Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

February 18, 2004


DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS UNTIL APPROVED.


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

Also Present: Mike Palmer and Ed Murphy representing Toll Brothers. Members of the Newtown Borough Council including Rand Jaslow, Don Smith and Marjorie Torongo. Various Newtown residents including Walter Iwaskiw, Vince Lombardi, Gail Laughlin, Frank Mendicino and Ethel Hibbs. 

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM. 

Toll Brothers – Sketch Plan Presentation – Robert’s Nursery Property 

Representatives from Toll Brothers made a presentation to the Board to discuss the development of the Robert’s Nursery Property.  The presentation included sketches to show the proposed development of the property. Mr. Palmer advised the property is zoned R2.  Toll Brothers would like to develop the property with accordance to the B-17 Ordinance.  The proposed plan for B-17 use showed 117 homes.  Mr. Palmer advised the property would be similar to the Frost Watson property in Newtown Borough.  He also discussed the development of the property with accordance to the B-15 Ordinance, showing 102 homes, advising the property would be similar to Wiltshire Walk. 

The Supervisors discussed the waivers & variance required for the B-17 Ordinance. Mr. Palmer advised an age restriction waiver would be required. 

Ms. Goren asked about the starting prices for the homes in the B-17 plan and the B-15 plan.  Mr. Palmer advised on the prices of the homes. 

Mr. Goodnoe asked about the B-17 plan with accordance to height restrictions.  Mr. Murphy advised the height is within the allowed limit. 

The Supervisors discussed who would be responsible for the street and alleys. 

The Supervisors discussed who would be responsible for the open space.  Mr. Palmer advised the homeowners’ association would maintain any open space.  Mr. Jirele expressed concerns with leaving all of the open space to be maintained by the homeowners’ association.  

Members from the Newtown Borough Council advised the borough has concerns with traffic, parking and storm water.

Mr. Harp asked that Toll Brothers provide the Supervisors with a copy of the plans for the Frost Watson Property in Newtown Borough.   

Mr. Harp advised he felt there were too many units on the proposed B-17 plan.  He suggested the number of units be reduced. 

The Supervisors discussed the status of the Roberts home, the Fidler home and the barn currently on the property.  Mr. Palmer advised the Supervisors on how much property Toll Brothers currently owns.  He advised that the Roberts family will remain in their home and the existing Fidler home will be removed.  Mr. Palmer discussed the subdivision of the properties.  The Supervisors suggested using the barn for community use.  Mr. Jirele suggested the Supervisors have the Joint Historic Group review the properties.   

Mr. Harris advised the Supervisors on the B-17 Ordinance requirements.  He advised that the B-17 plan would require two variances from the Zoning Hearing Board.  He advised that the Township could create a new zoning district and rezone the property. 

Ms. Goren asked if sidewalks would be provided on Newtown-Yardley Road.  Mr. Palmer advised there would be sidewalks within the development and along Newtown-Yardley Road and Dolington Road.   

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the location of the entrance for the cemetery located across Newtown-Yardley Road.  Mr. Palmer advised on the location of the entrance.   

The Supervisors discussed parking with the B-17 plan.  Mr. Palmer advised there would be three spaces per unit, two on-lot garage spaces and one-street space, no parking would be permitted in the alley.   

Mr. Iwaskiw asked about the difference of impervious surface coverage between the B-17 plan and the B-15 plan.  Mr. Palmer advised the B-17 plan would allow for 45 % impervious surface coverage and the B-15 plan allows for 30% impervious surface coverage. 

The Supervisors agreed that the number of units for the B-17 plan needs to be reduced  

Mr. Harris advised he would review the B-17 Ordinance and advise the Supervisors. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives for there time. 

CATV Advisory Board Ordinance   

The Supervisors reviewed a copy of the proposed ordinance.  Mr. Iwaskiw advised the Supervisors on the suggested changes to the ordinance. The Supervisors discussed the proposed ordinance.  Mr. Jirele made a motion to approve the proposed ordinance as amended.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.  Mr. Harris advised he would draft the new ordinance and forward a copy to the Newtown Borough Council.   

Mr. Iwaskiw discussed the technological audit.  The Supervisors discussed the cost.   

Mr. Harp discussed the financial audit.  The Supervisors discussed who is responsible to pay the cost for the financial audit.  Mr. Iwaskiw advised he would review the agreement between Comcast and the Township and update the Supervisors.  Mr. Harp advised he would discuss the matter with Mr. Fred Polner, Esq. 

No Parking Ordinance – Durham Road 

The Supervisors discussed a memorandum received from Captain Moorhead with regards to a hazardous parking condition at 434 Durham Road. 

Ms. Goren suggested creating an ordinance for no parking in accelerating or decelerating lanes. 

Mr. Harris advised the Supervisors that an engineering and traffic study would need to be conducted to support an ordinance for a no parking zone. 

Mr. Smith advised the Supervisors on possible ways to handle the problem.  He advised he would review the matter further and update the Supervisors. 

Ms. Hibbs advised the Supervisors on this on-going problem. 

The Supervisors discussed other parking issues on Durham Road. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised he would look into the matter further and update the Supervisors.  

Curb & Sidewalk Maintenance Ordinance 

The Supervisors discussed a memorandum received from Mr. Pellegrino with regards to curb/gutter and sidewalk repairs.  Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that at this time the Township does not have an ordinance designating who is responsible for the maintenance of the curbs and sidewalks.  He advised that the past practice has been for the homeowners to maintain the sidewalks and the Township maintain the curb/gutter.  He recommended that the Township draft an ordinance designating the homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks/driveway aprons and the Township is responsible for maintaining the curb/gutter.  Mr. Harp made motion to have the Township Solicitor draft an Ordinance designating the homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks and driveway aprons and the Township is responsible for maintaining the curbs and gutters.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

Request to reduce administrative fees – Newtown Fire Association 

The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum received from Ms. Gibbs with regards to a request from the Newtown Fire Association.  Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors.  He advised he feels the Township should not eliminate the fee.  The Supervisors agreed to deny the request. 

Other Business 

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the status of the former Newtown-Yardley Road.  Mr. Pellegrino advised he would look into the matter. 

One resident commented on tree root growth lifting the sidewalks. 

Ms. Goren suggested possibly having the residents apply for a permit before planting a tree.  Mr. Harris advised a new ordinance is being drafted at the request of the Planning Commission with regards to tree planting. 

Mr. Iwaskiw commented on accelerating and decelerating lanes. 

Mr. Mendicino commented on the actions of a Supervisors at the February 17, 2004, Planning Commission meeting.  He expressed his disappointment with the actions of the Supervisors. 

The Supervisors discussed the Making A Difference Seminar and possible changes to the format of the seminar.  Mr. Jirele explained how the seminar has been handled in the past years.  The Supervisors agreed the residents enjoyed the question/answer part of the seminar.  Ms. Goren suggested that the Township do a better job advertising the free handbooks.  The Supervisors agreed the seminar should be open to all Township residents.  One resident suggested posting information about the seminar on the Township’s web site.  Residents advised they would like a list of who to call for problems.   

Ms. Hibbs commented on the annual report.  She advised that the report needs to be proof read before printing. 

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input and attending the meeting. 

Adjournment 

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:13 PM.

 

 Respectfully Submitted by:

 

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary