Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of September 27, 2006

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Anne Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, Secretary/Treasure, Jerry Schenkman and members Thomas Jirele and Richard Weaver. Also present were: Paul Beckert, Township Solicitor, Chris Fazio, 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 Pastor David Wagner of Lutheran Church of God’s Love. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Pellegrino added payment of the Sycamore Street project to the Manager’s Report.

Public Comment: Resident Paul Salvatore, announced that Newtown Rotary would be donating $5000 in landscaping to the Roberts Ridge playground in memory of H. Stanford Roberts, a founding member of Newtown Rotary. He said that Rotary mourns the loss of member Bud Smith, who passed away recently. He will be sorely missed. Rotary’s “Wheels to Work” program, which collects used bicycles to be refurbished and sent to third world countries, will be held on November 4, 2006, location to be announced.

Mr. Salvatore announced that Newtown Business and Professional Association held a fundraiser for the Newtown Theatre, a community owned theatre, at which $6500 was raised to purchase a DVD player. Their recent golf outing was also a great success.

Resident Nancy Crescenzo said that the new Web site is behind in posting minutes of Township boards and committees. She noted that some Planning Commission members have been arriving late to meetings, or not attending every meeting. She said that Roberts Ridge playground has been closed too long during the renovation period. She said that the work is being done at night by volunteers, but she did not know about the volunteers. She did not know where volunteer help was sought.

Mr. Jirele responded that in early spring it was announced that the construction of the playground would be done with the use of some volunteer labor.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that a sign had been erected at Silver Lake Park, but the guard barriers have not been installed on the culvert, although both signs and barriers were paid for. She complained that there is not handicapped parking or handicapped access to Silver Lake from the parking lot.

Resident Robert Ciervo questioned the method used for rezoning the Brandywine property for high density housing by stipulation agreement, rather than by amending the zoning ordinance. He also said that the project should need to have a conditional use hearing, but that this has been eliminated from the land development process. He said that without a conditional use hearing, any land development approval could be appealed by residents. He also questioned the figures used to project traffic for the Villas project.

Mr. Beckert responded that the stipulation agreement allows for use B-17 as a permitted, not as a conditional use. As part of land development approval proceedings, issues related to conditional use would be addressed.

Mr. Jirele said that the stipulation allows use B-17 as a permitted use, however the JMZO allows use B-17, elderly housing, as a conditional use. He said that the stipulation requires that the project go through the normal SALDO approval process, and that he disagrees with Mr. Beckert’s interpretation.

Mr. Beckert again said that he has interpreted the stipulation as allowing use B-17 as a permitted, as distinct from conditional, use.

Mr. Jirele said that the conditional use approval process allows the Board of Supervisors to decide under what conditions the property can be developed.

Mr. Jirele moved to table the land development proceeding for Villas at Newtown. The motion died for lack of a second.

Resident Jim McCrane asked about the Rosebank Winery’s recent citation for violations to its agreement with the Township. He also asked about sound monitoring equipment at the Winery.

Mr. Beckert said that the Township has written a letter demanding that the tent be removed because there have been material violations to the agreement. The time period to respond to that letter is about to expire. He has confirmed that the equipment installed to monitor sound does record levels of sound, but there have not been complaints about sound.

Special Actions

Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Ordinance for Verizon Pennsylvania Franchise Agreement Authorizing Cable Services:
James Manahan of the Telecommunications Advisory Committee and Scott Harp, special liaison the the Committee reviewed the history of the Committee’s work to bring cable competition to Newtown. They thanked other members of the Committee, including Jim Bowe, Harry Stevens and Barbara Jankowski for their hard work.

Mr. Harp asked the Board to adopt an ordinance to allow Verizon to bring cable competition to Newtown.

Mr. Weaver moved to adopt an ordinance to authorizing Verizon to offer cable services. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Beckert said that Verizon would provide the same service levels as Comcast, with the same franchise fees to the Township. Verizon would have the same access to public facilities. This would be a twelve-year agreement.

Mr. Jirele said that Newtown has led the Buck County Consortium through the Verizon negotiations, and he thanked Mr. Pellegrino for his efforts. He also thanked Mr. Schenkman, who joined the cable negotiations this year.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the Township should be seeing service offered by Verizon in early 2007.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to execute the franchise agreement with Verizon. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman commended the many committee members who donated time to bring about this agreement, including Jim Bowe, Harry Stevens, and Patrick Foster and Don Smith of Newtown Borough.

Member's Comments:Mr. Weaver expressed condolences to the family of Bud Smith. Mr. Smith was a great public servant and will be missed by all in the Township.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of August 14, 2006. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Resident Ethel Hibbs noted that “Gaucks Lane” is misspelled on pages 3 and 4.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of August 14, 2006, as corrected. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Jirele abstaining.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of September 13, 2006. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bills List: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $269,209.12. Mr. Weaver seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo complained about bills for telephone, cell phone and pager service for Township employees.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $160,000. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Park and Recreation Board: Chairman Andrew Levine thanked the Rotary Club for its generous donation of landscape plantings from Roberts Nursery for Roberts Ridge Park. He reviewed the progress of construction of the “Park of Possibilities”, noting that the Have-a-Heart Foundation coordinated all volunteer labor efforts. Much of the work required specific knowledge and skills, and volunteers came from a number of trade unions. A great deal of re-grading had to be done before the poured-in-place safety surfacing can be installed. Wood chips removed from the playground have been used on the trails through Clark Nature Center. Progress on the park was delayed in early summer due to inclement weather; flooding in neighboring communities kept the volunteers and their donated heavy equipment busy elsewhere. The safety surfacing is expected to be poured in early October. The play events are being retrofitted with ramps and special needs play panels have been installed.

Mr. Levine reported that the summer camps have been a tremendous success, with an increase in revenue of 4%. More children were enrolled, and there was an increase in participation in before- and after-care. All camps are completely self-sufficient.

Work is being completed on restoration of the Clark barn, paid for by a HUD community block grant.

The Board has had some discussion about expanding the Newtown Trail through the proposed development of the Goodnoe property, preserving open space as a linear park.

Historic Architectural Review Board: Mr. Jirele moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for Vincent and Judy Loc, 125 South Sycamore Street, for a fence. Mr. Weaver seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to questions from Mrs. Crescenzo, Mrs. Hibbs, Secretary for HARB, explained that a fence is being proposed on the Loc’ property as a safety precaution, because there is a sharp drop at the rear of the property, which leads to the Newtown Creek, below. This drop has always been there, and was not caused by erosion.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to approve a certificate of appropriateness for Vincent and Sally Lombardi at 123 North Sycamore Street for a railing. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Hibbs reported that HARB has been involved in some discussion about the St. Andrew’s convent, and that some of the outstanding issues at 159 N. Sycamore Street have been resolved.

Planning Commission: Member Jim Bowe reported that the Commission tabled discussion of the Deluca preliminary plan for land development at the St. Andrew’s preschool, but recommended that the Supervisors approve preliminary plans for land development and minor subdivision for the refurbishment and restoration of the St. Andrew’s convent as office space. (St. Andrew’s Attorney, Ed Murphy, in attendance on another matter, informed the Board that a continuance of the Zoning Hearing Board application for the preschool has been requested)

The Commission recommended that the Supervisors approve conditional use for Lang Ski and Scuba at 107-109 N. Sycamore Street.

The Commission reviewed and made the following recommendations for JMZO amendments:

  • JMZO 2002-02 – Contractor/Trade Use Accessory to a Residence: recommended denial as too restrictive;
  • JMZO 2006-04 – Livestock/Poultry: tabled;
  • JMZO 2006-11 – Landscape Contractor: recommended denial as too restrictive;
  • JMZO 2006-13 – New Use, B-19, Transitional Residential Development: removed form agenda;
  • JMZO 2006-14 – Peripheral Buffering: recommended that this should be part of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance;
  • JMZO 2006-17 – Rezoning of Bucks County Tax Map Parcel #29-10-2 from R-2, High Density Residential to TC, Town Center District: recommended approval.

The commission made no comment on a number of Zoning Hearing Board applications, however recommend denial of the application of The Center Club, 11 Friends Lane, because it is a request for excessive relief of the parking requirement on a property that has already been granted Zoning Hearing Board relief for parking.

The Commission recommended supporting Mr. Schenkman’s requests for documentation on the Veterans Cemetery Overlay District prior to voting on the amendment.

Land Development Projects:

Conditional Use – The Promenade at Sycamore, LP: Mrs. Goren opened the hearing for conditional use for the Promenade at Sycamore, LP.

Mr. Beckert informed the Board that the applicant has requested a continuance until December 13, 2006.

Mr. Jirele said that this application has been continued numerous times, and he would like to make it clear to the applicant that this would be the last time it would be continued.

Mr. Weaver moved to continue the application of The Promenade at Sycamore, LP to a date certain of December 13, 2006. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to close the hearing of The Promenade at Sycamore, LP. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Conditional Use - Lang Ski and Scuba: Mrs. Goren opened the conditional use hearing for Lang Ski and Scuba.

Ed Murphy, attorney for the applicant was sworn in.

Mrs. Goren asked if anyone wished a party to this application. There was no response.

Mr. Murphy said that the applicant wishes to convert 2900 square feet of space at 107-109 N. Sycamore Street to a retail space to be used as an ancillary location for its shop in New Jersey. A revised plan has been submitted to the Planning Commission for review, and land development will be required. The plan shows some expansion of the existing parking lot.

Mr. Murphy reviewed the Planning Commission letter. He said that the planning Commission had some concerns about storage of scuba tanks on site. There will be no storage of explosive materials on site, although customers will be able to fill tanks at the shop.

Mr. Jirele moved to grant conditional use approval for Lang Ski and Scuba, 107-109 N. Sycamore Street for an E-1 retail use subject to the following conditions:

  • There will be a minimum of two and maximum of five employees;
  • Hours of operation will be 10:00AM to 9:00PM Monday through Friday, 10:00AM to 5:00PM Saturday, and noon to 4:00PM Sunday during winter and 10:00AM to 8:00PM Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 4:00PM Saturday during summer;
  • No explosive materials will be on site;
  • Delivery will be by FedEx, UPS or other similar vehicles;
  • No noxious or hazardous impacts will be generated on site;
  • A copy of the agreement of sale for the property will be provided;
  • No building impervious improvements will be made except for paving of the parking lot;
  • No offensive odors or glare will be generated;
  • No signs except those permitted in the TC, Town Center District;
  • Access along southern edge of property will be used for employee access and parking;
  • All appropriate fees will be paid.

Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to close the conditional use hearing for Lang Ski and Scuba. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Final Plan for Major Subdivision – Delancey Court – 398 Durham Road: Attorney Tom Hecker represented the applicant.

Mary Ellen Saylor of Pickering Corts and Summerson, engineer on the project, reviewed the plan for 120 age-qualified townhomes on 40 acres. She noted that the plan has been granted relief from the Zoning Hearing Board, and the developer is working with the State to obtain necessary permits.

Mr. Hecker noted that a historic home, dating to about 1730, located at the rear of the property, will be preserved and restored, and relocated toward the front of the property, near the main entrance to the development, and will be used as a library for residents of the development. This house has recently been vandalized, with hardware removed from doors. He requested the Board’s permission to board up the house and install “no trespassing” signs until it is moved.

The Board agreed to this request.

Mr. Hecker said that the final plan addresses all conditions of the preliminary approved plan, and no new waivers are requested.

In response to Mr. Calabro’s question, Ms. Saylor said that a temporary fence along the northern portion of the property is not at the property line, but along the edge of a tree line that is to be preserved. The property border is several feet inside the stand of trees. Some buffering that was removed during clearing of the property will be replaced with new plantings. The historic home will be visible from Rte 413.

Mr. Hecker confirmed that a shuttle bus service to commercial and professional services will be established for the residents.

Mrs. Crescenzo urged that developer to consider using a bio-basin for stormwater management. She suggested that the Environmental Advisory Council review these plans to determine if a bio-basin should be used instead of the proposed stormwater management.

Mr. Jirele said that there is nothing in our Ordinance to require builders to use this type of stormwater management. He and Mrs. Goren briefly discussed asking an EAC member to attend a work session to discuss incorporating certain environmental safeguards into the SALDO.

Ms. Saylor said that the stormwater management plan will preserve about 90% of wetlands, and that the plan has already been approved by the Bucks County Conservation District. It is too late to redesign the system.

Mrs. Hibbs commented on the construction noise and noted that there is to be blasting on the site. She questioned the entrance plans, and expressed concern about the recent vandalism of the historic house.

Ms. Saylor said that the entrance will align with Municipal Drive. Road improvements for left turns into the development are planned. Although the plan does not currently meet with PennDOT’s requirements for a traffic signal, the developer supports the idea of a traffic signal, and if the Township supports a request for a signal, McGrath would be willing to fund this expense.

Mr. Pellegrino said that if blasting occurs on the site for installation of sanitary sewers, the contractor is required to notify affected neighbors three to five days in advance.

Resident John Hitchener questioned the proposed use of the historic home.

Mr. Hecker said that the house would be converted into a library for residents of the development, only. It will be handicapped accessible, and a restroom will probably be installed. In response to questions from Board members, Mr. Hecker said that professional house movers would relocate the building. This has been done successfully at other historic sites in the county, with buildings in worse condition than this one.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize the Township Manager to begin the process to obtain a traffic signal at the intersection of Durham Road and Municipal Drive/Delancey Court. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant approval to the final plan for land development for McGrath Homes – Delancey Court, last revised September 14, 2006, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Plan subject to the waivers granted and the variances obtained shall be revised to comply with the following:
  2. a. Boucher and James letter of July 6, 2006;

    b. Remington & Vernick letter of June 19, 2006;

    c. Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of June 23, 2006;

    d. The Bucks County Conservation District letter of June 16, 2006;

    e. The Pennoni Associates letter of August 8, 2006;

    f. The Emergency Management Services letter of June 9, 2006;

    g. The Bucks County Planning Commission letter of June 21, 2006.

  3. The Plan shall comply with the Preliminary Land Development approval of Newtown Township granted April 19, 2006 as confirmed by the letter of the Township Solicitor of May 22, 2006.
  4. The Plan shall comply with the Conditional Use Decision of Newtown Township of April 19, 2006 as confirmed by the written decision dated May 10, 2006 by the Board of Supervisors of Newtown Township.
  5. The Plan shall be subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board of July 6, 2006.
  6. The Plan shall comply with the special exceptions granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board of March 7, 2006.
  7. A note shall be added to the Plan that the existing use for Lot 1 is an H-1 (Home Occupation) containing a Veterinary Office Use (Use E-20).
  8. Compliance with Article VIII, Section 803.B.17-2 requiring access for age qualified housing to commercial and professional locations shall be by shuttle buses. The applicant shall supply a contract with a shuttle bus service which shall provide for point to point access from the facility to said commercial and professional uses. The contract shall be subject to Township approval. Service cannot be offered unless a revised contract is supplied and approved by the Township. A note will be added to the Plan indicating the restrictions and requirements above.
  9. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and the Plan being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that the impervious surface total for storm water calculation includes the deck and porches.
  10. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and the Plan being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that indicates that as each of the permits granted from each townhouse group the applicant shall submit a summary calculation showing impervious cover for that group.
  11. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and the Plan being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that the community center shall be restricted to residents and their guests and that that requirement will be a part of the community covenants. Said covenants shall be provided to the Township for its approval and a note shall be added to the Plan so indicating.
  12. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and the Plan being recorded each garage shall be deed restricted, which deed restriction shall prevent conversion of said garage as future living space. The deed restriction shall be provided and approved by the Township and made a part of each deed upon conveyance, which covenant shall run with the land. A note shall be added to the Plan indicating that requirement.
  13. The applicant will execute a Deed of Unilateral Covenants and Restrictions, incorporating the notes provided herein.
  14. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and the Plan being recorded a note shall be added setting forth the conditions of the Conditional Use Approval, the requirements of the variances granted, the special exceptions granted, which shall be included within the Unilateral Covenant and Declaration of Restrictions.
  15. As a condition of the issuance of the first building permit for the first building constructed in the project, the applicant shall pay to Newtown Township a Park and Recreation Fee of $619,800.00 based upon one hundred twenty (120) dwelling units. An additional amount shall be assessed based upon the Final Plan of the community center in accordance with the then applicable schedule of fees of Newtown Township.
  16. As a condition of the issuance of the building permit for the first construction in the project, the applicant shall pay to Newtown Township the traffic impact fees in the amount of $92,986.00. The applicant waives the time and location for the use of said impact fees.
  17. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it 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 such as 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 as created by virtue of the Final Plan approval.
  18. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it 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. 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 variance 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 it’s right to fully participate in all approval and permitting procedures which will be required for the approval of the development.
  19. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall submit a duly execute water service agreement with Newtown Artesian/Indian Rock Water Company and a duly executed 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.
  20. The applicant shall construct a wrought iron fence on the north side of the property boundary with buffering trees, except in the area where wetlands prevent its installation.
  21. The applicant will construct a sidewalk in addition to the side walk shown on the Plan which will be brought to the Durham Road (S.R. 413) entrance of the development.
  22. The Township grants a waiver of the obligation to provide curbs and sidewalks along Durham Road (S.R. 413) and in lieu thereof the applicant agrees to make payment in the amount of the cost of such construction, said payment made to the Township as a payment in lieu thereof. Said costs shall be assessed by the Township Engineer.
  23. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it being recorded all outstanding legal, engineering and administrative fees due the Township as a result of final and preliminary subdivision and land development shall be paid in full to the Township.
  24. The applicant agrees that the following community facilities will be built: Club House and Community Room; Card Rooms; Fitness Rooms; Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools; Tennis Courts; office and kitchen facilities. A note shall be added to the Plan indicating those facilities and the rules governing their use.
  25. With the exception of Lot1, which shall remain separate, a deed of merger shall be provided consolidating all lots into one parcel.
  26. The historic building on the property shall be relocated. The Plan shall be revised to show the new location. The historic property shall be preserved and shall be owned by the community association and shall be subject to the same restrictions as applied to the community center. The building will be made handicap accessible. A façade easement will be executed by the applicant in a form prepared by the Township. A note shall be added to the Plan indicating that the property must be preserved, shall be owned by the community association subject to it’s rules and subject to the façade easement. Public restroom facilities will be provided for within the relocated historic building. The well, if deemed historic by the Joint Historic Commission, will be moved adjacent to the historic building relocation. The applicant shall board up the house until it is moved and the applicant shall post a sign adjacent to the house stating that the house is a historic house that will be preserved by the applicant. Applicant shall also post “No Trespassing” signs adjacent to the historic property.
  27. Applicant shall be required to comply with all requirements for occupancy permit and all DEP applications and as to available sewer capacity in the event there is any limitation in EDU required, the community center required EDU shall be within the first allocation of EDU provided to the applicant.
  28. The Plan shall be revised to show the maximum permitted area of patios and the homeowners offering documents shall indicate the maximum permitted area of patios pursuant to the Plan.
  29. Individual lot plans shall be provided as to any effected lots denoting any wetlands on the property.
  30. If a traffic signal is authorized by PennDOT at the entrance to the subject premises, the applicant shall pay any costs associated with any signalization.
  31. The Board of Supervisors grants the following waivers from the Newtown Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

    a. Section 402.3.B and C to allow all existing features within 400’ of the site not to be shown, an aerial photograph submitted in lieu of this requirement.

    b. Section 402.4.M(5) to not require the tree protection zone diameter as defined therein.

    c. Section 504.16 to not require private streets to meet Township standards for right of way, paving width, curbs and gutter.

    d. Section 504.17.A and B to not require the proposed private street to conform to the primary street standards to allow a cartway width of 26 feet, to not require gutters and to not require the applicable right-of-way for the proposed private streets.

    e. Section 505.2.B to not require 350 foot road centerline, a radius of 100 feet minimum is provided.

    f. Section 505.3 to not require a minimum tangent of 100 feet between horizontal reverse curves.

    g. Section 505.5 to not require the approaches to an intersection follow a straight course for 100 feet as measured from the intersecting lines of right-of-way.

    h. Section 507.4 and 508.2 to allow a residential driveway to be closer than fifty (50) feet to an intersection.

    i. Section 509.1 to allow the length of a proposed cul-de-sac to exceed eight hundred (800) feet.

    j. Section 519.9 to allow the outside wall of a building to be closer than twenty (20) feet to an edge of a parking area.

    k. Section 516.1 to not require curb gutters along the cartway.

    l. Section 516.2 to not require curbing along the entire length of Durham Road (S.R. 413) frontage.

    m. Section 517.1 to not require a sidewalk along the frontage of Durham Road (Route 413).

    n. Section 517.4 to not require a seven (7) foot wide planting strip between the curb and sidewalk along local streets and fifteen (15) feet along collector and primary streets.

    o. Section 520 to not require the area of sanitary sewer easement to be kept as lawn.

    p. Section 521 to allow less than twenty-four (24) hours to drain a detention basin for a one year storm.

    q. Section 521.2A to allow two road crossings over an existing water course (drainage ditch) on site.

    r. Section 521.5.I to allow less than two percent (2%) slope for the basin bottom.

    s. Section 521.5.J to permit the use of detention basin #2 emergency spillway to discharge the one hundred (100) and fifty (50) year storms.

The following waiver from the Newtown Township Storm Water Management Ordinance (SWMO) is granted:

  • SWMO Section 222.A to not require the two year post development flow to be reduced to one year predevelopment flow.
  • SWMO Section 221.G to not require a ten-foot set back along intermittent and perennial streams.

Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo questioned the Board’s granting of waivers from the stormwater management requirements.

Mr. Fazio said that these waivers were needed because of existing site difficulties.

Ms. Saylor said that the stormwater management plan will reduce flow below pre-construction levels by 12%, but the levels cannot be reduced to the level required by the ordinance if wetlands are to be preserved. After construction the levels will be lower than they are now. To restrict the basin further would cause clogging during storms.

Mr. Jirele said that there is a great deal of concern about flooding downstream of this site, particularly along Wrights Road, where some homes are inaccessible because of flooding during storms.

In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Hecker said that data quantifying wetland preservation was submitted with the stormwater report at the time of preliminary plan review. The waivers have already been granted as part of preliminary plan approval.

Mr. Beckert confirmed this and said that the granting of these waivers cannot be rescinded.

In response to Mrs. Hibbs’ questions, Mr. Pellegrino said that no demolition permits have been sought for removal of additions to the historic house. Such permits will be required.

Mr. Fazio said that the historic house would be protected, if necessary, during any blasting on the property.

The motion passed unanimously.

Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development – The Villas at Newtown – Upper Silver Lake Road: Mr. Ciervo asked for party status in this matter.

Mr. Beckert responded that there is no formal party status in a land development proceeding such as this. Mr. Ciervo is free to ask any questions or make comment. If there were an appeal of a decision of the Board, the courts would determine whether Mr. Ciervo would be granted party status.

In response to Mr. Hecker’s question, Mr. Ciervo said that his home is at 12 Martin Court, about two miles from the project.

Mr. Hecker and Mark Haver, of Pickering Corts and Summerson, Engineers on this project, reviewed the plans for 172 quad, ranch style villa homes on the property known as Brandywine, 58 acres on Upper Silver Lake Road. One existing single-family home on the property is to be preserved, but will not be part of this age-qualified development. This historic building will be restored and sold as a separate lot, with separate access to the road. The development will feature a community center with pools, tennis, fitness center and card/meeting rooms. A shuttle service will be provided to professional and commercial centers.

Mr. Hecker said that the developer has agreed to all conditions recommended by the Planning Commission. No hazardous materials will be stored on site; no noxious odors or glares will be produced; a maintenance firm will maintain the pools; a declaration of age-restriction will be recorded; a large area of open space along the creek will be preserved. The developer, Mr. McGrath, has met with neighbors and has agreed to address their concerns. A buffer will be maintained; a four-foot decorative wall will be installed; four homes on Upper Silver Lake Road will be connected to public water; road improvements will be made to Upper Silver Lake Road.

Mr. Hecker briefly discussed the benefits to the community of an age-qualified development, including tax revenue and reduction in traffic over commercial development. He noted that with this residential use there will be 45 AM peak car trips and 70 PM peak trips per hour.

Mrs. Goren said that her community has expressed interest in a preference for sodium vapor lighting.

Mr. Haver said that this would not be a problem.

In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Hecker said that the development would be 100% age-qualified. Municipalities can set this requirement, although the Fair Housing Act sets a percentage of age-qualified homes at 80%. The Homeowners Association monitors this, and enforces declarations. A management company is employed, however residents elect a Board of Directors. The only encroachment into the Core Creek area is a continuation of the existing trail. The impervious surface for the development will be 37%. Sidewalks are planned for one side of the internal streets. The developer is basing this choice on his experience in other developments. Street trees will be selected to comply with the request of the Township Planner. The Homeowners Association is responsible for maintenance of the sanitary sewers and stormwater management facilities, unless the sewer authority requests dedication. No bicycle lanes are planned; they have not been needed in the developer’s other similar subdivisions. Parking will be limited to one side of the street, with additional parking at the community center. Belgian block curbs are planned. Upper Silver Lake will be widened to match the improvements near the Reserve development; there will be a drainage swale and curbing. The walking trail will be continued to Silver Lake Park.

Mr. Hitchener expressed some concern about improvements proposed for Upper Silver Lake Road. He also expressed a preference for metal halite street lighting.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the Township is now requiring sodium vapor lighting, as it is easier and less expensive for the Township to maintain.

Mrs. Hibbs asked about a façade easement for the historic home.

Mr. Beckert said that this will be addressed.

In response to Mrs. Hibbs’ questions, Mr. Hecker explained that the trips mentioned earlier were per hour during peak hours, not per day.

Mr. Haver said that this development will use a bio-basin method of stormwater management.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that the streets are too narrow, that sidewalks are needed on both sides of the street and that bicycle lanes should be provided. She also questioned the traffic counts, noting that many of the homes will have two working people generating peak hour car trips.

Mr. Schenkman said that he had questioned the low traffic count, himself, but verified it by counting cars at a similar development.

Resident Joan Baiocchi read a statement of her concerns about the proposed development, including the possible re-opening of the lower portion of Upper Silver Lake Road. She would prefer that the road remain closed because of safety concerns. She would like concrete sidewalks, rather than macadam, with handicapped access, to be joined to the Newtown Trail to Silver Lake Park. She would like a black iron fence along the development side of Silver Lake Road to extend to the creek and Newtown Trial. She and another neighbor, John Iezzatti, had requested that Mr. McGrath make a more aesthetically pleasing closing of the road, which Mr. McGrath had agreed to do. She would like the detention basin to be closely monitored for drainage, and for a fence to be installed around the basin for safety reasons. She would like Penns Trail or Lindenhurst Road used for construction traffic, or possibly a temporary entrance through the wooded area near Norwalk development. If any damage occurs to private properties during construction, she would like Mr. McGrath to acknowledge and rectify said damage. Ms. Baiocchi said that she much prefers this residential plan to the Brandywine office complex, but would like the Supervisors to carefully consider the impact on residents of future high-density housing and commercial uses.

Mr. Ciervo renewed his objection to the proceeding, again stating that a conditional use hearing should have been required. He noted that the property had been zoned OR, which allows residential development, but would have been limited to seventeen houses. He questioned the traffic projections, as previously stated, noting that people 55 years of age are morning commuters, and a more accurate count would be eight trips per home per day. He asked whether there is an agreement of sale with Brandywine.

Mr. Beckert said that proof of equitable ownership is required, but proprietary information can be redacted.

In response to Mr. Ciervo’s questions, Mr. McGrath said that he had been looking for locations for this development, and at the same time, following newspaper accounts of Brandywine’s ongoing legal battles for the property. He will only purchase properties if they can be used for this type of development; this sometimes involves rezoning.

Mr. Salvatore suggested that, as part of this development, the Supervisors consider reducing the speed limit along Newtown Yardley Road to 35 miles per hour, as it is when the road enters Newtown Borough.

Resident Jen Dix, a resident of Wiltshire Walk development, said that she also conducted an informal traffic count at a neighboring McGrath development, and observed very light traffic.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant preliminary as final plan approval to the Villas at Newtown, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The Plan shall be revised to comply with the following:
  2. a. Boucher & James letter of August 31, 2006.

    b. Remington & Vernick letter of September 1, 2006.

    c. The Bucks County Planning Commission letter of July 14, 2006.

    d. The Pennoni & Associates letter of July 27, 2006.

    e. The Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of June 23, 2006.

    f. The Emergency Management Services letter of June 21, 2006.

  3. In addition, the applicant shall secure approval for the newly designed emergency access as hereinafter described from the Emergency Management Services.
  4. Pursuant to the stipulation between the applicant, owner, Newtown Township and related parties and in accordance with the Court Order of June 30, 2006, the parcel is permitted to be developed pursuant to the B-17 (Elderly Housing Use) and a note will be added to the Plan so indicating.
  5. There are two uses proposed for the property as follows:
  6. a. Lot #1: One hundred and seventy-two (172) unit multiplex use consisting of forty-three (43) buildings with four (4) units each all of which shall be age qualified.

    b. Lot #2: The existing farmhouse, said farmhouse will remain a non-age qualified single family residential use. The house shall be preserved and restored prior to conveyance. For the purpose of computation of all zoning and subdivision requirements, Lot #2 shall be assigned three (3) acres, two (2) acres to remain open space, a minor subdivision shall be applied for. The beech tree on said property will be preserved. The façade easement will be executed with regard to the existing historic farmhouse. A note shall be added to the Plan indicating the nature of the uses as to both properties. A sign shall be placed in the vicinity of the property noting that the house is a historic structure that will be preserved by McGrath Homes.

  7. Applicant shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of Article VIII, Section 807.B.17 by building a community center including card room, fitness center, swimming pool, tennis court, office and kitchen facilities, which facility the Board finds provides services specifically for the needs and interests of the elderly in compliance with the provisions of the B-17 Use.
  8. In lieu of compliance with Section 803.B.17.2, the applicant shall provide a shuttle service with point-to-point transportation to commercial and professional areas. The applicant shall provide proof of said shuttle service in a form satisfactory to the Township. Said service shall not be changed without prior Township approval. Except for the existing farm house on Lot #2, the development shall be 100% age restricted and proof shall be provided of such compliance with the Township.
  9. The applicant shall submit to the Board of Supervisors in a form satisfactory to the Township a proposed set of regulations to control the operation, admission provisions, security provisions and setting forth all charges for the residents.
  10. The applicant shall submit a true and correct copy of the current deed. If the applicant is the equitable owner, a true and correct copy of the agreement of sale shall be provided.
  11. No hazardous material shall be on site.
  12. No noxious environmental effect shall be generated on site.
  13. No offensive odors or glare shall be generated on site.
  14. No use shall be permitted that would be noxious or offensive to the immediate surrounding area by reason of smoke, gas, vibration, noise or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise.
  15. A pool company shall be hired for the purpose of proper treatment of the pool and the chemicals associated therewith, which pool company shall be qualified; all chemicals shall be locked except when they are in use by the pool company.
  16. Prior to the signing of the final plans and the plans being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that the impervious surface total use for storm water calculation includes any decks and porches.
  17. The applicant shall comply with Zoning Ordinance provisions, Section 511.A.3, 401.B, 401.C and 405.B and C, by showing the maximum permitted impervious cover on the Plan and by providing that as selection is made by each buyer, a calculation showing revisions for compliance with performance regulations area and dimensional requirements as well as impervious cover calculations be made and adjusted in accordance with the buyer’s selection. In all regards, the final submission shall comply in all respects with the performance standards, impervious cover and area and dimensional regulations as applicable.
  18. A note shall be added to the Plan that there shall be no expansion of the building envelope. A deed restriction in a form approved by the Township shall be so noted on each deed and said covenant shall run with the land. A note shall be added to the Plan showing that restriction and deed requirement.
  19. The applicant shall delineate the rear property line between it’s property and the Norwalk Development with stakes at existing monumentation/iron pins with monumentation/iron pins where existing monumentation does not currently exist.
  20. The clubhouse and parking lot facility shall be down lit. Except for necessary security lighting all lights shall be turned off at 10:00 p.m. unless special functions extend beyond that time and then shall be extinguished immediately upon the special function being concluded. Light type shall be as determined by the Township Lighting Consultant.
  21. Any signage for the site shall be subject to the sign requirements of Newtown Township and the applicant if it requests any signs shall secure all appropriate permits from Newtown Township.
  22. In accordance with Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance Sections 529.1.D. relating to required plantings and 529.1.F. relating to plan materials all such planning and plant materials shall be guaranteed for eighteen (18) months and a note shall be added to the Plan so indicating.
  23. Sidewalks shall be provided along the frontage of the property and shall be connected to the trail along the southerly boundary of the property, said sidewalks shall be concrete and handicap accessible at the trial to the southerly access to the property. The sidewalk shall remain the responsibility of the Homeowner’s Association and shall be so noted within the Homeowner’s documents, and a note added to the Plan so indicating.
  24. As to improvements along Silver Lake Road, the applicant shall reinstall a one lane emergency cartway along the portion of Silver Lake Road which is presently closed except to emergency and authorized vehicles. In the event the portion of Silver Lake Road otherwise closed to public travel is reopened within two years of final land development approval, the applicant shall make the required improvements to the roadway. The Township Engineer will establish an escrow for that event which escrow shall be paid in full to the Township by the applicant and returned only upon the completion of the improvements or the expiration of two years from the date of final land development or the authorization by the Township releasing said escrow to the applicant.
  25. The applicant shall provide a draft storm water maintenance agreement subject to review and approval of the Township.
  26. Prior to the signing of the final plans and the plans being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that indicates that as to each of the permits granted for each multiplex unit the applicant shall submit a summary tabulation showing impervious cover for that group.
  27. Prior to the signing of the final plans and the plans being recorded a note shall be added to the Plan that the community center will be restricted to residents and their guests and that that requirement will be made a part of the community’s covenants. Said covenants shall be provided to the Township for it’s approval. A note shall be added to the Plan so indicating.
  28. Prior to the signing of the final plan and the plan being recorded each garage will be deed restricted, which deed restriction shall prevent conversion of said garage’s future living space. The deed restriction shall be provided and approved by the Township and made a part of each deed upon conveyance which covenant shall run with the land.
  29. The applicant will execute a Deed of Unilateral Covenants and Restrictions incorporating the notes provided herein.
  30. Prior to the start of construction, a tree protection area shall be established around all of the trees which are preserved on the property. As to any offsite buffering especially as regard to Tax Map Parcel No. 29-10-025, evidence of permission to provide buffering on said site shall be provided. All tree protection fencing shall be inspected by the Township prior to initiation of any construction. A note shall be added to the Plan so indicating.
  31. All requirements of paragraphs 8 through 14 shall be added as notes to the final plan and made part of the Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants.
  32. As a condition of the issuance of the first building permit for the first building constructed in the project, the applicant shall pay to Newtown Township a Park and Recreation Fee, in lieu of park and open space ground, in the amount of $888,380.00, based upon one hundred and seventy-two (172) dwelling units. An additional amount shall be assessed based upon the final plan of the community center in accordance with the then applicable schedule of fees of Newtown Township.
  33. As a condition of the issuance of the building permit in the first construction in the project the applicant shall pay to Newtown Township Traffic Impact Fees in the amount of $114,572.17. The applicant waives the time and location for the use of said Impact Fee.
  34. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it 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 marketable title and such as will be insured by a reputable title insurance company reasonably satisfactory to the Township. Title insurance shall be obtain 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 the final plan approval.
  35. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it 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. 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.
  36. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall submit a duly executed water service agreement with 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.
  37. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, all outstanding legal, engineering and administrative fees due the Township as a result of the preliminary and final subdivision land development review shall be paid in full to the Township.
  38. As to emergency access the Board finds that appropriate emergency access given the present location, the present closure of the a portion of Upper Silver Lake Road, the need to conserve the beech tree and the existing farm house will be provided by a six (6) foot wide sidewalk with a six (6) inch curb and a six (6) inch base beneath the sidewalk on each side of the boulevard entrance which may at the option of the Township be marked as emergency access as notice to pedestrians.
  39. As to any individual lots that have currently shown steep slopes all efforts will be made to revise the plans to provide lesser slopes if possible.
  40. The homeowners documents, the homeowners agreement and the public offering statement as well as the agreement of sale shall conspicuously provide that the streets are designed as private streets and as designed do not meet Township specifications
  41. and will not be able in the future to be dedicated as presently constructed. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  42. The homeowner’s documents, the homeowner’s agreement and the public offering statement shall state conspicuously that the homeowners association shall be required to maintain the sanitary sewer easement and storm water management facilities and if necessary repair same if disturbed and a note shall be added to the plan so providing, unless said facilities are accepted for dedication by an appropriate authority or municipality
  43. The Township grants a waiver as to a metes and bounds description to the property being provided on the condition that as a building permit is secured and as the property is laid out pursuant thereto the unit boundaries will be fixed, a plat received and approved by the Township Engineer prior to any certificate of occupancy being issued.
  44. Snow removal shall be the responsibility of the homeowners association and all snow removed shall be kept on site and a note added to the plan so indicating.
  45. The applicant agrees to provide water to four adjoining property owners, to wit; the Hitchener, Zagnet, Altman and Tomlinson properties. A note shall be added to the plan so providing. The homeowner shall pay any applicable connection fees.
  46. Main construction access shall be along Penns Trail North, secondary access along the northern portion of Upper Silver Lake Road. Prior to construction, the applicant shall provide an additional base course on Upper Silver Road. Applicant shall be responsible for any damage to either roadway caused by the applicant. Applicant shall provide appropriate signage along both roadways indicating a contact number of the applicant to be called in the case of any difficulty with the operation of any construction vehicles along the access routes.
  47. The Township grants a waiver of the obligation to provide curbs and gutters along the southerly portion of Upper Silver Lake Road south of the intersection of Upper Silver Lake Road and Penns Trail North and in lieu thereof the applicant agrees to make a payment to the Township in lieu thereof representing the cost of construction as assessed by the Township Engineer.
  48. The applicant agrees to supply the Township a letter that the soil erosion grading and other related matters as within the jurisdiction of the Bucks County Conservation District has been determined to be “adequate.”
  49. The applicant shall resurface all of Upper Silver Lake Road adjacent to the subject property north of Penns Trail Road which resurfacing shall include paving on the westerly side of the property, widening the road in accordance with the previous widening done related to The Reserve development as performed by Toll Brothers, which improvements shall include swale stabilization improvements done to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer.
  50. The following waivers are granted from the Newtown Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

    a. Section 504.16 to not require private streets to meet Township standards for right-of-way paving with curbs and gutters.

    b. Section 504.17 A and B to not require the proposed private streets to confirm to the primary street standards to allow a cartway width of twenty-six (26) feet to not require gutters or not require right-of-way for the proposed private streets.

    c. Section 402.3.B. and C. to not require all existing features to be shown within four hundred (400) feet from the property line, an aerial photograph to be provided in lieu thereof.

    d. Section 505.2.B. to not require a three hundred fifty (350) foot road center line radius a one hundred (100) foot minimum is provided.

    e. Section 516.1 to not require curb gutters along the roadway.

    f. Section 505.5 to not require a one hundred (100) foot tangent at the approach to an intersection.

    g. Section 520 to not require the area of the sanitary sewer easement to be kept as grass.

Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Resident Jay Sensibaugh asked whether all of the items requested by residents had been included in the conditions.

Mr. Beckert and Mr. Hecker agreed that they were all included, with Mr. Hecker noting that his office has not been given a copy of the resident’s letter, but that Mr. McGrath will live up to all he has agreed to do.

Ms. Baiocchi again requested a concrete sidewalk rather than a walking trail.

The Board discussed whether the Township would own this walkway, and be responsible for it, since it would be located in the ultimate right of way. Mr. Jirele said that the walkway should be the same as the Newtown Trail. After some further discussion it was agreed that if a concrete sidewalk were installed along Upper Silver Lake Road, the Homeowners Association would be responsible for its maintenance.

Mrs. Crescenzo complained about residents failing to maintain and shovel snow on sidewalks, and about the Township’s failure to plow walking trails in a timely manner.

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

Mr. Hecker said that the applicant would be seeking an interim agreement to begin site preparations, similar to the agreement for Delancey Court. The applicant would post all necessary escrows, and work would be done at the developer’s own risk.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize signing of such an agreement. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Officials

Members: Mr. Schenkman reviewed a recent memo sent to Board members in which he requested the following documentation prior to agreeing to the JMZO Cemetery Overlay Zoning District Amendment:

  1. Written confirmation that Upper Makefield will grant Newtown and Lower Makefield party status in land development of the cemetery;
  2. Confirmation that all entrance locations will be given careful and equal consideration;
  3. Traffic studies from other cemeteries will be provided;
  4. Confirmation that Congressman Fitzpatrick is seeking funds for Stoopville Road traffic calming;
  5. Confirmation from Council Rock School District of its intentions for the Melsky tract;
  6. A written statement from Toll Brothers that the Melsky tract is part of this project;
  7. An opportunity for our Planning Commission to review the proposed ordinance, and to provide a comprehensive report of this review.

He noted that this request is not a requirement of approval, but a suggestion of documentation to allow Board members to make an informed decision on the amendment.

Mrs. Goren noted that the request for funding for Stoopville Road improvements also involves portions of Upper Makefield, Lower Makefield and Wrightstown.

Mr. Calabro moved to support Mr. Schenkman’s requests; to authorize the Township Manager to contact appropriate parties to seek a response, and to place the requests, and subsequent responses, if any, on the Township Web site. Mr. Schenkman seconded .

Discussion of Motion: In response to Mr. Jirele’s question, Mr. Schenkman said that including Lower Makefield in the first request had been done at the suggestion of the Planning Commission.

Mrs. Goren said that the Board has received a letter from Lower Makefield’s township Manager making a similar request.

Mr. Jirele asked that reference to Lower Makefield be removed from the request. Referring to item #2, he commented that Mr. Tuerk, the Undersecretary of the Veterans Administration, has already assured the Board that all entrances would be given consideration. Mr. Jirele also disagreed with the need for item #5, which requires a confirmation of Council Rock’s intentions for the Melsky tract. He said that he did not expect a response from Council Rock, and that the written confirmation from the VA about the entrance was insulting to the Undersecretary.

Mr. Weaver said that if Lower Makefield has expressed interest in party status, he had no objection to its inclusion in the request. He did, however, agree with Mr. Jirele about requiring a written confirmation on the entrances. He said that he would not expect a response from the School District or from Toll Brothers about the Melsky tract.

Attorney Tracy Hunt, representing Newtown Township resident Leo Holt, said that a proof of equitable ownership is necessary for this deal to proceed. Toll Brothers has submitted plans to the Planning Commission for land it does not own. He questioned the inclusion of the Melsky tract in the cemetery deal. His client has met with Upper Makefield’s Environmental Advisory Council and hopes to bring an agreement of sale to Council Rock for purchase of the Melsky tract.

Sue Herman of Lower Makefield said that she is not opposed to the Veterans Cemetery, but objects to the use of Highland Road as an entrance point because this would bring traffic through Lindenhurst Road and be the first leg of a northern by-pass. She suggested that the cemetery processions would cause road rage.

Robert Ciervo said that the entrance to the cemetery would not make any difference, as mourners from the Philadelphia area would exit I-95 at Newtown, regardless of the entrance location. The entrance should be chosen based on safety.

Resident Bob West asked whether Upper Makefield is in a position to grant party status.

Mr. Beckert said that this is a request that Upper Makefield not object to the courts’ granting party status to Newtown.

Resident John D’Aprile said that he resents the idea of telling people how to get to the cemetery in order to avoid Lindenhurst Road. He noted that Stoopville Road has become a highway, and should be improved to accommodate traffic, regardless of the cemetery entrance.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that she resented Mrs. Herman’s statement that mourners would cause road rage. She said that most funeral attendees would not arrive in procession, but would gather inside the gates to be directed to the gravesites.

Mr. Schenkman said that he is aware that he cannot require that his requested documentation be provided; he is “tilting at windmills”.

The motion passed unanimously.

Manager's Report:

Report on 2007 Minimum Municipal Obligation for Pension Plans: Mockenhaupt Associates has provided the 2007 Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) reports for the Police Pension Plan, Firefighters Pension Plan and Non-uniformed Employees’ Pension Plan. It is required by the State Auditor General that the report be submitted to and read into the minutes by a member of the Board of Supervisors by September 30, 2006.

Financial requirement and the 2007 minimum municipal obligation for the Newtown Township Police Pension Plan will be $367,142.

Financial requirement and the 2007 minimum municipal obligation for the Newtown Township Firefighters’ Pension Plan will be $68,736.

Financial requirement and the 2007 minimum municipal obligation for the Newtown Township No-uniformed Employees’ Pension Plan will be $229,347.

Improvement Agreement: DiNardo – Fowler Minor Subdivision 49 Stoopville Rd.

Mr. Jirele moved to authorize signing of the DiNardo – Fowler Minor Subdivision improvement agreement. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Acquisition of Township Generator: Mr. Pellegrino reported that the Public Works Director is recommending purchase of a replacement generator for the municipal building because the existing generator failed during the recent power failure, and continues to have problems during test periods. As an emergency response agency, it is essential that we have reliable back-up power for our facilities. Mr. Crossland estimates that the cost will be approximately $30,000.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize purchase of a replacement generator. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to Mr. Jirele’s question, Mr. Pellegrino said that the purchase would be paid from the capital fund.

Mr. Sensibaugh suggested a lease/purchase.

The motion passed unanimously.

Sycamore Street Payment: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize Sycamore Street payment number 30. Mr. Jirele seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Pellegrino explained that a large portion of the payment is to be reimbursed by PennDOT. Most of the payment relates to costs associated with Borough/township traffic signal interconnect work. PennDOT is to be invoiced; it takes about six weeks for a check to be issued by PennDOT.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Pellegrino reported that PennDOT has agreed to include a left turn lane on the By-Pass at Buck Road in 2007 work for the By-Pass. The By-Pass, from State Street to the I-95 entrance, is to be resurfaced in the next few weeks. Work is to be done at night.

Solicitor's Report:

Electrical Contractor Ordinance: Mr. Calabro moved to adopt an ordinance revising the existing electrical contractor ordinance, eliminating the requirement that electrical contractors pass a test administered by Newtown Township. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

JMZO 2006-09 – VR-1 and VC-1 Zoning Districts : Mr. Weaver moved to adopt JMZO 2006-09 , amending VR-1 and VC-1 zoning districts . Mr. Jirele seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren expressed some concern that this ordinance burdens Newtown with high density housing and more intense uses, and further limits development in Upper Makefield and Wrightstown. She said that she is concerned about these burdens placed by the Jointure on Newtown.

Mr. Weaver said that the VC-1 and VR-1 zoning districts are already built out.

Mr. Jirele noted that Township Planner Judith Stern Goldstein has found that the loss of density is very limited and that the change would have no impact on Newtown. In the last few months, Newtown has made a number of changes to the ordinance to increase density in certain residential zoning.

Mr. Calabro and Mr. Schenkman agreed that they should not send mixed messages to the jointure.

The motion passed 4-1, with Mrs. Goren voting nay.

Purchase of Archdiocese Property: Mr. Beckert announced that the Township has completed negotiations with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for purchase of property for a municipal complex expansion. The Archdiocese has requested that the Township institute a friendly condemnation proceeding.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement of an ordinance authorizing condemnation proceeding for the Archdioceses of Philadelphia property adjacent to the Township complex. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to questions from Mr. Schenkman, Mr. Beckert explained that in a “friendly condemnation”, parties would stipulate and agree to a fair market value for the property, and there would be no transfer tax.

Mrs. Crescenzo vehemently objected to the proceeding, as the Township is forcing the Archdiocese to terminate its lease on property currently occupied by the AARK foundation, in order to accommodate a Catholic cemetery.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the two actions have nothing to do with one another.

Mr. Jirele said that the Archdiocese had notified AARK of lease termination before the Township had begun negotiations for land purchase, and the land for the cemetery has been planned for decades.

The motion passed unanimously.

Trash Hauler Ordinance: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement of an ordinance revising registration requirement for trash haulers. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the professional service used to report our recycling has noted a reduction in recycling, and believes that there has been some unauthorized trash pick-up in the Township.

Zoning Hearing Board Applications: Mr. Beckert reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board applications.

Mrs. Goren expressed some concern about the request for a parking variance for the Center Club at 11 Friends Lane.

Len Casado, owner of the Center Club, and Paul Salvatore, landlord, asked that the Supervisors allow them to appear before the Planning Commission to explain their application, and to make their case before the Zoning Hearing Board unopposed. They had been unable to attend the Planning Commission meeting at which the application was reviewed.

The Board discussed the current number of spaces at Center Club, Village at Newtown, and the ITE recommendations for parking for this type of use.

Mr. Casado said that club members come and go throughout the day for classes, with the busiest times before business hours and in the evening. They would like the opportunity to show the club schedules and anticipated use to the Planning Commission. In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, Mr. Salvatore said that he would ask for a continuance of the Zoning Hearing Board application.

Engineer's Report:

Mr. Fazio explained that the two bids for repainting of the Clark barn are required by the granting agency, and only one bid was received. He asked that the Board authorize re-bidding.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize re-advertising for bids on the painting of the Clark barn. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo asked about work on the entire Clark property. She asked if work on the barn was being done in conformance with HARB requirements for historic structures. She complained that at one time the boy scouts had not been permitted to use the barn because of safety concerns, and yet workers are being permitted to enter for the repainting.

Mr. Jirele said that there is a very big difference between children playing in the barn and contractors working on it.

The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business: Mr. Calabro said that he would like to discuss formation of a Newtown Visioning Committee to review the comprehensive plan. He suggested that the committee be made up of two Planning Commission members and five members of the community, one chosen by each Supervisor. He thought that some of the Township’s consultants, such as Township Planner Judith Stern Goldstein, be included on the committee, but was not in favor of any Supervisor being a participant.

The Board briefly discussed whether a Supervisor should participate, whether there is money available for consultants, and what the charge to the committee would be.

Mr. Jirele suggested that Mr. Calabro and another Board member work together to prepare a proposal for such a committee.

Mrs. Goren said that the Board should be involved in preparing guidelines for such a committee. Mr. Pellegrino would need to investigate a time and location for meetings, and financing for the Township Planner’s involvement.

In other business, Mr. Schenkman asked about recent re-siding work on the Clark barn.

Mr. Pellegrino said that work has not been completed, yet. Jeffrey Marshall of the Heritage Conservancy has reviewed the materials and found them to be acceptable for the structure. The ramp to the second story of the barn had collapsed a long time ago.

New Business: Mr. Calabro said that a number of elderly residents have inquired about bus service from the Newtown Grant area to the shopping district.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the SEPTA 130 bus runs through Newtown Grant in the early morning and evening. BC Transport does provide transportation for people over 65. A link to this non-profit service will be put on the Township Web site.

Public Comment: Mrs. Crescenzo complained that the sign in Silver Lake Park had been installed, but the guardrails had not been installed. She said that the park is too dangerous and should not be open to the public until the guardrails are installed.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the guardrails are on the Public Works schedule; a third party had installed the sign.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that she likes Mr. Calabro’s suggestion of a Newtown Visioning Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 AM

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:
Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member