Board of Supervisors
Minutes of August 8, 2007
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, August 8, 2007 in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Ann Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and members Tom Jirele and Richard Weaver. Also present were: Paul Beckert, Township Solicitor, James Watson, Township Engineer and John Boyle, Acting Township Manager.
Call to Order: Mrs. Goren called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence. Reverend Sandra Reed of St. Mark’s AME Zion Church gave the invocation. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Boyle said that an escrow release for Tudor Square Phase III has been added to the engineer’s report.Mr. Jirele said that there would be an executive session at the end of the meeting for personnel matters, and Mr. Beckert added that real estate and litigation would also be discussed.
Public Comment: Resident Nancy Crescenzo noted that the agenda for this evening’s meeting is very long and questioned the reason for the cancellation of the second meetings in July and August. She asked that the August work session be televised if there is to be no second televised regular meeting in August.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that Jay Sensibaugh, a candidate for Supervisor in the upcoming election, is attempting to organize a debate among the candidates. She asked the Supervisors to allow the debate to take place in the Township meeting room with the use of the Township’s video equipment to televise the meeting. She indicated that she would assume her portion of any costs associated with televising the debate.
Resident Robert Ciervo asked for an update on the planned paving of sidewalks on South State Street.
Mr. Boyle said that the paving would take place this year; awarding the contract is on this evening’s agenda.
Mr. Ciervo thanked Park and Recreation Board Chairman Andrew Levine and Jim Worthington, owner of Newtown Athletic Club, for bringing a skate park demonstration by American Ramp Company to the NAC parking lot on July 28. About 70 children attended the demonstration and participated in the trial use of the equipment. Mr. Ciervo said that he spoke to representatives of American Ramp during the demonstration and learned that the costs of this equipment can be relatively low. He suggested transferring funds allocated to Silver Lake Park to purchase of skate park equipment.
Mr. Ciervo said that the candidates for Supervisor have arranged for a debate at another location for which a press release has been issued.
Mr. Jirele expressed some concern about the Township using its assets for political activity, and asked Mr. Beckert to research this issue.
Resident Mike Gallagher said that he attended the ribbon cutting for the Playground of Possibilities at Roberts Ridge Park. He thanked the Park and Recreation Board, Have-a-Heart Foundation and the many volunteers who brought this playground to Newtown.Mr. Gallagher said that the American Legion has agreed to allow a debate of Supervisor candidates.
Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports
Minutes: Mr. Schenkman moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of July 11, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman noted that page 11, paragraph 4 should read, “…renovating the Clark house and property…”
Mr. Schenkman amended his motion to include this correction. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Schenkman moved to accept the minutes of the work session of July 16, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman noted that Mr. Sensibaugh’s name is misspelled in a few places and should be corrected. He asked that page 5, paragraphs 2 and 3 should read, “…. notice of termination…”, and that page 9, paragraph 7 should read, “….upcoming 325 th anniversary…”Mr. Schenkman amended his motion to include these corrections. Mr. Weaver amended his second and the motion passed unanimously.
Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $367,200.78 for July 25, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded.
Discussion of motion: In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s question, Mr. Schenkman said that although the Stoopville Road traffic calming study has been completed, not all bills have been paid. He was not sure exactly what the expense listed on page twenty of the bills list was, but that there had been some additional fine tuning of the study.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $9,323.73 for July 25, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $159,746.01 for August 8, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $431,559.18 for August 8, 2007. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions
Planning Commission: Chairman Jay Sensibaugh reported that the Planning Commission has reviewed the 2005 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in preparation for the 2009 program, and has determined to recommend that the Supervisors request the same four programs as in 2005, with certain added features, as follows:
Traffic Engineer Matt Johnson will revise his draft presentation for the Pennsylvania State Transportation Commission Public Hearing to be held on August 16, 2007. It is hoped that the Supervisors will send a representative to this meeting.
At the July 17, 2007 meeting the Commission reviewed four Zoning Hearing Board applications and a PRD variance application, which were passed to the Supervisors without comment. The La Stalla conditional use application was reviewed, with the Commission recommending by a vote of 4-2-1, that the application be denied until the parking issues have been resolved with the shopping center owner. The Commission recommended that no future conditional use applications for this section of the Village at Newtown South be approved until the parking has been resolved.
At the August 7, 2007 meeting, the Commission reviewed and recommended approval of First Evergreen, 828 Newtown Yardley Road, preliminary/final plan to combine four lots and re-subdivide into two parcels for construction of a 32,000 square foot medical office building. The Commission also reviewed and recommended approval of the Goodnoe Tract development’s preliminary plan for land development and conditional use, for a 24 single family home development (use B-12) on 63.09 acres.
Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB): HARB Chairman Harriet Beckert reported that the HARB had reviewed and recommended approval of the sign for Rouget, with a vote of 6-1, with the nay voter pointing out that the sign placed on the ground is not historically accurate, nor is the shape of the sign. This sign will replace the “Sparkles” sign.
Mr. Schenkman moved to issue a certificate of appropriateness for Rouget, 2 Swamp Road. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to issue a certificate of appropriateness for KLS Ryan for two monument signs at Goodnoe’s Corner. Mr. Schenkman seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked that the motion clarify that the certificate of appropriateness is for the structure only, and not for the colors of individual tenant signs on the monument.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion to note that the certificate of appropriateness is to be issued for the monument structure, only, not for the colors of individual tenant signs. Mr. Schenkman amended his second and the motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Beckert said that the color change sought by Vincent DeLuca for the St. Andrew’s Convent roof and siding has not been formally approved by HARB, but that HARB does not object to the Supervisors voting without a formal recommendation.
Mr. Calabro moved to issue a certificate of appropriateness for color change on siding and roof of St. Andrew’s Convent, DeLuca/Massimino at 131 S. Sycamore Street. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Land Development Projects
PRD Variance – Charles and Joanne Rosemarino, 318 Burgundy Lane: Mr. Beckert entered the following exhibits:
Joanne Rosemarino explained that she would like to install a 222-square foot sunroom/deck on her home, but would need a setback variance, with relief of 9.84 feet. Her application included letters of support from surrounding neighbors and an approval from the Woods of Saxony Homeowners Association. No impervious surface variance is required.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant a PRD variance to Charles and Joanne Rosemarino, 318 Burgundy Lane, from the Woods of Saxony final plan to allow a rear yard setback of 22.9 feet, subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Remanded Hearing for Consideration of Final Plan for Gigliotti Avignon Associates – Rockbridge Drive: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant. Mr. Marshall said that the remanded hearing had been continued in order for the Township Engineer to review additional evidence on the soil types and floodplain data. Representatives of Remington and Vernick have met with soil scientists and have been satisfied with all evidence, as stated in Remington and Vernick’s letter of August 3, 2007. To satisfy questions about the condition of the earthen dam upstream of this property, Mr. Marshall presented an inspection by Carroll Engineering dated April 11, 2007, stating that the dam is in satisfactory condition. He entered the following exhibits:
In response to Mr. Beckert’s question, Mr. Marshall said that Remington and Vernick agrees with Pickering Corts and Summerson’s location of the floodplain, and its finding that the roadway has no effect on the retention system. A Zoning Hearing Board variance has been granted for crossing of the floodplain.
Mr. Marshall said that the Court has remanded this application for presentation of additional evidence, which has been done. The applicant would agree to move the private driveway 18 feet further, a total of 30 feet from the floodplain; it is currently shown as12 feet from the floodplain.
Mark Haver of Pickering Corts and Summerson confirmed that shifting of the driveway would not require any additional tree removal. Access to the development would be from one point only; the second access is for emergency vehicles.
Township Engineer James Watson said that his firm had some concerns that the bottom of the stormwater retention basin would have groundwater, but auger borings have been conducted and reviewed, and Remington and Vernick is satisfied that there would not be groundwater.
Mr. Jirele referred to the DelVal Soils letter of July 24, 2007, in which it is stated that “….detailed investigation has refined the soil mapping to denote the presence of floodplain soils and a terraced soil”. Mr. Jirele asked what had been refined on the plan.
Mr. Marshall and Mr. Haver agreed that DelVal has confirmed that what had been shown is accurate. The current Township Engineers have confirmed what had been previously confirmed by the former Township Engineers. In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, Mr. Marshall said that the FEMA maps are of a studied stream. Prior to construction of the dam, the stream had flooded.
Resident Fran Poole, President of Cliveden Homeowners Association, asked whether any additional stormwater would run into Cliveden.
Mr. Haver and Mr. Watson agreed that no additional run-off would run into Cliveden.
Resident Judy Spector asked about the location of the floodplain and about run-off onto her property.
Mr. Haver pointed out the floodplain, and explained that the run-off on Ms. Spector’s property is not from the stream, but from the other side of the street. In response to questions from Mr. Jirele, he explained that the proposed storm drain will pipe run-off
Mrs. Crescenzo referred to minutes from the first remanded hearing that stated that the “plans do not coincide with FEMA maps”
Resident Janet Adamusko said that she had visited Ms. Traybor at the EPA in Norristown, who has said that the plans submitted to not match the FEMA maps.
Mr. Schenkman said that newer studies have shown the FEMA maps to be incorrect. This has been confirmed the Township Engineers.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Haver said that DelVal Soils had corroborated that the soils are correct. Detailed cross-section mapping by FEMA has been used, and these cross-sections have been confirmed as accurate by both Remington and Vernick and the previous Township Engineer.
Mr. Watson agreed that the studied cross-sections are accurate.
In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s question, Mr. Jirele said that although a previous motion to approve this plan had as a condition of approval review by the Township Environmental Advisory Council, that motion failed, and no such review had been required.
Resident Roger Taylor said that at the time of a previous application for this property, four different alluvial soils were identified. USGS maps also show these soils. The planned retention basin will be in Raritan soil. He said that this will be below the standing water table for five months of the year. He questioned the second access point, as it will use what should be preserved open space. He expressed some serious concern that the earthen dam could fail or be breached in extreme weather conditions, as had happened to some extent during Hurricane Floyd. He talked about the need for a concrete spillway on the dam.
In response to Mr. Taylor’s comments, Mr. Marshall said that the Fire Marshal has requested the second access point; the applicant would be willing to remove it if it were not required for emergency access. The Ordinance only refers to Bowmansville soils as floodplain soils. He has provided a recent report on the dam’s condition. In response to Mr. Beckert’s questions, Mr. Marshall said that the County maintains the dam. This development would have no effect on the dam. In response to further comments from Mr. Taylor and Ms. Spector, he said that the wetlands would not be affected by this construction.
Resident Mike Hogan said that he did not think the stream would overflow, but he is concerned with surface water.
In response to many comments about flooding in the basements of the homes of the proposed development, Mr. Gigliotti and Mr. Haver spoke about the plans for French drains, sump pumps and raised basements. They do not feel that these basements will be flooded. Mr. Haver said that wetlands will remain wet, but that there are plans for stone trenches along the driveway to help divert water into the stream.
In response to Mr. Calabro’s questions, Mr. Marshall said that there will be a homeowners association. Cross-easements will address issues of shared driveways. Three entrances onto Washington Crossing Road had been considered, however there is limited sight distance. The private roadway will be 1500 feet long; repair and maintenance would be the responsibility of the homeowners.
After additional comments from the residents, Mr. Schenkman said that the Township engineer has reviewed all test data and is in agreement with the applicant’s engineer as to floodplains and floodplain soil.
In response to Mr. Sensibaugh’s question, Mr. Marshall said that no basements would be below the water table. He entered the following additional exhibits:
In response to questions from the public, Mr. Marshall said that the Township engineer had initially conducted borings at the wrong location, due to a misunderstanding as to stakes placed on the property. These tests have been conducted again in the correct locations without hitting groundwater.
Referring to further comments from Mr. Taylor, Mr. Haver showed the grading of the final plan for lots #3 and #1, noting that although groundwater fluctuates, the basements of the proposed homes would not be at elevations below the groundwater.
Mr. Gigliotti discussed the construction of the homes, noting that each would have a sump pump and above ground basements. Basement walls would be treated with waterproofing. His firm has been very successful in waterproofing finished basements. The foundations are poured concrete. These new homes have warranties, running 1, 2 and 10 years, and seepage is covered by the warrantee. His firm continues to work with homeowners after warranties have expired.
The Board agreed that they would like to review all new information presented this evening, and would like to see plans with the roadway moved 18 feet further from the floodplain. The applicant agreed to provide the Board with all updated information.
Mr. Schenkman moved to continue the remanded application for final plan of Avignon Associates, Rockbridge way to September 5, 2007. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Continued Application of Piccolo Trattoria – 32-34 West Road: Fami Abbed was sworn in.
Mr. Jirele noted that he had requested that this application be continued in order for the Board to confirm the adequacy of parking in that portion of Newtown Shopping Center. Since the last meeting he has visited the site on numerous occasions, including evenings and weekends and has seen that there is adequate parking. The Board agreed with Mr. Jirele’s comments.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant the conditional use application of Piccolo Trattoria, 32 and 34 West Road, Village at Newtown Shopping Center to operate an E-6 (Eating Place/Drive In Use)subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Jirele seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman asked that ADA compliance be added as a condition of approval.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion and Mr. Jirele amended his second to include a condition of ADA compliance. The motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – Goodnoe Tract – Eagle Road: Mr. Weaver moved to continue the application for conditional use for the Goodnoe Tract to September 5, 2007. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Conditional Use – La Stalla – 18 Swamp Road: Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant.
Mrs. Goren asked if anyone wished party status. There was no response.
Mr. Beckert entered the following exhibits:
Vincent Masso was sworn in.
Mr. Marshall entered the following exhibits:
Mr. Marshall said that this application is to modify the original conditional use for the Barn, Inc., at Village at Newtown South. The original approval had been for 150 seats, while currently there are 130 indoor seats and 80 outdoor seats, a total of 210 seats. This application would extend Friday and Saturday hours of operation from the currently approved 11:00PM to 1:00AM for bar service. The original application allowed for an average of 10 employees; the revised application would have an average number of 16 employees and a maximum of 20 employees. The original application had shown a total of 65 parking spaces allotted to this use; the current requirement would be 46 spaces where 65 are allotted for 5032 square feet of restaurant and 1200 square feet of storage. The original application did not permit outdoor music; the applicant currently has a guitar player on certain evenings.
Mr. Marshall reviewed the parking in the area surrounding La Stalla, noting that the area surrounding Rita’s Water Ice has a total of 65 spaces, and north of La Stalla there are 45 parking spaces, a total of 110 parking spaces. Rita’s has been allocated only 4 parking spaces. The applicant would accept as a condition of approval that valet parking would be provided from May 1 through Labor Day and during December on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The applicant would also require employees to park remotely.
Mr. Masso agreed with Mr. Marshall’s summary. He noted that he would provide a valet until 10:00 PM or until all cars were claimed. He would try to work together with Rouget on coordinating valet parking. He said that his sales numbers do not indicate that a valet would be warranted before May 1. He noted that in winter months his outdoor seating area is closed and in summer months, most diners eat outside, leaving many of the inside seats empty.
In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Marshall said that the applicant would agree to a condition that a valet be employed from March 15, if the Township found it was warranted. Valets would park cars on the other side of the shopping center, which is not busy at night. Deliveries are by box trucks once a day on the west side of the building.
Mr. Jirele noted that because this restaurant is located in a shopping center its parking is calculated by square footage rather than by number of seats.
Mr. Marshall noted that in a shopping center there is an expectation of shared parking. There is ample parking in the shopping center, but not immediately adjacent to this restaurant. He contended that Rita’s, not La Stalla, is the parking problem, but only in the summer months. He agreed with Mr. Jirele’s statement that there is no specific valet parking plan, but noted that throughout the shopping center there is ample available parking, just not convenient to this restaurant.
Mrs. Crescenzo said that she attended the Planning Commission when this application was reviewed. She noted that the increased number of seats impacts parking and traffic on South Eagle Road, which needs to have better enforcement of speed limits. She questioned the tent, noting that it is now a permanent structure. She expressed concern about fire safety in the bar area. She said that it is the builder’s responsibility to provide adequate parking.
Mr. Schenkman noted that the Board has met with the owner about additional parking.
Resident Karen D’Aprile expressed great concern about the parking near Rita’s, where it is very “chaotic”.
Mr. Calabro moved to grant conditional use approval to The Barn, Inc. trading as LaStalla, 18 Swamp Road, Village of Newtown South, to permit continuation of Use E-5 (Eating Place) containing 5,032 square foot restaurant use, 1200 square feet storage use, increasing occupancy to 130 interior and 80 exterior seats on the patio on the following terms and conditions:
Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Jirele voting nay.
Continued Applications for Conditional Use - Goodnoe’s Corner – North Sycamore Street: Mrs. Goren said that she would abstain from participation and voting on all of the Goodnoe’s Corner applications, as her employer will be locating to this shopping center.
The Board agreed that they did no object to Mrs. Goren’s presiding over the hearings if she abstained from voting.
Allen Smith, owner of Sycamore Street Associates, the shopping center opposite Goodnoe’s Corner, asked for party status.
Attorney John Van Luvanee, representing the applicant, did not object. Mr. Smith was granted party status.
Mr. Van Luvanee said that he did not agree that parking should be an issue at conditional use; a parking variance and conditional use for the shopping center have already been granted. He presented Mark Roth, a traffic engineer with McMahon Associates as an expert witness, to testify on parking for the Shoppes at Goodnoe’s Corner. Mr. Roth is a Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and has been accepted as an expert by many municipalities, including Newtown’s Board of Supervisors and Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Roth was accepted as an expert.
Mr. Roth said that he had appeared before the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board for an application for a variance for this development. A variance was granted allowing 4.4 parking spaces per 1000 square feet. The variance was granted based on anticipated parking demand before any tenants were known.
Mr. Van Luvanee entered the following exhibits:
Mr. Roth explained that he prepared these two exhibits using the ITE Parking Generation Handbook Publication, 3 rd Edition, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. This handbook provides industry standards for parking. The ITE Handbook provides statistics on parking needs for shopping centers with shared parking. In preparing the exhibits, Mr. Roth said that, using a most conservative approach, he has calculated that the shopping center will require 145 parking spaces. At noon, the busiest time of day, 139 parking spaces are estimated to be needed.
In response to Mr. Smith’s questions, Mr. Roth said that he did not study the area near La Stalla, and could not answer questions about that parking area.
Mr. Smith reviewed the exhibits, noting that although Cosi Café has 77 seats, only 24 parking spaces are proposed. He is concerned that the proposed parking will not be adequate for the shopping center.
In response to Mr. Smith’s questions, Mr. Van Luvanee said that Goodnoe’s Corner will provide 4.5 parking spaces per 1000 square feet, for which a variance has been granted. The parking is being calculated for the shopping center, not for the individual uses.
In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Roth said that he used general information in calculating the parking needs; the ITE uses classifications of uses in providing numbers. For example ITE provides parking data for restaurants with alcohol served and without alcohol. Figures used include employees.
Mr. Jirele said that in this particular case, the users have provided specific information on the number of employees, number of expected customers, etc. He noted that he expected that some of the peak times used in the exhibits might not be accurate. For example, Friends, a similar use to the Irish Pub, is closed most days for lunch for lack of business, and so has a different peak hour. This is not an area where people use much public transportation. Most employees will drive to the shopping center, as will most customers. He questioned the use of a 24% figure in calculating shared parking.
Mr. Roth said that the shared parking calculation does not take into account the types of uses. He did not know whether a different percentage for shared use would be used if all of the uses are identical.
In response to other questions from the Board, Mr. Roth said that he assumed that employees would use this parking lot when he prepared his exhibits. He has never prepared a study for a shopping center with identical uses; there have always been mixed uses. He has assumed that the remaining vacant shop will be a retail use.
Resident Fran Poole asked whether the number of employees was included in the parking calculations.
Mr. Roth said that employees were included in the parking count.
Mrs. Crescenzo referred to minutes of previous Board meetings, where six applicants indicated a total of 47 employees.
Mr. Roth noted that in preparing his exhibits, he assumed that not all employees would be on site for the same hours. He further explained that the percentage used to calculate shared parking takes into account the mix of uses proposed and the employees.
Mr. Beckert said that the applicant cannot ask the Board for a deviation from 4.5 parking spaces per 1000 square feet. The Board has asked for, and the applicant is supplying, information showing that the parking will be adequate with the proposed uses.
In response to Mr. Smith’s questions, Mr. Roth said that it is possible that in some circumstances as little as 3.5 parking spaces per 1000 square feet could be adequate. Prior to his appearance at the Zoning Hearing Board, Mr. Roth did a study of the section of Village at Newtown near Friends restaurant, on a Friday and Saturday in December, and found that even at the peak Friday evening hours, parking spaces were available. That study did not include the area near La Stalla, nor did it address impervious surface ratios.
Continued Application for Conditional Use – Jules Thin Crust Pizza, 300 N. Sycamore Street: Mr. Beckert reminded the Board that this is an application for a restaurant with take-out service. Unresolved at the previous hearing were issues of employee parking.
John Ordway was sworn in. He confirmed that he would ask those employees who drive to park on the street. He said that he tends to employ high school age people, many of whom are dropped off for work. In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Ordway said that he will have 25 tables, 50 seats. His peak hours vary, but in his other shop, generally peak is 5:00PM on weekdays, and 6:00 PM Friday. All day Saturday business is consistently busy. His application calls for an average of 12 employees, but he is not sure how his Newtown business will be. At his other location, 9 employees are on site at peak hours. He could not estimate how many parking spaces he would need at peak times.
Mr. Jirele pointed out that this applicant has indicated a different peak hour than Mr. Roth had used in his study.
Mr. VanLuvanee said that Mr. Roth’s testimony dealt with the land use, not the specific applicant.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant conditional use approval to KLS Ryan LP and Jules Thin Crust Newtown, tenant, 300 North Sycamore Street, to operate an E-6 (Eating Place/Drive In Use) on the following conditions:
Mr. Calabro seconded.
Discussion of motion: Joseph McGrath was sworn in. In response to questions from the Board, Mr. McGrath said that there would de some outdoor seating in the front of Jules and Cosi, a sitting wall would surround the front paved area, and a few tables would also be placed there.
Mr. Jirele asked that a condition be added to the approval that the number of seats for the outdoor area not exceed 25 seats.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion; Mr. Calabro amended his second.
Allen Smith was sworn in. Mr. Smith said that he had been instrumental in bringing Jules Thin Crust Pizza to Newtown, and he thinks that this business will help Sycamore Street. He is concerned about parking. He noted that if the Irish Pub were to be retail instead, it would solve the parking problems. He noted that Sycamore Center has 150 parking spaces, 10 per 1000 square feet, and there are times when the entire lot is full.
Mrs. Crescenzo was sworn in. She expressed concerns about parking and increased traffic as a result of this shopping center.
Fran Poole was sworn in. Mr. Poole said that, as President of Cliveden Homeowners Association, he has met with Mr. McGrath about this center. Mr. McGrath has addressed all of the concerns of the Cliveden residents. He supports this application.
The motion passed 4-0-1, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
Continued Application for Conditional Use – Taste of Philly Hand Twisted Pretzels – 260 N. Sycamore Street: Vincent Marinelli was sworn in. He reviewed his application for an E-6 eating place/drive in, and agreed to the conditions that had been recommended by the Planning Commission. His peak hours are between 10:00AM and 2:00PM. He will have 12 employees, with a maximum of 5 on the premises at the same time, and will have 24 seats. He has other shops in Bensalem, Doylestown, Feasterville and Richboro. He estimated that his customers come together in groups, and his guess is that the customers average 3 per car. He gave as an example, teams coming in together after practice. At peak time there are usually not more than 12 people in the shop. Very few customers sit down; most take the pretzels home or eat them while walking around.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant conditional use approval to KLS Ryan LP, owner, and A Taste of Philly Hand Twisted Soft Pretzel Bakery, tenant, at 250 North Sycamore Street to operate an E-6 (Eating Place/Drive In Use) subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Calabro seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked that no outdoor seating be added as a condition.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion to include no outdoor seating. Mr. Calabro amended his second and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
Continued Application for Conditional Use – Cosi Café, 280 N. Sycamore Street: Chad Novak was sworn in. Mr. Novak reviewed his application for conditional use for an E-6 eating place/drive in. He agreed to all conditions recommended by the Planning Commission, and to a limit of 25 outside seats. In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Novak said that he would have 77 seats inside. There is no table service outside; customers carry out their orders. He is not sure, but expects his busiest time of day to be lunch; his customers will probably be office workers from the area and residents, mothers with children. The restaurant offers quick service with peak times between 11:00AM through 2:00PM. He did not know how busy the business would be but hoped to be ¾ full at lunchtime, with a large take-out business; about 25% of business would be take-out.
In response to questions from Mrs. Crescenzo, Mr. Novak said that he expects that he would have 8 employees on the premises. He is not concerned about parking and had not planned on designating any specific spaces for take-out only. He did not know how many parking spaces he would need; his other experiences with Cosi have been in more urban settings.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant conditional use approval to Cosi Café, 280 North Sycamore Street, subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Schenkman seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked that a condition should be added that no outdoor seating would be permitted on the parking lot side of the building.
Mr. Weaver amended his motion to include this condition. Mr. Schenkman amended his second and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mrs. Goren abstaining..
Continued Application for Conditional Use – Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1 Ice Cream Alley: Paul Newlin was sworn in. Mr. Newlin reviewed his application for an R-1 retail use, and agreed to conditions of the Planning Commission. He has agreed to discuss the façade and signage with HARB. Signs will be back lit. He showed a rendering of the standard Rite Aid façade and an artist’s rendering of the proposed building for Goodnoe’s Corner. He reminded the Board that he had asked to extend his delivery hours to 10:00AM. In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Newlin said that he expects to have 7 employees on the premises, including 1 or 2 pharmacists. His busiest time would be between noon and 7:00 PM, with up to 20 customers in the shop at one time.
Mr. Weaver moved to grant conditional use approval to KLS Ryan LP and Rite Aid at Goodnoe’s Corner, tenant, 1 Ice Cream Alley, to operate an E-1 (Retail Use) subject to the following conditions:
Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.Mr. Weaver moved to close the conditional use hearing. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.
Reports of Officials
Chairman: Mrs. Goren reported that the Board had met for an executive session to discuss matters of personnel.
Members: Mr. Weaver reported that the Barclay Street Bridge, connecting Newtown Township and Borough, has been repaired and reopened.
Manager: Mr. Boyle advised the Board of the tabulation of bids for the road improvement program of 2007. He noted that the lowest bid, to A. H. Cornell & Sons for $686,816 is lower than any of the previous round of bids.
Mr. Weaver moved to accept the bid of A.H. Cornell & Sons in the amount of $686,816 for the 2007 road program. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.Mr. Weaver moved to authorize signing of a request for Fire Protection Services Survey letter of intent. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Beckert asked the Board to vote on adoption of an ordinance re-zoning the recently purchased property for the municipal complex.
Mr. Weaver moved to adopt JMZO 2007-02, changing certain property from CM conservation management to MS municipal services. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to enact a revision to the traffic ordinance. Mr. Calabro seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher said that Valley Court and Westwood Court, rotary islands, had not been included in the ordinance.
Mr. Weaver moved to amend his motion to include Valley Court and Westwood Court. Mr. Calabro amended his second and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize execution of financial security agreement, improvement agreement and stormwater management agreement for Homewood Suites. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to enact an amendment to the Firefighters’ pension. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Beckert reviewed the following Zoning Hearing Board Applications:
In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Beckert said that Newtown Artesian is seeking to remove a condition to allow wells to be drilled upon property used for water supply as part of their water system. There had been concerns about the adequacy of the water supply. There are no longer objections. All adjoining neighbors are to be notified by the Zoning Hearing Board prior to the hearing.The Board passed the applications without comment.
Engineer’s Report: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize signing of Mylars for 104 Pheasant Run - Homewood Suites and Cosi Café. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Newtown Walk in the amount of $158,355.90. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Delancey Court in the amount of $110,083.05.Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for The Villas of Newtown in the amount of $393,667.80. Mr. Jirele seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Tudor Square III in the amount of $82,676.25. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
New BusinessJDNC Appointment: Mr. Jirele moved to appoint Lisa Schonewolf and Richard Weaver to the JNDC to fill the unexpired terms of John Baker and Doug Terry. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Weaver abstaining.
Public Comment: Mr. Ciervo said that he was disappointed in the Zoning Hearing Board’s decision to grant a variance to reduce the amount of open space preserved with the development of the Goodnoe tract. He reminded that Board that, as they appointed the Zoning Hearing Board members, they also bear responsibility for this reduction in open space. He questioned the calculations used in determining the percentage of the property that is required to remain open space, as the base site calculation included some land that is not buildable, and should not have been included in calculations. He also expressed some concern about two proposed entrances to this development on Eagle Road, with four houses directly on Eagle Road.
Mrs. Crescenzo asked that Monday’s work session be televised, since one of the regular meetings has been canceled.
Jeff Jim of Video Gold explained to the Board that the cost for televising each meeting is based on two meetings per month, but that each meeting is billed individually. If the Board does not have a televised meeting, it is not charged.
Mr. Beckert briefly reviewed the proposed agenda for the work session, noting that there would be review of a few sketch plans.
Mr. Weaver said that he would prefer not televising a review of sketch plans, where discussion is informal.
In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s question, Mrs. Goren said that the second regular meeting has been canceled because of the availability of the Board and personnel due to vacations.
Mr. Jirele suggested holding a second regular meeting in August if there would be a quorum of the Board.
Mr. Beckert noted that no land development has been scheduled for August, and continued applications have been scheduled for September 5.
In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s questions, Mr. Boyle said that he would inquire into the status of replacing and retrofitting of bleachers in the parks.
In response to Mrs. Crescenzo’s questions, Mrs. Goren said that she is unwilling to discuss sensitive personnel issues in public, however the Board hopes to appoint a Township manager before the budget process begins.
Regarding televised supervisor candidate debates, Mr. Schenkman asked the Solicitor to research the legal obligations and limitations of the Township on allowing Township property, equipment and personnel to be used.
Mrs. Goren said that the Board would have an executive session after the meeting to discuss matters of litigation and personnel.The meeting adjourned at 1:40 AM.