Newtown Township

Board of Supervisor Minutes

December 14, 2005


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting January 11, 2006. MINUTES OF 12/14/05 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Jirele moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of December 14, 2005. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, December 14, 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, and Members Raymond Goodnoe and Thomas Jirele. Also present were: Stephen Harris, Township Solicitor; Chris Walker, Township Engineer; and Robert 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 Paul Kester of Newtown Friends. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Additions and Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Pellegrino reported that the conditional use hearing for Thomas Coates would be continued and the resolution to adopt the Bucks County Hazard Mitigation Plan would be added to the agenda.

Presentations and Special Actions

Recognition of Mark Pentz for Twenty Years of Service: Mr. Weaver presented a plaque to Sgt. Mark Pentz, thanking him for twenty years of service to the Newtown Township Police Department. Sgt. Pentz thanked Mr. Weaver, the Board, the staff and residents of the Township for their support of the Police Department and for this recognition.

Fire Fighters Contest: Scott Ratze of the Newtown Township Fire Department said that the department had begun a trading card program this year to help foster a relationship with the children of the Township and to raise awareness of fire safety. The 24,000 cards, featuring photos of the firefighters, were printed and distributed to children at the elementary schools, and a contest for trading card collections was held. The trading card program was sponsored by First Bank and Trust of Newtown, and fifteen local businesses sponsored the prizes for the contest. There were nineteen winners of the contest. First prizes of bicycles, sponsored by Newtown Bike Shop and Piccolo Trattoria, were presented to Aidan Boles and Eric Miller. Additional prizes were sponsored by Twenty-Nine Degrees, Five Below, Newtown Floral, Newtown Chocolate, Bed Bath & Beyond, Chick-Fil-a, Rita’s Water Ice, Starbucks, Creighton Auto Body, Byrnes Auto and Stuckert & Yates.

Minutes, Bills List and Reports

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the work session of November 14, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Jirele moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November 9, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the work session of November 14, 2005. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November16, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bills List: Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $179,456.27 for November 30, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers of $160,570.25 for November 30, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve bills totaling $276,282.58 for December 14, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $207,248.76 for December 14, 2005. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

JDNC: Main Streets Manager Chris Ortwein reported that JDNC had received a $70,000 grant from DCED, to be shared between JDNC administration costs and the façade program. The JDNC has devoted the month of December to promotion and marketing of holiday shopping and events, working with The Advance on “Destination Newtown” brochures, and a Sycamore Street Stroll. An e-mail newsletter is being sent to residents. To be added to the e-mailing list, visit www.newtownpa.us. Eleven local artists have made posters announcing upcoming events for the “AHA! Friday” for 2006, and calendars are being printed for distribution next week.

Park and Recreation Board: Chairman Andy Levine reported that the Park and Recreation Department is 91% self-sufficient for 2005. There was a 9.7% increase in revenue and a 3% increase in participation. The cost to taxpayers was $38,693,98, or $5 per property owner. The winter brochure will be mailed in early January. The Board discussed priorities for 2006, with completion of the Woll Tract master plan as top priority A forest management study of Clark Nature Center, to maintain plant life and control deer population, is the second priority. The Board has formed a sub-committee to evaluate possible uses for the Wiggins Tract, and will focus on Roberts Ridge Park.

Sycamore Street Committee: Chairman Vince Lombardi reported that the project is nearing completion, with a few punch list items involving landscaping to be addressed in the spring. There were some snow removal problems that had to be addressed. Some of the open space areas will need to be focused on. The committee is considering a volunteer program for businesses and residents to help maintain the planting beds along the sidewalks. The ribbon-cutting ceremony has been postponed. American Flags on the streetlights are to remain in place until the war is over. Mr. Weaver and Mrs. Goren commended the committee for the work they have done.

Telecommunications Advisory Board: Member Barbara Jankowski reported that the Board met with Brian Jeter of Comcast at the December 7, 2005 meeting. There was no Verizon representative at the meeting. There have been numerous complaints about property damage caused by Verizon. The Board discussed working with the Township inspectors, and has spoken to Mr. Harwood about whether Verizon has the proper permits. The Board would like to get better control over the work Verizon is doing. Ms. Jankowski reported that Comcast is adjusting its channel line-up to be uniform throughout the County. Channel 23 will be moving to 22, and 55 to 78 shortly. LaSalle University has expressed interest in providing content for the local channel.

Planning Commission: Chairman Shawn Ward reported that the Commission heard a report from Township Engineer Chris Walker about road improvements. The request to add Business Route 532 to Sycamore Street’s name was denied by PennDOT. The Commission discussed beginning the process to eliminate u-turns from Mill Pond Road at Buck Road. This would require a motion from the Board of Supervisors. They reviewed the final plan for Newtown Corporate Center and voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny approval. They voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the JMZO Amendment changing the PS-2 district to R-2.

Mrs. Goren moved to approve a traffic study to eliminate u-turns on Mill Pond Road at Buck Road. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Land Development Projects

Conditional Use Extension – Saladworks – 2804-2808 S. Eagle Road: Mr. Jirele moved to extend conditional use approval for Saladworks to May 7, 2006. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

PRD Variance – Thomas Coates – 12 Pinetree Court – Mrs. Goren moved to continue the application of Thomas Coates for a PRD variance to January 11, 2006. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Decision on Conditional Use Application of K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons @ Newtown – Buck Road and Newtown By-Pass: Mr. Harris said that the record for this hearing had been closed. Two additional exhibits have been submitted:

Mr. Harp moved that the conditional use application of K. Hovnanian Pennsylvania Acquisitions, LLC to establish an active adult community under Section 803.B-17 – Elderly Housing of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance be denied because Hovnanian failed to meet its burden of proving that its conditional use application meets the objective criteria set forth at Section 803.B-17 and Section 1301 of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance and failed to meet its burden of proving that the proposed use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Final Plan – Newtown Corporate Center (Brandywine): Michael Coughlin represented the applicant. Tony Remikis and Craig Bryson of Brandywine and John Hogan of Nave Newell were also in attendance.

Mr. Coughlin reviewed the history of the application, noting that Brandywine had been granted a special exception and variance to build a bridge in 2002. The variance and special exception were overturned on appeal by the Court of Common Pleas. The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Common Pleas’ decision. Based on the decision of Judge Rubenstein, the Jointure recognized a flaw in the Ordinance that prohibited any use or activity in the floodway, limiting Brandywine, as well as homeowners and the Township itself; the Jointure adopted an amendment in July of 2004 to address this. Brandywine filed a second application to the Zoning Hearing Board and after six months of testimony a variance and special exception were granted in September of 2005. This is now being appealed by parties in opposition at the Court of Common Pleas.

Final plans have been submitted that reflect the review letters and comments of the Township Engineer and Township Planner. The only significant change from the preliminary plan is the length of the bridge, which has been extended to 150 feet to reduce backwater onto adjoining properties. Brandywine will comply with all comments in all review letters, and is seeking final plan approval.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Remikis said that Brandywine will comply with the request to shield all lights in the parking lot, not just those at the perimeter of the lot nearest to adjoining homes, as shown on page 20 of the plans.

Mr. Hogan said that he is working with Suburban Lighting Consultants. The lights will be shielded; the height has been lowered to fourteen feet; all lights will have cut-off times; a note will be added to the plan indicating the foot-candles of lights. The parking lot lights will be sodium vapor lights. If requested, the streetlights along Brandywine Blvd will also be sodium vapor lights.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Remikis said that most lights will be extinguished at 9:00PM. A few lights, along the perimeter of the building will be left on for employee safety. These lights are on timers that can be overridden for one-hour intervals after 9:00PM if necessary, when employees are still in the buildings. These lights are ¼ foot-candles in intensity.

Mr. Harp asked about security, and expressed some concern that lights might be left on all night, as has happened with some other businesses in the Township, for security purposes.

Mr. Remikis again said that unless someone was in the building, activating the timer, all lights would be extinguished at 9:00 PM. Security is provided by the tenants. There is some interior lighting that remains on as required by the building code. The illustrative lighting plan dated December 6, 2005, shows security lights that are extinguished at 9:00PM, unless overridden by an employee remaining in the building later. The police have indicated that lights must remain on if someone is still working in the building. Brandywine does not expect tenants who work around the clock, and does not anticipate any problems with this requirement. Brandywine expects business tenants with hours of 7:00AM to 7:00PM Monday through Saturday. Mr. Remikis pointed out that there is expense involved in running unnecessary lights.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Coughlin said that the plan has been reviewed by the Bucks County Conservation District, but he is not sure whether the revised bridge has been reviewed by the Township Engineer. He said that Brandywine is seeking conditional approval, and the engineer’s review would be a condition of final approval.

Mr. Walker said that the engineer’s review was not yet complete.

In response to Mr. Harris’ question, Mr. Coughlin said that Upper Silver Lake Road would be widened to conform with widening done by Toll Brothers at the Heston tract. If the Board requests, Brandywine will widen the portion of Upper Silver Lake Road that is currently closed.

Mr. Remikis said that Brandywine will help to correct flooding problems along Upper Silver Lake Road, and would agree to open the portion of the road that is currently closed at a later date.

In response to Mr. Goodnoe’s comments, Mr. Bryson said that Brandywine would continue the trail to the bridge.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s questions, Mr. Hogan said that Brandywine has received a review letter from Gannett Fleming, the engineers for the Sewer Authority, but not from the Sewer Authority itself. Gannett Fleming approved of waivers to cross sanitary sewers with parking areas.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh asked about further subdivision of this property, which has a single site stormwater management system.

Mr. Harris said that preliminary plan approval allows for subdivision of the property on either side of Brandywine Blvd. The agreement already deed restricts impervious surface upon subdivision. It is not uncommon for subdivided parcels to share stormwater management facilities.

Resident Mary McNamara asked whether the lighting would be changed if a tenant conducted business round the clock.

Mr. Remikis said that the approval agreement limits hours of operation, and a round the clock business would not be interested in locating to these buildings because of the restrictions. Brandywine has millions of square feet of office space whose tenants operate during business hours only.

Sue Herman of Lower Makefield read a statement requesting that the Supervisors deny approval because she thinks that Brandywine Blvd will become part of a “Northern By-Pass”. She showed a map with Brandywine Blvd highlighted as a connection between I-95 and Stoopville Road. She said that Brandywine Blvd should not be open to through traffic.

Mr. Coughlin noted that Brandywine Blvd would lose its highway occupancy permit if it were closed to through traffic, and if it loses its median cut along the By-Pass, traffic on local roads would increase.

Resident John D’Aprile said that he does not appreciate non-residents speaking before residents have spoken. He said that he disagrees with Ms. Herman’s theory of a “Northern By-Pass”.

Resident Larry Fyock said that there are still outstanding legal issues to be resolved, and that the Planning Commission had voted to deny the application. He expressed concern about possible flooding and about resident safety. He noted that the plan, as presented, is not complete. He asked that approval be denied, or if approved, that a tall fence, in addition to a berm, be placed along the border of Brandywine and adjoining residential properties.

Resident Jonathan Dix expressed concern that the plan had referred to a 2001 traffic study, and that there had been considerable development in the area since then. He said that he was concerned about cut-through traffic on Penns Trail North. He expressed concern about the comments in the review letters that have not been addressed on the plan, as submitted. He questioned the accuracy of the traffic study’s projection of 1000 cars, when the buildings could employ 2,000 people. He questioned whether Brandywine’s application, at this time, was politically motivated.

Mr. Coughlin responded that proposed development was taken into account at the time of the original traffic study. Brandywine will be paying a substantial traffic impact fee. The application for final plan approval was submitted in October, shortly after the Zoning Hearing Board decision. The highway occupancy permits were approved six months ago.

Resident Emil Matchyshyn expressed concern about safety of children at school bus stops along Penns Trail North. He said that at one time Mr. Weaver had been concerned about accepting dedication of Brandywine Blvd. He mentioned an ordinance that does not permit business traffic onto residential streets. He mentioned some testimony from an expert witness at the Zoning Hearing Board about flooding, and asked whether FEMA approval would be needed because this had been discussed in regard to another recent application.

Mr. Harris said that Brandywine has preliminary plan approval and is entitled to final plan approval at this time. The connection of Brandywine Blvd with Penns Trail North has already been approved. In reference to the recent Board discussion of FEMA approval in another application, it had been resolved that such approval would not be needed.

Resident Christine Whalen expressed concern about commercial traffic passing through residential neighborhoods, and said she fears for the safety of the children in Wiltshire Walk.

Resident John Hitchner said that he has requested copies of plans and has not been given them. He said that his is one of four homes on Upper Silver Lake Road that have been concerned about flooding and the widening of Upper Silver Lake Road. He asked about proposed access to the property during construction.

Mr. Bryson said that Upper Silver Lake Road would be widened to conform to the widening done by Toll Brothers at the Heston tract. The trail would be extended to the Heston tract. Construction traffic would access the site through Newtown Yardley Road until the bridge is completed, then would access through the bridge from Newtown By-Pass. In response to Mr. Harris’ questions, Mr. Bryson reviewed the sequence of construction, noting that the bridge would be completed before other construction is begun. The southern abutment would be accessed through the ICT driveway, and the northern abutment would be accessed through Newtown Yardley Road, near the Commerce Bank.

In response to Mr. Hitchner’s comment that Brandywine would not be a good neighbor, Mr. Remikis said that Brandywine has agreed to all of the neighbors’ requests, including the washing of Mr. Hitchner’s house and the extension of public water to his property.

Resident Larry Grant questioned the timing of Brandywine’s discussions with the Township about changing the Zoning Ordinance. He also expressed concern about the rush to grant approval.

Mr. Weaver responded that the Township did not discuss changing the Ordinance with Brandywine.

In response to Mr. Grant’s questions, Mr. Coughlin said that the final plans are the same as the preliminary plans, already approved. Brandywine has agreed to comply with all review letter comments, which are minor in nature. He and Mr. Remikis said that Brandywine is seeking conditional approval, and if the conditions are not met, then permits could not be issued. These plans have been in development for five years.

Mrs. Goren expressed concern that the preliminary plan included a 125-foot bridge, but the bridge is now 150 feet. She also expressed concern about the difference in the amount of scour protection provided on either side of the bridge. She noted that there have been bridges built to PennDOT standards that have failed.

Mr. Coughlin responded that the scour provided meets all PennDOT requirements. Different amounts of scour are used because one side of the bridge would be using sheet piling for construction, which has a different standard for scour protection.

Mr. Jirele said that the Township can only require that the bridge be built to PennDOT standards.

In response to Mr. Grant’s continued questioning, Mr. Weaver said that the final plan submitted will comply with all points on the review letters, and approval of such a plan is not in any way a deviation from the normal process.

Mrs. Goren explained that the Township must hear Brandywine’s application for final plan approval before January 2, 2006, or the plan will be deemed approved without a hearing, as per State law. Mrs. Goren noted that she is concerned that the bridge has not been reviewed by the Township Engineer and that the Township Planner had expressed some concern about the plan.

Resident Jennifer Dix said that she is concerned that the timing of the application is politically motivated. She expressed concern for the safety of the children living along Penns Trail North. She said that there is an ordinance prohibiting commercial traffic to connect with residential streets, and she asked that approval be denied.

Resident Karen D’Aprile said that Brandywine is proposing an office use in the office research district. The project has been in the planning stages since before Wiltshire Walk was built. She said that it was up to the residents to ascertain what the zoning in the surrounding properties was.

Resident Mike Iapalucci said that Pennoni Associates came to the meeting unprepared. He questioned why the Supervisors are unconcerned about Pennoni Associates’ performance.

Mrs. Goren said that Pennoni was not given sufficient time to review the nineteen pages of plans.

Resident Demary Roberts expressed concern that the Township Engineer has not reviewed the bridge plans.

Mr. Harris and Mr. Jirele both explained that the Engineer will have reviewed the plans before construction. Engineering plans for structures are not reviewed during the land development phase.

Resident Walt Iwaskiw said that he hopes that the Supervisors approve this project, as it will be good for the Township.

Mr. Bryson responded to shouts from the public regarding the cost of the bridge and its maintenance that the cost of the bridge will be about 1.8 million dollars, not 4 million dollars. Detailed plans are to be reviewed before construction permits are issued.

In response to additional comments from Mr. Fyock, Mr. Goodnoe said that the plan is consistent with the comprehensive plan. Approving the plan, as submitted, requires Brandywine to comply with the review letters before permits could be issued.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant final plan approval with conditions as follows:

  1. Prior to the signing of final linen plans by the Supervisors and their being recorded, the Applicant shall present to the Township for execution the required financial security agreement as required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, together with all necessary deeds of dedication, deeds of easement, etc. which are necessary for the development. All lands, if any, to be dedicated to Newtown Township, shall be conveyed with good and marketable title and as such will be insured by a reputable title insurance company reasonably satisfactory to the Township. Title insurance shall be obtained at the sole cost and expense of the applicant and shall guarantee ownership of any lands to be dedicated to the Township free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, except those created by virtue of final plan approval.
  2. Prior to the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, the Applicant shall present to the Township all required approvals, permits, certificates and the like necessary to develop the site, including but not limited to the permits and approvals set forth in the Township Engineer’s letter of November 17, 2005. The Township agrees to sign paper copies of the approved final plan, provided they bear the legend “not to be recorded” if said signed paper copies are required to be submitted to the various local, state and federal agencies that must approve the various approvals, permits, certificates and the like for the development, provided, however, that the Township reserves its right to fully participate in all approval and permitting procedures which will be required for the approval of the development.
  3. Prior to the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, the Applicant shall submit a duly executed Water Service Agreement with the Newtown Artesian/Indian Rock Water Company and a duly executed Sewer Service Agreement with the Newtown/Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority or, in the alternative, a letter from the Water Company and/or the Municipal Authority stating that a water service and/or sewer service agreement is not required.
  4. The Applicant shall construct a trail extending from the ICT property across the entrance boulevard to be known as Brandywine Boulevard and along the south side of the creek to Silver Lake (the construction of this trail was a condition of final approval of the ITC project).
  5. As a condition of the issuance of a building permit for the first building constructed in the Project, the Applicant shall pay to Newtown Township a park and recreation fee of $178,158.00.
  6. The Applicant will construct sidewalks on both sides of Brandywine Boulevard which will extend from Upper Silver Lake Road to the trail being built as part of the ICT project which is discussed above and a single sidewalk along Brandywine Boulevard from the trail south to the Newtown Bypass.
  7. As a condition of the issuance of a building permit for each of the five (5) buildings being constructed in the Project, the Applicant shall pay to Newtown Township the following traffic impact fees:
  1. The light standards immediately adjacent to the Norwalk Development, the Reserve at Newtown (formerly the Heston Tract) and along Upper Silver Lake Road, will be a maximum of ten (10) feet in height. The remainder of the lighting standards will be a maximum of fourteen (14) feet in height. All perimeter lighting will be shielded and all lighting shall be sodium vapor.
  2. There will be no up lighting of the buildings. There shall be no lighting illuminating the exterior of the proposed buildings other than security lights. The security lights consist of the first tier of lights around the building as shown on the “illustrative lighting plan” prepared by Nave Newell, sheet 3 of 3, dated December 6, 2005, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference (the “Security Lights”).
  3. All parking lot lighting, including the security lights, will be on timers which will automatically turn off the lights at 9:00 P.M. If someone is working in the building and requires the lights to be on after 9:00 P.M., the timer will provide that the lights can be manually turned on for intervals of one (1) hour each before being automatically turned off again.
  4. All of the non-emergency lighting in the proposed buildings will be on timers which will automatically turn off the lights at 9:00 P.M. If someone is working in the building and requires the lights to be on after 9:00 P.M., the timer will provide that the lights can be manually turned on for intervals of one (1) hour each before being automatically turned off again.
  5. The restrictions on lighting shall be included in the Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants.
  6. Brandywine Boulevard shall be dedicated to Newtown Township. Dedicating Brandywine Boulevard subdivides the property into two separate parcels and the Township hereby approves the subdivision. The two (2) parcels shall be considered as one (1) parcel for the calculation of minimum lot size, impervious surface, building coverage, parking, woodland, environmental performance standards, and similar area and bulk requirements; however, the allowable impervious surface coverage will be allocated between the lots at final plan approval. The two (2) parcels shall also be considered as one (1) parcel for stormwater management. If the two (2) parcels are sold separately or if either of the parcels are further subdivided, the individual lot owners shall enter into an agreement providing for the shared maintenance of the stormwater management system, including the detention basins in a form satisfactory to the Township.
  7. The Applicant will install a trail south on Upper Silver Lake Road from Brandywine Boulevard around the current right angle turn where Upper Silver Lake Road connects with Newtown-Yardley Road and on to the bridge. In addition, the Applicant will install a trail north from “Brandywine Boulevard” which will connect with the sidewalk on the adjoining Heston Tract.
  8. The Applicant will connect the four (4) houses located at 145, 153, 164 and 171 Upper Silver Lake Road across from the proposed Project to the public water main being installed on Upper Silver Lake Road at its sole expense provided that the homeowners pay the applicable connection fee. This connection shall be made during Phase I of the Project.
  9. Brandywine Boulevard shall not be opened until the traffic signal at Brandywine Boulevard and the Bypass is completed. The Applicant will comply with the Township Traffic Engineer’s letter of January 20, 2003, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.
  10. All traffic improvements shown on the plan, i.e. Brandywine Boulevard and the traffic signals, shall be installed as part of Phase I of the Project.
  11. Prior to the start of construction, a tree protection area shall be established around all of the trees, which are being preserved on the property.
  12. The Applicant shall delineate the rear property line between its property and the Norwalk Development with stakes at existing monumentation/iron pins and with monumentation/iron pins where existing monumentation does not currently exist.
  13. The existing farmhouse on the property shall be preserved.
  14. As a condition of the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, the Applicant shall enter into a Deed Restriction/Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants providing that there shall be no road constructed to connect Brandywine Boulevard with the CAU property.
  15. As a condition of the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, the Applicant shall enter into a Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants providing that no construction traffic shall access the Project from Penns Trail North or Upper Silver Lake Road north of the area where the road is closed. Construction traffic will be permitted to access the site from Old Newtown-Yardley Road at construction entrance as currently shown on sheet 23 of 29 of the Erosion and Sediment control plans, last revised October 3, 2005, to build the northern bridge abutment, to set the beams and to construct the deck surface of the bridge only. As soon as the bridge can be transversed by construction equipment, the construction entrance on Old Newtown-Yardley Road will be closed and all construction traffic will enter the site from Brandywine Boulevard from the Bypass.
  16. Prior to the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, the plan shall be revised to indicate that Upper Silver Lake Road, south of Penns Trail North is currently closed. The road shall remain closed unless the Township notifies Applicant prior to the signing of the final plan that it wishes to reopen Upper Silver Lake Road, in which event, the Applicant will reopen Upper Silver Lake Road and widen it and install curbs with associated improvements along it in the same fashion that Upper Silver Lake Road north of Penns Trail North is being widened and curbed.
  17. No building permits shall be issued until the bridge has been built and is certified by the Township Engineer to be usable. This restriction shall be included in the Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants.
  18. The Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants incorporating paragraphs 20, 29, 30 and 32 shall be in the form attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference and shall be recorded simultaneously with the Plan.
  19. Prior to the signing of the final plan and its being recorded, all outstanding legal, engineering and administrative fees due the Township as a result of the preliminary subdivision and land development review shall be paid in full to the Township.

The Board of Supervisors granted the following waivers from the Newtown Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

Mr. Jirele seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said that those in opposition to the plan would be opposed regardless of any conditions.

The motion passed 3-2, with Mrs. Goren and Mr. Harp voting nay.

Member Comments

Mr. Harp announced that the children of Goodnoe, St. Andrew’s and Newtown Elementary Schools had collected “Wee Care Bears” to be shipped to needy children in Louisiana, Florida and Alabama.

Community Comments

Resident Jim Downey thanked Supervisors Goodnoe and Harp for their years of service to the community, especially for their help with issues of cable service and stormwater management.

Mrs. Jankowski thanked the Board for denying K. Hovnanian’s application for conditional use. She agreed that the proposed development would have produced dangerous traffic conditions.

Mrs. D’Aprile asked that Mr. Weaver not allow comments from non-residents until after all residents have spoken, and that he not allow more than one round of comments on an issue from any one person. She reported some difficulties with snow removal and with the Verizon work. She asked that Verizon not be permitted to use paint to mark driveways.

Mr. D’Aprile thanked Mr. Goodnoe for his years of service as Supervisor.

Reports of Officials

Manager

Adoption of 2006 Budget

Mr. Pellegrino said that the budget had been adjusted to include some funding for restrooms at Roberts Ridge and establishing a reserve for the Woll tract.

Mrs. Goren moved to accept the 2006 budget. Mr. Harp seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said that he would be voting nay because he thought the revenue projections were too optimistic. He said that he is opposed to the re-occupancy inspection. He said that the fire marshal has indicated there would be noadditional expenses to the Township, however there is a $100 fee proposed. He did not think that the Township has a right to collect a fee for a service that has no costs associated with it. He said that it is an intrusion into the private sector, and the Township is not accepting responsibility for the inspection.

Mr. Jirele agreed with Mr. Goodnoe about the inspection, but said that he thinks that Mr. Pellegrino and Mrs. Gibbs have worked hard to project the revenues accurately, and will support the budget.

Mr. Harp, Mr. Weaver and Mrs. Goren all expressed support for the proposed budget, and disagreed with Mr. Goodnoe about the revenue projections.

Resident Maggie Pollack, a realtor and representative of a realtors association, expressed concern about the proposed home inspections, and questioned the time and man-hours to inspect and process the paperwork for the re-occupancy permits. She said that if there is already sufficient revenue to meet expenses, there is no need for the inspections as a revenue generator.

In response to Ms. Pollack’s questions about the work generated by the inspections, Fire Marshal Don Harris explained that the department has estimated about 1.5 hours a day for the inspections, and an additional 1.5 hours for paperwork, totaling about 3 hours per day, divided among five fire personnel on duty each day. It would be up to the buyer and seller to address any issues uncovered by the inspection.

Mike McGee, a member of a realtors’ association, said that he would like the inspection removed from the proposed budget because there are difficulties with consistency of enforcement, the cost is higher than in surrounding communities, and the standards are difficult to meet in older homes. He questioned the credentials of the inspectors.

Fire Marshal Harris said that the personnel who would conduct the inspections are all certified fire inspectors. The list attached to the inspection is not as extensive as others in the county. There is a concern with fire safety, and such things as gas and electric meters would be checked. Meters, already owned by the department would be used to measure electricity and gas. Permits would be checked for work done by homeowners. Older homes would not be held to today’s building code standards.

Resident Doug Terry, a realtor, expressed concern about the re-occupancy permit inspection. He noted that Middletown Township has repealed its inspection permit. He said it is bad for the residents. Most of the homes in Newtown are less than ten years old, and such inspections are unnecessary.

Resident Mike Iapalucci expressed concern about the inclusion of sidewalks, tall grass and leaking roofs in the inspection. He expressed concern about difficulties for sellers of older homes that do not meet the current building code.

Mr. Pellegrino said that these items have been excluded from the inspection list.

Mr. D’Aprile said that he agrees with the realtors that the inspections should be removed. He also said that it is unfair to compare Newtown’s taxes to those of other municipalities, as many other municipalities with higher taxes provide services, such as trash removal, that are not provided by Newtown Township.

Resident Walt Iwaskiw expressed concern about the proposed fire inspection, and said that he had misgivings about the accuracy of the code department in researching old building permits. He also questioned the revenue projections, noting that there was additional money spent this past year.

Mr. Pellegrino said that there had been some additional expenses in connection with the Sycamore Street project.

The motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Goodnoe voting nay.

Newtown Fire Association Lease: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the Newtown Fire Association lease. Mr. Harp seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Newtown Business Commons Master Streetscape Plan: Mr. Harp questioned whether this decision should be postponed until the new Board has been sworn in.

Mr. Jirele said that Boucher and James would be given this contract and the new Board members would be working on it.

Mr. Harp moved to authorize the development of a master streetscape plan for Newtown Business Commons. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bucks County Hazard Mitigation Plan: Mr. Harp moved to adopt the Bucks County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

HARB Appointment: Mr. Jirele moved to remove Charlie Seiber from the Historical Architectural review Board. Mr. Goodnoe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Jirele moved to appoint Melba Vittoriano to the Historical Architectural Review Board. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Solicitor’s Report:

Dedication of Eagle Glen: Mr. Harris explained that because of the snow there had been no final sign-off of the punch list of Carroll Engineering, however the Homeowners Association has done a walk-through and is satisfied.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to approve the dedication of Eagle Glen. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Authorization of Newtown Ridge Homeowners to Change their By-Laws: Mrs. Goren moved to authorize Newtown Ridge Homeowners to change their by-laws. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Review Contractors License Ordinance: Mr. Harris explained that all of the ordinances would be advertised for action at the reorganization meeting.

Review of Re-Occupancy Certificate Ordinance: Mr. Jirele expressed concern about missing permits for work completed by a previous owner on homes being resold.

Mrs. Goren said that it is up to the buyers to research a home to ascertain that permits have been issued for all improvements.

After some discussion, Mr. Weaver said that this portion of the proposed ordinance needed some clarification.

The Board discussed the turn-around time, and the possibility of delaying a closing. Mr. Pellegrino said that temporary certificates of occupancy could be issued.

Mr. Harris noted that private sales, not using a realtor, could be a difficulty.

Review of Municipal Services Tax Ordinance: The Board discussed possibly changing the threshold at which this tax would be levied. It was suggested that the threshold be increased to $12,500.

Mr. Pellegrino explained that the current tax of $10 is taken from the first paycheck of the year of all workers employed within the Township. The increased tax of $20 would be collected the same way.

Engineer’s Report: Mr. Walker reported that the roof of the barn and the porch on the Clark property has been replaced and the air-conditioning project has been completed.

Community Comment: Mr. Iwaskiw complained about what he considered excessive operating expenses and about millage moved to Park and Recreation department.

The meeting adjourned at 1:35 AM.

 

Respectfully Submitted: ____________________________________
                                          Mary Donaldson,  Recording Secretary

 

Minutes Approved as submitted __________ as corrected___________

 

Attest: _________________________                                                         ___________________________
           Robert M. Pellegrino, Manager                                                            Richard Weaver, Chairman

 

                                                                                                                        ___________________________
                                                                                                                        Scott R. Harp, Vice-Chairman

 

                                                                                                                         ___________________________
                                                                                                                        Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer

 

                                                                                                                        __________________________
                                                                                                                        Thomas Jirele, Member

 

                                                                                                                        __________________________
                                                                                                                        Raymond Goodnoe, Member