Board of Supervisor Minutes
August 24, 2005
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting September 14, 2005. Minutes of regular meeting of August 24, 2005: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of August 24, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, August 24, 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: David Sander, Township Solicitor; Gerald W. Smith, Township Engineer; and Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager.
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 Reverend Jones of the Newtown Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Additions and Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Pellegrino informed the Board that he would ask for an extension of 45 days on the Sycamore Street project.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports:
Minutes of Work Session of July 18, 2005: Mr. Jirele moved to accept the minutes of the work session meeting of July 18, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Harp abstaining.
Minutes of Regular meeting of August 10, 2005: Mrs. Goren moved to accept the minutes of August 10, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Bills List: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $266,566.59. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $140,300. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Committees Boards and Commissions
Planning Commission: Planning Commission Chairman Shawn Ward reported that at the August 2, 2005 meeting, the Commission reviewed the TIP list. The Traffic sub-committee agreed with the Traffic Engineer on the four recommendations on the TIP, but suggested adding Richboro Road, between the Newtown By-Pass and the bridge over the Neshaminy Creek, as this bridge is being replaced now, and improvements to that section of the road would be necessary in the future.
At that same meeting, Lynn Bush of the Bucks County Planning Commission reviewed the Comprehensive Plan update. The Commission will review the land use map she presented and make corrections.
The Commission agreed to defer a report on the review of the zoning changes that the Board of Supervisors had requested until they have completed all four of the areas they had been asked to review.
At the August 16, 2005 meeting, Park and Recreation Board Chairman Andrew Levine presented a plan for updating Roberts Ridge playground to be handicapped inclusive. The Commission reviewed the placement of the proposed picnic pavilion. Mr. Levine said that he would be ordering the play equipment and would return to the Commission at their September 20 meeting with a further update.
The Commission reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board applications and recommended that the Board take no action on most, but suggested that the Blacksmith LLC soil stripping application be approved with the condition that the Township see if the soil could be used on the Sycamore Street project. They also suggested conditions be placed on the approval of the soil stripping variance request for 2500 South Eagle Road. They asked that the Zoning Hearing Board require more detailed plans for the subdivision proposal at 135 Swamp Road.
The Commission reviewed the JMZO amendment on agricultural sales, and had some concerns that would be addressed at the Joint Zoning Council.
In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Ward said that the review of the zoning changes had not been complete as the Commission awaits further information on the CC district around German Avenue and on the Sycamore Street rights-of-way. There were also some concerns about rezoning of the Sterling Tract that required further investigation.
Historical Architectural Review Board: Mr. Weaver announced that this report would be deferred until later in the meeting. This report was presented after Mr. Clauss’ testimony in the Conditional Use hearing for K. Hovnanian – Four Seasons beginning at 9:22PM and ending at 9:31PM.
Certificate of Appropriateness – Michael Boccardo – 107/109 N. Sycamore Street: Mrs. Goren moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for an addendum to COA#050414 dated May 25, 2005, to replace one door, installation of window and removal of dormers. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Hibbs reported that HARB has been reviewing places along Sycamore Street to insure that they maintain the historic district. The code enforcement officer has been informed of any difficulties.
Land Development Projects
Extension of Final Plan Approval – Cricklewood Green (Formerly CAU Office Park, Caufield Place: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant, Princeton Development Group, seeking an extension of final plan approval. Mr. Marshall said that the approval is to expire on December 31, 2005. Of the five approved buildings, two have been constructed, and the existing farmhouse has been restored. Princeton Development Group has expressed concern that the zoning ordinance could change before construction of the remaining buildings begins, and the plan, if allowed to expire, would not be protected from changes in the ordinance. While Princeton Development group would like to request a permanent extension, Mr. Marshall said that his clients would ask for only a six-year extension. In exchange for such extension, his clients would agree to pay a traffic impact fee, calculated at $276,738, and a park and recreation fee of $124,096 at this time.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Harris said that if the fees are paid now, and the project is never completed, the fees would not have to be returned.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant a six-year extension of final plan approval to December 31, 2011, for Cricklewood Green, as protection against any changes in the office/research zoning, in exchange for payment of a traffic impact fee of $276,738 and a park and recreation fee of $124,096 within thirty days. Such fees would be non-refundable, and could be spent as the township sees fit. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
PRD Variance – Matt Mount – 233 Stanford Place: Mr. Harp moved to continue the PRD Variance hearing of Matt Mount, 233 Stanford Place, to September 28, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – 54 Penns Trail, LLC – 54 Penns Trail: Mrs. Goren moved to continue the conditional use hearing of 54 Penns Trail, LLC to September 14, 2005. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – Lafayette Quarters (McGrath Homes) Durham Road – Mr. Goodnoe moved to continue the conditional use hearing of Lafayette Quarters, McGrath Homes, to September 14, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – Blacksmith 161, LLC – Blacksmith Drive: Mr. Chris Messick was present to ask for conditional use approval to remove 2000 cubic yards of topsoil.
Mr. Harris noted that the Planning Commission had suggested a list of conditions for approval, including the request that the topsoil be offered to the Township for use in the Sycamore Street landscaping. He asked Mr. Messick if he had seen the Planning Commission review letter and if he agreed to all of the conditions.
Mr. Messick said that he agreed to all of the conditions suggested by the Planning Commission. In response to Mr. Harris’ question, Mr. Messick said that he expected to have the necessary permits to begin soil stripping in mid-September. He would give the Township seven days written notice before he begins.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s suggestion, Mr. Messick also agreed that his trucks would not exit the Business Commons through Newtown Borough.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant conditional use approval to Blacksmith 161, LLC to remove approximately 2,000 cubic yards of topsoil in association with the previously approved land development for construction of one new 2 story building with the conditions that:
Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – Cameron C. Troilo “Homewood Suites” 104 Pheasant Run: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant. Mr. Marshall reminded the Board that on July 27, 2005, this application had been presented and the Board asked to continue that portion of the request dealing with signage, allowing the applicant to discuss alternative signage requirements with Hilton Hotels. He presented a plain, dark green, backlit sign, with the words “Homewood Suites” to be placed between the 4th and 5th stories of the building, at approximately 40 to 45 feet high, instead of 60 feet high, as previously requested.
Mr. Thomas Reese, the owner and builder of the proposed inn/conference center, explained that the building would require two signs, one facing Friends Lane and one facing the NAC. Neither sign would face residential properties. He would work with the architect to make the signs as small as possible, and still within appropriate scale to the sides of the building. In response to Mr. Weaver’s question, he said that, as per previous discussions, he would build monument signs at the Newtown Business Commons entrances, with smaller directional indicators for the inn/conference center.
Mr. Marshall asked that the Supervisors review the Zoning Hearing Board applications at this time. The application seeks the following relief:
In response to Mrs. Goren’s questions, Mr. Marshall said that two wall-mounted signs are requested. They would be somewhat visible from Newtown Yardley Road.
Mrs. Goren, Mr. Harp and Mr. Jirele all expressed concern about the large signs that might be visible to residential neighbors. Mr. Harp referenced other conference centers he has visited in New Jersey, that have very discrete signage. Mr. Reese noted that these centers are privately owned by large corporations, whereas this conference center is a Hilton franchise, with different branding requirements.
After some discussion, Mr. Goodnoe suggested using a ground level, two-sided, monument sign facing Pheasant Run, and using only one wall-mounted sign, facing the easterly side of the building. He noted that this project is investing millions of dollars in the community, and it is a project that the Board has been supportive of, and some signage must be permitted.
Mr. Pellegrino said that the Newtown Business Commons entrance monument signs are to be placed at Penns Trail at the By-Pass and at Newtown Yardley Road. These monuments would also feature the inn/conference center name.
Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant conditional use to Cameron C. Troilo “Homewood Suites” for use E-22, a five story conference center with the conditions that:
Mr. Jirele seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Tony McBrien, President of Newtown Gate Homeowners Association, asked if all of the zoning relief had been granted. He is concerned about a sign facing Pheasant Run. He also asked if a traffic impact study had been required.
Mr. Harris explained that no sign would be visible to the residential community from Pheasant Run. The size of the signs is yet to be determined. A traffic impact study would be part of the land development process.
Mr. Jay Sensibaugh expressed concern about the height of the building. He asked about the hydraulic capacity for fire protection. He also was concerned about the number of parking spaces calculated for the conference center.
Mr. Harris said that the hydraulic study would be part of land development. He said that the parking spaces had been calculated as for a hotel. A parking variance is being sought. Mr. Harris suggested that Mr. Sensibaugh express his parking concerns at the Zoning Hearing Board. He noted that Mr. Wursta, the Township Traffic Engineer, had reviewed this application and agreed that the parking would be adequate for this use.
Mr. Goodnoe amended his motion to add that approval is conditioned on land development approval.
Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons – Buck Road and Newtown By-Pass: Mr. Mark Jonas represents the applicant, and Ms. Susan Piette, an associate of Terry Clemons, represents the Township in this application.
Mr. Jonas said that he has a right to seven hours of public hearings within 100 days. He noted that at the last meeting, on July 27, 2005, testimony began at 8:45PM and ended at 10:00PM. He asked that start and stop times be noted in the transcript. This hearing was begun at 9:05PM.
Mr. Jonas renewed his objection to the statutory authority to appoint Mr. Clemons to represent the Township, noting that the appointment was made by Mr. Pellegrino, and not done at a public meeting. This was stated in his letter dated August 11, 2005.
Mr. Kirk W. Clauss was recalled. Mr. Harris reminded Mr. Clauss that he was still under oath. Mr. Clauss would be cross-examined by the parties in opposition to the application.
In response to Mr. McGuigan’s questions, Mr. Clauss said that he had reviewed Exhibits A-1 through A-15. His firm prepared Exhibits A-1, A-2, A-3, A-4, and A-15. At the direction of the applicant his firm had prepared the plan that has been submitted, removing some of the disturbance of wooded areas. At this time no geological survey has been prepared. The plan has been designed to comply with the Township’s land use requirements. His firm earns about 0.5% of its total income from work performed for K.Hovnanian. He was aware that the plan was prepared and presented at the Planning Commission meeting of July 19, but that no advance copies had been provided to Planning Commission members. He has designed other developments with only one access, including Montgomery Terrace, which has 153 units, but has not designed another development that would require residents to make a u-turn inside of another residential development. The distance from houses in the proposed development to the Newtown By-Pass is between 50 and 75 feet, within the required setbacks. He said that he was not aware of whether the existing left turn into York Lane is illegal.
Mr. McGuigan asked Mr. Clauss about noise caused by traffic on the By-Pass. Mr. Jonas objected, but was overruled. Mr. Clauss said that K.Hovnanian has not proposed building a sound barrier.
In response to Mr. McGuigan’s questions, Mr. Clauss said that the maximum impervious surface coverage permitted in this community is 45%, and this plan has 31% impervious coverage. Stormwater management is designed as part of land development and the Township Engineer reviews plans to be sure that the stormwater management plans will adequately work to prevent run-off and flooding problems. He said that he is not familiar with other K.Hovnanian developments in Upper Makefield and Northampton, which Mr. McGuigan said are having stormwater management problems. He said that there are some challenges to be overcome in designing adequate stormwater management systems.
In response to Mr. Jonas’ questions, Mr. Clauss said that the churchgoers exiting York Road are able to access the Newtown By-Pass without making any u-turns.
In response to Ms. Piette’s question, Mr. Clauss said that residents wishing to access the Newtown By-Pass would drive on public roads through subdivisions. He responded to Mr. Jonas that Mill Pond Road and Diamond Drive are public roads dedicated to Newtown Township, and are used by churchgoers and the residents currently living on properties that access York Lane.
Mr. Jonas asked to reserve the right to recall Mr. Clauss for further testimony at a later time in the proceedings.
Mr. Andreas Heinrich was sworn in. Mr. Heinrich said that he is a traffic engineer and president of Heinrich and Klein of Ambler. He has a BS degree from Drexel University and has been a licensed civil engineer for twenty-five years. He is licensed in seven states. He is a certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. He serves as traffic engineer for nine municipalities. Locally he prepared the traffic studies for the Newtown Shopping Center at Durham Road, the traffic signals at Durham and Eagle and Durham and Washington Crossing Roads, the intersection of Penns Trail and Newtown Yardley Road. He was the original traffic engineer on the Brightfields development. He has been accepted as an expert witness in many municipalities in Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties, including in Newtown Township. Exhibit A-16 is his curriculum vitae.
In response to Ms. Piette’s questions, Mr. Heinrich listed the professional organizations of which he is a member. He has not published any books or articles on traffic engineering.
No other parties against the application had questions for Mr. Heinrich and he was accepted as an expert.
In response to Mr. Jonas’ questions, Mr. Heinrich said that he had prepared Exhibits A-7 and A-8, the traffic study dated July 20, 2004 and the updated traffic study dated September 28, 2004. The study was updated because there was construction in the area at the time of the first study. The update was conducted upon completion of the construction.
Mr. Heinrich said that his study found that the proposed development would generate 280 trips each day, 140 in and 140 out. There would be 14 trips during the morning peak and 28 trips during the afternoon peak hours. During the AM peak, adding to traffic already on Buck Road would still provide a service level A. In the afternoon, the addition would still provide a service level B. He explained that traffic engineers use a report card method of rating traffic A through F, with level A indicating no delay in traffic. The plan for this subdivision provides access through York Lane, a two-lane road. At Buck Road the plan has been modified with a pork chop to further amplify egress as right turn only. He noted that this is the access point for Newtown Reformed Church, which generates 37 trips per hour on Sundays. The pork chop had been on the Church plans, but was never constructed.
Mr. Heinrich reviewed the access from the proposed development to the Newtown By-Pass, noting that to go south one would turn right at Buck Road, right at Mill Pond Road, u-turn at the median break on Mill Pond Road, then left onto Buck Road. This trip could be completed in two minutes. To go north, one would turn on Mill Pond Road and proceed to Richboro Road to the By-Pass, a three to four minute trip. He noted that trip generation is insignificant, and there is safe and efficient access.
In response to Ms. Piette’s questions, Mr. Heinrich said that he has visited the site. There are no sidewalks or alternate walkways such as bicycle paths on York Lane. He did not know what stormwater management provisions, drainage or curbing exist or are proposed for the site. He said that he thinks that some trails might be planned for the subdivision. He agreed that there are no sidewalks or crosswalks at the Newtown By-Pass. He agreed that the speed limit on the By-Pass is 55 MPH, but did not know whether that speed limit is strictly observed. He pointed out that there are many traffic lights along the By-Pass.
Ms. Piette asked Mr. Heinrich about the “keep off shoulder” signs on the Newtown By-Pass and the “no right on red” prohibition. In response to her questions, Mr. Heinrich said that if someone were making a right turn from the shoulder, which is prohibited, and at the same time someone were making a right turn from the right lane of the By-Pass onto Buck Road, there would be sufficient room to accommodate both cars simultaneously, as Buck Road has been widened to two lanes at that point. He noted that he had witnessed this, and the car on the shoulder yielded to the car in the right lane of traffic.
Mr. Jonas objected, noting that an existing problem that is not being enforced is not an appropriate line of questioning for a conditional use hearing. His objection was overruled.
In response to Ms. Piette’s questions, Mr. Heinrich said that at the intersection of Buck Road with the Newtown By-Pass, Buck Road widens to six lanes, with two lanes leaving the By-Pass heading south, two left turn lanes, one through lane and one right turn lane. There are no sidewalks, crosswalks or crossing signals at this intersection.
Ms. Piette reviewed ingress and egress from York Lane. Mr. Heinrich noted that the pork chop would only prevent a left turn out, not a left turn to enter York Lane. There would be no change of striping on Buck Road; this is a legal left turn now. Ms. Piette reviewed the routes to access the By-Pass with Mr. Heinrich. He again stated that to exit York Lane onto Buck Road to head south on the By-Pass, one would make a right turn onto Mill Pond Road, where there is a speed limit of 25 MPH, and make a u-turn at the end of the median island. He did not agree with Ms. Piette’s statement that Mill Pond is a narrow road. He said that he does not know whether there is parking permitted on Mill Pond Road. He said that he was not familiar with speed limits on Cherry Lane in Eagle Ridge. He again stated that it is not illegal to make a u-turn on Mill Pond Road. To go north on the By-Pass, one would drive along Mill Pond Road to its terminus at Richboro Road, where one would make a right turn. He said this route would take three or four minutes, not six minutes as Ms. Piette had suggested.
In response to Ms. Piette’s questions, Mr. Heinrich said that a motorist could not make a legal u-turn on Diamond Drive, but would have to drive around the “P” loop drive to go back out. He did not know the speed limit and did not know if a “watch children” sign was on that road. He did not drive this way himself, and did not know the distance traveled to return to Buck Road,
Ms. Piette reviewed some of the numbers in Mr. Heinrich’s traffic study, noting that 1500 cars pass on Buck Road in the morning and 1700 in the afternoon. She asked if Mr. Heinrich thought that 5 times as many cars are on the By-Pass as are on Buck Road.
Mr. Heinrich said that he thought there would be about twice as many cars on the By-Pass. He agreed that the speed limit on Buck Road is 45 MPH, and on the By-Pass it is 55 MPH. His report estimated that 78% of cars exiting the proposed development would make a u-turn to go back to the By-Pass. His volume capacity analysis found that there would not be a delay of service at this un-signalized intersection of York Lane and Buck Road. He said that the nearby, signalized intersections would help to improve service, as there would be breaks in the flow of traffic. When calculating the effect of a u-turn on traffic, the u-turn is counted as multiple movements. A u-turn has the same effect as a left turn, and any turn has an impact on traffic.
In response to Ms. Piette’s questions, Mr. Heinrich said that the nearest shopping area is Village Shires, in Northampton, about one mile south of the proposed development. He disagreed with Ms. Piette’s estimate of the distance from the proposed development to Acme and to Summit Shopping Centers. He estimated that Summit Square is about 1.5 miles and Acme is about 2.5 miles. He said that there are no provisions for walking to these shopping areas; as he previously testified, there are no crosswalks or sidewalks along the By-Pass.
Mr. Downy referred Mr. Heinrich to Exhibits A-7 and A-8 and questioned why there are 200 more vehicles in the second traffic study.
Mr. Heinrich explained that the second study was conducted after the completion of the improvements to the intersection of Buck Road and the Newtown By-Pass, and after school had reopened. He said that improvements to this intersection were completed in September of 2004, and the entire By-Pass improvement project was completed in February of 2005.
In response to Mr. Downy’s questions, Mr. Heinrich agreed that the length of the island on Mill Pond Road is about 100 feet and the speed limit is 25 MPH. He disagreed with Mr. Downy that there would not be sufficient distance from the corner to make a u-turn. He said that a motorist who observed proper distance between cars would have enough time to react to a motorist making a u-turn. If a car was coming in the opposite direction and a u-turning motorist yielded to that car, the car behind could either pass on the left or stop, and if there were four or five cars behind, based on an estimated car length of 20 to 25 feet, there could possibly be a back-up onto Buck Road.
Mr. Downy referred Mr. Heinrich to Exhibit A-4. He asked the estimated distance from the By-Pass to the entrance to the proposed development.
Mr. Heinrich said that the distance is 120 feet.
Mr. Downy asked whether a motorist traveling on Buck Road at the speed limit of 45MPH, would have sufficient time to turn into the development from the By-Pass. He asked how many feet per second were traveled at 45 MPH.
Mr. Heinrich responded that at 45 MPH, a car would travel 64.4 feet per second, and would arrive at the intersection of Buck Road and York Lane in about two seconds, however, a car making such a turn would be slowing down prior to turning in, leaving a car behind sufficient time to react to the turning car.
In response to Mr. Downy’s questions, Mr. Heinrich said that the nearest hospital is St. Mary Medical Center. An emergency vehicle with flashing lights and sirens could safely turn out of the development and turn around to access the By-Pass. He did not know where the nearest fire station is located.
Mr. Downy asked if the cartway is 30 feet, and cars were parked on both sides of the street, or if a car were coming toward the fire engine, would a fire engine be able to pass.
Mr. Jonas objected, noting that there had been no direct testimony on parking and there were no facts in evidence about parking on both sides of the street. After some discussion, Mr. Harris allowed the questioning to continue.
Mr. Heinrich said that oncoming traffic is required to yield to emergency vehicles. In a realistic situation, there is sufficient room for emergency access. In response to Mr. Downy’s question, Mr. Heinrich said that vehicles can make safe, legal u-turns on Mill Pond Road.
Mr. Jonas agreed with Mr. Harris that the 100 days to allow seven hours of testimony began on July 27, 2005. Testimony ended at 10:45PM.
Mr. Harp moved to continue the conditional use application of K. Hovnanian to September 14, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Member Comments: Mr. Weaver extended congratulations to the Council Rock Little League team for their performance in the Little League World Series. He agreed with Mr. Harp that the team would be given special recognition at a Board meeting in the future.
Community Comments: Resident Larry Raffles commented that the bulk of Township residents’ taxes are school taxes, and he said that the Office/Research Zoning District generates more revenue for the school district, without bringing additional children into the district. He asked that the Board consider a limit on residential development of the O/R district.
Resident Christine Wale said that she was concerned about discussion of removing residential use as a permitted use by right in the Office/Research Zoning District. She said that removal of residential uses from the O/R district would influence the outcome of the Brandywine zoning application. Currently the property could be developed for residential use, nullifying Brandywine’s claimed hardship. She noted that there is an existing ordinance, number 534, which protects residential streets from non-residential traffic. She said that this ordinance had been overlooked when the Office Research Zoning District was planned. She said that offices should be kept in the office park, and that the O/R district does not have access to a four-lane highway. She asked why this ordinance, prohibiting business traffic through residential streets, had been overlooked.
Mr. Jirele responded that the proposed bridge from the Brandywine project would allow office traffic to avoid residential streets. In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Jirele said that the proposed connection of Brandywine Boulevard with Upper Silver Lake Road might only be connected for emergency use, as suggested by the emergency services director. If the bridge is built, then traffic could be restricted, however without the bridge, access would be through residential streets.
Mr. Goodnoe noted that all property owners have the absolute right to access public streets that front their properties.
Mr. Harris briefly reviewed the ordinance that Ms. Wale had referenced, and said that the ordinance is not a prohibition, but uses the words, “shall not normally”. He said that the Office Research area had been originally laid out comprehensively. He affirmed Mr. Goodnoe’s statement that the property owner has a right to access the streets.
Mrs. Goren noted that the sketch plan for Wiltshire Walk, as originally presented, did not include Penns Trail North; this was added at the suggestion of the Township.
Mr. Harris said that Brandywine has preliminary plan approval.
Mr. Pellegrino said that subdivision ordinances are not mandatory, and the Board of Supervisors can override them.
Resident Nancy Crescenzo suggested that Mrs. Ethel Hibbs be recognized for her many contributions to the Township. She asked whether the Board had considered giving posthumous recognition to Eleanor Campbell for her years of dedication. She said that the Board should have responded to the study prepared by Township resident Robert Ciervo, and said that the Board members did not even read this study.
Mr. Goodnoe responded that the Board members had read this study, and he specifically referred to it when he asked the Planning Commission to consider whether residential uses should be removed from the Office Research Zoning District.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she felt that there was a conflict of interest when Mr. Lombardi had been appointed as chairman of the Acme Visioning Committee, as he is a property owner on Sycamore Street. She felt that the Community Center committee’s recommendations had been ignored, and a community center is needed for teens and seniors.
Mr. Goodnoe said that the first resident honored by the Board of Supervisors, when the practice began in 1996, had been Eleanor Campbell.
Resident Brandon Wind commented that the Sycamore Street improvements are wonderful, but expressed concern about traffic back up and the tight turn at Swamp Road and Sycamore Street. He wondered if it would accommodate turning school buses.
Mr. Pellegrino said that a study on the intersection of Swamp Road and Eagle Road might alleviate some of the problems at the Sycamore Street intersection, as would the synchronization of traffic signals with Borough signals. He said that Mr. Wind’s comment was the first he had been aware of. Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Jirele also commented that, since PennDoT and the traffic engineer had approved the intersection, the turning radius would be adequate for school buses.
Resident Donna O’Donnell said that she has some easement concerns with the McGrath Lafayette Quarters development. She was told that the conditional use application, for 120 age-qualified townhomes, had been continued. She requested that during this process, the Township request that Mr. McGrath not use the property for hunting, even though it is legal to do so, as it is very close to her home in Newtown Grant.
Reports of Officials
Board members: Mr. Harp asked when the replacement lights at LSAC would be installed, noting that it is getting dark earlier. He again questioned the need for the lights to remain on until 10:00PM.
Mr. Pellegrino said that a sample light would be installed shortly as a test. If it meets with the residents’ approval, additional lights would be ordered.
Plan Expirations: none
Resolution Establishing Policy to Protect the Confidentiality of Employee Health Care Information: Mr. Pellegrino said that the resolution had been reviewed by Mr. Harris and by the Labor attorney, who recommended passage. One change had been made, removing the individual name of the privacy officer, allowing the Board to appoint a privacy officer.
Mrs. Goren moved to approve the resolution establishing policy to protect the confidentiality of employee health care information. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Goren moved to appoint Elaine Gibbs as privacy officer. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Extension of Completion Date for Sycamore Street Project: Mr. Pellegrino said that the extension is necessary to allow for tree replacement, installation of some sign posts, the traffic signal at Jefferson Street, and the installation of the crosswalks.
Mr. Jirele moved to extend the completion date for the Sycamore Street project to October 8, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Pellegrino reported that the Township has been successful in persuading PennDoT to widen the shoulder on the By-Pass at Richboro Road to become a right turn lane, and to include the widening of the shoulder at Buck Road in the next fiscal year.
Solicitor’s Report: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the amendment to the HARB ordinance. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Harp moved to approve the lease termination agreement for the Acme site, effective August 31, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Harris reviewed six Zoning Hearing Board applications. On the Application of Frank Mastromarco and Gregory Smith - 135 Swamp Road, Board members expressed concern about the lack of detail in the plan submitted. Of particular concern was the placement of three curb cuts at that location, so close to the entrance to Tyler Park. The Board agreed to ask the Code Officer to convey their concern to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Engineer’s Report: Authorization to sign Mylars – Hidden Valley Tract: Mr. Harris said that all of the “loose ends” that had been of concern to the Board had been tied down, except that the sanitary sewer service agreement was still being circulated for signatures.
Mrs. Goren moved to authorize signing of Mylars for Hidden Valley Tract, to be held until sanitary sewer agreements have been signed. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Community Comments: Resident Jerry Shenkman said that he did not know whether changing the O/R district to remove residential uses is a good idea, and hoped that all data provided in studies has been verified before a decision is made.
Resident Nancy Crescenzo asked whether this question of the Office Research Zoning District had not already been resolved by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Jirele said that the Planning Commission had not yet reported to the Board of Supervisors on this matter.
Mrs. Crescenzo expressed concern for the damage done by deer at the Clark Nature Center. She said that this has been discussed by the Environmental Advisory Council, of which she is a member. She said that she is concerned about the possibility of fencing the property to keep out deer; she is concerned about the possibility of bringing school buses onto the property for field trips; and she is concerned about the introduction of non-native species of plants onto the property. She said that she disagreed with the naming of the Clark Nature Center, and would have liked the Clarks’ first names included.
Resident Brandon Wind announced the NBPA golf outing the following morning, noting that spaces are still available for interested golfers. He also reminded everyone of the upcoming American Legion Pancake Breakfast, date to be announced shortly.
Resident Phil Calabro congratulated the Council Rock –Newtown Little League team on their success in the Little League World Series. He suggested that residents be surveyed on the development of the Woll Tract for playing fields.
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 AM.
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