Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session Minutes

January 13, 2003

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting February 12, 2003. WORK SESSION OF 1/13/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 1/13/03 work session; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

Members Present: Scott R. Harp, Chairman; Anne Goren, Vice Chairman; Richard Weaver, Secretary/Treasurer; Tom Jirele, Member; Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Member; Dave Sanders, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer. 

Also Present: Shannon Wilson, Newtown Renter Center; Attorney Don Marshall; Al Fidler, Roberts Nursery; Robert Dusek, Planning Consultant; Alan Rogers, Ethics Committee; Winslow Mason and John Paul Lautenschlager, Courier Times; Newtown Residents Nancy Crescenzo, Paul Sterling, Gail Laughlin and Dr. English. 

Call to Order: Chairman Harp called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM. 

Newtown Rental Center – Proposal for Farm House 

The Supervisors discussed the proposed relocation of the historic farmhouse to a 10,000-sq. ft. lot.  Mr. Wilson provided the board with a site plan of the proposed location change and a written document with detail ed his view of the responsibilities of each party.  There was discussion on and E1 (Retail Shop) Use for the property.  Chairman Harp advised he wanted the board to have a chance to further review the proposal and the issue could be discussed further at one of the Board’s February meetings.  The Board concurred that Attorney Marshall should continue discussions with the Township Solicitor.   

Roberts Nursery – TC2 Proposal 

The Supervisors discussed a proposed zoning change.  Mr. Fidler advised he would like to expand his retail business and open a Farmer’s Market type business.  Ms. Goren asked about traffic impact and possible future use of the property if Mr. Fidler sells.  Mr. Goodnoe indicated he does not object to the proposal.  Mr. Harp requested that the board be provided a copy of the plans for review, including information on the proposed use.  Mr. Dusek, Land Planner for Mr. Fidler, said he would have a copy of the plan for the Board to review by the end of the week.  Mr. Harp advised that once the plans are received the matter could be scheduled on the Board’s agenda.   

Board Retreat 

The Supervisors discussed having a Dinner Retreat.  The possible date of  January 28, 2003 was mentioned along with who should be requested to attend.

Meeting with Borough Officials 

The Supervisors discussed meeting with the Newtown Borough Council and decided to request the meeting for January 29, 2003. 

Ethics Committee 

The Supervisors discussed the dissolution of the Ethics Committee.  It was decided to have the solicitor draft an ordinance for this purpose and bring it to the Board for an authorization to advertise at the January 22nd meeting.  

Establishing an Economic Development Commission 

The Supervisors discussed establishing an Economic Development Commission.  Mr. Weaver updated the committee on his intent with establishing this group.  He provided the supervisors with a list of people interested  in serving in this capacity.  Mr. Harp suggested it could be discussed at the January 22, 2003 meeting.  Mr. Goodnoe expressed some concerns.  Mr. Sander suggested the township draft a document for the meeting outlining the goals of the group.  Mr. Sanders and Mr. Pellegrino will prepare the document for the January 22nd meeting. 

Other Business 

Mr. Pellegrino reminded the board of the insurance policy the township has for key employees.  The policy is up for renewal and he questioned the costs.  He suggested the Supervisors could eliminate a $3,000 annual expense by terminating the policies.  The Board’s sentiment was to retain the policies.

Mr. Rogers commented on the dissolution of the Ethics Committee and suggested a trust issue with residents and business owners and the Board. 

Ms. Crescenzo commented on the dissolution of the Ethics Committee and questioned why the committee was no longer needed. 

Mr. Sterling commented on the retreat and wished the Board the best of luck. 

Ms. Crescenzo commented on a correspondence received from Upper Makefield Township, in reference to the McLaughlin Tract.  She was advised the Board will discuss the matter further. 

Ms. Crescenzo commented on the Roberts Nursery proposal, which she is in favor of.  She also commented on Mr. Weaver’s proposal to establish an economic development group and that Mr. Weaver should have discussed further with the Board members before developing a mission statement and selecting members for the group.  


Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.


Respectfully Submitted by:


Christy Holley, Recording Secretary