Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of January 10, 2007

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 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, 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 Rabbi Howard Cove of Kol Emmet Reconstructionist Congregation. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comment: Resident Larry Raffle said that he is a member of the Council Rock Tax Study Commission, but was speaking as a private citizen. He said that on May 15, 2007, the voters would decide by referendum whether to adopt Act 1. Adoption would generate a reduction in property tax of 25%, and an increase in earned income tax of 0.9%. The average property tax reduction would be about $942, for those residents who have signed up for the Homestead Tax Exclusion. He went on to explain that the Council Rock Tax Study Commission is recommending that the School District adopt an increase in the earned income tax, not the personal income tax. Adoption of Act 1 would most benefit those property owners, such as seniors, who do not have any earned income. There are 2400 Newtown Township property owners who have not signed for the Homestead Act Exclusion yet. The deadline is March 1, 2007. Mr. Raffle said that he would provide the Township with a copy of the list of those properties which have not sought the Homestead Act Exclusion. He asked that property owners with questions about the Tax Study Group, Act 1 or the exclusion, please phone him at 215-497-0180 or the County Tax Collector at 215-348-6000.

At the Board’s suggestion, Mr. Pellegrino agreed to post a notice about this on both the cable channel and the Township Web site. He said that concerned residents could phone the Township for further information, or to check the list for their homes.

Resident Nancy Crescenzo asked the Board what its expectations are for the coming year. She suggested a mid-year or year-end evaluation. She said she would like to see some progress made toward a much needed municipal complex expansion, but would like the residents to have input into budget and funding for the project. She suggested that work sessions should be limited to work, without any votes, and that the televised regular meeting schedule should be expanded rather than holding regular meetings late into the evening. She announced that she would be running for Township Supervisor in this year’s election.

Special Actions

Historical Architectural Review Board Recognition: Mrs. Goren, on behalf of the Board, staff and residents, honored Terry McLean for his ten years on the Historical Architectural Review Board, as member and chairman, presenting him with a plaque and gavel. She thanked him for his dedication to the Township. He will be greatly missed.

Mr. McLean thanked the Board for this recognition. He said that he has enjoyed his time with HARB, and has many wonderful memories of working with the HARB members, especially with Elinor Campbell.

Sycamore Street Committee Recognition: On behalf of the Board, staff and residents, Mrs. Goren honored Shannon Wilson, Shawn Ward, Terry McLean, Karen Doorley, Mike Piazza, Melba Vittoriano, John Nejman, and Chairman Vince Lombardi for their tireless efforts over many years to complete the Sycamore Street improvement project. The committee applied for grants and worked on sidewalk, street lights, furniture, crosswalks, planting beds, and traffic improvements, making Sycamore Street a beautiful thoroughfare, for the benefit and enjoyment of all of our residents and visitors. She also thanked committee members not in attendance, Frank Tyrol, David Burns and Joe Merjeski.

Chairman Vince Lombardi thanked the Supervisors for the plaques presented commemorating the completion of the project. Mr. Lombardi said that the committee held over 80 meetings, countless sub-committee meetings, plus each donated many individual hours. Through the course of the project over 45 people had served as volunteers on the committee. He expressed thanks to all who participated.

Service Awards: Mrs. Goren presented a plaque to Ethel Hibbs for her twenty years service to the Township in many secretarial positions.

Mrs. Hibbs thanked the Board, commenting that her years as a Township employee have been a great pleasure, and she has, and will continue, to thoroughly enjoy her work in Newtown.

Mrs. Goren presented a plaque to Sergeant Robert Matthews for his twenty years as a Newtown Township Police Officer.

Sergeant Matthews thanked the Board for this recognition, and thanked his fellow officers for making his job such a wonderful experience.

Mrs. Goren presented a plaque to Police Chief Martin Duffy for thirty years with the Police Department, and thanked him for his dedication to the people of Newtown.

Chief Duffy thanked the Board for this wonderful honor, but said that his time in Newtown has been especially rewarding because of this fellow employees in the Police Department and in the Township. He particularly thanked Mr. Pellegrino for his support and help. He announced that he would be retiring from his position in April of 2008, after 31 years serving the people of Newtown.

Mrs. Goren presented a plaque honoring Sergeant Charles Patton for his thirty years of service to Newtown Township as a Police Officer.

Sergeant Patton thanked the Board for this honor, and thanked his family and the people of Newtown for making his job such a pleasure. He particularly thanked Chief Duffy for his support over the years.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

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

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the reorganization meeting of January 2, 2007. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bills Lists: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills dated December13, 2006, totaling $227,046.10. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers for December 13, 2006, totaling $400,000. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills dated December 27, 2006., totaling $64,288. Mr. Weaver seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo questioned a payment to Stockburger Chevrolet for repair to the Township Manager’s car. She asked if the car belongs to the Manager, and if repairs are part of his contract.

Mrs. Goren said that the car was purchased by the Township for Mr. Pellegrino’s use. It is in his contract, as is standard practice throughout the country. When the Township conducted a search for a Township Manager, it was learned that in order to be competitive in recruiting a qualified candidate, the offer of a vehicle was necessary.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers for December 27, 2006, totaling $19,672.432. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills dated January 10, 2007, totaling $214,573.08. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Land Development

Final Plan for Minor Subdivision – Lewis – 46 Maple Lane: Attorney Bill Dion represented the applicants, Geraldine and Jeffrey Lewis, who are seeking approval to subdivide their 2.8206 acre lot on Maple Lane in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, into two parcels, with lot #1 totaling 60,831 square feet and lot #2 totaling 62,038 square feet. Lot #1 contains the Lewis’s existing dwelling. Due to Mr. Lewis’s recent health issues, they would like to build and occupy a new, handicapped accessible house on lot #2. They have already been granted relief by the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Dion said that the applicant will comply with all review letters; the existing 8 inch pipe will be removed and a drainage swale will be installed. There had been some confusion about a Park and Recreation fee, but it seems that there is no fee calculated on a minor subdivision of fewer than three lots. He asked that the Board waive the traffic impact fee. The Lewis family is attempting to remain in the community and the subdivision and building of the new handicapped accessible house is the only way they can remain in Newtown Township. The applicants are only seeking approval for subdivision of the lot; no plans for building have been completed at this time.

Mrs. Goren said that this would be the Township’s only opportunity to collect a traffic impact fee; it cannot be collected at the time of sale of either lot. For this reason the Township does not usually waive the traffic impact fee.

Mrs. Crescenzo asked that the Board waive the traffic impact fee for this applicant.

Mr. Schenkman moved to approve a minor subdivision for tax Map Parcel 29-04-03 into two residential lots subject to the following conditions:

  1. that the plans comply with the review letters of Boucher and James dated November 16, 2006, of Remington and Vernick dated December 5, 2006, of the Bucks County Planning Commission dated August 15, 2006, and of the Newtown Emergency Services Department dated November 30, 2006;
  2. That the plans comply with the conditions of the decision of the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board dated November 2, 2006;
  3. That the applicant provide all required approvals, permits and certificates necessary to develop the site;
  4. That the applicant shall present to the Township an executed financial security agreement with all deeds of dedication and deeds of easement necessary to develop the site;
  5. Lot two is to be connected to public sewer. If lot two is to be served by a private water supply, proof of the Bucks County Health Department approval shall be provided;
  6. No further subdivision of lot one or lot two shall be permitted;
  7. Applicant shall comply with all Newtown Township requirements for tree protection during construction’
  8. No Park and Recreation fee is required;
  9. Traffic Impact fee of $1591. 55 shall be paid as a condition of signing of the final plan;
  10. The 8 inch drainage pipe shall be removed. The driveway shall be swaled during construction and stormwater management facilities shall be subject to review and approval of the Township engineer;
  11. The plan shall comply with the review of the Township Lighting consultant;
  12. If required, the applicant shall obtain a letter form the Bucks County Conservation District relating to erosion and sediment control requirements;
  13. Any boundary corners created by the subdivision shall be re-marked with concrete monuments;
  14. The applicant shall execute unilateral declaration of restrictions and covenants relating to conditions of approval;
  15. The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the Stormwater Management Ordinance;
  16. Stormwater facilities are to be maintained by the owner subject to the approval of the Township Engineer;
  17. All administrative, review, engineering and legal fees shall be paid in full.

The following waivers are granted:

    • 404.1.a – scale of plan
    • 504.11 – regarding dead end streets
    • 504.12 – regarding the length of a stub street
    • 504-16 – regarding private streets
    • 504-17 – regarding right-of-way and cartway widths
    • 510-3 – regarding turnabouts on dead end streets
    • 516 – regarding curbs and gutters
    • 517.1 – requiring sidewalks
    • 523.1 - requiring an approved public sewer system.

Mr. Weaver seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to Mr. Dion’s question, Mr. Beckert said that financial security agreements are included in the conditions only “if required”.

Mr. Schenkman noted that there was no mention of hardship in the application, and he asked if there was a financial hardship in paying the traffic impact fee.

Mr. Dion said that the Lewis family has lived in the Township for 33 years, and Mr. Lewis has recently faced some very serious health issues. He has been hospitalized most of the past year, and now requires a completely handicapped accessible home. The family is financially stable but the many fees and costs for subdivision are proving overwhelming.

Mrs. Lewis said that her husband has been very ill, and has accepted a disability retirement. While they are not poor, the family has had some financial setbacks associated with her husband’s illness. He has had one leg amputated, and currently needs full time in-home health care.

In response to the Board’s interest in postponing collection of the traffic impact fee, Mr. Beckert suggested that a unilateral declaration be signed so that the fee could be collected when either lot was sold. This would postpone collection of the fee, but would not be a lien on the property.

Mr. Schenkman moved to amend his motion to include postponement of collection of the traffic impact fee until the time when either lot one or lot two were sold. Mr. Weaver seconded the amended motion.

Discussion of Motion: Resident Roger Taylor said that while he sympathizes with the applicants, there is no provision in the ordinance for hardship. When Mr. Beckert repeated that the fee is not being waived, he said that, as a HARB volunteer, he has seen such agreements get lost and forgotten.

The motion passed unanimously.

Waiver of Land Development – Newtown Plaza Shopping Center: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant. Mr. Marshall said that the owners of the Newtown Plaza Shopping Center propose to construct an 1,800 square foot addition to the existing shopping center. The plans propose new off-street parking and the relocation of the existing driveway to be aligned with Eagle Road in conjunction with the Township’s plans for traffic improvements at that intersection. Some new parking spaces are planned, with employee parking in the rear of the building. Mr. Beckert has prepared an agreement with the Township regarding the intersection improvements which the applicant has already signed.

In response to Mr. Beckert’s question, Mr. Marshall said that an ice cream shop is planned for the addition, and that tenant would apply for a conditional use.

Mr. Calabro suggested that the existing driveway remain open for right turn entrance for deliveries and to help with traffic back-up during school or Church dismissal times.

Mr. Marshall said that the road is to be widened to help with traffic back-up. The applicant intends to use the area of the existing driveway for additional parking. This shopping center has no tractor-trailer deliveries, so entrance to the parking lot will not be a problem. He anticipated that the Township’s plans for a traffic light at the intersection of Swamp and Eagle Roads will also help greatly with traffic problems.

Mr. Jirele asked about the stop line for eastbound cars waiting to turn into the shopping center. He also expressed some concern for pedestrians, coming from the schools, crossing over to the ice cream shop.

Mr. Pellegrino said that a crosswalk would be planned for the intersection, and concerns about the stop line would be part of the PennDOT traffic signal permit application.

Mr. Schenkman moved to grant a waiver of land development for an addition to the Newtown Plaza Shopping Center subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the review letters of Boucher and James dated September 27, 2006, of Remington and Vernick dated October 5, 2006, of Pennoni Associates dated October 6, 2006,of and the Newtown Emergency Services Department dated September 13, 2006;
  2. Site capacity calculations will not be required;
  3. No noxious, offensive or hazardous uses will emanate from the property;
  4. Any future uses will require conditional use approval if appropriate under the Ordinance;
  5. Evidence of financial security is to be provided;
  6. Adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District is required;
  7. All permits are secured;
  8. Signs are in compliance with the Township Ordinance;
  9. Approval of lighting by the township lighting consultants;
  10. Appropriate tree fencing will be provided and plantings will be guaranteed for 18 months;
  11. All deliveries by van sized vehicles to the rear of the building, no tractor-trailers;
  12. All trash areas are to be included in the impervious surface calculations and dumpsters are to be accessible;
  13. Service letters from the water/sewer authorities are to be provided;
  14. An agreement between the applicant and the Township setting forth the responsibility of each for the proposed site improvements at Swamp and South Eagle Roads has been signed and dated January 10, 2007;
  15. Unilateral declaration of restrictions and covenants is to be provided;
  16. A Park and Recreation fee is waived;
  17. Traffic Impact Fee to be waived;
  18. Parking calculations to be submitted by the applicant to determine adequacy;
  19. In the event of an increase in impervious surface coverage, the applicant must address stormwater management; otherwise the applicant shall permit the basin size to be increased if requested by the Township, with the Township bearing the cost;
  20. A professional services contract will be entered into by the applicant.

Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Final Plan for Major Subdivision – Rockbridge Drive – Washington Crossing Road: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant for a major subdivision of 10.84 acres off Washington Crossing Road in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District. Preliminary plan approval had been granted on June 9, 2004 for this property. Since that time the plan has been reduced from four lots to three, and the roadway is now a private drive. The Planning Commission discussed whether the second emergency access is still needed since the development has been reduced to only three lots, and it would eliminate an extra cut into Washington Crossing Road. Mr. Marshall said that the Fire Marshal would like the access, which would be packed soil, not paved. An additional waiver, from SALDO Section 505.5 is sought at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. This would allow for the private entrance road to have less than 100 feet of straight road.

Resident Jan Adamusco expressed concern about developing this tract of land, which is extremely environmentally sensitive. It is frequently swampy, and will have grave impact on the banks of Newtown Creek and on the residents and businesses downstream. She questioned whether the DEP has reviewed this plan, as Ms. Trabor at DEP said that no permits have been issued, and that the plans do not coincide with FEMA maps. Ms. Adamusco expressed dismay that there has been a waiver of the requirement for a tree count. She also suggested that there should be some kind of disclosure to buyers of the new homes that this property has been prone to flooding.

Mr. Beckert said that DEP permits would be required before building could begin. He also noted that there are conservation easements protecting the trees on the property except for the building envelopes. He noted that the Zoning Hearing Board has granted a variance to protect the tree canopy, and the Board cannot override this variance.

Wayne Johnson of Pickering Corts and Summerson said that DEP permits had been issued in the name of one of the previous owners of the site.

In response to Mr. Jirele’s question, Mr. Johnson said that low level spot lights would be placed at the driveway entrances for the three houses.

Mr. Marshall said that easement agreements exist with the Sewer Authority.

In response to Mr. Schenkman’s questions, Mr. Johnson said that there would be no construction activity in the creek, and that the proposed road would have no impact on the creek. There is a crossing of a small channel, for which a permit has been issued. The distance from the road to the creek varies; at its closest point it is about 50 feet. It is always outside of the 100-year floodplain. The depth of the creek also varies, but is between three and five feet deep.

Mr. Jirele said that he has some concern that residents of these proposed houses will not be able to get out of their homes during floods. He has seen the creek go over its banks in this area.

In response to Mr. Schenkman’s questions, Mr. Johnson said that there is an extension of the stormwater management provisions to include 400 feet of underground detention to compensate for the additional impervious surface.

Mr. Beckert said that the Planning Commission has recommended the Township Engineer would review the plan to see if any additional erosion control along the creek is needed. He asked whether the applicant would also agree to the Environmental Advisory Council’s reviewing the plan. He asked if the applicant would agree to a condition that would disclose the flooding issues to home buyers.

Mr. Marshall said that the applicant would not object to the Township Engineer’s consulting with the EAC, and that he would have to work with Mr. Beckert on appropriate language for such a disclosure.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that in her opinion the Environmental Advisory Council should review this plan. Although Mr. Beckert said that EAC review of stormwater and erosion control would be a condition of approval, Mrs. Crescenzo said that the EAC should review the entire plan.

Mr. Beckert repeated that flooding is the issue of concern that the EAC would be asked to review.

Mr. Marshall said that the law has certain written standards; the plan has already been reviewed and approved to these standards. The applicant cannot be held to a standard that is not in the Ordinance.

Mr. Taylor said that he has an Emergency Action Plan for the Newtown Dam prepared in 1980 and revised in 2002 that he wished to share with the Supervisors. He indicated that it was ‘classified” by the Department of Homeland Security. He received this document from then County Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick. It is his understanding that he can share this information with the Supervisors. Referring to this document, he said that the area downstream of the dam is in extreme danger if the dam is breached. The dam had eroded as a result of Hurricane Floyd in 1999, as witnessed by former Supervisor Raymond Goodnoe. The area downstream of the dam, the area of this proposed development, acts as buffer to Newtown Borough. He also expressed some concern about placing an additional opening on Rte 532, as he has seen a number of very serious accidents at this stretch of road. He questioned whether the area of open space used for Lakeview Estates’ drainage is being disturbed.

Mr. Beckert said that the drainage area is not being disturbed.

Mrs. Goren noted that the County maintains and regularly inspects the dam.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant final plan approval of Rockridge Drive, a major subdivision of Washington Crossing Road, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the review letters of Boucher and James dated July 20, 2006, of Remington and Vernick dated July 21, 2006, of Bucks County Conservation District dated October 19, 2006, of Suburban Lighting Consultants dated September 21, 2006, of Newtown Emergency Services dated July 12, 2006 and of the Preliminary Plan Approval letter of Harris and Harris dated June 11, 2004;
  2. All approvals, permits and certificates will be presented to the Township prior to the final plan being recorded;
  3. Proof of financial security;
  4. Present executed water and sewer agreements;
  5. Applicant will grant a conservation easement to the Township to protect the open areas of the stream;
  6. Low intensity lighting on the driveway;
  7. A Park and recreation fee will be paid in lieu of dedication of open space;
  8. No centralized trash pick-up;
  9. Access by private road which is not dedicated to the Township;
  10. Compliance with the Township Zoning Hearing Board decision of November 6, 2003;
  11. Homeowner Associations documents will provide for maintenance of the private road, stormwater management and street lighting;
  12. Easement will be granted to the Township for future sidewalks on Washington Crossing Road;
  13. Easement Agreement will be submitted to the Township for a private road;
  14. Reflectors will be installed on the barrier near the creek;
  15. No further subdivision of the property will be permitted;
  16. Regarding lot #3, the building shall not encroach on the Rowland soils;
  17. No additional disturbance of land will be permitted outside those areas shown on the plan;
  18. Fencing abutting Lot #1 shall be relocated to the final plan boundary;
  19. Township Engineer and Environmental Advisory Council will review the plan to see if any additional stormwater and erosion control along the creek is needed;
  20. A disclosure statement will be written advising homebuyers that the properties have been subject to flooding;
  21. Emergency access road will be provided if deemed necessary by the Township Fire Marshal.

The following waivers are granted: from SALDO sections 402.3.B.c, 302.2, 303.2, 520.5, 402.3.g, 507.5, 508.6, 531.1, 517, 516.2, and 505.5.

Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion failed 3-2, with Messrs. Calabro, Jirele and Schenkman voting nay.

Revised Preliminary Land Development – Newtown Athletic Club Pool Addition – 209 Penns Trail: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant for a 12,809 square foot addition to the building and a 2331 square foot patio at Newtown Athletic Club (NAC)

Lawrence Schorr, engineer on the project, reviewed the current entrance to the club, noting that the plan proposes to move the entrance further up Penns Trail, away from the intersection with the Newtown By-pass. The entrance will be through the adjoining property, which is also owned by the NAC. The entrance would be one way in only. Egress would continue to be through the rear of the parking lot. The Planning Commission recommended elimination of the south side parking at the adjoining baseball facility. The parking would be reserved in green unless or until it is needed. The applicant anticipates no need for additional parking, as both the baseball facility and the proposed addition are for children’s programs, where children are only dropped off and picked up. There would be no net effect on the impervious surface coverage, and for this reason the applicant would like to put the drainage facilities in reserve.

Mr. Schorr said that the Planning Commission had suggested eliminating the original entrance, but the Fire Marshal wanted it to remain for emergency access to the fire connections. He would propose moving the fire connection to the other side of the building and adding a fire hydrant near the baseball facility. If this change is made, the Fire Marshal indicated that he would be satisfied. The proposed driveway would be one-way, but wide enough to accommodate emergency access.

Mr. Marshall said that in moving the entrance, the applicant proposes to re-stripe Penns Trail from Newtown Yardley Road to the entrance, creating a center turning lane. There would be two 12-foot wide lanes for traffic, plus a 10-foot wide center lane. The applicant would like to use the traffic impact fee for the re-striping. The applicant is seeking a number of waivers, for curbs, sidewalks and scale of plan.

Mr. Beckert said that the Planning Commission would need to see a plan for the adjoining property, the baseball facility, to see that it meets all Township requirements. There will have to be a perpetual easement for the driveway.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Schorr said that Penns Trail is wide enough for the proposed re-striping. The re-striping would end at the new driveway, so as not to interfere with the double lane of traffic and the turning lane at the By-Pass intersection.

In response to Mr. Calabro’s question, Mr. Marshall said that the applicant would comply with Township signage requirements.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant preliminary plan approval for Newtown Athletic Club pool addition, subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the plan complies with the review letters of Boucher and James dated September 15, 2006, of Remington and Vernick dated September 14, 2006, of the Bucks County Planning Commission dated November 9, 2006, of the Newtown Emergency Services Department dated September 6, 2006, of Pennoni Associates dated October 20, 2006 and of Suburban Lighting Consultants dated September 27, 2006;
  2. Subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board on July 3, 2003;
  3. No use shall be permitted that is noxious or offensive in the immediate area by odors, dust, smoke, gas vibration, illumination or noise which constitutes a public hazard by fore explosion, or other means;
  4. No lighting glare shall extend from the property;
  5. Compliance with signage Ordinance;
  6. trees will be protected by tree protection fencing prior to commencement of any construction;
  7. Existing driveway on Penns Trail will be closed, with pavement removed and landscaped, with fire connections relocated to other side of building subject to the approval of the Fire Marshal;
  8. The relocation of the existing access drive to adjacent property is subject to review by the Township. Plans will indicate the location and calculations of impervious cover, parking and other resources located to the adjoining properties. If necessary, an adequate letter form Bucks County Conservation District will be provided in respect to the adjacent properties; a perpetual easement agreement will be provided subject to Township approval. The southernmost parking lot of the adjacent property will be held in reserve parking, and the northern-most parking lot marked to permit employee parking only. The access drive onto this site will be one lane and signed to indicate no egress onto the adjacent properties;
  9. Plantings will be guaranteed for 18 months;
  10. Agreement to extend striping of the center turn lane from the By-pass to Newtown Yardley Road including the 12 foot through lane and a 10 foot center turn lane with necessary signage; if improvements are determined to be off-site, they will be credited from the traffic impact fee;
  11. Traffic impact fee will be determined by the Township Traffic Engineer under the Township’s fee schedule;
  12. Park and Recreation fee will be paid in lieu of dedication of open space;
  13. Evidence of financial security will be provided;
  14. Additional parking required by this approval will be held in green and paved only if required by the Township; funds will be escrowed for additional stormwater detention if needed;
  15. All required permits will be secured;
  16. Copy of water/sewer agreements, if required, will be provided;
  17. Trash enclosures will be screened and landscaped in compliance with the SALDO section 530.10
  18. All Township review fees will be paid.

The following waivers are granted:

    • Section 534 – requiring concrete curbs;
    • Section 534.9 – requiring 8 inch curb;
    • Section 402.3.b and .3 – requiring existing features to be shown;
    • Section 516 – requiring street curbing;
    • Section 517 – requiring sidewalks;
    • Section 420.1 – requiring plan scale f 1” = 50 ‘;
    • Section 521.5.B requiring meadow to be used for stormwater calculations.

Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Marshall said that the applicant will comply with the Ordinance on the adjoining property with existing non-conformities.

The motion passed unanimously.

Preliminary Plan for Land Development – Newtown Industrial Building – 11 Friends Lane: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant for an adaptive re-use of an existing 34,382 square foot building for D-1 office use and D-2 medical office use in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District. The 3.6831 acre parcel has been granted Zoning Hearing Board relief for 50% medical use.

Richard Knudsen, engineer on the project noted that the Remington and Vernick review letter cites two stabilized construction entrances, but the Bucks County Conservation District approved one construction entrance. The property has two entrances, but only one construction entrance.

Township Engineer Chris Fazio waived the comment.

In reviewing the request for waivers, Mr. Marshall noted that the request to allow parking within 20 feet of the building is to help preserve a stand of trees on the property.

The Board discussed the traffic impact fee. Mr. Marshall suggested that the applicant provide $3000 toward a traffic study that the Planning Commission recommended, which would pool traffic impact fees from projects in the Business Commons for one future study.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the Traffic Engineer would calculate the traffic impact fee.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Mr. Marshall said that the Zoning Hearing Board had granted relief for 155 parking spaces for 50% general office use and 50% medical office use, instead of the required 205 spaces.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant approval of the preliminary plan for land development for 11 Friends Land, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the review letters of Boucher and James dated October 31, 2006, of Remington and Vernick dated October 16, 2006 (with one construction entrance required), of Pennoni Associates dated November 22, 2006, of the Bucks County Planning Commission dated October 26, 2006, of the Newtown Emergency Services Department dated October 27, 2006 and of Suburban Lighting Consultants dated October 26, 2006;
  2. Subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board and indicated on revised plans;
  3. The applicant shall provided an adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District;
  4. Trees will be protected by tree protection fencing prior to commencement of any construction;
  5. Plantings will be guaranteed for 18 months;
  6. A copy of service agreement letter from the water and sewer authorities shall be provided;
  7. Compliance with signage Ordinance;
  8. Trash enclosures will be screened and landscaped in compliance with the SALDO section 530.10;
  9. A traffic impact fee will be collected into a fund for a future traffic study;
  10. The applicant will provide evidence of financial security;
  11. All required permits will be secured;
  12. The applicant shall execute a unilateral declaration of restrictions and covenants;
  13. All review fees are to be paid in full.

The following waivers are granted:

    • Section 403.b and c. – regarding existing features;
    • Section 514.2 – regarding parking in the front yard;
    • Section 514.9 – to permit parking within 20 feet of the building;
    • Section 517.1 – to permit 6 foot wide planting strips between the sidewalk and the curb;
    • Section 520-5 –to permit parking in an easement.

Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Officials

Engineer’s Report

Escrow Release – Foxhall Estates: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release number 1, in the amount of $315,199.80 to Foxhall Estates. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Escrow Release – Blacksmith 161, LLC - Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release number 4, in the amount of $68,426.55 to Blacksmith 161, LLC. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Escrow Release – Penns Terrace Office Park - Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release number 1, in the amount of $187,630.06 to Penns Terrace Office Park. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Old Business

Appointment to Newtown Joint Municipal Sewer Authority Board: Mrs. Goren said that at the organizational meeting, a member had been appointed to the Sewer Authority Board for a term ending in 2007, but that term should have ended in 2010.

Mr. Pellegrino said that his office has researched the history of appointments to the Sewer Authority Board and discovered that a member had been mistakenly appointed for a term of six years, instead of five years. The appointment made at the organizational meeting was mistakenly made to complete a term ending in 2007, when in fact that term had already expired. All other members of the Sewer Authority Board have been correctly appointed.

Mr. Weaver moved to extend the term of Allen Fidler to the Joint Municipal Sewer Authority Board to 2010. Mrs. Goren seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Community Comment: Mrs. Crescenzo reviewed some letters written by former Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Harwood in 2001 regarding the safety of holding Boy Scout meetings in the barn at the Clark Nature Center. She expressed concern that workmen have been using the barn, which might be very unsafe, and questioned the Board’s plans for future use of the Clark Nature Center. She asked that the name of the Clark Nature Center be changed to Lyman and Mary Clark Nature Preserve, as had been discussed with Mr. and Mrs. Clark prior to the Township’s acquiring of the property. She urged the Board to form a “friends of the Clark Nature Center” group to help with planning and maintenance of the park.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:20PM.

 

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