Board of Supervisor Minutes
June 22, 2005
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting July 13, 2005. Minutes of June 22, 2005 Regular Meeting: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of June 22, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $604,201.13. Mr. Harp seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo questioned the expense of $399.92 for police riot gear. Mr. Weaver explained that this is standard issued police equipment.
Mr. Goodnoe said that he would abstain from voting, as there is payment to his restaurant on the bills list.
The motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Goodnoe abstaining.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $166,915.32. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, June 22, 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: Planning Commission Chairman Shawn Ward, Township Solicitor Stephen B. 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 Father Heckman of St. Mark’s Orthodox Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Additions and Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Pellegrino said that he would be adding an extension to the 104 Pheasant Run hearing to the July 27, 2005 meeting, an extension on the traffic calming report and there would be no Financial Planning Committee report.
Commissioner James Cawley: County Commissioner James Cawley introduced himself to the Board and residents. He said that he is visiting all 54 municipalities in Bucks County, and is attempting to forge a strong working relationship with all of the county’s municipal governments. He thanked the Economic Development Council for including him in their recent announcement event, and the First Fourth Committee for inviting him to participate in those upcoming events.
Scholarship Presentation by the Police Benevolent Association: Sergeant Kim Hartman and Sergeant Stephen Meyers presented the Newtown Township Police Benevolent Association Scholarship in the amount of $1000 to Nicholas Castellano, Council Rock North High School Class of 2005, who will be pursuing his studies in Criminal Justice in college.
First Fourth Presentation: Victoria Bowe, John Davis, Marlowe and Joe Gordon gave a brief presentation about the upcoming First Fourth celebration, scheduled for July 9, 2005, in Newtown Borough and Township. Brochures are available throughout the Township and Borough, highlighting the times and locations of the many events, beginning at 7:30AM with a 5K Run sponsored by the Newtown Lions Club, a community Church Service at Newtown Presbyterian Church at 9:00 AM, numerous baseball and softball all-star games, the Borough vs. Township Softball Game, a food court, parade, musical performances and fireworks at night. This year’s parade grand marshals will be Edwin and Hope Cunfer and Jane Crumlish. Parking is available at Council Rock High School North, and shuttle buses will provide transportation throughout the day to the various venues. This year’s theme, in honor of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech and Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms series of prints created for the Saturday Evening Post, will be “Salute to Freedom”. Additional information and event schedule can be found at www.newtownfirstfourth.com or through the Township Web site link.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes of May 23, 2005 Work Session: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2005 Work Session. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Minutes of June 8, 2005 Regular Meeting: Mr. Jirele moved to accept the minutes of the June 8, 2005 regular meeting. Mr. Goodnoe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Bills List: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $459,208.09. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $160,300. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Sycamore Street Committee: Mr. Shawn Ward reported that the Sycamore Street project is nearing completion, with paving of Sycamore Street to be done next Wednesday.
Planning Commission: Mr. Ward reported that the Planning Commission met on June 21, 2005. They reviewed a request for a waiver from Land Development for Cricklewood Green/CAU. They voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny this request because the revisions to the final plan involve a different building footprint, and changes in the impervious surface coverage and stormwater management that the Commission did not consider de minimus. They reviewed the Penns Terrace Office Park preliminary plan and recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve “Plan B” which shows only one access point. They reviewed and recommend approval of the Village at Newtown South/PNC Bank minor subdivision final plan, with conditions. They recommend approval of the Linton Hill Pumping Station subdivision on the Patel property with conditions. They recommend approval of the Amazon Café at Village at Newtown conditional use application.
At their June 7, 2005 the Planning Commission had tabled a decision on the Soccer/Lacrosse Center conditional use application in order to hear testimony from Phillip Neuhard, a neighbor who is opposed to the application. The Commission heard from Mr. Neuhard at the June 21, 2005 meeting and then voted 7-1 to recommend approval of the application with conditions. They agreed to cancel their July 5 and September 6, 2005 meetings.
Economic Development Council: Mr. Weaver reported that the EDC has worked to help create the Newtown Business Commons Association, and agreed to coordinate the Business Commons signage with signs planned by the JDNC. They will begin meeting on a quarterly basis.
Historic Architectural Review Board: Mrs. Ethel Hibbs, HARB Secretary reported that at their last meeting they reviewed changes to the lighting of the Twin Banks barn at 301 N. Sycamore Street, an awning for the Tasteful Teas business in the old Sparkles building, signs for Bucks County Beads, and the Citizen’s Bank logo change, which will require replacement of existing signage.
Twin Banks LLC – 301 N. Sycamore Street: Mr. Jirele moved to approve the certificate of appropriateness for Twin Banks, LLC, tax map parcel 29-12-27,amending the previously approved certificate of appropriateness to permit substitute alternate parking and driveway light fixtures. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Tasteful Teas & More – 2 Swamp Road: Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for Donna Liberatori at tax map parcel 29-10-85-7 for installation of awnings over glass enclosed porch and above entrance. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Bucks County Beads –2 Cambridge Lane: Mr. Jirele moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for Bucks County Beads, tax map parcel 29-11-243, for installation of two wooden signs. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Citizens Bank –31 Cambridge Lane: Mrs. Goren moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for Citizens Bank, tax map parcel 29-11-24, for replacement of existing monument sign, plaques and lettering with new logo. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Land Development Projects
Conditional Use – Soccer and Lacrosse Center – 53 German Avenue:Mr. Don Marshall represented Ms. Susan Hillman in this hearing to move her business to the second floor of a barn at 53 German Avenue, in the CC Convenience Commercial Zoning District.
Mr. Michael Malloy, representing Phillip Neuhard, requested party status in opposition to this application.
Ms. Hillman was sworn in. She explained that her Soccer and Lacrosse Center business is currently located in the Village at Newtown South, and she would like to move it to this 3000 square foot space in a less expensive location. She is asking for conditional use approval for an E-1 retail use. She explained that she is a supplier of team uniforms and other sports equipment and apparel, and she needs a larger work and storage area, with a limited area for retail sales. Her business has no “off the street” foot traffic, and is a very low impact business. She has been granted relief from the Zoning Hearing Board for unpaved parking for eight cars, parking in the front yard, a 15 foot wide aisle for employee parking and a 35 foot wide entrance, with the conditions of the Zoning Hearing Board being limited hours of operation from 10:00 AM to 6:00PM Monday through Saturday, and the variance only running to this business at this location. No hazardous materials would be stored on the premises, no noise, heat or glare would be produced, and the business would not endanger the health or safety of the surrounding community. All deliveries are made by UPS vans, and uniforms are delivered directly to customers, not picked up.
Mr. Marshall said that Ms. Hillman will comply with the Planning Commission review of June 21, 2005, which required compliance with the Zoning Hearing Board decision that limits the business to two employees, hours of operation limited to Monday through Saturday from 10:00AM to 6:00 PM, no hazardous materials, no glare, noise, or heat. He is asking for a waiver form JMZO Section 514.3 of land development to allow parking on an unpaved area, and will satisfy the Township Engineer that there is no violation of the 50% impervious surface limitation. Ms. Hillman will comply with the Boucher and James letter of May 27, 2005.
Mr. Malloy asked Ms. Hillman how she found this location.
Ms. Hillman said that her brother is related to the owner of the property, Randall Yardley, through marriage, and she spoke to Mr. Yardley during a family occasion about needing a new space for her business. She subsequently looked at the upper floor of the barn and found it satisfactory for her needs.
Mr. Randall Yardley was sworn in.
In response to Mr. Malloy’s questions, Mr. Yardley said that he resides at 5 North Elm Street in Newtown Borough. He has been a resident of Newtown for 43 years, and is a contractor specializing in renovations. He owns the property at 53 German Avenue, including the residential home, as well as the property at 50 German Avenue. He said that he built the barn, which is 3000 square feet on each of two stories, with a permit for a residential accessory building. He has parking on the property for six cars in front of the barn building and four spaces behind the house. He contacted the Zoning Officer when he decided to convert the upstairs of the barn for commercial use and was given a list of changes that would be needed. He renovated the barn himself to comply with most of the items on the list and sought relief from the Zoning Hearing Board for the parking. He has agreed to all conditions set by the Zoning Hearing Board, and he is not in violation of the impervious coverage requirement.
In response to Mr. Harris’ questions, Mr. Yardley said that the first floor of the barn is used for personal storage of his cars. To comply with the Zoning requirements he has dry-walled the inside and installed sprinklers. He allowed Council Rock School District to use the building for storage during their recent construction projects. He does not live in the house but rents it to a tenant. He has some cars and desks and some things belonging to his children stored in the lower level. He sometimes works on his cars with a friend at the barn. The automotive work done at the barn is all personal use on his own cars.
In response to Mr. Malloy’s questions, Mr. Yardley said that he did not live in the house at the time that the barn was built, nor did he go through the land development process to build the barn, using a residential accessory building permit, only. He drew the plan that is submitted with this application using a tape measure and did not have any survey done. He is not a professional engineer.
Mr. Malloy argued that a conditional use could only be granted if the application satisfied the requirements of the ordinance, and Mr. Yardley’s plan might not satisfy the ordinance. He said that, while the Township Engineer must be satisfied that this plan meets the 50% impervious surface requirement, now is the time when compliance must be shown.
Mr. Marshall objected, saying that this is Ms. Hillman’s conditional use hearing for her business, not a zoning violation hearing.
Mr. Harris agreed that Mr. Yardley must demonstrate compliance with the 50% impervious surface requirement, but that the downstairs use is not a subject of this hearing.
In response to Mr. Malloy’s questions, Mr. Yardley said that he brought in 30 truckloads of fill to level the land before construction of the barn. He did not apply to the Bucks County Conservation District and did not file a stormwater management plan because none was required.
Mr. Phillip Neuhard was sworn in.
Mr. Neuhard said that he has lived at 58 German Avenue, on the other side of the street, but not directly opposite the applicant. He has lived there for 26 years. In 1983 he was involved in a lawsuit to quiet title to the road in front of his house.
Mr. Malloy entered the following exhibits:
N-1 – Action to Quiet Title
N-2 – Decree dated 12/7/83
N-3 – waiver and consent
N-4 – Letter and deed of easement dated 11/3/92 from the Newtown Township Planning Commission.
Mr. Neuhard explained that German Avenue is a private road, and the Township acknowledged this in 1992, when they asked for a limited right-of-way to correct drainage problems in that area. At the time, the Township had received a grant to do the work, and upon completion they paved what had been a dirt road. He said that he does not feel that a business owner has a right to bring people onto this private road. He noted that during the time of construction of the barn, Mr. Yardley brought in construction vehicles that damaged the paved area. No trucks are able to complete the turn into this road without damaging the grassy areas along the edge of the paving.
Mr. Malloy entered as Exhibit N-5, a series photographs taken by Mr. Neuhard, showing conditions on German Avenue.
Mr. Neuhard said that German Avenue is only 10 feet wide, and two cars cannot pass each other. His own car has been hit while parked there. The photographs show damage to the road caused by the vehicles brought in by Mr. Yardley. He has attempted to patch the road himself. He noted that with the exception of Mr. Yardley himself, most drivers are not able to back out of the parking area in front of the barn without driving onto the grass. Because of the crumbled condition of the road edge, he is unable to easily run a lawnmower to the end of his lawn.
Mr. Neuhard said that although he recognizes that Mr. Yardley does have a right to build an accessory building on his property, he is already adversely affected by this building, which causes deflection of noise from the roads. He also feels that Mr. Yardley does not properly maintain the properties he owns in the neighborhood, leaving trash outside, infrequently mowing the lawns and not cleaning up debris from storm damage. He feels that a business, even one described as low-impact, will have adverse affect on the neighborhood. He also questioned why a low-impact business would need to have such long hours open for business.
Mr. Harris reminded Mr. Neuhard that the conditions at other properties do not fall within the scope of this hearing.
Mr. Neuhard expressed concern about increased liability of the homeowners on the private road with the increased traffic. He also expressed doubt that the work being done on cars in the barn is “personal” use by Mr. Yardley. He noted that someone other than Mr. Yardley works on vehicles there every day. He expressed concern about additional lighting for the business, as well as additional signage. He again questioned how a building five times the size of the house could be permitted as an accessory to a residential building.
In response to Mr. Marshall’s questions, Mr. Neuhard said that he does not live directly opposite 53 German Avenue, but opposite the American Legion parking lot. He has spoken to some of his neighbors about the proposed business but does not know whether all of them object to the business, although one of his neighbors does oppose it. He identified other businesses surrounding this location on Mr. Marshall’s map, including the carwash, the carpet showroom, the car detailing shop and Napa Auto Parts. In response to Mr. Malloy’s question, Mr. Neuhard said that all of these businesses take access to Walnut Street or Swamp Road.
In closing, Mr. Malloy noted that there are three separate uses at this address, the auto repair barn, the residence and the proposed soccer shop. He said that the barn is no longer an accessory residential use if the owner does not reside there. This building never went through land development. He noted that this is a private road, and has been acknowledged as such by Newtown Township, when easements were required for stormwater management. He said that there have been no agreements for public use of this road. The property was developed using 30 truckloads of fill without permits. He asked that the Board deny this conditional use, as the street is not safe for use by a commercial business.
In closing, Mr. Marshall asked that conditional use approval be granted because this is a property in the CC Convenience Commercial Zoning District, where E-1 retail use is permitted. The Zoning Hearing Board unanimously granted variances for this business, and the Planning Commission reviewed this application and recommended approval. He stressed that businesses such as this cannot afford to operate in the Township’s other commercial districts. The building already exists and was built appropriately.
In rebuttal, Mr. Malloy said that the Ordinance requires that commercial districts take access from major roads, and that this location does not conform to the ordinance.
In response to Mr. Jirele, Ms. Hillman said that her business is seasonal but she sees about ten customers each day.
Mr. Harris advised the Board that they could either decide on the application this evening or take it under advisement.
The Board agreed that they would take the application under advisement in order to review all of the exhibits presented.
The hearing was closed at this point.
Conditional Use - 104 Pheasant Run: Mrs. Goren moved to continue the application of 104 Pheasant Run to July 27, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
PRD Variance – Meszaros – 215 West Hanover Street: Mr. Marshall represented J. Victor Meszaros, for a variance to construct a one-story, 985 square foot addition to the rear of their existing house which will result in a rear yard setback of 13.9 feet at the left corner and 13.4 feet at the right corner of the property where a 30 foot minimum rear yard setback is required, and will result in an impervious surface ratio of 41% where a 30% impervious surface ratio is permitted. In addition, the applicants seek relief for an existing shed, which encroaches 2 feet into the 6-foot minimum side yard requirement for accessory buildings in yards. Mr. Meszaros intends to remove the existing patio, so the increase in impervious surface will be 712 square feet. The property is bordered by open space on two sides. Mr. Meszaros intends to add a bedroom and bath that would be handicapped accessible to accommodate a debilitating illness.
Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-1 a location map of the Newtown Crossing development and Exhibit A-2, a packet of letters from the Newtown Crossing Homeowners Association and the surrounding neighbors in support of the application.
Mr. Jirele moved to grant a PRD variance to construct a one story addition at 215 West Hanover Street, and to allow an existing shed which encroaches onto the minimum side yard setback, with the conditions that:
Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Revised Final Plan – Penns Terrace Office Park – 54 Penns Trail: Mr. Marshall represented Cameron Triolo, owner of the property. He explained that a final plan for this property had already been approved, but never built. The Planning Commission had suggested that this plan be reviewed as a preliminary plan. This is an 80,205 square foot lot in the LI light industrial zoning district. A 20,000 square-foot office building is planned with no medical uses. There will be 100 parking spaces provided. At the suggestion of the Planning Commission the curb cut on Penns Trail has been eliminated and all access is through Friends Lane. The Planning Commission had expressed concern about the circulation of cars through the parking area, and suggested that the plan referred to as “Plan B” be submitted for this review. Plan B has moved the loading area and added buffering.
Mr. Marshall said that the applicant is requesting waivers from Section 402.3 to allow an aerial photograph; from the requirement of a traffic study; for a scale of 1” = 30’; from Section 520.5 to allow parking in the easement; to allow the landscaping plan to be prepared by the engineer; and to permit parking in the front yard.
Mr. Marshall said that his client will comply with the Boucher and James letter of May 31, 2005, the Pennoni Associates letter of May 31, 2005, and the Bucks County Planning Commission letter of May 15, 2005. The fire marshal has approved this plan. The Park and Recreation Board has recommended a fee in lieu of open space.
Mr. Harris requested that the Planning Commission’s recommendations be presented in writing before the Board of Supervisors review the plans.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the revised Final Plan of Penns Terrace Office Park submitted as “Plan B”, with the following conditions:
Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Final Plan – Blacksmith 161 – Lot 81 & 82 Blacksmith Road: Mr. Marshall presented the final plan for this 2.614-acre parcel. The preliminary plan was approved on February 9, 2005 for a two-story 25,296 square foot office building, with approximately 50% D-1 Professional Office Use and 50% D-2 Medical Office Use in the LI District. Mr. Marshall said that the plan had been reviewed by the Planning Commission, and the applicant will comply with their letter of June 8, 2005. The fee in lieu of open space has been calculated at $16,328.57, and the traffic impact fee with half medical use is $100,038.08. All of the waivers requested at the preliminary plan hearing are the same.
Mr. Jirele moved to grant final plan approval Blacksmith 161 with the following conditions:
The following waivers are granted:
Mr. Harp seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Pellegrino noted that Suburban Lighting Consultants still lacked certain required information. Mr. Marshall said that his client will comply with the lighting requirements.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Ed Murphy was in attendance to review this preliminary plan, representing Orleans Homebuilders, Inc., who has recently purchased the property from Elliot Builders. He said that the plan was the same as had been submitted by Elliot, and that there had been some question as to the apportionment of the traffic impact fees between Lower Makefield and Newtown Townships.
Mr. Pellegrino said that he has discussed this with the Lower Makefield Township Manager, and there will be an agreement for Lower Makefield to reimburse Newtown for costs associated with routine maintenance of the entire cul-de-sac roadway, such routine maintenance to include snow and ice removal, street sweeping and cleaning of catch basins. Each respective municipality would be responsible to maintain the infra structure within its corporate boundaries. He also noted that there was discussion of the entire traffic impact fee being paid to Newtown Township.
In response to Mr. Harris’ question, Mr. Murphy said that Orleans would be willing to have a conservation easement with the Heritage Conservancy, and did not object as Elliot Builders had.
Mr. Harp moved to grant preliminary approval to this plan, subject to the following conditions:
The following waivers are granted:
Mr. Jirele seconded the motion.
Discussion of the motion: Mr. Jirele questioned whether disclosure of the proximity to Stonehouse Bistro is still necessary since the new owners have indicated that they do not intend to host outdoor events. Mr. Pellegrino said that there could still be music on the outdoor porch and suggested that the provision be left in the approval. Mr. Goodnoe suggested that the restaurant be referred by a generic reference rather than by name.
Mr. Goodnoe questioned whether Newtown would be accepting any stormwater conveyances or catch basins, noting that Newtown Township only accepts them when they are in the right-of-way. Mr. Pellegrino said that he thought that these catch basins are in the roadways.
Mr. Murphy said that his client had agreed, as a condition of the Planning Commission, that when the existing Gaucks Lane is abandoned, Orleans would remove the macadam, re-grade and reseed the land before conveying it to the Majewski property.
Mr. Ward said that the Planning Commission had agreed that all, or most, of the traffic impact fee should be paid to Newtown Township, because all traffic to this development would exit Gaucks Lane onto Washington Crossing Road within the Township.
Mr. Harris advised that Mr. Goodnoe’s questions regarding stormwater conveyances would be addressed at the time of final plan approval.
Mr. Harp amended his motion to include the removal of macadam and reseeding and re-grading of the existing Gaucks Lane prior to conveyance to the Majewski property, and referral to Stonehouse Bistro be changed to “the restaurant located at 552 Washington Crossing Road”. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Final Plan – Minor Subdivision – Village at Newtown South Parcel A: Mr. John Van Luvanee was present to discuss this plan, which would create three lots from what is currently “Parcel A” at Village a Newtown South. This plan creating three separate lots, would remove the lot line that currently runs through the Farmers Market. The new lot lines would create one lot for the existing shops, the second lot would be the open land and the third lot would be the existing office building. It is necessary to separate these lots for financing purposes. Cross easements would exist among the three lots.
Mr. Harris noted that the original document would control is conflicts should arise.
In response to Mrs. Goren’s questions, Mr. Van Luvanee said that each new lot could be sold and resold separately, and can seek separate financing, but for zoning purposes the entire development would have to comply for land development. This would apply to parking calculations.
In response to Mr. Smith’s question, Mr. Van Luvanee said that the minor subdivision plan identified as sheet 2A replaces sheet two.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant final plan approval for the minor subdivision plan at Village at Newtown South, subject to the conditions that:
Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Transfer of Ownership – 552 Restaurant – Washington Crossing Road: Mr. Marshall represented Mr. Brian Haveson, who has recently purchased the Stonehouse Bistro property and is seeking transfer of a non-conforming use. He said that the new restaurant would be called Restaurant 552, and would not use the tent. This application has been reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Jirele moved to approve the transfer of the Restaurant Use and a nonconforming sign for the 552 Restaurant from the Stonehouse Bistro to Lavender Real Estate Holdings with the following conditions:
- Compliance with the conditions cited in the Solicitor’s 12/27/02 letter to Don Marshall regarding the previous transfer of ownership;
- Compliance with the agreement between the current owner and the Township regarding the use of a tent.
Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Community Comments: Mr. Bob Toll, owner of Reedman/Toll Autoworld commented that he has read about the Township’s proposal to send a survey to residents about the proposed move of Stockburger Chevrolet and Chrysler dealerships 1.6 miles from their present locations in Newtown Township and Newtown Borough. He noted that he has been in contact with Chrysler, and they are not in support of such a move. He expressed concern that at the JDNC informational meeting it was not made clear that if the land for the proposed move is rezoned for auto sales, any dealer could move to that location. He said that he does not think that General Motors will approve the move, but if it does, he intends to appeal to the Pennsylvania Automotive Board.
Mr. Shawn Frawley, representing Stockburger, said that he has also been in contact with the Pennsylvania Automotive Board, and that the manufacturers do not have the right to say that Stockburgers cannot move. In response to Mr. Harp’s question, Mr. Frawley said that he has not sought approval in advance of the rezoning survey because General Motors has never rescinded an approval previously given and Chrysler would not give approval in advance of the acquisition of the property. He questioned why Mr. Toll had come to the meeting in person rather than send one of his many attorneys.
Mr. Harp expressed concern that this survey is being conducted without giving residents all relevant information, including that any dealership could move to the property if it is rezoned.
Mr. Jirele said that it would be foolish to consider rezoning without any knowledge of what the residents would want.
Mr. Harp expressed concern that placing a car dealership in the office research-zoning district would discourage high-tech and biotech industries from considering a move to Newtown.
Mr. Jirele responded that these industries are more discouraged by the difficulties that Brandywine and the Law School Admissions Council have had.
Mr. Paul Beckert said that he had attended the JDNC informational meeting on the Stockburger move and was concerned that Ms. Ortwein gave wrong information to some questions. He said that she did not explain to residents in attendance that the zoning runs with the land and once zoned for auto sales would remain for auto sales. He also questioned the timing of the survey, noting that Ms. Ortwein had said that they would be mailed in the first week in July and that residents would have two weeks to respond. He said that she indicated that a 10% response would be considered a good return, and he said that it would then be possible to have a favorable outcome if a little over 150 people responded favorably.
Mr. Pellegrino said that three weeks after the survey is mailed that results would begin to be tabulated, and results would continue to be tabulated as they came in for about six to ten weeks.
Mr. Goodnoe indicated that Ms. Ortwein had been told that the results would begin to be tabulated after two weeks.
Mr. Jirele questioned Mr. Beckert’s numbers regarding the 10% response rate, noting that 10% of the residents responding would provide 720 responses.
Ms. Jean Heckel, a resident of Newtown Borough, said that she is not in favor of the rezoning of the Stockburger property on the Bypass, as it will affect the quality of life of the residents of the Township and the surrounding community. She noted that the voters guide in the Courier Times reported that none of the candidates for Supervisor support the zoning change.
Mr. John D’Aprile, a resident, said that he agreed with Mr. Frawley’s comments. He expressed concern that some of the supervisors are only interested in high-end housing moving into the Township.
Mr. George Stockburger said that he has a letter from Chevrolet approving his possible move, and it has never been rescinded. He said that he does not anticipate any difficulty gaining approval of the move because a review of the area will show how it has developed in the ten years since the letter was first written. He thanked the supervisors for allowing the members of the community to express their opinions through the survey. He said that those in opposition are using scare tactics. He said that if the results of the survey show that the majority in the community are opposed to the move he would drop the matter.
Mr. Toll responded to Mr. Frawley’s comment, noting that he has been actively attending community meetings himself for thirty-eight years, and has served on municipal governing boards. He said that in his conversations with the Pennsylvania Automotive Board he has been assured that he would prevail if he objected to the Stockburger move.
Reports of Officials
Chairman: no report
Other Board Members: Mr. Harp commended the Park and Recreation Director and the Public Works Department for the excellent work they have done at Helen Randle Park. Mr. Jirele joined in this commendation.
Mr. Jirele reported that that the Environmental Advisory Council and representatives from Newtown Borough met with the Delaware River Keepers Network at Newtown Grant to discuss a stream study of the Newtown Creek.. The River Keepers have agreed to conduct a one-day analysis of the creek from Wrightstown to the point where it joins the Neshaminy Creek and to provide a written report to the Council.
Plan Extensions: Mr. Pellegrino informed the Board that there has been an extension on the Patel/Newtown Sewer plan to August 1, 2005.
Payment #19 – Sycamore Street Construction Improvements Mr. Jirele moved to authorize payment #19 of the Sycamore Street Construction Improvement Project in the amount of $181,823.42. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Addition to Agenda: Mr. Pellegrino said that he had been asked to extend the Gilmore Associates Traffic Calming Study of Stoopville Road from Linton Hill Road and Washington Crossing Road. He has contacted Upper Makefield and Lower Makefield and they have agreed to share the cost of $1850 for this.
Mr. Jirele moved to extend the Traffic Calming Study of Stoopville Road from Linton Hill Road to Washington Crossing Road. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Solicitor’s Report – Zoning Hearing Board Applications: Mr. Harris reviewed the three new cases scheduled for the July 7, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board meeting. The Supervisors indicated they did not wish the Solicitor to represent them in these applications.
Engineer’s Report: Mr. Smith reported that he has had a pre-construction meeting for the 2005 roadway improvement program with Miller and Sons. They will begin work on July 5, 2005 and it should take about four weeks to complete. Newtown Artesian is putting a water main into Mardot Village. The contract has been awarded to Bachman Paving. He has forwarded some stormwater upgrades to them for pricing to do those upgrades in conjunction with their other work. They would begin in early August.
Authorization to Sign Mylars: Mr. Harp moved to sign Mylars for Snarponis, 21 Warwick Court, Wiltshire Walk. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Escrow Release No. 1 – Newtown Friends Village: Mrs. Goren moved to release escrow funds in the amount of $176,351.85 for Newtown Friends Village, as recommended in a letter of Pennoni Associates dated June 8, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Escrow Release No. 4 – Newtown Office Park: Mr. Jirele moved to release escrow funds in the amount of $88,364.25 for Newtown Office Park, as recommended in a letter of Pennoni Associates dated June 17, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Final Escrow Release – Dean Harley – Formerly Szarko – 93 Richboro Road: Mrs. Goren moved to release the final escrow funds in the amount of $20,360 for Dean Harley, and to backdate the maintenance bond to June 1, 2004. Mr. Harp Seconded.
Discussion of motion: In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Smith said that the work on this project is mostly complete and the release from maintenance would be December 1, 2005.
The motion passed unanimously.
Old Business: none
New Business: none
Community Comments: Mr. Frawley said that he meant no disrespect when he questioned Mr. Toll’s presence at the meeting. He also said that this matter is not simply black and white and it is important to consider every aspect of the issue.
Mr. Phil Calabro, a resident, expressed concern that the community has not been sufficiently informed of the issues involved in the proposed Stockburger move. He said that the issuance of this survey shows favoritism.
Mr. D’Aprile asked when work would begin on the 2006 budget. He expressed concern that the budget would be put together at the last minute in a rush and that two of the supervisors working on the budget are lame ducks. He also asked how close the existing Stockburger locations are from Reedman/Toll.
Executive Session: Mr. Weaver said that there would be an executive session after the meeting to discuss matters of personnel.
Adjournment: Mr. Jirele moved to adjourn at 12:15 AM. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted: ____________________________________
Mary Donaldson, 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