Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

June 13, 2005


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting July 27, 2005. Minutes of the work session of June 13, 2005: Mr. Harp moved to accept the minutes of the work session of June 13, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


Members Present: Richard Weaver, Chairman; Scott R. Harp, Vice Chairman; Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer; Raymond “Skip” Goodnoe, Member; Tom Jirele, Member; Dave Sanders, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Gerald Smith, Engineer.

Also Present: Renate Siekmann, Advance; Various Newtown Township residents including Ethel Hibbs, James McCrane, Dori McCrane, Walt Iwaskiw and Brandon Wind.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:02 P.M. This was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Holland Floor Covering – Request for Land Development Waiver

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to Holland Floor Covering’s request for a Land Development Waiver. He advised the Supervisors that they discussed the matter at their last meeting and deferred the discussion to tonight’s meeting pending the receipt of the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision. The Supervisors were provided information for review in their packets. Mr. Pellegrino discussed possible ways to handle the application if the Supervisors were uncomfortable with waiving the Land Development requirements entirely. The first option would be a Site Development Plan where staff would review the application and proposal requiring everything that would ordinarily be shown on a Land Development Plan but the process would be expedited by handling administratively. The second option would be to consider the plan a preliminary as final, which would require one (1) review instead of the traditional two (2) reviews on a normal Land Development review process.

Mr. Harp commented with regards to the Supervisors prior discussion on the matter. He advised he is in favor of the first option calling for a Site Development Plan.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is favor of the Site Development Plan for this case and he would like to request the Supervisors to consider taking the regular application fee funds that would have been paid for the Land Development Plan and put the funds into an undesignated TSA for future use.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to grant the request for a Land Development Waiver made by Holland Floor Covering. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives from Holland Floor Covering for their time.

Sketch Plan Presentation ‘Town Center at Durham”

Mr. Weaver advised the Supervisors that there would not be a presentation tonight regarding the “Town Center at Durham”. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the presentation would be rescheduled for the July Work Session.

Babysitting Provision of JMZO

Mr. Sanders updated the Supervisors. The Supervisors reviewed correspondence from Mr. Sanders dated May 25, 2005 with regards to the babysitting provisions of the JMZO. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors with regards Article VIII, Section 803.C-10.1.a. The Supervisors discussed possible options.

Mr. Goodnoe questioned the state regulations. Mr. Sanders commented with regards to the PDPW regulations and C-10 use.

Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors that he is looking for their recommendations.

Mr. Goodnoe suggested that the Township’s Ordinance be consistent with the State’s regulations. He also suggested that the Township removes Section A (Babysitting) from the Township’s Ordinance and if a problem occurs then refer to the Department of Public Welfare.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that he agrees with Mr. Goodnoe that the Township should remove Section A from the Ordinance.

Mr. Sanders advised that he would discuss the recommendation to remove Section A from Article VIII, Section 803.C-10.1.a with the JMZO.

No Smoking Ordinance for Municipal Facilities

Mr. Sanders updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposed No Smoking Ordinance for the municipal facilities. The Supervisors were provided draft copies of the proposed No Smoking Ordinance for their review. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors that the proposed No Smoking Ordinance would apply to Township owned buildings and Township leased buildings. The Supervisors discussed the proposed No Smoking Ordinance.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that with regards to buildings where the Township leases space that the non-smoking area would only include the area that the Township leases. Mr. Sanders advised that he would change the proposed No Smoking Ordinance to only include the area of space that is leased by the Township.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that he has one possible addition to the No Smoking Ordinance, he suggested that the Township Manager designate employee smoking areas at the Township owned buildings to help eliminate the problem of having smokers congregating at the main entrances to the buildings. Mr. Pellegrino advised that he is okay with Mr. Goodnoe’s suggestion and that currently the Township is not having a problem with regards to smoking. Mr. Goodnoe suggested that if there is no problem with regards to smoking within the municipal facilities maybe the matter should be a management policy rather than a Township ordinance. Mr. Sanders advised that the Township could amend the administrative code. The Supervisors discussed posting a No Smoking sign. Mr. Pellegrino advised he would be in favor of a No Smoking Ordinance or posting a No Smoking sign.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to Township residents smoking within a Township building. Mr. Sanders advised that non-smoking would only apply to the Township employees, unless the Township passes a No Smoking Ordinance.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is in favor of the No Smoking Ordinance. He also commented with regards to other Township Ordinances, which regulate activities at other Township owned properties.

Ms. Hibbs commented with regards to the space the Township leases from the Fire Association.  She suggested that the Township approach the Fire Association requesting them to make the building a smoke free building. Mr. Pellegrino advised on the matter.

The Supervisors discussed Township employee’s smoking and agreed that the employees would follow the administrative code.

Ms. Goren made a motion to advertise the proposed No Smoking Ordinance in the Township owned buildings or areas of leased space within a Township leased building. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

Building Code Amendment Basement Egress

Mr. Sanders updated the Supervisors with regards to the Building Code Amendment for a basement egress. The Supervisors were provided a memorandum from Mr. Pellegrino, dated June 10, 2005 with regards to the Building Code Amendment Basement Egress.

The Supervisors discussed safe escape routes without having to require residents to have a second means of egress.

The Supervisors discussed the response from Mr. Michael Imperial and his recommendation that the Township enact an ordinance to amend the building code and forward the ordinance to the State L&I for review. The Supervisors discussed the recommendations received from Mr. Rich O’Brien.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that the requirement for an emergency egress from a finished basement was in place until the Township adopted the Uniform Construction Code and was only removed with a subsequent amendment.

The Supervisors discussed the Township’s original ordinance.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the emergency window wells and residents not being able to use the basement.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to reconfiguring basements.

Mr. Pellegrino questioned if residents could seek a waiver from the Board of Appeals. Mr. Sanders advised.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards on how to make this practical for the Township residents.

Mr. McCrane questioned the statistics on the number of people trapped in fires due to inadequate egress from a basement. Mr. Sanders and Mr. Pellegrino advised.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the main problem of having people sleeping in the basement.

The Supervisors discussed the importance of having an emergency egress when you have people sleeping in a basement.

The Supervisors discussed residents who have finished their basement and have not applied for a permit.

Mr. Wind commented with regards to basement window sizes and cutting into foundations. The Supervisors advised that installing an emergency egress in a basement might require the foundation to be cut.

The Supervisors discussed the need for all new construction to require an emergency egress from the basement.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that he feels the Township needs more information before making any decisions.

Mr. Harp suggested having Keystone Municipal Services, Inc. make a presentation before the Supervisors. Mr. Pellegrino agreed to contact Keystone Municipal Services, Inc.

Engineering Services Proposal – Intersection Improvements – S. Eagle and Swamp Road

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposals received for the intersection improvement at S. Eagle and Swamp Roads. The Supervisors were provided correspondence regarding the intersection improvements at S. Eagle and Swamp Roads. The Supervisors discussed the RFP. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township did receive four (4) proposals ranging from $29,600.00 to $68,950.00. Mr. Pellegrino recommended that the Supervisors award the contract to Gilmore & Associates, Inc. for the amount of $29,600 plus reimbursables.

Mr. Jirele questioned the proposed received from Gilmore Associates, Inc. with regards to the reimbursables. Mr. Pellegrino advised that with regards to Gilmore Associates, Inc. reimbursables, a cap could be set between $3,000.00 to $5,000.00. If the reimbursables become an issue the matter would be brought back to the Board of Supervisors for discussion. The Supervisors discussed a not to exceed price of $35,000.00. Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would re-approach Gilmore to discuss the proposal.

Mr. Iwaskiw questioned the cost of a traffic light. The Supervisors advised.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to award the contract to Gilmore & Association with a not to exceed price of $35,000.00. The motion was second by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

Proposed Amendment to Historic Preservation Code

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors on the proposed Amendment to the Historic Preservation Code. The Supervisors reviewed correspondence from Mr. McLean, dated May 10, 2005. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on the two (2) proposed changes to the Historic Preservation Code. The first change would be control over colors to be used on properties in the Historic District. The second change would be to require more copies of the plans; the number would increase from two (2) to eight (8) copies of the plan.

Ms. Goren made a motion to draft and advertise the Amendment to the Historic Preservation Code. Mr. Harp seconded the motion.

Mr. Goodnoe suggested that HARB should have a set number of already approved colors they will accept.

Ms. Goren commented on the colors needing to complement each other.

Ms. Hibbs advised the Supervisors that HARB has a book of the colors that are acceptable in the Historic District. She also emphasized the need to amend the current Historic Preservation Code.

The Supervisors discussed the wording of the Amendment. The Supervisors agreed that the Amendment to the Historic Preservation Code should also include the wording that HARB should maintain a palette of suitable colors for the applicants to review.

Ms. Goren amended her motion to include the recommendation that HARB maintains a palette of suitable colors for the applicants to review. Mr. Harp amended his second of the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Community Comments

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the sketch plan presentation for “Town Center at Durham”, he advised that he feels the subject should be discussed at a televised Supervisors meeting not at a Work Session.

Ms. Hibbs commented with regards to the streetlights on Sycamore Street, she questioned the location of some of the light post. Mr. Jirele advised that he would discuss the matter at the next Sycamore Street meeting.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to traffic at Jefferson Street.

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input.

Other Business

Mr. McCrane commented with regards to the work Verizon is doing within the Township. He advised that he has called the toll free number several times with no response. The Supervisors advised him that they would take care of the matter. Mr. Harp advised him to contact John Boyle at the Township.

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to Verizon having the necessary Road Opening Permits for the work they are doing within the Township.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary