Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of May 14, 2007

 

Members Present: Anne Goren, Chairman; Philip Calabro, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer; Richard Weaver, Member; Tom Jirele, Member; Paul Beckert, Solicitor; John Boyle, Acting Township Manager; James Watson, Engineer.

Also Present: Brian Rounsavill, Newtown Historic Association; Harriet Becker, Newtown Historic Association; Theresa Katalinas, Bucks County Courier Times; Nancy K. Matter, St. Andrews School; Various Newtown residents including Nancy Crescenzo and John D’Aprile.

Call to Order: Chairman Goren called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M.

Newtown Historic Association – Historic Markers on Sycamore Street

Mr. Rounsavill and Ms. Becker updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposal to post historic markers on Sycamore Street. The Supervisors were provided a packet regarding the matter for their review. Ms. Becker advised that the proposed signs would be similar to signs located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Ms. Becker and Mr. Rounsavill discussed the Newtown Heritage Walk. Mr. Rounsavill advised on the information that would be on the signs and the type of materials that would be used for the signs. He commented on the sites that have been selected and the sponsors who have been lined up at this time. He advised that the Newtown Historic Association (NHA) have approval for the sites located in the Borough and that they are hoping to get approval for the sites located in the Township. Ms. Becker requested the Supervisors waive the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Fee.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the amount of the fee. Mr. Beckert advised that the fee is $50.00 per COA.

Mr. Rounsavill advised that the NHA have been working with HARB to determine the appropriate location of the signs.

Mr. Jirele requested to discuss the sign locations before they are placed with the Township’s Codes Department to make sure it is an appropriate place.

Mr. Beckert advised that per the minutes that the HRA is hoping to get a contribution in time from the Township, which would be the Codes Department actually selecting the location of the signpost and having them installed by the Public Works Department. This would help to defray some of the cost within the Township for the people who are the property owners and would otherwise pay for the signs themselves.

Ms. Becker advised that the cost per sign is $1,000.00 and that if the Township were to install the signpost it would be approximately a $200.00 reduction.

Mr. Schenkman questioned what the sponsors are paying for the signs. Ms. Becker advised that the sponsors are paying $1,000.00 per sign.

The Supervisors discussed the pending sites.

Mr. Schenkman questioned if there would be a brochure showing the sites. Ms. Becker and Mr. Rounsavill advised with regards to the brochure.

Mr. Jirele questioned the number of sponsors the Newtown Historic Association has so far. Mr. Rounsavill advised that the Newtown Historic Association have fifteen (15) sponsors at this time.

The Supervisors discussed having the Public Works Department install the signpost. Mr. Boyle requested having something in writing from the sponsors indicating a point of contact. Mr. Rounsavill advised he would provide Mr. Boyle with further information.

The Supervisors discussed a prior request to waive fees.

Ms. Crescenzo questioned what would happen once the project was complete, would there be some kind of opening. Mr. Rounsavill advised what would happen once the project was complete.

Ms. Crescenzo suggested posting the information on the Township’s website. Mr. Rounsavill advised that he would work on it and that there is a link from the Township’s website to the Newtown Heritage Association’s website.

Ms. Crescenzo suggested developing some type of scavenger hunt. Ms. Becker advised that is something that the NHA has talked about.

Mr. Jirele made a motion to waive the Certificate of Appropriateness Fee and have the Township’s Public Works Department install the footings for the signs for the Newtown Heritage Association, which is a non-profit organization (501C3). The motion was seconded by Mr. Weaver and passed unanimously (5-0).

Traffic Ordinance Draft

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to the Traffic Ordinance draft. The Supervisors were provided various correspondence regarding the matter for their review. Mr. Beckert discussed the memorandum from Captain Moorhead dated May 11,2007.

Ms. Matteo advised the Supervisors that she is the principal at St. Andrews and that she has concerns with regards to eliminating the parking along Wrights Road. She questioned if the Township’s parking area (property located at the corner of Rt. 413 and Wrights Road) would be open for use.

Ms. Goren suggested that St. Andrews and Newtown Elementary share parking lots. Ms. Matteo advised that is already happening.

The Supervisors discussed having vehicles park on the grass.

Mr. Jirele advised that having no parking on the road is due to a safety issue. He questioned if the schools have an adequate parking area.

The Supervisors discussed the development of the Woll Tract with regards to additional parking.

Mr. Beckert advised that the Township could suspend the no parking policy when requested by the schools. He advised that the schools should contact the Police Department.

Ms. Crescenzo advised on her concerns with regards to the Library Tract cutout. She commented that the property was never meant for parking. She commented with regards to vehicles parking on the roadway on Saturdays, when the school parking lots where empty.

Mr. Jirele advised that he would not like to see the Library Tract being used on a consistent basis for overflow parking. He suggested that the schools find parking areas on their own property.

Mr. Calabro commented with regards to the overflow parking area located at Newtown Elementary.

Mr. Jirele questioned the Traffic Ordinance draft, on page 3, the section written with regards to the stop sign on Claire Drive and Upper Silver Lake Road. Mr. Beckert advised that it would be a 2-way stop sign, located on Claire Drive.

Mr. Schenkman commented with regards to the overflow parking area. He suggested having further discussions with both schools and possibly conduct a traffic study.

The Supervisors discussed the development of the Woll Tract with regards to parking.

Ms. Crescenzo suggested looking at the number of students attending Newtown Elementary School.

The Supervisors agreed to have further discussion with the schools with regards to parking.

JMZO 2006-02 Contractor Accessory Use

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to JMZO 2006-02, Contractor Accessory Use. The Supervisors were provided correspondence for their review.

The Supervisors discussed the comments made by the Township’s Planning Commission.

Ms. Goren advised that she is in favor of the Planning Commission’s recommendations.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he was part of the Planning Commission’s discussions and is in favor of their recommendations.

JMZO 2006-05 Ag Accessory Uses

Mr. Beckert updated the Supervisors with regards to JMZO 2006-05, Agricultural Accessory Uses. The Supervisors were provided correspondence for their review. He advised the Supervisors of the Township’s concerns. He advised the Supervisors on what Wrightstown is looking to do. He advised with regards to establishing the rules for roadside stands. He advised that if the Board were okay with the ordinance he would proceed. The Supervisors agreed it was okay for Mr. Beckert to proceed.

Other Business

Mr. Beckert commented with regards to the name of the Fidler/Roberts property being called Newtown Walk. He thought that the Township had agreed that no more neighborhoods within the Township would have the word “Eagle” or “Newtown” in the name. He suggested that the Township draft an ordinance.

The Supervisors discussed Mr. Beckert’s suggested and advised that they believed that a Resolution was drafted in 1999 or 2000. Mr. Beckert advised that he would research the matter further and advise the Supervisors on his findings.

Mr. Beckert commented with regards to the Township collecting Park & Recreation Fees for 11 Friends Lane. He advised that the building is being adapted for reuse and questioned how the Township should calculate the Park & Recreation Fees. He requested that the Supervisors consider the matter and get back to him. He advised on discussions at a past meeting.

Mr. Jirele commented with regards to the Township being inconsistent with regards to collecting Park & Recreation Fees. He suggested collecting between 50 to 100 percent.

Ms. Crescenzo commented with regards to the discussion for the collection of Park & Recreation Fees not being on the agenda. Ms. Goren advised that the matter would be discussed further at an upcoming Work Session and it would be posted to the agenda.

Mr. Schenkman advised that he has no position at this time. He suggested having a discussion on ways to encourage adaptive re-use. He also suggested developing a packet.

The Supervisors discussed past properties that have been adapted for reuse.

Mr. Beckert advised the Supervisors that he would discuss the matter further with the Planning Commission and updated the Supervisors.

Community Comments

Ms. Crescenzo discussed the right and wrong way for procedures. She advised that she feels that matters being discussed at a meeting should be put on the agenda. Mr. Schenkman offered his opinion with regards to a matter being discussed at a meeting but not being posted on the agenda.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 8:52 P.M.

Once the meeting adjourned the Board of Supervisors met in Executive Session.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary
 

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member

John Boyle, Acting Township Manager