Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors 

Work Session Minutes

June 19, 2006


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting August 9, 2006. Minutes of work session meeting of June 19, 2006:Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of June 19, 2006. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-0.


Members Present: Anne Goren, Chairman; Philip Calabro, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer; Richard Weaver, Member; Paul Beckert, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Edward Koehler, Engineer. Not present was Tom Jirele, Member.

Also Present: Peter Stampfl, Stampfl Hartle Associates; George Sowa, Brandywine Realty Trust; Joe McGrath, The J.W. McGrath Organization; John McGrath; Wayne Johnson, Pickering, Corts and Summerson, Inc.; Dan Chieco, Pickering, Corts and Summerson, Inc.; Evan Stone; Tom Hecker; Various Newtown Township residents including Ethel Hibbs, John D’Aprile, Karen D’Aprile, Jennifer Dix, Fran Pool, Judy Pool, Judith Norkin, Rose Oranger, Steve Oranger, Mike Hanson and Mary Berkowitz.

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

McGrath Concept Plan – Goodnoe Restaurant Property, North Sycamore Street

The Supervisors were provided a copy of the concept plan in their packets.

Mr. Stampfl updated the Supervisors with regards to the concept plan for the Goodnoe Restaurant property located at the corner of Durham Road and Sycamore Street. He discussed the Sycamore Street reconstruction project. He advised that the concept plan include one (1) two-story building and four (4) one-story buildings. He advised that the buildings in the proposed concept plan would emulate the buildings located across the street. He advised on the locations of the pedestrian entrances. He advised that the parking area would be located in the rear of the building. He also discussed possible building materials. He introduced Mr. Dan Chieco to discuss the features of the site.

Mr. Chieco introduced himself to the Supervisors and provided them with a copy of a zoning comparison chart for their review. He advised the Supervisors with regards to the zoning comparison chart, discussing the Planned Commercial District, the proposed site plan and the Town Commercial District. He advised that according to the proposed concept plan there are issues involving the impervious surface ratio, the proposed yards, parking and dwellings above a business. He advised that a variance would be needed with regards to the proposed yard setbacks. He advised that the concept plan would require a parking variance. He advised that there is some parking along Sycamore Street that has not been calculated into the proposed concept plan. He discussed the site being pedestrian friendly. He advised that the site is located in the PC District with the TC District located on both sides.

Mr. Stampfl advised that four (4) apartments would be located above the two-story building.

Mr. Chieco advised on location of the service areas for the facility.

Ms. Goren questioned the types of tenants expected for the development. Mr. Stampfl advised on the possible tenants, which may include a pharmacy, restaurant, general retail, and a bank.

Mr. Beckert questioned the total square footage excluding the apartments. Mr. Chieco advised that the total square footage excluding the apartments is 27,340 sq. ft.

Mr. Beckert commented with regards to the apartments being apartments not condominiums. Mr. Stampfl advised that is correct.

Mr. Beckert questioned the parking with regards to 4.5 spaces/1,000 G.S.F. Mr. Chieco advised with regards to parking.

Mr. Beckert discussed the parking at Newtown Village. Mr. Chieco advised that if the plan is calculated at 5.5 spaces/1,000 G.S.F. that there would be a loss of streetscape.

Mr. Stampfl advised the Supervisors that the street front parking area has not been calculated in the proposed plan. He also discussed the possibility of overflow parking at Newtown Village.

Mr. Beckert questioned if they are committed to the size of the pharmacy? Mr. Joe McGrath advised that they are not one hundred percent committed to the size of the pharmacy and that could be reviewed further.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the possibility of having a parking area above or below the pharmacy. Mr. Joe McGrath advised he would look into the possibility of parking above or below the pharmacy.

Mr. Calabro questioned the building uses with the exception of the pharmacy and the bank. Mr. Stampfl and Mr. Joe McGrath advised on the possible building use.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to walkways and deliveries. Mr. Chieco advised the Supervisors with regards to the loading areas for deliveries.

Mr. Chieco advised the Supervisors that the complex would have a wall enclosing some areas from the street.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the sidewalk being consistent with Sycamore Street. Mr. Chieco advised that the sidewalk consistency is being looked into.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the possibility of underground wiring. Mr. Joe McGrath advised the Supervisors on discussions with PECO.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the possibility of salvaging the ice cream parlor. Mr. Joe McGrath advised the Supervisors that he has had discussions with Mr. Goodnoe.

Mr. Calabro questioned the type of restaurant expected to replace Goodnoe’s. Mr. Joe McGrath advised on the possible replacements.

Mrs. D’Aprile commented with regards to the community not needing another pharmacy and suggested developing an ice cream shop. Mr. Joe McGrath advised that there would be an ice cream shop located on the property.

Mrs. D’Aprile advised that she has concerns with regards to parking. Mr. Joe McGrath advised with regards to parking.

Mr. Pool, Clivedon Estates HOA advised that he has three (3) issues. His first concern is with regards to having sidewalks running down Durham Road to Eagle Road. He second concern is with regards to the building height and his third concern is with regards to lighting.

Ms. Norkin, Clivedon Estates advised that she also has concerns with regards to lighting. Mr. Chieco advised with regards to the lighting.

Ms. Norkin questioned where the trash would be located. Mr. Chieco advised on the two (2)-trash locations located along Ice Cream Alley.

Ms. Norkin commented with regards to the building having dormers and the possibility of living space. Mr. Stampfl advised that area would not be living space.

Ms. Berkowitz commented with regards to the parking located along the opposite side of Sycamore Street and possible changes. Mr. Chieco advised that area would not be affected.

Ms. Norkin commented with regards to the shrubs along Durham Road and suggested planting more trees to help block the light. Mr. Joe McGrath advised he would look into the suggestion.

Mr. Beckert commented with regards to the light illuminating beyond the property. Mr. Chieco advised on the lighting fixtures.

Mr. Joe McGrath advised that they would set up a meeting with the Clivedon HOA.

Ms. Goren questioned exactly what is being requested from the Board. Mr. Chieco advised that the site is located in the PC District and discussed applying for variances. He advised that the areas that need relief are the yard setbacks, the impervious surface, parking and dwellings over a business.

The Supervisors discussed the size of the parking spots. Mr. Joe McGrath advised that the parking area needs to be fined tuned.

Ms. Dix commented with regards to buffering the northern side of Durham Road.

Mr. Pool advised on the natural buffering along the northern side of Durham Road.

Mrs. Oranger, Clivedon Estates advised that she would like buffering.

Mr. Oranger, Clivedon Estates questioned the types of tenants. Mr. Joe McGrath advised on the possible tenants.

Mr. Oranger commented with regards to the number of banks located in that area.

The Supervisors discussed the screening wall.

Mrs. Pool, Clivedon Estates commented with regards to the number of vacant stores within the Township.

Mr. Oranger commented with regards to the tenants on State Street. Mr. Joe McGrath discussed the type of tenants the can be located along State Street.

Ms. Goren questioned what else the J.W. McGrath Organization would like to discuss. Mr. Joe McGrath advised that he would consider it an honor to work on a downtown project like the proposed concept plan.

Mr. Pool questioned the expected time line for the project. Mr. Joe McGrath advised with regards to the time line for the project.

Mr. Joe McGrath advised he would be at tomorrow night’s Planning Commission Meeting.

Mr. Chieco commented with regards to the relief needed.

Ms. Goren advised that her big issues are the impervious surface and parking.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the parking calculations and handicap parking. Mr. Chieco advised that some of the spaces have been calculated for handicap parking.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he likes the plan. He discussed the parking, lighting and impervious surface.

The Supervisors thanked the representatives for the J.W. McGrath Organization for their time.

Settlement of Brandywine Litigation – McGrath Stipulation, Upper Silver Lake Road

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to the settlement of Brandywine litigation. He advised with regards to the executive session and the conference with Judge Scott. He discussed the proposed stipulation to allow B-17 use on the site and the requirements involved. He advised that the appeal would be withdrawn without prejudice. He advised on the agreement between Brandywine and McGrath. He advised on discussions with the Jointure.

Mr. Schenkman requested Mr. Beckert define the term stipulation with regards to this litigation. Mr. Beckert advised that a stipulation is an agreement between all parties.

Mr. Schenkman requested Mr. Beckert define the term without prejudice. Mr. Beckert advised that without prejudice means that there are particular terms within the stipulation, which set forth the basis upon which, and the terms under which the litigation can be reinitiated. He advised that in this case it would be in the event that Brandywine would come back into control of the property and want to proceed forward on their land development plan. In the event that this happens Brandywine would have to give notice to all parties involved in the litigation. The parties would have sixty days to continue on with the appeal and the Judge would take up the matter as if it were pending now.

Mr. Schenkman requested Mr. Beckert to give a hypothetical situation that would allow Brandywine to take possession of the property. Mr. Beckert advised on two possibilities. The first possibility is that it is his understanding that the applicant is under an October 4th deadline to purchase the property and that if the property was not purchase by the October 4th deadline the agreement of sale unless extended would expire and Brandywine would take ownership interest of the property. The second possibility involves the sale price and Brandywine holding some of the mortgage funds and the possible default on the mortgage would allow Brandywine to come back into control of the property after going through the legal process.

Mr. Schenkman questioned how the stipulation affects the Township. Mr. Beckert advised that the stipulation benefits the Township and explained why.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the settlement of litigation and rezoning the land. Mr. Beckert advised on the settlement of litigation and the possible rezoning of this site.

Mr. Weaver made a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to execute the Stipulation on behalf of the Township. The motion was seconded by Mr. Calabro and passed unanimously (4-0).

Upper Silver Lake Road Opening

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to the opening of Upper Silver Lake Road. He discussed issues with regards to traffic, an emergency access area and the condition of the roadway. The Supervisors were provided correspondence regarding the matter for their review. He suggested that the Supervisors consider amending the PRD approval so as to reopen the roadway recognizing the nature of the traffic.

Mr. Weaver commented with regards to the changes in that area of the Township.

Mr. Schenkman questioned how the reopening of the road would impact the area. He also discussed traffic concerns.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the need to review the intersection of Upper Silver Lake Road and Newtown-Yardley Road.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that the Supervisors request the applicant to include a traffic study.

Ms. Dix, Wiltshire Walk advised that it is her belief that residents in her development would be in favor of reopening Upper Silver Lake Road. She also suggested that the Township look into traffic calming along the area of the roadway that is currently closed.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to vehicles speeding on the road and the need for traffic calming.

The Supervisors agreed to request McGrath to include a traffic study.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested notifying the residents of the discussions to reopen Upper Silver Lake Road.

Authorization to Sign Deed Transferring Right-Of Way Along Route 532 to PennDot

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors with regards to the authorization to sign deed transferring the right-of way along Route 532 to Penn Dot. The Supervisors were provided correspondence regarding the matter for their review.

Mr. Weaver made a motion for authorization to sign deed transferring the right-of way along Route 532 to PennDot. The motion was seconded by Mr. Schenkman and passed unanimously (4-0).

Swamp Road & Sycamore Street Intersection

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the Swamp Road and Sycamore Street intersection. He advised with regards to the prior removal of the right turn lane and suggested reinstalling the right turn lane. He commented with regards to the intersection no longer being traffic friendly.

The Supervisors discussed the pedestrian traffic.

Mr. Schenkman suggested reviewing the alternatives before making a final decision.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that the Supervisors consider holding off on the reinstallation of the right turn lane until the improvements are complete at the Eagle Road and Swamp Road Intersection.

Mr. Schenkman suggested that the Township advise Gilmore Associates that the Township is considering reinstalling the right turn lane at the intersection of Swamp Road and Sycamore Street.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on how the intersection is effected during the rush hours.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors on discussions with regards to the improvements to the intersection of South Eagle Road and Swamp Road.

Authorization to Sign Community Development Block Grant – Barn Painting & Preservation – Clark Property

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to the authorization to sign a Community Development Block Grant for the preservation and painting of the barn located on the Clark property. The Supervisors were provided correspondence regarding the matter for their review.

Mr. Weaver made a motion for authorization to sign Community Development Block Grant. The motion was second by Mr. Schenkman and passed unanimously (4-0).

Conditional Use/Variance Application – Elliott Building Group, Former Acme Site, Sycamore Street

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to the Conditional Use/Variance application submitted by Elliott Building Group. He advised on discussions that the Planning Commission has had with regards to the matter. The Supervisors were provided a copy of the Redevelopment Agreement and the proposed plan for their review.

The Supervisors discussed the Redevelopment Agreement. Ms. Goren and Mr. Weaver updated the new members with regards to the project.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that Elliott Building Group’s proposed plan best met the recommendations of the Acme Visioning Committee. He also discussed the signing of the Redevelopment Agreement.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the signed Redevelopment Agreement and request made by the Planning Commission.

The Supervisors discussed the effects of signing the Redevelopment Agreement and possible concerns that the Township has.

Mr. Koehler advised on the plan reviewed by the Planning Commission and the plans originally submitted are not the same. He advised on the differences. He suggested providing the Planning Commissions with a copy of the plans that were originally submitted.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the changes to the plan.

The Supervisors agreed that the details of the plan should be worked out at the Planning Commission level.

The Supervisors discussed the changes to the originally submitted plan and the plan currently being reviewed.

Mr. Beckert advised he would discuss the matter at the next Planning Commission meeting.

Mr. Pellegrino advised the Supervisors with regards to prior meetings with Elliott Building Group.

Community Comments

Ms. Hibbs suggested that the Supervisors consider an overlay of the Historic District. She discussed HARB reviews, adding to the Historic District by an overlay district and the Township’s future.

Other Business

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted by:

 

_____________________________
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary