Board of Supervisor Minutes
May 10, 2006
MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting May 24, 2006. MINUTES OF MAY 10, 2006 REGULAR MEETING: Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of May 10, 2006. Mr. Jirele seconded.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Anne Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and members Thomas Jirele and Richard Weaver. Also present were: Paul Beckert, Township Solicitor; Edward F. Koehler, Township Engineer and Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager.
Call to Order: Chairman Anne Goren called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence.
Invocation: The invocation was given by Rabbi Weinstein of Lubavitcher Center. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Special Actions: Mrs. Goren welcomed Boy Scout Troop 99, in attendance to observe a government meeting as part of their badge requirements.
Proclamation Recognizing Public Works Week – May 21- 27, 2006: Mrs. Goren presented a certificate proclaiming the week of May 21 as Public Works Week to the Director of Public Works, Gary Crossland. On behalf of the Supervisors, Township staff and residents, Mrs. Goren thanked the Public Works Department for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Township.
Mr. Crossland thanked Mrs. Goren and the Supervisors and residents. He said that his department is very appreciative of the recognition of their work.
Public Comment: Resident Marcus Zotter, a ninth grade student at Council Rock North, said that he would like a skate park added to the Township’s park system. Following the process of seeing the skate park to fruition will be his high school graduation project; and he has already attended the Park and Recreation Board meeting with this request. Board member Buck O’Neill has agreed to chair a sub-committee on this project. Mr. Zotter intends to serve on this committee, and recruit other students to serve along with him. He hopes to research and prepare a plan and budget and to follow the project through the land development procedure, with a goal of having a skate park on line within two years. He asked the Board for its support as he pursues this.
Resident Nancy Crescenzo said that she had provided the Board with information assembled by a previous skate park committee. She asked that this information be shared with Mr. Zotter. She also said that she would like a community/senior center built in Newtown, and would like the Board to consider this a priority. She said that a trail has been extended from the parking area at the Clark Nature Center to the wooded trails. She expressed concern about the fiscal impact of the Township’s lost contract with Newtown Borough. She asked when or whether there would be discussion of an expanded municipal complex.
Resident Tony McBryan said that LSAC has installed a new light fixture, however it has not been turned on. He said that he likes this new fixture, but would prefer it to have frosted glass. He questioned why this fixture was not lit when the rest of the lights are lit. He wondered whether LSAC has the ability to control each fixture individually.
Resident Stan Dombrowski asked whether a sidewalk could be extended along State Street from the Township line to the By-Pass, in front of New Life Christian Church.
Mr. Pellegrino said that the Township Engineer would be evaluating this tomorrow to determine whether there is sufficient right-of-way. He noted that the Township has the right to assess property owners for sidewalk construction.
Mr. Jirele questioned whether individual property owners have been assessed for new sidewalks in the past. He said that he was only ware of developers being required to install sidewalks. Homeowners have been required to maintain and repair sidewalks.
Mr. Pellegrino said that the entire burden would not be on the property owner.
Resident Walt Iwaskiw commented that the walking trail near Overlook development is incomplete, although the last escrow has been released.
Mr. Pellegrino said that he has confirmed with Toll Brothers that the trail will be completed when the final top is put on the roads within the development.
Member Comments: Mr. Weaver announced that he had received letters from Buckingham and Horsham Townships thanking Detective Bush and the K-9 unit for help with solving some cases in those municipalities. He also announced that the Economic Development Council held a celebration welcoming the Elliott Building Group to the old Acme site. Elliott’s development plans include a three-story building and multi-level parking garage. The building’s first floor will be shops, the second story will be Elliott’s corporate headquarters, and the third floor will be condominium apartments.
Mr. Calabro recounted an incident near his home to which the police responded because of an anonymous phone call. He reminded residents that the police would respond to anonymous calls.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes: Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of April 19, 2006. Mr. Calabro seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren noted that page 7 should read “Waivers are granted from the following SALDO sections”, and page 10, item 14, the word “reasonably” should be removed.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion; Mr. Calabro amended his second, and the amended motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $343,995.17. Mr. Weaver seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo questioned the solicitor’s bill, which included both a retainer and “general services”, in addition to billings for specific matters.
Mr. Pellegrino responded that the bill’s “general services” covers minor incidental time charges; the retainer is for attendance at Supervisors meetings. In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s complaint that the Supervisors should have answered her question, Mr. Pellegrino said that it is up to the Township administration to review the bills in detail.
In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s question on a Commerce Bank charge, Mr. Pellegrino said that he has the Township’s only credit card, through Commerce Bank, which is used to pay bills and make purchases. This is a no interest credit card.
Mr. Jirele questioned Mr. Beckert’s bill for Applegate Hardwood Floors, since this was a matter for the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Beckert responded that he had been instructed to bill his time at the Planning Commission meetings to the specific applications presented. He had also spent time arranging for this applicant to attend a work session of the Board of Supervisors.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $317,708.06. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Park and Recreation Board: Chairman Andrew Levine added the Park and Recreation Board’s thanks to Mr. Crossland and the Public Works Department for their excellent work and cooperation on all of the Board’s many park projects.
Mr. Levine reported that the Board listened to Marcus Zotter’s request for a skate park and has asked Mr. Zotter to help assemble a sub-committee with Board member Buck O’Neill and some students from Council Rock High School, as well as from the middle and elementary schools. The Board has already been in discussion with representatives from Middletown Township about their skate park, to get input on such issues as staffing and liability.
The Board reviewed the plan for the Woll tract. Members have already held preliminary meetings with Council Rock School District’s Facilities Committee about access to the site through District property along Wrights Road. The proposal was received favorably, with the District requesting that there be minimal buffering between the properties. Mr. Levine will make a presentation to the School Board for approval of the plan at their May 18 meeting.
The Board has contacted the DCNR about a forest management plan for the Clark Nature Center.
Roberts Ridge Park will be closed for about 8 weeks this summer for retrofitting the “Park of Possibilities”. The closure is necessary for installation of the poured in place safety surfacing.
Mr. Levine asked that the Board consider acquiring the Sloan School property.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s question, Mr. Levine said that he has only contacted Middletown Township about the skate park, but the sub-committee would be in touch with other communities to assemble data.
In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, Mr. Levine said that he has visited the Sloan School site, and it has been retrofitted for institutional use, and already has classrooms. It could be used for Park and Recreation programs or for a community/senior center.
Mr. Levine confirmed that Mr. O’Neill has shared the packet of information from the previous skate park committee with Mr. Zotter.
Mr. Levine announced that future Park and Recreation Board meetings will begin at 7:00PM
Planning Commission: Vice-Chairman Vince Lombardi reported that the Planning Commission reviewed a final plan for the Mastromarco Minor Subdivision at 135 Swamp Road. Vincent Fioravanti, engineer on the project, advised the Commission that the final plan will comply with all items on the review letters. The Commission tabled the review and agreed to a sixty day extension to allow the applicant to finalize the plans.
The Commission reviewed an application for a conditional use for Carlucci’s Express Café at 104 Pheasant Run. The applicant wishes to change the already granted conditional use of 2197 square feet of space to 2500 square feet, and to extend the hours to 10:00PM seven days a week, instead of the already approved 6:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday through Saturday. The members agreed to the increased size but felt that the changed hours would extend the service area of the café beyond the Business Commons. Mr. Lombardi said that the Commission thought this would be an E-6 use, which is not permitted in the Business Commons, and not an E-5 eating-place use, which is permitted by conditional use. The Commission recommended that the Board deny this application.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Lombardi said that the Planning Commission considered the E-5 use an accessory use, while an E-6 use is the primary use. He said that the Commission had some concerns about deliveries outside of the Business Commons, and about the café becoming a destination restaurant, rather than a service provided to the employees within the Commons and guests of the hotel only.
Mr. Jirele asked whether the Planning Commission would still recommend denying the application if a condition limiting deliveries to Business Commons locations were added.
Mr. Lombardi was not certain but thought the Planning Commission might recommend approval if such a condition were added.
Mrs. Goren asked whether the extended hours was the only concern of the Planning Commission.
Mr. Lombardi said that extending the hours and adding Sunday to the hours of operation would extend the area to be served beyond the Business Commons.
Land Development Projects
Conditional Use – Carlucci’s Express Café – 104 Pheasant Run: Attorney Donna Wengiel represented the applicant.
Mr. Beckert entered the following exhibits:
Aniello Capuano and Cameron C. Troilo, Jr., were sworn in.
Ms. Wengiel reviewed the conditions of the original conditional use approval, for a 50 seat, 2197 square-foot café, dated August 24, 2005:
The applicant is seeking to expand the space to 2500 square feet, with the increased 303 square feet for additional work area, and with extended hours of operation from 6:00 AM to 10:00PM, seven days a week. The application incorrectly gives the hours until 11:00PM, with three shifts of employees. There will be two shifts of five employees.
In response to Ms. Wengiel’s questions, Mr. Capuano said that he would be the owner/operator of the café, which would serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food would be ordered at the counter, then prepared to order and carried out or carried by the customer to a table. It is his intention to cater to the employees of the Business Commons and guests at the hotel. The hotel will serve breakfast to guests, but will not have a restaurant. He will provide room service. He intends to provide delivery, but will not have a drive-through window. He would agree to all of the other conditions on the original approval.
In response to Mr. Weaver’s questions, Mr. Capuano said that it is his intention to service the businesses within the Commons, some of which hold late meetings, or remain open in the evening, including the NAC. There is no other restaurant in the Commons.
Mr. Capuano said that the hotel will not have a restaurant. No dinner service would be available in the hotel. Breakfast would be served in the hotel to guests only.
Mr. Calabro said that at the Planning Commission meeting, Mr. Capuano had indicated that the business would not be profitable if only breakfast and lunch were served. He had indicated that he intends to provide service to people outside of the Commons.
Mr. Capuano said that he would not refuse service to anyone, and it would be impossible to know whether a customer is a Commons employee. In response to Mr. Beckert’s questions, he said that he would accept a condition that deliveries be limited to the Business Commons only. At his Lower Makefield café, in the Kohl’s shopping center, about 20% of the business is delivery, 40%-50% is take-out. This is a retail location, and it would attract a different clientele.
Mr. Troilo said that he is project manager for this site. He explained that his original plan had been for a café serving breakfast and lunch only, but he was unable to find a tenant for these limited hours. Mr. Capuano has expressed interest with the expanded hours. The café has been an attractive selling point when finding tenants for the office building and in negotiating for the hotel/conference center. Many existing businesses in the Commons, including NAC, LSAC and Remax have evening hours, and have expressed support for a restaurant or café with evening hours for the convenience of their employees.
Ms. Wengiel reviewed E-5 eating place and E-6 eating place – drive-in, as defined in the JMZO, noting that the E-5 use is any place for the sale and consumption of food and beverages provided there is no drive-in service, the sale of alcohol is incidental, it is located on a local street, if in the industrial district is not within 300 feet of the By-Pass, and provides one off-street parking space for every two seats. This use meets every requirement. There is to be no sale or consumption of alcohol and 30 parking spaces are provided for 50 seats. The E-6 Eating Place-Drive In describes the sale of food or beverages in a ready to consume state, and must have direct access to a collector or arterial street, with a drive-in window, trash receptacles, one point of ingress and egress. This more closely resembles a fast food establishment. It is only permitted in the PC zone. Every other restaurant in Newtown is an E-5 use. Ms. Wengiel cited the decision in Abington v. Dunkin Donuts, in support of her statements.
Ms. Wengiel entered the following exhibits:
In response to Mr. Calabro’s question, Mr. Troilo said that he was not able to find a tenant for the 6:00AM to 6:00PM hours. He did explain to Mr. Capuano that there is only approval for those hours, but he agreed to apply for expanded hours on Mr. Capuano’s behalf. He did not know whether LSAC and NAC had third shifts, or whether those employees working evenings were working “overtime”. There are many other professional offices, such as doctors and dentists, with evening hours. The hotel would be open seven days a week. He did not know whether the NAC had a snack bar or just drinks available. The cafeteria at LSAC is a seating area, and does not provide food.
Ms. Wengiel said that the Ordinance does not define a drive-in restaurant specifically as a use. The E-6 use describes an establishment with ready to consume foods, and includes drive-in window features. She said that Wendy’s more closely fits the E-6 use, and would probably not be permitted as a use in the LI district as a storefront with only carry out service.
In response to questions from Mr. Jirele and Mr. Schenkman, Mr. Troilo said that the hotel would have 105 to 110 rooms, and would only serve breakfast to guests. There might be some light snacks available, such as cheese and crackers, in the cocktail lounge. There will be to be no lunch, dinner or room service. He did not know the total number of employees in the Business Commons. There is a lunch wagon that comes through the Commons, and many employees bring their lunch.
Ms. Wengiel pointed out that the Business Commons has changed, and is no longer an industrial park. The Planning Commission would not object to the proposal if deliveries were limited to within the Commons.
Resident Douglas Terry was sworn in. Mr. Terry said that he has a business in the Commons. He is president of the Newtown Business Commons Association (NBCA). He has spoken at the Planning Commission meeting in support of this application, and has written a letter to the Supervisors on behalf of NBCA. He said that the businesses in the Commons are very excited about the restaurant and hotel. Many businesses stay open in the evening and would make use of the restaurant. His own firm stays open until 9:00. There is overwhelming support for this restaurant among the business people. It would be a great convenience for those working late as well as for clients staying at the hotel. He did not think there would be any traffic problems in the evening, as there are only the occasional cars of residents using the Commons streets as a cut-through to the mall. He said that most of the employees in the Commons were very willing to sign the petition in support of the restaurant.
Mrs. Goren noted that the petition does not include the employer or the residence of the signers. She asked the percentage of employees in the Commons who are also residents.
Mr. Terry did not know the percentage with certainty, but estimated about 10%. He said that the nearby Hampton Inn is always completely booked, and the new hotel is needed by the local businesses for visiting clients and customers. The restaurant would be used by business travelers arriving in the evening.
In response to Mr. Calabro’s questions, Mr. Terry said that he is a member of both NBCA and Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation. He said that support of this project is not in conflict with the mission of JDNC. The Business Commons is part of the community, and JDNC is interested in supporting all businesses in the community. He did not agree that by promoting this application he was diverting business from the restaurants on State and Sycamore Streets. NBCA had been invited to join JDNC, but declined because NBCA is new and the Board of Directors agreed that it is too early in its development to join another group. He did not know whether there is food service or a restaurant at the Hampton Inn.
Resident William Mlkvy was sworn in. Dr. Mlkvy said that he was appreciative of the work that Mr. Weaver and the Township administration have done to help revitalize the Business Commons. Dr. Mlkvy has had offices in the Commons for over thirty-five years. He is a member of the NBCA Board of Directors. He is in support of this application and feels that a restaurant, open in the evenings, would be an asset and would help to bring successful businesses into the Commons, and would serve those tenants and employees already there.
Christopher Messick was sworn in. Mr. Messick said that he is a member of NBCA’s Board of Directors, and is involved in developing a number of properties and in bringing new businesses into the Commons. He has also done business in many other office parks in the area, and most have support services such as restaurants within their boundaries. This is an asset to the tenants and employees. Prospective tenants have been very interested in the services available to their employees. In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, Mr. Messick said that there are restaurants, open for dinner, in Horsham, Blue Bell and Fort Washington’s business parks. Having restaurants that can provide evening deliveries is a standard concept in business parks in this area.
Resident Ethel Hibbs was sworn in. Mrs. Hibbs said that she has organized many conferences and conventions for up to 10,000 women, and has traveled all over the country to locations similar to this. It is always expected and appreciated when food service is conveniently located within easy walking distance to hotels. Many people staying at a hotel to attend a conference do not have transportation and arrive the evening before a conference is to begin. She said that providing such services to the hotel guests and the employees in the Commons is in the best interest of the Township.
Resident Tony McBryan was sworn in. Mr. McBryan said that it is not the Township’s responsibility to provide meals for hotel guests. This is not an appropriate location for a restaurant that is open in the evening. Carlucci’s has a very good local reputation and will be very busy every evening, creating traffic problems for the residents nearby. People should go to Newtown Borough for restaurants. He noted that there is no long-term master plan for the Business Commons.
Resident Karen D’Aprile was sworn in. Mrs. D’Aprile agreed that a restaurant open in the evening would be an asset to the Business Commons, to serve employees and hotel guests. She said that there is very little traffic in the evening in that area, and a small café would not generate a great deal of traffic.
Mrs. Crescenzo was sworn in. Mrs. Crescenzo said that the Supervisors have lost their perspective. The Industrial Commons was failing, with many empty buildings and vacant lots. The Economic Development Council made a tremendous effort to redevelop the Commons as a business park. They have had long-term vision and have planned ahead to redevelop older properties. A thriving business park with support services is economically good for the entire community.
Resident John D’Aprile was sworn in. Mr. D’Aprile said that the restaurant is a good idea and will attract businesses to locate in the Business Commons. There are many businesses open in the evenings that would support this restaurant. It would cut traffic because employees and hotel guests would not have to drive into town for meals.
Mr. Weaver said that the Township had asked developers to come and help revitalize the Industrial Commons, and they have responded, bringing in new businesses, including a hotel. We need to provide services for the business community within the Commons. This restaurant will be a small, 50-seat, café, not a chain restaurant. There will be no liquor served. It would be successful just serving the hotel guests. Many of the employees do not have time to drive into the Borough for lunch or breaks. This will be a great service to those workers, who will now be able to quickly walk to a café. The EDC has spent a great deal of time planning for this goal of a revitalized Business Commons. Although the café cannot refuse customers from outside the Commons, the bulk of its business will be employees and hotel guests.
Mr. Jirele said that he had been concerned about this request at first, but, after listening to the testimony and the statements of support from the residents and the business community, now feels that this request must be supported by the Board. We have sought to bring a hotel into the Commons, and have worked to revitalize the area. The café will be very convenient for business travelers and workers in the Commons.
Mr. Jirele moved to grant conditional use approval to Cameron C. Troilo (Homewood Suites) 104 Pheasant Run for use E-5, eating place, with the conditions that:
Mr. Weaver seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman said that this proposal lacks leadership and vision. There has been a rush to accommodate the business model of the only tenant that could be found. He said that at the Planning Commission meeting the applicant had testified that he would have both take-out and home delivery throughout Newtown, but his testimony is different today. This willingness to change his testimony so quickly is evidence that planning has not been done. There have been no facts or expert opinions given in support of this request. A more polished presentation should have been given. He said that because of the quality of the food, this would become a destination restaurant.
Mrs. Goren said that she does not support this application because once a restaurant is allowed within the Commons, others will follow and will serve the entire community. She is concerned that this could become “restaurant commons”. She would have supported the application if the restaurant were inside the hotel.
Mr. Jirele said that this was very shortsighted. It is important to provide some convenient food service along with the hotel.
Mr. Calabro said that there is already approval for a café with breakfast and lunch hours. He is willing to abide by the prior Board’s decision. This does not negate the original approval.
The motion failed 2-3, with Mrs. Goren, and Messrs. Schenkman and Calabro voting nay.
Mr. Schenkman moved to deny the application for conditional use of Cameron C. Troilo for expanded hours and space for an E-5 eating place. Mr. Calabro seconded. The motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Jirele and Weaver voting nay.
Mrs. Crescenzo attempted to comment on this motion.
Mr. Schenkman moved to close the hearing. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Jirele said that it is important to let the residents speak at the meetings, during public comment and before a vote is taken on a motion. He disagreed with placing time limits on public comment. He said that the Board would never get into trouble if the residents are given time to speak their mind.
Request to Extend Zoning Hearing Board Variance: Attorney Donna Wengiel represented the applicant, Alan Horowitz, seeking to extend a variance granted for a pool and driveway expansion. Because the Zoning Hearing Board had not granted the full relief sought, the applicant had to redesign the project. He is seeking an extension to January 7, 2007.
Mr. Weaver moved to extend the Zoning Hearing Board variance granted to Alan Horowitz, 1 Pickering Drive, until January 7, 2007. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Officials
Chairman: Mrs. Goren reported that she and Messrs. Weaver, Schenkman, and Calabro had attended the PSATS convention in Hershey. Over 5000 township officials were in attendance to exchange ideas on local issues.
Mrs. Goren announced that the June schedule of meetings of the Board of Supervisors had been changed. The only June meeting will be on June 21, 2006.
Mr. Jirele said that he has planned his schedule around the Board meetings, and would not be available on June 21. He said that he had not been consulted about the change in schedule until today.
Mrs. Goren and Mr. Schenkman would not be in attendance on June 14. Mrs. Goren expressed concern that no business could be conducted unless all three members in attendance voted the same way.
Mrs. Goren moved to cancel the meeting of June 14, 2006.
Mr. Beckert said that there are no land development issues scheduled for that date.
The motion failed.
After some discussion, it was agreed that the Board would meet on the regular schedule, on June 14 and June 28.
Mr. Pellegrino said that a few years ago the schedule had been reduced to one meeting in July and one in August.
Manager: Mr. Pellegrino reported that he had accepted the resignation of Thomas Harwood, the Code Enforcement Officer. Mr. Harwood has been with Newtown Township in this capacity and as interim Township Manager for twelve years. He will be retiring effective June 30, 2006. Mr. Pellegrino wished Mr. Harwood good luck and happiness in his retirement.
Solicitor: Mr. Schenkman moved to approve the amendments to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance for the calculation of park and recreation fees and impact fees for area in non-residential developments. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement to amend the code of ordinances regarding traffic regulations, stop signs, prohibitions of u-turns and parking on public streets in various locations. Mr. Calabro seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele suggested that Marigold Drive’s speed limit should be consistent with the speed limit throughout the rest of Newtown Grant.
Mr. Pellegrino said that the staff would further review the list for inconsistencies before it is advertised. He noted that a four-way stop sign would be placed at the intersection of North Penns Trail at Hartfield and Warwick Courts.
Resident Frank Mendicino asked whether these speed limits would be enforceable.
Mr. Pellegrino said they would be.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Beckert said an executive session would be required to discuss and take action on a matter of litigation.
Engineer’s Report: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize the signing of Mylars for a PRD variance at 12 Pinetree Court. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize the signing of Mylars for the Veterans Association minor subdivision. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Public Comment: Mr. D’Aprile said that he disagreed with Mr. Schenkman’s comments on the Carlucci presentation. He said that the members of the EDC, business owners inside the Business Commons and frequent travelers like Mrs. Hibbs are, in fact, experts. He felt that this matter had been pre-decided before the hearing was opened, and that this is an effort to keep business out of that part of the Township.
Mr. Mendicino said that in his opinion the prior conditional use granted to 104 Pheasant Run was a stretch of the Ordinance. He said that the zoning of the Township should be protected and kept in place. The EDC’s recommendations were for the EDC members’ own benefit, not for the community as a whole. The application for extended hours is proof that the business is not viable for the hours originally approved.
Mr. Weaver noted that the EDC had only two members with businesses inside of Newtown Business Commons. The membership included consultants from Bucks County Redevelopment Authority and other government entities, and residents.
Mr. Mendicino asked whether the Township has really benefited financially by the changes to the Business Commons.
Mr. Weaver said that there has been an increase in earned income tax for employees in buildings that had previously been empty. In response to Mr. Mendicino’s comments on expenses for infrastructure, Mr. Weaver noted that developers have paid substantial impact fees for road improvements.
Mr. Jirele noted that the Industrial Commons had a 40% vacancy rate, and now there is only one empty building. The Township has spent no money on infrastructure. He also noted that the Carlucci application was not a zoning matter but a request to expand an already approved and allowed use.
Mrs. Goren said that perhaps a study should be done. She said that the E-5 use is only permitted in the LI zoning district to serve employees. This proposal would have serviced a great deal more, and is a de facto zoning change.
Mr. Mendicino said that the E-5 use in the LI district is only to feed employees of the Business Commons, and the application proposed a full scale retail operation.
Mr. Weaver noted that this is a misunderstanding on Mr. Mendicino’s part, and that the EDC did not intend for the E-5 use to mean an employee cafeteria.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she resented not being permitted to speak before the vote to deny the conditional use for Carlucci’s. She said that there has been a lack of discussion with the public on other matters including the municipal complex expansion, financial matters and a community center. Responding to Mr. Mendicino’s comment on the membership of the EDC, she noted that the Sycamore Street Committee was made up of residents and business owners on Sycamore Street, and all are benefiting by the improvements.
Mrs. Crescenzo questioned the Solicitor’s charges for work on Rosebank Winery, and about the increased traffic caused by Rosebank’s catering business. She questioned the fire safety precautions for the catering tent.
Mrs. D’Aprile questioned the reason for the attempted change of meeting schedule during June. She asked whether the proposed change would have given the “wrong side” an advantage in voting.
The Board reconvened after a thirty-minute executive session.
Mr. Weaver moved to approve a settlement agreement on the appeal of a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board on Rosebank Winery, granting David and Beverly Fleming and Rosebank Winery certain rights to use their property for catering of certain events. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Jirele voting nay.
The meeting adjourned at 12:40 AM.
Respectfully Submitted: ____________________________________
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary
Minutes Approved as submitted __________ as corrected___________
Robert M. Pellegrino, Manager Anne Goren, Chairman
Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman
Jerry Shenkman, Secretary/Treasurer
Thomas Jirele, Member
Richard Weaver, Member