Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

March 13, 2006


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting April 19, 2006. Minutes of work session meeting of March 13, 2006: Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of March 13, 2006. Mr. Calabro seconded. Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren noted that the last paragraph on page 5 should read, “…turning over the parcel to the Borough’. Mr. Weaver amended is motion; Mr. Calabro amended his second and the amended motion passed 4-0.


Members Present: Anne Goren, Chairman; Philip Calabro, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer; Tom Jirele, Member; Richard Weaver, Member; Joe Caracappa, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Chris Fazio, Engineer.

Also Present: Ed Murphy, McBride & Murphy; Maryellen Saylor, Pickering, Corts & Summerson, Inc.; Joe DeLuca, DeLuca Enterprises, Inc.; Vince DeLuca, DeLuca Enterprises, Inc.; Father Piccard, St. Andrews Church; Various Members of the Sycamore Street Committee including Vince Lombardi and Joe Merjeski; Various Representatives from the Newtown Car Show including Paul Salvatore.

Call to Order: Chairman Goren called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M.

Use of Sycamore Street for Car Show

Mr. Salvatore updated the Supervisors with regards to discussions on the possibility of hosting the Newtown Car Show on Sycamore Street this year. He advised the Supervisors on the concerns that the businesses along Sycamore Street have with holding the car show on a Sunday. He discussed the possibility of having an evening show. He advised the Supervisors that the representatives of the NewtownCar Show would like to withdraw their offer to hold the car show on Sycamore Street and will have this year’s Newtown Car Show on State Street. He also advised that it is his belief that holding any type of event on Sycamore Street will always be an inconvenience to someone.

Ms. Goren thanked the representatives for their time and discussed the possibility of using Sycamore Street in the future.

Mr. Schenkman thanked the representatives for their work with regards to researching the involvement of holding an event on Sycamore Street.

First Evergreen Sketch Land Development Plan – 828 Newtown-Yardley Road

The Supervisors were provided various correspondences with regards to the proposed sketch land development plan for First Evergreen, the property located at 828 Newtown-Yardley Road.

Mr. Murphy updated the Supervisors with regards to the First Evergreen Sketch Land Development Plan for the property located at 828 Newtown-Yardley Road.  He advised that the property is located at the corners of Newtown-Yardley Road and the Newtown Bypass. He advised that the proposed plan is to construct a two-story building devoted to medical office use.  He updated the Supervisors with regards to meetings with the Planning Commission and advised on their concerns regarding accessing the site from Newtown-Yardley Road and the need to provide definition to the access ways.  He updated the Supervisors with regards to the current driving conditions in the complex and discussed the ways to define the access ways.  The Supervisors reviewed a sketch plan of the proposal.    

Mr. Weaver commented with regards to the green space area on the sketch plan and questioned if there would be directional signage.  Mr. Murphy advised he would look into the matter with the Township Planner and the Township Engineer. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the green space on the sketch plan and the possibility of vehicles cutting across the parking lot.  He suggested creating some type of barrier to prevent vehicles from cutting across the parking lot.  Mr. Murphy advised he would research it. 

Mr. Calabro agreed it was a good idea to have some type of barrier to prevent vehicles from cutting across the parking lot. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the building being constructed for medical use and parking.  Mr. Murphy and Ms. Saylor advised that they feel there is adequate parking in the area located near the medical building. 

The Supervisors discussed the parking areas. 

Mr. Jirele suggested moving the parking areas to the rear of the buildings. 

The Supervisors discussed the need for a variance. 

Mr. Weaver advised that the EDC would like to put a Newtown Business Commons sign on the corner of Newtown-Yardley Road and the Newtown Bypass.  Mr. Pellegrino commented that an easement would be needed. 

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the traffic flow.  Mr. Murphy advised. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to losing the parking spaces on the travel lane.  Mr. Murphy agreed to reserve that area as green space. 

The Supervisors agreed to support a variance for the First Evergreen Sketch Land Development Plan for the property located at 828 Newtown-Yardley Road. 

Concept Site Plan – St. Andrews Pre-School Property – Sycamore Street 

Mr. Murphy updated the Supervisors with regards to the concept site plan for the St. Andrews Pre-School and Convent properties located along Sycamore Street.  He advised that St. Andrews Church would sell the pre-school and convent properties to DeLuca Enterprises, Inc.  He advised that DeLuca Enterprises, Inc. would like to build their corporate headquarters on the pre-school property. 

Mr. Vince DeLuca advised the Supervisors on their current corporate headquarters, the purchase of the properties from St. Andrews Church and the proposed two- story office building on the pre-school property.  He discussed the number of employees expected to be at this location. 

Mr. Murphy advised that the pre-school property is currently zoned R2 and the need to change the zoning to TC.  He advised that he believes that the proposed plan complies with TC Zoning.  Mr. Murphy advised that it is not the intention of DeLuca Enterprises, Inc. to create retail space and commented with regards to the church having concerns with regards to retail space.  He advised that the church would be able to use the property for overflow parking.  He suggested that if the Supervisors were in agreement to extend the TC Zoning, DeLuca Enterprises, Inc. would agree to a restriction to eliminate the possibility of retail space. 

Mr. Murphy discussed the convent property and advised on the agreement between the Township and St. Andrews Church with regards to the convent needing to remain.  He advised that the convent would be used as an office or a twin dwelling. 

Mr. Murphy advised that the church would be able to use the parking area located on the proposed corporate headquarters site, currently the pre-school property. 

Mr. Murphy advised that they are looking for some direction from the Supervisors. 

Mr. Murphy advised that the pre-school property would become vacant this fall. 

Mr. Weaver commented with regards to the proposed plan for the property making more sense than having retail/commercial use on the site. 

The Supervisors discussed the traffic that would be entering and exiting the property. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to discussing the plan with the Sycamore Street Committee. 

Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Merjeski advised they are very interested in the proposed plan. 

Mr. Merjeski questioned the number of employees that DeLuca expects to have on the site.  Mr. Vince DeLuca advised that currently the number of employees is approximately eighty (80) but could increase to one hundred (100). 

Mr. Lombardi questioned if DeLuca would be a single occupant.  Mr. Vince DeLuca advised the corporate headquarters property would house several businesses owned by DeLuca Enterprises, Inc. 

Mr. Jirele advised that the convent property is located in the HARB District. 

Mr. Murphy advised that DeLuca has no intentions of changing the exterior of the convent. 

The Supervisors discussed the facade of the proposed corporate headquarters and suggested that it complement the church and convent. 

Mr. Vince DeLuca advised that he would be open to meeting with a small group who would like to discuss the development of the plan further. 

Mr. Lombardi advised he would discuss the matter further with the Sycamore Street Committee. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to storm water management.  Mr. Vince DeLuca advised on the storm water management shown on the proposed plan. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the closeness of the building to the street.  Mr. Vince DeLuca advised that on the proposed plan that the building has been moved toward the street. 

Mr. Vince DeLuca commented with regards to the two-story garage that will be located in the rear of the property.  He advised that no commercial vehicles would be parked overnight on the surface lot. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to rezoning the property or requesting a use variance.  Mr. Murphy advised that the pre-school property is too large for a use variance, but a use variance could be done on the convent property. 

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the proposal to change the zoning to Town Commercial.  Mr. Murphy suggested that if the Supervisors were in favor of changing the zoning to TC draft a unilateral declaration of covenants and restrictions prohibiting the retail use, DeLuca would agree. 

Mr. Jirele questioned if there have been any discussions with locale residents. 

Mr. Calabro questioned what other businesses could be located on the property if DeLuca sold the property.

Mr. Murphy advised. 

The Supervisors discussed the property if DeLuca decided to move. 

Father Piccard discussed the current condition of the pre-school property and advised that the church will be very happy to see something more attractive on the site.  He advised that the church needs the income from the sale of the properties for the new church parking area. 

Mr. Murphy discussed the property elevations and where to start. 

Mr. Jirele suggested meeting with the Joint Historic Commission. 

Mr. Vince DeLuca advised that it is his intention to emulate the look of Newtown. 

The Supervisors discussed the proposed corporate headquarters complementing the church and the convent. 

The Supervisors agreed that DeLuca should proceed with their plan. 

Community Comments  

Other Business 

The Supervisors discussed correspondence received from Mr. William P. McManimon Jr., Newtown Grant Master Board of Directors President dated March 15, 2006 with regards to a pedestrian crosswalk with a flashing signal.  Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the matter and advised that he is looking for authorization from the Board.  The Newtown Grant Master Board of Directors is requesting that a pedestrian crosswalk with flashing lights be installed at the intersection of Marigold and Jonquil Drives and Eagle Road.  They have also recommended that three intersections have a three-way stop installed: 1) Marigold and South Drive, 2) Hemlock and North Drive, and 3) Sequoia and North Drive.  Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to PennDot’s requirements regarding three-way stops.  He discussed the need for an engineering study to be conducted.  He also advised that the Township needs to establish a policy with regards to the installation of three-way stops.  He advised that he would get a cost estimate from Pennoni to conduct the engineering studies. 

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the length of North/South Drive and that there are no stop signs to slow the flow of traffic.  He also discussed the use of the roadway. 

The Supervisors discussed PennDot’s requirements with regards to installing three-way stops. 

The Supervisors discussed the locations where the three-way stops have been requested. 

The Supervisors discussed enforcing the three-way stops. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the Township’s liability. 

The Supervisors discussed the warrants for a three-way stop. 

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the speed study conducted last year. 

The Supervisors discussed other municipalities having a four-way stop.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would research how the other municipalities are having a legal four-way stop. 

The Supervisors discussed possible alternatives to slow traffic down on North/South Drive. 

Mr. Schenkman suggested that the Township have discussions with Mr. McManimon Jr.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would be in contact with Mr. McManimon Jr. 

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to pulling the EAC grant application.  He advised the Supervisors that he withdrew the application and updated them on discussions with the Delaware River Keepers.  He discussed expanding the scope of the project and the possibility of breaking up the project.  He further advised the Supervisors as to why he withdrew the application. 

Mr. Jirele suggested that the Supervisors set a policy with regards to the Township’s grant application process.  Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township policy is to have the Supervisors approve the grant application before it is submitted. 

Mr. Schenkman suggested reminding all of the Committee’s on the Township’s policy regarding grant applications. 

The Supervisors discussed the upcoming meeting between the Township and the Delaware River Keepers to discuss the scope of the project. 

Mr. Jirele updated the Supervisors with regards to the realignment of the Township/Borough boundaries.  He advised that the Borough has dropped their realignment plan but would like the Township to move forward with turning over the gas station parcel – currently Sunoco.  He questioned how the Board feels with regards to the matter. 

Ms. Goren advised that she feels the idea makes sense but that she has concerns with regards to the petition the Township received from local residents regarding the matter. 

Mr. Pellegrino advised that he would draft correspondence to the residents advising that the Borough has dropped their proposal and that the Township is thinking about turning over the gas station parcel to the Borough and to please advise the Township if they have any concerns. 

The Supervisors discussed the process of the Township turning over the parcel to the Borough.  Mr. Caracappa advised he would research the process and updated the Supervisors.  

Adjournment 

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:06 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

  

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary