Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Minutes

JANUARY 10, 2001 


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting January 24, 2001. REGULAR MEETING OF 1/10/01:  Mr. Mendicino moved to approve the minutes of the 1/10/01 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, January 10, 2001, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM.  In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Stephen D. Sanderlin, Vice Chairman Tom Jirele, Treasurer Scott Harp, Secretary Frank Mendicino and Member Raymond Goodnoe.  Also present were: Planning Commission Chairperson Karen Doorley, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Bob Larason, Township Manager Cornell Hopkins and Township Finance Director Elaine Gibbs.

  

GENERAL INTEREST SECTION

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Chairman Stephen Sanderlin called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence.  

INVOCATION:  Given by Reverend David Ridder of the First Baptist Church of Newtown.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:  Mr. Hopkins announced that on page 2, the report of the Recreation Board is deferred to the next meeting; on the last page, under Old Business, the Board will be asked to sign the linens for the Whatley subdivision; there will be an executive session for matters of pending litigation; and the Toll Brothers item listed under the work session tonight is deferred to the work session on 1/15/01.  Mr. Jirele added that there will be no report on the Sycamore Street Committee because their meeting was cancelled. 

NEW RESIDENTS PACKETS:  Mr. Sanderlin introduced Lisa Kruse, a member of the Business Development Council.  Ms. Kruse said that volunteers from the community are needed to assemble 10,000 new residents’ packets on 1/22/01, 1/29/01 and 1/31/01, from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM in the municipal building.  Ms. Kruse stated that the packets will include a list of Township and Borough businesses. 

MINUTES & BILLS LIST: 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 REGULAR MEETING OF 12/20/00:  Mr. Mendicino moved to approve the minutes of the 12/20/00 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

BILLS LIST: 

 PAYMENT OF BILLS:   Mr. Harp moved to pay bills totaling $204,419.58; the motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

INTERFUND TRANSFERS:  Mr. Harp moved to approve $272,872.25 in interfund transfers; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS:   

PLANNING COMMISSION:  Chairperson Karen Doorley reported on the Commission’s 1/2/01 meeting, at which she was re-elected Chairperson, Allen Fidler was re-elected Vice Chairperson and Vince Lombardi was re-elected Secretary.  The Commission also heard report from Traffic Engineer Jeff L’Amoreaux and recommended that he send a letter to Upper Makefield proposing a four way stop, with blinking red warning lights, at Stoopville and Linton Hill Roads.  A conditional use application for Blockbuster Video was postponed.  The Commission voted to table a conditional use application from the 413 Office Center on Durham Road to allow the applicant to discuss with the Solicitor the best way to link several properties with an access road.  

CONDITIONAL USE APPLICATIONS - NEWTOWN SHOPPING CENTER:  Mr. Sanderlin stated that 12 conditional use applications from tenants in the Newtown Shopping Center, Route 413 and Durham Road, were advertised for public hearing tonight.  Timberlake Townes of J. Loew and Associates was present to discuss the applications.  Mr. Townes stated that the hours of operation described in the Planning Commission letters are accurate. Mr. Sanderlin asked Mrs. Doorley to read the Planning Commission’s recommendations for each application, contained in the Commission’s 1/3/01 letters, after each hearing was opened.  He then called for a motion, a second, discussion, public comment and a vote before closing each hearing. 

BEAUTYLAND:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Beautyland at sites H through K of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 34 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

BED, BATH & BEYOND: Mr. Harp moved to approve the conditional use application of Bed, Bath & Beyond at site R of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-2, Large Retail Store, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 195 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

CELLULAR CENTRAL: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Cellular Central at site N of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 11 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

COMMERCE BANK:  Mr. Townes stated that the area of the Commerce Bank site has been changed from 3,500 square feet to 3,669 square feet.  Other sites will become smaller, so that the total square footage of the shopping center will remain at the approved level.  One additional parking space will be required for the Commerce Bank site.  

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Commerce Bank at Pad #3 of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 24 parking spaces for this use.  There will be no ATM machine at this site.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously. 

DESIGN FOR VISION: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the conditional use application of Design for Vision at site M of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 13 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

THE GAP: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of The Gap at sites A through E of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 60 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

HAIR CUTTERY:  Mrs. Doorley noted that the Planning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval for this application; the negative vote was cast as a protest about Mr. Townes’ lack of information at the meeting on 12/19/00, not out of any concern about the application itself. 

Mr. Jirele moved to approve the conditional use application of Hair Cuttery at site L of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-3, Service Business, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide eight parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

HOLLYWOOD VIDEO:  Mr. Townes stated that he has requested an indefinite extension from the Township.  He said that Hollywood Video will not be coming into the shopping center, and he is negotiating with Blockbuster Video for the same site.  Mr. Goodnoe said he was uncomfortable with an indefinite extension and preferred that Mr. Townes re-apply when the new tenant is ready. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to deny the conditional use application of Hollywood Video because the applicant is not present.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Mendicino and passed unanimously.

IMPERIAL RESTAURANT:  Mr. Townes said he understood that the restaurant will be named “Hai Fame”.  Mr. Jirele asked if there will be takeout service at the restaurant, and Mr. Townes said there will be.  Mr. Jirele said he was concerned about customers parking in the fire lanes.  Mr. Townes said he will advise the tenant that he is responsible for enforcing the ban on parking there.  He also said he understands that the Township will contact the shopping center management if there is a problem. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Imperial Restaurant (aka Hai Fame) at site P of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-5, Eating Place, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 13 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

PAYLESS CLEANERS:   Mr. Mendicino asked Mr. Townes to advise this tenant of the need to keep the fire lanes clear as well. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Payless Cleaners at site O of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-3, Service Business, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 11 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

REIGNING DOGS & CATS: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the conditional use application of Reigning Dogs and Cats in site Q of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-1, Retail Shop, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 13 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

STAPLES:   Mr. Jirele asked what the signage for this store will be.  Mr. Townes said the shopping center will come to the Board of Supervisors later with a signage plan for the whole center.  He stated that either the center or the tenant is responsible for the signs, depending on the individual lease.  Mr. Harris advised that none of the conditional use approvals included approval of signs.  Mr. Mendicino asked what would happen if Staples disagreed with the shopping center’s plan for their signage.  Mr. Townes said there are restrictions that are in the lease agreement.  He stated that the signs will be wall mounted, and that the sign at the entrance to the center will not list individual tenants.  Mr. Townes said the sign proposal will be ready for Township review in a week or so. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the conditional use application of Staples at site S of the Newtown Shopping Center for Use E-2, Large Retail Store, subject to the 11/13/00 Heritage Conservancy letter and with the hours of operation as described in the Planning Commission letter of 1/3/01. The applicant agrees to provide the Township with the name and contact information for the owner of the business before the certificate of occupancy is issued, and the applicant will keep this information current.  The applicant also agrees to provide 155 parking spaces for this use.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously. 

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS:

JOINT DOWNTOWN NEWTOWN CORPORATION:  Mr. Goodnoe invited all present to the first visioning meeting at Goodnoe Elementary School at 8:00 PM on 1/18/01. 

CHANCELLOR STREET SCHOOL:  Mr. Jirele stated that the Chancellor Street School Committee has been looking into ways in which the school can be rehabilitated into administrative offices for the school district.  It is seeking government grants and private contributions.  The Committee would like to produce a video about the project and they intend to find a corporate sponsor for this project.  Mr. Jirele asked for authorization for Township funding for the project until the corporate sponsor can be found. 

Mr. Jirele moved to authorize the expenditure of up to $5,000 in Township funds on the Chancellor Street School Committee video, with the understanding that the funds will be reimbursed when a corporate sponsor is found.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

COMMUNITY COMMENTS:

Susan Iezzatti, a resident of Upper Silver Lake Road, asked why the Board of Supervisors has chosen not to renew Mr. Hopkins’ employment contract.  She referred to numerous awards the Township has won during his tenure as Township Manager.  Mr. Sanderlin said the awards were due not only to the good work of Mr. Hopkins, but also to that of the Board, the other staff and volunteers.  He said that Mr. Hopkins’ contract runs to the end of 2001. 

Sue Herman of Lower Makefield asked about the scope of the Swamp Road Corridor Study discussed at the last Board meeting.  Mr. Sanderlin said the focus is on what safety improvements are needed on the part of the road between the Bypass and Route 232.  Ms Herman asked why the 1999 PennDOT study was not sufficient; Mr. Sanderlin responded that the PennDOT study looked at only the part of Swamp Road that is in Newtown. 

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS:

CHAIRMAN: 

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING:  Mr. Sanderlin reported that the Board held its annual organization meeting on 1/2/01.  Mr. Sanderlin was elected Chairman, Mr. Jirele Vice Chairman, Mr. Harp Treasurer and Mr. Mendicino Secretary. 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL:  Mr. Sanderlin reported the Council met on 1/4/01.  There was no speaker, and they discussed the new resident packets.  The next meeting will be on 2/1/01. 

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: 

HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD:  Mr. Jirele reported that HARB met on 12/20/00 on the same evening as the Board of Supervisors, so he was unable to attend.  He has been told that HARB met with a contractor doing work in the historic district.  Mr. Hopkins commented that HARB was particularly effective in this meeting. 

JOINTURE:  Deferred to the next meeting. 

MANAGER:  No items for this section. 

TREASURER:  No items for this section. 

SOLICITOR:   

jmzo amendment - o-li office-light industrial district:  Mr. Harris provided copies of the recommendation of the Bucks County Planning Commission for adoption of this ordinance.  Hearings will be advertised for adoption in early February.  No further Board action is required.  Mr. Goodnoe asked if the removal of a small parcel from the district is a substantive change that would require a re-advertisement.  Mr. Harris responded that it would not be considered substantive. 

ENGINEER:

PROJECT STATUS REPORT:  Mr. Larason provided copies of a report on the status of all major activities currently under way.  He noted that the following projects will require attention: 

NEWTOWN CENTRAL BUSINESS SIGNAL COORDINATION/NEWTOWN-YARDLEY ROAD - PENNS TRAIL INTERSECTION:  Mr. Larason said these projects are being addressed together by PennDOT.  There is a possibility that the second project will conflict with improvements associated with the Wiltshire Walk development.  The Board of Supervisors agreed with Mr. Larason’s plan to discuss these projects with PennDOT.  Mr. Jirele also asked Mr. Larason to determine the Township’s financial obligation for this work. 

SWAMP ROAD AND TWINING BRIDGE ROAD INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS:  Mr. Larason asked if Carroll Engineering should proceed with this project, given that the Swamp Road Corridor Study will be looking at similar questions.  Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Sanderlin stated they would like to see Carroll Engineering proceed, since the other study has a larger, long term focus. 

STOOPVILLE ROAD SHOULDER AND DRAINAGE WORK:  Mr. Larason advised that this is not currently an active project.  

STOOPVILLE ROAD AND LINTON HILL ROAD:  Mr. Larason asked for authorization to send the letter regarding a four way stop sign at this intersection, as recommended by the Planning Commission.  The Board agreed with this recommendation.

 

LAND USE SECTION

 

NEW BUSINESS:  No items for this section.

OLD BUSINESS:

WHATLEY SUBDIVISION:  Mr. Larason noted that the linens for this plan are available for signature by the Board.

OTHER ACTIONS:

ENGINEER:

ESCROW RELEASES:

NEWTOWN SHOPPING CENTER:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve release of $55,175.54 in escrow funds for the Newtown Shopping Center in accordance with Certificate of Completion #4.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

PHEASANT POINTE:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve release of $194,612.50 in escrow funds for Pheasant Pointe in accordance with Certificate of Completion #3.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Mendicino and passed unanimously.

SOLICITOR:  No items for this section. 

MANAGER:  No items for this section. 

PLAN EXPIRATIONS:  Mr. Hopkins noted that the Pro-Dent submission to HARB is expiring.  Mr. Harris advised that no action is needed.

  

ROUTINE BUSINESS SECTION

OLD BUSINESS:  No items.

NEW BUSINESS:  No items.

MANAGER:  No items.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:  Mr. Sanderlin announced the Board will hold an executive session regarding pending litigation following the regular meeting, and hold a brief work session.

ADJOURNMENT:  Mr. Harp moved to adjourn.  With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.

 

WORK SESSION:

Mr. Sanderlin convened the work session at 9:50 PM.  In attendance were Supervisors Stephen Sanderlin, Scott Harp. Tom Jirele and Raymond Goodnoe.  Also present were Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Bob Larason and Township Manager Cornell Hopkins.

ACME:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize Mr. Harris to negotiate with Acme to assume the balance of Acme’s lease on the property, with financial terms as discussed in executive session.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

RIGHT OF WAY - LINTON HILL ROAD:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to ratify the acquisition of right of way on Linton Hill Road, and to direct the Township Manager to resolve the concerns of the property owners.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

METRICOM:  The Board discussed the wireless internet services offered by Metricom.  It was agreed that Mr. Hopkins will draft a letter to Metricom, to be reviewed by Mr. Harp and other appropriate parties. 

FIRE COMPANY VEHICLE:  Mr. Harp moved to transfer ownership of vehicle #52-10 to the Newtown Ambulance Squad.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT:  The work session was adjourned at 10:40 PM.

 

 

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED:

 

 

_____________________________
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary

 

 

Minutes Approved as submitted _______ as corrected _______

 

 

_____________________________
Stephen D. Sanderlin, Chairman

 

 

_____________________________
Thomas Jirele, Vice Chairman

 

 

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Scott R. Harp, Treasurer

 

 

_____________________________
Frank Mendicino, Secretary

 

 

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Raymond Goodnoe, Member