Mountain Lakes Shade Tree Commission

Minutes of Meeting

May 14, 2009


In Attendance

Commissioners: S. Marshall, L. Conner, B. Rosenthall, M. Vyff and H. Carr

Council Liaison: D. McWilliams

Town Manager: J. Tempesta


1.  There were no comments from the public.


2.  April minutes were approved with no corrections.  The posting of old minutes is still in progress but we are almost caught up.


3.  There was a discussion with Joe on the Setback Tree Removal Applications.  Joe believes he averages 2 applications per month.  This seems like a reasonable number and there may be a few more in spring.  Commissioners would like to validate tree removals seen in their areas but canÕt easily determine if these homeowners have filed applications.  Joe suggests a permit sign, similar to a construction permit, be put in a visible spot to identify those properties in compliance with the ordinance.  Then commissioners would call Borough Hall only when they donÕt see the permit.  STC would prefer permits to be green.  Joe will get the process implemented.  There needs to be a clarification of the area on private property that is protected by ordinance.  The setback area definition does not include the property area that the ordinance originally intended to protect.  Wording in the ordinance needs to be changed to include all property outside the building envelope and the word setback, needs to be removed from the application title.   June 8th is the date for Council to review all town ordinances for changes.  Doug will bring our concerns to Council.  Sue will work on changing the wording in the permit and the ordinance.  When these changes are completed it may be prudent to send the information out to local tree companies.


4.  CSIP Grant- Bids have come in from three tree companies.  Joe will review and choose a company to supply and plant the trees.


5.  P&R work being done by Tree Tech is in progress.  Joan has compiled a list for commissionerÕs to work off of, checking completed P&R in their areas.  This list was distributed.  Commissioners were instructed to report back to Joan with their findings when work is completed.  


6.  Arbor Day was a big success, saplings were not missed.  Lots of great feedback from attendees.  The honorary tree is a Ginkgo, planted at the High School.  The extra tree will be planted at Raynold and Valley.  Photos will be posted by Tom.  Marnie did a great job coordinating.


7.  Old Business


a. Tony has done most of the work that needed to be completed for the 2008 planting.  Heather will continue to monitor.

b. We will not be represented at Mountain Lakes Day this year.

c. The neighbor news has published our Tree City press release.

d. Bonnie will submit three FAQs to the H&SA Bulletin for September.  We should continue to publish as often as possible with pertinent articles off the website when we run out of FAQs.

e. Sustainable NJ may have grant money available.

f.  Invasives update- The issue of WoodlandÕs committee members spraying pesticides was discussed.  The DEP has strict policy regulating pesticide use and the town has its own ordinance with regard to spraying.  DPW is certified to spray in the Borough and may be able to oversee.  Joe will be sending out an email communication to all involved and no spraying should be executed until this issue is thoroughly discussed by Council.  STC is comfortable with the pulling of bushy invasive material and the pulling of invasive tree material under 2Ó in diameter or less, only when the replacement planting of more suitable material or continual monitoring, is planned.


8.  There was a discussion concerning the proper way for commissioners to bring information to Council.  When presenting an issue to Council or a council member, commissioners need to make it clear that they are speaking as a private citizen and not as a member of the STC.  Any communication that comes from the STC as a group needs to be presented to all members first and a consensus must be met before taking it to Council


9.  New Business/Other


a. Heather noted that the Charter added to the website, last fall, is no longer listed.  Marnie believes that when the FAQs were added the charter may have been hidden.  Tom will be asked to look into correcting the situation.

b. A citizen, B. Fisher has requested that, during our next town ROW planting, her home be considered for tree placement.  We will put her on the list.

c. Bonnie has informed the STC that she will have to leave the commission soon.  Her family will be moving out of town.  She will continue on as Chair as long as she can.


Next meeting will be held on June 11th