Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of October 10, 2007

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Anne Goren, Vice-Chairman Phillip Calabro, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and Members Thomas Jirele and Richard Weaver. Also present were: Paul Beckert, Township Solicitor, James Watson, Township Engineer and John Boyle, Acting Township Manager.

Call to Order: Chairman Anne Goren called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM.

Invocation: The invocation was given by Sister Francesca Onley of Holy Family University. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Boyle announced that a report by the Telecommunications Advisory Board would be added to the agenda, and McCrane vs. Newtown Township would be added to the Solicitor’s Report.

Mrs. Goren asked that the Melsky Tract plans for land development be moved up in the agenda, to better accommodate the many interested residents and veterans in attendance.

Land Development

Preliminary as Final Plan for Land Development – Melsky Tract, Stoopville Road: Attorney Ed Murphy was in attendance to present these plans for a residential development on 94 acres of the Melsky tract. He explained that Council Rock School District has a tentative agreement to sell 94 acres to Toll Brothers, and the remaining 40 acres, which will have conservation easements, to Leo Holt. The plan shows 90 homes, 45 in Newtown and 45 in Upper Makefield, with access to the entire development through Stoopville Road. The plan is currently being reviewed by Upper Makefield’s Planning Commission. Newtown Township’s Planning Commission has reviewed and recommended approval of the plans, subject to a number of conditions. The applicant will comply with all of the conditions.

The plans currently show all lots entirely in either Newtown or Upper Makefield, with no lot straddling the two municipalities. Upper Makefield’s Planning Commission had some concerns about lots 14 and 15, which, because of the boundary line between municipalities, have very unusual shapes and building setback lines. It was suggested that the lot lines be redrawn to provide better setbacks and more regular shapes for the lots. He presented a plan with the lines redrawn so that each lot has a portion in the other municipality.

Mr. Jirele said that while the house on lot 15 is entirely in Upper Makefield, any improvements made by the owner, such as pools and patios would encroach into Newtown. He asked whether this could present any problems in the future.

Mr. Beckert said that if the owner of either lot were to require Zoning Hearing Board relief to erect any improvements or amenities, relief from both municipalities’ Zoning Hearing Boards could be required.

Mrs. Goren asked Mr. Murphy to share the Board’s concerns about zoning variances with the Upper Makefield Planning Commission.

Mr. Murphy explained that Upper Makefield prefers that developments only have street lights at the entrances. Newtown’s Planning Commission requested lights at the internal intersections. He wanted the Board to be aware that the rear of the development would be dark as a result.

Newtown’s Planning Commission had recommended that concrete curbs and gutters be used, as there is concern about the Township’s responsibility to maintain Belgian block curbs. Mr. Murphy said that Upper Makefield would require the homeowners association to maintain the curbs, particularly as they can be damaged by snow plows.

Mr. Jirele and Mr. Schenkman agreed that if the Township were held harmless, there would not be an objection to Belgian blocks.

Mr. Murphy said that Toll Brothers has discussed extending water lines to the Stoopville Road residents, and has agreed with Newtown Artesian to extend the water lines. Residents of Stoopville Road had concerns about the possibility of future improvements to the road. Toll Brothers has agreed to shift the ultimate right of way to its side of the street, so that future improvements will not impact the properties on the south side of Stoopville Road. At the Planning Commission there had been discussion of the buffering behind lots 14, 15 and 16 and the adjoining property. The plans have been revised to comply with the buffering requirements. In response to questions from Mr. Jirele, Mr. Murphy said that the trail would run along Stoopville Road, in front of the development and would connect with Delaney Drive. No names have been selected for the internal streets; Toll Brothers would like to work with the veterans organizations to name the streets for Upper Makefield and Newtown veterans. No name has yet been chosen for the development.

Resident James Ott of Stoopville Road said that he is very much in support of plans to bring the Veterans Cemetery to the area. He expressed some concern about proper notification of Stoopville Road residents, however. He was concerned that these plans are being presented as preliminary/final plans, not giving the public sufficient opportunity to review and comment. He asked whether Toll Brothers has acquired the land and can show the plan.

Mr. Beckert said that Toll Brothers is equitable owner of the property and as such has a right to show the plan.

Mr. Ott said that this evening’s agenda had not been posted on the Web site. He thanked Toll Brothers for its cooperation on the water lines and on the ultimate right of way. He asked about location of the fire hydrants at 500 foot intervals.

Mr. Murphy said that the hydrants are placed in accordance with Newtown Artesian’s requirements. In response to Mr. Ott’s question about a waiver of the requirement for sidewalks, Mr. Murphy said that the Newtown trail will be extended to run parallel to Stoopville Road instead of installing a sidewalk. Two entrances are planned for the development because both Newtown’s and Upper Makefield’s planners had concerns about the safety of a 90 home development having only one entrance.

Mr. Ott said that he was speaking on behalf of his neighbors, who have concerns that the entrances align with their homes on Stoopville Road. They are concerned about glare from headlights into their homes. He also expressed some concern about speeds traveled on Stoopville Road, pointing to a year 2000 traffic study that indicated that 85% of cars travel between 35 and 71 MPH, which he considered too fast with the addition of two entrances less than 1000 feet apart. He also asked about a demolition easement.

Mr. Jirele said that while he agreed that the second entrance, road “d” on the plan, might be too close to the other entrance, he is not sure what the solution would be to address concerns for safety if there were only one entrance for 90 homes.

Mr. Murphy said that the applicant is awaiting PennDOT approval for the entrances. Road “d” has been located so that it aligns with the driveway, not the home, across Stoopville Road, but the applicant would provide buffering to shield the home from headlights. No demolition easement is necessary.

Resident Tony Pisone of Stoopville Road said that he is concerned about the safety of two additional driveways onto Stoopville Road and would prefer only one entrance.

Resident Cary Davies of Stoopville Road said he is also concerned about two entrances, as cars travel at high speeds along Stoopville Road.

Mr. Schenkman and Mrs. Goren briefly discussed the necessity of two entrances for the safety of the residents of the 90 new homes. They also said that the traffic calming project should address some of the concerns with high speeds.

Resident Pam Fitzpatrick of 331 Stoopville Road said that she is opposed to voting on the plans. She is concerned about safety, noting that recent roadway improvements have made Stoopville Road more unsafe. She said that the public has not been properly informed of the plans. She discussed the burden the additional homes will place on the school district. She questioned whether Toll Brothers is the owner of the property. She said that Toll Brothers should donate the land for the cemetery. She expressed concern about sprawl and the environmental impact of this construction.

Mr. Beckert said that Toll is the equitable owner of the property, as an agreement of sale with Council Rock School District is in place, pending court approval.

Jane Johnson of Upper Makefield said that there is currently a challenge to the Federal Cemetery Overlay Ordinance in the courts and there should be a stay on all proceedings until the challenge has been resolved.

Resident Robert Ciervo referred to a review letter from the Bucks County Planning Commission dated August 24, 2007, which indicates that two parcels of open space do not meet the requirements of the Ordinance. He said that Toll Brothers has included stormwater management facilities in its calculations of open space, which is not permitted. He also noted that the Planning Commission has suggested that if $2,000,000 in federal funds becomes available for traffic calming for the cemetery, Toll’s traffic impact fee should be returned. He did not support waiving of traffic impact fees.

Resident John D’Aprile, a Vietnam War veteran, said that he would like the Supervisors to do whatever they can to bring the Cemetery to Bucks County. He agreed that the construction of new homes will have an impact on some residents, but the plan is best for all of us.

Resident Leo Fitzpatrick, 331 Stoopville Road, said that he is opposed to this plan.

Resident Nancy Crescenzo expressed concern about the increased traffic and school district burden with this development. She also suggested that instead of two entrances to the development, the builder should consider one wide entrance with lanes for turning. She was also opposed to waiving of traffic impact fees.

Resident Ed Hackett, a Vietnam War veteran, said that this plan has been discussed and reviewed for two years. He is in support of the plan as both a resident and a veteran.

Sue Herman of Lower Makefield objected to inclusion of a roundabout at Washington Crossing Road and Stoopville Road, but wants a reduction in the speed limit on Stoopville Road, as was recommended by the Planning Commission.

Mr. Beckert said that the Planning Commission recommended that the applicant “request review by PennDOT of appropriate speed limits between the access roads”.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant preliminary as final approval for plan of major subdivision of Toll Brothers, Inc., regarding the portion of the Melsky Tract located within Newtown Township, Tax Map Parcel No. 29-007-004, to allow the subdivision of 67.6 acres within Newtown Township into 45 residential lots on the following conditions:

  1. Subject to the waivers granted the plan shall be revised to comply with the following:
    • Boucher & James letter of 8/23/07
    • Remington, Vernick letter of 8/30/07
    • Pennoni letter of 8/31/07
    • Bucks County Planning Commission letter of 8/24/07
    • Suburban Lighting Consultant letter of 8/22/07, subject to the recommendations in paragraph 12 hereof
    • Newtown Emergency Management Services letter of September 24, 2007.
  2. The applicant shall supply all required financial security documents.
  3. The applicant shall supply all required permits.
  4. Approval is conditioned and contingent on the applicable zoning for this premises being FCO-Federal Cemetery Overlay and said ordinance being in force and effect and valid.
  5. If Belgian block curbs are used, an agreement with the Homeowners Association to hold Newtown Township harmless for repair and maintenance is to be included in Homeowners association documents.
  6. The applicant shall supply either an agreement or will serve letter from the applicable water and sewer authority as to the portion of the property located in Newtown Township.
  7. The applicant shall supply an adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District as to erosion and sediment control.
  8. No use shall be permitted which is noxious or offensive to the immediate area by reason of odor, dust, smoke, gas, vibration, illumination or noise or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  9. All documents pertaining to the conveyance or maintenance of open space shall be subject to Township approval and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  10. Pursuant to JMZO Section 401.1.E.1., the applicant shall comply with all agricultural protection standards as to areas which enjoin active agricultural uses and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  11. Tree protection fencing shall be provided subject to prior approval of the Township and all planting shall be guaranteed for eighteen months and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  12. As to lighting, lighting shall be placed only at intersections along Stoopville Road and T-intersections internally within Newtown Township; no glare shall extend onto adjoining property and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  13. Approval is subject to approval by Upper Makefield of a 45 lot subdivision as to that portion of the Melsky Tract located within Upper Makefield Township.
  14. Signs shall meet all sign ordinances.
  15. A Park & Recreation Fee shall be paid in lieu of dedication of open space in accordance with the Township’s fee schedules.
  16. Traffic Impact Fees, the fee shall be based upon the Newtown Township fee schedule for 90 residential units however said fee shall be waived or remitted by Newtown Township upon receipt of $2,000,000.00 from the federal government for Stoopville Road improvements.
  17. Off street parking within the site shall be restricted to one side of the proposed streets and appropriate signage shall be installed by the applicant limiting parking as to the other side.
  18. Improvements shall be made by the applicant to the site on Stoopville Road in accordance with the recommendations of the Township Traffic Engineer; in addition, the applicant shall locate two 3-way stop signs at intersections where waivers are sought pursuant to SALDO Section 505.5 relating to tangents.
  19. The applicant shall perform a traffic signal warrant analysis after development for the Stoopville Road and Creamery/Linton Hill Road intersection.
  20. Storm water management facilities within Newtown Township must meet Township requirements and the recommendations of the Township Engineer. The applicant shall execute a storm water management agreement.
  21. The applicant shall execute a declaration of unilateral restrictions and covenants as to the notes of the plan.
  22. The applicant shall secure a highway occupancy permit as to Stoopville Road and request review by PennDOT of appropriate speed limits between the access roads.
  23. On account of the adjustment of the ultimate right-of-way onto the subject property and away from properties across Stoopville Road, said right-of-way adjustment will not effect site capacity calculations, on the condition that the effected parcels shall be shown in clear disclosure both in the offering documents and in the agreement of sale including a plan showing the location of the current right-of-way in relation to the subject parcels subject to Township approval.
  24. In the event it is determined that an adjustment of the ultimate right-of-way onto the subject property and away from the properties across Stoopville Road would be appropriate, said right-of-way adjustment shall not be deemed to effect site capacity calculations provided notice regarding those affected parcels shall be shown in clear disclosure, both in the offering documents and in the agreement of sale, including a plan showing the location of the possible right-of-way in relation to the subject residential parcels. Said disclosures shall be subject to Township approval. Newtown Township shall in its sole discretion determine whether said adjustment of the right-of-way shall be made. Applicant shall designate that area as “possible ultimate right-of-way not to be developed” on all plans pending resolution of the ultimate right-of-way line.
  25. The applicant shall meet with the Newtown Artesian Water Company, adjoining property owners and Newtown Township to facilitate the service of public water to the existing properties fronting the development along Stoopville Road.
  26. The plan may be revised to allow the reconfiguration of Lots 14 and 15 as shown on the attached “ Lot Line Exhibit” if determined to be desirable by the Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors.
  27. The plan if necessary shall be revised to show that the Newtown Trail shall extend the length of the property to adjoin the existing trail at Linton Hill Chase.
  28. Appropriate buffering or berming shall be provided to shield property owners across Stoopville Road from Road “D” from headlight glare.
  29. Prior to the signing of the final plan and it being recorded all outstanding legal, planning, engineering and administrative fees due Newtown Township as a result of subdivision and land development review shall be paid in full to the Township.

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

  • From Section 504.17.b. to waive the cartway width to allow 28 feet in width.
  • From Section 505.b. to waive the tangent length in approach to intersections.
  • From Section 507.3. to waive the requirement for a minimum of a 1,000 foot separation between intersections with collector roads.
  • From Section 508.3 to waive the requirement for the first 20 feet of driveway behind the right-of-way line to be at a grade of 4%, a grade of 8% is being proposed.
  • From Section 516.2 and 517.1 to waive the requirement for sidewalks and curbing along Stoopville Road.
  • From Section 517.4 to waive the requirement for 7 feet and 15 feet grass strips between the curb and sidewalk, the request is for 6 feet and 7 feet.
  • from Section 516.1 to waive the requirement for curbs and gutters to allow Belgium block curbing pursuant to the conditions set forth in paragraph 5 hereof.

Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele said that, in response to those residents who spoke in opposition to the plan, he wanted to make clear that the Supervisors are considering the “big picture”. While this plan could not stand on its own merits, with the Cemetery there will be an overall reduction in the number of houses being built.

Mr. Murphy noted that the Bucks County Planning Commission incorrectly cites inclusion of basins in open space; these basins qualify under SALDO requirements.

The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comment

Resident Michael Gallagher said that as a candidate for supervisor, he had received a request to endorse the open space initiative. He supports the upcoming bond referendum, and asked the Supervisors to pass a resolution in support of the referendum.

Mrs. Goren said that this has been added to the October 15, 2007 work session agenda, at which time the Supervisors will discuss the resolution to support the bond referendum.

Mr. Schenkman noted that Park and Recreation Director Bill Wert is on the Open Space Task Force.

Mr. Jirele noted that in the past, Newtown has been a recipient of an open space grant; he would like to see the Township follow the County’s lead on this issue.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that she supports the bond referendum on open space. She also thanked the police department for providing a traffic report, but suggested that it be available to the public.

Mrs. Goren said that the report is on the Township Web site.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that there are two openings for members of the Environmental Advisory Council and asked for volunteers. She also asked that the Board appoint a nominating committee for positions on Township committees, boards and commissions.

Mrs. Goren responded that it has been this Board’s policy to review all applications for positions. It would be the decision of the new board at its organization meeting to establish a nominating committee.

Mr. Jirele said that there had been a nominating committee in the past, which was unsuccessful. He did not think that concerns about the current process for appointment would be solved by re-instituting the committee. He said that the new supervisors could institute a change.

Resident Moe Sood presented the Board with a list of items regarding traffic and asked the Board to formally adopt a resolution in support of these items:

  1. Remove of Swamp Road Expansion Project from the regional traffic task force study and support reclassification of Swamp Road to make it eligible for traffic calming measures.
  2. Continue speed enforcement and truck details on Swamp Road.
  3. Support evaluation of petition by residents against capacity expansion because it is congested less than 2% of the time, at the start of classes at Bucks County Community College in the morning and evening.
  4. Encourage Bucks County Community College to evaluate improvements of internal traffic flow and staggering of start times for classes to help alleviate congestion.
  5. Support an additional stop sign at Swamp Road and Twining Bridge Road.
  6. Support a 4-way stop sign and pedestrian crossing at Colonial Commons and Bucks County Community College entrances.
  7. Support a traffic light at Tyler Walk.

Mrs. Goren said that these suggestions would be passed to the traffic engineer to be evaluated and possibly incorporated into comments on the regional traffic task force study for its meeting on October 29, 2007. She said that she would be reluctant to comment on these items without input from the traffic engineer.

Mr. Schenkman said that he has some concerns about item #1 on this list, as Swamp Road plans have not yet been finalized.

Mr. Jirele said that he would prefer to discuss these ideas at a work session with the traffic engineer.

Dr. Ciervo said that he hopes that residents will vote yes on the open space bond referendum. He reviewed open space preserved in other municipalities under the last open space initiative, and expressed disappointment that Newtown Township had only preserved 47.9 acres. He contended that Newtown is not preserving, but has been rezoning to reduce open space.

Mrs. Goren responded that Newtown Township has preserved a number of open space parcels, including the Wiggins, Woll and Roberts Ridge tracts.

Mr. Ott said that there were problems with the sound on the rebroadcasts of the last Board meeting, and suggested that the Township should get a credit from Video Gold for the poor quality. He questioned the need for the second entrance to the Toll development on the Melsky tract.

Mr. Beckert reviewed the conditions of the approval, including the requirement that Toll perform a traffic signal warrant analysis for the intersection with Linton Hill Road and request that PennDOT review the appropriate speed between the two entrances.

Mr. Jirele and Mr. Schenkman reminded Mr. Ott that the Board is in agreement that a 90 home development would need two entrances for safety reasons and that there are to be traffic calming measures along Stoopville Road.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mrs. Goren pointed out that on page 8 of the minutes of September 26, 2007, she had requested an executive session for discussion of matters of personnel and litigation.

Mr. Schenkman pointed out misspelling of a few names of residents, and asked that they be corrected.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of September 26, 2007 as corrected. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to accept the minutes of the work session of September 17, 2007. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $716,408.24. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $`96,140.50. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission: Chairman Shawn Ward reported that at the October 2, 2007 meeting, the Planning Commission heard a report from the Township Traffic Engineer, who discussed the traffic signal enhancement, the TIP report and the suggestions and comments made by the public at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, which will be incorporated into his review of the regional traffic task force traffic study recommendations.

Mr. Ward said that he had recused himself from participation in the review of the conditional use application of the Green Parrot Pub and Grille at 240 N. Sycamore Street, Goodnoe’s Corner, as he and his wife are principals in the restaurant. The Commission recommended approval of the Green Parrot as an E-5 and E-6 eating place, with conditions, including that off-site valet parking is to be provided on Friday and Saturday evenings when the patio is open; if the Board finds it necessary, Thursday evenings could be added to this condition .Sale of alcohol would be limited to 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM, except for certain days when International sports events are broadcast on televisions in the Pub, then sales would be permitted from 7:00 AM. This would be limited to 90 days per year. Sale of food is to be available at all times. Application for special event permits for live music is to be limited to 10 occasions per year

The Commission began to review two JMZO amendments dealing with a landscape contractors overlay in Wrightstown and electronic and video signage. These reviews were tabled to allow the Commission more time to make recommendations.

Mrs. Goren said that there would be some additional information coming on the graphic signs amendment.

Telecommunications Advisory Committee: Chairman Harry Stevens reported that representatives of Verizon and Comcast were in attendance at the most recent meeting. Verizon will begin carrying the government and educational channels by the end of November. The Committee discussed some complaints they have heard from residents about the menu for Comcast and the size of remote buttons on Comcast equipment. Comcast will be adding six new high definition channels shortly. On October 18 at 7:00 PM at Montgomery County Community College there will be a presentation on “Keeping Families Safe on the Web”. There are to be some changes to Comcast’s fees on January 1, 2008. The Committee has asked the Township consultants to review maps provided by Comcast to determine that the cable service is available throughout the Township. The Committee discussed the Big Ten Network, which Comcast will not be including in its basic coverage tier. The League of Women Voters will moderate televised debates for Newtown Township Supervisor on October 22 and for Newtown Borough Council on October 15, 2007. The FCC has announced that all analog television signals will stop on February 17, 2009, after which all signals will be digital. It will not be necessary to purchase new televisions, but older televisions will need converters. Information on purchase of converters, and discount coupons for purchase can be found at www.dtv.gov. Mr. Stevens asked that information on this be placed on the Township Web site and that the Township newsletter feature a story on it in a late 2008 edition, to help keep the public informed.

The Committee also recommended that information on Leck & Sons Recycle Bank program be placed on the Township Web site.

In response to Mr. Schenkman’s question, Mr. Stevens said that a new franchise agreement with Comcast is close to being finalized.

Land Development Projects

Mrs. Goren opened the conditional use hearings. She recused herself from voting because both applications are for businesses at Goodnoe’s Corner, where her employer will be relocating.

Conditional Use – Green Parrot Irish Pub and Grille, 240 North Sycamore Street: Attorney John Van Luvanee represented the applicants. KLS Ryan, also represented by Mr. Van Luvanee requested party status.

Allen Smith of Sycamore Street Associates and Vincent Lombardi of 125 N. Sycamore Street requested party status.

Mr. Van Luvanee had no objection.

Shawn Ward, Robert Lutz and Rick Narasaki were sworn in.

Mr. Beckert entered the following exhibits:

  • T1 – Advertisement of application
  • T2 – Proof of advertisement
  • T3 – Notice to adjoining neighbors
  • T4 – Planning Commission recommendation
  • T5 – Conditional Use application.

Mr. Van Luvanee entered the following exhibits:

  • A1 – Zoning Hearing Board decision dated November 2, 2006
  • A2 – Amended conditional use approval for Goodnoe’s Corner
  • A3 – letter dated July 5, 2007 granting final land development approval, revised.

Mr. Ward testified that he is a minority general partner in the Green Parrot, a free standing building at 240 N. Sycamore Street. Its appearance suggests a two-story building, but the business will occupy 5000 square feet on one floor, with a cellar for storage. The upper story will only be 7 feet 4 inches high and is not usable, except to provide access to mechanicals. The building will be ADA compliant.

Mr. Ward described the floor plan of the first story as a bar room with 30 stools surrounded by tables with 36 additional seats, an open patio with roof and seating for 42, and a formal dining room, for a total of 206 seats. The kitchen occupies 25% of the floor space. Hours of operation will be from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM, with alcohol served from 11:00AM, as business dictates. All of the partners in the business are local residents.

Mr. Narasaki said that there is a need in the community for a restaurant with later evening hours. Whenever the pub is open, the kitchen will be open and food will be served. Breakfast will be served from 7:00 AM, with no service of alcohol until 11:00AM.

Mr. Ward said that the pub plans to show televised international soccer and rugby on certain early mornings, at which time alcohol would be served beginning at 7:00AM. This would be limited to 90 days per year. In response to Mr. Calabro’s question, Mr. Ward said that he does not have a set schedule for these events. They would be publicized and interest in attendance would be gauged. He could supply the Township with a schedule on a monthly basis.

In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Ward said that the patio will have a gas fireplace for ambience, not warmth. The patio will be seasonal only. Weather permitting, the patio would probably be open from March through November. There will not be an outdoor bar. He will not apply for an amusement permit from the Liquor Control Board, but would like to apply for event permits for certain special occasions, such as St. Patrick’s Day, to host live music. He would limit this to 10 times per year. He showed an artist’s rendering of the façade and pointed out that the bar area would have a vaulted ceiling.

In response to Mr. Lombardi’s question, Mr. Ward said that live music would be limited to 10 times per year, inside the building only. There would be no outdoor music or television.

In response to Mr. Beckert’s questions, Mr. Ward said that he has a letter from Frank Tyrol giving permission to use Tyrol Insurance’s parking spaces for valet parking on Friday and Saturday evenings when the patio is open, beginning at 5:00PM. There are 20 lined spaces in the lot. He will have a written agreement in place prior to the opening of the restaurant. It was the Planning Commission’s recommendation that valet parking be provided when the patio is open because that is when all 206 seats are available; if the Township deems it necessary, valet parking would also be provided on Thursday evenings.

In response to Mr. Schenkman’s questions, Mr. Ward said that, if necessary, he would attempt to arrange for valet parking for the special sporting events, but an alternate site would have to be identified. A professional valet service would be used. He briefly discussed the best location for valet drop off and pick-up, and agreed that the loading area inside the parking lot would probably be the best location.

Mr. Narasaki briefly discussed his experience as an executive chef at Trump Plaza, J.B. Dawson, and the Ashbourner Inn. He has been involved in the planning of this business model. He estimated that the business would be 75% food, and 25% alcohol sales. The restaurant kitchen is 1300 square feet.

Mark Roth was sworn in. Mr. Roth is general manager of McMahon Associates and is a registered transportation engineer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with 15 years experience. He was accepted as an expert witness. Mr. Roth said that, once the specific uses for the shopping center were known, he prepared a parking demand analysis for those uses, factoring in share parking. Generalized statistics were used. The site accommodates 146 parking spaces. Peak hours will be at noon and again between 5PM and 6PM.

Mr. Van Luvanee entered as Exhibit A-4, a Proposed Parking Generation chart.

Mr. Roth reviewed the chart, noting that the chart does not take into account the use of valet parking or the on-street parking spaces available; patio seating was not included in the chart. If the patio seating generated 20 additional cars, they could be accommodated by the valet parking spaces if every other parking space in the lot were in use.

In response to Mr. Smith’s question, Mr. Roth said that the chart was prepared using a 24% shared parking reduction. That percentage is suggested based on a 45,000 square foot shopping center. He did not get a breakdown of the percentage of restaurants.

In response to Mr. Jirele’s questions, Mr. Roth said that the shared parking analysis is based on patrons using multiple tenants when visiting the shopping center. The peak demand is the average peak parking demand. It could occur at a different hour, but the numbers would be the same. If a particular applicant for conditional use has claimed a need for more parking, Mr. Roth said that his estimates, based on studies of parking, are more accurate than the estimated needs of proposed business owners.

In response to Mr. Beckert’s questions, Mr. Roth said that he had testified at the Goodnoe’s Corner Zoning Hearing for a mixed use shopping center based on general mixed use. He noted that the bank and pharmacy would have different peak hours than the restaurants, and that the Cingular and Ink Stop businesses would be low volume businesses. Referring to Exhibit A-4, Mr. Roth said that if the food use applicants have all said that their peak use would be in the evening, the peak use numbers would shift to the later time. Employees have been considered in preparing Exhibit A-4. The numbers used are averages, within a 10 to 20% range; that is, they could be 10 to 20% higher or lower. If peak hour was changed to 6:00PM, and if the numbers were 20% greater than anticipated, at the high end of the range, an additional 20 to 22 spaces could be needed. The on-street parking spaces could be used. In doing these calculations, the businesses on the other side of the street were not considered, nor were pedestrian shoppers.

Mr. Jirele said that if the need were for 175 spaces at the peak, and if customers were unable to find a space and drove away, then the center is under parked.

Mr. Roth said that in his opinion, the peaks will not occur for each business at the same time.

Mr. Schenkman commented that he does not think that business owners are aware of how much parking they need or where their customers have parked. He said that he did not think that the parking shortage would occur with regularity.

Mr. Ward presented sketches of the interiors of the building.

Mr. Smith was sworn in. He said that he is concerned about the parking shortage and the expected need for valet parking. He said that his shopping center has 150 parking spaces for 14,000 square feet of retail space. He noted that there are some businesses along Sycamore Street without any parking spaces. His shopping center has 30 parking spaces held in reserve. He suggested that the Board consider requiring those 30 spaces to be built for shared parking.

Mr. Lombardi was sworn in. He asked about the use of the second story of the building.

Mr. Ward showed two staircases to the second floor, one in the kitchen, one in the dining room. The dining room staircase is decorative and will not be used. The kitchen staircase would allow access to rooftop mechanicals. The plans show an elevator, which would be installed if required by the ADA.

Mrs. Crescenzo was sworn in. She asked whether the second floor would be used for storage.

Mr. Ward said that it would not be used except to provide access to mechanicals.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that the peak demand shows 183 cars where there are only 146 parking spaces. She asked whether employee parking was included in the calculations.

Mr. Jirele said that the transportation engineer has indicated that employees were included in the estimates. A reduction to the highest number has been calculated for shared parking use.

Mrs. Crescenzo said that the chart does not make sense. There is not enough parking, and when the Acme site is developed, there will be a bigger parking shortage. She asked whether the residential units were included in the shared parking.

Mrs. Goren said that residential uses were included. A reduction of 24% for shared parking brings the peak number of cars to 139 where there are 167 parking spaces available in the parking lot and on the street.

Mr. Weaver moved to grant approval of the conditional use application of KLS Ryan LP and , and the Sycamore Restaurant Group, LLC, trading as Green Parrot Irish Pub and Grill, 240 North Sycamore Street, granting permission for an E-5 Easting Place and E-6 Eating Place/Drive In use on the following conditions.

  1. The use shall be an E-5 Eating Place and E-6 Eating Place/Drive In use for a restaurant and pub use within 5,000 square feet of demised premises.
  2. The use shall be limited to a 5,000 square foot footprint on the first floor of the building; the second floor shall not be utilized for any restaurant or storage use; the cellar shall not be an office or be occupied but shall solely be used for storage and utility purposes only.
  3. The total seating capacity shall be 206 seats, including porch and patio area; the total inside seating capacity shall be limited to 164 seats; 42 outside seats shall be seasonal only, from March 1 through November 30, shall not be enclosed, heated or air conditioned, provided that a small gas fireplace shall be permitted in the center of the patio.
  4. The applicant shall be subject to the previous conditional use, final land development approval and variances secured by KLS Ryan.
  5. The applicant shall further be subject to the terms of the Inter-municipal Transfer of Liquor License approved by Newtown Township May 9, 2007 and the terms of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approval, the grant of the liquor license and transfer to the applicant.
  6. The applicant shall provide screened trash storage to limit blowing trash and to permit safe and easy removal of trash.
  7. The applicant shall provide trash receptacles outside the restaurant for patron use.
  8. The maximum number of employees shall be 20, the average shall be 15.
  9. The hours of operation shall be 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., 7 days a week, on the condition that food will be served at all times when the operation is open; the hours of operation for alcohol service shall be 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., 7 days a week, provided the alcohol service shall be extended to 7:00 a.m. 90 days per year. A schedule will be submitted to the Township, including a valet plan.
  10. No hazardous, flammable or explosive material shall be stored or used in the building; all cooking oils or similar substances shall be stored according to industry and township standards.
  11. All loading and unloading by tractor trailers or similar vehicles shall be at off hours between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. and no deliveries of any type shall take place along Sycamore Street or Durham Road.
  12. No noxious or hazardous impact shall be generated by the use.
  13. The conditions required under JMZO Section 1301.B. relating to conditional uses have been met.
  14. The applicant shall as a condition of conditional use approval supply a copy of the lease, a copy of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approval and if required by the Township shall execute a covenant of Unilateral Declaration and Restrictions relating to the conditions pertaining hereto.
  15. No outdoor bar facilities shall be present on site at any time, neither permanent nor temporary; the applicant shall not have a separate entrance for take out service of package goods.
  16. All signs shall meet all township ordinances and the applicant shall secure a certificate of appropriateness for all signage.
  17. The applicant shall meet with the Newtown Township HARB to review the proposed exterior of the building for comments and recommendations and any dispute shall be resolved by the Board of Supervisors.
  18. No loud music shall be generated on site and no music shall be audible from the premises, no music or television shall be permitted on the patio.
  19. The applicant shall supply valet parking from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. or until all valet vehicles have been retrieved, whichever is later, on Friday and Saturday evenings when the outdoor patio is open, provided that upon the direction of the Board of Supervisors valet parking may be required Thursday evening; valet drop-off will be at the parking lot loading area.
  20. No special exception shall be required for E-17 Tavern Use, it being determined that the sale of alcoholic beverages is incidental to the E-5, E-6 use being approved.
  21. The applicant shall not apply to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for an amusement permit, provided however, that a special event permit for limited occasions not to exceed 10 days a year, may be applied for, subject to notice to the township and it’s opportunity to object.
  22. The premises shall be ADA compliant.
  23. All review fees shall be paid.

Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked that an agreement on valet parking be provided prior to opening of the restaurant.

Mr. Weaver amended his motion to include this as a condition. Mr. Calabro amended his second.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele said that he does not look favorably on the opening of a bar at 7:00AM. He also has concerns about the parking, as he feels the shopping center is under parked.

The motion passed 3-1-1, with Mr. Jirele voting nay and Mrs. Goren abstaining.

Conditional Use – Ink Stop, 260 N. Sycamore Street, Goodnoe’s Corner: John Van Luvanee represented the applicant.

Mr. Beckert entered the following exhibits:

  • T1 – Advertisement of application
  • T2 – Proof of advertisement
  • T3 – Notice to adjoining neighbors
  • T4 – Planning Commission recommendation

Greg Jones was sworn in. Mr. Jones said that he is with Metro Commercial Real Estate and has been involved in 30 different deals with Ink Stop. There are currently 20 Ink Stop stores open.

Mr. VanLuvanee entered as Exhibit A-1 a brochure that explains the Ink Stop business and as Exhibit A-2 a letter from Ink Stop, Inc, confirming its agreement to the conditions of approval recommended by the Planning Commission. He said that Ink Stop will be an E-1 retail use in building 3, occupying 1400 square feet. The business sells computer and office supplies, with an emphasis on customer service.

Mrs. Crescenzo was sworn in. She complained that the Irish Pub should not have been approved for this shopping center.

Mr. Weaver moved to approve the conditional use application of KLS Ryan LP and Ink Stop, Inc., 260 North Sycamore Street got Use E-1 Retail on the following conditions:

  1. The use shall be a E-1 Retail use permitting the sale at retail of office supplies at the location contained 1400 square feet.
  2. The maximum number of employees is 6, the average is 3.
  3. The hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  4. No hazardous, flammable or explosive materials shall be stored or used in the building.
  5. All deliveries and loading shall be at off hours and not on Sycamore Street or Durham Rd
  6. No noxious or hazardous impact shall be generated by the use.
  7. Parking is adequate for the use.
  8. The conditions of JMZO Section 1301.B. are met.
  9. The applicant is bound by the conditions of previous conditional use, variance and final land development approval for KLS Ryan.
  10. The applicant shall supply a true and correct copy of the lease.
  11. All signs shall meet all township sign requirements and a certificate of appropriateness shall be secured for any sign related to the use.
  12. The applicant shall meet with the Newtown Township HARB to review the proposed exterior of the building for their comments and recommendations and all disputes shall be resolved by the Board of Supervisors.
  13. No offensive odors or glares shall be generated by the use and no glare shall extend beyond the subject premises.
  14. All uses shall be within the existing footprint of the building as shown on the plan.
  15. The site shall be ADA compliant.
  16. All review fees shall be paid.

Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.

Mr. Weaver moved to close the conditional use hearings. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Reports of Officials

Solicitor’s Report: Mr. Beckert reported to the Board that a resolution authorizing application for the final year funding of grant money for the Main Street program, assuming the full local share of the project costs and authorizing execution of the required sub-recipient agreement is needed. Newtown’s liability will be $20,000.

Mr. Weaver moved to adopt a resolution authorizing a proposal for funds with the Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Beckert reported that James McCrane has filed two land use appeals relating to the Township’s approval by way of conditional use and subdivision approval for Orleans development of the Goodnoe tract. If the Board is of a mind to direct the solicitor to defend the Township’s position, a motion would be required. In response to Mr. Jirele’s question, Mr. Beckert estimated that legal fees would be about $1500.

Mr. Jirele said that the resident had requested to meet with the zoning expert to discuss this matter.

Mrs. Goren responded that the Township Planner had responded to questions about this development twice.

Dr. Ciervo said that he would like the Supervisors to support the resident on this appeal. He reviewed calculations of the proposed development, stating that the site contains 16.4 buildable acres on which 21 new homes are to be built. He read from the MPC the definition of development and contended that the existing homes should be included in calculations of development.

The motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Jirele voting nay.

Mrs. Goren asked to defer the executive session to the Oct. 15, 2007 work session at 7:30 PM.

Engineer’s Report: Mr. Jirele moved to authorize signing of Mylars for Twining minor subdivision. Mr. Weaver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Tudor Square III in the amount of $112,910.99. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Friends Lane parking lot improvements in the amount of $158,787. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for 11 Friends Lane, LLC in the amount of $131,286.60. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Weaver moved to authorize escrow release for Newtown Office Park in the amount of $49,507.79. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 1:10AM.

 

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