Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

March 21, 2005


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting April 27, 2005. MINUTES OF 3/21/05 WORK SESSION: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 3/21/05 work session; the motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously, with Mr. Jirele abstaining.


Members Present: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Scott R. Harp, Vice Chairman; Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer; Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Member; Dave Sanders, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer. Not in attendance was Tom Jirele, Member.

Also Present: Tom Hecker, Esq.; Eugene V. Lorenzetti, Superior Holdings, LLC; Carl Guttilla, 3GHC Architects, LLC; Nelson Shaffer, Pennoni; Philip Wursta, Pennoni; Mike Palmer, Toll Brothers; Various Newtown Township and Newtown Borough residents including Jim Bowe, Jay Sensibaugh, Tom Erico, Shirley Milner, Tracy Goldberg, Brian Keiffer, Cathy Fink, Ethel Hibbs, Bob Murphy, Steve Goodman, Bill Sterling and Vince Lombardi.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M. This was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sketch Plan for Shops at Durham

Mr. Hecker introduced Mr. Lorenzetti and Mr. Guttilla. He also advised the Supervisors that they are here tonight to discuss the concept plan for a project located off of Rt. 413 across from the Acme Shopping Center. A packet was provided to the Supervisors for their review. Mr. Lorenzetti gave a brief history on himself and his company. Mr. Guttilla advised the BOS on the concept plan. He advised it would be a village type atmosphere. The site is approximately four (4) acres and would consist of three (3) buildings. The front building would be 4,300 square feet of retail space, single story. The side building would be 12,000 square feet of retail space, single story. The rear building would be two stories, the first floor would have 20,000 square feet of retail space and the second floor would have 15,000 square feet of office space. The site would be accessed off of Durham Road, approximately midway between the two (2) major intersections. Mr. Guttilla advised on the parking areas, loading zones and landscaping. He also advised on the types of building materials that would be used (siding/roofing). Mr. Hecker advised that the plan is only in the concept stage at this time and that his client is aware that the properties would need to be rezoned.

Mr. Harp asked the residents for their opinion regarding the matter.

One resident questioned where exactly the properties are located. Mr. Guttilla advised that the properties run along the north side of Durham Road between Rt. 413 and Eagle Road. The site will consist of seven (7) properties.

Mr. Bowe questioned where the entrance to the center would be located. Mr. Guttilla advised that there would only be one entrance located at the front of the center.

Mr. Sensibaugh advised that he is against the Township rezoning resident properties for commercial/retail use. He suggested building the center in an area already zoned for commercial/retail use.

Mr. Bowe advised that he is also against the Township rezoning resident properties for commercial/retail use. He also advised that he is on the HOA Board for Tyler Walk and knows many of the residents will be against the rezoning. He also suggested surrounding HOA that will be against the rezoning.

Mr. Erico advised that he is against the center.

Mr. Bowe advised that he has concerns with the Township rezoning areas within the Township. He commented on what the future holds.

One resident from Eagle Road advised he likes the idea.

Ms. Milner a resident from Eagle Road commented with regards to the development of the Acme site. She advised that she felt the zoning of the seven (7) properties should have been changed from residential to commercial/retail use at that time the Acme site was developed. She feels the zoning change should be granted.

Ms. Goldberg commented with regards to the traffic impact. Mr. Hecker advised that as of now no traffic study has been conducted, he commented that if the plan were approved one would be required.

Mr. Keiffer commented with regards to the zoning of the property behind Staples. The Supervisors advised that the Township owns the property.

James Bowe suggested that if the plan moves forward the center should be developed as a streetscape design.

Mr. Lorenzetti thanked the Supervisors and residents for their feedback and advised on his future plans. He advised he is looking for input from the Supervisors and Township residents. He advised he would be glad to meet with homeowners.

Ms. Goren advised she would like the opportunity to consider the plan further. She advised that she likes the suggestion to develop the center as a streetscape design.

Mr. Weaver advised he liked the looks of the plan.

Mr. Goodman advised he liked Ms. Goren’s idea to consider the plan further as a streetscape design. He felt there would be less impact on traffic and local communities.

Mr. Bowe advised that he felt that even if the properties were developed as a streetscape design, local resident would still be against the rezoning.

Ms. Goren suggested Mr. Lorenzetti meet with local HOA’s to discuss the concept plan for the properties.

Mr. Lorenzetti thanked the Supervisors for their time.

Engineering Contract Modifications Buck Road/Richboro Road – Bypass Improvements

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors. The Supervisors were provided correspondence from Pennoni Associates Inc. to Mr. Pellegrino dated November 8, 2004 for their review. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that he is looking for direction from the Board on how to resolve the billing issue. He advised that the entire contract totaled $418,178.00 and that Pennoni is willing to accept $370,271.00 of which the Township has already paid $112,555.00, leaving a balance of $257,716.00. He also advised that the Township has budgeted for this fee.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the work that was done at the Sycamore Street/Buck Road and Richboro Road intersections. She advised that she felt the work was done and Pennoni should be paid.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the engineering costs are 12% of the cost of the project and that is consistent for a project of this size.

Mr. Harp discussed the safety improvements on the Newtown Bypass. He advised that he is happy with the job Pennoni has done.

Mr. Shaffer commented on the correspondence to Mr. Pellegrino dated November 8, 2004. He also advised that he is happy with the end product.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the price changes and why the project took so long to complete. Mr. Shaffer commented with regards to the changes of the project and what issues delayed the project. Mr. Wursta also advised on changes to the project.

Mr. Weaver advised that he is also happy with the job Pennoni has done on the Newtown Bypass, but there is still a timing problem with the traffic lights at Richboro and Buck Roads.

Mr. Pellegrino asked Mr. Shaffer to explain the savings that the Township saw as a result of the contract modifications and the 20% match. Mr. Shaffer advised that typical conventional funding is 80%/20%. He discussed the total cost of the project. He advised that the state was billed $2,484,000.00 for the construction/inspection and a percentage of the engineering costs. Mr. Pellegrino asked if the project was originally set up as an 80%/20% project. Mr. Wursta advised that the project was not originally set up as an 80%/20% project. He advised on other TIP projects with PennDot with the Township.

Mr. Shaffer advised the Supervisors that he could explain all the different changes to the project if that’s what the Supervisors want.

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to PennDot changing the parameters of the plan and not being willing to pay for the changes. Mr. Shaffer and Mr. Wursta advised that PennDot changed the parameters of the plan several times.

Mr. Sensibaugh, Planning Commission member advised he agreed with Mr. Goodnoe’s comments regarding the cost of the project. He questioned why Pennoni did not notify the Township of the price increase on a regular basis. Ms. Goren advised that the Township has budgeted for this fee. Mr. Shaffer advised that Pennoni has kept the Township informed. Mr. Pellegrino agreed that the Township has known about this fee.

Ms. Goren made a motion to approve the modifications to the revised contract amount of $370, 271.00 with a balance owed of $257,716.00. Mr. Harp seconded the motion. The motion passed three (3) to one (1).

Stoopville Road Traffic Calming Engineering Proposals

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors. The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum from Mr. Boyle to Mr. Pellegrino dated March 7, 2005, regarding the Stoopville Road traffic calming proposals. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township approached four (4) firms and has heard back from two (2) firms, Carroll Engineering Corporation and Gilmore & Associates, Inc. He advised that the price from Carroll Engineering Corporation was $16,700.00 and the price from Gilmore & Associates, Inc. was $19,950.00. He advised that the Administration is recommending the proposal from Gilmore & Associates, Inc., they feel the proposal is more complete. He advised the Supervisors that he is looking for some direction from the Board on how to proceed. He also advised that Mr. Wursta would be available to help the Township through the review process and the review of the preliminary plan.

Mr. Harp advised that he is glad to see this project happening and questioned what the project timeline would be. He also commented on what types of traffic calming devices could be used. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the project timeline is six (6) months, the proposal from Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has a start date of May 1, 2005, but he suspects they could start immediately. Mr. Pellegrino also commented with regards to the publics’ participation in the project.

Mr. Goodnoe asked the representatives from Pennoni if they feel the Township should pay an increased amount so the Township can have more alternatives. Mr. Wursta advised that he has reviewed both proposals and feels the Township will benefit more by choosing Gilmore & Associates, Inc. He also commented with regards to the public meetings.

Mr. Goodman commended the BOS for proceeding with the traffic-calming project on Stoopville Road. He gave a special thanks to representatives Ms. Goren and Mr. Harp for their interest in going forward with the project. He questioned if the public would have a chance to meet with Gilmore & Associates, Inc. before they put pen to paper, to help insure that the traffic calming measures are met. He also suggested a bike/walking path along Stoopville Road. Mr. Pellegrino advised that there would be at least six (6) public meetings, the first meeting would be in May or June. Mr. Pellegrino advised the first public meeting would either be a work session or a special meeting.

Mr. Murphy, Rosefield Development, thanked Mr. Harp and Ms. Goren for their help with the project. He discussed the type of traffic that travels Stoopville Road. He questioned if Gilmore & Associates, Inc. would consider working with a traffic-calming expert. Mr. Pellegrino advised he could ask and that Gilmore & Associates, Inc. have done traffic-calming work in the past. He advised that they have done work in Doylestown. Mr. Murphy commented that the Township needs to look out for the Township residents. He also commented with regards to raised crosswalks, safety and the quality of life.

Ms. Goldberg commented with regards to safety issues on Stoopville Road, she questioned if the Township has a Traffic Safety Committee. Ms. Goren advised on the police patrol activity. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township Police Department works with the Regional Truck Traffic Task Force. Ms. Goldberg also commented with regards to residential zoning and HAZMAT concerns. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township can not regulate that, the Pennsylvania Transportation Department handles that. He commented with regards to the different types of markings on the vehicles.

Mr. Murphy commented with regards to the Township taking back Stoopville Road. Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Weaver advised they have not had any discussions with regards to the Township taking back Stoopville Road.

Mr. Goodman commented with regards to the timing of the project, the traffic studies and the Stoopville Road closing this spring for improvements to the roadway. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township will try to get this project ahead of the other work on the roadway and that the road might be closed mid summer for the improvement work.

Ms. Goren made a motion to give the proposal to Gilmore & Associates, Inc. for the amount of $19,950.00. Mr. Harp seconded the motion. The motion passed four (4) to zero (0).

Mr. Scott Harp left the meeting.

Approve Use of Lot 36, Linton Hill Chase

The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum from Mr. Pellegrino dated March 17, 2005, with regards to the approval use of lot 36, Linton Hill Chase. Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors. He advised he is looking for some direction from the Board.

Ms. Goren made a motion to approve the use of the property as a single-family residence. Mr. Goodnoe seconded the motion. The motion passed three (3) to zero (0).

Mr. Palmer, Toll Brothers advised he is happy with the Boards decision.

Establishing Policy on Retention of Videotapes of Board Meetings

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors. The Supervisors reviewed correspondence from Mr. Sander, Harris and Harris to Mr. Pellegrino dated March 3, 2005, with regards to the retention of videotaped meetings. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that currently the Township have twelve (12) years of videotapes from the Board meetings. Mr. Sanders advised that video minutes are not required. Ms. Goren advised that she is for the Township retaining the videotapes, she suggested converting the tapes to dvds. Mr. Pellegrino commented with regards to the Township setting a policy decision on the length of time to retain the videotapes, he advised on his past experiences. The Supervisors agreed to convert the videotapes to dvds.

Acquisition of Replacement Dump Truck

The Supervisors reviewed a memorandum from Mr. Pellegrino dated January 31, 2005, with regards to the acquisition of a replacement dump truck. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that the Township has budgeted funds in this year’s budget to replace a dump truck. He advised that the Township’s plan was to purchase a ten (10) wheel vehicle, under a lease purchase arrangement over a five (5) year period at an annual cost of $28,000.00, which would be paid from the General Funds reserve. He commented with regards to the use of Liquid Fuels Funds and the 20% limit imposed by PennDot. He advised that the Township wrote to the PennDot requesting an exception and that PennDot did approve the request for a one (1) time exception to allow the Township to exceed the 20% allocation for this year. He questioned the Board to see if they would like to reconsider the budget decision and pay for the acquisition of the replacement dump truck. He suggested that the Township purchase the dump truck outright rather than a lease purchase agreement. He also suggested that the Township use funds from the Liquid Fuels Funds rather than the General Funds. He estimates the cost of the dump truck to be approximately $120,000.00. He commented with regards to the type of equipment on the dump truck.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned if the truck would be a state bid truck. Mr. Pellegrino advised that it would be a state bid truck. Mr. Goodnoe advised he is in favor of purchasing the truck outright.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned what was happening to the dump truck that is being replaced. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township would put the dump truck up for sale.

Mr. Murphy questioned the type of dump truck the Township will be purchasing. Mr. Goodnoe advised he believes this years state bid truck is Sterling. Mr. Murphy commented with regards to some truck manufactures have Municipal lease plans. Mr. Pellegrino advised he is aware of such plans.

Ms. Goren made a motion to use money from the Liquid Fuels Funds and make an outright purchase of the replacement dump truck. Mr. Goodnoe seconded the motion. The motion passed three (3) to zero (0).

Fidler/Roberts Zoning Amendment Proposal

Mr. Palmer updated the Supervisors with regards to the Fidler/Roberts zoning amendment proposal. He advised that the proposed plan includes 102 units. He advised that they have met with the Planning Commission and advised that the Planning Commission likes the concept plan.

He advised that he is looking to see if the Supervisors are still in favor of the project. He commented with regards to zoning issues.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to leaving the zoning R-2 and allowing new uses. Mr. Pellegrino advised on the added use in the R-2 District.

Mr. Weaver advised on his thoughts with regards to zoning. He advised that he would like to leave the zoning as R-2.

Mr. Sanders advised that the draft zoning ordinance that was sent to the Township on February 17, 2005, does not propose an overlay, it proposes an additional B-19 use that is added to zoning ordinance and that would be permitted in the R-2 District only. He commented on the three (3) types of uses.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the number of units that are currently permitted under the current R-2 zoning and the number of units on the proposal. Mr. Palmer advised that 117 units are permitted and that the proposed plan includes 102 units. The Supervisors discussed reducing density.

Mr. Palmer advised that he is looking for support from the BOS. Mr. Sanders commented with regards to the regulations being exactly like the B-17 with the exception of the requirement for the deed restriction. Palmer advised that is correct

Mr. Goodnoe advised that he is ok with the concept plan, but he does have issues with the site plan, which can be addressed at a later date.

Mr. Sensibaugh commented with regards to side yard setbacks. Mr. Palmer advised.

Ms. Hibbs commented with regards to the Newtown Borough Council attending a prior meeting where this proposal was discussed having concerns with traffic, storm water and parking. She suggested that the Township keep the Borough informed with regards to those matters. Ms. Hibbs commented on the size of the property. Mr. Palmer advised the site is 30 acres.

Ms. Goren commented on the developments in the Borough.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that it is his feeling that the Borough would be involved with the land development process of the project.

Mr. Palmer advised that issues regarding the storm water management were discussed at a prior Planning Commission Meeting. He also advised on the storm water analyses and that a basin has been proposed for the site.

Mr. Sensibaugh questioned where the storm water would eventually go. Mr. Palmer advised he believed that the storm water would go toward Core Creek.

The Supervisors agreed they like the concept plan.

Other Business

Mr. Goodman commented with regards to the Swamp Road project being a critical project to make the road safe. The Supervisors discussed the timeline for the project. Mr. Wursta advised on the status of the Swamp Road project. Mr. Harp also commented with regards to the Swamp Road project.

Mr. Sterling commented with regards to the proposed changes to the CM District, property values and the equity in his farm. He advised that he felt there should not be any changes. Mr. Sanders advised on the uses in the CM District and the new amendment. The Supervisors discussed the soil classes.

Mr. Murphy questioned the state standard with regards to Mr. Sterling’s concerns. Mr. Sanders advised on the State’s regulations with regards to the protection of agricultural soils.

Mr. Weaver advised Mr. Sterling that the Township would look into some of his concerns.

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:43 P.M.

After the Meeting adjourned the Board of Supervisors meet for an executive session to discuss matters regarding real estate and personnel.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary