Board of Supervisor Minutes
July 27, 2005
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting August 10, 2005. Minutes of July 27, 2005: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of July 27, 2005, as corrected and presented at the meeting. Mr. Jirele seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, July 27, 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: Shawn Ward, Planning Commission Chairman, Solicitor Stephen B. Harris, Township Engineer Gerald W. Smith and Township Manager Robert Pellegrino.
Call to Order: Chairman Richard Weaver called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence.
Invocation: The invocation was given by Nooshin Asadpour of the Baha’I Faith. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Additions and Changes to the Agenda: none
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
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.
Minutes of regular meeting of July 13, 2005: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of July 13, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Bills List: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $284,168.48 . Mr. Harp seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo commented that the expenses for Nextel, telephone and Internet service seemed very high.
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 $210,000.00. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Planning Commission: Chairman of the Planning Commission, Shawn Ward, reported that the Planning Commission met of July 19, 2005. They heard a presentation on the planned development of the Woll Tract for active recreation from Park and Recreation Board Chairman, Andrew Levine. One resident in attendance expressed concern about the plans.
The Planning Commission reviewed the plans for a PRD Variance for Mount, 233 Stanford Place, and voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny this request as the hardship was self-imposed
They reviewed the K.Hovnanian Four Seasons plan. This is the third time that the plan has been before the Planning Commission. Because no advance copies of the plan had been provided to them in their packets, the Planning Commission requested that the matter be continued. Hovnanian’s attorneys were unwilling to continue the matter, and because the Planning Commission did not notice any significant changes to the plan that had already been presented in 2004, they voted to recommend that the conditional use be denied by the Board of Supervisors.
In reviewing the conditional use application for Cameron Troilo, Homewood Suites, the Commission reviewed each request separately, as well as the Zoning Hearing Board applications for this property. They voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the conditional use application for E-4, financial institution with conditions, to approve the E-5, eating place with conditions, and also suggested that the café be located closer to the proposed conference center. They voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve use E-22, Inn/Conference Center, and not oppose the Zoning Hearing Board applications for this property.
The Planning Commission reviewed two other Zoning Hearing Board applications and voted that the Board of Supervisors not oppose these.
Land Development Projects
PRD Variance – Matt Mount – 233 Stanford Place: Mr. Matt Mount was sworn in. Mr. Mount explained that he was not able to attend the Planning Commission meeting at which his application was reviewed due to illness in his family. He explained that he would like to put a 10-foot by 38-foot two-story addition on his house to add a bedroom to accommodate his growing family. He has two children and hopes to have more. He would need variances for an 11.9-foot side yard setback and an increase in the maximum impervious surface. In response to Mr. Harris’ questions, Mr. Mount said that he does not know if his Homeowners Association has an architectural review board, but he does not have any letter of approval from the HOA for his plan. His house backs to open space, and he has spoken to his neighbors about his plans, and they approve, but he does not have any letters from them in support of his plans. In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions he said that the shed, patio and pool were installed by a previous owner, and he does not know if any variance had been granted for increased impervious surface at that time. No variance had been granted for the setback of the shed.
Mr. Jirele suggested that Mr. Mount obtain approval from his Homeowners Association and letters in support of the plan from his next-door neighbors and come back to the Board of Supervisors at a later date.
Mr. Jirele moved to continue the application of Matt Mount to August 10, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons – Buck Road and the By-Pass: Mr. Mark Jonas represented K. Hovnanian and Mr. Terry Clemons represented Newtown Township in this hearing.
Mr. Harris asked if anyone present wished party status in this hearing. He explained that if anyone wishes to be a party to the application he would have the right to cross-examine the applicant and any of its witnesses, present evidence and witnesses, and make any statement concerning the application. Should he disagree with the decision of the Board of Supervisors, party status would give him the right to appeal the decision in the Court of Common Pleas. Anyone present not wishing party status would be allowed to make statements for or against the application after the hearing and before a decision is rendered.
Mr. James A. Downey of 206 Hidden Valley Way requested party status as attorney for Newtown Crossing and Eagle Ridge Community Associations and as an interested party himself.
Mr. Jonas objected, stating that the rules of conduct require that Mr. Downey be either a fact witness or representative counsel.
Mr. Downey said he would be a fact witness.
Mr. Jay McGuignan of High Street, adjacent to the property, requested party status.
Mrs. Barbara Jankowski, a member of the Board of Directors of Newtown Crossing Community Association and resident of Chestnut Street, requested party status. In response to Mr. Jonas’ questions, Mrs. Jankowski said that she lives on the opposite side of Mill Pond Road from the woods and about ¼ mile from Buck Road.
Mr. Jonas objected to granting Mrs. Jankowski party status. He was overruled.
Mrs. Marge Golden of 74 Fair Oaks Court requested party status as a member of the Eagle Ridge Community Association.
Mr. Jonas had no objection to granting party status to these residents.
Mr. Clemons entered as exhibits the following:
B-1 – The application including plan dated May 25, 2005;
B-2 – Legal notice of application published in the newspapers;
B-3 – Proof of Publication.
Mr. Jonas said that the Municipal Planning Code did not grant the Township the authority to appoint special counsel for a conditional use hearing. He objected to Mr. Clemons role at this hearing. He noted that at a conditional use hearing there is a different burden of proof. He said that this prejudices his case.
Citing Horn v. Hilltown, Mr. Harris said that he, as Township Solicitor, cannot both cross-examine witnesses and rule on objections.
Mr. Clemons cited Section 913.13 and 916.1 of the Municipal Planning Code, which provide for appointment of special counsel.
Mr. Harris said that Mr. Jonas’ objections are noted for the record.
Mr. Jonas said that he would like to enter his exhibits, which are bound together, now. He did not have enough copies for each of the parties against the application, but would provide copies as soon as possible before the next meeting. He provided one copy to Mr. Downey, to be shared with the other parties for this evening’s hearing. He entered the following exhibits:
Exhibit A-1 – Aerial photo including Newtown Active Adult Community;
Exhibit A-2 – Tax Map 29-009;
Exhibit A-3 – Newtown Active Adult Community rendered plan;
Exhibit A-4 – Newtown Active Adult Community conditional use plan dated 7/18/05;
Exhibit A-5 – Sample declaration of Age Restrictions;
Exhibit A-6 – Building Elevation;
Exhibit A-7 – Traffic Access Study by Andreas Heinrich dated 7/20/04;
Exhibit A-8 – Traffic Access Study by Andreas Heinrich dated 9/28/04;
Exhibit A-9 – Newtown Reformed Church certified land development plan;
Exhibit A-10 – Brightfields II C U approval 10/26/89;
Exhibit A-11 – Brightfields final land development plan approval 2/26/91;
Exhibit A-12 – Deed Lownes to Wynmere Hunt Associates dated 5/1/85 and deed from the Classis of Philadelphia to Wynmere Hunt Associates dated 4/2/90;
Exhibit A-13 – Agreement of Sale between Wynmere Hunt Associates and/or Karr Associates and K. Hovnanian Pennsylvania Acquisitions, LLC dated 8/4/03;
Exhibit A-14 – Second amendment to Agreement of Sale dated 3/31/04;
Exhibit A-15 – Curriculum Vitae, Kirk W. Clauss;
Exhibit A-16 – Curriculum Vitae, Andreas Heinrich;
Exhibit A-17 – Curriculum Vitae, Michael Stadulis.
Mr. Clemons objected to the exhibits without witnesses to qualify them and their relevance has not been established.
Mr. Harris said that they are not yet being offered for acceptance. Exhibits A-9, A-10 and A-11 are authentic and are Township records.
Mr. Kirk W. Clauss was sworn in.
Mr. Clauss said that he is a civil engineer and president of Schlosser and Clauss of Hatfield, PA. He has a B.S. degree in civil engineering and is licensed in Pennsylvania. His business is primarily land development, both residential and commercial, in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. He has designed age-restricted housing developments in Franconia Township and has testified in the Court of Common Pleas as an expert many times.
In response to Mr. Clemons’ question, Mr. Clauss said that he has no degree in land planning, but has had many years experience.
Mr. Clauss was accepted as an expert witness.
Mr. Clauss said that he had been engaged by K. Hovnanian to analyze the conditional use plan and review its history and correspondence and prepare a new plan that addressed the concerns of the neighbors. He referred to Exhibit A-1, an aerial photograph of the property taken on July 26, 2005, with the plan superimposed over it. He noted that the 19.2 acre property is zoned R-2, High Density Residential. It is accessed by York Lane, a service road of the Newtown By-pass. It is surrounded by the Newtown Reformed Church to the south, Shir-Ami Synagogue to the north, and Newtown Crossing open space and Eagle Ridge to the West. He referred to Exhibit A-9, which shows the land development plan for Newtown Reformed Church and York Lane. The plan refers to a proposed “Brightfields” development accessed by York Lane, which was never built.
Mr. Clemons objected to the relevance of the plan and noted that it had not been established that the same ordinances were in effect at the time these plans were approved.
Mr. Harris overruled the objections.
Mr. Clauss explained that the new plan has moved the houses farther from the Newtown Crossing property. It now has two cul-de-sac streets that conform to Township requirements. The plan shows age-restricted, detached, single-family houses. The minimum lot size is 6,500 square feet. While use B-17, age restricted housing, allows a maximum density of 3.9 dwelling units per acre, this plan shows 2.41 units per acre. The 19.2-acre parcel could have 73 units. While the ordinance allows a 45% maximum impervious surface ratio, this plan has a ratio of 31%. Three acres of heavy woods are preserved and an open space for passive recreation is located as a buffer between the development and the Eagle Ridge development. In response to Mr. Harris’ question, Mr. Clauss said that the trees depicted along the open space area are existing trees. There is a sparse tree line there now and it is to remain. All access to the development is through York Lane.
Mr. Clauss reviewed some of the building requirements, noting that the plan meets the requirements for a minimum lot size of 6,500 square feet; the lot widths are 55 feet or wider; all setback requirements are met; the height requirements are met. The plan exceeds the requirement for open space, providing 6.7 acres. The development is consistent with the Joint Municipal Comprehensive Plan, and complies with Section 305F of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance requiring high density residential development to be located near a major highway.
Mr. Jonas asked Mr. Clauss his opinion on the impact on the community. Mr. Clemons objected, noting that Mr. Clauss is not qualified to give such an opinion. Mr. Harris suggested that Mr. Clauss break his opinion down to specific elements.
Mr. Clauss said that the plan preserves open space and woods; meets or surpasses all ordinance requirements; is less densely populated than the surrounding developments; disturbs less that 50% of wooded areas, retaining the mature wooded area and disturbing only the younger growth area and fields. He said that he is not a traffic engineer and is not qualified to comment on traffic safety. The development provides two-car garages and space in front of each garage for two cars, each home providing four parking spaces. Each home will have a master bedroom on the first floor. There will be a Homeowners Association and a nature trail for passive recreation.
In response to Mr. Clemons questions, Mr. Clauss said that he had not traveled all of the surrounding roads and did not know where various businesses and shops are located, but he thought that to access the Newtown By-pass from the development, motorists would exit York Lane to Buck Road with a right turn only, proceed to Mill Pond Road and make a right to go north to Richboro Road to the By-pass. To go south, a motorist would make a right onto Buck Road then a left at the Crown Point Development to turn around to go to the By-Pass. He thought that it was a distance of about ½ mile.
Mr. Clemons noted that there are no u-turns permitted at Crown Point, that the speed limit on Diamond Drive in Crown Point is 25 mph, as is the speed limit on Mill Pond Road. He said that he had driven both routes, and the distance to turn around through Crown Point is one mile and to go through Mill Pond Road to Richboro Road is two miles.
Mr. Clauss said that he was unfamiliar with the shopping and other businesses and did not know where residents of the development would need to go and how they would travel there. In response to Mr. Clemons’ questions, Mr. Clauss said that there are no existing storm drains on York Lane and no curbs or sidewalks. He said that the road was turned over to the Township by PennDOT.
Mr. Clemons questioned Mr. Clauss’ statement that each home provided four parking spaces.
Mr. Clauss said that although the minimum front yard setback is 15 feet, these houses would have 25-foot front yard setbacks, so cars could be parked in driveways without blocking sidewalks.
Mr. Clemons questioned Mr. Clauss about the interior design of the homes, with family rooms and first floor master bedrooms. He asked about specific amenities for the elderly.
Mr. Clauss said that he is not familiar with the interior design. He said that the development is proposed for active adults, 55 and older. There is no clubhouse or pool. The recreation provided is a walking trail only. It is not located close enough to any commercial areas to walk to them, and there is no sidewalk on Buck Road.
In response to Mr. Downey’s question, Mr. Clauss said that the entrance shown on Exhibits A-3 and A-4 is about 125 feet from the Buck Road – Newtown By-pass intersection. He said there would be a pork chop at the entrance to limit exits to right turn only. He thought that Buck Road is five lanes wide at that point.
Mr. Downey pointed out that Buck Road is six lanes wide.
Mr. Harris explained to the parties to the application that they could question Mr. Clauss on his testimony only, and could not make any statements at this time.
Mr. McGuignan and Mrs. Golden asked to defer questioning until the next meeting, when they have had time to review the exhibits.
In response to Mrs. Jankowski’s questions, Mr. Clauss said that the 6.7 acres of open space referred to during his testimony are all located on Hovnanian property, including 3.9 acres of heavily wooded land adjacent to the Newtown Crossing woods. He said that the Church and rectory will share use of York Lane with the development. York Lane’s terminus, where trailers are located now, will be the opening of the cul-de-sac for this development. There is to be no secondary access, and access through the Shir Ami Synagogue property is not feasible.
In response to Mr. Harris’ questions, Mr. Clauss said that the existing stormwater easement had been part of the Brightfields II development. A detention basin is to be located at the low point of the development but no designs have been completed yet. No on-street parking is to be permitted.
Mr. Jonas objected, saying that this is part of the land development process and is not part of a conditional use hearing.
Mr. Jirele noted that questions of safety are a part of the conditional use process. He asked about parking for visitors if there is no parking on the street.
Mr. Clauss said that he could look into providing visitor parking near the detention basin, at the ends of the cul-de-sac and near lots 5, 25 and 42.
In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Clauss said the internal road is 30 feet wide.
Mr. Jirele moved to continue the conditional use hearing of K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons to August 24, 2005. Mr. Goodnoe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – Cameron C. Troilo “Homewood Suites” – 104 Pheasant Run: Mr. Don Marshall represented Mr. Troilo in this application.
Mr. Marshall said that this project, to renovate the 78,000 square foot France building and build an inn/conference center, involved three conditional use requests. Mr. Troilo is also scheduled to appear before the Zoning Hearing Board for a number of variances on August 4, 2005. They are requesting conditional use for E-4, a 3300 square foot financial institution; use E-5 a 50-seat café; and use E-22 a 120-room inn/conference center.
Use E-22, inn/conference center, is permitted by conditional use. It will be a multi-use structure with 10,000 square feet of meeting room space, full breakfast service, suite shop, pool and fitness center. There might possibly be some evening cocktail service. The inn would be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During its largest shift the total number of employees would be twenty; during other shifts there would be ten employees. There are no criteria in the ordinance to establish the number of parking spaces required, but using the hotel requirement of one space per room and one per employee during the largest shift, 140 spaces would be required. There would be occasional large truck deliveries; most deliveries would be by UPS style trucks. There would be no offensive noise or glare, no smoke, no hazardous materials other than pool chemicals. If the inn provides its own laundry service, all chemical storage and use would comply with requirements set by the fire marshal.
Use E-4, financial establishment, is a permitted use provided that it caters to employees of the Newtown Business Commons. The proposed hours of operation would be Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM, with a total of six employees. There would be no large truck deliveries, and no environmental issues. There would be 33 parking spaces provided.
Use E-5, eating place, is a permitted use, provided the establishment caters to employees of Newtown Business Commons and there is no drive-through service, nor is it within 300 feet of Newtown Yardley Road or the Newtown By-pass. There is to be seating for 50 customers. Hours of operation would be 6:00AM to 6:00PM Monday through Saturday, with five employees working each of two shifts. There are to be no large truck deliveries, no hazardous materials, no offensive noise or glare.
Mr. Marshall said that a total of nine zoning variances are sought for the inn/conference center as follows:
Mr. Troilo affirmed Mr. Marshall’s statements. He noted that the branch bank and café are to service the business community within the Commons.
Mr. Harris noted that the Planning Commission had expressed interest in seeing the café located closer to the conference center.
Mr. Marshall suggested discussing the location at the land development stage of the plans. He said that they prefer the visibility of the corner location, as the intention is to serve the entire business community.
Mr. Thomas Reese was sworn in.
Mr. Reese said that he has been in the hotel/inn/conference center business for thirty years, as a vice-president with Marriott. He is now an independent owner and builder of conference centers. He will be the owner/operator of the proposed conference center at this location. He said that the location is excellent for a predominantly business inn/conference center. He said that the sign variances sought are part of the branding standards of the hotel chain. In response to Mr. Harris’ questions he said that the signs would face Newtown Yardley Road, about 1,000 feet away, and the Newtown By-pass, about 750 feet away. They would be parallel to Penns Trail and Terry Drive.
Mr. Smith asked the size of the letters on the sign, noting that there is a formula to calculate the sight distances.
Mr. Reese estimated that the letters are about 18 inches high. He said that the signs would be important because the conference center would service visitors to the area and is located inside the Business Commons, not along a highway.
Mr. Marshall said that they will comply with the Boucher and James letter of May 31, 2005 and the Planning Commission letter of July 21, 2005.
Mr. Harp said that he was very excited about the plan and thought it would be good for Newtown. He mentioned some other conference centers he had visited in New Jersey and hoped that this would be as successful. He noted that these conference centers had very discrete signage.
Mrs. Goren expressed concern that the café would be accessible from the street, and said that she thought that this was not permitted in the LI district.
Mr. Weaver said that these restrictions were removed from the Ordinance.
Mrs. Goren expressed strong concern about permitting the café and setting a precedent that would allow destination restaurants into the Business Commons. She said that it had been her understanding that the E-5 use was to permit employee cafeterias, not restaurants.
Mr. Marshall noted that the Ordinance says that E-5 is a permitted use when catering to the employees of the LI district. He noted that it has been a permitted use since 1983. He said that the hours of operation, from 6:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday through Saturday, are business hours, and the café would close at the end of the business day. He noted that the café would serve the workers in the Commons, providing a location that they could walk to at lunch. Now everyone must drive out of the Commons for lunch.
Mr. Weaver noted that the Newtown Business Commons Association had considered the addition of a café a top request for the Commons.
Mrs. Goren said that she is concerned about the increased height for the inn/conference center. She also was concerned that the parking would not be adequate when conferences are in progress. She said that she would prefer to see a plan more in compliance with the Ordinance.
Mr. Weaver said that the traffic engineer for the Township had found the proposed parking plan adequate.
Mr. Jirele said that he is very much in favor of the café, as it would reduce traffic at lunch hour. He asked though that the bank and café dedicate certain parking spaces for quick trips to prevent parking in fire lanes. He deferred to the Zoning Hearing Board on the height of the building, but agreed that the lit signs would be visible to the residents, and this is a concern.
Mr. Goodnoe agreed with Mr. Jirele. He asked if the sign plan could be revised.
Mr. Marshall said that he must deal with the hotel chain about the branding and signage standards. He noted that the centers mentioned by Mr. Harp are corporate centers, privately owned and this inn would be part of a national chain.
Mr. Jay Sensibaugh commented that he is concerned about the parking issue as there is not separate parking for the bank and café. He also said that the Planning Commission had discussed safety concerns with the height of the building. He said that hydraulic calculations must be provided to help the fire marshal evaluate this project.
Mr. Shawn Ward commented that the Planning Commission did not object to the two signs for the conference center, as they would be necessary for travelers to locate the building. The Planning Commission did have concerns about the café being a destination location. They would prefer to see the café closer to the conference center so that guests would not have to walk across the parking lots. He said that the Planning Commission felt that the parking would be adequate, as the bank would not need the 33 spaces and these spaces could be re-allocated. He asked about in-house laundry service for the conference center.
Mr. Marshall said that they would comply with the fire marshal on all points related to building height and in-house laundry.
Mrs. Nancy Crescenzo said that she agreed with Mr. Sensibaugh about the height of the building possibly being dangerous. She disagreed with Mrs. Goren about outside access to the café, and she agreed that she was also concerned about the visibility of the signs at the top of the conference center.
Mr. Harris said that he felt that the Board of Supervisors are concerned about the sign issue, and he offered suggestions to proceed with the conditional use for the bank and café and wait on the signs, or continue the entire application until the sign issues have been resolved. He also asked if the Board would like to take a position on the Zoning Hearing Board applications.
After some discussion, Mr. Marshall agreed to request the Board to decide on the café and bank this evening. He would request that the signage variances before the Zoning Hearing Board be continued to a later date, while his clients discuss possible compromise signage.
Mr. Harp moved to grant conditional use approval to Cameron C. Troilo (Homewood Suites), 104 Pheasant Run for use E-4 financial establishment with the conditions that:
Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant conditional use approval to Cameron C. Troilo (Homewood Suites) 104 Pheasant Run for use E-5, eating place, with the conditions that:
Mr. Jirele seconded. The motion passed 4-1, with Mrs. Goren voting nay.
Mr. Harp moved to continue the application of Cameron C. Troilo (Homewood Suites) 104 Pheasant Run for use E-22, inn/conference center to August 24, 20045. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Member Comments: Mr. Goodnoe commented that there have been two studies, one by a resident and one by LaSalle University, citing the differences in revenue when the Office Research Zoning District is developed as office space versus single family homes. He suggested that the Board should direct the Planning Commission to investigate whether eliminating single-family homes from the OR district’s permitted uses would be good for the Jointure.
Mrs. Goren said that neither study included costs associated with loss of property values for surrounding homes, traffic and road maintenance. She suggested that these factors be included in any investigation.
Mr. Jirele agreed that this issue should be investigated. He suggested that one property located to the north of the Heston tract in the OR district is surrounded on four sides by residential development and the Planning Commission should consider whether this property still belongs in the OR district.
Mr. Weaver said that he would discuss this with the Jointure at their next meeting.
Mrs. Goren commented that, when considering whether to rezone a property as residential, it must be decided whether to rezone it as CM Conservation Management or R-1, Medium Density Residential. She thought that this particular property would have access to public water and sewer and might not be eligible for CM designation.
Mr. Jirele noted that most of Newtown’s CM district has access to public sewer and water.
Mr. Harp said that any such discussion would need to be very well publicized.
Mr. Harp congratulated the Council Rock, Newtown 12 year olds Little League Baseball team, who will be playing for the State championship this weekend.
Community Comments: Mr. Sensibaugh suggested that if the Board is considering asking the Planning Commission to evaluate the Office Research district to restrict single-family homes, that the Brandywine property should be included in the study.
Mr. Ward suggested that if the Board is asking the Planning Commission to evaluate the OR district, they should also be asked to look at the TC district. He pointed out that there have been some issues lately involving properties in the TD district that do not front onto major roadways.
Mr. Goodnoe suggested that the Sycamore Street right-of-way also be investigated, as the right-of-way currently runs through the middle of some homes.
Mr. Jirele suggested that the three issues be dealt with separately, one at a time.
Mrs. Crescenzo noted that Mrs. Victoria Bowe had served on the First Fourth committee, and also sits on the Zoning Hearing Board. She suggested that if Mrs. Bowe had invited Reedman/Toll to participate in the First Fourth car show, it would be a conflict of interest.
Mr. Harp responded that Mrs. Bowe had not been involved in extending that invitation.
Mrs. Crescenzo noted that she had visited Silver Lake Park and had seen no excessive algae on the pond and she does not think that the pond needs a fountain. She suggested that any money allocated to the fountain be spent on equipment for the handicapped accessible playground at Roberts Ridge Park. She also said that she was unaware that there was access to the park other than through the new gravel parking lot. She questioned whether there was a weight limit on the access driveway over a culvert into the parking area.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she thought that if there were to be a television program featuring the Township Supervisors on Channel 23, discussion of this program should have been during a public meeting, not during executive session.
Mr. Weaver apologized for any confusion because he misspoke when he used the words “executive session” when he meant to say “work session”, as it was during a public work session that this program was discussed.
Mrs. Crescenzo complained that there had been no public announcement during a televised meeting that the municipal complex would be on a work session agenda. She said that this should have been announced during the televised meeting, and should have been discussed during a televised meeting instead of a work session.
Mr. Jirele responded that it was a mistake and an oversight. The Supervisors attend many meetings, and it should have been specifically referred to at a televised meeting. He noted that the discussion would also be on the next work session agenda.
Mr. Paul Salvatore reported that the Rotary Club has been in touch with Andy Levine of the Park and recreation Board and they are eager to help the Board with financing some of the equipment for the handicapped playground. They are also going to help with some granting opportunities through Rotary.
He thanked everyone in the community for supporting the NBPA sponsored car show this past weekend. It was a tremendous success.
The NBPA will sponsor a golf outing on August 25 at the Middletown Country Club to benefit Neighborhood Outreach. He asked that anyone interested in sponsoring a hole or participating in the event contact him.
Reports of Officials
Manager: Mr. Pellegrino asked that the Supplemental Construction Agreement be signed to interconnect State and Sycamore Streets. PennDot portion is $325,000 and utilities are $50,000 for construction of traffic signals. There is a verbal agreement with Newtown Borough to share engineering costs 50/50 and construction costs 80/20.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve Resolution Granting Signature Authority to Execute Supplemental Construction Reimbursement Agreement And Reimbursement (Contribution) Agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation For the Sycamore Street Project. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Pellegrino reported that the township had received numerous calls about the lane restriction on the shoulder of the By-pass at Richboro Road and at Buck Road and the “no turn on red” signs at these intersections. He said that PennDot had responded that these are dangerous intersections and that the roadbed could not support the weight of traffic on the shoulder. The Township disagrees with PennDoT’s assessment and will continue to pursue it.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the Historic Architectural Review Board – Painting Color and Number of Copies Ordinance. Mr. Jirele seconded.
Discussion of Motion: Mrs. Ethel Hibbs, secretary for HARB, said that Mr. McLean, Chairman of HARB, has requested that this be continued because HARB has not had an opportunity to review it.
Mr. Goodnoe withdrew his motion. Mr. Goodnoe moved to continue the Historic Architectural Review Board – Painting Color and Number of Copies Ordinance to August 10, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Harp moved to approve the First Amendment to Redevelopment Agreement – Acme Site. Mr. Jirele seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo questioned the removal of asbestos and ground contamination on this site.
Mr. Harris said that these issues had been addressed in the agreement of sale.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Harris reviewed three Zoning Hearing Board applications. Mr. Goodnoe questioned the need for Agresti to seek a variance for a pizza restaurant at the Cambridge Lane location when this is the same use as is currently there. Mr. Harris said he would follow up.
Regarding the Troilo (Homewood Suites) application, the Board agreed that they would not object to this application, as the signage portion is to be continued.
Engineer: Regarding signing of the Hidden Valley Tract Mylars, Mr. Harris recommended that because there are unresolved issues with a conservation easement and a maintenance, the Board not act on this tonight.
Bids for Clark House Air-Conditioning: Mr. Smith reported that the lowest bid, from Michael E. Wink Mechanical for $34,450. There is $36,719.84 available in grant money available for the Clark property, of which $6,100 is allocated for repair of the porch roof. The short fall of funding of $3,830.26 would have to be allocated from other Township funds.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s question about the very high cost, Mr. Pellegrino said that public bidding requires payment of prevailing wage on these projects. He noted that because this is a Federal block grant, the Township must spend it or return it. The time limits make it impossible to attempt to reallocate the money to another project. He suggested that if the Township wishes to use the house for another purpose, such as a museum or nature exhibit center, air-conditioning would be necessary.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize acceptance of the Bid of Michael E. Wink Mechanical to air-condition the Clark house for $34,450.00. Mr. Jirele seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo said that she thought that air-conditioning the house is a waste of taxpayer money.
Mr. Sensibaugh suggested that the township Engineer discuss this project with the contractor to see if the Township’s portion of the expense could be eliminated some way.
The motion passed 4-1, with Mrs. Goren voting nay.
Mrs. Goren moved to authorize project payments 1 & 2 Traffic Signal Battery Back-up & LED Installation. Mr. Harp seconded.
Mr. Goodnoe noted that the bill was made out to Doylestown Township. He suggested that this be corrected before authorizing payment.
Mrs. Goren withdrew her motion.
Mr. Smith reported that the summer road maintenance and repair program was progressing, with Lower Dolington and Eagle Roads to be complete by Firday.
Old Business: none
New Business: none
The meeting adjourned at 12:40 PM
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