Board of Supervisors Minutes
July 24, 2002
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting August 14, 2002. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 7/24/02: Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 7/24/02 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, July 24, 2002, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Scott Harp, Vice Chairman Tom Jirele (late), Treasurer Richard Weaver, Secretary/Assistant Treasurer Anne Goren and Member Raymond Goodnoe. Also present were: Planning Commission Chairperson Karen Doorley, Sycamore Street Chairman Vince Lombardi, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, Police Chief Martin Duffy, Township Manager Bob Pellegrino and Township Finance Director Elaine Gibbs.
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Harp called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence. Mr. Harp noted that Jean Vance, wife of a long time member of the Capital Planning Committee, passed away recently.
INVOCATION: Given by Pastor Harry Whyte of the More View Bible Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Harp announced that Mr. Jirele has been delayed and is en route to the meeting.
ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Pellegrino said that the Solicitor’s report will include an item regarding the signing of mylars for the Reserve (the Heston Tract); Mr. Smith said that the item regarding the Tyrol property in his report is deleted; and Mr. Harp said there will be an executive session for matters of pending litigation following the adjournment of the public meeting.
MINUTES, BILLS LIST AND REPORTS
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 7/10/02: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 7/10/02 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
BILLS LIST AND INTERFUND TRANSFERS: Mr. Weaver moved to pay bills totaling $215,775.45 and approve interfund transfers totaling $305,305.09; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: No items.
CERTIFICATES OF ACCOMPLISHMENT - SERGEANT CHARLES PATTON AND DETECTIVE CHARLES PALKO: Mr. Harp and Police Chief Martin Duffy presented commendations to Sergeant Patton and Detective Palko for their work in investigating and arresting a contractor who absconded with $66,000 belonging to a Newtown resident, Michele A. White. Ms White was present and read her 7/1/02 letter to the Board of Supervisors, which described the diligent and successful investigation performed by Sergeant Patton and the Police Department.
PRESENTATION OF K-9 BADGES: Chief Duffy invited Sergeant Hartman and Detective Bush and their dogs to the podium. Mr. Harp welcomed the dogs to the Police Department and presented their handlers with badges. Sergeant Hartman said the dogs and their handlers have just completed 20 weeks of very demanding training at the New Jersey State Police Training Center.
APPROVAL OF POLICE K-9 POLICY: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of a proposed Township K-9 Policy and asked for the Board’s approval.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve the K-9 policy as distributed with Mr. Pellegrino’s 6/25/02 memo. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Pellegrino said the policy was based on existing policies in several other municipalities, and has been reviewed and approved by the Township’s insurance carrier and by the Solicitor. He suggested that a change be made to the draft he had distributed: On page 6, under Section D, item #9, the second sentence should read “The handler’s residence shall be capable of housing the canine and have adequate space for the construction of a kennel as needed at the handler’s expense.”
Mr. Goodnoe said the Board of Supervisors should have had more time to discuss the proposed policy before it was presented to them; for this reason he will not be voting in favor of approving the policy.
Mrs. Goren and Mr. Weaver agreed to amend their motion to include Mr. Pellegrino’s suggested addition. The motion passed 3-1, with Mr. Goodnoe voting “nay”.
PRD VARIANCE - ELIZABETH BEASLEY - 152 HIGH STREET - TMP# 29-25-34: Mrs. Goren moved to open the hearing on Ms Beasley’s PRD variance request. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
Elizabeth Beasley and Ray Brubaker were present to discuss their request to create a rear yard setback of 22 feet where 30 feet is required, and to increase the impervious surface ratio from the maximum of 25% to 32.4%. They were both sworn in.
Ms Beasley said she plans to construct a patio enclosure in the rear of her house that is two feet longer than an existing patio. She said she spoke with the neighbors directly behind her property and they had no problem with this proposed addition. A letter from them to this effect was given to the Township at the Planning Commission meeting on 7/16/02.
Mr. Harp read a 7/17/02 letter to the Board from James McCain of 169 High Street. The letter stated that he opposes the variance request because stormwater might drain from the patio onto a neighbor’s yard; there is already a deck in the rear of the house which takes up a lot of the back yard; and granting this request might set a precedent for other neighbors and result in a patchwork appearance in the neighborhood.
Ms Beasley said she has not done any studies regarding drainage, but the neighbors that would be affected have said they have no objection to the project. She stated that she does not know Mr. McCain and was not aware of the letter until tonight.
Mr. Goodnoe said the letter arrived at the Township on 7/22/02 and should have been shared with Ms Beasley.
John Pisciotta, another neighbor of Ms Beasley, asked to comment and was sworn in. Mr. Pisciotta said the proposed patio enclosure will affect the value of adjacent properties. He said he is concerned about the increased impervious surface, and stated that the existing deck already encroaches on the required 30 foot setback. He said there is no hardship to justify granting the request. Mr. Pisciotta showed some photographs of Ms Beasley’s home to the Board of Supervisors which he said were taken from his property next door during the previous week.
Ms Beasley examined the photographs and said they showed a different patio from the one being discussed tonight. Mr. Pisciotta acknowledged this and said that the photographs demonstrated Ms Beasley’s poor house maintenance in general.
At Mr. Harp’s request Mr. Harris outlined the issues involved in the request. He said that a PRD variance is actually a request to revise the final approved plan of a development. The applicant is asking to reduce the rear yard setback from 30 feet to 22 feet. There is normally no engineer’s review of such an application.
Karen Doorley, Chairperson of the Planning Committee, was present and stated that the Planning Commission reviewed this request at their 7/16/02 meeting and recommended approval, with one abstention. She said that no neighbors were present at that meeting. Mr. Pellegrino said the neighbors should have been notified; Mr. Pisciotta said he was not. Mr. Pellegrino said he will look into whether they were notified.
Mrs. Goren said the objections voiced by two neighbors concern her. Ms Beasley said she has a long term plan for improvements to the house, and apparently she is moving more slowly than some of her neighbors would like.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the PRD variance for Ms Beasley regarding her property at 152 High Street. The motion was seconded and passed 3-1, with Mrs. Goren voting “nay”.
Mr. Harp moved to close the hearing; the motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
Mr. Harris said that Ms Beasley needs to get a revised final plan created, signed and filed with the Recorder of Deeds. Until it is signed and filed, she will not be able to get a building permit. He also noted that there is a 30 day appeal period.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
PLANNING COMMISSION: Karen Doorley, Commission Chairperson, reported on their 7/16/02 meeting. In addition to the PRD variance just discussed, the Commission reviewed a revised amended final plan for expansion of the parking lot at 117 S. Sycamore Street and recommended approval, with the condition that the handicapped parking space be 12.5 feet wide instead of 10.5 feet. Seven Zoning Hearing Board applications were reviewed, and the Commission recommended opposition to a request for an increase in the impervious surface at 15 Susanna Way.
The Commission also reviewed a proposed JMZO amendment regarding agricultural off-premises signs, and recommended that the Board support the changes recommended in Mike Frank’s 6/27/02 memo.
MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: None.
Del Purscell, a resident of Sycamore Street, said he is opposed to the parking lot expansion proposed by Kathy Lesser, owner of 117 S. Sycamore Street.
Nancy Cresenczo, a Township resident, spoke about the delay in the construction of Council Rock South High School. She also asked the Township to look into the continued use of trailers at the Newtown Junior High School. Ms Cresenczo also said the involvement of three Township Supervisors in the School Board reapportionment petition was mentioned at a recent meeting of the Wrightstown Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Poserina, a representative of Frost-Watson, read a petition for which he said he has collected over 400 signatures. The petition asks the Township to assist Frost-Watson to relocate in the area, preferably in the former Acme building. Mr. Poserina stated that he has since learned more about the Acme building and now understands that this is not a viable option. Mr. Harp said the Township will continue to try to assist Mr. Poserina to relocate his business.
Mr. Jirele joined the meeting at this time.
Richard Tonge, a Township resident, distributed to the Board copies of a 7/17/02 resolution of the Board of Directors of the Homeowners Association of Newtown Grant. He read the major points of the resolution, which makes the following suggestions regarding Stoopville Road:
· Keep 10 foot lanes and 4 foot shoulders.
· The right of way should not exceed 33 feet.
· Soften the curves no further than what is consistent with a 40 MPH speed limit.
· Investigate “traffic calming” measures.
Mr. Harp said he wants to study the resolution and work with the residents of Newtown Grant on their concerns as the preliminary plan for the McLaughlin Tract is reviewed. He asked Mr. Smith to make sure that the Traffic Engineer studies the plan, and he told Mr. Tonge that the Township will notify him when the McLaughlin plan is being reviewed by the Board of Supervisors or the Planning Commission.
Mr. Goodnoe said the issue being discussed goes beyond the McLaughlin Tract. He recommended that the Board of Supervisors ask the Planning Commission to study this resolution to consider whether the Township should change their TIP project list. Mr. Tonge said he gave a copy to Mrs. Doorley. Mr. Harp said he will ask the Planning Commission to make a recommendation.
Mrs. Goren said the Planning Commission should also look at Stoopville Road in the light of the improvements to Swamp Road.
Victoria Bowe said Mr. Harwood looked into and reported to her about the concerns she raised at the last public meeting. She said that it appears that La Stalla obtained a permit to allow the large statue. Mr. Pellegrino said that the statue is considered a sign, and the restaurant was told to apply for a permit. He said he expects that it will come before HARB. Mr. Pellegrino also said that the Township has begun a review of commercial signs following Mrs. Bowe’s remarks at the last meeting. He said the review will take some time to complete, and some obvious violations have already been found.
Sue Hermann, president of Residents for Regional Traffic Solutions and a Lower Makefield resident, spoke in opposition to Mr. Goodnoe's suggestion to reconsider the TIP list. She said she would prefer to see the Township retract the entire TIP. She said that the Bucks County Planning Commission has not supported the TIP that the Township has submitted.
Mr. Jirele stated that the County Planning Commission has not said why they do not support the Township’s TIP. He said he agrees with Mr. Goodnoe’s suggestion because he believes it is better to not deal with Stoopville Road in a piecemeal manner. Mr. Harp, Mr. Weaver and Mrs. Goren said they wished to look at all options for dealing with traffic issues on Stoopville Road.
Mr. Jirele said he recently measured the width of Stoopville Road in ten different places, and found that lanes varied between ten feet two inches and eleven feet eight inches. Ms Hermann said that a PennDOT study found the lanes were consistently ten feet wide. Mrs. Goren commented that the variation is probably due to road improvements over the years and topography.
REPORTS OF OFFICIALS
FIRE DEPARTMENT: Mr. Harp encouraged residents to volunteer for the Fire Department.
ANNEXATION: Mr. Harp said there is a need for some volunteers to help circulate the annexation petition, as the signatures must be obtained before the end of the month.
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: No reports.
PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Pellegrino said there are no plan expirations to be addressed.
WHATLEY MINOR SUBDIVISION - PLANNING MODULES - TMP# 29-3-45-3: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of a 1/2/01 letter from Carroll Engineering Corporation to the Township Manager regarding the final plan for the subdivision of property belonging to Robert and Joyce Whatley. The plan was approved in November 2000. Mr. Pellegrino said that the planning modules for the septic system were never approved by the Board of Supervisors, and he asked that this oversight be rectified tonight.
Mr. Weaver moved to approve the planning modules for the Whately subdivision. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren said she will abstain from the vote because she was not on the Board of Supervisors when the plan was approved.
Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
STATION 55 LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT - FEE WAIVER REQUEST: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of his 7/16/02 memo, which explains that the Fire Company is requesting that the Township waive its fees in connection with land development and conditional use applications.
Mrs. Goren moved to waive land development and conditional use fees for the Fire Department’s renovations of Station 55. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
BIDS- ROBERTS RIDGE PARK PLAYGROUND INSTALLATION: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of a 7/16/02 memo from Bill Wert, Director of Parks and Recreation, which reports on the opening of bids for the installation of playground equipment at Roberts Ridge Park. Mr. Wert recommends awarding the contract to the lowest bidder, Buzz Burger.
Mr. Weaver asked if this company had experience with this kind of work. Mr. Pellegrino said all references were checked, and Buzz Burger had had experience working with the type of equipment being installed. Mr. Pellegrino said the bids were reviewed by the Solicitor.
Mr. Weaver moved to award the contract for installing the playground equipment to Buzz Burger, Inc., of Glen Mills, PA, for $23,200.00, to be completed within 30 days. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked how this project will be funded. Mr. Pellegrino said funding will come from municipal impact fees. The entire cost of the playground will be $55,000 to $60,000, which is somewhat under budget.
Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously.
PROPOSED SWEEPER REPLACEMENT PURCHASE: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of a 7/18/02 memo from Mr. Harwood comparing the rental of road sweeping equipment with the purchase of a Township-owned and operated machine. Mr. Pellegrino said that Mr. Harwood’s recommendation is to purchase a machine, so that the Township can improve its service level. Mr. Harwood recommends sweeping monthly, while Mr. Pellegrino recommends three times a year. Mr. Pellegrino noted that the purchase is not in this year’s budget, and suggested that the Board of Supervisors not take action tonight and consider it again during the regular budget process this fall.
EAGLE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS: Mr. Pellegrino announced that PennDOT has awarded the contract for improvements to a section of Eagle Road.
SWAMP ROAD IMPROVEMENTS: Mr. Pellegrino said the Township has been asked by Wrightstown Township to monitor the work being done on Swamp Road. The improvements and the culvert replacement are being implemented as separate projects, contrary to both municipalities’ recommendations.
CONDITIONAL USE DECISIONS: Mr. Harris noted that he provided advance copies of the conditional use decisions on the McLaughlin Tract, Garden Tea, Inc. and Newtown Veterinary Hospital.
RESOLUTION 2002-21 - MATTHEWS PROPERTY - AUTHORIZATION TO CONDEMN: Mr. Harris stated that he has confirmed that Orleans will reimburse the Township for the costs of condemning an easement across the Matthews property.
Mr. Jirele moved to adopt Resolution 2002-21 authorizing the condemnation of an easement across the property of Joseph Matthews Jr. For a storm sewer system. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Smith said that the storm sewer system will eliminate an open swale, improve the appearance of the area, and probably enhance property values.
Mrs. Goren asked if this is a temporary construction easement. Mr. Harris responded that it is a permanent easement where the pipe will be located, and a temporary easement in the area needed for construction.
Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AGREEMENT - ACME PROPERTY: Mr. Harris provided a draft of the agreement with the Redevelopment Authority, including the Authority’s fee schedule. He emphasized that the Township can choose to use these services as needed.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize the Chairman to sign the agreement with the Redevelopment Authority. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked what the next step will be. Mr. Harp said he recommends that the Township draft a request for proposals and initiate a visioning process to help determine the best use of the Acme building. He suggested that this effort be kicked off at the 8/13/02 meeting of the Sycamore Street Committee. Mr. Jirele wondered if a separate committee should be appointed to undertake this visioning process, given the Sycamore Street Committee’s workload.
Vince Lombardi, Chairman of the Sycamore Street Committee, was present and said that the Committee had very little on their agenda for the 8/13/02 meeting; he was planning to cancel the meeting. He was agreeable to holding the meeting and devoting it to initial planning for the Acme building, since the Committee wants to be a part of the process. Mr. Lombardi said he understands that the Redevelopment Authority has an established procedure for this kind of issue.
Mr. Goodnoe suggested that nearby residents and the Redevelopment Authority be invited to the meeting as well.
Nancy Cresenczo, a Township resident, asked the Board of Supervisors to delay their action on this agreement until the public has more opportunity to review and discuss it. Mr. Harp explained that the agreement is being proposed so that the Township can control what goes into the building. Mr. Pellegrino said that the Authority is “a tool in our toolbox”, and the agreement does not require the Township to use their services.
Nancy Carroll, a resident of Newtown Borough, asked about the environmental problems at the Acme site. Mr. Harp said the cost of purchasing and renovating the building was estimated to be about $3 million.
Linda Mitchell said that the eventual owner of the building would be able to do anything they want there. Mr. Harris said some restrictions could be built into the sales agreement. Ms Mitchell also said she would like to be part of the visioning committee in her role as president of the Newtown Business and Professional Association.
Nancy Cresenczo asked what engineering work Pennoni Associates was paid to do on the Acme building. Mr. Smith said Pennoni reviewed the community center concept and did a very preliminary sketch to test the viability of the concept.
Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously.
COUNCIL ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT - REDISTRICTING: Mr. Harris reviewed the Township’s actions and the court decisions thus far in the redistricting issue. He said that the next court deadline is 7/31/02, when plans for redistricting are to be submitted to the court. A conference is scheduled for 8/15/02 to discuss the proposals and to determine if the court can make a decision.
Mr. Harris said that there are now three plans on the table: the Byrne/Rogers three region plan advocated by the Township, a nine region plan advocated by the School District and a nine region plan advocated by Wrightstown Township.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt the School District’s nine region plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele said he has tried to be open minded, and is upset by the process the Township has followed. He said he does not like the School District plan and has not had a chance to study the Wrightstown plan.
Mr. Harp asked if the public wished to comment.
Marilyn Scarpa spoke in favor of the School District plan.
Nancy Carroll said the Township would have a majority of voters in every region in the School District plan.
Mrs. Goren said she is concerned that the polling places for two of the regions in the School District plan would be in the same building.
Marilyn Scarpa said the polling places can easily be moved. She added that under the three region plan the Township might end up with no representatives on the School Board.
Nancy Cresenczo said that all the legal controversies are just increasing the attorneys’ fees.
Alan Rogers, co-author of the Byrne/Rogers plan, said the Board and the public have been misled about this issue. He said that only the School Board has a right to deal with this issue. He stated that the under-representation of the Township on the School Board can not be corrected with a nine region plan, given the electoral districts that exist; neither nine region plan meets legal requirements. Dr. Rogers also said that he and Joseph Byrne developed the three region plan, and Mr. Harp, Mr. Weaver and Mrs. Goren just helped to circulate the petition. He predicted that the judge will determine that only the three region plan meets legal requirements.
Nancy Carroll said that she is not misinforming the public when she speaks in favor of a nine region plan.
Mr. Goodnoe’s motion failed 2-3, with Mr. Harp, Mrs. Goren and Mr. Weaver voting “nay”.
ZONING HEARING BOARD: Mr. Harris reviewed the six applications scheduled for the Zoning Hearing Board meeting of 8/1/02. There was no interest in having the Solicitor represent the Township at the hearings. The Lesser application regarding 117 S. Sycamore Street will be discussed later in the agenda under the Engineer’s report.
VERIZON - REQUEST TO WAIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS: Mr. Harris said Verizon is requesting a waiver of the land development process. Verizon proposes to build a 710 square foot enclosure for a backup generator, and a concrete pad and fenced area for an above-ground storage tank on Washington Crossing Road. Mr. Harris noted that the Planning Commission recommended approval of this request, with the condition that the applicant provide a wetlands study.
Mr. Weaver moved to waive the land development process for Verizon in this matter, with the condition that Verizon provide a wetlands study. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.
Catherine Moore, attorney for Verizon was present and stated that the site is well buffered from the street. She said the generator is a replacement for one destroyed as a result of a traffic accident.
Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously.
LESSER - 117 S. SYCAMORE STREET - REVISED FINAL PLAN - PARKING EXPANSION - TMP# 29-11-12: Attorney Ed Murphy was present to discuss Kathleen Lesser’s plan for expanding the parking lot at her property in the TC District. Mr. Murphy explained that a previous plan for this property was approved but never carried out. Conditional use approval has been granted for both uses in the building. The present plan involves a reconfiguration of parking spaces, additional landscaping, and the addition of a “throat” for the parking lot to control access and egress. The applicant agrees to coordinate with streetscape plans for Sycamore Street.
Regarding the Zoning Hearing Board application, Mr. Murphy said the applicant has expanded the handicapped space and added a fire lane since the Planning Commission reviewed the plan. The applicant is now requesting relief to use two parking spaces located within Sycamore Street’s right of way, and to omit a buffer between the parking lot and the street. Mr. Murphy added that similar approvals were granted for the McMaster house.
Mrs. Goren asked if the Sycamore Street Committee had reviewed the plan. Mr. Lombardi stated that the Committee was comfortable with the plan.
Mr. Goodnoe asked why there was no landscaping proposed between the parking lot and the street. Mr. Murphy said the applicant wanted to wait for direction from the Sycamore Street Committee. He said the sidewalk will eventually be installed in accordance with the Committee’s specifications.
Mr. Harris said there are two issues in the Zoning Hearing Board request:
· a variance is needed to omit landscaping pending direction from the Sycamore Street Committee
· the applicant is asking to use two spaces in the Sycamore Street right of way
Mr. Harris commented that it would be illogical to oppose the Zoning Hearing Board application if the plan is approved.
Del Purscell, a former member of the Sycamore Street Committee and a resident of Sycamore Street, stated he is concerned that Ms Lesser will never put in landscaping. Mr. Murphy assured him that Ms Lesser will put in appropriate landscaping, and he offered to meet with Mr. Purscell and address his concerns.
Mr. Lombardi said the Sycamore Street Committee asked property owners to grade out to the street but put no screening on the street. He suggested that Ms Lesser come to the special meeting of the Sycamore Street Committee on 8/25/02, when the design engineers will be present.
Mr. Smith asked if the applicant is proposing lighting for the parking lot; Mr. Murphy said none is proposed now, but the applicant will comply with the ordinance.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the revised final plan for 117 S. Sycamore Street, with the following conditions:
· Compliance with the Heritage Conservancy letter of 7/9/02, Bucks County Conservation District’s letter of 7/12/02, the Pennoni Associates letter of 7/15/02 and the Fire Marshal’s letter of 7/12/02
· The sidewalks, street trees and curbing requirements are deferred until the applicant can work with the Sycamore Street Committee, and the applicant may install temporary asphalt
· The applicant will obtain a variance from the Zoning Hearing Board for relief from the requirement for screening the parking lot and to permit two parking spaces in the right of way of Sycamore Street
· The width of the handicapped parking space will be 12.5 feet
· All necessary financial security agreements will be provided, all permits and approvals will be obtained
· All costs of review will be paid by the applicant
· Parking lot lighting will be installed in accordance with the ordinance
The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS: None.
STOCKBURGER - PROPOSAL ON DEVELOPMENT OF BYPASS PROPERTY: George Stockburger IV, George Stockburger V and several associates were present to discuss a proposal for the development of a 12 acre parcel on the Bypass in the OR District. Mr. Stockburger IV said he would like to move his Chrysler dealership, currently on Sycamore Street, and his Chevrolet dealership, currently on State Street, to the property on the Bypass. He also proposes to construct new buildings at the Sycamore Street and State Street locations. Mr. Stockburger V provided the Supervisors with a written proposal and concept drawings of the proposed buildings. He said the company is open to discussing any aspect of the proposal, and is asking for guidance from the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Harris said that several years ago the Stockburger company challenged the Township’s refusal to allow auto dealerships in the Township. As a result of that court decision, dealerships are now permitted in the TC District. To realize the proposed project, the Township would have to revise the OR District or create a new zoning district for this property.
Mrs. Goren asked if the Stockburger company planned to add to their two dealerships; Mr. Stockburger V said it was possible. Mrs. Goren said she envisions a sea of cars on display on the Bypass. She also expressed concerns about noise and traffic that would be generated by the business.
Mr. Weaver asked the length of the property’s frontage on the Bypass; Mr. Stockburger IV said it is approximately 1200 feet.
Mr. Jirele asked how such a project would conform to the Township’s sign ordinance. Mr. Harris said some compromise would have to be made. Mr. Stockburger V said he would be willing to work with the Township on this.
Mr. Harp said this property is a gateway to the Township, and asked if the Stockburger company would consider putting the cars behind the building. He said he has serious concerns about this proposed use. Mrs. Goren concurred, and said she feels this is an inappropriate use on the Bypass.
Mr. Stockburger V said that any use of that property will involve buildings and cars. Mr. Stockburger IV said the dealerships can not survive in their present locations. He said if the company can not move to the larger property they may have to develop their present locations more intensively. Mrs. Goren said the Bypass property could also be developed more intensively than the proposal indicates.
Mr. Harp asked if the public wished to offer comments.
Del Purscell said this proposal is a chance for the Township to be part of the development of a total of about 15 acres. He said he supports the Stockburger proposal because it provides an opportunity to revitalize a property on Sycamore Street and will generate increased tax revenues. He suggested forming a committee to work with the Stockburgers.
Tony Pestis, a Township resident, said he supports the Stockburger proposal and believes that the Bypass is not a gateway to the Township.
Paul Lewis, a Township resident, stated he supports Mr. Purscell’s remarks.
Gerhard Ludley said he lives in the area and works at the church across from the property on the Bypass. He said he has concerns about increased traffic, including tractor-trailers, road testing, customers trying out cars, etc. He is also concerned about increased lighting.
Christine Zerbos, a Township resident, said she would like to see the dealership move out of the town.
Paul Salvatore said he works next to the Stockburger dealership on State Street, and he would like to see it move out to the Bypass property.
Jim Bowe, a resident of Tyler Walk, said the Stockburgers are responsible members of the business community who are aware of the Township’s concerns about the ambiance of the area. However, he expressed concern about setting a precedent, and encouraged the Supervisors to look at the proposal carefully.
Nancy Cresenczo said the Township and the Stockburger company should be open to compromise.
Mr. Harp said the Board of Supervisors is not anti-business, but traffic is a significant issue. He also said changing the zoning is a very serious move. He said he has trouble supporting this proposal.
Mrs. Goren said many residents were against allowing auto dealerships in the Township when this issue was discussed in 1998.
Mr. Jirele said the Board should focus on the use of the Bypass site. For instance, an office use might generate more tax revenue, but it would be good to move the dealerships out of town.
Robert McBride, the owner of a business on Sycamore Street, said he is neither opposed nor in favor of this proposal. He said he would like to be involved in any planning process regarding the proposal.
Del Purscell asked the Supervisors to remain open minded.
Mr. Goodnoe said the Township needs to look at what else might go on the Bypass property, and assess whether other uses would be better or worse. He said the Township has an opportunity to negotiate with someone about how the property is used. He said he is in favor of studying the proposal further and not rejecting it out of hand.
Mr. Harp said the Board will be discussing this issue further.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS (CONTINUED)
Nancy Cresenczo said she hopes the Township can build a skatepark that is more open and park-like than facilities she has seen.
Paul Salvatore asked the Supervisors to remember that they represent everyone in the Township and need to keep their minds open.
ADJOURNMENT: With no objections, Mr. Harp adjourned the meeting at 12:50 AM, 7/25/02. The Board of Supervisors then met in executive session for matters of pending litigation.
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved as submitted _______ as corrected _______
Scott R. Harp, Chairman
Thomas Jirele, Vice Chairman
Anne Goren, Secretary/Assistant Treasurer
Richard Weaver, Treasurer
Raymond Goodnoe, Member