BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
DECEMBER 12, 2001
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting January 9, 2002. REGULAR MEETING OF 12/12/01: Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 12/12/01 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, December 12, 2001, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Stephen Sanderlin, Vice Chairman Tom Jirele, Secretary/Treasurer Scott Harp, Member Raymond Goodnoe and Member Richard Weaver. Also present were: Supervisor-elect Anne Goren, Planning Commission Chairperson Karen Doorley, Recreation Board Chairman Bernie Bires, Cable TV Advisory Committee Chairman Jim Bowe, Sycamore Street Chairman Vince Lombardi, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineers Bob Larason and Jeff L’Amoreaux, Township Manager Robert Pellegrino and Township Finance Director Elaine Gibbs.
GENERAL INTEREST SECTION
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Sanderlin called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence.
INVOCATION: Given by Reverend Timothy Ghali of the New Life Christian Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Pellegrino announced that a sketch plan for Mill Race Office Campus will be reviewed under the Land Use Section, New Business; and a request for continuance of a conditional use application will be addressed under the Planning Commission report.
FIRST NIGHT COMMITTEE: Shannon Wilson and Mary Wilson, Co-chairs of the First Night Committee, reported on First Night events and entertainment. Mr. Wilson said that an art exhibit opened tonight at Chandler Hall, and will continue until 12/31/01. Ms Wilson described the entertainment and venues planned for First Night. She said that tickets are on sale in many locations in the Newtown area. Adult tickets are $15.00 and children’s tickets are $10.00.
2002 BUDGET - RESOLUTION 2001-R-22: Mr. Harp moved to adopt the proposed 2002 budget by Resolution 2001-R-22 in the form provided to the Board tonight. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe stated that at the last meeting he spoke against a deficit budget, and mentioned the irony of Mr. Sanderlin and Mr. Harp advocating a deficit. He said the deficit is primarily for operating expenses, not capital projects, and he would prefer to see a motion for a 10% cut in the budget. Mr. Goodnoe said he feels that passing a deficit budget will lead to raising taxes.
Mr. Sanderlin said that, according to accepted financial management standards, the cash reserves projected to remain at the end of 2002 are adequate. He said that a 5% cash reserve is recommended; the Township has about 20% now, and will have about 12% at the end of 2002. Mr. Sanderlin said that the reserves were built up for bad economic times, and this is the present situation. He stated he supports the proposed budget, including adjustments resulting in a net increase of $15,000 made during a work session.
Mr. Goodnoe said the Township is either collecting too much in taxes or reducing the reserves with irresponsible spending. He said the reserves should be saved for capital expenses.
Mr. Jirele said that the Township should not hold a large amount of taxpayers’ money in its bank account; those funds should be used to provide services. He stated that the $15,000 added to the budget is for contributions to two local libraries.
Mr. Harp said the Township is being responsible. He pointed out that the Township has grown a great deal in recent years, and expense levels will rise inevitably.
Mr. Jirele said he thought it was not a good idea to try to cut the budget by 10% at the last Board meeting of the year.
Mr. Harp’s motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Goodnoe voting “nay”.
RETIREMENT - CHAIRMAN STEPHEN SANDERLIN: Mr. Jirele presented a proclamation to Mr. Sanderlin at the end of his six years of service on the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Jirele described Mr. Sanderlin as dedicated, knowledgeable, and always willing to serve Township residents and to support his colleagues on the Board. Mr. Sanderlin has also served on the Planning Commission, the Business Development Council and the Financial Management Task Force. He has also provided a great deal of help with the Township computer systems. Mr. Jirele also presented to Mr. Sanderlin a framed watercolor painting of Washington’s Headquarters by Craig Hackett.
Mr. Sanderlin shared a few remarks about his service with the Township. He said that when he first became involved with the Township about ten years ago, it was in bad shape financially. With improved financial management, the Township began to do much better, winning awards, paying off debts and receiving good audit reports. During the last ten years the Township has used new technology, preserved many historic properties, protected open space, expanded recreation programs and made them self sufficient, improved recreation facilities, expanded the emergency services and police departments, increased cooperative work with the Borough, reinstated the invocation at the beginning of the Board meetings, updated the Comprehensive Plan and consolidated the JMZO. Mr. Sanderlin also mentioned the Sycamore Street project, the Business Development Council, and successful litigation to remove the “resort” designation regarding liquor licenses and to change PECO’s “tap” fees. He stated that all these things were accomplished with no tax increase while he was in office. Mr. Sanderlin thanked the staff, consultants, colleagues, residents, volunteers, state officials, and others who supported his efforts. He gave special thanks to his family, who put up with many absences during his service to the Township.
MINUTES, BILLS LIST AND REPORTS:
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
REGULAR MEETING OF 11/28/01: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the minutes of the 11/28/01 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
WORK SESSION OF 11/19/01: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the minutes of the 11/19/01 work session. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
PAYMENT OF BILLS: Mr. Harp moved to pay bills totaling $371,602.24; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
INTERFUND TRANSFERS: Mr. Harp moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $300,000.00; the motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
LETTER OF CREDIT - REINVESTMENT: Mr. Harp reported that the Township has recovered the $250,000 letter of credit for RCN, and he recommends that the funds be reinvested in a dedicated CD.
Mr. Harp moved to invest the $250,000 from the RCN letter of credit in a dedicated CD. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS:
CONDITIONAL USE - MCLAUGHLIN TRACT - TOLL BROTHERS - STOOPVILLE ROAD - TMP# 29-7-5: Mr. Sanderlin opened the hearing on this application. Attorney Ed Murphy was present and asked the Board to continue the hearing to 1/23/02.
Mr. Harp moved to continue the hearing on the conditional use application for the McLaughlin Tract until 1/23/02. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
Mr. Sanderlin closed the hearing.
PLANNING COMMISSION: Commission Chairperson Karen Doorley reported on the Commission’s 12/4/01 meeting. The Commission heard a report from the Traffic Engineer and reviewed the final plans for Platinum Executive Suites and the Wiltshire Walk PRD; they recommended approval with certain conditions for both. The Commission also commented on a sketch plan for the Mill Race Office Campus.
A conditional use application for the McLaughlin Tract was reviewed. The Commission recommended approval with some conditions relating to road improvements. The Commission also reviewed two Zoning Hearing Board applications and recommended that the Board of Supervisors oppose them unless the applicants reduce the amount of relief sought.
RESOLUTION 2001-R-23 - TRAFFIC IMPACT FEE COMMITTEE: Karen Doorley and Traffic Engineer Jeff L’Amoreaux presented the Committee’s report, the result of two years of meetings. The resolution prepared by the Solicitor sets the Traffic Impact Fees for TSA I at $1301 per peak hour trip, and for TSA II at $1247 per peak hour trip.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Resolution 2001-R-23, which adopts the Land Use Assumptions Report, the Roadway Sufficiency Analysis Report and the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW COMMITTEE:
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS - 203 SYCAMORE STREET - MR. & MRS. VALENTI: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for 203 Sycamore Street in accordance with the recommendation of HARB. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS - 3 CAMBRIDGE LANE - GOLDEN FIST MARTIAL ARTS: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for 3 Cambridge Lane in accordance with the recommendation of HARB. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
CABLE TV ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Chairman Jim Bowe reported on the Committee’s11/29/01 meeting. He said they discussed the RCN situation, and decided to seek other cable providers. They also discussed the Township’s ordinance regarding satellite dishes. On 12/4 Mr. Bowe toured Comcast facilities to learn about the technical aspects of cable broadcasting. He said the Committee is working on reaching out to other municipalities and organizations involved in cable TV. They plan to come to the first work session in January to discuss the PEG channels.
Mr. Goodnoe asked if the Committee has assessed the revised proposal from RCN. Mr. Bowe responded that the proposal seems to take away every safeguard for the Township. The Committee did not take a formal position on the proposal, which has been forwarded to the Solicitor.
CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE: Mr. Bowe also reported on the Capital Planning Committee, which met on 12/11/01. He said they discussed the old Acme building, the “miscellaneous expenses” line in the budget, and problems with getting PennDOT reimbursement for Sycamore Street expenses.
Mr. Goodnoe asked Mr. Bowe to comment on the items in the budget considered “desirable but unfundable”. Mr. Bowe said the items included a community center, the municipal building expansion and some road projects. He said that the Committee recommended phasing and spreading out the projects, reorganizing the Township’s debt, or raising taxes as a last resort.
RECREATION BOARD: Chairman Bernie Bires reported on the Board’s 12/5/01 meeting. He said that the winter activity guide is being expanded and will include a short survey. The Board also discussed senior programs and the possibility of a skate park behind the Newtown Shopping Center, and heard about improvements to Roberts Ridge Park. Mr. Bires said he will be meeting with the Council Rock Senior Center to discuss satellite services.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL: Mr. Sanderlin said the Council met on 12/6/01 and had a good exchange of information with Greg Briscoe of the YMCA. The next Council meeting is 1/3/02. Mr. Harris noted that Mr. Sanderlin will be a Supervisor until the 1/7/02 Board of Supervisors meeting, so he can chair the Council meeting on 1/3/02.
SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE: Chairman Vince Lombardi reported that the Committee met on 12/11/01 and focused on planning and roadway conditions. They discussed obtaining the 32 construction easements needed, and reviewed Mr. Larason’s report on Sycamore Street’s roadway conditions. Mr. Lombardi said the situation is urgent, as the blacktop companies are shutting down soon for the winter. The worst part seems to be from Silo Drive to Jefferson Avenue.
Mr. Larason said one company estimated a cost of $7300 to pave the worst section. He said the Township has only a couple of weeks in which to do the paving or to patch the road and hope it lasts through the winter. Mr. Harris said that, even if the cost goes over $10,000, the bidding process can be omitted since this is an emergency situation. He recommended that at least three quotes be obtained if possible.
Mr. Larason said he felt the paving should go beyond Jefferson Avenue. He suggested that he could ascertain the exact area needing to be paved in consultation with Mr. Harwood. Mr. Lombardi asked that a member of the Sycamore Street Committee’s Safety Committee be part of this consultation.
Mr. Jirele moved to authorize Mr. Pellegrino to direct Mr. Larason and Mr. Harwood to evaluate the road conditions on Sycamore Street. He also moved to authorize the expenditure of up to $15,000 to make repairs on an emergency basis. Three bids for this work will be obtained if possible. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked that PECO’s work be monitored carefully. Mr. Larason said that he shares this concern, and PECO now has a letter of understanding from Mr. Harwood regarding their work.
Mr. Lombardi commented that Sycamore Street is 300 years old and has had many installations and improvements.
Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.
MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: Mr. Sanderlin asked Mr. Jirele to chair this portion of the meeting.
DEMOLITION OF ST. ANDREWS RECTORY: Mr. Jirele said that the Board received a 11/27/01 letter from Larry Fink, Chairman of the Joint Historic Commission, requesting that the deadline for finding an alternative to demolition of the rectory be extended. Several individuals have expressed interest in the building, but it will take some time to make arrangements to move it.
Mr. Harris said that the church is willing to grant an additional six months, provided that the Township will issue a demolition permit at the end of that period if the building has not been moved.
Mr. Harp moved to authorize Mr. Harris to write to St. Andrews stating that a demolition permit will be issued at the end of six months if the rectory has not been moved. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked if the rectory is being offered for free; Mr. Jirele said it is.
Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS: Mr. Sanderlin returned to chair the remainder of the meeting.
Linda Mitchell of the Newtown Athletic Club said she attended the Business Development Council (BDC) meeting on 12/6/01 at which the YMCA was discussed. She said that Supervisor-elect Anne Goren also attended, and advised the BDC not to take a formal position on the YMCA’s proposal. Ms Mitchell said that making recommendations that promote a good business environment is part of the BDC’s mission. She said she intends to ask the BDC to make a statement at their January meeting.
Mr. Jirele said it is appropriate but premature for the BDC to take a position about the YMCA’s proposal right now. He said he wants to hear their opinion when all the facts are in. Mr. Sanderlin said that the YMCA outlined some options at a work session, but there has been no proposal.
Elinor Campbell, a Township resident, asked Mr. Harp several questions about his personal experiences with community recreation programs, and about the impact of what the YMCA is proposing. Mr. Harp said there has been no detailed proposal about the YMCA, so he could not answer Mrs. Campbell’s questions. Mrs. Campbell said she is concerned about increased traffic and the environmental impact of what she has heard about proposals for community center or YMCA on the Library Tract.
Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, said she also attended the Business Development Council meeting. She said she heard Mr. Weaver discussing ideas for a hockey rink, playing fields, a skate park or other facilities that might be located behind Staples. Mr. Sanderlin said that many ideas are under discussion right now, but the Township does not have a specific proposal before it. Ms Crescenzo also asked about the “Christian” aspect of the YMCA’s mission. Mr. Sanderlin responded that the YMCAs he knows do not discriminate on the basis of either religion or gender.
Shannon Wilson read a 12/11/01 letter from Paul Salvatore of the Newtown Business and Professional Association which stated the Association is not in favor of bringing tax exempt organizations into the Newtown area that will compete with tax paying businesses.
One of the owners of the Newtown Athletic Club stated that a commercial fitness club is not appropriate business for the Board of Supervisors. He said that the YMCA should not have tax exempt status because it does not serve the poor and it does not address community needs.
Sue Beasley, a Township resident, said she is distressed about the budget proposed for 2002, as well as the 2001 budget. She said she served on the Financial Management Task Force that improved the Township’s financial management, and she perceived that reserve funds were established for major projects and future needs. She said she is concerned that half of these funds have been spent in the last two years.
REPORTS OF OFFICIALS:
CHAIRMAN: No items for this section.
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: No items for this section.
MANAGER: No items for this section.
AMENDMENT TO JMZO - SANDMOUNDS: Mr. Harris provided a copy of this amendment for the Board’s information. He said it will be considered at the next Jointure meeting for authorization to advertise.
ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING 1/3/02: Mr. Harris described the two applications coming before the Zoning Hearing Board. The Supervisors did not take a position regarding either application.
Mr. Jirele asked what happened at the 12/6/01 meeting. Mr. Harris said that the Keller Williams application was continued to 1/3/02, and variances were granted to DRA Associates, the ICT Group and SEPTA.
PROJECT STATUS REPORT: Mr. Larason provided a report on the status of current projects.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM: Mr. Larason provided a copy of a 12/4/01 letter to the Bucks County Planning Commission concerning clarification of project costs. He said that Newtown and Wrightstown support Urban Engineers’ original cost estimate for Swamp Road improvements.
LINTON HILL AND WASHINGTON CROSSING ROAD INTERSECTION: Mr. Larason provided a copy of a 12/4/01 letter to PennDOT confirming discussions regarding the scheduling of traffic counts for a signal review.
LAND USE SECTION
FINAL PLAN - PLATINUM EXECUTIVE SUITES - 12 PENNS TRAIL - TMP# 29-10-87: Attorney Don Marshall was present to discuss the plan for a two story addition to an existing one story building in the LI District for D-1 Office Use. Mr. Marshall stated that the plan was granted preliminary approval on 8/22/01, and conditional use approval on 9/12/01. The applicant will comply with all review letters, and has a verbal commitment from the Fire Marshal to sign off on the plan.
Mr. Jirele moved to grant final approval to the plan for Platinum Executive Suites, contingent on compliance with the Carroll Engineering letter of 11/15/01, the Heritage Conservancy letter of 10/9/01, the Bucks County Planning Commission letter of 11/9/01, the Fire Marshal’s letter of 10/11, and all conditions of the conditional use approval of 9/12/01. The applicant will provide the appropriate financial agreements, permits and approvals, pay the appropriate traffic impact fee and park and recreation fee, provide water and sewer agreements, and pay all costs of the review. The six waivers granted at preliminary plan approval are approved. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
SKETCH PLAN - MILL RUN OFFICE CAMPUS - LINDENHURST ROAD - TMP#29-10-79: Daniel Doorley and attorney Don Marshall were present to discuss the plan to convert an existing dwelling to D-1 Office Use and to construct a new building, also for D-1 Office Use, on a 5.4 acre site in the Office Research District.
Mr. Marshall said that the property has many environmental issues, and is a nonconforming lot in a District where the minimum lot size is 15 acres. He said the applicant will need Zoning Hearing Board relief to deal with the nonconformity and reduced setbacks. Mr. Marshall said the applicant has an agreement with Brandywine Realty Trust, an adjoining property owner, to share an access driveway to Lindenhurst Road. He stated that the proposed D-1 Office Use is appropriate for the area, and the proposed development will result in an impervious surface ratio that is well under the maximum.
Mr. Sanderlin asked if any further development is planned for this property. Mr. Marshall said environmental issues make it very unlikely. He also stated that the applicant will seek to leave ten of the parking spaces in green.
Mr. Larason asked about the existing driveway to Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Marshall said it will serve only the existing four parking spaces; traffic for all the new construction will share the BRT access. Mr. Larason suggested the new building be realigned so that the existing access to Lindenhurst Road can be eliminated. Mr. Marshall said the applicant will consider this suggestion. Mr. Doorley said that the present angle of the building was chosen to minimize setback problems.
Mr. Marshall said that the applicant has discussed sharing stormwater management facilities with BRT as well. Mr. Jirele said that Mr. Doorley’s property appears to be lower than BRT’s detention basin. Mr. Larason said there are ways to make the basin effective for this property.
Supervisor-elect Anne Goren, a nearby resident, pointed out a very dangerous intersection with a driveway and Lindenhurst Road near this site. The driveway is on a curve, and there is no stacking space for a left turn. Mr. Larason suggested asking PennDOT to assess the intersection when they review Mr. Doorley’s plan.
FINAL PLAN - WILTSHIRE WALK PRD - NEWTOWN-YARDLEY ROAD & UPPER SILVER LAKE ROAD - ORLEANS HOMEBUILDERS - TMP# 29-10-52, 29-10-52-2, 29-10-52.1, 29-10-52.2, 29-10-52-10: Mike Vesey of Orleans Homebuilders and attorney Ed Murphy were present to discuss the plan to build a residential development with 49 village houses and 100 townhouses on a 54+ acre property in the R-1 Medium Density and R-2 High Density Residential Districts.
Mr. Murphy reviewed the revisions in the plan since it was last discussed with the Board of Supervisors: Orleans now owns the Platt parcel; a cul-de-sac has become a loop street; there is no connection with Vera Avenue; some lots have been repositioned so that more woodlands are preserved; additional berming and buffering are on the plan; some of the walking trail now goes on the Wilson property; Upper Silver Lake Road is closed at Penns Trail North; there is no right turn lane from Upper Silver Lake Road onto Penns Trail North; Orleans now has the right of way needed for improving the intersection of Newtown/Yardley Road and Penns Trail; some minor changes have been made in the Lutheran Church’s property; and there is additional parking. Mr. Murphy said that more variances regarding setbacks, relating to the PECO property, are needed because of these changes.
Mr. Murphy also said that the impervious surface ratio is over the maximum in the area of the intersection of Penns Trail and Newtown/Yardley Road, and he asked that there be no penalty to the property owner.
Mr. Jirele asked about plans for sidewalks. Mr. Murphy stated that there will be sidewalks on both sides of the internal streets, and on the north side of Penns Trail North. There are snow collection areas for plowing.
Mr. Goodnoe asked about the island in the middle of the cul-de-sac of Brecknock Place. Mr. Vesey explained that some parking was added in the cul-de-sac, and the island is there to define the parking spaces. Mr. Jirele suggested the island could be moved to one side to allow better traffic and snowplow circulation. Mr. Vesey said that Orleans will work with Carrol Engineering and the Public Works Department to determine the best design for the cul-de-sac.
Mr. Sanderlin asked about streetlights. Mr. Vesey said streetlights will be installed in conformity with the ordinance, and in such a way that they use only one tap.
John Hitchner, a resident of Upper Silver Lake Road, said that Orleans has addressed many of his concerns. He said they have agreed to six foot berms, planted with a mix of tall trees, behind his home. The berms and plantings will be part of the early phase of the construction. Orleans has also agreed to white lighting instead of yellow. He also said that Mr. Vesey was working on getting public water service for his home. Mr. Vesey confirmed these statements and said that it is likely that water service will be available. He also said that he will be responsible for dealing with any problems the development may cause with the neighbors’ wells.
Mr. Derrick, president of the Eagle Glen Homeowners Association, suggested that these agreements be part of the approval of the plan.
Mr. Jirele moved to grant final approval to the plan for Wiltshire Walk, subject to compliance with the Carroll Engineering letter of 11/29/01, the Zoning Hearing Board’s 7/19/01 decision, and provided that the cul-de-sac on Brecknock Place is reconsidered to make the island most compatible with snowplowing; Warwick and Kingsley Court berms will be planted with a mixture of evergreens and deciduous trees; the berms and landscaping will be done in the first phase of construction; the street lights will be metal halide, not sodium vapor; if the neighbors’ wells go dry, the developer will provide an alternate source of water; the waivers granted at preliminary plan approval remain in force; [the setbacks of several lots shown on the plan are permitted to be reduced; the traffic impact fee is waived; a credit of $3,000 per unit is given towards the recreation fee for major road improvements; the developer will obtain easements necessary to build the Trail across the neighboring property; the developer will obtain easements for improvements to the intersection of Newtown/Yardley Road and Penns Trail, and the property owner will not be penalized for the impervious surface ratio; the developer will obtain all the appropriate approvals, permits, financial and water and sewer agreements; and all costs of review will be paid by the applicant. Further, the closed area of Upper Silver Lake Road will not be vacated; the Township will retain the right of way and maintain the barricades; the Homeowners Association will maintain the landscaping of the closed area; and documents for the Homeowners Association will be submitted to the Township. The motion was seconded by Mr.Weaver.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked about street trees. Mr. Vesey said the street trees will be hardwoods and evergreens. Mr. Harp suggested that Orleans consult with the Township’s Shade Tree Committee on this point.
Mr. Goodnoe said this plan solves a lot of problems in this area. He thanked Orleans for working with the Township, the residents and others to improve the plan for everyone’s benefit.
Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.
PRELIMINARY PLAN - HESTON TRACT - UPPER SILVER LAKE ROAD - TOLL BROTHERS - TMP#29-10-77: Mike Palmer and attorney Ed Murphy were present to discuss their plan to build a 24 lot single family home residential subdivision on a 77.3 acre tract in the Office Research District. Mr. Murphy stated that the access roads will line up with the Kirkwood development’s access roads, and the development will be served by public water and sewer. The Hestons will retain their home (the existing farmhouse) and the existing barn will be preserved on lot #3. Mr. Murphy stated that a variance will be needed to permit the barn to stay on the lot, and this is the only variance anticipated. Mr. Murphy said that there are storm sewer easements on lots #8 through #13 on the plan. No trees will be removed, and there will be no wetlands or floodplain encroachment.
Mr. Murphy said that the only waiver request anticipated is from the requirement to make improvements to Upper Silver Lake Road. He said the developer will install sidewalks on the interior streets and along Upper Silver Lake Road. Mr. Jirele said he would like to see two foot shoulders installed on the road. Mr. Larason recommended lane widening and curbing. Mr. Murphy said the applicant will work on these points.
Mr. Goodnoe said that the Office Research District was designed to be a source of tax revenue, and residential development impairs that function. He recommended that the Township insist on 100% compliance with the ordinance, particularly regarding open space. He pointed out that the open space on the plan is not accessible to the public.
Mr. Harris noted that residential use is permitted in the OR District, and the plan complies with the ordinance almost completely. Mr. Murphy said that the Park and Open Space Committee recommended a fee in lieu of open space.
Mr. Harris said he is concerned about whether a single family on lot #3 will be able to maintain the barn, which is usually fairly expensive. He asked if the barn could be included on the lot with the farmhouse. Mr. Palmer said the Hestons are not interested in having the barn included in their lot. Mr. Jirele suggested getting a recommendation from the Joint Historic Commission. Mr. Murphy said the applicant will comply with whatever the ordinance or the Board of Supervisors requires.
A neighboring homeowner on Autumn Drive said he is concerned about stormwater management. He asked if the detention basin can accommodate the runoff from both the Heston and the Sterling properties. He asked the Board of Supervisors to require the developer to commit to rectifying any drainange problems caused on neighboring properties by this development.
Mr. Sanderlin suggested that the Township get a recommendation from the Joint Historic Commission regarding the existing barn, and a recommendation from the Engineer regarding road improvements on Upper Silver Lake Road. Mr. Jirele said he will follow up with the Joint Historic Commission about the barn, and Mr. Larason said he will follow up on the road improvements.
Mr. Harris said that the Township should also be concerned about Mr. Goodnoe’s point about open space, since the ordinance does require 2.5 acres accessible to the public. Supervisor-elect Anne Goren, a resident of Autumn Drive, said her neighbors did not want a park in that area.
Mr. Sanderlin continued the hearing on the preliminary plan to 1/9/02.
OLD BUSINESS: None.
CORRESPONDENCE: Mr. Larason provided copies of recent correspondence regarding Platinum Executive Suites and the Wiltshire Walk PRD.
SIGNING OF RECORD DRAWINGS - 30 CHATHAM PLACE: Mr. Harp moved to sign the record drawings for the final plan for 30 Chatham Place, as recommended by Carroll Engineering’s 12/5/01 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
ESCROW RELEASE - JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES: Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $27,166.70 in escrow funds for the Newtown Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses project, based on Certificate of Completion #4 (final). The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.
DEDICATION OF CLIVEDEN III - REALEN HOMES: Mr. Harris said that some engineering issues remain. Mr. Larason said the Township needs easements for crossing the PECO right of way, and a letter from the Homeowners Association confirming that three concerns have been addressed.
Fran Poole, president of the Cliveden Homeowners Association, said that he was not aware that the dedication of the improvements would be before the Board of Supervisors tonight. He said he was not informed that the improvements were ready to be checked, so he could not say that they have been completed to his satisfaction. He said that the major concerns were runoff on the tot lot and erosion problems along the path. Mr. Poole said he would not object to the dedication tonight provided that Realen agrees to address these issues during the maintenance period. He added that Realen has been very cooperative so far. Mr. Larason said that Mr. Poole’s concerns can be addressed during the maintenance period.
Mr. Jirele moved to accept dedication of the public improvements at Cliveden, Phase III, understanding that the developer will address problems with sidewalk cracks, maintenance of the tot lot and erosion during the maintenance period. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.
Discussion of motion: Walter Iwaskiw, a Cliveden resident, said he would like to be part of the inspection process. He has additional concerns about the number of street lights in the development, the road surface and the condition of the curbs. Mr. Harris said that these issues will be addressed before the end of the maintenance period. Mr. Larason said the maintenance bond is big enough to cover all the concerns mentioned tonight.
Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.
ROUTINE BUSINESS SECTION
No items of business for this section.
ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Harp moved to adjourn. With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 12:40 AM, 12/13/01.
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved as submitted _______ as corrected _______
Stephen D. Sanderlin, Chairman
Thomas Jirele, Vice Chairman
Scott R. Harp, Secretary/Treasurer
Raymond Goodnoe, Member
Richard Weaver, Member