Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Minutes

May 26, 2004

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting June 9, 2004.  REGULAR MEETING OF 5/26/04:Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of May 26, 2004. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, May 26, 2004, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Richard Weaver, Vice-Chairman Scott R. Harp, Secretary/Treasurer Anne Goren, Member Thomas Jirele, and Member Raymond Goodnoe. Also present were: Planning Commission Chairman Shawn Ward, Park and Recreation Board Vice-Chairman Joel Grosso, Township Solicitor David Sander, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, and Township Finance Director Elaine Gibbs.

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

INVOCATION: Given by Reverend David Ritter of the First Baptist Church of Newtown. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: Ms. Gibbs said that the attorney for the Kosacci land development plan has asked that it be removed from tonight’s agenda. An extension to 6/30/04 has been provided.




MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 5/12/04: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of 5/12/04; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

BILLS LIST: Mrs. Goren moved to pay bills totaling $451,929.72. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to make interfund transfers totaling $500,440.10. The motion was seconded by Mr.Harp and passed unanimously.


PARK AND RECREATION BOARD: Board Vice-Chairman Joel Grosso reported on their 5/5/04 meeting, at which the Board discussed the access for the Woll Tract, parking at Roberts Ridge, the possibility of bringing Pop Warner football to Newtown, the recent Arbor Day celebration, and Mr. Wert’s report on program participation.

Mr. Grosso asked if the Park and Recreation Board could begin working on grants to help fund the development of the Woll Tract. The Supervisors generally felt that the Board could do some preliminary research, but it should refrain from applying for grants until the Township is clearer about plans for the property.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Chairman Shawn Ward reported on their 5/18/04 meeting, at which the Commission discussed a conditional use application from Kwik Copy and recommended approval with certain conditions. They also reviewed a sketch plan for an expansion of the Verizon building on Washington Crossing Road. The Commission reviewed the final plan for the Twining minor subdivision on Route 413 and recommended approval with certain conditions. Nine Zoning Hearing Board applications were reviewed, and members had no comments on them.

The Commission discussed the upcoming Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission hearings on the 2005 TIP. Some members plan to attend and support the Manager’s testimony. They also discussed comments received from a local attorney on the JMZO amendment regarding agricultural uses, as well as a revised version of JMZO 2004-4 regarding conditional uses and special exceptions.

Bill Cowan, a resident of Lakeview Estates, asked why the Planning Commission had no comments on the Zoning Hearing Board applications. He is especially concerned about the request from the owner of 3 Harmony Way. Mr. Ward said the Planning Commission has an advisory function only, and comments only when there is a planning issue involved.


FINAL PLAN FOR MINOR SUBDIVISION – TWINING – 178 DURHAM ROAD – TMP# 29-4-37-1: Edward Twining and Anne Twining were present to discuss their request to divide a 2.5 acre parcel in the R-1 District into two lots, with lot 2 being a flag lot. No improvement of either lot is proposed at this time.

Mr. Twining said he does not want a shared driveway for the two lots because it creates problems between neighbors. Mr. Sander said the issue of the driveway is the only one to be resolved tonight. He said the 5/20/04 Planning Commission letter recommended one driveway for the two lots to minimize access onto Route 413. Ms. Twining said the second driveway would be to the north of the existing one.

Mr. Smith said Nick Rose, the Twinings’ engineer, gave him some measurements that indicated that a second driveway for the flag lot cannot be built safely because of inadequate sight distances. Mr. Smith said it appears that the notes on the plan apply to the existing driveway; no other driveway is shown on the plan.

Bob Monarch, who plans to purchase lot 2, was present and said the plan as drawn meets all ordinance requirements. However, he said there has to be a second driveway or lot 2 will have no access. Mr. Twining asked the Board to approve the plan as presented.

Mr. Weaver asked Mr. Twining to consult with Mr. Rose and return with a plan that includes access for lot 2. Mr. Twining agreed to do so.






REGIONAL GROUP: Mr. Harp said the regional group of municipal officials to which he was appointed at the 5/12/04 meeting held their first meeting on 5/20/04. The tentative name of the group is the South Bucks League of Municipalities. They decided to meet bimonthly and rotate the location of their meetings among the members. The group has invited some additional municipalities to join them. Topics to be addressed by the group will include infrastructure concerns, recreation, telecommunications, environmental and natural resource concerns, economic development, public safety, historic preservation, land use, and other topics. Steve Santarsiero was chosen as Chairman, Mr. Harp will serve as Vice-Chairman, and Jane Berger of Morrisville will serve as Secretary. The next meeting of this group will be in Bristol; the tentative date is 7/29/04.

FIRST FOURTH: Mr. Harp said he received an e-mail complaining that the Township never celebrates the Fourth of July on the actual day. He explained that the celebration is held on the first Saturday after the fourth to maximize participation and facilitate volunteer involvement.

CODES COMMITTEE: Mrs. Goren reported on the 5/18/04 meeting, at which the Committee voted to grant relief to a resident who had been assessed double fines. Don Harris and Mike Imperiale are studying the new BOCA codes and comparing them with the Township building codes. They will bring recommendations to the Board of Supervisors when their review is completed.

FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE: Mrs. Goren reported on the 5/25/04 meeting, at which the Committee discussed the budgets of the Emergency Services, Technology, and Park and Recreation Departments. The next meeting will be 6/15/04.


PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mrs. Gibbs said there are no plan expirations needing Board action.


NO-PARKING ORDINANCE – DURHAM ROAD (ORDINANCE 2004-O- 8): Mr. Weaver opened the public hearing on this ordinance, which establishes a no-parking zone on Durham Road to the north and south of North Drive, and invited comments from the Board and the public.

Mr. Harp moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O- 8. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY APRON MAINTENANCE ORDINANCE (ORDINANCE 2004-O-9): Mr. Weaver opened the hearing on this ordinance, which requires property owners to maintain and repair sidewalks and driveway aprons that abut their properties, and invited comments from the Board and the public.

Bill Cowan asked if this ordinance will require residents of his development to repair their sidewalks, which are in very bad shape. Mr. Smith said the development is still in the maintenance period, so DeLuca is responsible for fixing them. Mr. Cowan asked Mr. Smith to copy him on any correspondence from Pennoni Associates to DeLuca regarding the sidewalks.

Mr. Harp moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O- 9. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

PHEASANT POINTE – DEDICATION: Mr. Sander said that the Township has received an extension to 6/30/04, so no Board action is required.

Bill Cowan asked if the Homeowners Association has been notified of the impending dedication. Mr. Smith said that one of the reasons that the dedication cannot be done yet is that the developer has not provided the required letter from the Homeowners Association.

Walt Iwaskiw, a Township resident, asked if the punchlist includes repairing the roads. Mr. Smith said it does not because the Pennoni inspector did not find any problems, but Mr. Smith said he will inspect the site himself.

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION REALTY – SIGNING OF IMPROVEMENT AGREEMENTS: Mr. Sander said the Township has received all required documents to allow the signing of the Improvement Agreement for the CAU project Phase II.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize the signing of the Improvement Agreement for the CAU project, Phase II. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS – 6/3/04: Mr. Sander reviewed the applications scheduled for the next meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board. The Supervisors indicated they did not wish to take a position on any of the cases.


ESCROW RELEASE #2 (FINAL) – PLATINUM EXECUTIVE SUITES: Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $94,245.70 in escrow funds for the Platinum Executive Suites project as recommended in Mr. Smith’s 5/19/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren asked if the developer has provided the maintenance bond mentioned in Mr. Smith’s letter. Mr. Smith said the developer is not quite ready yet.

TRAFFIC SIGNAL APPLICATION – BRANDYWINE BOULEVARD AND THE BYPASS: Mr. Jirele moved to sign an application to PennDOT to install and operate a traffic signal at Brandywine Boulevard and the Bypass, as recommended by Mr. Smith. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

LAKEVIEW ESTATES BASIN: Bill Cowan said the basin in Lakeview Estates needs further work. Mr. Smith said he will review this and add this item to the punchlist if there is a problem. He will have Pennoni Associates’ field representative contact Mr. Cowan.



DONATION OF VEHICLE: Mr. Harp referred to a 5/12/04 letter from the Newtown Ambulance Squad and asked the Board to approve the donation of a used police vehicle to the Ambulance Squad to be used for transporting people without physical impairments. Mr. Harp said Mr. Pellegrino has already identified an appropriate vehicle.

Mr. Sander consulted the Second Class Township Code and said that the car could be traded or sold without the need to bid it; the Code does not address donations.

Mr. Harp moved to sell an unused police vehicle to the Newtown Ambulance Squad for $1.00. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele said it seemed like a good idea but he would prefer to have a specific vehicle identified in the motion.

Mr.Harp and Mrs. Goren amended their motion to refer to “a vehicle designated by the Township Manager.”

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said he also supported the sale, but he asked that the motion be withdrawn until the Board could have an appropriate memo from the Manager proposing the sale of a specific vehicle to the Ambulance Squad.

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


Phil Calabro, a Township resident, said the Township should notify residents and local businesses about the no-parking ordinance that will take effect in five days on Durham Road.

Walt Iwaskiw suggested that retired police vehicles could be used for traffic calming purposes. He also expressed concern about the outdoor area at the LaStalla restaurant where liquor is served. Mr. Sander said the restaurant obtained a permit for this.

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

ADJOURNMENT: Without objection the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary


Minutes Approved as submitted __________ as corrected___________


Attest: _________________________                                                         ___________________________
           Robert M. Pellegrino, Manager                                                            Richard Weaver, Chairman


                                                                                                                        Scott R. Harp, Vice-Chairman


                                                                                                                        Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer


                                                                                                                        Thomas Jirele, Member


                                                                                                                        Raymond Goodnoe, Member