Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of March 19, 2007

 

Members Present: Anne Goren, Chairman; Philip Calabro, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer; Richard Weaver, Member; Tom Jirele, Member; Paul Beckert, Solicitor; Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager; Edward Koehler, Engineer.

Also Present: Bill Reading, CRNLL; Eric Kaufman, Gilmore & Associates, Inc.; Robert Solarz, Gilmore & Associates, Inc.; Jeffrey L’Amoreaux, Van Cleef Engineering Associates; Theresa Katalinas, Bucks County Courier Times; Bill Wert, Parks & Recreation Director; Andrew Levine, Parks & Recreation Committee; Various Newtown residents including James Kurtz, Rob Ciervo and Jay Sensibaugh.

Call to Order: Chairman Goren called the meeting to order at 8:04 P.M.

Review Proposal to Construct Dugout at Chandler Field

Mr. Levine updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposal to construct dugouts at Chandler Field. He introduced Mr. Reading from the Council Rock Newtown Little League. Mr. Levine advised that the Parks & Recreation Committee and the CRNLL are looking for authorization to allow CRNLL to construct dugouts at Chandler Field. He advised that the dugouts would be constructed at no charge to the Township. The Supervisors were provided various correspondence regarding the matter for their review.

Mr. Schenkman questioned what materials would be used for the construction of the dugouts. Mr. Levine advised that the dugouts would be constructed from wood panel. Mr. Wert advised that the construction material would be similar to the materials used on the restrooms.

Mr. Calabro questioned if the dugouts would be completely enclosed. Mr. Levine advised that the dugouts would be completely enclosed.

The Supervisors questioned who would do the construction work. Mr. Levine and Mr. Reading advised on the Construction Company that will do the work.

Mr. Schenkman questioned if the Parks & Recreation Committee or CRNLL has seen any type of construction outline or if the Construction Company is offering any type of warranty. Mr. Levine advised that the process has not gotten that far.

Mr. Jirele questioned the height and location of the dugouts. Mr. Reading advised that the location of the dugouts would be the same as now. Mr. Levine and Mr. Wert advised that the height of the dugouts would be 8 feet in the back.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the location of the bleachers. Mr. Reading advised that the bleachers would be located further out in the field.

Mr. Reading advised that the dugouts would contain and protect the children from the weather.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to visual impairments. Mr. Levine and Mr. Reading advised that there are no visual impairments.

Mr. Kurtz advised the Supervisors on his feelings with regards to the proposed construction of the dugouts as an adjacent property owner. He advised that he opposes the dugouts and explained why. He commented on the short notice for the discussion of this matter, the location of the sand pile, the Township’s Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, the possible request for lighting, dogs running freely in the park and security concerns that he has. He suggested that the park in not being monitored enough.

Mr. Levine addressed some of Mr. Kurtz’s concerns. He advised that the proposal being discussed tonight is only to construct dugouts, which would help to minimize noise and upgrade the facility.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the dugouts with regards to security. Mr. Levine advised that the dugouts would have a locked door and gate to enter onto the field.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to notifying the neighbors in a timely fashion. Mr. Levine advised that this matter was actually on the public agenda going back to November 2004, that it just to awhile to raise the funds and that the Committee agreed to ask for this authorization once the funds had been raised. Mr. Pellegrino advised that this matter was discussed last Wednesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting and on Thursday he requested Mr. Wert to contact Mr. Kurtz with regards to the matter.

Mr. Kurtz advised that this is not the first time he has received last minute notice. Mr. Pellegrino advised that it was at the Supervisors request to contact Mr. Kurtz with regards to the matter and that last Wednesday was the first time that the Supervisors saw the proposal.

Mr. Schenkman questioned if a more timely notice would be beneficial to Mr. Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz commented on the treatment he has received from the CRNLL and advised on what it is like to live in the middle of the ball field.

Mr. Schenkman questioned Mr. Kurtz as to what type of courtesies he would like the CRNLL to extend to him or he could extend to the Little League. Mr. Kurtz commented with regards to the location of the concession stand and advised that he was never notified that a concession stand was being constructed. He discussed the trash associated with the concession stand. He advised that in the beginning when the fields where being build he requested a shrubbery block to help conceal the view. He advised that White Pine trees were planted and that the lower branches have been trimmed back. He discussed plant loss to his property due to the shade from the White Pine trees. Mr. Levine advised that he would look into Mr. Kurtz’s suggestion for planting some type of buffering.

Mr. Levine suggested that the Township move forward with the construction of the dugouts and advised that the Parks & Recreation Committee would reach out to Mr. Kurtz to help try and improve his quality of life.

Mr. Kurtz advised on the concessions that he is requesting are:

  • Move the sand pile
  • Plant additional shrubbery to create a visual block
  • Post more signs prohibiting loitering, loose dogs and use of the park after closing
  • Enforce the park rules

Mr. Wert advised that the sand pile would be relocated.

Mr. Calabro questioned why the fields are not locked. Mr. Wert advised that the fields are for public use.

Mr. Calabro suggested that the dugouts not be enclosed but covered. He advised that he feels Mr. Kurtz has legitimate concerns with regards to kids hanging out in the park.

Mr. Levine advised that the enclosed dugouts are a considerable upgrade to the park that would be funded by another party.

Mr. Weaver commented with regards to locking both the interior and side doors of the dugouts. Mr. Levine advised with regards to locking the dugouts.

Mr. Jirele questioned if kids will be able to get into the dugouts when games are not being played. Mr. Levine advised that he could not guarantee that the dugouts wouldn’t be broken into.

Mr. Kurtz questioned who would have keys for the locked dugouts. Mr. Levine advised with regards to whom would have keys to unlock the dugouts.

Mr. Calabro commented on the possibility of seeing other designs. Mr. Levine advised that the current proposal is being offer by someone to do now, at no cost to the Township.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to feeling pressured to make a decision quickly.

Mr. Levine advised on the proposal being offer by the CRNLL.

Mr. Weaver advised that he is in favor of the upgraded dugouts.

Mr. Calabro advised that he likes the upgraded dugouts, but is concerned with security. He advised that he would like to discuss the security issue tonight.

Mr. Kurtz questioned if Chandler Field is the appropriate field to build so extreme. Mr. Levine advised with regards to the fields in the Township.

Ms. Goren advised that she agrees with Mr. Weaver with regards to the donation for the construction of the dugouts and that the Supervisors should seriously consider the offer, buts she also agrees with Mr. Kurtz’s concerns. She advised that she would like to see better buffering. She commented on the sand pile and questioned how long it would remain in its location. Mr. Wert advised that the reduction in the size of the sand pile is weather dependent and on what fields need repair.

Mr. Kurtz advised that the sand pile was there all of last year. Mr. Wert advised that it is his belief that the sand pile would be used within a couple of weeks dependent on the weather.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to a timeframe for the use/removal of the sand pile. Mr. Wert advised that the fieldwork needs to be done by an outside contractor, he advised that the sand pile could be relocated for the time being.

The Supervisors discussed the reduction of the sand pile and suggested that the work is focused on Chandler Field first and Helen Randle Park second.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that once the work is complete, that the remaining sand pile be relocated back to Helen Randle Park.

Mr. Wert advised that opening day is April 9, 2007.

Mr. Schenkman suggested relocating what ever is left of the sand pile as of April 20, 2007 to an alternate location.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to dogs running loose in Chandler Field, she suggested that the Township consider developing a dog park.

The Supervisors discussed the signs posted with regards to cleaning up after your dog and the need for the dog to be on a leash.

The Supervisors discussed the need to patrol Chandler Field.

Mr. Koehler commented with regards to the Township putting up the dog signs and supply pickup bags for the dog’s feces, he advised that it qualifies for the Township’s MS4 Environmental Cleanup and public outreach for existing permits.

Mr. Levine advised that he agrees that the dog issue and Mr. Kurtz’s shrubbery issues need to be addressed.

Mr. Jirele requested that the Parks & Recreation Committee supply the Board of Supervisors with a proposal for buffering that can be planted in the Fall.

Mr. Schenkman suggested that the Parks & Recreation Committee look into screening the other buildings located at Chandler Field.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the dugouts being locked and secured. Mr. Levine advised with regards to the dugouts being locked and who would have keys.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the CRNLL being responsible for the maintenance of the dugouts. Ms. Goren advised that according to the correspondence received, CRNLL advised that they would be responsible for the maintenance of the dugouts.

Mr. Pellegrino suggested that if a motion were made in favor of the proposal he would recommend that some type of agreement be drafted by the Attorney with regards to the maintenance of the facility between the Township and the CRNLL.

Mr. Levine suggested that the motion would agree to look into the screening of the Kurtz’s property.

Mr. Weaver made a motion to authorize the Township Solicitor to draft and agreement with regards to the maintenance of the facility between the Township and the CRNLL and to allow the Parks & Recreation Committee to look into the screening of the Kurtz’s property. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously (5-0).

Field Equipment Lease Agreement – Newtown Township and Newtown Girls Softball Association

Mr. Wert updated the Supervisors with regards to the field equipment lease agreement between Newtown Township and the Newtown Girls Softball Association. The Supervisors were provided various correspondence regarding the matter for their review.

Ms. Goren questioned if the Township Solicitor has had a chance to review the agreement.

Mr. Schenkman commented that he did not see a rider in the correspondence he received. Mr. Wert advised that the details are still being worked out, due to the Township changing insurance providers. He advised that the agreement was forwarded to the new insurance provider. He advised that the NGSA’s insurance provider has advised him that they can not specifically list machinery they do not own, but that representatives of the league are insured to operate the machinery. He advised that the specific details are still being worked out with Township’s new insurance provider. He commented on the NGSA’s insurance provider listing the concession stand and the storage shed but being unable to list the machinery.

Mr. Beckert advised Mr. Wert to contact him tomorrow to discuss the matter further.

Mr. Schenkman made a motion to authorize the field equipment lease between the Township and the Newtown Girls Softball League be authorized to be executed by the Parks & Recreation Committee. The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously (5-0).

Gilmore & Associates – Stoopville Road Traffic Calming Plan

Mr. Kaufman updated the Supervisors on the proposed concept plan for traffic calming on Stoopville Road. He provided copies of the concept plan to the Supervisors for their review. He introduced Mr. Solarz to the Supervisors. He advised on discussions with Fran Henney, a PennDot representative. He advised that the speed humps shown on prior plans have been removed.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the multi-use trail that would run along Stoopville Road.

Ms. Goren questioned if the multi-use trail is really the shoulder. Mr. Kaufman advised that the plan proposed the area to be a bituminous trail.

Ms. Goren questioned the width of the trail. Mr. Kaufman advised that the trail could be anywhere from 6 – 12 feet. He advised that there would be a buffer between the roadway and the trail and that the trail is proposed to run along the entire length of the roadway.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the gateway treatment on the roadway. The Supervisors discussed the size of the gateway treatment and the width of the roadway in that area.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the decorative crosswalks and the landscaped median located at Rosefield Drive intersection.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the chicane that would be located between Rosefield Drive and Hemlock Drive/Eagleton Farms Roads, he advised that PennDot has approved the chicane.

Mr. Solarz discussed the effectiveness chicanes.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the proposed roundabout located at the intersection of Stoopville Road and Hemlock Drive/Eagleton Farms Roads. He advised that PennDot is okay with the roundabout in this location as long as there is enough right-of-way.

Mr. Levine commented with regards to the proposed roundabout located at the intersection of Stoopville Road and Hemlock Drive/Eagleton Farms Roads. He advised he has concerns with regards to condemnation and landscaping around the roundabout.

Ms. Goren suggested Mr. Kaufman to describe the two circles around the bull’s eye. Mr. Kaufman advised that in the center of the roundabout is the bull’s eye, which is anticipated to be landscaped. The second circle around the bull’s eye is there for large trucks, advising that their back wheels can go over that section. The third circle is actually the travel lane. He advised that all of the roundabouts shown on this plan are proposed to be single lane roundabouts.

Mr. Levine advised that he feels traffic calming is important, but he does not want the Township to take private property.

Mr. Kaufman advised on the illumination of the roundabout.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the outer circle appearing to be cutting corners off of some properties, he questioned if those areas would have to be taken. Mr. Kaufman advised that would depend on the right-of-way and that the Newtown survey has not be done yet.

Ms. Goren questioned if the roundabouts can be different sizes. Mr. Kaufman advised that the roundabouts can be different sizes, but they must meet the minimum size.

Mr. Jirele questioned what is the minimum size of a roundabout. Mr. Kaufman advised that the minimum size is between 36 – 40 feet in radius.

Mr. Solarz advised that once the Supervisors are in general agreement of the proposed plan, the next step would be to go out and get detailed survey information.

Mr. Seinsbaugh questioned how crosswalks are handled with a roundabout. Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Solarz advised with regards to pedestrian crossings at a roundabout.

Mr. L’Amoreaux advised that the installation of a roundabout takes less land then the installation of a left turn lane.

Mr. Kaufman advised that the intersection of Eagle Road will remain a multi-way stop, but decorative crosswalks and larger stop signs will be added.

Mr. Kaufman advised on the chicane located between Eagle Road and the Melsky Tract.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the roundabout located at the Melsky Tract.

The Supervisors discussed the roundabout located at the Melsky Tract being opposite of someone’s driveway. Mr. Kaufman advised that the roundabout would be an advantage for someone making a left turn out of the driveway.

Mr. Kaufman advised that the traffic in the roundabout has the right-of-way, unlike the circles located in New Jersey.

Mr. Kaufman advised on the landscape median located near the entrance of Linton Hill Chase.

Mr. Kaufman advised on the roundabout located at the intersection of Stoopville Road and Linton Hill Road/Creamery Road.

Mr. Kaufman advised on the chicane located between Linton Hill Road/Creamery Road and the Dolington Tract entrance.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the roundabout located at the Dolington Tract entrance.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the gateway treatment at the Township line – located between the first and second entrances for the Dolington Tract.

Mr. Kaufman discussed the roundabout located near Stoopville and Washington Crossing Roads. He advised that since this plan was distributed, Fran Hanney advised that he is having second thoughts of a roundabout at that location.

Ms. Goren questioned why the roundabout located near Stoopville and Washing Crossing Roads would be put in the center of the triangle, instead of removing the triangle. Mr. Kaufman advised on what he was trying to do at that intersection.

Mr. Kaufman advised that the plan shown to the Supervisors tonight is the current concept plan.

Mr. Pellegrino questioned if Gilmore & Associates, Inc. is still waiting for feedback from PennDot. Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Solarz advised that Gilmore & Associates, Inc. is still waiting to receive official notice from PennDot.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he likes what he sees so far and that he would like to see some vertical deflection. Mr. Solarz advised with regards to vertical deflection.

Ms. Goren advised that she also likes what she sees so far.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he would like to see some type of light strips at the base of the crosswalks. Mr. Kaufman advised with regards to what is now being done to define crosswalks.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the possibility of installing rumble strips along the double yellow line. Mr. Kaufman advised that PennDot does approve the rumble strips along the double yellow line.

The Supervisors discussed the noise produced from rumble strips.

Mr. Solarz commented with regards to the pros and cons with regards to vertical deflection. He advised that the chicane treatments are better for neighborhoods.

Mr. Reading commented on the current speed limit of the road and the speed limit for roundabouts. Mr. Kaufman advised on PennDot’s requirements with regards to lowering the speed limit.

Mr. Jirele questioned when the last speed study was done. Mr. Kaufman advised that the last speed study was done a year and a half ago.

Mr. Seinsbaugh advised that Stoopville Road travel lanes are 11 feet wide. He suggested defining the lanes with recessed reflectors.

A Newtown Gate resident commented with regards to the intersection of Stoopville Road and Rosefield Drive, he questioned if stop signs are being proposed at that intersection. He also commented with regards to the decorative crosswalks and advised that he did not see the need for them, he feels they do not help to control the speed of traffic.

A Newtown Crossing resident commented with regards to the decorative crosswalks, the noise produced from the raised crosswalks and the walkway to nowhere.

Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Solarz advised that the current plan is only a concept plan and that once the real work begins the design will be revised based on local residents’ input.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the existing gateway and the possibility of relocating the gateway closer to the Rosefield Drive intersection to help slow down traffic. Mr. Kaufman advised with regards to the proposed gateway and the flow of traffic.

Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Solarz commented with regards to revising the designs after having further discussions with local residents.

Mr. Seinsbaugh also commented with regards to the walkway to nowhere and discussed the need for better definition in the detail of the design aspect.

The Supervisors thanked Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Solarz for their time.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the Township is waiting for feedback from PennDot and the next step once PennDot gives approval would be for the Township to authorize the design and then construction can begin. In the meantime he suggest that the Township work on funding.

Mr. Seinsbaugh questioned if with regards to the funding aspect is there is a preliminary estimate in the Budget for the construction work.

Ms. Goren advised that the Township is hoping to get approximately Two Million dollars in grant monies.

Mr. Solarz advised on past projects of this nature and discussed the grant monies received.

Van Cleef Engineering – Roundabouts Presentation – by Jeff L’Amoreaux

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors and advised them that he invited Mr. L’Amoreaux here tonight to make a presentation with regards to roundabouts.

Mr. L’Amoreaux advised the Supervisors that he was really happy to see what Gilmore & Associates, Inc. did, he feels that it is a fantastic and viable plan for Stoopville Road. He advised on how the roundabout was developed. He explained the differences between traffic circles and roundabouts. He advised on how New Jersey has been removing traffic circles. He discussed traffic circles in the United Kingdom. He advised that there are three (3) elements for a roundabout, the first element – yield on entry, the second element – deflection and the third element – flare. He brought a DVD for the Supervisors to review. The DVD was of a roundabout located in Richland Township, Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He thanked Mr. Ron Weaver for setting up the equipment to run the DVD at tonight’s meeting. He advised on the design of this roundabout and discussed other roundabouts in the Country. He advised that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the single lane roundabout as the safest at grade intersection you can have in the USA. He suggested how the Township could use chicanes to their advantage for traffic approaching the roundabouts. He advised on the acceptance of a roundabout by the community. He advised that the DVD was taken on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2006 at 5 P.M. He advised that there are some situations that a roundabout will not work in. He discussed how traffic compares on a roundabout to a traffic signal. He advised that Richland Township is planning to install more roundabouts. He offered to burn a copy of the DVD for the Township to keep. He advised that he could not recommend a roundabout more and he feels that Stoopville Road is a perfect application.

Ms. Goren suggested posting the roundabout video as wallpaper on Channel 23.

Mr. L’Amoreaux advised that the roundabout video was produce by Signal Service, Inc. and he requested that the Township give them credit.

Mr. Jirele advised that he is in favor of the roundabouts, but has concerns with using them for traffic calming.

Mr. L’Amoreaux advised that with regards to the Stoopville Traffic Calming Plan that there are situations that a roundabout will not work. One situation is uneven grade of a roadway; another situation is a traffic signal being to close. He also suggested that another location that the Township should think about installing a roundabout is at the intersection of South Eagle and Swamp Roads.

Ms. Goren commented with regards to the intersection of Rosefield Drive and a past fatality. She advised that it is her feeling that if there had been a traffic circle at that location the accident may not of happened.

Mr. L’Amoreaux advised that the state of New York is in total favor of the use of roundabouts.

Ms. Goren questioned if a trial roundabout is possible. Mr. L’Amoreaux advised on how to make a trial roundabout possible.

Mr. L’Amoreaux left the DVD with Mr. Pellegrino and requested him to return the DVD once he had made a copy.

The Supervisors thanked Mr. L’Amoreaux for his time.

Mr. Seinsbaugh commented on Mr. L’Amoreaux alternate locations for traffic calming devices and suggested having the proposed plan reviewed by a traffic expert. Ms. Goren and Mr. Pellegrino advised with regards to having additional review of the proposed plan.

Mr. L’Amoreaux referenced the google earth website.

Mr. Solarz advised that the Stoopville plan is only in the concept stages.

Mr. Seinsbaugh commented with regards to having the proposed plan review by the Township’s Traffic Engineer.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he would like to see some alternatives and have more discussions before moving forward with the current Stoopville plan.

Mr. Solarz advised the Supervisors on the work that Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has done in Doylestown.

Mr. L’Amoreaux recommended that once the construction starts to shut down the road until the project is complete.

Ms. Goren questioned how long it takes to build a roundabout. Mr. L’Amoreaux advised that the roundabout in Richland Township had the roadway shut down for five (5) days.

Goodnoe’s Corner – Review of Utilities Relocation

Mr. Pellegrino updated the Supervisors with regards to the Goodnoe’s corner and the review of the utilities relocation. He advised on the relocation of the utility poles. The Supervisors were provided various correspondence regarding the matter for their review. Mr. Pellegrino advised that there are two (2) solutions. The first solution is to move the buildings back and the second solution is to put the utilities underground. He advised that PECO will not agree to bury the lines and if they do agree someone will have to pay to bury the lines. He also discussed the impact to the sidewalks on Sycamore Street.

The Supervisors discussed the cost to bury the utility lines.

The Supervisors discussed how much the buildings would have to be moved back. Mr. Pellegrino advised that the buildings would probably need to be moved 5 feet.

Mr. Beckert suggested requesting McGrath to move the buildings back 5 feet or to pay the cost to have the utility lines buried.

The Supervisors discussed the two (2) options. The first option being to move the buildings back to allow for a grass strip and the second option being to put the utilities underground.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that the poles are going to be relocated right where the streetlight wiring and the fiber optic cable are for the traffic signals. He advised that all three (3) poles would be inline with the streetlights. He advised that the streetlight wiring and the fiber optic cable for the traffic signals is owned by the Township and would have to be relocated or replace.

Ms. Goren advised that she believes this matter was discussed with McGrath at a past meeting.

Mr. Schenkman suggested relocating the poles through the project. Mr. Pellegrino advised that he has questioned why the poles could not be rerouted and was advised that was not possible.

The Supervisors agreed that they would like to know the cost involved to bury or reroute the utilities.

The Supervisors agreed that the utilities relocation is McGrath’s problem and that they would get the information and present it to McGrath.

Mr. Pellegrino advised that in the mean time he would advise Mr. Ron Weaver that nothing be done.

Community Comments

Mr. Seinsbaugh commented with regards to hearing from all five (5) of Supervisors with regards to dates. Mr. Pellegrino discussed the process that the Township has in place. Mr. Beckert advised on how comments are received by the Joint Planning Commission from each Municipalities Planning Commission. Mr. Seinsbaugh advised on the feelings from the Township’s Planning Commission.

Other Business

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:44 P.M.

Once the meeting adjourned the Board of Supervisors met in Executive Session to discuss litigation matters.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:
Robert Pellegrino, Township Manager

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member