Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Minutes

February 12, 2003

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting February 12, 2003. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 2/12/03:  Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 2/12/03 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously.

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, February 12, 2003, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM.  In attendance were Supervisors:  Chairman Scott Harp, Vice Chairman/Assistant Treasurer Anne Goren, Treasurer/Secretary Richard Weaver, Member Thomas Jirele and Member Raymond Goodnoe.  Also present were:  Planning Commission Member Shawn Ward, Sycamore Street Committee Member Frank Tyrol, Township Solicitor Steven Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith and Township Manager Robert M. Pellegrino. 

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

INVOCATION:  Given by Reverend Nancy Stroh of the Holy Nativity Episcopal Church.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 

ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA:  Mr. Pellegrino asked that an item regarding the acquisition of rights of way for the Sycamore Street project be added to the Solicitor’s Report.  He also asked the Board to meet in executive session for matters of personnel following adjournment of the public meeting.  



REGULAR MEETING OF 1/8/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 1/8/03 regular meeting with one correction:  the second correction noted for the minutes of the budget hearing of 11/12/02 should read “she questioned the value of membership in the county association”.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 

REGULAR MEETING OF 1/22/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 1/22/03 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

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. 

BILLS AND INTERFUND TRANSFERS:  Mr. Weaver moved to pay bills totaling $224,265.21, and to make interfund transfers totaling $22,302.49.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion:   Mrs. Goren noted an item on page three referring to the Making a Difference seminar, and asked if residents who are not part of Homeowners Associations are being invited.  Mr. Jirele said the seminar will be open to other residents if there is room. 

Mr. Goodnoe noted the payment on page one to Acme Weather Service.  Mr. Pellegrino said the service gives the Township advance notice regarding approaching storms.  Several Supervisors questioned the need for this service, and Mr. Pellegrino said he will look into it. 

Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously. 


RESERVES:  Mr. Weaver said the Township was able to put about $235,000 into reserves in 2001, and over $400,000 into reserves in 2002.  He said the State guidelines called for reserves equal to 5% of the general fund, and the Township currently has seven times that amount. 


CONDITIONAL USE HEARING - PRYDA LLC - 159 N. SYCAMORE STREET:  Mr. Harp opened the hearing and said that the applicant has requested a continuance to the next Supervisors’ meeting. 

Mr. Weaver moved to continue the conditional use hearing for Pryda LLC to 2/26/03.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele. 

Discussion of motion:  Mrs. Goren asked if an extension is needed.  Mr. Harris advised that the requirement is that the first hearing be held by 2/14/03, which has been done. 

Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously. 

Mr. Weaver moved to close the hearing; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 


PLANNING COMMISSION:  Shawn Ward, a member of the Planning Commission, reported on their 2/4/03 meeting.  The Commission reviewed the final plan for a lot line change in Lakeview Estates which involves a transfer of three small parcels of open space.  The Commission recommended approval.  They also discussed a proposal for an office building to be constructed at Penns Trail and Friends Lane. Commission members noted that traffic and stormwater management for the whole property will be major concerns to be addressed when a plan for this development is submitted. 

The Commission reviewed two JMZO amendments.  They recommended that the amendment regarding swimming pools and front yard fences be approved, and that the amendment regarding E-16 non-residential conversions be sent to the other municipalities in the Jointure for their review. 

SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE:  Frank Tyrol, a member of the Committee, reported on their recent meeting.  He said the Committee has developed specifications for streetlights, and these are now out to bid.  A “before and after” video may be created.  Construction on the project will begin soon.  The next meeting will be 3/11/03. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE:  Mr. Harp explained that  the 11-member Committee was established at the last Supervisors’ meeting to address the problem of vacancies in the Newtown Industrial Commons. 

Mr. Weaver proposed adding a four-member advisory committee comprised of representatives from the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation, Bucks County Redevelopment Authority, Congressman James Greenwood’s office and leaving four open slots for voting members on the Committee.  He then suggested appointing the seven nominees discussed at the last meeting. 

Mr. Weaver moved to appoint Richard Weaver, Scott Harp, Robert Pellegrino, Andy Levine, Douglas Terry, James Worthington and Allen Fidler to the Economic Development Committee.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Jirele suggested that all 11 members be appointed at the next meeting, so that the entire slate can be considered together.  

Mr. Goodnoe suggested that all 11 members be appointed tonight.  He asked that the motion be amended to include two more names, Glenn Beasley and Mark Byelich.  Mr. Jirele said he would like to appoint Richard DePaola and Paul Salvatore. 

Mrs. Goren said the Board could appoint the first seven members tonight and get the process started.  Mr. Goodnoe said he will vote against this motion because the process is wrong.  

Mr. Jirele noted that Mr. Harp stated at the last meeting that he was going to take his name off the list. 

Del Purscell, a Township resident, said the Board’s recent retreat does not seem to have improved the members’ working relationships. 

Shawn Ward, a Township resident, encouraged the Board to proceed to a vote when a motion is on the floor. 

Walter Iwaskiw, a Township resident, said the Committee cannot appoint its officers until all 11 members are appointed. 

Mr. Weaver’s motion passed 3-2, with Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele voting “nay”. 

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL:  Mr. Weaver reported that the Council’s 2/6/03 meeting was primarily devoted to a presentation by Bill Maeglin of the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation. 


YMCA:  Mr. Jirele asked if anyone knew the status of the YMCA’s feasibility study regarding opening a facility in the Newtown area.  Mr. Harp suggested that the YMCA be asked for an update.

Mr. Weaver moved to direct Mr. Pellegrino to request an update from the YMCA on their plans regarding the Township.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously. 


Michael Piazza, a Township resident, asked the Board to oppose the Stockburger proposal to move a car dealership to the Bypass.  He said that the Board’s priorities for 2003 should be strengthening the business community and preservation of open space. 

Susan Iazetti, a resident of Upper Silver Lake Road, stated her opposition to the Stockburger proposal.  She said a recent Courier Times article quoted her inaccurately.  She asked that the Board defend the zoning ordinance. 

Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, stated she is not speaking for anyone but herself when she speaks at Board meetings. 

John Hitchner, a resident of Upper Silver Lake Road, said that dealing with Brandywine Realty Trust has been difficult.  He noted that the amount of vacant space in the Newtown Industrial Commons is approximately the same as the amount of office space being proposed in the Newtown Corporate Center project.  He said the traffic impact of this project will be harmful to the Township. 

Jerry Tofer, a Township resident, said he has concerns about Brandywine Realty Trust not paying all the costs of the improvements to the infrastructure that will be made necessary by the Newtown Corporate Center project.  He added that he also opposes the Stockburger proposal. 

Karen Zagnit, a resident of Upper Silver Lake Road, said she has many concerns about the Newtown Corporate Center project. 



BOARD RETREAT:  Mr. Harp said the Board of Supervisors met on 2/5/03 in the Solicitor’s office to discuss communication problems among themselves.  Mr. Harris and Mr. Pellegrino were also present. 

MEETING WITH NEWTOWN BOROUGH COUNCIL:  Mr. Harp said the Board of Supervisors met on 1/29/03 with members of Newtown Borough Council.  They discussed the many cooperative projects that the Borough and the Township have engaged in, such as the Cable TV Committee, the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation, the Sycamore Street project, the Joint Historic Commission, public works and police projects, community events, service organizations, etc.  Mr. Harp said that he and Ms. Scull, President of Borough Council, will try to meet quarterly in an effort to improve communications between the two municipalities. 

SWAMP ROAD STUDY MEETING:  Mr. Harp noted that the meeting to discuss the Swamp Road Study is scheduled for 2/13/03 at the Anchor Church on Route 413. 

WORK SESSION:  Mr. Harp announced that the work session scheduled for 2/17/03 is postponed and will be rescheduled. 

EAGLE SCOUTS:  Mr. Harp invited any residents earning Eagle Scout rank to contact the Township for formal recognition at a Supervisors’ meeting. 

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS:  No items for this section. 


PLAN EXPIRATIONS:  Mr. Pellegrino said there are no plan expirations requiring Board action.  He noted that the final plan for the 413 Office Center may be on the agenda for the next Board meeting. 

TRAFFIC SIGNAL - WASHINGTON CROSSING AND LINTON HILL ROADS:  Mr. Pellegrino announced that the new traffic signal at this intersection will begin operating in flashing mode on 2/13/03. 

EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM:  Mr. Pellegrino announced that the Emergency Broadcast System will be tested the week of 2/17/03. 


ORDINANCE 2003-O-4 - DISSOLVING THE ETHICS COMMITTEE:  Mr. Harris said this ordinance has been advertised for adoption tonight.

Mr. Weaver moved to adopt Ordinance 2003-O-4, dissolving the Ethics Committee.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

CAU - LINDENHURST ROAD - REQUEST FOR TIME EXTENSION ON PLAN APPROVAL:  Mr. Harris provided copies of a 1/22/03 letter from Mr. Hoeland of the Princeton Development Group which requests an extension of time in which to install the improvements at the CAU development.  Mr. Harris said that, according to the letter, if the time extension is not granted the developer will complete the improvements in the required time so that the provision of the Municipalities Planning Code protecting the developer from adverse zoning changes will apply. 

Mr. Hoeland and attorney Don Marshall were present to discuss their request.  Mr. Marshall explained that the first of the five planned buildings is built, and all of what he considers to be the public improvements are completed.  Only the additional buildings and the parking spaces that go with them remain to be constructed.  He said the developer is requesting an extension so that the additional parking spaces do not have to be constructed until they are needed.  He said the developer intends to start the second building this year. 

Mr. Harris said the Board could grant an extension for any time period.  Board members agreed that approximately two and a half years would be an appropriate extension. 

Mrs. Goren moved to grant an extension on the deadline for completion of public improvements on the CAU development on Lindenhurst Road until 12/31/05.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 

ORDINANCE 2002-O-15 - AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AN IN-SERVICE RETIREMENT OPTION PLAN (IROP) IN THE POLICE PENSION PLAN:  Mr. Harris said the Township agreed to enact this ordinance as part of its negotiations for the new police contract, although the enabling legislation has not been adopted by the legislature.  He said there is a “change in law” clause in the ordinance which would automatically amend the ordinance, and any active IROP plans, to comply with any inconsistent State or Federal laws dealing with IROPs. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize the Solicitor to advertise Ordinance 2002-O-15, establishing an In-Service Retirement Option Plan in the police pension plan, for enactment.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Goodnoe asked if any amendments made necessary by future legislation will be subject to negotiation with the Police Department.  Mr. Pellegrino said the Township has an obligation to “meet and discuss”  changes with the PBA, but the amendment would be automatic. 

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously. 

REPEAL STREET LIGHT ASSESSMENT - ADVERTISEMENT:  Mr. Harris said the Township no longer assesses residents for street lights, and it is now necessary to repeal the Street Light Assessment provision of the ordinance.  He asked for a motion to advertise the repealer. 

Mr. Weaver moved to advertise the repealer of the Street Light Assessment for adoption; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

JMZO AMENDMENT - SWIMMING POOLS AND FENCES (WRIGHTSTOWN TOWNSHIP):  Mr. Weaver moved to notify Wrightstown Township that the Board supports the proposed amendment, and recommends that it be sent to the Joint Zoning Council to authorize advertisement.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

JMZO AMENDMENT - USE E-16 - NON-RESIDENTIAL CONVERSION (NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP):  Mrs. Goren moved to send the proposed ordinance to the other Jointure municipalities for review.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 

AUTHORIZE ACQUISITION OF RIGHT OF WAY FOR SYCAMORE STREET PROJECT:  Mrs. Goren moved to authorize the acquisition of a right of way at 5 North Sycamore Street for $10,585.28, and to authorize the appropriate Township officials to sign the agreement. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 


TRAFFIC SIGNAL PAYMENT - WASHINGTON CROSSING AND LINTON HILL ROADS:  Mr. Weaver moved to pay Progress Payment #3 on the installation of the traffic signal at this intersection.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

LAW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS COUNCIL MYLARS:  Mr. Smith said Pennoni Associates has reviewed the mylars and the improvement agreements and recommends that the Board sign them.  He said there are two notes on the final plan which were not reviewed previously by the Board: 

·         Both berms are to be built before any construction of the buildings or parking lots

·         The berm bordering the Osborn property will be three feet high, begin three feet into the Osborn property, and have a double row of plantings on the top.  Mrs. Osborn and the developer have signed an agreement with this condition. 

Mr. Harp and Mrs. Goren said they would not vote to sign these documents because they did not vote to approve the plan. 

Mr. Weaver moved to sign the mylars and the improvement and financial security agreements for the Law School Admissions Council.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed 3-2, with Mrs. Goren and Mr. Harp voting “nay”. 

SYCAMORE STREET ENGINEERING CHANGE ORDERS:  Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of correspondence between Pennoni Associates and McMahon Associates regarding payments for design and engineering services related to the Sycamore Street project.  

Mr. Smith explained that Change Orders #1 through #6 (listed on page three of Mr. Pellegrino’s 2/7/03 memo) have already been approved by the Board.  He said that Pennoni Associates was able to negotiate lower fees for some engineering services. Change Orders #7 through #9 now need to be approved.  Mr. Smith noted that the services listed under Change Order #9 have not yet been performed and may not be necessary. 

Mrs. Goren moved to amend the contract with McMahon Associates to approve Change Orders #7 through #9 for the Sycamore Street project, authorizing a total of $168,347.99 in additional payments.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Jirele expressed concern about the process, since McMahon Associates did some of this work without the Board's authorization.  

Mr. Goodnoe agreed with Mr. Jirele, and said it is time to have the Township Manager and the Township Engineer take over management of the Sycamore Street project as it goes into the construction phase.  He said the Sycamore Street Committee should become an advisory committee.  Mr. Goodnoe said he will vote for these payments only if the Manager and the Engineer are put in charge of the project. 

Mrs. Goren said she agrees there should have been tighter control over engineering costs, but oversight is a separate issue and these Change Orders should be dealt with first. 

Nancy Crescenzo said that if the Sycamore Street Committee authorized this work they were overstepping their charge. 

Mr. Jirele said he was not criticizing the Committee, but he was advocating for tighter control over the project. 

Shawn Ward, a Planning Commission appointee to the Sycamore Street project, said a construction project is very fluid.  He said that the Manager has the authority to incur these costs, and it is a minimal amount compared to the cost of the whole project. 

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Goodnoe voting “nay”. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to put the Township Manager and the Township Engineer in charge of the management of the Sycamore Street project, to make the Sycamore Street Committee an advisory committee, and to require that the Board be consulted on any expenditure of this magnitude.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Harp said that Mr. Lombardi, Chairman of the Sycamore Street Committee, has done a great job and he does not see the need for the actions described in this motion. 

Shawn Ward recommended that the Committee continue in its present role at least until the contract is awarded by PennDOT and construction begins.  He asked that the Board discuss this change with the Committee. 

Mr. Goodnoe said the Committee could continue with its planning tasks as an advisory committee.  He said Mr. Pellegrino’s expertise is needed during the negotiations prior to the awarding of the contract, and the person in charge should be directly accountable to the Board. 

Mr. Jirele said the Committee has done a great job of laying the groundwork, but the Township needs to have direct oversight of this $4 million project.  He said that Committee members are not engineers, and they do not have experience with construction projects, but Mr. Pellegrino has professional expertise in managing such projects. 

Walter Iwaskiw said one person, not a committee, should have oversight of this project. 

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion failed 2-3, with Mr. Harp, Mr. Weaver and Mrs. Goren voting “nay”.  

Mr. Harp asked Mr. Jirele, the Board’s liaison, to discuss this issue with the Sycamore Street Committee. 


REQUEST TO WAIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT REVIEWS - COUNCIL ROCK HIGH SCHOOL NORTH:  Tom Ames, Supervisor of Operational Services for the Council Rock School District, and Bill Rick, the District’s Security Manager, were present to discuss their request for a waiver of land development reviews on the placement of six temporary modular classrooms at Council Rock High School North, as described in Mr. Ames’ letter of 1/30/03 to Mr. Harwood. 

Mr. Ames said that Mr. Harwood requested that he write the 1/30/03 letter and ask for a waiver of land development reviews.  Mr. Ames said the District hopes to complete the renovations being made to the school by November 2004. 

Mr. Harp asked about a canopy over the walkway between the classrooms and the school.  Mr. Ames said this would be difficult because of the additional cost and the need to cross a driveway. 

Mr. Jirele said he would approve this request only if the District agrees the modular classrooms will be removed by the end of 2004, and if a canopy is constructed over the walkway. 

Nancy Crescenzo said the District now has 75 trailers in use, and all were supposed to be temporary.  She noted there is a road and a parking lot between the proposed trailers and the main school building, and suggested they be located closer to the school. 

Karen D’Aprile, a Township resident, also suggested placing the trailers closer to the school. 

Michael Piazza asked about the safety of the trailers.  Mr. Ames said the trailers have been inspected.  Mr. Rick said a security person will be present at all times and there will be fire drills.  He said that the trailers will be closer to the school than shown on the sketch attached to Mr. Ames’ letter, but they will still be across the driveway from the school.  Mr. Rick said students move around freely in this area now, and he has no safety concerns about the proposed arrangement of the trailers. 

Mr. Harris said the proposed placement of the trailers requires a land development approval, so the applicant is seeking a waiver of land development process. 

Mr. Ames said the District could agree to remove the trailers within 60 days of building occupancy.  He said the walkway between the trailers could be covered with a canopy, but it would not be feasible to cover the portion of the walkway between the trailers and the school. 

Mr. Goodnoe said he would like to see the ramp end closer to the door.  Mr. Ames said the District will do this if it is feasible. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to waive land development approval for the placement of six temporary modular classrooms at Council Rock High School North, provided that they are removed within 60 days of the Township issuing a certificate of occupancy for the school, the District will attempt to move the ramp closer to the door of the main building, and the walkway between the trailers is covered.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver. 

Discussion of motion:  Nancy Crescenzo asked if the trailers and the walkway will be accessible to the handicapped.  Mr. Harris said the District will not be able to obtain a building permit if the building is not ADA compliant.  Mr. Ames said that a student using a wheelchair would have to use a different door from the one shown on the sketch.  The two doors are about the same distance from the ramp.  Mr. Goodnoe said the ramp might as well stay where it is on the sketch. 

Mr. Goodnoe amended his motion to eliminate the condition regarding the location of the ramp; Mr. Weaver amended his second.  The motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Jirele voting “nay”.    

APPOINTMENT - JOINT DOWNTOWN NEWTOWN CORPORATION:  Mr. Goodnoe moved to appoint Douglas Terry to the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation to fill Joseph Merjesky’s unexpired term.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 

APPOINTMENTS - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE:  See Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions. 

REVISED PRELIMINARY PLAN - NEWTOWN CORPORATE CENTER - UPPER SILVER LAKE ROAD - TMP# 29-10-76:  Senior Vice President Anthony Rimikis, attorney Michael Caughlin, engineer Mark Roth and traffic engineer Jeremy Maziarz were present to discuss their plan to build five office buildings totaling 414,000 square feet on a 59-acre property in the OR District.  Board members received copies of Mr. Harris’ draft approval letter attached to the Solicitor’s report for tonight’s meeting.  The letter includes 27 points discussed by the Board in the past and a list of waivers requested. 

Mrs. Goren proposed that Brandywine Boulevard end in a cul-de-sac approximately 300 feet east of Upper Silver Lake Road, which would resolve the issue of traffic exiting onto Upper Silver Lake Road and protect residential neighborhoods from commercial traffic.  She said that she discussed this option with Mr. Wursta, the Township Traffic Engineer, and he told her that this configuration would meet the project’s traffic needs, but he prefers a connection to the Penns Trail extension. 

Mr. Goodnoe said he is not in favor of dead end streets, and this proposal would make the traffic situation in the area worse. 

Mr. Caughlin said this proposal would defeat the regional function of Brandywine Boulevard and worsen conditions on Lindenhurst Road.  He said McMahon Associates and the Intergovernmental Agreement with Lower Makefield called for the present configuration of Brandywine Boulevard.  Mr. Jirele said it would exacerbate the traffic backup at the intersection of Lindenhurst and the Bypass.

Mrs. Goren said she does not want to take dedication of Brandywine Boulevard.  If it does not extend to Upper Silver Lake Road there will be little regional traffic on it and the basis for a 40% credit towards the traffic impact fee would not exist.  She said she feels Brandywine should pay the total traffic impact fee, since the funds will be needed soon to expand the Bypass. 

Mr. Rimikis said that he would not agree to eliminate Brandywine Boulevard’s connection with Upper Silver Lake Road, because the present configuration is best for the region and is safer. 

Mr. Goodnoe said the OR District was designed for developments like this one, the Board asked Brandywine to build this road, and the Intergovernmental Agreement specifies this road will be built.  Mrs. Goren said Lower Makefield has indicated they are not happy with some aspects of the Intergovernmental Agreement.  Mr. Jirele said Lower Makefield’s concern was with traffic exiting onto Lindenhurst Road, which is a different issue. 

Mr. Weaver said he defers to the Township Engineer’s opinion, which supports connecting Brandywine Boulevard with Upper Silver Lake Road.  Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele concurred. 

Mr. Harp noted that a majority of the Board seems to favor having two accesses to the project.  He asked how members felt about taking dedication of Brandywine Boulevard.  Mr. Goodnoe , Mr. Jirele and Mr. Weaver said they favor taking dedication. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to take dedication of Brandywine Boulevard if the plan is approved.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Harris recommended that the Board vote on all aspects of the preliminary plan as a package.  

Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele withdrew their motion. 

Mr. Harp asked how members felt about the request for credit towards the traffic impact fee.  Mr. Goodnoe, Mr. Jirele and Mr. Weaver indicated their support for giving credit towards the traffic impact fee, in accordance with the Traffic Engineer’s letter of 1/20/03. 

Nancy Crescenzo pointed out that the Planning Commission recommended the proposed road improvements. 

Del Purscell encouraged the Board to require the full traffic impact fee. 

John Hitchner said the area residents do not want this development.  He asked that all berming and planting be done prior to construction.  Mr. Harris said the developer has agreed to this, and he will revise his draft approval letter accordingly.  Mr. Harris said that Brandywine has also agreed to increased plantings.

Mrs. Goren asked Mr. Hitchner his opinion on her proposal to end Brandywine Boulevard before Upper Silver Lake Road.  Mr. Hitchner said he would welcome this change. 

Larry Fyock, a Township resident, said he is not in favor of taking dedication of the road. 

Township residents Mike Stanfield, Karen Zagnit and Jerry Tofer said they are in favor of the cul-de-sac idea. 

Sue Herman, a Lower Makefield resident, said her major concern is that there be no connection between Brandywine Boulevard and Lindenhurst Rd. 

Mr. Harris said his draft approval letter was reviewed by Brandywine Realty Trust, Mr. Hitchner and Mr. Fyock.  Comments received are indicated by the italicized portions.  The majority of the points were agreed to by all parties.  The remaining points were discussed and revised as follows:  

·         Point 5:  Brandywine agrees to install the berms, fence and landscaping before construction of the first building.

·         Point 7:  The addresses on Upper Silver Lake Road at which Brandywine will conduct a pre-blast survey are #145, #153, # 163 and #171.  These addresses will be inserted into Point 19 as well.

·         Point 14:  The applicant agrees to not use “wall wash” lights in this project

·         Point 15:  The reference will be to “security lights”, not “emergency lights”.

·         Point 25:  The applicant agrees to maintain the existing farmhouse to prevent its further deterioration.

·         Point 28:  To be added - The applicant will create deed restrictions so that Brandywine Boulevard will not connect to the CAU property.

·         Point 29:  To be added - The applicant will restrict construction access from Upper Silver Lake Road once the entrance and bridge is built from the Bypass. 

·         Regarding the waivers, the applicant will provide an aerial photo in lieu of showing features of the surrounding area on the plan.

·         The applicant will also pay the full traffic impact fee of approximately $734,000.00.  

Mr. Caughlin said the revised approval letter is acceptable to Brandywine. 

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the revised preliminary plan for the Newtown Corporate Center, conditioned on compliance with the Solicitor’s approval letter reviewed and revised as above.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed 3-2, with Mr. Harp and Mrs. Goren voting “nay”. 

REVISED PRELIMINARY PLAN - MCLAUGHLIN TRACT - TOLL BROTHERS - STOOPVILLE ROAD - TMP# 29-7-5:  Mike Palmer and attorney Edward Murphy were present to discuss the revised preliminary plan for the construction of 35 village houses on a 38.39-acre property in the CM District.  There is a single access onto Stoopville Road. 

Mr. Murphy said Stoopville Road will be improved along the entire frontage of the Toll Brothers property, in accordance with the design parameters worked out with the Board at an earlier meeting.  There will be two 11-foot travel lanes, two four-foot shoulders, and a 40-foot right-of-way on the road, with a 50-foot right-of-way at the intersection to allow for the left turn lanes.  He also said that if Toll Brothers does not control the Gray Tract, which adjoins the McLaughlin Tract, they will put in additional plantings on the McLaughlin side to ensure an adequate buffer.  Mr. Murphy stated that all costs of road improvements will be borne by Toll Brothers.  The property owners on the south side of Stoopville Road will get some additional land deeded to them when the road is realigned. 

Mr. Jirele said he would like to see large shade trees along Stoopville Road.  Mr. Murphy said the applicant is willing to comply with this request. 

Mr. Murphy said some parts of the proposed 5-foot macadam path will have to be a more natural surface, like wood chips, where it traverses wetlands.  

Regarding the log house, Mr. Murphy asked what use the Board wants to see there.  He said the lot is too small and too close to the road to be a residence.  Mr. Harris recommended that Toll Brothers be asked to secure and maintain the house, and get a recommendation from the Joint Historic Commission, before final approval of the plan.  The disposition of the house can be determined at that time.  The Board discussed a low impact office as a possible use for the  house. 

Mr. Jirele asked if there could be a macadam bike path along the emergency access from the cul-de-sac to the Newtown Trail.  He also suggested additional landscaping along the emergency access road to make it easier to find.  Mr. Murphy indicated the applicant will comply with these conditions. 

Mr. Murphy said the plan shows street lights only at the intersection with Stoopville Road and at the internal intersection, but the ordinance requires lights every 200 feet, which would mean approximately 12 additional lights.  Mr. Jirele said he would be satisfied if street lights were added on the cul-de-sacs and curves.  Mr. Goodnoe added that there should be a single tap for the lights.  Mr. Murphy indicated the applicant will comply with these conditions as well. 

Nancy Crescenzo complained that important decisions are being made at 1:00 AM.  She asked if the Upper Makefield traffic study for the Gray Tract has been shared with the Newtown Township Engineer; Mr. Murphy said it has.  Ms. Crescenzo also asked if the concerns expressed in the 11/26/02 letter from Upper Makefield have been addressed; Mr. Harp said they have.  She also asked if water and sewer service will be offered to the present homeowners along Stoopville Road; Mr. Murphy said it will be available to them, since the Water and Sewer Authority plans to extend their lines to the Linton Hill intersection. 

Mrs. Goren moved to approve the revised preliminary plan for the McLaughlin Tract on Stoopville Road, subject to the following conditions: 

·         The applicant will comply with the 1/2/03 Pennoni Associates letter, the 11/8/02 Planning Commission letter, the 12/4/02 Heritage Conservancy letter and the Zoning Hearing Board decision of 7/11/02

·         All required permits and approvals will be obtained

·         Financial security agreements will be provided

·         If the Gray Tract is not controlled by Toll Brothers, additional plantings will be installed on the Toll Brothers side of the property line

·         Water and sewer agreements will be provided

·         The appropriate park and recreation fees will be paid

·         The log house will be preserved and maintained, a facade easement will be recorded, and the use will be determined at final plan approval

·         When the new right-of-way for Stoopville Road is dedicated, the old right-of-way will be abandoned, with the exception of a utility easement, and the applicant will remove the abandoned roadway

·         The applicant will attempt to obtain the rights-of-way needed to install the road improvements; if this is unsuccessful, the Township will obtain them at the Township’s cost

·         Approved Homeowners Association documents will be submitted

·         A macadam bike path will be installed from the cul-de-sac to the Newtown Trail along the emergency access road

·         Street lighting will be determined at final plan, but will include lights at the road intersections, the cul-de-sacs and the curves

·         All costs of reviews will be paid by the applicant

·         Waivers are granted as described in the 1/2/03 Pennoni Associates letter

·         A waiver is also granted from the requirement for sidewalks and curbs along Stoopville Road

·         The emergency access will be delineated by shrubbery. 

The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Murphy indicated the applicant agrees to these conditions.  Mr. Goodnoe asked why the Township will be the permitee on the PennDOT application.  Mr. Murphy said he could not recall the reason, but PennDOT recommended this.  Mr. Harris said this question should be dealt with in a separate motion. 

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously. 

Mr. Harp said the Board will revisit the issue of the Township being the permitee later. 


REQUEST FOR TIME EXTENSION - KELLER WILLIAMS VARIANCE:  A 1/20/03 letter from John VanLuvanee, attorney for Keller Williams Preferred Real Estate, requested an extension of a variance granted to his client by the Zoning Hearing Board which has expired. 

Mr. Weaver moved to grant an extension to 4/4/03 of the variance granted to Keller Williams by the Zoning Hearing Board on 4/4/02.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 


Nancy Crescenzo said the Board should study the Code of Ethics; suggested that the Township reforest much of its open space; thanked the Township for installing a chain across the driveway at the Clark Center; asked the Board to reconsider the appointment of Mr. McGeary as Auditor; and complained about the use of a timer during Community Comments. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:  Mr. Harp said the Board will meet in executive session for matters of personnel following adjournment of the public meeting. 

ADJOURNMENT:  With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 1:25 AM, 2/13/03. 


Respectfully Submitted:


Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary


Minutes Approved as submitted _______ as corrected _______



Scott R. Harp, Chairman


Anne Goren, Vice Chairman/Assistant Treasurer


Richard Weaver, Treasurer/Secretary


Thomas Jirele, Member


Raymond Goodnoe, Member