Newtown Township

Board of Supervisor Minutes

October 13, 2004

MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting October 27, 2004. MINUTES OF 10/13/04 REGULAR MEETING:  Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 10/13/04 regular meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously. 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, October 13, 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: Sycamore Street Chairman and Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Vince Lombardi, Park and Recreation Board Chairman Andrew Levine, Township Solicitor Stephen Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, 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 Jones of the Newtown Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.





MINUTES OF 9/16/04 SPECIAL MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 9/16/04 special meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren and Mr. Jirele abstaining.

MINUTES OF 9/22/04 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 9/22/04 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

BILLS LIST: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $981,441.30. The motion was seconded by Mr.Harp.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, questioned a bill from the Township Solicitor for representation in the Koenig hearing. Mr. Harris explained that Mr. Smith was subpoenaed on very short notice and Mr. Pellegrino authorized Harris and Harris to represent Mr. Smith in this case, which involved a Township issue.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $5,833.48. The motion was seconded by Mr.Harp and passed unanimously.



PARK AND RECREATION BOARD: Chairman Andrew Levine reported on their 10/6/04 meeting. The Board met with local sports organizations; they will return to the Board’s 11/9/04 meeting to prioritize their requests and provide budget figures. The Board will finalize their recommendations for the development of the Woll Tract at their 11/9/04 meeting and provide a draft plan to the Board of Supervisors early in 2005. They are also developing a draft plan for the special needs playground at Roberts Ridge Park. Other subjects discussed at the Board’s 10/6/04 meeting were field maintenance, Mr. Wert’s report on program usage and revenues, the Clark Nature Center, and the impact of the recent extreme weather on parks.

Mr. Harp added that he is still working on bringing Pop Warner football to the Township.

SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE: Chairman Vince Lombardi reported on their 10/12/04 meeting, at which the Committee heard reports on the progress of construction work on the Bypass and the streambank restoration project. He said that there will be no barricades on Sycamore Street between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Vice-Chairman Vince Lombardi reported on the 10/5/04 Commission meeting. The Commission voted to recommend denial of a conditional use application for K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons. Mr. Lombardi summarized the history of this plan and said that about 75 residents were present to comment on it. The Commission also recommended approval for a PRD Variance for 25 lots in the Overlook development, a conditional use application from Chef Jean Pierre, and the Segel/Brilliant minor subdivision. The Commission reviewed a sketch plan for an addition to an existing building on the BCCC campus and discussed traffic-related engineering projects with the Traffic Engineer.


CONDITIONAL USE – CHEF JEAN PIERRE – 117 S. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-11-12: Applicant Joan Tardy was present to discuss her request to add E-5 Eating Place Use to the existing E-1 Retail Use and E-3 Service Use in 1,500 SF of an existing building in the TC District. Mr. Weaver opened the hearing and Ms. Tardy was sworn in.

Mr. Harris reviewed the 10/7/04 Planning Commission letter and asked Ms. Tardy if she is agreeable to the conditions described in the letter. She responded that they are acceptable to her.

Mr. Jirele asked if the maximum number of employees would remain at two. Ms. Tardy said that she and her husband will be the only employees.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve the conditional use application of Chef Jean Pierre subject to the following conditions:

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

Mr. Weaver closed the hearing.

PRD VARIANCE – TOLL BROTHERS, OVERLOOK – ALYSSA DRIVE AND JULIANNA COURT: Deferred in the absence of the applicant’s attorney.

FINAL PLAN – MINOR SUBDIVISION – SEGEL/BRILLIANT – 391 EAGLE ROAD – TMP# 29-03-55: Engineer Maryellen Saylor, George Segel, and Dina Brilliant were present to discuss their plan to divide a 7.124 acre parcel in the CM District into two lots. Lot 1 includes an existing single family dwelling. No improvements are proposed at this time.

Ms. Saylor reviewed the seven waivers being requested. All but one are listed in the 9/23/04 Boucher and James letter in section B.1. The additional waiver concerns Section 523, which requires a hookup with a public water source that is located within 1,000 feet of a house.

Mr. Harris asked if the subdivision will have an impact on either of the Zoning Hearing Board variances previously granted. Ms. Saylor said it will not.

Mr. Pellegrino asked if the applicants are requesting a waiver of the traffic fees for both lots. Ms. Saylor said they are.

Mr. Harris asked if the applicants are agreeable to dedicating the right-of-way for future curbing and sidewalk. Ms. Saylor affirmed this. She also said the applicants agreed to put a note on the plan requiring best stormwater management practices on lot 2 when it is developed, but understood that the Township was not asking for changes to the existing house. Lot 1 will comply with impervious surface requirements.

Mr. Harris said the Board should consider if it wants to waive the traffic impact fees, which will be $3,012.08. Mrs. Goren said she is reluctant to do so because the Township needs to collect all the funds it can for traffic improvements. Mr. Harp agreed with this statement, even though this development will have minimal impact. Mr. Goodnoe suggested deferring the traffic fee to when lot 2 is developed.

Mr. Jirele moved to grant final plan approval to this minor subdivision with the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo asked if the Township always collects the traffic impact fees when a single home is proposed. Mr. Harris explained that fees are assessed only when a subdivision occurs. Mr. Pellegrino said the fees have been waived when the applicant has agreed to improvements that were not required by the ordinance.

Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.


AUDIT: Mr. Weaver said the Township’s recent audit produced a favorable report, and he thanked the administrative staff for their good work.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Mr. Jirele said the next Making a Difference seminar will be on 11/13/04 in the ICT Building. Homeowners Association board members have been invited, and the public is invited if space is available. The question and answer segment has been expanded in response to suggestions from participants in previous seminars.

SOUTHEAST BUCKS LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES: Mr. Harp said the League met in the Township building on 9/30/04. They discussed supporting a grant request that would fund a center for independent living, the Scudders Falls bridge, stormwater management, and the proposed transportation of a nerve agent through the Township. Mr. Harp requested that the Board write a letter in support of the grant request and state their opposition to the transport of the nerve agent; he will provide materials on these issues in the near future.


Frank Mendicino, a Township resident and a member of the Planning Commission, said that K. Hovnanian did not follow through on what they told the Commission they would do before appearing before the Board of Supervisors. He suggested that residents should attend the 10/27/04 meeting and voice their concerns.

Nancy Crescenzo said the relationship between the Township and the Borough has deteriorated because of the actions of the Board of Supervisors. She complained that Public Works staff members have been used to build new parks instead of maintaining existing parks.

Charles Weiner, a Township resident, said he is a member of the local No Place for Hate Committee. He announced a program on bullying that will be presented on 11/11/04 at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Shawn Ward, a Township resident, Chairman of the Planning Commission, and a member of the board of the Eagle Ridge development, commented on several road projects in the Township. He called for a regional approach to truck traffic problems.

Larry Fyock, a Township resident, said the floodplain ordinance appears to have been adopted for the benefit of Brandywine Realty Trust, and he asked the Supervisors to reconsider the ordinance.

Ed Chase, a resident of Newtown Crossing, said there is too much traffic in the Township already and he and his family are ready to move out.


CHAIRMAN: No items.



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

2004-05 SALT BID: Mr. Pellegrino referred to a 10/4/04 memo from Gary Crossland which summarized the two bids for road salt received by the Consortium and recommended contracting with the International Salt Company, LLC. Mr. Pellegrino noted that the cost has increased significantly above last year’s cost.

Mrs. Goren moved to contract with the International Salt Company, LLC, for road salt at $47.83 per ton. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked if the Township could stock up on salt now, since the price will go up. Mr. Pellegrino said the Township has a full supply now.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

CROSSWALK BIDS: Mr. Pellegrino referred to his 10/6/04 memo in which he summarized the bidding process for the installation of stamped asphalt crosswalks in Newtown Gate and Newtown Crossing. One bid was received, and it was consistent with estimates of the cost of the work. Mr. Pellegrino recommended contracting with the bidder, Associated Paving Contractors.

Mr. Jirele asked about the durability of the stamped asphalt. Mr. Pellegrino said it is more durable than paint and will last about 10 years.

Nancy Crescenzo questioned the cost and scope of the traffic calming work. Mr. Pellegrino said the study done last year was intended to focus only on these two areas.

Mr. Harp moved to award the contract for the installation of stamped asphalt crosswalks in Newtown Gate and Newtown Crossing to Associated Paving Contractors at a unit price of $17.00 per square foot with an estimated total project cost of $36,295. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

Mr. Jirele asked if the impact of this work on traffic speed can be measured. Mr. Smith said a speed study was done before the work and can be repeated afterwards.


PUBLIC HEARING – 2004-O-21 - ORDINANCE TO PROHIBIT TRUCK TRAFFIC ON WRIGHTS AND LINTON HILL ROADS: Mr. Harris explained that an amendment to the advertised ordinance will be necessary because Pennoni Associates’ traffic study indicated that truck traffic should be restricted on Wrights Road only from Eagle Road to Linton Hill Road.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to amend the ordinance to restrict trucks on Wrights Road only from Eagle Road to Linton Hill Road. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Frank Mendicino asked under what circumstances the Township can restrict truck traffic. Mr. Harris responded that the Township can restrict traffic on local streets after an engineering study indicates a need.

Mr. Goodnoe’s amendment passed unanimously.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O-21 prohibiting trucks on Wrights Road and Linton Hill Road, as amended tonight. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING – ORDINANCE 2004-O-22 - AMENDMENT TO COMCAST FRANCHISE AGREEMENT TO CHANGE THE RETURN LINE LOCATION FROM COUNCIL ROCK HIGH SCHOOL TO CHANCELLOR STREET ADMINISTRATION BUILDING: Mr. Harris explained that this change was requested by Council Rock High School to allow the broadcasting of programming generated by the School District.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to adopt Ordinance 004-O-22 amending Ordinance 99-O-6, to change the return line location from Council Rock High School to the Chancellor Street Administration building. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

Mr. Jirele asked about the progress of the new access road Comcast was supposed to build for its building behind Staples. Mr. Pellegrino said the project has been delayed because the plans had to be redesigned.

NEWTOWN GRANT RETENTION BASIN #5 AGREEMENT: Mr. Harris said Newtown Grant is willing to place flow restrictors on Basin #5 if the Township provides written assurance that the homeowners will not suffer adverse effects. A draft agreement was provided to the Supervisors.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to sign the agreement with the Newtown Grant Homeowners Association regarding flow restrictors on Basin #5 as drafted by the Solicitor. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Pellegrino noted that the agreement has been approved by the Newtown Grant HOA.

Brandon Wind, a resident of Newtown Grant, asked if it has been ascertained that runoff from Newtown Grant is the primary cause of the flooding of Newtown Creek. Mr. Smith said there are many causes for the flooding, and this is a good first step.

Mr. Wind asked how “unsafe condition” in Section 2.a. is defined. Mr. Harris said this language came from the HOA. In response to further questions from Mr. Wind, Mr. Harris said that if the restrictors must be removed it will be at the Township’s expense, no deadline for their removal is specified, and the agreement is a license agreement rather than an easement. Mr. Harris added that Mr. Smith has asked the developers of the two parcels across Route 413 from the Township offices to increase their detainage when they build.

Nancy Crescenzo said it appears that the new developments on Eagle Road are responsible for most of the flooding problems.

Mr. Goodnoe said flooding problems pre-date the Eagle Road developments. Mr. Jirele said they probably had some impact, as did the removal of wetlands in the area. He said there are other measures to be taken as well as this one.

Carl Koenig, a resident of Wrights Road, said he hopes this is only the first of many steps. He feels there have been some bad decisions made regarding the installation of basins, impervious surface calculations, and other issues.

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously.

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS: Mr. Harris reviewed the two applications scheduled for the 10/14/04 Zoning Hearing Board meeting. The Supervisors indicated there was no need for the Solicitor to attend on their behalf.


MONTHLY REPORT: Mr. Smith provided his monthly report on engineering projects in the Township. He highlighted news about two projects: Lower Silver Lake Road will be closed for several months beginning 10/18/04; and the work on the Swamp Road culvert should be completed about 10/15/04.




Nancy Crescenzo observed that Mr. Harp cannot attend both the Telecommunications Advisory Board meetings and the Park and Recreation Board meetings regularly because they are on the same evening. She also complained about poor maintenance at the Clark Nature Center and asked residents to advocate for a veterans’ cemetery in Upper Makefield.

Ethel Hibbs, a Township resident, said she is a native of the Township and does not share the negative views of some speakers. She described a number of successful joint projects of Newtown Township and Newtown Borough.


ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Weaver said there are no items on the agenda for the 10/18/04 work session. There was general agreement that the work session should be cancelled.

With no objections the meeting was adjourned at 10:40 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