Newtown Township

Board of Supervisor Minutes

September 8, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting September 22, 2004. MINUTES OF 9/8/04 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 9/8/04 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, September 8, 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: Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board Andrew Levine, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, Director of Parks and Recreation Bill Wert, and Township Manager Robert M. Pellegrino.

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 Susan Farley of Ascension Lutheran Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Pellegrino asked that an item regarding a pension fund ordinance be added to the Manager’s report, and an item regarding approval of development and escrow agreements and execution of mylars for Friends Village be added to the Solicitor’s report.

SPECIAL ACTION

RESOLUTION 2004-R-11 AND CERTIFICATES OF ACHIEVEMENT – COUNCIL ROCK NEWTOWN LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR 11-YEAR-OLD STATE CHAMPIONS: Mr. Weaver and Director of Parks and Recreation Bill Wert presented a resolution of the Board of Supervisors to League president David Felker and coaches Greg Leyzinski, Keith Terry, and Rob Lauer. The resolution recognized the All-Star Team’s achievement in winning the State Championship. Mr. Weaver and Mr. Wert also presented Certificates of Achievement to all the members of the All-Star Team.

MINUTES, BILLS LIST, AND REPORTS

MINUTES

MINUTES OF 8/16/04 WORK SESSION: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 8/16/04 work session; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously, with Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele abstaining.

MINUTES OF 8/25/04 REGULAR MEETING: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 8/25/04 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

BILLS LIST: Mrs. Goren moved to pay bills totaling $172,631.30. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to make interfund transfers totaling $337,397.27. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

TREASURER’S REPORT: No report.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND COMMISSIONS

PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD: Board Chairman Andrew Levine reported on their 9/1/04 meeting. The meeting included the second public comment session regarding development of the Woll Tract. He described the session as lively and well-attended. The third session is scheduled for 9/29/04, and will focus on the issue of lighted playing fields. The Board received many comments and suggestions about the types of activities that should take place at the park, as well as comments from the Homeowners Associations of both the adjacent developments about the need for buffering.

The Board also heard two presentations about open space issues. They recommended that the Township waive a fee in lieu of open space for the Bucks County Community College expansion, and accept a fee in lieu of open space from the Newtown Athletic Club.

Mr. Levine said the next regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board will be 10/7/04. Following that meeting the Board will prepare budget recommendations for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Harp said he attended the meeting and will be looking into the possibility of establishing a youth football league in Newtown.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY BOARD: Mr. Harp reported that Verizon will be upgrading their telephone and high speed internet services. The Township will keep the community informed of their plans for this work on the cable station. He also said that Holy Family and LaSalle Universities will be contributing some funds for equipment that will allow the Township to broadcast some of their programs. Also, the Telecommunications Advisory Board is working on making the legislative channel available to Township residents.

LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF LAND DEVELOPMENT – OMNIPOINT – 403 FREEDOM DRIVE: Mr. Pellegrino said the Board considered this request at a previous meeting, and the only issue remaining is approval from the Sewer Authority for co-location of Omnipoint’s equipment on a site owned by the Authority. He said the applicant has revised the plan in accordance with a request from the Authority to limit the project to the existing fenced-in area. Mr. Pellegrino referred to a 8/4/04 letter from Richard Danese, Jr., representing the Sewer Authority, which stated the Authority has no objection to the revised plan.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve the request for waiver of land development for Omnipoint subject to the following conditions:

  1. Omnipoint will develop this site in accordance with the revised plan submitted
  2. Omnipoint will remove the tower, the equipment, and the pad upon termination of the lease
  3. All costs of review will be paid by the applicant

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS: None.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (FIRST SESSION)

Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, expressed concerns about the impact that Toll Brothers’ proposed development in Upper Makefield will have on traffic, stormwater management, and the school population in the surrounding area. She urged other residents to contact Upper Makefield officials and Toll Brothers to advocate the use of this site as a veterans’ cemetery.

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS

CHAIRMAN: No report.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: No report.

MANAGER

PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Pellegrino said there are no plan expirations requiring action by the Board of Supervisors.

ORDINANCE TO CREATE FIREFIGHTER PENSION PLAN: Mr. Pellegrino said that because of a new ruling by the state Attorney General the nine Township firefighters no longer qualify for two units of state aid if they are part of the Non-Uniformed Pension Plan. Therefore he asked that the Board authorize the Solicitor to advertise an ordinance to establish a separate pension plan for the firefighters. He said there will be no change in the firefighters’ benefits and only minimal administrative costs as a result of the proposed ordinance.

Mr. Harris commented that the Township will lose about $13,500 in state aid if the separate plan is not established.

Mrs. Goren moved to authorize the Solicitor to advertise an ordinance creating a separate pension plan for the firefighters. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

SOLICITOR

PUBLIC HEARING – JMZO 2004-06 – RIPARIAN BUFFER Mr. Harris noted that Newtown Creek and Core Creek in Newtown are exempt from the buffer zone, as the Township requested.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to enact JMZO 2004-06 to create a riparian buffer zone in the Jointure. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren said she has concerns about exempting Core Creek from the riparian buffer zone, as she feels this will have an impact on neighboring municipalities by increasing the amount of water going into the creek.

Mr. Jirele said that the ordinance will not affect plans that have been submitted for properties on Core Creek. He noted that these plans provide larger buffers than the ordinance would require.

Mr. Weaver said that the Jointure was advised that exempting Core Creek will not add to the water going into the creek.

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

FINANCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENT AND MYLARS – STROUPE PROPERTY – 301 N. SYCAMORE STREET: Mrs. Goren moved to sign the financial security agreement and mylars for the Stroupe property. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

IMPROVEMENT AND FINANCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS AND MYLARS – FRIENDS VILLAGE – 331 LOWER DOLINGTON ROAD: Mr. Harris said the Engineer has approved the mylars and all documents except for the sewer agreement have been returned.

Mr. Jirele moved to sign the mylars for Friends Village; the mylars will be held until the sewer agreement is received by the Township. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

ROOFTOP SCREENING AGREEMENT – NEWTOWN SHOPPING CENTER: Mrs. Goren moved to sign the Settlement Agreement for screening at the Newtown Shopping Center as attached to the Solicitor’s report. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

REQUEST - VILLAGE AT NEWTOWN SOUTH: Mr. Harris said the developer of the Village at Newtown South has requested that he prepare the mylars and financial security agreements to be signed. The developer has asked if the Board of Supervisors has any objection if he proceeds with grading now at his own risk. There was general agreement with this proposal.

ENGINEER

MONTHLY REPORT: Mr. Smith provided his monthly report on current Township engineering projects.

ESCROW RELEASE #6 – WILTSHIRE WALK: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the release of $200,672.03 in escrow funds for Wiltshire Walk, as recommended by Mr. Smith in his 9/2/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

ESCROW RELEASE #4 – OVERLOOK: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the release of $242,119.80 in escrow funds for the Overlook development, as recommended by Mr. Smith in his 9/2/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Harp raised a concern about unsightly plastic sheets around the development. Mr. Smith said he will make sure the developer cleans up and maintains the site.

Mr. Harris suggested the escrow release could be continued until the next meeting to ensure the site is cleaned up.

Mrs. Goren and Mr. Harp withdrew their motion.

ESCROW RELEASE #1 – LINTON HILL CHASE (AKA MCLAUGHLIN TRACT): Mrs. Goren moved to release $384,555.43 in escrow funds for the Linton Hill Chase development, as recommended by Mr. Smith in his 9/2/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked about the schedule for closing Stoopville Road. Mr. Smith said Stoopville Road will be closed soon for Sewer Authority work. Toll Brothers will do some of their work during this closing, but the road will be closed again next year for the re-alignment work.

Nancy Crescenzo suggested Stoopville Road should be closed once for all the work. Mr. Pellegrino said the first closure will be for 60 days, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays. The second closure will be for 60 days straight through.

Mr. Goodnoe said his understanding was that Toll Brothers would do their work in coordination with the Sewer Authority. Mr. Pellegrino explained that Toll Brothers has not yet acquired all the necessary easements for their work, and PennDOT will not issue a permit until all easements are obtained. The Township also requires that all easements be obtained first.

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

AUTHORIZATION TO SIGN CORRECTED MYLARS – YIM – 103 VALLEY VIEW WAY: Mrs. Goren moved to sign the corrected mylars for 103 Valley View Way, as recommended in Mr. Smith’s 9/2/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS: None.

NEW BUSINESS

APPOINTMENTS TO BUCKS COUNTY SUMMIT ON AGING: Mr. Weaver said the Board of Supervisors will meet in a brief executive session following the public meeting to discuss these appointments further. The appointments will be announced at the next public meeting.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (SECOND SESSION)

Ethel Hibbs, a Township resident, announced that voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications are available in the Administration Building. She noted that absentee ballot applications can be sent to the County Board of Elections after 9/13/04. Mrs. Goren added that voters can also go directly to the Board of Elections and request an absentee ballot.

Mike Iapalucci, a Township resident, said the emergency access to the Overlook development has a paved surface instead of grass pavers. Mr. Smith responded that the Fire Marshal recommended pavement. Mr. Iapalucci said people are likely to take the chain down and use it as a regular access.

Mr. Iapalucci also asked if anything can be done about all the cars parked on the grass in the vicinity of Stockberger’s business on Sycamore Street. Mr. Pellegrino said the business has a right to park cars on their property.

Mr. Iapalucci also asked that people not attack each other during the Community Comment section.

Nancy Crescenzo said the Rose Bank Winery is advertising on their website that they can accommodate up to 150 people in their barn and patio, and up to 300 with the addition of the tent. She asked if the Board has ever discussed the use of the barn for events. Mr. Harris said the owners probably obtained a permit from the Codes office.

Mrs. Crescenzo asked if the barn has been inspected by the Fire Marshal. Mr. Pellegrino said this would be part of the process of obtaining a permit. He commented that events have been held in the barn for several years.

Mrs. Crescenzo also said she liked the video produced by the Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation; that she heard a rumor that a Supervisor might sue a resident because of remarks made in the Community Comment section; and that there is a bill on tonight’s list for installing fencing gates at the Clark house. She also complained about the remarks of another resident.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Mr. Weaver said the Board will meet briefly in executive session following adjournment of the public meeting to discuss matters of personnel.

ADJOURNMENT: With no objection the meeting was adjourned at 9:33 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