Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of September 9, 2009

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on September 9, 2009 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Michael Gallagher, Secretary/Treasurer Matthew Benchener and Philip Calabro and Jerry Schenkman, members. Also present were: Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order: Chairman Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence and an invocation by Madison Rowshan of the Baha’I Faith. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski reported that the Police Report would not be on the agenda.

Special Action: Ted Duran and Phil Gilchrist of PECO and its partner Natural Lands Trust were in attendance to present Newtown Township with a $10,000 grant for preservation of 7 acres of woodlands known as the Rockbridge property. The PECO Green Regions program recognizes environmental stewardship through grants to municipalities for the acquisition of open space. PECO Green Regions has given over $625,000 to 70 municipalities for land preservation since 2005.

Dr. Ciervo thanked PECO and the Natural Lands Trust for this grant, which has helped the Township to preserve environmentally sensitive land.

Public Comment: Resident Jay Sensibaugh announced that the Newtown Creek Coalition would hold a creek clean-up on September 12, 2009, beginning at 9:00 AM at Greene Street behind Newtown Bicycle Shop. He urged residents to volunteer.

Mr. Schenkman reminded residents that they would get wet, so dress accordingly.

Resident Joanne Bintliff Ritchie said that she had spoken to Chris Kern about the County Open Space Review Board meeting at which the Township’s Natural Areas application for the Rockbridge property was considered. She said that the application was well received and she was confident this project would “make the list.” She urged residents to contact County Commissioners to urge their support for the project.

Mr. Gallagher thanked Jeffrey Marshall of the Heritage Conservancy for representing Newtown Township at the Review Board.

Minutes: Mr. Schenkman moved to accept the minutes of August 26, 2009. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Bills: Mr. Benchener asked about a bill for Precision Electric paid from the general fund.

Mr. Czajkowski explained that this bill was not paid from a TSA fund because it was for repair of a damaged signal. There will be insurance re-imbursement.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $1,696,823.49. Mr. Gallagher seconded

Discussion of motion: In response to Dr. Ciervo’s question, Mr. Czajkowski explained that a portion of the bill submitted by the Township’s new labor solicitor was for review of files. This would not be a typical bill.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $190,000. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Update on New Municipal Building: Ken Duerholz of Boyle Construction reported that since his last report in May, the framing of the municipal building has been completed and exterior finishing should be completed in 4 or 5 weeks. Some interior work has begun. Completion is expected on December 20, 2009. The Public Works building should also be completed on that date. Both buildings should be “aired out” and ready for move in after the first of the new year.

Mr. Gallagher said that on his recent walk through he could already see that the interior will be very nice. It will be functional and has provided ample room for growth. He was particularly impressed with the radiant floor heating in the Public Works building.

Mr. Duerholz explained that heating tubes are run through the concrete floor so that heating is concentrated low, where the employees work. This is more economical than heating a large open area with a high ceiling. The heat is also helpful in melting caked on snow from vehicles. Because of the cross ventilation, that building has been and will be very cool in the summer.

Dr. Ciervo asked about technology for the new building.

Mr. Duerholz explained that the architect has anticipated technology needs; conduits have been provided to all locations where they might be needed, including to the main meeting and a/v rooms.

Mr. Czajkowski said that considerable time has been spent with the computer and video consultants to plan adequately for current and future technology needs.

Mr. Duerholz said that Stonehouse Consulting has been on site every two weeks to monitor construction for LEEDS certification. He will provide a more specific update to the Board shortly.

In response to Board questions, Mr. Duerholz said that, as most exterior work has been completed, there is no longer a need for time buffers to account for weather delays. The construction is no longer weather dependent. Should the Township decide to install a wind turbine for the Public Works building, a conduit has been run to the field where it would be located.

Mr. Czajkowski noted that change orders have been at 1.7%, which is very low.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Chairman: Dr. Ciervo said that, as there had been some feedback from the public in support of a second session of public comment at the end of each meeting, he would like the Board to consider reinstating the practice.

The Board was in agreement that a second public comment should be added to each agenda before “old business”.

Board Members: Mr. Calabro congratulated CR Newtown’s 10 & 11 year old Little League Team for winning the State Championship this summer. The 12 year old team went to the Little League World Series this year as well. He congratulated the many sports programs for children in Newtown and the Park and Recreation Board and Department for the work they have done to give the children so many opportunities.

The Board seconded Mr. Calabro’s congratulations and agreed that the teams should be invited to an upcoming meeting for a public acknowledgement.

Park and Recreation Board: Chairman Andrew Levine added his congratulations to the Little League and added that Rock Softball has also had a great deal of success, winning the number 1 place in a tournament of 420 teams.

Mr. Levine said that the summer camps were very successful again this year, with a large increase in participation in Camp Beechtree, for children entering kindergarten. Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko has done an excellent job in the current economy, with camp revenues at $78,000. General revenues for the Park and Recreation Department, year to date are $363,000. There is a good chance of exceeding last year’s total revenue. In response to Mr. Benchener’s questions about increased revenues for camps, Mr. Levine said that the Department has worked hard to reduce costs for the camps while still providing the same level of activities. There have been changes in providers and purchase of certain equipment to enhance the fun while reducing the costs for activities such as field trips and swimming.

Mr. Levine reported that Council Rock School District has increased its fees for field and school room usage. He provided the Board with copies of the increased fee schedule and noted that the increased costs were effective after pricing for Township programs at District sites had been advertised. The Department and Park and Recreation Board will attempt to work with the District to come to some compromise on this fall’s already advertised programs, but going forward, program fees might have to increase to cover the new facilities usage fees. The Department is currently over 90% self-sufficient. The Department will be looking at ways to partner with the District and with neighboring communities on some joint ventures. It is hoped that when the new building is completed, some community rooms will be dedicated to Park and Rec programs, eliminating some need for School District facility use.

The Park and Recreation Board and Department have worked with the Technology Committee to create a more interactive Recreation Web site, which will allow a more responsive navigation and on-line registration. The Park and Recreation Board fully supports the recommendations of the Technology Committee for a Web site hosted by the same provider as used by Northampton Township. It is hoped that this Web site could help reduce some printing costs and make up for the lost ability to distribute flyers to school children.

The Board asked about immediate savings with the introduction of the Web site.

Mr. Levine said that it could take a little time to make a transition and eliminate some of the paper, but other municipalities using the upgraded sites with on-line registration, have seen an increased participation. Currently, residents must either register by telephone or in person during the business day.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the Township is attempting to work on reducing printing costs by working with the provider of the Township Newsletter. The Park and Rec department is also using the newsletter to promote some of the recreation programs.

Dr. Ciervo reported that the Township has acquired the land for the skate park and asked about fundraising efforts.

Mr. Levine said he would keep the Board informed. For information of making donations residents can visit www.newtowntownship.net.

Mr. Levine reported that some school groups have contacted the Park and Recreation Department about getting involved in naming of the Woll tract park and will be researching Newtown’s earliest soldiers killed in battle, possibly going back to the French and Indian War.

Technology Committee: Chairman Ed Lipskisaid that the Technology Committee worked with the Park and Recreation Department and Park and Recreation Board to prepare a requirements document and, with Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko and Finance Director Elaine Gibbs, have met with third party vendors, including myrecdept.com, the provider of Northampton Township’s Recreation Web site. As Mr. Levine had reported, a more responsive Web site will provide the Park and Recreation Department with the ability to generate the same reports they do now, capture e-mail information for future mass e-flyers, reduce some printing costs and save employees some tedious work, freeing them to work on more productive tasks. At the same time, the improved Web site will provide residents with an easier to navigate site to find classes, camps and programs which they can register and pay for on line, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Northampton’s Park and Recreation Director has indicated that registrations for programs have increased significantly since adding on-line registration. The Park and Recreation Board has expressed enthusiasm and support for the project. We are recommending that the Township contract with myrecdept.com to host the site at an annual cost of $3000. In addition there will be a start up fee of $450, and $500 every three years for re-registration of domain name. Myrecdept.com will work with the Township’s existing credit card company and bank to insure that credit card transactions remain without charge.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether it is the Technology Committee’s recommendation that all registrations be on line, only.

Mr. Lipski said that it would be phased in over time. The Committee is also recommending that kiosks with computers be placed for use by residents for certain transactions, so eventually, walk in registrants could still use the on-line registration in the new administration building, but mailing and telephoning would still be accommodated. Myrecdept.com has indicated that the site could be up and running within a week of contracting. They would put the current offerings on the site and Township personnel would then be able to maintain and update information.

The Board members agreed that they would like to move forward with this project, which will reduce costs, generate revenue and save time. Mr. Schenkman said that he is very happy to see this new Technology Committee have a successful project.

Mr. Garton suggested that an agreement with myrecdept.com be prepared for the Board to act on at a later meeting.

Mr. Lipski reported that the Committee has met with the Township’s technology consultant and the Township Manager to prepare a list of recommendations for the new administration building, including some televisions for the meeting rooms, conference calling equipment and Netbooks or laptops for the dais. The proposed audio/visual equipment being recommended will enable applicants to show electronic plans which can be transmitted directly to the at-home television audience. The Committee would like to arrange a demonstration of this equipment at a work session. As previously mentioned, Kiosks near Park and Rec and near Codes for permit applications, etc, are recommended. Estimates are for a total cost of about $110,000, but the Committee continues to work to reduce some of the cost.

In response to Board questions, Mr. Czajkowski said that through the bond, funds are available for technology. Working with the Technology Committee a budget will be prepared.

Mr. Lipski said that looking ahead the Committee will be helping with the effort to go paperless. The Technology Committee has already had a “live meeting” using computers and the internet.

Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Czajkowski thanked the Committee for all of the extra time they spent meeting with Township employees and department heads to ascertain current and future needs. Their efforts have been a tremendous help.

Land Development

Rosebank Winery, 258 Durham Road – Preliminary Plan: Attorney Don Marshall and applicant Dave Fleming were in attendance to present this plan for development on a 10.1928 acre site in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District to build a 6,210 square foot, two story addition to an existing barn, a wooden deck between the existing stone barn and the proposed winery and a wooden deck on the existing events and promotions building. The plans proposed to restore a portion of the existing parking area to grass and landscaped area and to add a 0.5 acre orchard. The applicant plans to move the existing retail and wine production and storage to the new building and to move the events to the existing retail building. The existing tent area will no longer be needed. With the proposed changes, the site will only need to provide 107 parking spaces, so some of the parking will be restored to green. Mr. Marshall reviewed the parking requirements of 6 for residential, 2 for permanent employees and 99 for customer and event parking. The maximum event capacity will be 200.

Mr. Garton said that the applicant had received a variance from the Township Zoning Hearing Board for a tent to host events. This decision was appealed and as a result, in May of 2006 a court ordered stipulation agreement between the applicant and the Township was signed. An amendment to that stipulation agreement will need to be filed.

Mr. Marshall noted that most of the stipulation deals with the tent, which is to be removed. The use is H-17, an agricultural accessory use, which allows parking to be based on need. The stipulation did require police to be paid to direct traffic for large events. Mr. Marshall indicated that he has spoken to Mr. Garton about continuing this practice.

Mr. Marshall said that the 10.128 acre site complies with use H-17. Sales will be in a 3000 square foot area. The plan will be modified to show the public sewer connection and abandonment of the septic system. The impervious surface, currently at 24.2%, will be reduced to 15.6%. The entrance has been widened to 16 feet. The property provides 107 parking spaces. Mr. Fleming is confident that 107 parking spaces will be adequate; in eight years of hosting events he has not needed more. The Park and Recreation Board has recommended a fee in lieu.

Mr. Marshall reviewed the H-17 criteria, as applied to this property, noting that it complies. It is on 5 acres or larger, has 3000 square feet of sales area and is licensed by the PLCB.

In response to Dr. Ciervo’s questions, Mr. Fleming said that the event building is 7900 square feet, which includes a mezzanine area. The space could accommodate about 200 people; the tent accommodated about 275 people.

Mr. Garton reviewed the stipulation agreement, noting that most points did apply to the tent and events held there, including a limit of 15 events per year, music only in the tent, events to end by 10:30 PM, noise buffers to the east of the property, flaps of tent on east to be down, amplified music to face Durham Road and a list of events to be supplied to the Township two weeks in advance.

Mr. Marshall said that there would be no amplified music except indoors. The applicant would agree to no off-premises parking, would continue to hire police for traffic control for events of greater than 200 attendees. He suggested that he and Mr. Garton would revise the stipulation agreement for review at final plan approval.

In response to Dr. Ciervo’s question, Mr. Marshall said that there could possibly be an occasion when the applicant might seek a 3 day permit for a tent for the deck. There will not be amplified music on the deck, or anywhere outside. The applicant would agree to not having a primary event in a tent.

Mr. Garton reviewed the waivers being requested:

  • Section 402.1.A requiring the plan must be drawn to a scale of 1 inch =50 feet
  • Section 402.4.M requiring that a registered landscape architect prepare the plan
  • Section 402.5.D requiring a traffic impact study
  • Section 504.17 requiring additional cartway width along Durham Road
  • Section 514.3 Requiring parking areas to be constructed of 6 inches of crushed aggregate base course and 2.5 inches of bituminous wearing course
  • Section 516.2. requiring curb along existing streets on which land development abuts
  • Section 530.1 requiring street trees along existing streets which abut land development.
  • Section 521.3.B, contingent upon Township engineer review and approval, a partial waiver from to permit a storm water roof drainage pipe of 6 inches in diameter when a minimum of 15 inches is required.
  • Section 514.14, requiring individual parking spaces to be identified
  • Section 529.4.B requiring off street parking to be enclosed by an ornamental fence or wall or compact evergreen hedge, four feet in height.
  • Section 529.4.E, requiring one tree for every ten parking spaces in double bays
  • Section 517.1, requiring a sidewalk along Durham Road.

In response to Mr. Benchener’s question, Mr. Marshall explained that the applicant is seeking a waiver from a traffic study because there is not a change in use. This is an agricultural use. The events are on off-peak times and fees are based on peak hour traffic increase.

Ms. Fountain suggested that she would speak to the applicant’s traffic engineer to confirm this.

Mr. Marshall noted that most of the waivers are requested in order to retain the agricultural appearance of the property and are at the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

The Board discussed the waiver from the requirement to install a sidewalk along the Durham Road frontage. Dr. Ciervo said that he might want to have a sidewalk or trail along Durham Road to allow residents of Newtown Grant to walk to the Woll tract park.

Mr. Schenkman said that a sidewalk would not connect to any other walkways. The plan improves the existing property and preserves an agricultural use. It eliminates the prior concern with noise as a disturbance to residential neighbors and is a net positive for the Township. He would like to grant the waiver.

After some further discussion of locating a trail in the dedicated right of way or elsewhere in the area, Mr. Marshall again noted the Planning Commission’s recommendation to grant requested waivers in order to preserve the agricultural look and feel of the property.

Mr. Gallagher moved to approve the preliminary plan of Rosebank Winery, for the premises located at 258 Durham Road, Newtown, Pennsylvania, 19840, being Bucks County Tax Parcel Numbers 29-3-25-1, prepared by All County, Inc, comprising sheets 1-5, dated May 1, 2009, subject to the following conditions, all of which the applicant has agreed to: 

  1. Subject to the waivers granted and the variances secured, the Plans shall be revised to comply with the following professional consultants’ review letters:
    1. July 15, 2009 correspondence from CKS Engineering, except for the following comments, which shall be resolved as indicated:
      • Temporary delineation of parking for large events to be determined by the Township Codes Department and Township Engineer.
    2. June 10, 2009 correspondence from Carroll Engineers, Inc,
    3. June 18, 2009 correspondence from  Bucks County Planning Commission,
    4. May 20, 2009 correspondence from Newtown Emergency Services Department.
  2. The Stipulation Agreement dated May 11, 2006 is to be amended before the final plan approval.
  3. The applicant shall comply with all terms and conditions of any variances, conditional uses and/or special exceptions granted by the Zoning Hearing Board,
  4. The applicant shall supply all permits required by all Township, County, State and Federal governmental agencies.  
  5. The applicant shall supply and execute all financial security documents in a form satisfactory to the Township Solicitor.
  6. Applicant shall provide a will serve or appropriate agreement from the appropriate water and sewer authorities.
  7. The applicant shall provide an adequate letter from the Bucks County Conservation District as to erosion and sediment control.
  8. All lighting shall comply with all Township Ordinances and no glare shall extend onto adjoining properties and a note shall be added to the plan so indicating.
  9. The applicant shall comply with all storm water management ordinances and the Township Engineer recommendations and the applicant shall execute a storm water management agreement in a form acceptable to the Township’s professionals. 
  10. 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. 
  11. All traffic impact fees shall be paid.
  12. A fee in lieu of open space as recommended by the Park and Recreation Board
  13. The applicant shall execute a declaration of unilateral restrictions and covenants as to the notes of the plan.  
  14. All review and professional fees as required under the Township SALDO shall be paid.
  15. Any signs shall be subject to and comply with Township sign ordinances.
  16. The Plan shall be ADA compliant.

The Commission recommends that the following Waivers be granted to Developer from the SALDO as follows:

  • Section 402.1.A requiring the plan must be drawn tat a scale of 1 inch =50 feet
  • Section 402.4.M requiring that a registered landscape architect prepare the plan
  • Section 402.5.D requiring a traffic impact study
  • Section 504.17 requiring additional cartway width along Durham Road
  • Section 514.3 Requiring parking areas to be constructed of 6 inches of crushed aggregate base course and 2.5 inches of bituminous wearing course
  • Section 516.2. requiring curb along existing streets on which land development abuts
  • Section 530.1 requiring street trees along existing streets which abut land development.
  • Section 521.3.B, contingent upon Township engineer review and approval, a partial waiver from to permit a storm water roof drainage pipe of 6 inches in diameter when a minimum of 15 inches is required.
  • Section 514.14, requiring individual parking spaces to be identified
  • Section 529.4.B requiring off street parking to be enclosed by an ornamental fence or wall or compact evergreen hedge, four feet in height.
  • Section 529.4.E, requiring one tree for every ten parking spaces in double bays
  • Section 517.1, requiring a sidewalk along Durham Road.

Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman asked whether the applicant planned to have any non-amplified music on the decks of the new facility.

Mr. Marshall said that any outdoor music would have to comply with the noise ordinance.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman reminded the Board that there had been discussion of a “tree bank” for applications such as this, when a waiver from tree requirements is granted, funds would be collected in lieu for planting of trees elsewhere in the Township.

Mr. Marshall noted that the Planning Commission had asked that the applicant not plant trees which might disrupt the appearance of open fields.

Reports of Officials

Solicitor

Patel Residence 430 Durham Road – Request of Extension for Temporary CO:

Attorney John Van Luvanee and Mr. and Mrs. Bakul Patel were in attendance to review this request.

Mr. Garton reminded the Board that at its August 13, 2009 meeting the Board had tabled consideration of this decision, asking Mr. and Mrs. Patel to resolve the issue by either working with their neighbor on a suitable satisfactory landscaping plan to buffer the original house on the property or to take action to come into compliance with the Zoning Hearing Board’s condition that the original house, now an accessory structure, be modified so as to have the same exterior finish as the new residence.

Mr. Van Luvanee said that the Patels have planted five additional trees and have contracted for labor to modify the exterior of the old house. The Patels are purchasing materials and work will begin when the materials arrive. It is estimated that the materials will be delivered in about two weeks and construction will take about eight weeks. The Patels are seeking an extension until November 19, 2009. Two questions are still to be resolved. The roof is not identical to the new building, but is a new roof. Must it be replaced? The house is at an angle such that only two sides are visible from the street. Would it be necessary to use stucco on all four sides of the building or would painting the sides not visible to the street be satisfactory?

Mr. Gallagher thanked Mr. and Mrs. Patel for trying to appease their neighbor by planting additional trees. He said that the roof appears similar to the new house and he thought it would satisfy the spirit of the Zoning Hearing Board’s condition.

Mr. Calabro agreed. He said that what has been done is a show of good faith and he would not think a new roof is necessary.

Dr. Ciervo said that he agreed the roof would be fine but would want all four walls of the building to be of the same material.

Mr. Benchener asked what the cost difference is between two stucco walls and all four.

Mr. Van Luvanee said the difference is about $4500.

Mr. Gallagher moved to grant an extension on the temporary CO until November 30, 2009. The roof need not be replaced at this time. At such time as the roof is replaced, it should then be made identical to the roof of the new house. Mr. Calabro seconded and the motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Schenkman voting nay.

Regarding the siding on the building, Mr. Schenkman said that the Zoning Hearing Board had not been clear. He would like to be flexible on this. If the same color is used he would agree to painting two sides and using stucco on the two sides visible from Durham Road.

Mr. Benchener agreed that the Zoning Hearing Board’s intent would be met, that from the street the two buildings would appear to be the same finish.

Mr. Gallagher disagreed, saying the Zoning Hearing Board decision says that the older building is to look the same as the new one, not just two sides of the building.

In response to Mr. Benchener’s question, Mr. Garton explained that the Zoning Hearing Board does not have the ability to enforce its conditions. The Board is providing clarity to the Township staff to see that the CO is in compliance.

Dr. Ciervo agreed with Mr. Gallagher that the Zoning Hearing Board said “the same” not only the portion of the building visible from the street.

Mr. Van Luvanee said that at the time of the Zoning Hearing Board, no plans were in place for the new building. It was not known what materials would be used. It is not unusual to see houses with only the front façade with stucco.

Mr. Calabro said that he does not know what the intention of the Zoning Hearing Board had been, but the house is set back from the road. If it is painted the same color, it will look the same whether it is stucco or paint. He did not think it necessary to stucco the building.

Mr. Schenkman said that the building will be substantially similar to the new house, though not identical. It will meet the intent of the Zoning Hearing Board. The residents are attempting to meet our concerns.

Mr. Schenkman moved to allow stucco on only the two sides of the house facing Durham Road, with paint of the same color on the other sides. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion failed 2-3, with Dr. Ciervo and Messrs. Calabro and Gallagher voting nay.

Open Space Plan: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that an open space committee had drafted a comprehensive plan, which is a requirement for participation in the Bucks County Open Space Program. The Board must determine whether it desires to approve the Open Space Plan as presented or if it desires to make any amendment before final adoption.

Dr. Ciervo said that he has some concerns about the language used on page 32, “Analysis of Resources”.

Mr. Benchener said that he would like to include an objective measure for considering which parcels to preserve, an eighth goal of limiting development, and a cost/impact system, a true cost/benefit analysis. He outlined a graphing method for comparison of parcels that might come before the Board for consideration.

Mr. Garton said that the document is not binding and each property is unique. Any analysis is driven by the availability of any property. A cost/benefit analysis could be used, but need not be part of the document.

Mr. Schenkman said that the document should be flexible and not “overbuilt”.

Mr. Gallagher said that he participated in the Open Space Committee discussions and was aware that an effort was made to avoid a strict ranking criteria or a “top ten list” of undeveloped parcels. The evaluation sheet included is to measure environmental factors, only, and was required to be part of the document. Other factors are also considered.

Dr. Ciervo noted that limiting development is a part of each of the other goals, for example preserving woodland or farmland prevents development.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that the Board agree to revisit the plan every few months to be sure it continues to meet the Township’s needs.

Mr. Calabro said that the key to consideration of open space is availability of a particular parcel.

Mr. Gallagher moved to adopt the draft Open Space Comprehensive Plan with the understanding that the Board review it semi-annually to keep the plan a living document. Mr. Calabro seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that he would like page 32, paragraph 2 to read, “ An environmental evaluation system developed by the Township’s Environmental Advisory Council will be used …..The open space environmental evaluation system…..The Weighted scores for each of the seven goals would then be added together to determine overall score for the property.” The last sentence of paragraph 2 would be deleted. Paragraph 3 should read, “Through the weighting of the goals of the environmental evaluation system…”

Mr. Benchener asked that a fund be set up for purchase of open space.

Mr. Schenkman said that financing would not be part of this document.

Mr. Gallagher amended his motion to include the suggested changes to page 32, paragraphs 2 and 3. Mr. Calabro amended his second.

Discussion of motion: Open Space Committee member Jay Sensibaugh said that the revisions to page 32 were well founded and beneficial to the document. He suggested that once approved, a cover and index be added. He noted that the weighting system developed by the EAC was based on other documents used elsewhere in the County, including the Heritage Conservancy and Upper Makefield. He also noted that the County program funds need not be used exclusively for acquisition of land, but may also be used for maintaining agriculture and enhancing existing open spaces. Funds could also be used for trails and for inter-municipal projects. There are a few joint ideas being discussed in Wrightstown and Newtown Borough, for example.

Resident William Sterling said that he owns a large agricultural property in the Township and he resents planners planning for his property. He is particularly concerned that revisions to the document are being made with voting taking place at the same time. He is concerned that his ability to control his own land is disappearing.

The motion passed 5-0.

Newtown Walk Development Agreements: Mr. Gallagher said that the Township has an ordinance in place to keep developments from using the word “ Newtown” in their names. The developer of Newtown Walk has ignored this.

Mr. Garton said that if the approval had been for “Newtown Walk” that would supersede any ordinance.

Mr. Schenkman asked that the history of the approval conditions and name be researched.

Dr. Ciervo said that he objected to a provision on page 9 which says that streetlights are not energized until units are occupied. He would prefer that streetlights be energized when units are completed for safety reasons.

Mr. Garton suggested that the words “and occupied” could be removed from the agreement.

Mr. Calabro noted that in the current market, units are not constructed until there are buyers ready to occupy them, but he agreed to the removal of “and occupied.”

Mr. Schenkman said that there was to have been a land swap with the Township to insure that this development’s entrance aligned with the entrance to Windermere development on the opposite side of Lower Dolington Road. He asked that this also be researched.

Dr. Ciervo moved to approve the Newtown Walk Development Agreement with the removal of the phrase “and occupied” from pages 9-10. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 4-1, with Mr. Gallagher voting nay.

Clearwire US, LLC Conditional Use: Mr. Schenkman moved to approve the conditional use decision for Clearwire US, LLC. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Engineer’s Report: Ms. Fountain reported that a start date for improvements to the Swamp Road/South Eagle Road intersection should be set shortly. She does not anticipate any road closing or detouring for this work.

In response to Board questions, Mr. Czajkowski said that improvements to the Stoopville Road/ Washington Crossing Road intersection in Lower Makefield are to begin shortly. This might involve some detouring or traffic stoppage. He would place information on any traffic detours on the Township television station and Web site.

Public Comment

Mr. Sensibaugh noted that the meeting room has become too cold. He also questioned some technical difficulties with the rebroadcast of the August 26, 2009 meeting.

Old Business

Mr. Schenkman reported that he and Mr. Czajkowski had met with Allen Fidler, Chairman of the Planning Commission and Lynn Bush, Executive Director of the Bucks County Planning Commission to review the proposed update of the TC Ordinance. The Planning Commission would like some input and guidance on architectural standards and performance standards for the proposed mixed use to possibly be added to the TC District. Ms. Bush has indicated that she could provide some guidance and some visual aids to help the Planning Commission and Board in forming a vision for Sycamore Street. Mr. Schenkman proposed postponing the joint work session with the Board and Planning Commission until October.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the Planning Commission has focused its discussion primarily on uses and would like input from a planner on the larger issue of visioning for the street.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Board had not decided to use a professional planning consultant. He would prefer to meet with the Planning Commission first to determine the Board’s consensus on a vision for the street, then, if necessary, to consider the services of a planner.

The Board agreed to hold the joint work session with the Planning Commission on Monday, September 14, 2009, as previously scheduled.

Mr. Czajkowski asked the Board to recommend language for signage for Township open space.

Regarding a fee schedule for extensions, Mr. Garton suggested that the Codes Department develop language and fee schedule for extensions, which could then become an ordinance.

Mr. Gallagher reported that the Township’s collection of earned income tax has been on schedule and appears not to have dropped significantly, however transfer taxes have dropped considerably.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Board would meet for executive session following the meeting to discuss matters of real estate and personnel.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Robert Ciervo, Chairman

Michael Gallagher, Vice-Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member