Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Minutes

November 5, 2003

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting November 19, 2003. MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 11/5/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 11/5/03 regular meeting with one correction:  The second paragraph under the first Community Comment section should begin “Carl Koenig, a Township resident, thanked the Supervisors who voted to oppose…”.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, November 5, 2003, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM.  In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Scott R. Harp, Treasurer/Secretary Richard Weaver, Vice Chairman/Assistant Treasurer Anne Goren, Member Thomas Jirele and Member Raymond Goodnoe.  Also present were:  Township Solicitor Stephen B. Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, and Township Manager Robert M. Pellegrino. 

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

INVOCATION:  Given by Pastor Laura Ingersol of God’s Love Lutheran Church.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA:  Mr. Pellegrino asked that the Joint Historic Commission item be removed; that items a and b be removed from the Solicitor’s report; and that an item regarding a pension ordinance amendment be added to the Manager’s report.  He also said there is no need for the Board to meet in executive session tonight. 


MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF 10/22/03:  Mr. Weaver moved to approve the minutes of the 10/22/03 regular meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

BILLS LIST:  Mr. Weaver moved to pay bills totaling $171,408.36; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 


REINVESTMENT OF CDS:  Mr. Weaver moved to reinvest three Certificates of Deposit with Commerce Bank at 2.25% for five years, with no penalty for early withdrawal:  $579,209.83 in the General Fund, $200,000 in the Street Light Fund, and $611,008 in the Highway Aid/Liquid Fuels Fund.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 




Karen D’Aprile, a Township resident, congratulated Mr. Jirele on his re-election, and thanked him and Mr. Calabro for running fair campaigns. 

Carl Koenig, a Township resident, thanked the Board of Supervisors for voting to oppose the Kramer subdivision.  He said there are problems at the construction site with illegal pumping of water into a creek, wetlands encroachment, and flooding.  Mr. Koenig said he has contacted the Codes Department several times with no success.  He provided several photographs of the site to the Supervisors.


Mr. Harp asked Mr. Pellegrino to research the problems and get back to the Board and Mr. Koenig as soon as possible.  Mr. Pellegrino said the Conservation District is the agency that should be involved with addressing these violations.  Mr. Smith said the pre-construction meeting was held on 10/30/03, and a representative of the Conservation District was there.  He said the problem of the illegal pumping into the creek seems to have been corrected, and other problems did not seem to be significant.   

Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, said she has witnessed flooding at the Kramer subdivision site recently.  Ms. Crescenzo also criticized the Board of Supervisors for inviting members of the Planning Commission to speak at the last Board meeting, and said she objected to one Commission member’s remarks about the Zoning Hearing Board.  She also said the Township newsletter reported that the Economic Development Commission had voted to recommend an increase in the maximum impervious surface in the Newtown Business Commons area. 

Paul Salvatore, a Township resident, asked for updates on several Township engineering projects.  Regarding the Girls’ Softball Association’s interest in lights at Chandler Field, Mr. Harp said he recommended to the Association that they first discuss the idea with nearby residents. 

Fedor Derek, a Township resident, asked the Board to visit the Kramer subdivision site.  He said he is also concerned about the increased runoff ending up on Wrights Road, which is in poor condition and has a lot of school bus traffic. 



ECUMENICAL SERVICE:  Mr. Harp announced that an ecumenical service would be held on 11/23/03 at 7:00 PM at the Ascension Lutheran Church. 

VETERANS’ DAY:  Mr. Harp announced that on 11/11/03, Veterans’ Day, a memorial service will be held at 9:00 AM at Council Rock High School.  The American Legion will sponsor the service. 

PANCAKE DAY:  Mr. Harp said the Pancake Day sponsored by the Exchange Club and the American Legion on 11/2/03 was a success. 

CHARLIE SUTTON:  Mr. Harp noted the recent passing of Charlie Sutton, a valuable member of the Newtown community. 

RESIDENTS IN THE ARMED FORCES:  Mr. Harp invited citizens to submit names of Township residents serving in the armed forces, so that the Board can honor them as has been done at recent meetings. 



PLAN EXPIRATIONS:  Mr. Pellegrino said there are no plan expirations requiring Board action. 

FIREFIGHTERS’ CONTRACT:  Mr. Pellegrino referred to his 10/30/03 memo, which included the final version of the Firefighters’ contract.  He noted that the contract is similar to the municipal employees’ contract except where specific provisions such as hours of work were required to be different. 

Mrs. Goren moved to ratify the Firefighters’ contract as attached to Mr. Pellegrino’s 10/30/03 memo.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously. 

AMENDMENT TO NON-UNIFORMED EMPLOYEES’ PENSION PLAN:  Mr. Pellegrino referred to his 10/31/03 memo, which included a copy of an amendment to the non-uniformed employees’ pension plan.  The amendment provides new definitions for “normal retirement age” and “normal retirement.”  He asked the Board to authorize advertisement of the Amendment. The changes are required by the New CWA collective bargaining agreements. 

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement of the amendment to the non-uniformed employees’ pension plan as presented by Mr. Pellegrino tonight.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously. 

BUDGET:  Mr. Pellegrino said the 2004 budget will be presented at 6:00 PM on 11/12/03 at a televised public meeting.  Copies will be available for the public at that time.  Follow-up meetings are scheduled for 11/19/03, 11/24/03, 12/3/03, and 12/10/03.  The budget is scheduled to be adopted by the Board on 12/10/03, but the Board has until 12/31/03 to do so. 

Mr. Goodnoe asked that budget meetings be put on the schedule attached to the Board meeting agenda. 


RESOLUTION 2003-R-24 - ESTABLISHING FEE-IN-LIEU OF PARKING SPACES:  Mr. Harris explained that there is a provision in the JMZO that allows a developer to pay a fee in lieu of providing required parking spaces in certain districts.  The fee must be adopted pursuant to a formula, which takes into consideration acquisition, construction, and maintenance of public parking.  Pennoni Associates has developed such a formula, which results in a fee of $7,150.00 per parking space. 

Mrs. Goren moved to adopt Resolution 2003-R-24 establishing a fee-in-lieu of parking spaces of $7,150.00 per space in the TC and TC-2 Districts.  Mr. Weaver seconded the motion. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Jirele asked who decides if a fee-in-lieu is acceptable?  Mr.Harris said the Board of Supervisors makes this decision.  He said the fees go into a fund designated for the development of public parking in the TC and TC-2 Districts.   

Nancy Crescenzo asked how the Township uses this fund.  Mr. Harris said the Township could develop a property for public parking.  Mr. Goodnoe noted that about $90,000 from the fund was used in the Sycamore Street project to add public parking in that area. 

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously. 

ENGINEER:  Mr. Smith provided a written summary of engineering projects in the Township, and said there were no items requiring the Board’s attention tonight. 


REVISED FINAL PLAN - 413 OFFICE CENTER - 398 DURHAM ROAD - TMP# 29-3-34:  Paul Allen, attorney Tom Hecker, and engineer Maryellen Saylor were present to discuss their proposal to construct two office buildings, with 32,000 SF of D-1 Office Use and 8,000 SF of D-2 Medical Office Use, on a 11.3 acre parcel in the PS-2 District. 

Mr. Harris summarized the history of this application and said that all technical issues have been resolved.  The Board discussed the remaining issues, which were described in Mr. Hecker’s 10/31/03 letter to Mr. Pellegrino: 

Traffic impact fees and park and recreation fees:  Mr. Hecker said the applicant incurred extra costs in responding to Township requests related to traffic issues.  He asked that the Board consider crediting these extra costs, described in his 10/31/03 letter, towards the traffic impact fees and the park and recreation fees.  An alternative proposal would be to allow the applicant to use the basements of the buildings for additional office space. 

Board members generally agreed with Mr. Hecker’s request, but they favored waiving the fees rather than permitting additional office space on the site. 

Traffic Signal:  Mr. Hecker said that when the applicant agreed to install the traffic signal everyone thought the signal would be warranted.  It was subsequently discovered that the signal was not warranted, and the applicant moved forward with a different layout.  Mr. Allen said that a lot of money and time was spent in changing the plans with the understanding that the signal would not be built.  Mr. Hecker said that Durham Road Associates, the adjacent property owner, has agreed to share the cost of the traffic signal.  

Mr. Harris suggested that the condition be modified to set a limit of three years within which the developer would be responsible for installing the signal if it becomes warranted.  There was general agreement with this suggestion. 

Installing the Interconnect Conduit:  Mr. Hecker said the applicant has never been required to install the conduit beyond his property line.  Mr. Harris confirmed that this was not in the preliminary plan approval. 

Highway Occupancy Permit:  Mr. Hecker said he wanted to confirm an earlier understanding that the Township will be the applicant for the Highway Occupancy Permit.  Mr. Harris confirmed that this was agreeable to the Township. 

Mr. Weaver moved to grant final approval to the 7/28/03 plan for the 413 Office Center, subject to the following conditions: 

·         The plan will be revised in accordance with the 10/17/03 Pennoni Associates letter and the 9/30/03 Boucher and James letter.

·         The plan will comply with the conditional use approval of 3/31/01.

·         All required permits and approvals would be provided, with the understanding that the Township is willing to be the applicant for the Highway Occupancy Permit if the applicant pays all costs.

·         The required financial security agreements will be provided.

·         The applicant will obtain the variances described in Mr. Hecker’s 10/31/03 letter.

·         Appropriate water and sewer agreements will be provided.

·         The applicant will install a traffic signal at Route 413 and Municipal Drive if it is warranted within three years of the issuance of the final occupancy permit on this property.

·         The applicant will install the interconnect conduit along the frontage of his property.

·         The applicant will pay all costs of review.

·         Approval is subject to the waivers listed in the 10/24/03 Planning Commission letter, plus a waiver of traffic impact fees and park and recreation fees 

The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Jirele asked about sidewalks along Route 413.  Mr. Harris said the requirement for sidewalks was waived earlier, but the applicant agreed to provide an easement and donate the cost of the sidewalk to the Township. 

Mr. Weaver’s motion passed unanimously. 

Nancy Crescenzo said she is glad the Board waived the fees instead of allowing additional office space. 

REVISED FINAL PLAN - VILLAGE AT NEWTOWN SOUTH - SOUTH EAGLE AND SWAMP ROADS - TMP#29-10-85 AND 29-10-85-5:  Attorney John VanLuvanee and engineer Maryellen Saylor were present to discuss the plan to construct a retail building and a bank on a 16.3142-acre site in the PC District which is the remaining uncompleted portion of the shopping center. 

Mr. Harris provided a draft approval document, which was distributed, to the Board earlier.  He said there are two issues raised by Mr. VanLuvanee in his 11/3/03 letter (also distributed to the Board):  1) the traffic impact fees and the park and recreation fees, and 2) the applicability of certain points in the 4/10/03 Pennoni Associates letter, as noted in Mr. VanLuvanee’s letter. 

Mr. Harris said the applicant’s position is that the fees were instituted after the plan was approved.  Mr. Harris suggested three alternatives: 1) the applicant pays the fees; 2) the applicant pays the difference between the current fees and the fees paid at the time of the fourth revised grant of approval; or 3) the applicant pays the increase, if any, between the fees that would be due for what was proposed in the fourth revised grant of approval and the fees that would be due for the current proposal.  The last alternative is the method used to set the fees for Wendy’s in the same shopping center.  The Board indicated a preference for using the third alternative.  Mr. Harris said the fees would then amount to $116,859.     

Mrs. Goren moved to approve the ninth revised grant of approval for the Village at Newtown South as attached to the Solicitor’s 10/31/03 report, with the following revisions: 

1.      Page 3 - Condition 1 (a) will include the exceptions to the Pennoni Associates letter as listed in Mr. VanLuvanee’s 11/3/03 letter.

2.      Page 5 - Condition 6 will include only alternative (iii), resulting in a fee of $116,859.

3.      Page 6 - Waiver B will conclude with a statement that the applicant will comply with the limits of discharge set forth in Pennoni Associates’ 9/4/03 letter. 

The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver. 

Discussion of motion:  Mr. Jirele asked to see the landscaping plan, and Mr. VanLuvanee displayed it.  Mr. Jirele indicated he was satisfied with the plan. 

Nancy Crescenzo said she is concerned about traffic and road maintenance on South Eagle Road.  She said parking is already a problem in this area, and sight distance at the access driveway is poor.   

Mr. Harris said the road is privately owned.  The Township could decide to pursue dedication of the road, but that this issue is irrelevant to this application.  Mr. VanLuvanee noted that the access driveway already exists, but he agreed that the curve in the road creates a difficult intersection.  Mr. Harris commented that the driveway currently lines up with the entrance to the ambulance squad, and it is not certain that moving the driveway would be an improvement. 

Mrs. Goren’s motion was approved unanimously. 



Nancy Crescenzo asked if the Township will pursue dedication of South Eagle Road.  Mr. Harp said he would put this question on a work session agenda in the next few months. 

Ms. Crescenzo asked if the budget meeting had been advertised.  Mr. Pellegrino said it was advertised and announced at earlier meetings, and it will be advertised on the cable station and the website. 

Ms. Crescenzo complained that Newtown Borough lost their seat on the Council Rock School Board in the recent election because of the actions of three Supervisors. 

Paul Salvatore said he learned that the Governor asked PennDOT to remove the campaign signs from the Bypass.  He also said that Roberts Rules of Order states that when a question is called, a two-thirds vote is needed to stop the discussion.  This would require at least four votes on the Board of Supervisors, but a discussion was stopped at the last meeting with only three votes.  Mr. Salvatore also asked the Board to be friendlier to the business community. 


ADJOURNMENT:  With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 PM.


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