Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

Minutes of March 17, 2008

 

Members Present: Tom Jirele, Chairman; Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman; Jerry Schenkman, Member; Phil Calabro, Member; Jeffrey Garton, Solicitor; Michelle Fountain, Engineer and Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager. Not present was Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer.

Also Present: Ed Murphy; Gene Lorenzetti; Joseph F. McElwee, Sunrise Senior Living; Mrs. Lorenzetti; James Linske, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Joseph Phillips, George J. Donovan AIA & Associates; Mark J. Rostafin, The Stone House Group; Michael P. Ozenich, The Stone House Group; Martin S. Jordan, Industrial Valley Design; Scott E. Shearer, The PFM Group; Various Township employees including John Boyle, Don Harris, Bill Wert, Mike Solomon, Ron Weaver, Gary Crossland, Elaine Gibbs, Captain Moorhead and Jean Tanner; Theresa Katalinas, Bucks County Courier Times; Various Newtown residents including Ethel Hibbs and M. Griet.

Call to Order: Chairman Jirele called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.

Community Comments

Discussion

Gene Lorenzetti, Durham & Eagle Road – Ed Murphy

The Supervisors were provided copies of the current proposal for their review. There was an aerial view of the site for review, Mr. Murphy reported on the aerial view. Mr. Murphy reported on the past proposals for the property at Durham & Eagle Road. He discussed the past concept plans that have been rejected. He advised that his client has begun discussions with Sunrise Senior Living, an assisted living provider. He reported that the current proposal would have an assisted living facility, and open space area and a small pocket of townhomes. The development would be private roads. There would be a right in/right out entrance point on Route 413. The main access would be off of Eagle Road. There would be an emergency access entrance point. The site is currently zoned R-1. This plan would require a variance from the Zoning Hearing Board and conditional use approval from the Board of Supervisors. Traffic studies are needed. He is here tonight looking for feedback from the Supervisors and the public. He reported on discussions that Mr. Lorenzetti has had with Mr. Pool, Cliveden Home Owners Association.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the size of the Sunrise facility. Mr. Murphy introduced Mr. McElwee. Mr. McElwee reported that he has been with Sunrise for approximately 14 years; he advised on the history of the company. He reported that what is being proposed is a three story building (75 – 80 units), approximately 60,000 square feet (20/20/20). None of the rooms have kitchens; the rooms are between 275 – 650 square feet. Most of the residents do not drive; the parking ratio is .5 per unit (40 cars/80 units).

Chairman Jirele questioned the number of employees. Mr. McElwee reported that there are approximately twenty-seven employees on the first shift and that the other shifts did not require as many employees.

Mr. Calabro questioned the differences from the original sketch. Mr. McElwee reported that the original sketch showed eighty assisted units and eighty independent units.

Mr. McElwee reported that both assisted living and independent facilities are 100% Taxable.

Mr. Calabro commented on the new plan showing sixteen townhomes with garages. Mr. Murphy reported that is correct and that each unit has a two-car garage; he discussed buffering.

Mr. Schenkman questioned if the townhomes are part of the Sunrise facility. Mr. Murphy reported that the townhomes are separate from the Sunrise facility.

Mr. Schenkman questioned if the townhomes would be age restricted. Mr. Murphy reported that would be the Township’s decision.

Mr. Lorenzetti reported on the design of the townhomes and that the total square footage would be between 2,500 – 2,600 square feet.

Mr. Calabro questioned the mixed-use development. Mr. McElwee advised that mixed-use developments are not uncommon.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the driveway to the Goldberger/Kelly property. Mr. Murphy advised with regards to the driveway connection.

Dr. Ciervo questioned how many acres the site is. Mr. Murphy reported that the site is approximately ten acres not including the Goldberger property.

Chairman Jirele questioned the parcel owned by Sun Oil with regards to restrictions. Mr. Murphy and Mr. Lorenzetti reported on what information they have regarding the Sun Oil parcel.

Chairman Jirele questioned if there have been discussions with property owners to the west of the site. Mr. Lorenzetti reported on past discussions with neighbors.

One resident from Cliveden reported on their rejections with regards to past proposals for developing the site as commercial space.

Chairman Jirele reported that he would like to see a concept plan developing the site with single family homes.

Mr. Lorenzetti reported on possible alternatives for the site.

Mr. Murphy reported that just about every scenario proposed would require some type of relief.

Dr. Ciervo reported that he would like to see the parcel developed as zoned.

Chairman Jirele questioned the lot size for a buy-rite single family development. Dr. Ciervo reported that the lot size for a buy-rite single family development is approximately 40,000 square feet.

Mr. Lorenzetti reported on the density in Cliveden and Tyler Walk.

The Supervisors discussed the height of the Sunrise building. Mr. McElwee reported that the Sunrise building is 42 feet at the peak.

The Supervisors discussed the buffering between Eagle Road and the Sunrise building.

The Supervisors discussed the relocation of the Sunrise facility on the site.

Mr. Schenkman reported that he likes the idea of the Sunrise facility.

The Supervisors discussed the C12 use in the R1 Zoning District.

Chairman Jirele reported that he would like to see a concept plan including the Sunrise facility that meets the zoning, a single-family buy-rite development concept plan, a village concept plan and a concept plan including the Sunrise facility and a village.

Mr. Calabro and Dr. Ciervo reported that they are not in favor of townhomes.

Mr. Schenkman discussed the need for affordability.

Mr. Lorenzetti questioned if the Supervisors would prefer the site be developed as age qualifying. The Supervisors agreed that the site does not need to be developed as age qualifying.

Municipal Complex Building, Donovan & Associates, Architects – Joe Phillips, Jim Linske

The Supervisors were provided various documentation regarding the proposed Municipal Complex expansion for their review.

Mr. Phillips updated the Supervisors with regards to the proposed Municipal Complex expansion. He reported on prior meetings with the prior Board of Supervisors, Township staff and the Financial Planning Committee. He discussed the schedule for the project and doing the construction in two phases. The first phase would concentrate on the Public Works building, the Administration building and starting the renovations to the current Administration/Police Building. The proposed Administration building and the current Administration/Police building would be cooled by a central cooling system. The second phase would include the renovations to the current Administration/Police building and the current Public Works building. He reported on the design plans and the LEED certification. He discussed the bidding process.

Mr. Rostafin, The Stone House Group provided the Supervisors with a slideshow presentation regarding LEED Certification. He advised that the US Green Building Council is a non-profit organization and on the mission of the organization. He advised that there are four levels of LEED certifications, on what the LEED program is and how it works. He reported on The Stone House Group’s review of the proposed plans. He discussed the Township going for the Silver level in the LEED certification. He discussed the complex with regards to energy and water efficiency and day lighting. He advised that he would like to discuss the storm water management with the engineer.

Dr. Ciervo questioned the LEED certification effect to construction cost. Mr. Rostafin and Mr. Phillips advised on the effects to construction cost.

Dr. Ciervo commented with regards to being energy efficient and combining the buildings. Mr. Rostafin advised with regards to the complex being energy efficient.

Dr. Ciervo commented on the cost to heat or cool four large buildings verses heating/cooling one larger building.

Mr. Phillips discussed the LEED certification process, using systems together to achieve the best outcome and focusing on all the systems. He advised on the past plans and the process to come up with the plans being proposed.

Chairman Jirele discussed the cost of the LEED certification being up to 2% of construction cost and the cost savings per year. Mr. Rostafin advised that The Stone House Group would be able to provide the Township with information showing the cost savings per year.

Chairman Jirele questioned the pay back time period. Mr. Schenkman reported on his attendance at a seminar and that the pay back time period is between one and five years. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Rostafin reported on quality control by being LEED certified. Mr. Rostafin reported on the pay back time period and the cost savings further down the road.

Mr. Calabro commented on the availability of statewide grants with regards to green buildings. Mr. Rostafin advised that there are grants available for specific applications and that the programs open in a month and a half. He will share with the Township what programs make sense.

Mr. Ozenich reported on how the LEED verification and documentation works and the number of points/credits. He advised that his initial review show the Township already having 18 points.

Mr. Linske updated the Supervisors on the plans currently being proposed.

Mr. Linske reported on the proposed Administration building.

Mr. Calabro commented on the meeting rooms having a separate entrance. Mr. Linske advised with regards to the entrance to the meeting rooms and accessing the restrooms.

Dr. Ciervo questioned the size of the wing where the tax office is located. Mr. Linske reported that area of the building is close to 8,000 square feet, he advised on what other facilities would be located in that area.

Chairman Jirele questioned the size of the meeting rooms. Mr. Linske advised that each of the two proposed meeting rooms are 32’ X 24’.

Mr. Wert advised on the uses of the proposed meeting rooms.

The Supervisors discussed the size of the current meeting room.

Dr. Ciervo questioned the size of the public meeting room. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Linske advised that the proposed public meeting room is approximately 2,000 square feet.

Chairman Jirele questioned if there would be two entrances for the smaller meeting rooms. Mr. Linske advised on the entrance for the meeting rooms.

Chairman Jirele questioned if what is being proposed for meeting space is too big. Mr. Czajkowski reported on his experiences with regards to conference rooms and space.

Mr. Phillips suggested visiting the Council Rock Senior Center to get a better perspective of what is being proposed for the meeting rooms.

Dr. Ciervo commented with regards to the lunchroom and kitchenette. Mr. Linske advised that the lunchroom would be for employees and that the kitchenette would be for events in the meeting spaces.

Mr. Calabro advised that he is concerned with the frontage between the buildings; he suggested that a continuous covered walkway be installed for getting from one building to another. Mr. Phillips advised with regards to having a covered walkway; he discussed the grade issues and suggested alternative bidding for the covered walkways.

The Supervisors discussed the placement of the Administration building.

The Supervisors discussed the future use of the Martindale House. Mr. Crossland reported that the house is not historical and on the condition of the building.

Mr. Linske reported on the proposed Police building.

Chairman Jirele questioned why three interview rooms are needed. Ms. Tanner reported on why the three interview rooms are needed.

Dr. Ciervo questioned the number of offices needed. Ms. Tanner reported on the number of offices and why they are needed. She discussed the need for more space. Ms. Tanner and Mr. Czajkowski reported on who has an office and the sharing of offices/work stations.

Mr. Phillips advised that the total square footage of the building is 12,635 square feet.

Ms. Tanner reported on the equipment carried by the officers and on equipment/evidence storage.

Mr. Crossland reported on impounded vehicles being stored in the Public Works garage.

The Supervisors discussed the secured area of the Police Station.

The Supervisors discussed future employee projections.

Mr. Linske reported on the proposed Public Works building.

Chairman Jirele suggested having the Public Works building and the Firehouse parking area share a common driveway. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Linske advised that they would look into the possibility of the two areas sharing a common driveway.

Chairman Jirele questioned the use of the existing Public Works garage. Mr. Crossland advised that the existing building would be used for equipment storage.

The Supervisors discussed the salt storage shed.

Dr. Ciervo commented with regards to the office space. Mr. Phillips advised on the location of the office space. He also discussed the truck noise and dirt.

Mr. Calabro suggested aligning the driveways for the Administration and Public Works buildings. Mr. Phillips advised that he would look into the alignment of the two driveways.

Mr. Linske reported on the proposal to renovate the existing Public Works building, which will be used as the new Parks & Recreation building.

Mr. Wert advised with regards to the Parks & Recreation programs and the need for meeting facilities.

Mr. Schenkman questioned the number of Parks & Recreation programs that are run at the current Municipal Complex. Mr. Wert reported that most of the programs are run offsite.

Chairman Jirele suggested dedicating one of the two meeting rooms in the Administration building to Parks & Recreation.

Mr. Calabro reported that he feels that there could never be enough meeting space.

Mr. Czajkowski introduced Mr. Shearer, The PFM Group to the Supervisors.

Mr. Shearer provided the Supervisors with a handout for their review. He reported on the information in the handout and on financing scenarios. He suggested breaking up the borrowing and discussed the advantages in doing that.

Mr. Garton commented with regards to borrowing and bond insurance. Mr. Shearer advised with regards to bond insurance and discussed the Township’s credit rating.

Chairman Jirele questioned what items fall under the caption “Misc. Projects”.

Mr. Shearer discussed grant money that may be available to the Township.

Chairman Jirele advised that he would like the numbers recalculated without the figures for the Woll Tract. Mr. Shearer advised that he would get that information.

The Supervisors discussed the Township’s current debt service.

The Supervisors discussed raising millage.

Ms. Gibbs reported on the Township’s General Fund Reserve.

Mr. Czajkowski questioned how long for the entire bond process. Mr. Shearer advised that the process is approximately ninety days.

Mr. Garton reported on Central Bucks’ experience and suggested that the Township is better doing something sooner than later.

Mr. Shearer discussed coordinating with the architect and the business office.

Mr. Czajkowski reported on his concerns with regards to timing and bond rates.

Chairman Jirele reported that he would like to know what items fall under the caption “Misc. Projects”, the effects to taxes and a scenario not including the Woll Tract or the renovations to the existing Public Works building. Mr. Shearer advised that he would regenerate the numbers.

Dr. Ciervo commented on the need to finalize the design plans.

Ms. Gibbs reported on the past plan scenarios and that the department heads are in favor of the plan currently being proposed.

Mr. Boyle reported on the involvement from staff to help design what is being proposed.

Chairman Jirele reported that the Supervisors would make a decision regarding the Municipal Complex expansion this year.

The Supervisors agreed that they would have updated figures from Mr. Shearer for the meeting on March 26, 2008.

Chairman Jirele commented on having a representative from the Financial Planning Committee attend the meeting on March 26, 2008.

Mr. Calabro commented on the effects of removing the Woll Tract figures from the total calculations and cutting back on the size of the buildings. He discussed the Township growing into the proposed Municipal Complex.

Ms. Gibbs commented that the “Misc. Projects” could be the expense for furniture and fixtures.

Mr. Schenkman reported that the Board needs to have a deadline for making a decision.

Chairman Jirele advised that he would like the Board to make a decision in the next four to six weeks.

The Supervisors discussed the funds set aside for the development of the Woll Tract.

Dr. Ciervo commented on having input from the new Police Chief.

Mr. Schenkman suggested having the new Supervisors meet with the department heads.

New Business

Old Business

Dr. Ciervo discussed the memorandum sent to Jeffrey Garton regarding the appeal of the sale of the Melsky Tract. Mr. Garton advised with regards to attending the appeal hearing and that it is not his intent to file a separate brief on the Township’s behalf. Dr. Ciervo advised that he is against spending the Township’s money on the matter. Mr. Schenkman reported on his feelings regarding the appeal and advised that he feels that the Township should have a presence in the matter. Chairman Jirele agreed that the Solicitor should attend the appeal hearing.

Chairman Jirele reported on the traffic study prepared by Orleans and suggested having the study reviewed by the Township’s Traffic Engineer.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 10:36 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Tom Jirele, Chairman

Robert Ciervo, Vice-Chairman

Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member