Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

October 17, 2005


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting December 14, 2005. Minutes of work session meeting of October 17, 2005: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the work session of November 14, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


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

Also Present: James Linske, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Joseph Phillips, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Ed Murphy, McBride and Murphy; Bill Briegel, McBride and Murphy; Township employee Bill Wert; Various Newtown Township residents including Ethel Hibbs, Walt Iwaskiw, Brandon Wind, Vince Lombardi, Shannon Wilson and Shawn Ward.

Call to Order: Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order at 8:04 P.M. This was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Municipal Complex Expansion

Mr. Phillips updated the Supervisors with regards to the updated cost estimates as of October 10, 2005. The new estimate is for approximately $9,641,700.00, which includes a 15% Contingency Fee.

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to the $76,000.00 designated renovations. Mr. Phillips advised that cost was for renovations to the Township’s current pole building structures. Mr. Pellegrino advised the representatives from Donovan AIA & Associates to remove the $76,000.00 designated for renovating the current pole building.

The Supervisors discussed the Township’s salt storage shed. Mr. Linske advised on the proposed size increase to the current salt shed, commenting that the proposed increase is twice the size of the current salt storage shed.

Mr. Jirele questioned how the Supervisors want to proceed with regards to the project. Mr. Goodnoe advised that he would like to scrap the project. Mr. Weaver advised he would like to table discussions until January 2006. Mr. Harp commented with regards to how the Township will pay for the project. The Supervisors agreed to table discussions until January 2006.

Mr. Weaver thanked the representatives from George J. Donovan AIA & Associates for their time.

Pedestrian Safety Features

Mr. Weaver updated the Supervisors with regards to pedestrian safety features. Mr. Jirele advised the Supervisors with regards to complaints the Township has received regarding Sycamore Street and some residential neighborhoods. He commented with regards to what New Hope Borough has done with regards to pedestrian safety and the crosswalks on Sycamore Street not being identified. He advised that Ambler uses small florescent green signs with different logos to promote pedestrian safety and suggested ways to raise awareness within the Township.

Mr. Weaver advised he is in favor of Mr. Jirele’s ideas.

Mr. Harp suggested that the Township contact Penn Dot to see what types of signs are available and the cost for the signs before making any decisions.

The Supervisors discussed the pedestrian sign posted on Sycamore Street by Chandler Hall.

The Supervisors discussed possible locations along Sycamore Street that could use the signs. (Examples: Silo Drive, near the ball field)

The Supervisors discussed having the Township personnel help to locate where the signs are needed.

The Supervisors discussed having the Police post the signs when needed.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would contact Doylestown and New Hope Borough to see how they handle pedestrian safety.

November Meeting Schedule

The Supervisors discussed the November Meeting schedule. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Hovnanian Conditional Use Hearing would continue at the November 2, 2005 Meeting, the Budget would be presented at the November 9, 2005 Meeting and that the November 14, 2005 Work Session and the November 23, 2005 Meeting would discuss the Budget further if needed.

Mr. Harp and Mr. Jirele advised that they would be unable to attend the November 23, 2005 Meeting.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that he would not adopt the Budget if there were a fee requiring the inspection of resales. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to the resale inspection revenue.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is against the Township having a fee for resale inspections.

Mr. Weaver advised that he also feels the fee for resale inspections are unnecessary.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is in favor of requiring contractor’s to register to work within the Township.

The Supervisors discussed the Budget presentation at the November 9, 2005 Meeting.

The Supervisors agreed to meet November 2nd, 9th, 14th & 16th.

The Supervisors agreed to televise the November 14th Work Session.

Goodnoe Property (Eagle Road) Sketch Plan Options

Mr. Murphy updated the Supervisors with regards to the Orleans – Goodnoe sketch plan. He advised with regards to the proposed development plans. He presented the Supervisors with two (2) proposed plans, the first plan would be zoned B-14 with 26 homes and complies with Township zoning. The second plan would be zoned B-12 with 21 homes and does not comply due to the Township’s agriculture soil ordinance. Mr. Murphy advised that it was his belief that the Planning Commission preferred the B-14 plan. Mr. Murphy discussed a land donation to the Township.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to how the current residents access Eagle Road. Mr. Murphy advised.

The Supervisors discussed the locations of the storm water management on each plan.

The Supervisors discussed the plans. Ms. Goren advised that she preferred the B-12 plan and why. She commented with regards to the proposal received from Mr. Wert, Director of Parks & Recreation and the possible problems having a walking trail running behind the houses and the residents near Hidden Lake not wanting the area of the lake open to the public.

Mr. Wert commented with regards to accessing Hidden Lake from Rt. 532. He advised that in his proposal there would be no room for parking and that he proposes a walking trail only – no vehicle access.

The Supervisors discussed providing public access to Hidden Lake.

Mr. Goodnoe advised that Hidden Lake was not designed for public use. He also discussed security and patrolling the area.

Mr. Iwaskiw suggested that if the Supervisors approve the proposed walking trail, it should be wide enough for police or emergency access.

The Supervisors discussed the cost of the proposed homes. Mr. Murphy advised that the homes on the B-14 plan would cost approximately $725,000.00 - $750,000.00 and the homes on the B-12 plan would cost approximately $900,000.00.

The Supervisors discussed the traffic impacts.

The Supervisors agreed they were in favor of the B-12 plan.

Mr. Sanders commented with regards to having fewer homes and the Township’s agriculture soil ordinance.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to there currently being no farming in that area.

Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors with regards to the comments made by the Planning Commission.

The Supervisors discussed Home Owner Associations maintaining the open space.

Mr. Wert advised that P&R would like to retain the area as open space with the possibility of a trail system at a later date.

Mr. Harp discussed P&R fees. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the County owns Hidden Lake and the Township has a forty-one (41) acre conservation easement.

Mr. Iwaskiw commented with regards to the ending results of the Hoffa Tract. He questioned where the Goodnoe Tract is located on Eagle Road. Mr. Murphy advised with regards to the location of the Goodnoe Tract.

The Supervisors thanked Mr. Murphy and Mr. Briegel for their time.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to there being action items on tonight’s agenda. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to the changes to the agenda.

Mr. Harp advised on his feelings with regards to having action items on tonight’s agenda.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is okay with the Supervisors having small action items approved at the Work Sessions.

Fee Schedule Revision – Non-Residential Alterations/Additions

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the Fee Schedule Revision. The Supervisors were provided a copy of a memorandum from Mr. Imperial dated September 21, 2005 with regards to the Township’s Fee Schedule. The Supervisors discussed the Fee Schedule revisions for Residential and Non-Residential. The proposed changes would make the fee slightly higher for Non-Residential verses Residential. The Supervisors agreed they needed more information before making any decisions. The Supervisors agreed to have Mr. Pellegrino contact Mr. Imperial for more information and examples. Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors that they could discuss further in January 2006.

Fee Schedule Revision – Calculation of the Fee in Lieu of Dedication of Recreation/Open Space

Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors with regards to the Township calculating the Fee in Lieu of dedication of recreation/open space for Residential and Non-Residential uses. He advised that the proposed resolution is to amend the Township’s Schedule of Fees and Charges. He advised that the calculations for Non-Residential developments would be done by the gross floor area verses building area.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the Residential and Non-Residential fees. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors on how the fees are calculated, he commented with regards to the Municipalities Planning Code in the Park & Recreation Plan.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to pass Resolution No. 2005-R-16, to amend the Township’s Fee Schedule to change to manner in which the Fee in Lieu of dedication of recreation/open space is calculated for Non-Residential uses. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and pass unanimously (5-0).

Ms. Goren advised that she does not oppose the resolution, but feels this matter should have been discussed at the next public meeting.

Mr. Harp advised that he does not oppose the resolution, but feels this matter should have been discussed at the next public meeting.

Ordinance Issues

Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors. The Supervisors were provided correspondence from Pennoni Associates Inc. dated October 11, 2005 with regards to Ordinance issues. Mr. Walker updated the Supervisors with regards to parking in the front yard. He advised on the Township’s current requirements. Mr. Sanders advised on his proposed changes. The Supervisors discussed the current Ordinance.

Mr. Goodnoe made a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to draft an Ordinance to eliminate Section 1000.E.1 of the Zoning Ordinance and to distribute to the Jointure Municipalities for review. The motion was seconded by Ms. Goren and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors on another Ordinance issue. He discussed the definition of building area. Mr. Walker advised the Supervisors that currently the Ordinance’s have two (2) different definitions and suggested that the definitions be consistent. Mr. Pellegrino agreed to search the Ordinance to see how many times the term “building area” appears. The Supervisors agreed to research the matter further before making a decision.

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors regarding the need to amend the Sub-Division Ordinance with regards to Park and Recreation Fees. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors that they need give authorization to amend the Sub-Division and Land Development Ordinance to change reference in Section 1203.2.B to remove the language “building area” and replace with “gross floor area”.

Ms. Goren made a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to amend the Sub-Division and Land Development Ordinance to change reference in Section 1203.2.B to remove the language “building area” and replace with “gross floor area”. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and pass unanimously (5-0).

Payment #23 Sycamore Street Construction Improvements

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to Payment #23 for the Sycamore Street construction improvements. The Supervisors were provided correspondence from Pennoni Associates Inc. with regards to payment #23.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to authorize payment #23 for the Sycamore Street reconstruction improvements in the amount of $91,879.35. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously (5-0).

Authorize Advertising Ordinance to establish speed limit on Sycamore Street

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to establishing a speed limit on Sycamore Street. He advised that Mr. Shaffer recommended that the posted speed limit be 25mph and that the Sycamore Street Committee recommended that the posted speed limit be 35mph. Mr. Sanders advised that in order to lower the posted speed limit to 25mph a traffic study would need to be completed. The Supervisors discussed the current 40mph posted speed limit. Mr. Ward advised the Supervisors on discussions at the Sycamore Street Committee meetings and that the Committee feels that a 25mph posted speed limit would be to slow. Mr. Lombardi discussed areas along Sycamore Street where the speed limit should be reduced. The Supervisors discussed the improvements to the roadway. Mr. Jirele advised that he has concerns with making the street pedestrian friendly. Mr. Lombardi advised the Supervisors with regards to an automotive survey. Mr. Jirele advised that he is for safety and lowering the speed limit. The Supervisors discussed commuter traffic. Mr. Weaver advised that if a 35mph speed limit is to fast, the Township could lower the speed limit at a later date.

Mr. Harp made a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to draft and advertise an Ordinance to post a 35mph speed limit on Sycamore Street. The motion was passed by Ms. Goren and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to lowering the speed limit on Sycamore Street and advised that he feels the speed limit should not be lowered past 35mph. He also questioned when the dead trees would be removed. Mr. Wilson advised the Supervisors that he would contact Mr. Shaffer to discuss the matter of the dead trees.

2005 – 2006 Consortium Salt Bid

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the 2005 – 2006 Consortium salt bid. The Supervisors were provided a memorandum from Mr. Crossland dated October 6, 2005 regarding the 2005 – 2006 Consortium salt bid. The Supervisors discussed the bids received.

Mr. Harp made a motion to award the bid to International Salt Co., LLC for the amount of $45.77 per ton. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously (5-0).

Clark Barn Roof Replacement Bids

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the Clark Barn roof replacement bids. He advised that the Township has already budgeted the money. The Supervisors were provided correspondence from Pennoni Associates Inc. dated September 26, 2005 with regards to the Clark Barn roof replacement. The Supervisors discussed the bids received.

Mr. Goodnoe made a motion to award the bid to Eiseman Construction Co., Inc. for the amount of $23,420.00. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Walker advised the Supervisors on the type of materials that would be used for the new roof and gutters.

Authorization to Sign LaSalle University Expansion Mylars

The Supervisors discussed the authorization to sign the LaSalle University expansion mylars. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors with regards to missing items. The Township agreed to contact LaSalle to advise on the missing items. The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once all the information is received. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors on contact with LaSalle University.

Signing of Development Agreement Troilo – 104 Pheasant Drive

The Supervisors discussed the signing of the Development Agreement with Cameron C. Troilo, Inc. Mr. Sanders advised the Supervisors with regards to missing items. The Supervisors agreed to discuss the matter further once all the information is received.

Resolution Authorizing Application to the Bucks County Community Development Block Grant Program

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the resolution authorizing application to the Bucks County Community Development Block Grant Program. The Supervisors were provided a copy of the proposed resolution. Mr. Pellegrino discussed improvements to the Clark Property.

Mr. Harp made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing application to the Bucks County Community Development Block Grant Program. The motion was seconded by Ms. Goren and passed unanimously (5-0).

Community Comments

Mr. Wind thanked the Supervisors for rescheduling the October 12, 2005 meeting to October 5, 2005.

Ms. Hibbs commented with regards to the road improvements to the Township roadway. She also discussed dips on Eagle Road. Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would look into the matter. She also commented with regards to the crossbars at the intersection of Jefferson and Sycamore Streets, she advised that it is difficult for a vehicle to make a right turn off of Jefferson Street on to Sycamore Street. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township is aware of the problem.

Mr. Goodnoe commented with regards to the sidewalk on the east side of Eagle Road between Newtown Grant and Wrights Road. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the construction is in progress.

The Supervisors discussed pedestrians walking along Wrights Road.

Mr. Weaver thanked the public for their input.

Other Business

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary