Ho-Ho-Kus December 23, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 9 Stream protection ordinance to be reintroduced by Jennifer Crusco After hearing the comments of an interested resident, the Ho-Ho-Kus Council decided to reintroduce Ordinance #958, the stream corridor protection measure, at the Jan. 1 sine die meeting. The council had originally set a Dec. 22 public hearing for the state-mandated ordinance, but later opted to cancel the session in December and handle the hearing and adoption on Jan. 1 when the council reorganizes for the New Year. Anne Rosetti of Boiling Spring Road told the council at last week’s combination work and public session that she is not protesting the ordinance, but has a lot of questions about the proposal, which aims to restrict development near local bodies of water. She questioned if the borough ordinance would be more restrictive than the state mandate, and stated that restrictions could be significant to a property owner, especially if that person wants to effect a development near a body of water. Rosetti noted that, if the ordinance stops people from developing their land, their properties could be worth less. She also commented on what she termed the subjective language in the ordinance, pointing in particular to the section on exceptions that could be granted in the event of an extraordinary hardship. “This could be an innocuous document. I don’t know,” the resident said, urging that the borough’s engineer, David Hals, make himself available to speak about the proposal. Rosetti added, “Perhaps New Year’s Day is not the best time for the hearing.” Addressing the resident, Mayor Thomas Randall said, “I can tell you the C1 waterway buffer of 300 feet is already in place…It was already designated by the state and the prohibitions are already in effect.” The state is asking local municipalities to add the ordinance to their books to comply with New Jersey’s current standards. “If you go to the planning board or the zoning board (with an application), and if you’re within a C1 area, you’ll need a DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) permit. It is already needed. The restriction is not new,” Randall added. Ho-Ho-Kus Borough Attorney David Bole also told the resident, “This is a model form of ordinance promulgated by the DEP.” He noted that Bergen County municipalities are being urged to adopt it. Bole then recommended that the council’s meeting items for the cancelled meeting on Dec. 22 be moved to Jan. 1, and further recommended that the stream corridor protection ordinance be reintroduced on Jan. 1 so the public hearing and probable adoption would take place at the regular public meeting of the council in January. “There is a deadline to get this (ordinance) on the record,” Bole added, stating his opinion that the item could wait until the January public session. Ordinance #958 was reportedly designed to protect and maintain waterways. According to the ordinance, “It is the intent of this article (66A.2) to provide compliance with NJAC 7:15-5.25(g)3 which requires municipalities to adopt an ordinance that prevents new disturbance for projects or activities in riparian zones.” The ordinance defines a riparian zone as “land and vegetation within and directly adjacent to all surface water bodies including, but not limited to lakes, ponds, reservoirs, perennial and intermittent streams, up to an including their point of origin, such as seeps and springs, as shown on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s GIS hydrography coverages or, in the case of a Special Water Resource Protection Area pursuant to the Stormwater Management rules at NJAC 7:8-5.5(h), C1 (Category One) waters as shown on the USGS quadrangle map or in the County Soil Surveys.” A Special Water Resource Protection Area is defined as a 300 foot area on each side of a surface water body designated as a C1 water or tributary to a C1 water that is a perennial or intermittent stream, lake, pond, or reservoir. C1 waters are defined by the “Surface Water Quality Standards, NJAC 7:9B, for purposes of implementing the antidegredation policies.” The ordinance would protect riparian zones from all avoidable disturbances. “The riparian zone shall be 300 feet wide along both sides of any Category One water (C1 water), and all upstream tributaries.” The riparian zone would be 150 feet wide along both sides of the following waters and their tributaries: trout production and maintenance waters, any portion of water flowing through an area that contains documented habitat for threatened or endangered plants or animals, and any segment of water flowing through an area that contains acid producing soils. All other surface water bodies would have riparian areas of 50 feet in width. 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