Board of Supervisor Minutes
January 12, 2005
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting January 26, 2005. MINUTES OF 1/12/05 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 1/12/05 regular meeting with two changes under Minutes:
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 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: 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 Ethel Hibbs. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: None.
EAGLE SCOUT PROCLAMATION: Mr. Weaver presented a proclamation to Steven Garrett Hibbs in honor of his attaining the rank of Eagle Scout on 12/19/04. Steven’s service project was supervising a group of Scouts in the blazing of a nature trail at the Clark Nature Center.
MINUTES, BILLS LIST, AND REPORTS
MINUTES OF 11/10/04 BUDGET HEARING: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 11/10/04 budget hearing. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
MINUTES OF 1/4/05 ORGANIZATION MEETING: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 1/4/05 organization meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
BILLS LIST FOR 12/29/04: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills on the 12/29/04 list totaling $140,412.44. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers on the 12/29/04 list totaling $144,678.80. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
BILLS LIST FOR 1/12/05 (DECEMBER 2004): Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills on the 1/12/05 list (December 2004 invoices) totaling $341,658.48. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously, with Mr. Goodnoe abstaining.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers on the 1/12/05 list (December 2004) totaling $164,781.93. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
BILLS LIST FOR 1/12/05 (JANUARY 2005): Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills on the 1/12/05 list (January 2005 invoices) totaling $155,454.26. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers on the 1/12/05 list (January 2005) totaling $300,067.50. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: None.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND COMMISSIONS: None.
LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
REVISED PLAN FOR MINOR SUBDIVISION – TWINING – 178 DURHAM ROAD – TMP# 29-4-37-1: Anne Twining, Edward Twining, and attorney Don Marshall were present to discuss their plan to subdivide a 2.5 acre property in the R-1 District into two lots. Lot 1 (1.0 net acres) would contain the existing dwelling unit; Lot 2 (1.09 net acres) would be a flag lot and intended for a single family dwelling unit. No improvements are proposed for either lot at this time.
Mr. Marshall stated that the Board of Supervisors previously reviewed this plan on 5/26/04; the only issue not resolved was that of access to Lot 2. Since then PennDOT has issued a Highway Occupancy Permit for a second driveway that would access Lot 2, with the condition that only right turns will be permitted in and out. A right-of-way will be granted to Lot through Lot 1 to connect with the existing driveway, where left turns can be made onto Route 413.
Mr. Harris asked if the agreement of sale has been extended; Mr. Twining said it has.
Mr. Jirele said he was concerned at the previous review of this plan about left turns out of the proposed driveway, but the limitation to right in-right out turns addresses his concern adequately.
Mr. Smith said the applicant will need to get an easement from the neighbor to the north for grading, since the new driveway will be so close to the property line.
Mr. Harp moved to approve the minor subdivision of the Twining property with the following conditions:
- The plan will be revised to comply with the Pennoni associates letter of 4/13/04 and the Boucher and James letter of 3/29/04
- All necessary permits and approvals will be provided
- An easement connecting the existing driveway to Lot 2 will be provided and recorded at the same time as the plan
- No occupancy permit will be issued for a house on Lot 2 until the driveway is installed as shown on the plan and all signage required by the PennDOT permit is installed and approved
- Signed water and sewer agreements will be provided or letters from the appropriate authorities stating the agreements are not required
- All costs of the review will be paid in full
- The following waivers are granted:
- Section 404.1.A – to allow a plan scale of 1” = 30’
- Section 504.B – relief from the requirement to widen Route 413
- Sections 516 and 517 – relief from the requirement to install curbs and sidewalks on Route 413
- Section 521 – relief from the requirement for stormwater management, to require that seepage pits be installed and a note added to the plan to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer
- Relief from the requirement to pay traffic fees
- Section 508.5 – to allow frontage on a principal arterial road
The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele suggested that the proposed driveway run in front of the existing house and exit near the existing driveway. Mr. and Ms. Twining said they do not want this revision.
Mr. Goodnoe said he will be abstaining from the vote.
Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Goodnoe abstaining.
PRELIMINARY PLAN – BUCKS COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (BCCC) – 275 SWAMP ROAD – TMP# 29-3-3: Architects John Watkins and Donna Weaver, BCCC Physical Plant Director Mark Grisi, and BCCC President James Linskz were present to discuss their proposal to construct an 11,970 SF addition to an existing building on the BCCC campus in the EIR District. In their 12/9/04 letter the Planning Commission recommended approval of the preliminary plan as final with several conditions.
Dr. Linskz said the College is agreeable to all conditions described in the Planning Commission letter except #3, which specified that “the applicant agrees to either pay the Township $15,453..27 as a fee in lieu of recreation facilities, or dedicate a permanent easement for an extension of the Newtown Trail to the Schofield bridge, at such time as the Township can build the extension.” Dr. Linskz said this condition is inappropriate because the College is a public institution, it already makes its recreational facilities available to the public, and there is abundant open space on the campus. He also said that such a trail would be difficult to construct because of the terrain and would be a security problem for the College. Also, he felt the College cannot grant a permanent easement to one municipality because that would constitute preferential treatment. Dr. Linskz said the College will always work with the Township to make their facilities available to the public.
Mr. Goodnoe observed that BCCC has always been cooperative with the Township.
Mr. Smith said that the proposed work does not require financial security agreements.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the preliminary plan for the addition to the Hicks building on the BCCC campus as a final plan subject to the following conditions:
- Compliance with the 11/11/04 Pennoni Associates letter, the 11/5/04 Boucher and James letter, the 10/29/04 Emergency Services letter, the 11/3/04 Bucks County Planning Commission letter, and the 10/28/04 Conservation District letter
- All necessary permits and approvals will be provided
- The College will provide water and sewer agreements or letters from the appropriate authorities stating the agreements are not necessary
- All costs of review will be paid by the applicant
- The following waivers are granted:
- SLDO 301.7 – to permit the plan to be reviewed as preliminary/final
- SLDO 402.1.A – to permit a drawing scale of !” = 20’ where 1” = 50’ is required
- SLDO 402.3.C – to permit the applicant to submit a plan of the entire campus in lieu of showing existing features in the area on the plan
- SLDO 402.4.M – to permit the landscape plan to be sealed by a licensed arborist
- SLDO 402.5 – relief from the requirement of a traffic study
- SLDO 402.6 – relief from the requirement to pay traffic impact fees
- Relief from the requirement to pay park and recreation fees
The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Harp asked if the motion could include a statement referring to the College’s willingness to discuss public use of their recreational facilities in the future.
Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele agreed to amend their motion to include a statement that the College agrees to cooperate with the Park and Recreation Department regarding the use of the college’s recreational facilities.
Mr. Goodnoe’s motion passed unanimously.
USE OF PODIUM: Mr. Weaver said the Board will not tolerate the use of the podium during Community Comments for political statements or personal attacks on Supervisors or anyone else. He said the Community Comments sessions are for Township business.
EAGLE SCOUTS: Mr. Harp said he would like to hear from other Eagle Scouts who are interested in doing service projects with the Township.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS (FIRST SESSION)
Jay McGuigan, a resident of Newtown Crossing, said he now has 832 signatures on a petition opposing the development proposed by K. Hovnanian at Buck Road and the Bypass. He said area residents have concerns about traffic and safety as well as the proposed development’s impact on the environment. Mr. Pellegrino said the developer plans to submit a revised plan for review by the Planning Commission before meeting with the Board again.
Brandon Wind, a Township resident, announced that the Newtown Library Company is hosting a book lovers’ party, their annual fundraiser, on 2/12/05 at the new Stocking Works. He invited everyone to attend.
REPORTS OF OFFICIALS
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: None.
PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Pellegrino said there are no expirations requiring action by the Board.
CHANGE ORDER #3 – NEWTOWN CREEK STREAM BANK STABILIZATION PROJECT: Mr. Harp moved to approve Change Order #3, for supplying and placing riprap on the slope of Michael Hutchinson’s property, at a cost of approximately $7,000, as described in a 12/21/04 letter from Tri-State Engineers and recommended by Mr. Pellegrino. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE ORDINANCE – USE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY: Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of a 1/7/05 letter from Fred Polner, the Township’s telecommunications consultant, which discusses plans that Verizon has for using Township rights of way. Mr. Polner recommended the adoption of legislation to protect the Township’s control and management of its rights of way, and provided two alternate ordinances. Mr. Pellegrino said he and Mr. Harris recommend adopting alternative ordinance #1, which he described as the more conservative alternative.
Mr. Jirele moved to authorize the advertisement of an ordinance regarding the use of Township rights of way as drafted in Alternative #1 in Mr. Polner’s 1/7/05 letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
PAYMENT #10 – SYCAMORE STREET PROJECT: Mrs. Goren moved to approve Payment #10 in the amount of $142,019.29 to Haines and Kibblehouse for work performed through 12/31/04, as recommended by Pennoni Associates in their letter of 1/7/05. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING – ORDINANCE 2005-O-1 – DELINQUENT TAX COLLECTION: Mr. Jirele moved to adopt Ordinance 2005-O-1 appointing the Township’s elected tax collector as the delinquent tax collector for 2005. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
ESCROW RELEASE #1 – STROUPE PROPERTY – TMP# 29-12-27: Mr. Harp moved to release $10,364.40 in escrow funds for the Stroupe property, as recommended in the 12/29/04 Pennoni Associates letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
ESCROW RELEASE #1 – NEWTOWN OFFICE PARK – TMP# 29-01-99: Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $48,070.44 in escrow funds for the Newtown Office Park, as recommended in the 12/27/04 Pennoni Associates letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
ESCROW RELEASE #1 – NEWTOWN INDUSTRIAL COMMONS – LOT 21 – TMP# 29-10-129: Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $169,488.68 in escrow funds for the Newtown Office Park, as recommended in the 12/29/04 Pennoni Associates letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.
AUTHORIZATION TO SIGN MYLARS – 364 BURGUNDY LANE: Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize the signing of the mylars for the PRD variance on the property at 364 Burgundy Lane, as recommended by Mr. Smith. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.
ENGINEER’S REPORT: Mr. Smith provided copies of the January Pennoni Associates report on Township engineering projects.
TRAFFIC PROJECTS: Mr. Smith announced that PennDOT will be contracting for improvements at the intersection of Durham Road and the Bypass early this summer.
Mr. Goodnoe asked if the timing of the signals for left turns from eastbound Richboro Road onto the northbound Bypass can be adjusted. Mr. Pellegrino said Ron Weaver is looking into this with Matt Johnston and PennDOT. Mr. Smith said he will follow up.
OTHER TRAFFIC ISSUES: Mr. Jirele said a third lane on the Bypass from Buck Road to Richboro Road which becomes right turn only should be more clearly marked. Mr. Goodnoe said there is an inlet at South Sycamore Street and the Bypass which is too high for proper drainage. Mr. Pellegrino said these and other problems are on the contractor’s punchlist.
Jay McGuigan said he went through the intersection of Richboro Road and the Bypass tonight and narrowly avoided an accident when another driver did not realize there are two left turn lanes. He suggested that the two lanes be clearly delineated. Mr. Goodnoe suggested all double turn lanes should be marked.
NEW BUSINESS: None.
COMMUNITY COMMENTS (SECOND SESSION): None.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: Mr. Weaver announced the Board will meet in executive session for matters of personnel and real estate acquisition following adjournment of the public meeting.
ADJOURNMENT: With no objections the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved as submitted __________ as corrected___________
Robert M. Pellegrino, Manager Richard Weaver, Chairman
Scott R. Harp, Vice-Chairman
Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer
Thomas Jirele, Member
Raymond Goodnoe, Member