Newtown Township

Board of Supervisor Minutes

November 17, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting December 2, 2004. MINUTES OF 11/17/04 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 11/17/04 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, November 17, 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: Park and Recreation Board Chairman Andrew Levine, Planning Commission Chairman Shawn Ward (delayed), HARB Secretary Ethel Hibbs, 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 Rabbi Shemtov of the Lubavitch Center. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Pellegrino said there will not be a report from the Telecommunications Advisory Board, and asked that items 2 and 3 under Land Development projects be switched.

SPECIAL ACTIONS: None.

MINUTES, BILLS LIST, AND REPORTS

MINUTES OF 10/27/04 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 10/27/04 regular meeting with the spelling of Mr. Cirucci name corrected in the first Community Comment section. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.

BILLS LIST: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $212,144.15. The motion was seconded by Mr.Goodnoe and passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $6,907.79. The motion was seconded by Mr.Harp and passed unanimously.

TREASURER’S REPORT: None.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND COMMISSIONS

HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD (HARB): Ethel Hibbs, Secretary of the HARB, reported on their 11/9/04 meeting. The HARB observed a moment of silence at their meeting in memory of longtime member Eleanor Campbell who passed away recently.

The Board also recommended approval for three Certificates of Appropriateness:

EDWARD MURPHY – 301 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-27: Mr. Harp moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for the adaptive reuse of a 19th century barn at 301 N. Sycamore Street, in accordance with the recommendation of the HARB at their 11/9/04 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

PAT DEON – 211 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-16: Mrs. Goren moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for a mounted sign facing the Township House at 211 N. Sycamore Street, in accordance with the HARB’s recommendation at their 11/9/04 meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

ALLEN SMITH – 295 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-26: Mr. Jirele moved to approve a Certificate of Appropriateness for replacement of a roof at 295 N.Sycamore Street, in accordance with the HARB’s recommendation at their 11/9/04 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

PARK AND RECREATION BOARD: Board Chairman Andrew Levine reported on their 11/9/04 meeting at which the Woll Tract subcommittee discussed their recommendations. The meeting was well attended by members of the public. The Park and Recreation Board’s recommendations for the design of the active part of the park are as follows:

  1. Three lighted ballfields for the use of organized youth sport teams
  2. Three multipurpose rectangular fields, one with lighting
  3. Two basketball courts
  4. Two tennis courts
  5. A playground structure
  6. A walking trail that loops around the park
  7. A structure housing a concession stand, rest rooms, equipment storage, and a community room
  8. A public address system for emergency use only.

Mr. Levine said there was passionate discussion of the issue of lighting at the meeting. The Board is recommending standards for the ballfield lighting that would allow no more than one tenth of one foot-candle of light at the property line. He said the Board is also aware of the need for substantial buffering of residential areas and is committed to working on this with residents. The Board feels the park must have a primary access on Durham Road and a secondary one on Wrights Road. The engineers will develop a preliminary plan for presentation to the Board of Supervisors at the Board’s first January meeting.

Mr. Levine said the Park and Recreation Board is aware that this is an expensive plan for which no funding currently exists. A budget will be presented with the preliminary plan so that future discussions will have a rational basis.

Mr. Levine said the Board’s priorities for 2005 are as follows:

  1. To complete the work at Roberts Ridge Park
  2. To complete the Woll Tract Master Plan
  3. To study uses for the Staples site
  4. To address improvements needed in existing parks

The Board also heard a presentation from the Little League. The next Board meeting will be 1/5/05.

Mrs. Goren and Mr. Jirele thanked Mr. Levine and the other Park and Recreation Board members for their hard work. Mr. Jirele asked when the Staples site will be ready for use; Mr. Pellegrino said it should be ready next year.

SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE: Committee member Frank Tyrol reported on their 11/9/04 meeting. The Committee discussed some ponding problems, the relocation of a pole, and the use of bollards to protect the bumpouts. The left turn project on the Bypass is nearly done, and the streambank restoration project is going well. Completion of the work planned for the area near Stockburger’s depends on the weather. There will be no work done on Sycamore Street between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The Committee’s next meeting is 12/14/04.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Mr. Ward was delayed and gave his report later following Reports of Other Board Members (below).

LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

CONDITIONAL USE – SALADWORKS – 2804-2808 S. EAGLE ROAD – TMP# 29-3-24-4: Ted Sisholtz was present to discuss his request for approval to convert 2,200 SF of an existing video rental store in the PC District to E-5 Eating Place Use. Mr. Weaver opened the hearing and Mr. Sisholtz was sworn in.

Mr. Harris asked Mr. Sisholtz if he agreed to the conditions described in the Planning Commission’s 10/21/04 letter. Mr. Sisholtz said he did.

Mrs. Goren moved to grant conditional use approval for 2,200 SF of E-5 Eating Place Use at 2804-2808 S. Eagle Road with the following conditions:

  1. Deliveries will be made at least three times a week to the rear of the building by trucks no larger than 24’
  2. A maximum of 20 employees will be on site
  3. Hours of operation will be11:00 AM to 9:00 PM seven days a week
  4. No hazardous materials will be used or stored
  5. There will be no noxious environmental effects
  6. No alcoholic beverages will be served or sold
  7. All fees and costs of review will be paid by the applicant

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

PRD VARIANCE – TOLL BROTHERS – OVERLOOK – ALYSSA DRIVE & JULIANNE COURT – TMP# 29-4-263, 264,265, 266, 267, 269, 271 & 29-6-210, 212, 213, 214, 218, 219, 220, 224, 225, 227, 228, 229, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236: Attorney Edward Murphy was present to discuss the applicant’s request for relief from JMZO Section 1000.E.3.b.2, which requires a minimum 15’ side yard for decks. Mr. Murphy said that all homes in the Overlook development comply with the minimum five foot side yard requirement, but some encroach between two and eight feet into the minimum 15’ side yard required for decks. He said maximum impervious surface ratios are not exceeded on any of the lots.

Mrs. Goren asked if the buyers of these homes are aware of how close their neighbors’ decks may be. Mr. Murphy said all buyers sign a plot plan, as well as a document stating they know they cannot put any more impervious surface on their properties.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve the PRD Variance requested by Toll Brothers as shown on the 7/6/04 plan for Overlook. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said Toll Brothers told the Board of Supervisors earlier that there would be no need for variances. He also said this should be 25 applications, not one, and he suggested that Toll Brothers be required to come back with 25 applications filed at their expense.

Mr. Jirele said the homeowners know how close their decks are to the property line but not necessarily how close they are to their neighbors’ decks. He supported Mr. Goodnoe’s suggestion that the applicant return with 25 individual applications, and added that Toll should also provide written statements from the neighbors of the applicants verifying that they do not object to the relief sought. Mr. Murphy said he is agreeable to these requirements.

Mr. Harris said the applicant will need to provide an extension to 1/31/05 if the application is to be continued. Mr. Murphy said he will provide one.

Mrs. Goren and Mr. Harp withdrew their motion.

Mr. Harp moved to continue the PRD variance application of Toll Brothers with the following instructions to the applicant regarding the 25 properties for which relief is sought:

  1. To obtain letters from those homeowners who have purchased their lots authorizing Toll Brothers to make application for a PRD variance on their behalf.
  2. To obtain letters from adjoining property owners stating that they are aware of the variance application and the relief sought
  3. To pay filing fees for 25 separate applications

The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, asked if there is an increased danger of fire with the houses so close together. Mr. Pellegrino said all construction must conform to the Fire Code. Mr. Jirele added that the houses in Overlook are actually farther apart than those in other townhome communities.

Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously.

CONDITIONAL USE – LOMBARDI – 125 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-11: Vince Lombardi, attorney John VanLuvanee, and engineer Maryellen Saylor were present to discuss Mr. Lombardi’s request for conditional use approval for proposed parking within the floodplain on his 4.1 acre property in the TC District. Mr. Weaver opened the hearing and Mr. Lombardi and Ms. Saylor were sworn in.

Mr. VanLuvanee said the ordinance permits pervious paving in the floodplain but says nothing about impervious paving. He said this is a technical application, and he asked Ms. Saylor to provide some data on the proposed impervious parking in the floodplain.

Ms. Saylor said that 26.8% of the property is in the floodplain, the proposed impervious surface will cover 7.68% of the floodplain, and a total of 55.4% impervious surface is proposed for the entire site. Mr. VanLuvanee said the plan submitted to the Township shows different calculations because pervious parking is shown.

Mr. VanLuvanee said the applicant has filed a preliminary as final plan, and the proposed impervious parking spaces will not have any effect on flood levels. Mr. Lombardi said he would prefer impervious parking spaces.

Mrs. Goren moved to grant conditional use approval for parking in the floodplain at 125 N. Sycamore Street, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the 10/8/04 Boucher and James letter to the extent applicable.
  2. The applicant will use impervious materials in the parking area.
  3. The applicant will pay all cost of review.

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

Mr. Weaver closed the hearing.

FINAL PLAN – LOMBARDI – 125 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-11: Mr. Lombardi, Mr. VanLuvanee, and Ms. Saylor also discussed the final plan to build a 2,200 SF office building on Mr. Lombardi’s property. Mr. VanLuvanee reviewed the 10/13/04 Pennoni Associates letter and the 10/7/04 Boucher and James letter and said the applicant agrees to comply with all items except one regarding the calculation of the recreation and traffic impact fees. He proposed that the fees should be calculated based on the difference between the size of the building being razed and the building being constructed.

Mr. VanLuvanee also said that the plan will be revised to show a raised porch for the protection of pedestrians, and to provide curb stops in the rear.

Mr. Jirele asked about the present tenant of the building to be razed. Mr. Lombardi said the tenant will move into the new building, so there will not be a change in the use. The Supervisors generally agreed with Mr. VanLuvanee’s method of calculating the fees.

Mrs. Goren moved to grant final plan approval for the final plan for 125 N. Sycamore Street with the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the 10/13/04 Pennoni Associates letter and the 10/7/04 Boucher and James letter
  2. Curb stops will be installed at the rear of the property
  3. The porch next to the parking lot will be raised
  4. All necessary permits and approvals will be obtained
  5. Financial securities will be posted
  6. Water and sewer service agreements will be provided, or a letter stating they are not necessary
  7. Each tenant will obtain conditional use approval
  8. The applicant will pay a park and recreation fee and a traffic impact fee based on the net additional square footage of the new building
  9. All fees will be paid
  10. All waivers granted at preliminary plan approval remain in force

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

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS

AMBULANCE SQUAD: Mr. Harp encouraged residents to respond to the Squad’s call for volunteers.

WE CARE BEAR PROGRAM: Mr. Harp said there will be a bear collection for this program on 12/3/04 at the Goodnoe Elementary School.

TRAFFIC CALMING FUNDING: Mr. Goodnoe said Lower Makefield recently received a grant of $250,000 for traffic calming on Lindenhurst Road, and he asked Mr. Pellegrino if the Township can pursue a similar grant. Mr. Pellegrino said he has already spoken with Lower Makefield and Representative Steil, who advised the Township to develop an engineered plan for traffic calming before applying.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (FIRST SESSION)

Jennifer Dix, a resident of Wiltshire Walk, said she believes the Brandywine development will cause increased traffic and flooding. She also said it will be costly for the Township to maintain the bridge.

Nancy Crescenzo said she spoke with Representative Steil about the transportation of a nerve agent discussed at the last meeting. She said that Representative Steil told her the EPA has granted permits for this transport and the chemical is not dangerous in the form in which it will travel. Mr. Weaver noted that the resolution protesting the transport failed at the last meeting.

John D’Aprile, a Township resident, thanked the Board for requiring Toll Brothers to follow the established process. He also said that not everyone is happy about the development of the Woll Tract.

Paul Salvatore, a Township resident, announced that the Rotary’s Pedals for Progress project was held last weekend and exceeded its goal by collecting171 donated bicycles. He described the Rotary’s Angel Tree project, which helps residents give gifts to poor families in the area. Mr. Salvatore also said he is glad the stop sign is going in at Mill Pond Road, and he feels signals are needed at Stoopville and Eagle Roads and elsewhere. He suggested the Township might need to establish a Traffic Advisory Committee.

Larry Fyock, a Township resident, reviewed the history of the Brandywine Realty development. He said the JMZO amendment recently approved by the Jointure appeared to have been passed for the benefit of Brandywine.

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS

CHAIRMAN: No items.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS

MAKING A DIFFERENCE SEMINAR: Mr. Jirele reported that the seminar was held on 11/13/04. The format allowed for more substantial participation by the homeowners, who asked questions of a panel. Participants were especially concerned about problems with snow removal and parked cars on the streets, and about the coordination between the Codes Department and the Homeowner Association architectural review boards. Mr. Jirele said there were about 36 participants representing 16 or 17 neighborhoods. He thanked Leslie Dunleavy for coordinating the event.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Commission Chairman Shawn Ward asked to give his report at this time. He reported on their 11/16/04 meeting, at which the Commission reviewed a conditional use application from Community Association Realty and recommended approval with a few conditions. A conditional use application from Teletronics was continued at the request of the applicant. The Commission also reviewed five Zoning Hearing Board applications and commented on two of them. They voted 6-1 to recommend that the Board not oppose the application from Orleans Homebuilders, and voted unanimously to advise the Board that (1) there is some confusion about the size of the proposed building on the Newtown Rental Center property, and (2) any relief granted to the Newtown Rental Center should be subject to compliance with all terms of the agreement between the applicant and the Township. Mr. Ward pointed out that the variances being sought by Orleans are necessary because the Planning Commission preferred this design over a “by right” alternative design.

MANAGER

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

PAYMENT #7 – SYCAMORE STREET CONSTRUCTION: Mrs. Goren moved to authorize the Manager to process payment of $59,398.70 to Haines and Kibblehouse for work on the Sycamore Street project performed through 10/29/04, as described in Mr. Pellegrino’s 11/5/04 letter to PennDOT. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE AN ORDINANCE TO INSTALL STOP SIGNS AT TWO LOCATIONS: Mr. Harp moved to authorize the Solicitor to draft and advertise an ordinance establishing three-way stop signs at Mill Pond Road and York Street, and at Frost Lane and Lower Dolington Road, as recommended in Mr. Pellegrino’s 11/12/04 memo. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Weaver expressed appreciation for these stop signs.

Paul Salvatore asked if the speed limit on Mill Pond Road can be lowered. There was general approval of this suggestion. Mr. Harris said the Township must conduct a traffic study that demonstrates the need for this change. He suggested a separate motion be made to authorize the study.

Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Harp moved to authorize the Township Engineer to conduct a traffic study of Mill Pond Road. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

ADOPTION OF 2005 PRELIMINARY BUDGET: Mr. Pellegrino read from his 11/16/04 memo, which listed the changes in the draft budget that were authorized at the Board’s 11/15/04 work session:

  1. Defer replacement of speed board ($9,500 – General Fund)
  2. Reduce contribution to First Night Fireworks ($2,500 – General Fund)
  3. Reduce appropriation for Making a Difference ($1,000 – General Fund)
  4. Add reimbursement for legal expenses in RCN settlement ($100,000 – General Fund)
  5. Move appropriation for battery backup units/video detection from TSA 2 Fund to Traffic System Capital Fund ($70,000)
  6. Add appropriation to make Closed Loop system traffic responsive to Traffic System Capital Fund ($42,000)
  7. Revise MMOs for employee pension plans to conform with the Actuary’s recommendations for separating the plans

Mr. Pellegrino said these changes result in a reduction of the operating deficit from $333,350 to $217,650, and a total increase in appropriations of 1.45% over 2004.

Mrs. Goren moved to hang the 2005 budget as amended at the 11/15/04 work session. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said he is dismayed that a deficit budget is being proposed for a third year, and he would like to see the Board take a good look at the Township’s expenses and cut them. He said he would vote to hang the budget so that the public can examine it. Mr. Goodnoe recommended the following changes:

  1. Remove the appropriation for making the Closed Loop system traffic responsive because this project has not been authorized by the Board
  2. Remove the $100,000 for engineering for the Woll Tract
  3. Reverse the move of one mill from debt service to recreation.

Mrs. Goren said Mr. Pellegrino presented some possible cuts in expenditures that would have balanced the budget but the Board rejected them because they involved cutting Police or Public Works staff. She said the deficit is caused by a drop in Earned Income Tax revenues while traffic problems and demands for services have not dropped. Mrs. Goren said she agrees that expenses must be cut, but she also feels that revenues must be increased.

Mr. Weaver said that in all three years he has served on the Board there have been substantial surplus revenues. He said the staff budgets conservatively and does everything they can to reduce expenditures. There will be a $250,000 surplus at the end of 2004, and that should be applied to the projected deficit in 2005.

Mr. Goodnoe said he is not faulting the staff, but he feels the Township has been lucky the last three years to take in more revenue than expected.

Mrs. Goren said the Financial Planning Committee was satisfied with the budget. She said she would welcome more discussion of ways to cut costs.

Mr. Jirele said that this is the same conversation the Board had last year. A balanced operating budget was proposed last year and a deficit budget was predicted for 2005, yet nothing has been done. He does not want to cut staff, but the Board must take action. He said that revenues have stayed level while expenses have risen over the last few years.

Mrs. Goren suggested looking at budgeting policies and zoning issues. She said she believes the Manager has done everything possible to cut expenses. The surplus this year will balance the budget in 2005, but the Board must look at larger issues.

Nancy Crescenzo said the Township needs to encourage office and retail development to increase revenues. She asked why several work sessions were canceled this year when the Board could have discussed these issues. She made several suggestions for cutting expenses further, including establishing a Friends of the Clark Nature Center which could raise money, a Trails Committee and a Traffic Committee, dropping the Park and Recreation Department brochure mailings, selling advertising in Township publications, seeking endowment funds, and bidding out all services, including consultants.

Karen D’Aprile, a Township resident, suggested that the Board meetings not be televised and that existing parks take priority over proposed parks. She asked that taxes not be raised to pay for new parks.

Mike Iapalucci, a Township resident, asked Mrs. Goren how zoning policies affect the budget. Mrs. Goren responded that every use has a cost and a benefit, and the Township should review the zoning decisions made 20 years ago.

Mr. Goodnoe said the LaSalle study commissioned by the Township about seven years ago demonstrated that commercial uses generate more revenues for the Township than they cost, while all residential uses generate more costs than revenues. Mrs. Goren said she had concerns about the methodology used in this study.

Glenn Beasley, a Township resident, said this discussion is very similar to the one last year concerning the 2004 budget. He agreed that the LaSalle study indicated that the OR District should be developed commercially, not for residential uses, and said that the Brandywine Realty Trust development will generate over $1 million in local tax revenue. He said he and Del Purscell presented financial and demographic analyses last year that predicted the financial problems evident now.

Mrs. Goren asked Mr. Beasley to suggest solutions to these financial problems. Mr. Beasley said the first step would be for the Township to be more business-friendly. He asked if the Township has done a five-year projection of revenues and expenses.

Mr. Pellegrino said the Financial Planning Committee has been working on a projection. He added that he has been saying for a while that taxes will have to be raised soon.

Mr. Goodnoe asked if a vote for Mrs. Goren’s motion would be a vote of approval or just to display the budget. Mr. Pellegrino said that “hanging the budget” means adopting a preliminary budget. Mr. Harris noted that the Supervisors can change their votes at the adoption of the final budget.

Mr. Pellegrino said that his understanding of the Board’s directions regarding the appropriation for the Closed Loop System was that it should be in the budget, but he is to ask for authorization later if the Board wishes to implement it.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed 3-2, with Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele voting “nay”.

SOLICITOR

PUBLIC HEARING – ORDINANCE 2004-O- 23 TO ESTABLISH FIREFIGHTERS’ PENSION PLAN: Mr. Harp moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O-23 to establish a Firefighters’ Pension Plan in accordance with the advice of the Township’s actuary. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING – ORDINANCE 2004-O-24 TO ESTABLISH A NON-UNIFORMED EMPLOYEES’ PENSION PLAN: Mrs. Goren moved to adopt Ordinance 2004-O-24 to establish a Non-Uniformed Employees’ Pension Plan in accordance with the advice of the Township actuary. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING – TREE TRIMMING ORDINANCE 2004-O-25: Mr. Harp moved to enact Ordinance 2004-O-25 amending the Township Code of Ordinances to require that all trees overhanging any public walk or highway shall be kept trimmed by property owners. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren noted that if the property owner does not comply, the Township will perform the work and place a lien against the property owner. She asked if property owners can simply pay the Township to do the trimming. Mr. Pellegrino said this can be done. Mrs. Goren also asked the source of the height criteria in the ordinance. Mr. Pellegrino said these criteria are use in other municipalities.

Nancy Crescenzo expressed a concern about the methods people will use to trim their trees and suggested they should consult with tree experts.

Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously.

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS – 12/2/04: Mr. Harris reviewed the six applications scheduled for the Zoning Hearing Board meeting of 12/2/04 and asked if the Board wished to take a position on any of them. He noted that the Board has already authorized his office to attend and support the application of Brandywine Realty on Upper Silver Lake Road. Board members indicated they did not wish to be represented regarding any other application.

Mrs. Goren asked about page five of the Brandywine Realty application which states that the decision by the County Court of Common Pleas is currently on appeal to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Mr. Harris said the Commonwealth Court has affirmed the Zoning Hearing Board decision; he will see that this statement is corrected.

Mrs. Goren also asked about item #46 of the applicant’s statement, which says that the applicant’s counsel requested an interpretation of the ordinance from the Township Solicitor. This interpretation was subsequently used as part of the applicant’s case. Mrs. Goren said the Zoning Hearing Board should interpret the ordinance, not the Township.

Mr. Harris said it is common for developers to request the Township’s interpretation of the ordinance. He added that the Zoning Hearing Board is not charged with interpreting the ordinance, but with determining whether a variance should be granted.

ENGINEER

REPORT: Mr. Smith provided an update dated 11/1/04 on all engineering projects in the Township.

ESCROW RELEASE #7 – WILTSHIRE WALK: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the release of $168,482.98 in escrow funds for the Wiltshire Walk project as recommended in Pennoni Associates’ 10/27/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe asked if there is any possibility of the developer installing traffic-calming measures in this development. Mr. Pellegrino said he is discussing this with the developer.

Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously.

ESCROW RELEASE #1 – FINAL – FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF NEWTOWN: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the release of $166,765.78 in escrow finds for the First National Bank project as recommended in Pennoni Associates’ 10/10/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS

TRANSPORTATION OF NERVE AGENT: Mrs. Goren asked if the Board will discuss the resolution protesting the possible transport of nerve agent through the Township. Mr. Harp said he would like to discuss the issue with Representative Steil before bringing it back to the Board.

NEW BUSINESS: No items.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (SECOND SESSION)

Ethel Hibbs, a Township resident, asked if the sidewalks damaged by Verizon’s recent work will be repaired. Mr. Pellegrino said Verizon will replace the sidewalks, and the Township will ensure that the work is done.

Mr. Goodnoe said there is a two-foot gap on Sycamore Street near Stockburger that should be fenced. Mrs. Hibbs added that there is a very bad pothole near Bill Marsh Ford that should be repaired. Mr. Pellegrino said he will follow up.

Nancy Crescenzo said she obtained the materials from Del Purscell’s 2003 presentation to the Board regarding the budget. Mrs. Goren said she would like to see a copy of these materials. Mrs. Crescenzo gave it to Mr. Pellegrino to share with the Board, asking that it be returned to her. Mrs. Crescenzo expressed concern about gender equity in Township sports programs regarding maintenance of playing fields, funding, and use of equipment.

Mrs. Crescenzo protested the shifting of one mill of debt service to fund recreation programs. She said that if the mill isn’t needed for debt service it should be refunded to taxpayers. Mr. Pellegrino responded that the one mill is needed in the Recreation Fund to balance the budget, and the alternative would be to close the department.

Mr. Jirele said that shifting the one mill for debt service effectively increases taxes by one mill to fund the Park and Recreation Department.

Glenn Beasley questioned when the Financial Planning Committee will finish developing a five-year projection of revenues and expenditures. Mrs. Goren said she couldn’t predict when they will finalize their report.

Karen D’Aprile said the expenditures funded by the additional mill should be taken out of the budget. Mr. Jirele commented that these expenditures are for park maintenance.

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