Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of September 5, 2007

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Anne Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, and member 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. She asked that Robert F. Conway, Jr., a former Judge of Elections and Youth Aid Panel member, and Dominic S. Sodano, Sr. the Newtown Township road master, who have passed away this summer, be remembered. Pastor Eric Royer of Ascension Lutheran Church gave the invocation. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to Agenda: Mr. Boyle said that there would not be a report from the Park and Recreation Board.

Public Comment: Mrs. Crescenzo expressed her dismay over the recent cancellation of two regular Board of Supervisors televised meetings. The reasons for the cancellations were not communicated clearly to the public or to all members of the Board. She said that this is the residents’ best opportunity to watch their government.

Resident Dennis Fisher said that he recently received a letter from PennDOT stating that the preliminary design of the Swamp Road improvement project is being re-evaluated. He asked whether there are any plans for a presentation from PennDOT on this project. He also thanked the Township’s staff for quick response to complaints he has brought from residents.

Mrs. Goren said that PennDOT will give a presentation on regional traffic issues at the next Board meeting.

Resident Ethel Hibbs said that some of those on the dais are not assuming correct posture for the Pledge of Allegiance. She also questioned why signs are being permitted on the fencing around the Goodnoe’s Corner construction site.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mrs. Goren noted that votes on page 15 of the minutes of August 8, 2007 should read, “…with Mrs. Goren abstaining”.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of August 8, 2007 as corrected. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mrs. Goren noted that page one, paragraph 7 of the minutes of the work session of August 13, 2007 should read, “ ….dual mode”, not diesel.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of August 13, 200, as corrected. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Crescenzo said that page 9 paragraph 9 should read, “…Mr. Garvey”. She also complained that the minutes did not properly reflect her complaint about Mr. Garvey’s disrespectful tone in addressing residents in attendance.

The motion passed 3-0.

Bills List: Mr. Weaver moved to authorize payment of bills of August 22, 2007 totaling $266,160.85. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize interfund transfers for August 22, 2007 totaling $300. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize payment of bills for September 5, 2007 totaling $267,126.23. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: In response to a question from Mrs. Crescenzo, Mr. Boyle said that he would provide further information on billing from Gilmore & Associates for the Stoopville Road project. Not all bills have been paid in connection with this project.

The motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize interfund transfers for September 5, 2007 totaling $360,000. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission: Vice Chairman Jay Sensibaugh reported that at the meeting of September 4, 2007, the Commission reviewed and recommended approval of preliminary plans for land development of the Woll tract for an active recreation use C-5, with conditions. There was some discussion of traffic and the entrance to the park. It was recommended that the engineer on the project and the Township traffic engineer meet with PennDOT to discuss whether a traffic signal, pedestrian crossing and/or certain road improvements will be needed. The Commission also voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors authorize advertisement of JMZO 2007-04, to change portions of the Woll tract from POS park and open space zoning to EIR, educational, institutional, recreational zoning.

At the August 21, 2007 meeting the Commission reviewed and recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve the conditional use application of Bucks County Creamery with certain conditions. They reviewed three Zoning Hearing Board applications, which were passed to the Supervisors without comment. The Commission reviewed JMZO 2006-02 and JMZO 2006-11, accessory contractor and landscape contractor ordinances, and recommended that the Supervisors not approve them, as they prohibit landowners from renting space for accessory contractor use or storage; the acreage requirement does not fit with Newtown, creating too many non-conforming uses; and sites not located in CM Conservation Management Zoning Districts would not be eligible for conditional use approval. The Commission feels that these ordinances are too restrictive to small business owners in Newtown.

The Commission reviewed recent letters questioning the calculation of permitted dwelling units on the Goodnoe tract. Our Township Planner had reviewed calculations of acreage and found that calculations submitted are correct. Recent calculations mentioned by Resident Robert Ciervo have been incorrect, in that they have used net buildable site area rather than base site area, as required by the JMZO.

Historic Architectural Review Board: Chairman Harriet Beckert reported that HARB had reviewed and recommended that certificates of appropriateness should be issued for three signs in the historic district. She noted that HARB voted 5-1 to recommend approval of Rockfactory’s sign on the grass area between its building at 5 Cambridge Lane and Sycamore Street. The sign has already been installed in anticipation of approval. Mrs. Beckert reported that hers was the nay vote, as she has concerns about large signs on the grass in front of buildings in this area, blocking the view of a historic building. The applicant was not in attendance to discuss signage, and some of the Supervisors have not seen the already erected sign, and were reluctant to grant approval.

Mr. Weaver moved to deny the application of a certificate of appropriateness unless and extension is granted. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to issue a certificate of appropriateness for RAR, LLC – Massimino Building Group, 131 S. Sycamore Street. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to issue a certificate of appropriateness to Sycamore Kitchens & More, 123 N. Sycamore Street. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Environmental Advisory Council: Chairman Donald McEachron reported that the EAC will participate, along with Newtown Borough EAC, Newtown Creek Coalition and Friends of the Farmstead in Newtown Market Day on September 15, 2007. The EAC will use this opportunity to alert residents of its research into deer/automobile accidents and to recruit two new members to the EAC. Information will also be provided on the Ecostar award and the open space inventory.

Regarding the open space inventory, the EAC has begun its work, using various maps, in evaluating the Township’s public and privately owned open space. Once work using maps has been completed, the EAC members will begin some on-site comparisons, with the permission of the property owners.

Dr. McEachron reported that in connection with the EAC’s involvement in the Newtown Creek Coalition, it reviewed the proposed Rockbridge Way development. Attorney Don Marshall, Ron Gigliotti and engineer Wayne Johnson gave the EAC a presentation of the project, after which Dr. McEachron reviewed the files at the Township Codes Office. After further research, the EAC met to discuss concerns about changes to the existing wetlands caused by removal of trees, stormwater run-off, and use of herbicides, pesticides and road salt. Further review of recent studies by the EPA on these issues have confirmed to the EAC members that their concerns are justified, as development of this property would damage the wetland environment and place the adjacent Newtown Creek at risk.

Land Development Projects:

Conditional Use - Bucks County Creamery and Confections – Goodnoe’s Corner – 254 N. Sycamore Street: Mr. Beckert reported that, as Mrs. Goren has been abstaining from participation in Goodnoe’s corner votes, this project could not gain sufficient votes for conditional use approval this evening. He recommended that it be continued to September 26, 2007.

Remanded Hearing for Consideration of Final Plan for Gigliotti Avignon Associates – Rockbridge Way: Mr. Beckert said that he had received correspondence from attorney Brandon Wind, representing Roger Taylor, seeking party status for Mr. Taylor. There is no party status in land development, however, Mr. Beckert said that he would communicate with Mr. Wind on this application.

Attorney Don Marshall said that he had provided additional documentation to the Township on August 14, 2007, and would enter this documentation into the record as follows:

  • Exhibit AR – 20 – predevelopment drainage plan
  • Exhibit AR – 21– inlet drainage plan
  • Exhibit AR – 22 – soil testing plan
  • Exhibit AR – 23 – test pit exhibit
  • Exhibit AR -24 – driveway realignment plan

Mr. Marshall said that the applicant has made a presentation to the EAC, and after discussion with the members, would be amenable to restricting the use of chemicals on the property as a condition of approval, through homeowners association documents. He noted that the EAC had questioned certain documentation, and referred to the Zoning Hearing Board relief granted for a small crossing of wetlands. He noted that Exhibits AR-6, AR – 2, AR – 3, AR – 7 show approvals from all agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers. He briefly reviewed the Zoning Hearing Board relief granted from Section 900 of the JMZO, dealing with tree removal. The Zoning Hearing Board granted relief to allow certain trees to remain.

Mr. Marshall said that, as per the order of remand, the record is complete, and he asked for a stipulation.

Resident Mike Gallagher asked whether there is any Township liability if the homeowners in this proposed development or those downstream experience water problems as a result of the construction.

Mr. Beckert explained that the applicant has agreed to include certain language in documents that discloses that there is a possibility of flooding. As to residents downstream, the Township has been assured by its consultants that the stormwater management meets all Township requirements. There is no Township liability.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that approval of this application would be a mistake, as confirmed by the EAC report. She expressed concern for future homeowners in this development and its surrounding neighbors, who could experience devastating loss in the event of flooding.

Mr. Marshall said that the science does not support Mrs. Crescenzo’s claims. The plan gives gainful use of the property to its owner, with a three house development built in accordance with Township ordinances. He noted that the EAC has not studied this property; all studies referred to in Dr. McEachron’s report are not in specific reference to this property. The stormwater management plans address all concerns.

Edward Koehler, Township Engineer with consultants Remington Vernick and Beach, said that he had been asked by the Township to address specific questions posed by Roger Taylor in a recent letter. In response to Mr. Taylor’s questions regarding the 100-year floodplain, he has found Pickering Corts and Summerson’s on-site survey to be accurate. Outstanding questions of Remington Vernick and Beach regarding off-site drainage have been adequately addressed. As required by SALDO sections 521.1.E and 521.1.F, sheet flow has been accounted for. The Bucks County Conservation District has approved post-construction structural best management practices. Remington Vernick and Beach is satisfied that testing by Pickering Corts and Summerson, conducted over a period of weeks, shows that the plans will not hit groundwater. Dr. Koehler said that he and Township Engineer James Watson have reviewed all data and agree that the plans will work from a peak-flow standpoint. Infiltration plans using stones along the roadway are a best management practice, capturing salt and hot water off of the roadway. The DEP has approved this plan. The type of rain barrels to be used has not yet been determined. The DEP has reviewed and approved the erosion and sediment plan.

In response to Mrs. Goren’s question, Dr. Koehler said that all of his initial concerns about this project have been addressed and he is satisfied that the applicant has met or exceeded all requirements of the Ordinance. In response to Mr. Calabro’s questions, Dr. Koehler said that road salt from Route 532 and from Cliveden Estates currently runs into Newtown Creek. The applicant has agreed to use salt tolerant plantings on the project. If the applicant were to take baseline samples of the creek for comparison, some monitoring of use of chemicals could be established. He briefly discussed cleaning of silt from the retention basin, noting that the Township does have the authority to require that it be cleaned. There is not a specific time for cleaning, but rather, it is based on the depth of silt.

Resident Roger Taylor said that he has discussed these issues with a third party engineer, who can refute all of Dr. Koehler’s statements. He said that only a FEMA profile can be used. He said that wetland delineations have not been reviewed since 2004. At that time the Army Corps of Engineers visited the site during February. Mr. Taylor contended that wetland delineations could not properly be ascertained in winter months. The Bucks County Planning Commission could send a horticulturalist, but would require permission of the property owner. Mr. Taylor said that he is concerned that there has not been adequate accounting for upland run-off, and noted that a 15 inch pipe was mistakenly referred to as a 36 inch pipe by Pickering Corts and Summerson in a letter dated July 27, 2007.

Mrs. Goren said that all of Mr. Taylor’s comments have been reviewed by the Township Engineer, who is satisfied that the applicant has addressed all issues.

In response to Mr. Calabro’s question, Mr. Taylor said that the other homes surrounding this project are very old, one dating to 1762. He would like the new dwellings as far from the creek as possible, and centralized to preserve as much open space as possible. He would like the plan further reduced to only two homes.

Mr. Marshall responded that the plans comply with setback requirements and has been designed to encroach as little as possible in order to preserve two acres of wetlands. The applicant has agreed to conservation easements.

Resident Jody Spector expressed concern that road salt from the new road will flow into the creek and that the culverts will cause water to sit. She asked the Supervisors to visit the site.

Mark Haver of Pickering Corts and Summerson reviewed the plans, showing how water will be diverted to the retention basin. Homeowners documents will restrict the use of road salt and fertilizers.

Resident Roberta Taylor of 397 Washington Crossing Road said that she has concerns that changes to culverts will increase water on her property. She said that the plan should not have been given preliminary plan approval because of concerns with soils and wetlands and the effects the construction will have on both the Township and Borough.

Dr. Ciervo asked about the length of the property and the size, noting that he agrees with the EAC’s statement. He said that the property should have been preserved as open space.

Mr. Haver indicated that the property is approximately 11 acres and 1500 feet long.

Resident Michael Cogan asked that if approval is granted a sewer lateral be installed to allow the existing homes to tie into the public sewer.

Mr. Marshall said that easements have been established to bring the lines to those homes.

In response to the residents’ concerns, Mrs. Goren said that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania supports the rights of property owners to use their properties if they have met all ordinance requirements, as is the case with this project.

Mr. Weaver moved to approve the final minor subdivision plan for Gigliotti Avignon Associates, L.P. regarding 10.84 ± acres on Washington Crossing Road, Newtown, Pennsylvania, Tax Map Parcel No. 29-10-13-2 in the R-1 Residential District. The plan contemplates subdivision of the property to create three individual lots.The approval is subject to the following conditions and subject to the waivers granted and the variances secured as follows:

  1. The final plan shall be revised, except to the extent of any waivers granted or variances secured with the following review letters, which are appended hereto:
    • The Boucher & James letter of July 20, 2006;
    • The Remington Vernick & Beach letter of July 21, 2006;
    • The Bucks County Conservation District letter of October 19, 2006;
    • The Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of September 21, 2006;
    • The Newtown Management Services letter of July 12, 2006;
    • Preliminary approval of Harris and Harris of June 11, 2004.
  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 July 21, 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 and must approve the various approvals, permits, certificates and the like for the development, providing, however, that the Township reserves its 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 it 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 land, 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 land to be dedicated to the Township free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, except those created by virtue of 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 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. As a condition of signing of the final plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall grant a conservation easement to the Township in a form acceptable to the Township to protect the open areas and stream corridor. A conservation easement will be recorded simultaneously with the final plan.
  6. The final plan will be revised to provide for low intensity light from the driveway and locations as reasonably satisfactory to the Township.
  7. As a condition of signing the final plan and it being recorded, the applicant shall pay in lieu of dedication of land for park and recreation purposes in accordance with the applicable ordinance unless Newtown Township determines to accept dedication of open space provided in the proposed subdivision.
  8. A note will be added to the plan that there will be no centralized trash pickup.
  9. The access will be by a private road and said road shall not be dedicated to the Township, and a note shall be added to the final plan so indicating.
  10. Development of the site shall comply with the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board’s decision of November 6, 2003, the terms of which are incorporated by reference.
  11. As a condition of the signing of the final plan and it being recorded the Township shall approve the declaration of planned community (the “Homeowners’ Association Documents”) which will provide, inter alia for the maintenance of the private road, the storm water management system and the street lighting. The declaration shall be recorded simultaneously with the final plan.
  12. As a condition of the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, an easement will be granted to the Township, in a form satisfactory to the Township, for future sidewalk and/or curb along Washington Crossing Road. The easement shall be recorded simultaneously with the final plan.
  13. As a condition of the signing of the final plan and it being recorded, a cross-easement agreement for the private road servicing the proposed lots will be submitted to the Township for approval. The cross-easement shall be recorded simultaneously with the final plan and a note shall be added to the final plan so indicating.
  14. The final plan will provide that reflectors will be placed on the barrier near the creek.
  15. Approval is granted on the condition that the property shall not be further subdivided.
  16. Approval is granted on the condition that as to Lot 3, no building shall encroach on Rowland soils.
  17. Approval is granted on the condition that there be no disturbance of any area beyond the area shown on the plan.
  18. The applicant shall relocate the fence as to Lot 1 to the boundary as shown on the final plan at applicant’s sole cost and expense.
  19. The applicant shall add conspicuous language to the agreement of sale and any other offering documents or disclosures that shall state that individual properties and/or private roadways may be subject to flooding. Said language is subject to prior approval by the Township.
  20. The Homeowners’ Association documents shall conspicuously state a limitation on the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and road salt in a form acceptable to the Township in consultation with the Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Committee which shall limit said use on the site either on individual lots or on common areas.
  21. The Township Engineer shall determine if additional storm water or erosion control issues exist along Newtown Creek and if additional control are needed the applicant shall so comply to the extent said recommendations are consistent with Township Ordinances; the Township Engineer shall further review and approve all barrel retention procedures proposed by the applicant; the applicant shall modify the basin to maximize salt retention from any runoff.
  22. The location of the private roadway shall be as shown on the plan revision of Marsh 19, 2007.
  23. In the event any adjoining property is adversely affected by water runoff from the site said problem shall be remediated by the applicant.
  24. Tree protection fencing shall be provided as approved by the Township prior to construction.
  25. The applicant shall comply with all storm water ordinance requirements and shall execute a Storm Water Management Agreement.
  26. The applicant shall execute a Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants relating to the notes to be placed on the final plan.
  27. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded all outstanding legal, engineering and administrative fees due the Township as a result of subdivision and land development review shall be paid in full to the Township.

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

  • A waiver from Section 402.3.B. and .C. to accept an aerial photograph in lieu of showing all existing features within 400 feet of the site of the plan.
  • A waiver from Section 505.5 relating to curves and tangents;
  • A waiver from Section 520.5 that all easements be kept as lawn;
  • A waiver from Section 402.3.G. from the requirement of performing a tree count;
  • A waiver from Section 507.5 to allow a 35 foot corner curve radius;
  • A waiver from Section 508.6 from the requirement of an additional 25 foot set back on all reverse frontage lots;
  • A waiver from Section 531.1 from the requirement to buffer different land uses;
  • A waiver from Section 517 from the requirement for a sidewalk on both sides of the private road. Sidewalks will be placed on one side of the private road;
  • A waiver from Section 516.2 and 517 for the requirement for sidewalk and curbing on Washington Crossing Road.

The Board of Supervisors granted the following waiver from the requirements of the Newtown Township Storm Water Management Ordinance:

  • A waiver from Section 302 and Section 303.2 to provide relief from the one year, 24 hour storm and 75% release rate requirements.

Mrs. Goren seconded.

Discussion of motion: Resident James McCrane asked whether homeowners would be restricted from using all fertilizers or whether natural fertilizers would be permitted.

Mr. Marshall said that language would be worked out and subject to approval by the EAC.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that there is a risk of loss of trees when the project is constructed and the area is disturbed.

Mr. Sensibaugh suggested that the parcel should be sold for land preservation.

Dr. Ciervo questioned the waivers granted. He noted that the courts have recently upheld decisions of Upper Makefield Township’s Supervisors against development of properties.

Mr. Beckert said that these waivers had been granted during preliminary plan approval and have been reiterated here. No additional waivers are being granted.

Mrs. Goren said that the Supervisors’ hands are tied. The applicant has met all requirements of the Ordinance. If the application is denied, the taxpayers’ money will have to be used to defend the decision on appeal.

Mr. Fisher asked about baseline testing of the creek.

Mrs. Goren said that this has recently been done by the State.

Mr. Taylor said that this is a very sensitive matter, and all of the five Supervisors should be in attendance to vote.

Mr. Beckert said that it is the applicant’s decision to ask for a vote.

Mr. Marshall indicated that the court has remanded this to the Township. The applicant has provided all additional evidence. The applicant would like to move on to a vote this evening.

The motion failed on a vote of 2-1, with Mr. Calabro voting nay.

Conditional Use – Goodnoe Tract – Eagle Road: Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant.

Mr. Beckert noted that this is a continued hearing. He entered the following exhibits:

  • Exhibit T-1 – advertisement of hearing
  • Exhibit T-2 – Proof of advertisement
  • Exhibit T-3 – Notice to adjacent property owners
  • Exhibit T-4 – Recommendation of Planning Commission
  • Exhibit T-5 – Conditional Use application
  • Exhibit T-6 – Review of Boucher and James dated May 8, 2007
  • Exhibit T-7 – Correspondence between Robert Ciervo and the Township Planner dated August 15, 2007

Mr. Beckert asked if anyone present wishes party status.

James McCrane, 3 Blayze Court asked for party status. Mr. Murphy did not object.

Dr. Ciervo, 18 Martin Court asked for party status. In response to Mr. Murphy’s question, Dr. Ciervo said that he lives a few miles from the property. He also asked for party status on behalf of family members who live a 12 Kuhars Way.

Mr. Murphy objected to Dr. Ciervo’s being granted party status.

Mr. Beckert explained that the Municipal Planning Code requires that those to be granted party status must be aggrieved parties. They must be affected differently than other residents of the Township. Only persons in attendance can be granted party status. He said that Dr. Ciervo would be permitted to testify and to give comment, but he could not participate in the hearing, question witnesses or present witnesses.

Greg Killian, 21 Madison Court, asked for party status. Mr. Murphy did not object.

Mark Weiss, 10 Madison Court, asked for party status. Mr. Murphy did not object.

William Breigel, Director of Land Development for Orleans Homebuilders and Robert Jordan or Woodrow & Associates were sworn in.

Mr. Murphy said that Orleans Homebuilders presented sketch plans to the Township for development of 63 acres with 1000 feet of frontage on Eagle Road. One sketch plan showed a B-14 performance subdivision of 26 small lots plus three existing homes (small lot plan), the second plan showed a B-12 single family cluster of 21 new dwellings, each on 20,000 square foot lots (large lot plan). Both the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission preferred the large lot plan. The applicant has received Zoning Hearing Board relief for open space and for steep slope disturbance. The Planning Commission has reviewed and recommended approval of the plan, with certain conditions.

Mr. Breigel agreed with Mr. Murphy’s summary.

In response to questions from Mr. McCrane, Mr. Murphy explained that the Township consultants have calculated the net buildable area and the base site area as defined by the Ordinance, and have used the formula of base site area minus total open space to determine the net buildable area. He reviewed the Ordinance definitions of net buildable area and base site area. He said that the Township consultants are in agreement that the correct formula has been used, base site area minus wetlands and waters of the Commonwealth multiplied by the maximum permitted density per residential unit equals the total number of permitted units.

Mr. Beckert confirmed that two different concepts, base site area and net buildable area, have been discussed interchangeably; however under the Ordinance these concepts are not interchangeable. The Township consultants are in agreement that the applicant would be permitted 35 dwelling units under the Ordinance.

Mr. McCrane said that he is concerned that the development is built in accordance with the requirements of the Ordinance.

Mr. Murphy said that the applicant has satisfied all requirements of the Ordinance and asked for conditional use approval.

Robert Ciervo was sworn in. Dr. Ciervo reviewed the conditions of the property, noting that of the site’s 63 acres, 11.4 acres are easements, drainage or ultimate right-of-way, leaving a base site area of 51 acres. Of that amount, 45.57 should have been preserved as open space, had not Zoning Hearing Board relief been granted; 8 acres are wetlands; 0.33 acres are steep slopes; 10.1 acres are woodlands of which 15% can be disturbed. He contended that, removing from the net buildable area the 2.6 acres for streets, there remain only 3.59 acres for building lots for new dwellings. If each dwelling is built on a 20,000 square foot lot, there is not sufficient room.

In response to a question from Mr. Killian, Dr. Ciervo said that he does not have information on the Zoning Hearing Board relief.

Mr. Murphy reviewed the calculations again, noting that Dr. Ciervo has included the areas of existing homes as not to be disturbed. Upper Makefield, Newtown and Wrightstown all agree that this area is not included in the not to be disturbed area. He pointed out that Mr. Briegel had been the Township Engineer for Wrightstown and could confirm this.

Mrs. Goren reviewed the method used to calculate the number of dwelling units to be permitted as described in JMZO 902.B.4.d.1, concluding that 35 homes would be permitted for B-12 development in the CM district.

Mrs. Crescenzo was sworn in. She agreed that property owners do have the right to develop their properties and to make a profit, if their plans comply with the Ordinance; however she had concerns about the increase in traffic along Eagle Road and the burden that 21 homes would add to the school district. She also said that a culvert along Eagle Road is not functioning properly and should be corrected. She questioned the need for a cul-de-sac in the proposed development, as it is expensive to plow during snow storms. She suggested that a bio-basin be used for stormwater management. She questioned the rush to grant preliminary/final plan approval.

Mrs. Goren said that the developer has the right to build 35 homes, but the Supervisors have worked with the developer to produce a plan for only 21 homes. Zoning Hearing Board relief has made it possible to build according to this, a less intense plan.

Mr. Murphy responded that this plan has taken two years to reach the approval stage, having been carefully developed and reviewed by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. A bio-retention basin is planned for the development. The decision to develop the B-12 plan minimizes traffic impact and housing density. The Planning Commission recommended the cul-de-sac to provide access to the preserved open space in the future.

Dr. Ciervo again stated that existing homes must be included in calculations.

Mr. McCrane was sworn in. Mr. McCrane expressed some concern about a possible inconsistency in definitions of development, and use of different formulae in calculating the number of dwelling units permitted. He asked that the same interpretations be used consistently in reviewing all development.

Mrs. Goren said that, although each plan that comes before the Board is reviewed on its own merits, the same methods for calculating the number of dwelling units is always used. The Township Planner has carefully reviewed Dr. Ciervo’s calculations, and has concluded that, “Net Buildable Area does not determine the number of dwelling units which can be built in the CM District. The proposed twenty-one (21) new dwelling units and three (3) existing residences are within the thirty-five (35) permitted dwelling units.”

Mr. Beckert noted that our Township Planner is also Wrightstown’s Township Planner. Bucks County Planning Commission has also reviewed this plan and all agree that the three existing homes are not new development.

Mr. Weaver moved to approve the conditional use application of Orleans Homebuilders, Goodnoe Tract, Eagle Road, subject to the following conditions:

  1. No noxious or hazardous impact shall be generated by the use.
  2. The open space shall be preserved as Passive Recreation; shall be conveyed to the homeowners association as private open space and adequate provisions satisfactory to the Township for maintenance shall be provided.
  3. Pursuant to JMZO Section 803.B.15.7.c(2), no off street parking is proposed and 3 parking spaces not including garages shall be provided as to each residence.
  4. The applicant meets the requirements of JMZO Section 1301.B.
  5. The applicant shall be required to provide a deed or agreement of sale as to the subject premises.
  6. The applicant shall provide all information required pursuant to JMZO Section 1304.F.1 except to the extent of any waivers or variances relating to homeowners documents, easements, deed restrictions, in a form satisfactory to the Township.
  7. The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the Township with regard to opens space pursuant to Section 1304.F.2.
  8. Pursuant to JMZO Section 1005, the applicant shall set forth subject to the approval of the Township the open space performance standards and shall provide adequate information to the Engineer to assure compliance with said section.
  9. The applicant is subject to the conditions of any variance granted and subdivision and land development approval.
  10. All signage must meet Township requirements.
  11. No use of the property shall result in any condition that endangers public health or safety.
  12. All review fees be paid.

Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development for Major Subdivision – Goodnoe Tract – Eagle Road: Mr. Murphy said that the conditional use and land development applications have been reviewed by the Planning Commission simultaneously. The applicant has revised the plan as per the recommendations of the Planning Commission, and requests preliminary as final plan approval. The Planning Commission has recommended approval.

Mr. McCrane asked about the large pine trees that line Eagle Road.

Mr. Murphy said that the pines are to be removed. The Planning Commission recommended that, since these are not high quality trees, they be removed in order to install sidewalks; deciduous street trees are to be planted to replace the pines.

Mrs. Crescenzo complained about the small size of trees that are planted when full grown trees are removed. She asked that larger trees be planted. She questioned whether setbacks and impervious surface on each lot would permit amenities such as patios and decks.

Mr. Breigel said that each lot would have approximately 500 square feet of impervious surface set aside for decks or patios. The Ordinance requires that trees be of 2.5 inch caliper, but he would consider replacements of 3.0 to 3.5 caliper. He would like to replace with spruce or deciduous trees, and would work with the Planner on selection.

Resident Dorry McCrane said that she was concerned about deer accidents, and would prefer that deciduous trees be planted, making deer more visible along the roadside.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant approval of the preliminary/final plan for land development of Orleans Homebuilders, Goodnoe Tract, Eagle Road, for a 24 lot single family detached cluster, including 21 new homes and 3 existing dwellings, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Subject to the waivers granted, the plans shall be revised to comply with the following review letters:
    • Boucher and James, 5/08/07;
    • Remington, Vernick and Beach, 5/04/07;
    • Bucks County Planning Commission, 12/06/06;
    • Suburban Lighting Consultant, 11/10/06;
    • Newtown Emergency Management Services, 5/03/07;
    • Pennoni Associates, 7/12/07
  2. Financial Security documents shall be executed.
  3. All permits required by the Township Engineer shall be secured.
  4. Agreements shall be secured from the water and sewer authority or will serve letters will be provided.
  5. An adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District.
  6. Applicant shall comply with SALDO Section 529.2.c.2 and JMZO Ordinance Section 271.1 with regard to tree protection. All fencing shall be approved by the Township prior to construction. Planting shall be guaranteed for eighteen (18) months and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  7. All signs shall comply with all applicable Township Ordinances.
  8. All lighting shall be approved by the Lighting Consultant and no glare shall extend onto adjoining properties.
  9. Approval is subject to a conditional use approval being secured at to the B-12 Use and the applicant agrees to comply as part thereof with all terms of the conditional use approval.
  10. The approval is subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board.
  11. Pursuant to JMZO Section 904, no use shall be permitted which is noxious or offensive to the immediate surrounding area and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  12. As to open space, the applicant shall comply with all Township requirements, use regulations and standards concerning HOA maintenance. Documents as required shall be submitted to the Township for approval; the agreement as to required maintenance shall be submitted for Township approval; all noxious elements shall be removed from the open space prior to conveyance to the homeowners association.
  13. In lieu of dedication of park and open space area, a fee in lieu shall be paid in accordance with the township fee schedule.
  14. All traffic impact fees shall be paid as assessed by the Township Traffic Engineer.
  15. The northerly most entrance shall be constructed with a pork chop and signage indicating right in and right out only at the intersection. A note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  16. All mail delivery shall be at individual residences and shall be so noted on the plan.
  17. A deed of merger shall be provided merging the subject tax map parcel numbers 29-4-40-1, -2, -3 and -4.
  18. The development shall not have the words “eagle” or “ Newtown” in its title.
  19. All review fees shall be paid.

The following waivers are granted from the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

  1. From Section 507.3 to waive the requirement for a minimum of 1,000 foot separation between intersections with collector roads, 390 feet as provided.
  2. From Section 509.4 to waive the requirement for storm water to drain to the open end of a cul-de-sac.
  3. From Section 517.4 to waive the requirements for 7 foot wide grass strip between the curb and sidewalk; the applicant proposes a 5 foot wide grass strip.

Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. McCrane asked that the tree caliper of 3.0 to 3.5 for replacement deciduous trees be included in the motion. He asked that the developer work with the Township Planner to insure that the trees are not planted densely, to prevent deer accidents.

Mr. Weaver amended his motion. Mr. Calabro amended his second and the motion passed 3-0.

Revised Preliminary Plan for Land Development – Minor Subdivision – First Evergreen – 826-828 Newtown Yardley Road: Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant. He said that this plan has been reviewed and revised to comply with all recommendations of the Planning Commission; the applicant is seeking preliminary as final plan approval. The plans propose to consolidate four parcels and re-subdivide the property into two lots. Lot 1 has the existing office buildings, off-street parking and stormwater management areas. Lot 2 is proposed to contain a new, 32,000 square foot medical office building, associated parking and stormwater management facilities. Zoning Hearing Bored relief has been granted for setback requirements.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant approval of the preliminary as final plan for land development for First Evergreen, 826-828 Newtown Yardley Road, to consolidate four parcels and subdivide into two parcels with existing buildings on lot #1, and a 32,000 square foot office building on lot #2, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Compliance with the review letters

a. Boucher and James, 7/17/07;

b. Remington, Vernick and Beach, 7/12/07;

c. Pennoni Associates, 7/26/07;

d. Bucks County Planning Commission, 4/20/07

e. Suburban Lighting Consultants, 11/07/06;

f. Newtown Emergency Management Services, 9/6/06

  1. The plan is subject to the variances granted by the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board;
  2. All signs shall comply with the Newtown Township Sign Ordinance;
  3. A shares access easement between lots 1 and 2 shall be provided and recorded subject to Township approval;
  4. All permits and approvals required shall be secured;
  5. If required, the applicant shall supply an adequate letter as to erosion and sediment control from the Bucks County Conservation District.
  6. The applicant will supply will serve agreements from the water and sewer authority or a letter indicating such agreement are not required .
  7. All financial security documents shall be executed;
  8. In lieu of dedication of open space, a fee in lieu shall be paid to Newtown Township in the amount of $41,312.00.
  9. Traffic Impact Fee shall be paid in the amount of $198,861.46
  10. All lighting shall comply with the requirements of the Township Lighting Consultant and no glare shall extend onto adjoining properties.
  11. The Unilateral Declaration of Restrictions and Covenants shall be executed.
  12. All outside storage of refuse containers shall be screened and landscaped in accordance with Section 530.10 of SALDO.
  13. As to tree protection, fencing shall be provided and all planting shall be guaranteed for 18 months.
  14. All storm water management requirements shall be complied with and a stormwater management agreement shall be executed.
  15. Appropriate deeds of merger and subdivision shall be filed subject to Township approval.
  16. All review fees shall be paid.

The following waivers are granted from the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance:

    • From Section 402.3.b. and c. to allow submission of an aerial photograph in lieu of survey.
    • From Section 521 to allow the one year storm to be discharged from the detention basin in less than a 24 hour period.

The following waivers are granted from the Stormwater Management Ordinance:

  • From Section 223.4 to not require the two year storm post run off rate to be controlled to a one year pre development rate.
  • From Section 224.c. to not require the post development rate to be equal or less than the pre development run off rate for meadow conditions.
Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Reports of Officials:

Solicitor:

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize advertisement of JMZO 2006-05, to add roadside stands for sale of agricultural products grown on site. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Beckert informed the Board that an executive session would be needed.

Engineer:

Mr. Calabro moved to authorize signing of Mylars for Rosemarino PRD Variance, 318 Burgundy Lane. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $168,338.14 to Foxhall Estates – Brookshire Estates, LP. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $42,595.65 to 11 Friends Lane, LLC. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $32,520.37 to Tudor Square III. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $98,665.20 to Toll PA VII, LP ( Newtown Walk). Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release in the amount of $166,942.61 to KLS Ryan, LP (Goodnoe’s Corner). Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Public Comment: Mrs. Hibbs asked whether a motion would be made to authorize a stipend for the Joint Historic Council.

Mr. Beckert explained that this item is not on the agenda and would be addressed administratively.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that some flags are missing from Sycamore Street, and questioned whether hanging flower baskets had been removed.

Mr. Boyle said that flags are placed on alternating light fixtures, not on each fixture. There have not been flower baskets on the light fixtures, because the apparatus to water the flowers had been removed from the last budget.

Mrs. Crescenzo asked that the intersection of Swamp Road and Sycamore Street be reviewed; as there is no longer a turning lane, traffic from Council Rock High School during the week and from St. Andrew’s Church on weekends, backs up significantly. She also commented that she noticed a bill for an alarm system at Clark Nature Center, and thought such a purchase is a good idea.

Mr. Sensibaugh announced that the candidates for Supervisor would participate in a debate moderated by the League of Women Voters on October 22 at 7:30 PM at the Council Rock School District Chancellor Center.

Resident Mike Gallagher asked whether signage is to be installed for the recently passed traffic ordinance, and whether new speed limits, etc, could be enforced.

Mr. Beckert said that signage is in the process of being installed, and once installed, the ordinance can be enforced.

The meeting adjourned at 12:10 AM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:
John Boyle, Acting Township Manager

Anne Goren, Chairman

Phillip Calabro, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Thomas Jirele, Member

Richard Weaver, Member