Newtown Township

Board of Supervisor Minutes

July 28, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting August 11, 2004. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 7/28/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of 7/28/04; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, July 28, 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, HARB Secretary Ethel Hibbs, Main Street Manager Chris Ortwein, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, and Assistant to the Township Manager John Boyle.

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Richard Weaver called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence. He announced that Mr. Pellegrino is on vacation and introduced John Boyle, Assistant to the Township Manager. Mr. Weaver asked those present to hold Mr. Boyle in their thoughts during the moment of silence as Mr. Boyle’s father passed away recently.

INVOCATION: Given by Pastor Christopher Edwards of the Northampton Presbyterian Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Boyle asked that the Lombardi preliminary plan be removed from the Land Development Projects section at the request of the applicant; that a conditional use hearing for K. Hovnanian be added to the same section and continued; and that a report from the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation be added under Reports of Committees, Boards, and Commissions.

Mr. Weaver noted that the Board of Supervisors met in executive session prior to tonight’s meeting to discuss personnel and legal matters.

SPECIAL ACTIONS: No items for this section.

MINUTES, BILLS LIST, AND REPORTS

MINUTES

MINUTES OF WORK SESSION OF 6/28/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the work session of 6/28/04; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren asked that the first sentence of the seventh paragraph under Other Business be changed to read, “Mrs. Goren expressed her feelings with regards to CRSD having an expanded alternative school.”

Mr. Harp and Mr. Jirele amended their motion to include Mrs. Goren’s request; the motion passed unanimously.

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 7/14/04: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of 7/14/04; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

BILLS LIST: Mrs. Goren moved to pay bills totaling $198,164.23. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, referred to a cell phone bill and asked if the list of staff with cell phones requested at the last meeting has been developed. Mr. Weaver asked Mr. Boyle to check with Mr. Pellegrino about this.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to make interfund transfers totaling $200.00. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND COMMISSIONS

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Mr. Weaver reported that the Committee discussed forming a Homeowners Association for the Newtown Business Commons at their most recent meeting.

HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (HARB): HARB Secretary Ethel Hibbs presented two recommendations for Certificates of Appropriateness.

CARRIAGE HOUSE COLLECTIONS – 221 N. SYCAMORE STREET: Mr. Jirele moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for a double-sided sign on this property, based on the recommendation of HARB. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Hibbs noted that the HARB recommendation was conditioned on the applicant removing the existing sign.

Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.

LA STALLA RESTAURANT – 18 SWAMP ROAD: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for an outside bar and exterior signs at this property, based on the recommendation of HARB and subject to the condition that the statues be moved to the location agreed to earlier by the applicant. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Commission Chairman Shawn Ward reported on their 7/20/04 meeting, at which the Commission reviewed requests for waivers of land development from White Engineering and the New Life Christian Church, and recommended approval of both subject to several conditions. The Commission also reviewed conditional use applications from KVK Tech and K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons, and recommended approval of the KVK Tech application subject to several conditions. The representatives of K. Hovnanian were asked to obtain reviews by the Traffic Engineer and the Fire Marshal and return to the Commission.

The preliminary plan for a new building on the Lombardi property was reviewed, and the Commission recommended that the plan be approved as final, subject to several conditions and waivers. The Commission also reviewed the final plan for the Newtown Office Park and recommended approval, subject to several conditions and waivers.

Two Zoning Hearing Board applications were reviewed and the Commission had no comments on them. They also reviewed four proposed JMZO amendments. The Agricultural Sales ordinance was tabled, and approval was recommended for the ordinances regarding Lot Width/Aquaculture, the Riparian Buffer, and Noise.

JOINT DOWNTOWN NEWTOWN CORPORATION (JDNC): Main Street Manager Chris Ortwein distributed two documents to the Supervisors: a statement of Goals and Objectives for the Main Street program, and a Matrix showing the community groups that will be involved in the program.

LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

PRD VARIANCE – THOMAS VIVAQUA – 43 MERIDIAN CIRCLE – TMP# 29-28-36: Mr. Pellegrino’s 7/19/04 memo to the Board stated that Mr. Vivaqua is on vacation and Victor DeAngelo, the builder for his project would be present to answer questions tonight. Mr. Vivaqua is seeking relief to allow construction of a two-story garage on his property in the R-1 District which will exceed the maximum impervious surface ratio and encroach on the minimum side yard setback. The request was initially heard on 6/23/04 and Mr. Vivaqua was asked to return with a revised plan showing the proposed driveway expansion on the plan and the proposed impervious surface calculations.

Mr. Harris said a revised plan has been submitted, and the proposed impervious surface ratio is 32.5%. He said that variances are needed for the impervious surface ratio of 32.5% where the maximum is 30%, and for the 5.4’ side yard setback where the minimum is 15’. He noted that the applicant on 6/23/04 provided letters of support from the Homeowners Association and the immediate neighbors.

Mr. Jirele moved to approve a revised final plan for 43 Meridian Circle to allow an impervious surface ratio of 32.5% where the ordinance specifies a maximum of 30%, and to allow a side yard setback of 5.4’ where the ordinance specifies a minimum of 15’, so that an addition can be constructed. The approval is subject to the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

CONDITIONAL USE – KVK TECH, INC. – 110 TERRY DRIVE – TMP# 29-10-140 Frank Ripp, Jr. was present to discuss the request for G-2 Research Use and G-1 Warehouse Use in an existing building in the LI District. Mr. Ripp was sworn in.

Mr. Ripp stated that a list of hazardous materials and a plan for handling them have been reviewed by the Emergency Services Department. According to Mr. Ripp, the Fire Marshal will give final approval when the company moves into the building.

Mr. Harris asked Mr. Ripp to clarify the applicant’s request regarding the square footage to be devoted to each use. Mr. Ripp explained that the applicant is seeking approval for G-2 and G-1 Uses for 4,000 SF initially, but plans to expand to occupy all 33,000 SF of the building eventually.

After some discussion the Supervisors agreed to consider the application in two phases.

Mrs. Goren moved to grant conditional use approval to KVK Tech, Inc., for G-2 Research Use and G-1 Manufacturing Use in a 4,000 SF portion of 110 Terry Drive for the development and eventual manufacture of generic drugs, with the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Murty Vepuri of KVK Tech was sworn in. He said the truck traffic described in the conditional use would apply only to the manufacturing use. However, some manufacturing will take place in the 4,000 SF laboratory space. He said his company expects to employ up to 60 people when it expands into the whole building. He said he would like approval for both uses for 33,000 SF, which is the total space he anticipates his company will occupy in the near future.

Mrs. Goren and Mr. Harp withdrew their motion.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant conditional use approval to KVK Tech, Inc., for G-2 Research Use and G-1 Manufacturing Use for 33,000 SF of 110 Terry Drive for the development and eventual manufacture of generic drugs, 4,000 SF of which will be used for laboratory use. The following conditions will apply:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

CONDITIONAL USE – K. HOVNANIAN’S FOUR SEASONS – BUCK ROAD AND THE BYPASS – TMP# 29-009-003-001 AND 29-009-007: Mr. Weaver opened the hearing. Mr. Harris said the Township has received an extension to 8/31/04 from the applicant.

Mrs. Goren moved to reschedule the K. Hovnanian conditional use hearing for 8/25/04. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

WAIVER OF LAND DEVELOPMENT – NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN CHURCH – 4 FREEDOM DRIVE: Hal Roberts and engineer Wayne Johnson were present to discuss the church’s request to add 48 spaces to their parking lot on a site in the TC-2 District as part of a resurfacing project. Mr. Roberts explained that their conditional use approval requires 168 parking spaces when the building is completely built out. They currently have 120 spaces, the existing parking area needs repaving, and the church would like to put in all the spaces during this repaving project. Mr. Roberts said the site would have less than the maximum impervious surface even with all 168 spaces installed.

Mr. Jirele asked about the setbacks near the new parking area. Mr. Johnson responded that the new parking area would be from 50’ to 100’ from the stream.

Mr. Harris asked if any stormwater management systems are proposed. Mr. Johnson responded that there are no formal provisions planned and no drainage patterns will be changed. Currently runoff from the site goes directly into the stream.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to waive land development review for the New Life Christian Church for the installation of 48 additional parking spaces. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

WAIVER OF LAND DEVELOPMENT – WHITE ENGINEERING – 1 PHEASANT RUN: Richard Nanni was present to discuss his company’s request to waive the land development process for the installation of a dust collector, a concrete slab, and a walkway. Mr. Nanni stated that about 772 SF of impervious surface would be added, which is a very small increase on a 221,982 SF site.

Mr. Harris asked about noise control. Mr. Nanni said silencers are being installed on existing and new dust collectors, and the company will comply with the Township’s noise ordinance.

Mr. Goodnoe asked how the dust collectors would be emptied. Mr. Nanni responded that a pallet truck would be used to bring the materials out to the parking lot.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant a waiver of land development review for White Engineering for the installation of a dust collector, a concrete slab, and a walkway, subject to compliance with the Township’s noise ordinance. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Nanni asked if he could obtain a building permit and begin pouring the concrete immediately. Mr. Harris said he could pour the concrete and get the permit if it has been filed correctly, but the dust collector cannot begin operating until the silencers are installed.

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously.

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: None.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (FIRST SESSION)

Nancy Crescenzo asked residents to support the proposal for a veterans’ cemetery in Upper Makefield. She also said that when the plan for The Overlook was approved the developer stated that decks could not be added to the houses; that she regrets that the Acme property will probably be a two-story garage instead of a community center; and that Mr. Lombardi should not have chaired the Acme Site Visioning Committee because he is a property owner on Sycamore Street and has a conflict of interest.

Mike Iapalucci, a Township resident, asked if there is any news about the PennDOT detour signs. Mr. Weaver said Mr. Boyle would check with Mr. Pellegrino. Mr. Iapalucci also agreed with the previous speaker’s concerns about The Overlook and encouraged residents to attend the Zoning Hearing Board meeting. Mr. Iapalucci also asked how recent changes in property assessments would affect taxes.

Mr. Goodnoe said the reassessments would affect all local millages; however, millages will be reduced so there will be no net effect on the taxpayer.

Mr. Harris added that the purpose was to give the County and municipalities some room to increase their millages while staying under millage caps.

Shawn Ward, a Township resident, said the remarks of a previous speaker regarding Mr. Lombardi were unfair and possibly defamatory. He said the Acme Committee had many members who owned homes and businesses on Sycamore Street, and everyone will benefit from improvements in that area. Mr. Ward also said the Ad Hoc Committee on a Community Center rejected the Acme site for a community center.

Mr. Weaver added that he co-chaired the Acme Committee and advocated using the site for a two-story garage.

Mr. Goodnoe commented that the Ad Hoc Committee did recommend using the Acme site as a temporary community center.

John D’Aprile, a Township resident, also supported the idea of a veterans’ cemetery in Upper Makefield and said he agreed that everyone in the Sycamore Street area would benefit from improvements on the Acme site.

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS

CHAIRMAN: No items for this section.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: No items for this section.

MANAGER

PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Boyle said there are no expirations needing to be addressed by the Board.

BIDS FOR WALLPAPER REMOVAL AND REPAINTING FOR THE CLARK HOUSE: Board members received copies of a 7/27/04 memo from Gary Crossland which recommended accepting the only bid submitted for this work, a bid for $17,500 from Duffy Brothers.

Mrs. Goren moved to accept the bid from Duffy Brothers for $17,500 for removal of wallpaper and repainting the interior of the Clark House. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo asked for an explanation of the funding for these improvements. Mr. Boyle responded that a block grant for about $36,000 was originally awarded to the Township for roadwork in the German Tract, but this area no longer qualifies for block grant funding. The Township asked the County to redirect the grant to renovation of the Clark house, a project that does qualify. Mr. Boyle said that if the grant was not redirected the Township would have lost the funds.

Mrs. Crescenzo asked why the change was not announced at a public meeting. Mr. Harris responded that it was advertised in the newspaper as required. Mrs. Crescenzo asked that similar decisions be announced at a public meeting in the future.

Mrs. Crescenzo also asked if there is a budget for the development of the whole Clark property. Mr. Jirele said funds have been set aside for renovation of the house.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

BIDS FOR WINDOW REPLACEMENT FOR THE CLARK HOUSE: Board members received copies of a 7/27/04 memo from Gary Crossland which reported that there were no bidders for this work and recommending that the job be rebid.

Mr. Jirele moved to rebid the replacement of windows in the Clark house. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

BIDS FOR CURB AND GUTTER REPLACEMENT – VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE TOWNSHIP: Board members received copies of a 7/27/04 memo from Gary Crossland reporting that only one bid was received for this work and it was unacceptably high. Mr. Crossland recommended rejecting the bid and readvertising the project.

Mrs. Goren moved to reject the bid received from L. C. Costa for curb and gutter replacement. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo asked in what order the Clark house projects would be done. Mr. Weaver said only comments relating to the motion on the floor were appropriate.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to readvertise for bids on the curb and gutter replacement at the Clark house. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

SOLICITOR

ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH A 25 MPH SPEED LIMIT ON MILLSTONE DRIVE: Mr. Harp moved to authorize the Solicitor to advertise an ordinance setting this speed limit for public hearing on 8/11/04. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

ORDINANCE 2004-O-15 ESTABLISHING AN ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL: Mr. Harris said Board members received copies of the draft ordinance, which was advertised for a public hearing tonight.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O-15 establishing an Environmental Council. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele suggested changing the penultimate sentence of Section 1303 to read “For the initial appointments, one term shall expire on 12/31/05, two terms shall expire on 12/31/06, and two terms shall expire on 12/31/07.” There was general agreement with this suggestion.

Mrs. Goren asked if the Council should not begin operation until January 2005, since there are no funds allocated for it in the 2004 budget. Mr. Weaver said he expects the Council will begin by addressing organizational tasks and not spend much money in 2004. Mr. Jirele suggested asking Mr. Pellegrino if there are enough funds in the 2004 budget for the Council to begin meeting as soon as members are appointed.

Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele amended their motion to include the suggested changes to Section 1303. The motion passed unanimously.

JMZO 2004-06 – RIPARIAN BUFFER OVERLAY ZONE ORDINANCE: Board members received copies of the latest version of this ordinance, which the Planning Commission recommended that the Board support.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize the Solicitor to notify the Jointure that the ordinance is acceptable. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren said she questions the exemption of all of Core Creek from this ordinance.

Ethel Hibbs, Secretary to the Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission, said this was discussed at the Regional Planning Commission meeting. A consultant there stated that there are no open areas along Core Creek to be developed in Newtown Township.

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously.

ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING – 8/5/04 Mr. Harris reviewed the two new cases scheduled for the 8/5/04 meeting. Supervisors indicated no desire to be represented in the case of William Barrier of 13 Blayze Court.

TOLL BROTHERS REQUEST FOR VARIANCE – 25 LOTS IN THE OVERLOOK DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Jirele asked if the impervious surface ratio on these lots, and for the development as a whole, is an issue. Mr. Harris said no relief regarding impervious surface is being sought.

Mr. Goodnoe said there was a note on the approved plan stating there would be no decks on these homes.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to send the Solicitor to the Zoning Hearing Board meeting to oppose the request from Toll Brothers. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Walter Iwaskiw, a Township resident, said he lives nearby and remembers that the developer assured the Board that there would be a covenant in the Homeowners Association documents prohibiting decks.

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Jirele abstaining.

ENGINEER

BIDS FOR BITUMINOUS ASPHALT TRAILS AND SIGNAL IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT: Supervisors received copies of a 7/22/04 letter from Mr. Smith recommending that the Township award the contract for this project to the lowest bidder, G. Antonini Construction, Inc. Mr. Smith said the company’s references were good and the necessary easements have been obtained from the School District. For the easement needed from the Bureau of State Parks Pennoni has received a verbal approval and assurances that there are no problems.

Mr. Goodnoe asked if the contract could be awarded conditioned on State approval. Mr. Smith said a 7/23/04 letter was received from Tyler State Park giving a temporary easement and stating that the signed agreement was put into the mail on 7/22/04. Mr. Smith said making the permanent agreement a condition of the contract would delay the work.

Mr. Goodnoe said he is confident that State approval will be forthcoming.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to award the contract for the bituminous asphalt trails and signal improvements project to G. Antonini Construction, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $182,621.00, as recommended in Mr. Smith’s 7/22/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Mr. Harp commented that the cost would be nearly $6,000 less than the amount budgeted.

OLD BUSINESS: None.

NEW BUSINESS

APPOINTMENTS TO TELECOMMUNICATION ADVISORY BOARD: Mr. Harp moved to appoint Stephen Erwin and Barbara Jankowski to the Telecommunication Advisory Board. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENT TO ZONING HEARING BOARD Mr. Weaver said this item would be tabled to the next meeting to allow for more discussion.

APPOINTMENT TO JOINT HISTORIC COMMISSION: Mr. Harp moved to appoint Jeff Marshall to the Joint Historic Commission. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL: Mr. Weaver invited residents interested in serving on the newly created Environmental Council to submit their resumes to the Administration office.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (SECOND SESSION)

Jeff Marshall, a Township resident, said an earlier speaker asked if there is a plan for the work on the Clark house. He said there is a plan, and the window replacement work is on his desk right now. Mr. Marshall also suggested that a Pennsylvania Environmental Council grant might be available to fund the Township’s Environmental Council.

Nancy Crescenzo expressed satisfaction with the appointments made tonight, complained about incomplete work on the Pryda project, asked that the name of the Clark Nature Center be reconsidered, and asked that an overall plan for the property be developed.

Mike Iapalucci asked about the status of the Stockburger proposal and complained about the number of cars parked on the street near the Stockburger business. Mr. Weaver said the Codes Department will be asked to check on this.

Mr. Goodnoe said he did make a commitment in writing when he was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors to naming the Clark property after both Mary Clark and Lyman Clark, but subsequent Boards did not follow through on the commitment. He said he also agrees that an overall plan for the property should be developed.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: None.

ADJOURNMENT: With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 11:55 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