Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of February 24, 2010

 

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on February 24, 2010 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors:Vice Chairman, Robert Ciervo, Secretary/Treasurer Matthew Benchener, Philip Calabro, Chairman Michael Gallagher and Jerry Schenkman, members. Also present were: Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order: Acting as Chairman, Dr. Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 PM with a moment of silence and an invocation by Pastor John Stange of Newtown Community Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Special Announcements: Mr. Gallagher announced that he had resigned his position as chairman of the Board of Supervisors at the work session meeting of February 17, 2010. He said that he had made a serious mistake of driving after drinking and he owes a sincere apology to the people of Newtown and particularly to the Township Police Department and to law enforcement everywhere. He said that he regrets his actions and will work hard to regain the trust of Newtown’s residents.

Reorganization of Board: Mr. Benchener moved to nominate Dr. Ciervo to serve as Board Chairman. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Calabro said that before voting on this motion, he would like the acting chairman to seek other nominations. He asked Dr. Ciervo to research the correct procedure for entertaining a motion to nominate others before voting.

Dr. Ciervo suggested that Mr. Calabro could move to table the nomination motion in order to discuss other nominees.

Mr. Calabro moved to table the nomination of Dr. Ciervo to serve as chairman. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 3-2, with Dr. Ciervo and Mr. Gallagher voting nay.

Mr. Calabro moved to nominate Mr. Schenkman to serve as chairman. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Calabro expressed some concern that Dr. Ciervo had indicated earlier in the year that he would be challenging the State Representative in the next election and would not want this to interfere with his duties as chairman, so had become vice chairman. That same circumstance still exists, and Mr. Calabro said that the upcoming election could take the focus of Dr. Ciervo’s attention away from the Township.

The motion failed 2-3, with Dr. Ciervo, Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Benchener voting nay.

Mr. Benchener moved to nominate Dr. Ciervo to serve as chairman. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 3-2, with Messrs. Calabro and Schenkman voting nay.

Mr. Benchener moved to nominate Mr. Schenkman to serve as vice chairman. Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Mr. Schenkman declined the nomination.

Mr. Benchener withdrew his nomination.

Mr. Benchener moved to nominate Mr. Calabro to serve as vice chairman. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Mr. Calabro declined the nomination.

Mr. Benchener withdrew his nomination.

Mr. Calabro nominated Mr. Benchener to serve as vice chairman. Mr. Schenkman seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Benchener moved to nominate Mr. Schenkman to serve as treasurer. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski said that the Park and Recreation report and field swap discussion would be rescheduled to the March 10, 2010 meeting.

Public Comment: Resident Natalie Kaye announced that the Newtown’s 21 st Century Voice Group would host a town hall meeting on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:00 PM at the George School. On the agenda will be a presentation of the reactivation of the SEPTA R-8 Newtown rail line and a community center. The meeting is open to the public and all Township and Borough officials are invited to participate.

Resident Dennis Fisher said that Mr. Gallagher should have resigned from the Board of Supervisors to give time to addressing his personal issues in the coming months. He noted that he has already communicated this opinion privately to Mr. Gallagher. He expressed particular concern that Mr. Gallagher’s reported attempt to use his influence could become an issue when the Board addresses personnel matters in the future.

Resident John D’Aprile urged Mr. Gallagher to remain on the Board.

Resident Peter Beckschi said that the residents should accept Mr. Gallagher’s contrition and allow him to remain on the Board.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh said that he thinks Mr. Gallagher should have resigned his position. He felt Mr. Gallagher’s statements did not give full disclosure regarding the events surrounding the DUI.

As Mr. Sensibaugh began questioning the individual Board members, Dr. Ciervo reminded Mr. Sensibaugh that during the public comment portion of the meeting, questions should be directed only to the chairman. The individual Board members will be invited to make statements later under “reports of officials.”

Mr. Sensibaugh said that the events surrounding Mr. Gallagher’s DUI should be investigated by ICMA for any ethics violations.

Dr. Ciervo said that the matter is to be handled by our justice system. Any further Board action would be discussed in executive session as a personnel matter.

Mr. Sensibaugh indicated that he would be making inquiry under the right to know act of any pending personnel litigation involving the Township and particularly involving Mr. Gallagher. Mr. Sensibaugh said he is particularly concerned about the legal costs associated with this matter and any conflict of interest between Mr. Gallagher’s personal attorneys and the Township’s counsel. Mr. Gallagher’s actions have tarnished the entire Board of Supervisors.

Dr. Ciervo said that Mr. Gallagher’s attorney’s fees are Mr. Gallagher’s personal responsibility.

Resident Pam Fitzpatrick said that she had been watching the meeting at home and there seems to be a technical problem with the sound broadcast.

Mr. Czajkowski made some adjustments to the microphones to address the problem.

Resident Robert Bowers said that he knows Mr. Gallagher and supports his decision to remain on the Board. He urged residents to judge Mr. Gallagher on the job he has been doing; he looks forward to working with Mr. Gallagher in the future.

Resident Brian Bark said that Newtown is a small town where everyone is a friend and neighbor. He urged residents to support Mr. Gallagher and give him the opportunity to live up to the promises he has made to the Township.

Resident Karen D’Aprile said the Mr. Gallagher has lived up to the promises he made during the election and she is concerned that this has become a political issue. She hoped Mr. Gallagher will have learned from his mistake.

Mr. Sensibaugh announced that the Newtown Creek Coalition will host a visioning meeting with the Township and Borough Planning Commissions at Chancellor Center on March 2, 2010 at 7:00 PM. This event will be open to the public.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Benchener moved to accept the minutes of the regular meeting of January 27, 2010. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Schenkman abstaining.

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $816,357.90. Mr. Benchener seconded

Discussion of motion: Mr. Sensibaugh asked whether the general fund reserve would continue to have the required 10% with recent payments and interfund transfers totaling $1.7 million.

Dr. Ciervo reviewed the bills totals, noting that only $210,000 of this week’s bills are paid from the general fund, with $367,000 coming from the municipal complex fund.

Mr. Gallagher said that the figures for revenues for 2010 have not yet been made available to the Board; the Board does not yet know the EIT revenues for January to be compared to expenditures.

Mr. Benchener said that the reserve is at 20% at this point so has not dipped below the required 10%. The treasurer’s report is not yet available to show the exact numbers for revenues collected.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $184,285.13. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Chairman: Dr. Ciervo said that the Township has recently met with the firm of Boucher and James, which has agreed to attend Planning Commission meetings on a monthly basis at no cost to help with planning of the TC Town Commercial Zoning District.

Mr. Gallagher moved to accept Boucher and James’ proposal to act as Township Planners. Mr. Benchener seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Schenkman asked whether the Township would continue its work with Bucks County Planning Commission on Sycamore Street.

Dr. Ciervo said that relationship would continue.

Mr. Gallagher explained that Boucher and James has developed a program of working with municipalities on planning issues with a goal of developing other work relationships.

The motion passed 5-0.

Dr. Ciervo reported that the Township had met with PennDOT last summer to discuss concerns about the intersection of Twining Bridge Road and Swamp Road. PennDOT recently sent a letter in which it stated that the intersection does not warrant a three way stop sign, but did agree to a side road sign, an advance street name sign, relocation of the stop bar on twining Bridge and an extension of the dotted line on Swamp Road. It is hoped that these measures will alleviate some of the visibility concerns. PennDOT also rejected the requested stop sign at the Colonial Commons entrance.

Dr. Ciervo announced that the composting toilets at Roberts Ridge Park, the first municipally owned composting toilets in the County, have been installed. The floors will be sealed when the weather warms and the restrooms should be open for public use in very early spring.

Dr. Ciervo announced that the skate park committee has been working to raise $15,000 for a pad and ramps. Tax deductible donations can be made through the Newtown Corporation. Additional information on fundraising activities can be found on the Newtown Skate Park page on Facebook.

Board Members: Mr. Calabro said that he feels strongly that in light of Mr. Gallagher’s recent arrest he should resign from the Board, not just from his chairmanship. Only five residents are entrusted to represent the residents and these five should never use their positions as a place to influence law enforcement. He again urged Mr. Gallagher to resign from the Board.

Mr. Schenkman said that these recent events have been stressful for the entire Board. He said that while he knows and respects Mr. Gallagher on a personal basis, this is about the public’s trust. The Board members, as elected officials, have a duty to the residents to be above reproach. He said that Mr. Gallagher would have been wiser to step down from the Board; he may still come to see this as the appropriate choice.

Mr. Benchener said that he was shocked and angry when he learned about Mr. Gallagher’s recent arrest, as this is an extremely serious offense. Mr. Benchener said that he has struggled with how best to approach this as a Board member, and has decided that he hopes Mr. Gallagher will work very hard for the Township to earn back our trust and respect. Mr. Benchener will try to forgive Mr. Gallagher and continue to work with him as part of this Board.

Dr. Ciervo said he was also angered and frustrated by the recent events. He does know Mr. Gallagher well and believes he will work hard to regain our trust and to do what is best for the Township as well as for himself and his family. He hopes that Mr. Gallagher will learn from this mistake and that the Board will be able to move forward together to put the best interests of the residents of the Township first.

Planning Commission: Vice Chairman Robert Whartenby reported that at its February 16, 2010 meeting the Planning Commission reviewed the application of Ace Hardware, 2670 South Eagle Road for use E-1 retail at Village at Newtown and recommended that the Board approve the application subject to certain conditions. The Commission discussed the presence of certain hazardous and flammable materials on the shelves of the store and agreed that these items would not require special handling so should not pose any problem. A propane tank exchange cage is proposed for the rear of the store, outdoors.

The Commission reviewed three Zoning Hearing Board applications. Third Federal Bank is seeking a parking variance to convert an existing flex space to office use at 66 Walker Lane adjacent to its other facility at 3 Penns Trail. There are 13 parking spaces at 66 Walker Lane for the 11 full time and 2 part time employees. The Commission recommended that if the Zoning Hearing Board is considering granting the variance subject to a condition that the applicant provide off site parking at 3 Penns Trail, that the Zoning Hearing Board consider requiring an easement for the off site parking.

The Commission reviewed the application of Frank Mayo, 1 Crittenden Drive, for a variance to allow a pool in the front yard. This is a corner property with three front yards. A question about required setbacks has been resolved with the codes department. The Commission passed this application with no further comment.

The Commission reviewed the application of Burns Auto Repair, 19 North Sycamore Street, for a variance to permit an additional sign at the service station. The applicant has revised the design of the sign so as not to require height and size variances. The Commission passed this application to the Board without comment.

The Commission reviewed a proposed amendment to the JMZO creating an overlay district at Chippewa Farm in Wrightstown which would allow specific future uses of the land and historic buildings. The goal is to promote sustainable agriculture by providing opportunities for goods to be produced and sold on the municipal open space. As this amendment only impacts Wrightstown’s municipal land, the members recommend that the Board of Supervisors support the Jointure partners and authorize advertisement of the amendment.

The joint meeting of Newtown Borough’s Planning Commission, Newtown Creek Coalition and our Planning Commission has been rescheduled for March 2, 2010 at 7:00 PM at Chancellor Center. As it appears that our Planning agenda will not have any reviews, we intend to cancel our regular meeting and attend this joint meeting.

In response to Mr. Benchener’s question, Mr. Whartenby said that the Planning Commission members recognized that the Mayo property on Crittenden Drive has three frontages, which limits the homeowner’s enjoyment of his property. The members agreed that the Zoning Hearing Board should make this decision.

Reports of Officials

Engineer’s Report: Mr. Gallagher moved to authorize payment #4 for signal modernization at the Newtown Bypass at Newtown Yardley Road/Silver Lake Road/ and Lindenhurst Road/Campus Drive in the amount of $15,784.70, to Miller Brothers. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Police Report: Lieutenant Glen Forsyth reported that the Department has answered 1286 calls, including one struck pedestrian, 47 traffic accidents, 107 false alarms and 84 abandoned 911 calls.

In response to Board questions, Lieutenant Forsyth said that the struck pedestrian was crossing the main drive of the Community College from the parking lot. Although the Township has discussed an additional entrance to the College, this would not have affected the accident which resulted in minor injuries. It is under investigation.

Lieutenant Forsyth discussed the number of false alarms and abandoned 911 calls, noting that when residential alarms are accidently set off, the department always responds. There is a fine structure in place for repeated false alarms. The abandoned 911 calls are more difficult to follow up because they originate from cell phones whose exact location cannot be pinpointed.

Dr. Ciervo said that he has had a number of complaints from residents about trucks using Jake Brakes on Stoopville Road.

Lieutenant Forsyth said that with the addition of traffic calming medians, trucks have been using their brakes, however the brakes cannot be disabled in newer model trucks.

Mr. Garton said that there cannot be enforcement when there is the impossibility of compliance with the ordinances.

Mr. Czajkowski reminded the Board that it had asked the Department to review ordinances restricting parking of commercial vehicles.

Lieutenant Forsyth said that the current ordinance does not designate any streets on which commercial vehicles are restricted from parking. This is not a large problem and many of the residential developments have homeowners association restrictions against parking of commercial vehicles. He said that the Department has been reviewing sample ordinances from other municipalities. It might be best to draft an ordinance either naming specific streets or restricting parking of commercial vehicles from all streets but also outlining specific types and sizes of vehicles which would be prohibited.

The Board agreed that Mr. Garton and the Police Department should draft an ordinance giving specific lengths of vehicles to be prohibited and including some flexibility to accommodate some temporary parking, such as over night moving van parking.

Solicitor’s Report

Ordinances to Vacate Portions of Eldridge and Upper Silver Lake Roads: Mr. Garton said that these ordinances have been advertised to vacate certain paper streets. Notices have been sent to adjoining property owners. A prior ordinance vacating those streets had no evidence of notification to adjoining property owners nor had a copy of the ordinance been recorded with the Clerk of the Courts.

Mr. Benchener moved to adopt an ordinance vacating a portion of Eldridge Road. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo said that a resident had indicated that there are markings of the road on the property. Will the Township remove the markings.

Mr. Garton said that once vacated, the Township has no authority to remove any markings. It would fall to the owners to remove them.

Mr. Benchener asked if there are any public safety concerns.

Mr. Garton explained that these two roads appear as paper streets on certain maps, however they are not marked by any signage nor are they paved.

Resident Chris Fosmire, whose property adjoins the paper street, asked if there would be any tax consequences.

Mr. Garton said that the Board of Assessment would not know of the change. The legal description of the property goes to the middle of the paper street; there are no tax implications.

Resident Heather Roberts said that there is no road at this location and she is not sure what markings have been referenced. She thanked the Board for taking this action, noting that her grandfather had been involved in closing the road in the 1960’s/

Mr. Calabro asked if the closing would impact collection of liquid fuels funds.

Mr. Garton said that there are in such implications as the road is unimproved.

Mr. Schenkman said that there is nothing there but overgrown trees. There is no point to the Township’s retaining ownership.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman moved to adopt an ordinance vacating a portion of Upper Silver Lake Road. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Ordinance Expanding the Membership of the Park and Recreation Board: Mr. Garton said that this ordinance, expanding the Park and Recreation Board from 7 to 9 members, has been advertised and had originally been scheduled for adoption at the cancelled February 10, 2010 meeting. An additional notice has since appeared in the Advance and a notice has been posted on the front door of this building. The Ordinance gives the new members terms of three years, such that three members’ terms will expire in 2010, three in 2011 and three in 2012.

Mr. Gallagher moved to adopt an ordinance expanding the Park and Recreation Board to nine members. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo asked residents interested in volunteering for the two new positions to send letters of interest to any Board member or to the Township manager, either by regular mail or e-mail.

The motion passed 5-0.

Foxhall Estates: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that it had authorized drawing down on the letter of credit posted by the developer of Foxhall Estates if an extension was not received prior to the letter’s expiration. An extension was granted by Wachovia Bank, which extension expires on February 6, 2010.

Mr. Gallagher moved to draw down on the letter of credit for Foxhall Estates. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Ms. Fountain reviewed work still outstanding, to be addressed, including some street trees, monuments and riprap. The Homeowners Association is awaiting Orleans’ approval of an agreement on the landscaping still to be addressed. The weather has prevented the developer from addressing the outstanding issues.

Mr. Garton said that the Township will hold the funds until the work is completed after which it is to be released.

Ms. Fountain said that Orleans has shown willingness to complete the project.

The motion passed 5-0.

Conditional Use, Bradley McGowan, 12 Old Frost Lane: Bradley McGowan was in attendance to request conditional use approval to convert the stone farmhouse next to Newtown Rental Center to two separate residential units, use B-16.

Mr. Garton noted that the application has been advertised and adjoining property owners have been notified. The application was reviewed by the Planning Commission, which recommended approval on January 19, 2010. The application and minutes are included in the record.

Mr. McGowan explained that he has attempted to market this property as a commercial property and as a single family house for over two years. He is eager to renovate the property, which has fallen into disrepair. He expects to retain ownership as an investment/rental property. He said that he owns a few other residential rental properties in Newtown Borough.

Mr. Schenkman noted that there are no neighbors in attendance with concerns about this plan. When Mr. McGowan had presented his ideas for a commercial conversion there had been some objection from surrounding neighbors.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether the parking spaces would require additional impervious surface.

Ms. Fountain explained that the original plan had shown four parking spaces together, but the Planning Commission had recommended that each residential unit should have two spaces in front of the door. The original parking area has been reduced by half with that impervious surface relocated to the other door.

Mr. Garton asked whether the revised plan has been submitted to the Township.

Mr. McGowan said that he was awaiting approval before he had the revision fully engineered.

Mr. Benchener said that he thinks Mr. McGowan’s efforts to improve this property should be supported.

Mr. Benchener moved to approve Bradley McGowan’s application for conditional use for use B-16 Residential Conversion use at 12 Old Frost Lane in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, tax map parcel 29-010-052-012, as shown in the revised plan with two parking areas, subject to the following conditions and variances granted by the Township:

  1. The applicant shall comply with the review letter of CKS Engineering dated January 12, 2010,
  2. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 803 of the JMZO;
  3. The conversion shall comply with all Fire, Building and Department of Health Codes;
  4. No noxious, hazardous or offensive impact on surrounding areas will be created by the proposed use by reason of dust, odor, glare, smoke, gas, vibration, illumination or noise, or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise;
  5. The premises shall be ADA compliant in so far as a residential historic home is required to do so;;
  6. The applicant shall comply with terms of a prior agreement with Newtown Rental Center Inc., including the granting of a façade easement to the Township to preserve the historic character of he home. Appropriate easement documents must be submitted to the Township;
  7. All review, legal engineering, administrative and other review fees shall be paid to the Township;
  8. No noxious or hazardous impact shall be generated on site.
  9. The plan shall comply with all stormwater ordinances,
  10. No hazardous, flammable or explosive materials shall be stored or used in the building excepting for normal and customary household use;
  11. Applicant must meet with the Newtown Township Historic Architectural Review Board to review any proposed changes to the exterior of the building;
  12. Signage shall conform to the Township sign ordinance and shall be subject to review by the Newtown Historic Architectural Review Board and approval by the Board of Supervisors;
  13. Applicant shall provide two parking spaces in front of each unit, out of the ultimate right-of-way, and an access easement to the Township is to be relocated, at the applicant’s expense, to the ultimate right-of-way.
  14. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 1301.B of the JMZO.

Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Ace Hardware, Conditional Use, 2670 S. Eagle Road: Attorney Michael Carr and George Smith were in attendance to present this application for Use E-1, retail at the Village at Newtown Shopping Center South, Phase II.

Mr. Garton said that the application has been advertised and surrounding properties have been notified. The application was reviewed by the Planning Commission at its February 16, 2010 meeting.

Mr. Carr said that the hardware store would be located in the shopping center next to Petsmart. There would be a propane exchange cage at the rear of the store, outdoors.. Other than paint products traditionally sold in hardware stores there would be no storage of hazardous materials. The hours of operation requested are from be 8:00 to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Sunday. Deliveries are by tractor trailer two times per week to the rear loading berth. Ace expects about 300 customers each day; there are 90 parking spaces at the site.

George Smith was sworn in. Mr. Smith said that this will be his fourth location, with other shops in Yardville, Mercer and Princeton. The business is about 90% retail and 10% commercial. Ace is a cooperative of 5000 individually owned stores. The closest Ace store is Strathman’s in Southampton. The owners of Strathman’s have agreed to this application.

Dr. Ciervo noted that the application indicates seven employees. He asked whether there would ever be more than seven, or if the hours would ever be extended beyond 8:00 PM.

Mr. Smith said that typically there are five employees on site, including the store manager, department managers and clerks. The store hours are based in part on the hours of surrounding stores. None of his other shops are open in the evening.

Mr. Calabro asked what Ace could provide that the small neighborhood hardware store could not.

Mr. Smith said that his store is larger so could supply larger quantities. He noted that he sold 80 snow blowers at the Mercer store this month. He can carry a larger volume of products. In the past month he has sold 4000 snow shovel and 5000 bags of de-icer.

Mr. Benchener moved to grant conditional use approval to Ace Hardware for an E-1 retail use at 2670 South Eagle Road in the PC, Planned Commercial Zoning District, subject to the following conditions:

  1. That the applicant comply with the CKS Engineers, Inc. review letter dated February 2, 2010,
  2. That the proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 803 of the JMZO,
  3. That the maximum number of employees will be 7,
  4. That the hours of operation will be 8:00 to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Sunday,
  5. No hazardous, flammable or explosive material which require special handling shall be stored or used in the building,
  6. No noxious, hazardous or offensive impact upon surrounding areas be created by the proposed use by reason of dust, odor, smoke, gas, vibration, illumination or noise, or which constitutes a public hazard by fire, explosion or otherwise.
  7. Signage shall conform to the Township sign ordinance;
  8. The premises shall be ADA compliant.
  9. A copy of the lease is to be provided to the Township;
  10. The proposed use satisfies the specific requirements applicable to the proposed use under Section 1301.B of the JMZO;
  11. Parking is deemed adequate;
  12. All review fees must be paid.

Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. D’Aprile said that he was concerned that this use could have a negative impact on Newtown Hardware House.

The motion passed 3-1-1, with Mr. Calabro voting nay and Mr. Gallagher abstaining.

Zoning Hearing Board Applications

Third Federal Bank, 66 Walker Lane: Mr. Garton said that this application is for a parking variance to allow 13 spaces where 25 are required for an office use. The applicant has offered to provide off street parking. The applicant’s attorney, Don Marshall, was not available for this meeting but has sent a letter outlining the applicant’s position. It is in the Board’s packets.

Wayne Bishop of Third Federal explained that Third Federal has an agreement of sale for unit 4 at 66 Walker Lane. Third Federal already owns 62 Walker Lane. The condo association has allocated 14 parking spaces to unit 4; there are 11 additional, unassigned spaces in the parking lot. Third Federal will have offices for 11 full time and two evening part time employees. Third Federal also has 86 parking spaces at 3 Penns Trail where 74 spaces are required. Bank employees are already walking back and forth between the two locations throughout the day.

Mr. Schenkman noted that the Planning Commission had considerable discussion as to whether to require an easement for the off-site parking, since variances run with the land. It was Mr. Marshall’s position that if the off-site parking were no longer available, the use would no longer be permitted.

Mr. Garton said he would speak to the Zoning Hearing Board solicitor about the Planning Commission’s concerns.

Mr. Gallagher suggested that this application should proceed to the Zoning Hearing Board without comment. The members agreed.

Frank Mayo, 1 Crittenden Drive: Mr. Garton explained that this is an application for a variance to permit a pool in the front yard.

Frank Mayo showed the Board a diagram of his property, which is on the corner of Ashford Way and Crittenden Drive and backs onto Eagle Road. Although he is planning the pool at the rear of his home, because he has frontage on three roadways, this is considered a front yard. He has three front yards and one side yard. He will present letters of support for the project from his neighbors and from the Homeowners Association.

The Board agreed that the application should proceed to the Zoning Hearing Board without comment.

Burns Auto Repair, 19 North Sycamore Street: Mr. Garton said that this application is requesting an additional sign; the application has been revised to eliminate the request for height and size variances.

Dave Burns explained that he intends to remove the Auto Repair sign from the front of the building. This sign will be placed near the street and will resemble the other signs recently placed along Sycamore Street. He is attempting to advertise that his is an auto repair business as well as a gas station.

The members agreed that they did not object to the sign remaining on the building. Mr. Schenkman said he would prefer that the old sign remain as it is in keeping with the character of the building.

Mr. Garton said he would pass this information to the Zoning Hearing Board solicitor.

Old Business

Mr. Benchener asked whether there has been any progress on traffic calming for Newtown Yardley Road.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the improvements have been on the TIP for a number of years but have been pushed back to 2012.

Mr. Benchener said that he was asking about traffic calming measures for Penns Trail North, which had been discussed at the vacation of Upper Silver Lake Road meeting.

Ms. Fountain said that it would be permissible to use TSA funds if this is in a study area.

The Board agreed to ask the traffic engineer to make some recommendations for traffic calming.

Mr. Benchener asked whether trash haulers have been reminded not to pick up very early in the morning.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the Township has sent letters to the local haulers, but there are no restrictions on when trash can be picked up. This is to be discussed further at a March work session.

New Business

Mr. Schenkman reported that he had attended a meeting of the Joint Historic Commission. There were two issues of concern discussed: the condition of the toll house on the Wachovia Bank property and the recent demolition of an old home on Frost Lane which had not been reported to the Historic Commission.

Mr. Calabro announced that due to a recent resignation there is an opening on the Newtown Corporation Board. He urged any interested residents to send a letter to the Township Manager or to any of the Supervisors.

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Robert Ciervo, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Michael Gallagher, Member