Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of February 7, 2007


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 in the Township meeting room at 8:30 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Anne Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and members Thomas Jirele and Richard Weaver. Also present were: Paul Beckert, Township Solicitor, Edward Koehler, Township Engineer and Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager.

Call to Order: Chairman Anne Goren called the regular meeting to order at 8:30 PM. She apologized that the meeting was delayed in starting while the Board was in executive session on personnel matters. There was a moment of silence followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Special Action: David Pannepacker – Eagle Scout Recognition: On behalf of the Board of Supervisors and the Township, Mrs. Goren presented David Pannepacker with a proclamation recognizing his outstanding work in attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, a goal reached by only 2% of Scouts. David earned 47 badges, and supervised restoration of a trail on Tyler Park as his Eagle project.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mrs. Goren noted that in the minutes of January 24, 2007, on page 13, under JMZO 2006-04, the final vote had been omitted. The paragraph should read, “The motion passed 4-0”.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of January 24, 2007, as corrected. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Schenkman abstaining.

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize bills for February 2, 2007 totaling $220,386.59 and for January 24, 2007 totaling $303,568.58, a combined total of $523,955.17. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers from the general fund to the payroll money market totaling $170,000.00 and from the escrow fund to the general fund totaling $8,848.76, a combined total of $178,848.76. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

HARB: Chairman Harriet Beckert reviewed the certificate of appropriateness for signage at Westshore Pizza at 231 North Sycamore Street. These signs will replace the signs for Avalon Café.

In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, owner Bob Delia said that this is a new franchise, already named “Westshore”.

Mr. Weaver moved to approve the certificate of appropriateness for Westshore Pizza, 231 North Sycamore Street. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Planning Commission: Chairman Shawn Ward reported that the Planning Commission reviewed three plans for land development at its February 6, 2007 meeting.

The final plan for Goodnoe’s Corner now showed sidewalks on the Durham Road side of the building with a sidewalk between buildings five and six to connect the front with the rear of the buildings. Steps to the parking lot have been replaced by a ramp. The Commission recommends that the Board of Supervisors approve this plan.

The revised preliminary plan for DeLuca Corporate Center shows relocated crosswalks. The developer has agreed to locate one crosswalk near the cemetery entrance and one near the Church entrance; both will be in the style of the new Sycamore Street crosswalks.

The Commission reviewed a sketch plan for the Goodnoe tract. They discussed the length of the cul-de-sac.

The Commission recommended that the Board approve JMZO 2006-06 - Wineries, with the provision that special events are permitted on wineries of 10 acres. The reason for their recommendation is that the Ordinance had proposed a 14-acre minimum for special events, and there was some concern for creating non-conformities among existing wineries. They recommend approval of the proposed fireworks amendment, which would permit sale of fireworks to non-Pennsylvania residents in the quarry zoning district.

Representatives of Newtown Center Associates were in attendance at the February 6 meeting to review their application to the Zoning Hearing Board. After reviewing detailed plans for entrance and egress of tractor-trailers, the Commission no longer recommends that there be a limit of one tenant in addition to Petsmart, but would suggest that the space be limited to three additional tenants of which only one would be permitted tractor-trailer deliveries.

In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Ward said that Petsmart had requested a loading dock. Tractor-trailers deliver to the location, and leave the trailers in place for a day or two to be unloaded. Petsmart anticipates one or two deliveries a week, during the evening. Newtown Center Associates would like to make a presentation at the Board’s work session prior to the Zoning Hearing Board’s rendering a decision.

Mr. Ward said that a number of residents have questioned whether Verizon FIOS service carries the Board meetings.

Mr. Pellegrino said that the feed is not set up yet, but the agreement with Verizon requires that the meetings be carried.

Reports of Officials:

Chairman: Mrs. Goren said that she participated in the grand opening of Creekside at 123 N. Sycamore Street on February 2 at “AHA! Friday”. She welcomed the tenants of Creekside to Newtown Township.

Mrs. Goren announced that there is an opening on the Planning Commission due to the resignation of member Michael Piazza. Mr. Piazza could no longer serve because of business commitments. Anyone wishing to serve on the Planning Commission is invited to submit a resume or letter of interest to the Board.

Members: Mr. Weaver said that he had received an e-mail asking about the Environmental Advisory Commission’s (EAC) Ecostar award.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that the winner be invited to the meeting of Feburary 21 to be honored.

Mr. Schenkman asked about another e-mail asking for an increase in the number of EAC members.

Mr. Jirele suggested that Mr. Beckert draft an amendment to the Ordinance to allow “five to seven” members to serve. He said that there might be a time when it would be difficult to fill seven seats on the Council.

Mr. Beckert suggested that if the Board is in agreement, a motion to advertise the change should be passed.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement of an amendment to the EAC Ordinance to increase the number of members from five to “five to seven” members. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Manager: Mr. Pellegrino asked the Board to adopt a resolution that would allow the Township to participate in PACC Automotive and Equipment contracts, which can sometimes be less expensive than state contracts.

Mr. Weaver moved to adopt a resolution authorizing the Township to participate in PACC Automotive and Equipment Contracts. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Pellegrino reported that he has contacted the County about the repair of the Barclay Street Bridge. The bridge should be repaired within the next three months. The railings are being replaced in the course of the repair.

Solicitor: Mr. Beckert said that there would be a need for an executive session to discuss litigation following the meeting.

Engineer: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize the improvement agreement and signing of Mylars for McGrath Homes – Delancey Court. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize escrow release for St. Andrew’s Briar in the amount of $27,116.16. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

New Business:

Mr. Schenkman reported that he had attended a meeting of the newly formed Newtown Creek Coalition, an organization with representatives of both Newtown Borough and Newtown Township. The organization is investigating revitalizing the Newtown Commons and the creek from the dam to the Newtown By-pass. Their next meeting is February 10, 2007 at 9:00AM in the Newtown Borough Hall on State Street.

Mr. Pellegrino asked the Board to make appointments to the Building Code of Appeals. He explained that this committee meets about twice a year, as needed, to hear appeals on interpretation of the uniform Construction Code. The Board was formed by Ordinance 2004-0-10. Members must be qualified by training and experience to serve. This includes licensing as an architect or engineer, experience in the construction industry or training as a construction inspector or plan reviewer.

Mr. Weaver moved to appoint the following members to the Building Code Board of Appeals:

Richard Walker – term ending December 31, 2009

Michael Varian – term ending December 31, 2007

Curtis Rittler – term ending December 31, 2008,

Eric Johnson (alternative) – term ending December 31, 2010

Michael Hutchinson – term ending December 31, 2009.

Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Pellegrino asked that the Board remain for an executive session to discuss matters of personnel.

Public Comment: There were no residents in attendance wishing to make comment.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary


Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member