Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of February 21, 2007

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, February 21, 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 Township Solicitor Paul Beckert, Township Manager Robert M. Pellegrino, and Township Engineer Edward Koehler.

Call to Order: Chairman Anne Goren called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM. There was a moment of silence followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Special Action: Environmental Advisory Council – Presentation of Eco Star Award

Don McEachron presented the Eco Star Award plaque to the Law School Admissions in recognition of outstanding environmental and exceptional recycling activities; Steve Shreiber accepted the plaque for the Law School Admissions.

Public Comment: Nancy Crescenzo, township resident, congratulated the EAC on their fine work, noting that there is not presently a Board liaison to the council; Mr. Weaver volunteered to serve as Board liaison. Ms. Crescenzo said it would be appropriate for Board members to report on the Board’s Work Session. She said that the future PetSmart would generate traffic and large trucks and asked the Board to take back S. Eagle Road and make it safer.

Jim Bowe invited all present to attend the Newtown Chamber Orchestra concert on Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 PM at the Bucks County Community College Library. He noted that the orchestra is a member of the Newtown Business and Professional Association and has participated in Welcome Day. Mr. Bowe suggested holding Welcome Day on Sycamore Street if NBPA is not allowed to utilize State Street; he felt it would be a great chance to showcase the businesses and streetscape on Sycamore Street.

Don McEachron, resident of Newtown Crossing in the township, noted the PennDOT breakdown in the recent snow event extended to Newtown. He said his street had only recently been plowed and said it had not been salted. He noted he made several calls to the Public Works department which were not returned. Mr. Pellegrino said the storm had been difficult, noting that 400 tons of salt were put down in the township.

Members Comments: None.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Weaver made a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of February 7, 2007 with the following change: page 3, Engineer’s Report, second motion – replace “Mr. Weaver” with “Mr. Schenkman.” Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was passed 5-1.

Bills List: Mr. Schenkman made a motion to authorize the payment of bills as identified in the Bills List of February 21, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman made a motion to authorize interfund transfers from the general fund to the Payroll Money Market Fund totaling $150,000, and from the Parks & Recreation fund to the Payroll Money Market Fund totaling $10,000; a combined total of $160,000. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Environmental Advisory Council: Don McEachron reported that they were working on an open space inventory; they plan to develop, hire or obtain maps to indicate various elements such as soil, floodplain, etc.; he has contact the National Lands Trust for assistance. He said the maps would be superimposed on the township tax parcel map; they would review property with owner permission. Mr. McEachron said they would probably create a database to make the collected information as accessible and useful as possible; he will design the database. He said the Council would consult with the Park & Recreation Department and Planning Commission for input. He noted that there would be a maximum cost of $3000 for the maps if they needed to be purchased.

Ms. Goren noted that the township has a GIS system already in place; Mr. Schenkman suggested that Mr. McEachron take a look at the township software. Ms. Goren advised Mr. McEachron to contact the township manager if unforeseen costs arise regarding available monies for the EAC.

EAC member Jay McGuigan gave a presentation about deer management. He noted that any study of the local deer population needed to be data driven and that there is not presently any estimate of how many deer per square mile live in the area. Mr. McGuigan noted the effects of excessive deer population: negative impact on the ecosystem, deer/vehicle collisions, Lyme disease, and plant and agricultural damage. He thanked Jean Tanner of the police department for the accident data. He reviewed the charts and maps in his presentation, noting that the EAC will be looking into the deer problem.

Telecommunications Advisory Council: Jim Bowe reported that Township Technology Director Ron Weaver had asked him to speak with Verizon and Comcast regarding an upgrade of the closed loop system from dial up to high speed connection; currently the dial up access is very slow.

Mr. Bowe said they had received a proposal from CGI to work cooperatively to produce a video that could become available through the township website and Channel 23. There is no cost, as the media would be paid through advertising; the video would be stored on CGI servers. It was suggested that the video could serve as an “ad” for Newtown and could possibly be done in coordination with the Borough. Mr. Bowe said the Council recommends the project and will study FCC regulations; he asked the Board to look at the project. It was noted that the video would play when someone clicked on the link on the website. Mr. Jirele noted that there should be an agreement with CGI addressing such issues as availability to the public for at least a year. Mr. Bowe noted that CGI would take on all the costs; Mr. Bowe will send the Board the appropriate links to investigate.

Mr. Bowe noted the Tellview “content management solution” utilized by Upper Makefield and Wrightstown, which includes a lot of information such as emergency alerts and uses “voice over picture.” He noted that particular slides can be scheduled at specific times and messages could be managed remotely. Mr. Bowe detailed two price models: a) the township pays all the costs – $12,000 hardware and $1000 ongoing monthly cost, and b) local businesses sponsorship. The Council recommended model b), noting that Tellview would procure sponsorships. Mr. Bowe recommended the Board look at the Tellview system on Channel 99; the Supervisors will receive an informational packet and disk to preview. Ms. Goren said the Board would discuss the issue at their work session.

Mr. Bowe noted that the Council meets the first Wednesday of each month; they wish to hear about issues and problems that residents experience.

Historical Architectural Review Board:

Harriet Beckert presented the report for HARB.

  1. JAC’s Urbanwear, 123 N. Sycamore Street. The new tenant is applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a directory sign. HARB recommended approval of the application.
  2. Mr. Weaver made a motion to follow the recommendation of HARB and approve the application of Carol McCune, JAC’s Urbanwear, for a wall mounted sign to be placed to the left side of the main entrance door. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  3. Dr. Michael Shanfeld, 9 Cambridge Lane. The applicant, who was present, is applying for two signs, a wall sign to be placed on the stone wall at the north side of the historic building facing the parking lot and a directional sign to be placed on an existing post to the right of the building.
  4. HARB recommended approval of only two signs at the site; the applicant did not anticipate needing a third sign, but was reluctant to be limited to two signs. Mr. Beckert clarified that the ordinance would allow three signs; HARB felt two signs were more appropriate to the site. It was noted that the freestanding sign would direct people from the right side parking area to the left entrance to the building. It was clarified that the AETNA logos would be removed from the signs; Mr. Shanfeld said he would like to have his own logo, picturing three family members on one sign. Ms. Goren noted that the applicant would need to return to HARB for consideration of his logo on the sign.

    Mr. Jirele made a motion to follow the recommendation of HARB and approve the application of Dr. Michael Shanfeld for two signs as presented in the application, noting that Sign A would be 16 sq. ft. and be mounted on the side of the building facing the parking lot and Sign B would be placed on an existing post on the side facing the parking lot adjacent to the walk; all logos will be removed. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  5. Ed Murphy, Twin Banks LLC, 301 N. Sycamore Street. The applicant is applying for approval of restoration of existing dwelling, to be converted into first floor offices with second floor storage; application includes the demolition of a shed addition in poor condition. HARB recommended approval of the application as presented, including demolition of the shed addition; Ms. Beckert noted that the Joint Historic Commission is reviewing the application for demolition.

    Mr. Schenkman made a motion to follow the recommendation of HARB and approve the application as presented. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

Planning Commission: Vice Chair Jay Sensibaugh presented the report. He noted there were no land development issues. He reported that the following Zoning Hearing Board matters were sent to the Supervisors with no comment: the application of James Risch, 36 Susanna Way, for relief for the construction of a swimming pool; the application of Scot & Nicol Blatstein, 6 Madison Court, for relief for the construction of a deck; and the Leo Hold appeal from the decision f the Township Zoning Officer regarding the Melsky Tract and the proposed Federal Cemetery. Mr. Sensibaugh said the Commission voted 4-1-1 to recommend to the Supervisors to send the solicitor to oppose the variance sought by Grainhouse Developers, 11 Penns Trail, for relief of 116 parking spaces.

Mr. Sensibaugh said the Commission recommends the Board deny the requested amendment to the CM District Ordinance. He said the Commission reviewed the first two chapters of the Newtown Area Joint Comprehensive Plan; they concluded it would be more efficient if a smaller group consisting of Supervisors, planners and Commission members reviewed the document. Mr. Sensibaugh will work with Mr. Pellegrino to arrange meetings twice monthly over a period of three months. Mr. Sensibaugh noted that the Township Planner’s comments/review of the plan was quite helpful; he requested that she be authorized to continue her review. He noted that suggested changes would be tracked for consideration.

Mr. Sensibaugh noted that the Planning Commission would be considering Lang Ski and Scuba and the review of the archdiocese subdivision at their next meeting.

Land Development Projects:

a. Final Plan for Land Development – Goodnoe’s Corner, 298 N. Sycamore Street

The plan proposes the construction of a shopping center consisting of 30,600 sq. feet of retail and four apartments located on the second floor of the corner building, which total 5,000 sq. ft. Uses on the site include E-15 Community Shopping Center and H-10 Dwelling in Combination with a Business. Site improvements include associated parking, sidewalks, curing, steps, seatwalls, landscaping, lighting, utilities and stormwater facilities.

Ms. Goren read a statement recusing herself from voting on the issue, unless the vote resulted in a tie, as per state ethics. John VanLuvanee was present; he cited the review letters and noted that the Planning Commission had recommended approval of the application, suggesting that the sidewalks be wrapped up close to the building, go around and between the buildings and then continue internally. Mr. VanLuvanee noted that a variance from Section 517.1 of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance would be required for the sidewalks. Mr. Koehler clarified that that at the turn of the sidewalk, the originally proposed steps would be changed to a handicapped accessible ramp, and the walkway through the parking lot would be pavers. Mr. Beckert noted that the applicant agrees to pay a traffic impact fee of $78,500; a traffic signal at Sycamore Street and Silo Drive has been warranted and if the Commonwealth approved the signal the applicant will pay for the signal and any amount above that of the traffic impact fee. If the signal is not approved the applicant will pay the fee.

In response to questions from Ms. Crescenzo, it was noted that impervious surface would be slightly under 83% and stormwater management would be placed underground. Ms. Crescenzo said she would like to see as many trees as possible planted at the site. She asked the Board to consider the effects of additional traffic generated from the site would be on South Eagle Road. Mr. Schenkman noted that a traffic light at Sycamore Street and Silo Drive had been warranted under existing conditions.

Mr. Weaver made a motion, framed by Solicitor Beckert, to approve the final land development plan of KLS Ryan, LP, trading as Goodnoe's Corner, 298 Sycamore Street, Newtown, PA, subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded the final plan shall be revised to comply with the following:

A. Boucher & James letter of January 9, 2007.

B. Remington & Vernick letter of January 5, 2007.

C. Pennoni letter of January 19, 2007.

D. Bucks County Planning Commission letter of October 21, 2006, except to the extent inconsistent with the specific terms of this approval.

E. Newtown Emergency Management Services letter of January 5, 2007.

F. Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of December 13, 2006.

2. The approval is subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board of September 22, 2006, a note being added to the Plan indicating said variances.

3. The approval is subject to the terms of the conditional use approval granted for an E-15 Community Shopping Center use on December 13, 2006, and the conditions imposed therein are included herein, and a note shall be added to the Plan so indicating.

4. That pursuant to Section 904 of the JMZO, a note be added to the plan that no noxious or offensive uses affecting the immediate area be permitted.

5. Prior to the signing of the final linen plans by the Supervisors and it being recorded, the applicant shall present to the Township for execution the required Financial Security Agreement as required by the Pennsylvania Municipalities 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 those created by virtue of final plan approval.

6. 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 to develop the site including but not limited to the permits and approvals set forth in the Township Engineer’s letter of January 5, 2007 subject to the provisions set forth in Paragraph 26 hereof. 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 it’s right to fully participate in all approval and permitting procedures which will be required for the approval of the development.

7. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall submit a duly executed water service agreement with the 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.

8. As a condition of signing the final plan the applicant shall pay to Newtown Township traffic impact fees in the amount of $78,546.92 in accordance with the attached letter of Pennoni Associates, Township Traffic Engineer. As to the use of the traffic impact fee, the applicant shall immediately provide to the Township all documentation in order to permit the Township to make application to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a traffic signal at the intersection of Sycamore Street and Silo Drive. The Township agrees to apply said traffic impact fees toward the payment of the cost of signalization, if said signalization is approved by PennDOT. In the event said signalization is approved by PennDOT the applicant shall pay the cost of said improvement at its own expense and if there is any shortfall, it shall bear the expense of same. If any monies are not utilized in the event signalization is approved, said remaining funds shall be deemed the property of Newtown Township. In the event signalization is not approved upon notification of same, the traffic impact fee shall be used by the Township in accordance with the ordinances of Newtown Township.

9. As a condition of signing the final plan and the issuance of any building permit, the applicant shall pay a fee in lieu of dedication of land for park and recreation purposes in accordance with the applicable ordinances of Newtown Township. Said fee is assessed at the amount of $60,681.00.

10. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded the applicant will present a “adequate” letter from the Bucks County Conservation District plan as to the erosion and sediment control plan for the project.

11. All restrictions and notes as set forth in the preliminary land development approval shall be included in the Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants which shall be executed by the applicant prior to the signing of the final plan.

12. All lighting must comply with the requirements of the Township and a letter from Suburban Lighting Consultants shall be provided so indicating. All lights after the hours of operation of the retail center, except for security lighting shall be extinguished. Lighting types shall be full cut off lighting and shall be such as that no glare shall extend beyond the property boundaries.

13. Any newly planted trees along Sycamore Street that are removed shall be replaced by trees of similar caliper and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating. All planting shall be guaranteed for 18 months and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

14. The applicant shall provide appropriate storage space and signage for any establishment that provides carts or mobile baskets for its patrons or in the alternative shall by lease provide that no establishment may provide shopping carts or mobile baskets as part of their facilities operation. In the event of said lease provision, said leases as executed shall be provided to the Township in compliance with the foregoing and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

15. The applicant shall screen all dumpsters in accordance with SALDO Section 534.10.

16. The applicant shall pay all fees, legal, engineering and administrative, due to the Township as a result of preliminary plan review in full prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded.

17. All apartment uses shall be subject to the restriction that they shall not be converted to any non-residential uses. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating. If so requested, a deed and/or lease restriction shall be added to all appropriate documents. Said restriction shall be subject to Township approval.

18. Any basements within the retail facility shall be limited to mechanical and/or similar uses or storage uses solely and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating. A restriction shall be added to each lease so providing. Said restriction shall be subject to Township approval.

19. All loading and unloading of deliveries by tractor trailer or similar size vehicles shall be at off hours between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. and no deliveries of any type shall take place along Sycamore Street and Durham Road.

20. In compliance with Zoning Ordinance Section 903.B. as to flood plan soils, the applicant shall provide a letter from a soil scientist that the soils as shown on the plan are not Bowmansville soils but Urban soils; said letter shall be subject to review by the Township Engineer for accuracy and adequacy.

21. As to compliance with Zoning Ordinance Section 1000E.1 the Township finds that said issue is covered by the variance granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board.

22. The applicant shall provide proof of permission from adjoining property owners as to any buffers that are shown on adjoining properties. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating and said proof shall be required in writing in recordable form. Said document shall be subject to Township approval.

23. As to the issue of steep slopes, the Township finds that any steep slopes are man made, of recent vintage, and do not fall within the Township requirements as to steep slopes under the circumstances of this matter and therefore provisions within the Zoning Ordinance governing steep slopes shall not be applicable to any issues related to disturbance of ground as contemplated within the preliminary plan.

24. All commercial establishments on Sycamore Street shall have pedestrian access from Sycamore Street.

25. Adequate provision by landscaping or other provisions including a fence shall be erected to assure that pedestrians shall not exit Building 7 into the proposed drive through lane of travel.

26. Pedestrian sidewalks shall be extended from Durham Road along the frontage of the buildings fronting Durham Road between buildings 5 and 6 and within the interior parking lot as shown on the revised plan. The applicant shall secure all PennDOT approvals. However, said PennDOT approvals need not be secured as a condition of final land development but shall be presented to the Township as a condition prior to final dedication. Where applicable a ramp shall be utilized rather than steps. The plan shall be revised as set forth on the attached Exhibit depicting the revision of the sidewalk appended hereto.

27. Loading zones shall be established to the rear of Building 7 as shown on the Plan and shall be appropriately signed.

28. At the time of final Plan a complete landscaping plan for Sycamore Street shall be shown and approved by the Township Planner.

29. Any Sycamore trees that need to be relocated presently along Sycamore Street shall be relocated by the applicant at the applicant’s cost at the direction of the Township.

30. All signs shall be subject to compliance with JMZO Ordinance §1100 and all applicable Township ordinances. All signs that front on Sycamore Street shall be subject to securing a Certificate of Appropriateness by the Board of Supervisors after review by the Newtown Township Historic Architectural and Review Board.

31. The applicant shall meet with the Historical Architectural Review Board to review the proposed exterior of the building for their comments and recommendations.

The Board of Supervisors grants the following waivers from the Newtown Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

A. Section 514.1 relating to off street parking facilities, said waiver is granted in accordance with the variances already granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.

B. Section 514.2 as to off street parking in commercial and industrial zones to the side and rear of the properties.

C. Section 514.5 requiring the minimum width of islands to be 10 feet.

D. Section 514.9 relating to parking areas not closer than 20 feet to the outside of the nearest building.

E. Section 514.11 requiring no less than a 5 foot radius of curvature permitted for curb lines.

F. Section 515 relating to loading facilities, said waiver being in accordance with the variance already granted.

G. Section 517.1 relating to sidewalks.

H. Section 521.3.B relating to storm drainage pipe sizes.

I. Section 521.3.C(1) and 521.5 relating to the design of storm water detention areas.

J. Section 530 relating to street trees at intervals not to exceed 25 feet along street rights-of-way, said waiver is provided because of the extensive overhead utilities but the required number of street trees shall be provided by the applicant as a condition of this waiver.

K. Section 531 relating to buffer yards, said waivers are in accordance with the variances already granted by the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 4-0-1, with abstention by Ms. Goren.

b. Revised Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development – DeLuca Corporate Center, 138 S. Sycamore Street

The plans propose to construct a 33,900 Sq. ft. building, utilizing the D-1 Office Use; and a 768 Sq. Ft. garage, utilizing the H-5 Accessory Building Use. Rezoning of the site to TC – Town Commercial and demolition of the existing one-story school building have been requested. The site has frontage along S. Sycamore Street and is proposed to be provided with public water and sewer.

Ed Murphy represented the applicant, and noted that the Planning Commission had given unanimous recommendation for approval. He said he has discussed the conditions with Mr. Beckert. It was noted that:

  • The building was set close to the street, and parking surrounded the building; no variances are required for parking and 23 spaces would be held on reserve on the northernmost corner of the property
  • The area abutting Newtown Place will be green; the homeowners association supports and approves the conditions regarding lighting, which will be turned off at 9:00 PM.
  • Impervious surface on the site will be 63%; 80% is allowed.
  • Stormwater management will be underground.

Mr. Murphy reviewed the materials and Evan Stone, of Pickering, Corts & Summerson, presented the streetscape sketch, noting:

  • 18” high seat wall and the extension of the sidewalk to the wall
  • Tree “pockets” with seating
  • Pavement will match existing
  • Bump out in front will match bump out across the street at the church, to provide a better entrance and streetscape; the engineer and planner reviewed. The number of parking spaces on Sycamore Street will not be affected.

Mr. Murphy stated that there would be an increase in PM peak hour trips at the site, but a decrease in the AM trips from the previous use; he asked the Supervisor to consider this unusual circumstance and reduce the traffic impact fee. Mr. Jirele said it would be difficult to negotiate the fee down since no traffic impact fee was paid by the school. Mr. Schenkman suggested working with the Goodnoe’s Corner development to coordinate construction and resulting street restrictions. It was suggested that the installation of a bollard or similar element would highlight and increase the visibility of the bump outs.

Mr. Weaver made a motion, framed by Solicitor Beckert, to approve the preliminary as final plans of DeLuca Office Associates, 138 South Sycamore Street, on the following terms, subject to the following conditions:

1. Subject to the conditional use, the variances and waivers granted, final plans will be revised to comply with the following appended review letters:

A. Boucher & James letter of January 24, 2007.

B. Remington & Vernick letter of December 13, 2006.

C. Pennoni letter of January 30, 2007.

D. Bucks County Planning Commission letter of August 17, 2006.

E. Newtown Emergency Management Services letter of

November 22, 2006.

F. Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of September 21, 2006.

G. Bucks County Conservation District letter of December 22, 2006.

2. 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 of December 13, 2006. 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 it’s right to fully participate in all approval and permitting procedures which will be required for the approval of the development.

3. Prior to the signing of the final plan and its 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 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 those created by virtue of the final plan approval.

4. Prior to the signing of the Final Plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall submit a duly executed water service agreement with the 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.

5. The applicant shall be permitted to reserve 23 spaces in green as shown on the plan to be paved if required by the Township. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

6. The plan approval is subject to the conditions and requirements of the Conditional Use approval granted by the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors on January 24, 2007, and a note shall be added to the plan indicating the conditional use conditions.

7. The plan is approved subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board of December 7, 2006 and a note shall be added to the plan stating the variances granted.

8. The basement area shall not be permitted for any office use but solely for storage and related storage uses including mechanical area and computer areas and miscellaneous uses including a shower facility, but shall not be deemed habitable for any office occupancy. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating and documents will be executed confirming that limitation.

9. Tree protection fencing shall be shown on the plan delineating the area of tree protection pursuant to SALDO Section 529.c.2.e. and tree protection fencing shall be installed and approved prior to the initiation of any construction. All plantings shall be guaranteed for eighteen months. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

10. In lieu of dedication of open space the applicant shall pay a fee in lieu of dedication in accordance with the fee schedule of Newtown Township in the amount of $67,132.00.

11. Crosswalks will be installed by the applicant across Sycamore Street at the sole expense of the applicant; one crosswalk in the vicinity of the northerly most driveway as shown on the plan and a second in the vicinity of the center of the building as shown on the plan. The sidewalks will match the crosswalks presently existing on Sycamore Street.

12. The internal sidewalks within the parking lot shall extend to Sycamore Street.

13. All exterior lighting on the parking lot and the exterior of the building shall be down lit; all lights except security lighting shall be extinguished no later than 9:00 p.m. every evening; no glare shall extend onto adjoining properties and if glare extends onto adjoining properties, additional buffering shall be provided and if necessary alternate lighting provided so as to eliminate glare. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

14. All signs shall be subject to compliance with JMZO Section 1100 and all appropriate Township Ordinances and shall be subject to approval by the Historic Architectural and Review Board and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.

15. A Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants shall be provided setting forth the notes and requirements of plan approval.

16. The applicant shall pay a traffic impact fee in an amount as fixed by the Township Traffic Engineer in accordance with applicable Township fee schedules. In accordance with the attached letter of Pennoni Associates of February 15, 2007, said Traffic Impact Fee is assessed in the amount of $145,376.34.

17. The applicant shall present an adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District as to any erosion and sediment control matters.

18. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, all outstanding administrative, engineering, legal, review and administrative fees due to Newtown Township as a result of the land development and/or conditional use review shall be paid in full to the Township.

19. The applicant agrees that in constructing any “bump-outs” applicant shall conform said bump outs as to design, illumination and traffic safety to the standard for said bump outs along Sycamore Street.

The Board of Supervisors granted waivers from the following requirements of the Newtown Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

A. A waiver from Section 402.3.B and C which require all natural features and manmade facilities within 400 feet of the subject property be located and shown on the plans. The applicant shall provide an aerial photograph of the area.

B. A waiver from Section 403.1.A as to scale of the plan.

C. A waiver from Section 402.5(c) requiring a revised or expanded traffic impact study an adequate traffic impact study having been provided July 6, 2006.

D. A waiver from Section 508.3, waiving the requirement to allow a maximum driveway slope of 4% both driveways have slopes of approximately 5%.

E. A waiver from Section 514.4 and 529.4(d) waiving the requirement to provide refuge island at intervals not to exceed 200 feet along the length of each parking area.

F. A waiver from Section 517.4 waiving the requirement for a minimum 15 foot wide grass strip between the curb and sidewalk along the primary street (South Sycamore Street), the applicant proposes no grass strip between the street, curb and sidewalk.

G. A waiver from Section 534.10 waiving the requirement for dumpster locations to be screened from view and landscaped. Two dumpster locations are proposed both with no screening on three (3) sides and a gate on the parking lot side.

H. A waiver from Section 1003.G(2) to allow Belgium type block curbs in lieu of standard concrete curbs on interior private parking areas.

The Board of Supervisors of Newtown Township granted the following waivers from the Newtown Township Storm Water Management Ordinance.

A. From Section 223 to allow post developed site discharge flows resulting from the one and two year storm events to exceed the required reduction to 75% of the pre-developed flow rate.

B. From Section 224.c to allow existing conditions to be used instead of meadow in determining existing flow rates.

Mr. Jirele seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

c. Conditional Use – The Promenade at Sycamore Street, N. Sycamore Street

T.J. Walsh was present representing the Newtown Presbyterian Church, the Newtown Ambulance Squad, and the Veterans’ Administration; Dave Sander was present for the Promenade; and Allan Smith was present representing the Sycamore Street Association. Exhibits were received.

Mr. Walsh registered prior objections: the conditional use hearing should be continued until the Zoning Hearing Board hearing was concluded, and requested the Board consider referring the issue to a referee. Mr. Walsh also requested consideration for the denial of the application because there was no ZHB relief, and noted that construction easements have not been given yet by the church or the Veterans Administration.

Mr. Sander stipulated that there are temporary construction easements on the land development plans and that easements had not yet been granted by the church, VA or Ambulance Squad.

Mr. Walsh requested the right to keep the issue open; Mr. Sander objected, saying that this was a conditional use hearing. Mr. Walsh noted that there have been instances when conditional uses were granted before the ZHB variances were granted. Mr. Smith agreed with Mr. Walsh’s objections.

Mr. Beckert said the hearing would be continued to a new hearing date, hopefully after the ZHB decision. He noted that at the last hearing there was public comment and testimonials, briefs, etc., so the matter could be submitted.

Mr. Schenkman suggested that arguments be submitted in the form of a brief for Board review; the Board agreed.

Mr. Beckert clarified the agreement that the Board would not make a decision until after the ZHB had rendered its decision. He said that the matter should have more than an hour at the next ZHB hearing March 1 st and suggested the applicant ask the ZHB for some time on March 5 th and 8 th. Mr. Sander agreed to the continuance of the matter till March 28 th.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to continue the matter. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

Reports of Officials:

Chairman: Ms. Goren announced that there is a position open for Planning Commission, term to end December 31, 2007. Applications will be accepted until March 9 and the decision announced on March 14.

Members: No reports.

Manager:

  1. Plan Expiration Report: Mr. Pellegrino noted there were no projects requiring action.
  2. Authorization to Sign Improvement Agreement – McGrath Homes, Villas at Newtown Mr. Weaver made a motion to authorize the Township Manager to sign the McGrath Homes Improvement Agreement, noting that the Agreement will not be released until all fees have been paid. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

Solicitor:

  1. Public Hearing - Vacation of Paper Streets Ordinance: Mr. Beckert referred to his report, dated February 13, 2007. He recommended the approval of the proposed ordinance to vacate certain paper streets within the township that have never been opened and only exist on a township map. The map was reviewed and streets identified. There was no public comment.
  2. Mr. Weaver made a motion to approve the paper street ordinance, clarifying the vacating of certain paper streets as indicated on the submitted map. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

  3. Public Hearing – Jake Brakes Ordinance: Mr. Jirele proposed a minor change: page 2, bullet #3 – change “jake brakes” to “engine brake retarders.” There was no public comment.
  4. Mr. Calabro made a motion to approve the Jake Brakes Ordinance, authorizing the Township to enforce the prohibition of the use of jake brakes within Newtown Township, noting that the phrase “jake brakes” would be changed to “engine brake retarders.” Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  5. Zoning Hearing Board Applications: Mr. Beckert reviewed the matters scheduled for the ZHB meeting of March 1, 2007, noting that the matters of James Risch, 36 Susanna Way and Scott & Nicol Blatstein of 6 Madison Court were reviewed by the Planning Commission with no comment.
  • Grainhouse Developers, LLC – 11 Penns Trail

The applicant is seeking variances in connection with redevelopment of an existing 47,819 sq. ft. industrial building into an office and medical office facility.

Scott Mills from Van Cleef Engineering and owner Karen Miller were present. Mr. Mills reviewed the property details, noting the reduction in warehouse use and increase of office use; 60% office use and 40% medical use are proposed. Variances are sought relative to loading berths and parking. It was noted that a decrease in required parking is requested in accordance with parking requirements by use cited in the ITE Manual.

Mr. Jirele suggested that since the applicant thinks proposed parking would be adequate parking be put in reserve. Mr. Beckert noted that such a large building requires a lot of parking. Ms. Goren said that if the applicant could change the ratio of uses or consider alternate parking suggestions the township would like to work with the applicant to lessen the parking requirement; the applicant agreed.

Mr. Beckert suggested that the Board continue the matter, and have the applicant work with township staff and return to the Planning Commission before the April Zoning Board Hearing.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to oppose the application as presented. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  • Leo Holt Appeal of Preliminary Opinion of Zoning Officer

The applicant is appealing an action of the Zoning Officer in relation to the proposed development of tax map parcel 29-007-004, the Melsky Tract.

Mr. Schenkman made a motion to send the Township Solicitor to uphold the Zoning Officer’s opinion. Mr. Weaver seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

Engineer:
  1. Escrow Release #1 – Hidden Valley Tract
  2. Mr. Weaver made a motion to release escrow in the sum of $39,949.07, to be paid to M & N Homes, L.P. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  3. Escrow Release #5 – Linton Hill Chase
  4. Mr. Weaver made a motion to release escrow in the sum of $32,044.79, to be paid to Toll Brothers, Inc. Mr. Schenkman seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

  5. Escrow Release #1 – McGrath Homes – Delancey Court

Mr. Weaver made a motion to release escrow in the sum of $447,775.65 to be paid to Autumn Leaf Enterprises, Inc., noting that the release will be held until all fees have been paid. Mr. Calabro seconded the motion, which was approved 5-0.

Old Business: None.

New Business: None

Public Comment: Nancy Crescenzo requested information from the Police Department about tickets issued and accidents on Eagle Road. She asked about maintenance at the Clark Property and suggested the formation of a Friends of the Clark Property in the spring; Mr. Jirele said such a group should be formed through the Park & Recreation Department or EAC rather than by the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Crescenzo suggested the township continue to apply for grants for the trails, and asked about maintenance of trails in winter, noting that trails and sidewalks were not cleared after the last storm. Mr. Jirele suggested that the township may not have equipment to clear ice from the last ice storm and noted that heavy equipment could damage the trails. Ms. Crescenzo said she had called the Public Works Department during the storm and had not received a return call; Mr. Jirele suggested that it might be unreasonable to expect a call back in the middle of a storm. Mr. Schenkman suggested a system of call forwarding so that someone could be reached in such a case.

Adjournment: Without objection, the meeting was adjourned to Executive Session at 11:39 PM.

 

Faithfully Submitted:
Leslie P. Dunleavy, acting recording secretary

 

Attest:
Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member