a natural condition, or if in a disturbed condition, including agricultural activities, may be restored to a natural condition. There is to be no clearing or cutting of trees and brush, except for removal of dead vegetation and pruning or the replacement of invasive species with indigenous ones. There is to be no altering of watercourses, dumping of trash, soil, dirt, fill vegetative or other debris, regrading or construction.
In other business, the Committee introduced a third ordinance extending the lease agreement between the township and the Millburn-Short Hills Historic Society for the westbound train station. The organization uses the building for its operations.
The lease is to be extended until 2025. A public hearing on the ordinance is also scheduled for April 20.
The governing body also passed a resolution authorizing the advertising of bids for demolition of the Rimback building. The township purchased the Essex Street property on which the building sits several years ago.
Committee member James Suell asked that the township seek several other bids for hazardous waste removal on the property.