Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of March 9, 2011

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on March 9, 2011 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and Philip Calabro and Michael Gallagher, 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 7:35 PM with a moment of silence and an invocation by Sandy Rowshan of the Baha’I faith. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Czajkowski noted that the Park and Recreation Board would not have a report and that Capriotti PRD application has been moved to Land Development.

Public Comment: Resident Jay Sensibaugh thanked the Fire Department for its prompt response time to a fire on Greenridge Lane in Newtown Crossing. Four townhomes caught fire and because of the quick response, two were completely saved.

Resident Shannon Escalante asked whether the audit had been completed and if it could be reviewed by the public.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the auditors had been in the office last week, but he did not expect a completed report until late April or May. That report would contain the final 2010 general fund reserve total.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. Schenkman moved to accept the minutes of the work session meeting of February 14, 2011. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Benchener abstaining.

Mr. Benchener moved to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 23, 2011. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to approve payment of bills totaling $204,246.09. Benchener seconded.

Discussion of motion: Dr. Ciervo questioned an equipment rental bill from A.H. Cornell for the skate park.

Mr. Czajkowski explained that although the rental took place in the fall during the skate park construction, the bill had only recently been submitted.

Dr. Ciervo asked about a bill for flags.

Mr. Czajkowski said that this bill is for the flags flown in front of the administration and police buildings. They are ordered 8 at a time.

Dr. Ciervo asked that Public Works count the number and report on the condition of flags on Sycamore Street. A resident had recently inquired about replacements and he was not sure how often this needed to be done and whether the Township, the Sycamore Street Community Association or Newtown Corporation were responsible.

Mr. Czajkowski said he would investigate who had agreed to pay for replacements as needed.

Mr. Schenkman asked about an HVAC bill on page #7.

Mr. Czajkowski said that this is for building maintenance and is paid from the general fund.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $191,845.38. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions


Fire Service Review: Dr. Ciervo reported that the Board had received proposals for a review and evaluation of the fire protection in the Township. Newtown is in an unusual position because our Fire protection is provided by both a paid professional fire department and the volunteer Newtown Fire Company.

Mr. Benchener noted that although it is probably a good idea to have such a review and evaluation of the two groups’ efficiency, he has some concern about paying for the consultants in this year’s very tight budget. He asked whether this could be paid from the fire tax millage.

Mr. Czajkowski explained that the millage could not be used for the consultants but would be paid from the emergency services fund in the general fund. There are certain line items in the emergency services fund which could be paid by the tax millage, freeing up some money in the emergency budget.

Mr. Gallagher agreed that professional advice would be helpful and he is inclined to select the one favored by the Township Manager and Fire Marshal Don Harris, but he would prefer interviewing the respondents before making a decision.

The Board agreed that they would be interested first in learning whether any such service is offered by the DCED. If no service is available, all agreed that they would want to interview at least the two lower cost proposals.

The members discussed the importance of evaluating the efficiency of fire protection as it comprises more than 11% of the entire Township budget.

Planning Commission: Vice Chairman Robert Whartenby reported that at its March 1, 2011 meeting, the Commission reviewed an application of Philip and Carla Capriotti, 17 Kingsley Court, for a PRD variance for increased impervious surface of 666 square feet to install an in-ground swimming pool with coping in the Wiltshire Walk development. This property is sloped, backs to open space and has two storm drains. The applicant was advised to present letters of support from his neighbors and his homeowners association to the Supervisors. The Commission passed this application to the Board with no comment.

A large number of residents of Cliveden Estates attended the Commission meeting to discuss their concerns about a proposed McDonald’s restaurant at Village at Newtown Phase II.

Ms. Fountain explained that the Pennsylvania DEP had recently approved the Neshaminy Creek Watershed Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan. The plan requires that municipalities adopt or amend local stormwater ordinances. The Bucks County Planning Commission has prepared a model, which is very similar to the Township’s existing stormwater ordinance, but with more restrictive exemption criteria. The new ordinance will not have any exemption from applying volume controls in any new planned development. Ms. Fountain provided the members with maps of the new peak rate control management districts and an appendix outlining a small project stormwater management site plan for residential projects. The Commission had a number of concerns about the burden the new ordinance will place of residents contemplating even very small projects like sheds and small patios. The members discussed possibly developing worksheets to help residents calculate their projects’ volume controls and developing some pamphlets or brochures with the help of the EAC to be provided to residents seeking permits for small projects which will involve increased impervious surface or earth disturbance.

Dr. Ciervo asked for more information on the Commission’s review of the Capriotti PRD variance request.

Mr. Whartenby explained that the members considered that the property backs to open space and has adequate drainage. Mr. Capriotti has letters of support from his neighbors and from his homeowners association. Our engineer reviewed the project and agreed that it would not pose a problem for stormwater management. It was the unanimous opinion of the members that the Supervisors should make this decision.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the Commission had voted on the application.

Mr. Whartenby said that although the Commission usually does not vote on a “no comment,” in this case there had been a unanimous vote.

Land Development

Philip and Carla Capriotti, 17 Kingsley Court – PRD Variance: Mr. Garton explained that Mr. and Mrs. Capriotti wish to install a swimming pool with coping and apron which will require variance relief for an additional 666 square feet of impervious surface. The application has been duly advertised.

Philip Capriotti explained that the proposed pool coping has been designed so that it does not surround the rear of his property but has a small patio area nearer his home. He has letters of support from his surrounding neighbors and his homeowners association as well as approval from the Bucks County Conservation District. The increased impervious surface is equal to that granted to his neighbor for a patio.

Mr. Benchener asked whether any of his neighbors have expressed any concerns about the project.

Mr. Capriotti said all have been supportive. None of his neighbors have any concerns about stormwater because there are two storm drains at the rear of his yard. His property slopes so that the additional run off will go toward the storm drains and the open space behind his house.

Ms. Fountain explained that she has reviewed the application. The PRD has a maximum for the development, not a per-lot maximum. She confirmed that the stormwater would run over land to the open space.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether the deck is included in the impervious calculations.

Ms. Fountain said that wooden decks are not impervious. The property is close to the maximum impervious with just the house, driveway, walkways and pad for the air conditioner.

Mr. Benchener said that he has no reservations about granting the variance if Ms. Fountain has confirmed the stormwater management is adequate and the neighbors are supportive.

Mr. Gallagher disagreed. He noted that sometimes the current neighbors are supportive but when those homes are sold, the new residents have strong objections. He objected to developers building to the maximum leaving homeowners little room for outdoor amenities. He also was concerned that each home would seek similar variances.

Mr. Benchener noted that each application is reviewed separately; this home backs to open space and there are no objections.

Dr. Ciervo noted that the applicant is seeking a very large increase for a property already at 30% impervious.

Mr. Schenkman noted that he lives very near this development and Mr. Benchener lives in Wiltshire Walk. He suggested that each application should be carefully reviewed; it might be possible to revise a plan to come closer to the permitted amount of impervious. It is a concern that every homeowner in the development could come in with similar plans. He suggested that perhaps the plan could be revised to be closer to the permitted amount of impervious or some stormwater management could be included in the plan to address the increased run-off.

Mr. Calabro said that by considering this application, the Board is not giving permission for every homeowner to install a pool. This particular home backs to open space and our engineer has been satisfied that there is adequate drainage. The Board cannot be concerned with what future neighbors might think.

Mr. Garton confirmed that each variance stands separately and the Township is not setting a legal precedent with this application.

Mr. Benchener said that this request for relief makes sense for this property. The process would require a similar review for each resident considering a similar project. They can be judged on a case by case basis.

Mr. Gallagher continued to disagree. He noted that the applicant had referenced his neighbor’s similar variance request in his presentation this evening.

Mr. Garton said that on occasion Boards of Supervisors have required stormwater mitigation as a condition of a variance.

Mr. Schenkman moved to approve the PRD variance of Philip and Carla Capriotti, 17 Kingsley Court, for an additional 666 square feet of impervious surface to install a pool with coping and apron subject to the condition that a stormwater management system approved by the Township Engineer is installed to capture the run off for the additional 666 square feet. Mr. Benchener seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher said that he would want to see a reduction in the size of the project as well as stormwater management.

Mr. Schenkman said that he did not want to micro-manage the project. The applicant would probably reconsider aspects of the project as part of the stormwater management plan.

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

McDonald’s Restaurant, Village at Newtown Phase II: Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant who planned to show a PowerPoint presentation of a concept plan for a 3900 square foot restaurant with drive through service at Village at Newtown. He reminded the Board that the applicant had first presented a sketch plan to the Board in September of 2010. That plan was also reviewed by the Planning Commission in October. The applicant attempted to address some of the concerns discussed with the Planning Commission and presented revisions and an updated traffic study to the Planning Commission in February. At the Planning Commission meeting, some residents in attendance suggested another location in the shopping center for the McDonald’s. Mr. Murphy investigated the other parcel and learned that there are restrictions against the sale of hamburgers in leases for properties on the west side of Eagle Road in the shopping center, precluding McDonald’s from locating on the suggested property.

Michael Jagger of Bohler Engineering and Phil Wursta of Pennoni Associates, traffic engineers, reviewed plans showing the existing shopping center and existing parking counts. Mr. Wursta reviewed parking plans showing available parking in the section of the shopping center where the McDonald’s is proposed, including in the parking the area near the bank and near the Pier One section of the shopping center. Counts were conducted at weekday lunch hours, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. At each time, parking in the proposed McDonald’s area was ample and even on Saturday night, when parking was at its busiest, the McDonald’s site was unused and there were a few spaces available in the Pier One section of the lot.

Mr. Wursta noted that the traffic study was still in a sketch phase, however it appears that traffic back-ups along West Road at Eagle Road are already an issue. Counts were conducted in October and November, typically heavy volume times, and found that there was high volume at West and Eagle. A four way stop sign would improve conditions at this intersection immediately. Widening the intersection and installing turning lanes would improve the level of service but would impact parking. With a four way stop sign, back up could be controlled using the timing of the existing traffic lights and the right turn on red prohibition.

Mr. Wursta noted that there has been a great deal of discussion among residents about increased traffic. He noted that trip generation suggests that only about half of McDonald’s customers would be destination customers, as many customers would only be making an additional stop when already in the shopping center. The engineers had considered an additional curb cut on Durham Road for right in/right out to McDonald’s but do not think it is necessary.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether a traffic light at Silo Drive and South Eagle would be warranted.

Mr. Wursta said that at peak times a signal might meet warrants but this is private property.

Mr. Benchener asked Mr. Wursta to review the new traffic which would be added by’ McDonald’s.

Mr. Wursta said that the morning would produce 100 trips, 50 in and 50 out. The afternoon rush, between 5:30 and 6:30 PM would produce an additional 15 in and 14 out. This is the number of new cars; 50% of customers would be existing traffic.

Mr. Benchener asked what would happen if the count is off by as much as 25%. He noted that there is a very large high school just a short distance away.

Mr. Wursta said counts are based on McDonald’s in similar settings. He also pointed out that the other side of the shopping center is much worse and is still handling traffic. With the addition of McDonald’s, the intersection can still handle the traffic, especially with the addition of a four way stop sign.

Mr. Gallagher noted that the residents who are very familiar with the shopping center traffic are skeptical of the traffic counts.

Mr. Schenkman noted that this is a complicated traffic pattern; it is not only the intersection that concerns him but the traffic crossing the interior West Road from one section of the parking lot to the other.

Mr. Calabro asked what times of day the traffic counts were conducted.

Mr. Wursta said that counts were conducted between 5 PM and 8PM on Thursday and Saturday with the peak hour being between 5 and 6 PM. Morning counts were conducted with a peak of 7:15 AM and 8:15 AM. He again noted that a four way stop sign is needed now.

Mr. Murphy explained to the Board that the Planning Commission had a number of suggestions for alternate designs for the site. The engineers have attempted to develop a number of variations on the designs suggested, but continue to feel that the design shown to the Board last fall offers the best layout.

Mr. Jagger showed a design, referred to as A-1, which showed a 3900 square foot building with a drive through aisle with stacking for ten cars and compliant parking. The next design, concept B, shows the rear of the building facing Durham Road and has stacking for only seven cars and would require a parking variance. There is conflict between parked cars and the drive aisle. Concept C is closer to Durham Road but has stacking for eight cars and requires parking relief. Parked cars would back into the drive through aisle. The “by right” plan with adequate stacking and parking, provides direct access from Durham Road by a right in/right out entrance. Mr. Jagger said that the access through the shopping center, rather than an additional road opening, would be adequate.

Referring to plan A-1, Mr. Jagger noted that the plan has been revised at the suggestion of the Planning Commission; ADA parking has been moved closer and a pedestrian crossing has been added from the other section of the shopping center. He noted that cars driving through the McDonald’s aisles are traveling at slow speeds creating a safe environment for pedestrians.

Mr. Jagger showed an architectural rendering of the building as it would be seen from Durham Road.

Mr. Murphy noted that this is not the final architectural design. McDonald’s would work with the Township so that the appearance would complement the surrounding architecture. The applicant will provide additional plant buffering to shield the building from its residential neighbors. The applicant will work with the residential neighbors to address concerns about noise, trash and light.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether the proposed use, E-6, would require a right in/right out access from Durham Road. He asked whether traffic would be restricted to one-way after entering the site.

Mr. Murphy said that the applicant would add the Durham Road entrance if required to but favors access through the shopping center’s internal roadways.

Mr. Wursta said that he would try to restrict traffic from moving in more than one direction at the site; there will be a bypass lane for better circulation. The matter could be discussed in more detail at land development, but since most of the customers will already be in the shopping center, the additional entrance on Durham Road is probably not necessary.

Mr. Jagger noted that the Ordinance requires 48 parking spaces. The by right plan and concept A-1 provide that number, although the parking counts indicate that 30 spaces are needed. The Ordinance requires stacking for ten cars and both concept A-1 and the by right plan provide that number.

Resident Fran Poole, president of the Cliveden Estates Homeowners Association, said that the homeowners in Cliveden are opposed to this plan. The residents disagree with the traffic counts presented. He asked that a four way stop be placed at Eagle Road and West Road immediately.

Dr. Ciervo said that this is private property.

Mr. Poole continued to discuss the Cliveden residents’ many concerns with the plans, particularly with traffic, safety, trash, lights and noise from delivery trucks at early morning hours. If the plan goes forward, the Cliveden residents would like buffering for light and sound coming from the restaurant. He noted that Cliveden has asked for similar buffering from other developers in the business district, but has not always gotten all that was promised.

Resident Judith Norkin said that she does not think the plan is good for the community. She complained that there are already traffic concerns near the Parcel Place. Cars are parking on Ice Cream Alley now, which she objected to. The McDonald’s will impact traffic throughout the entire shopping center. Stacking cars will back up into the internal roadways, as they do at Wendy’s and Chick-fil-A. She asked that the Township consider installing traffic lights within the shopping center. She objected to the proposed hours of operation from very early morning until late at night. She had concerns about light, sound, trash, pedestrian safety and loitering teenagers. She announced a Facebook page, “saynotomcdonalds” and urged concerned residents to “friend” the page.

Resident Allen Samuels said that he is opposed to the proposed McDonald’s plan. He asked whether the building will be LEED certified. He expressed concern about grease particles in the air as well as the intrusive cooking odors.

Resident Kathleen McAndrews said that the use would need conditional use approval. Approval should be withheld if the use is detrimental to the community and will be disturbing to the surrounding neighbors. The use will impact other businesses in the area. The use is not good for the surrounding community and will be a hardship for the residents. She expressed concern about traffic and safety.

Resident Monica Veloski objected to the proposed use because it is “trashy, cheap food” which does not belong in Newtown.

Resident Rose Dibertino expressed concern that McDonald’s will become a hangout for teenagers. She is also concerned that the noise, traffic and trash will negatively impact property values.

Resident Michele Goldberg strongly disagreed with the traffic counts presented. Traffic is already difficult and a four way stop sign will not help; it will not be effective for safety. Adding McDonald’s traffic will only make things worse.

Resident Dana Zacharia said she is concerned with noise, traffic and pedestrian safety if McDonald’s is added to the already busy shopping center.

Resident Robert Thomas said that he is concerned about noise, traffic and teens congregating at the site. McDonald’s will negatively impact the quality of life in Newtown.

Wrightstown resident Steve Farino said that this is the right location for McDonald’s. The property is zoned for commercial use. McDonald’s is a good corporate neighbor.

Wrightstown resident Le Sheppard said that this is a poorly designed shopping center parking lot, not a road. He expressed concern about stacking of cars at the intersections. He showed a poster of the parking lot with all of the intersections highlighted. He disagreed with the traffic count, which did not consider the impact of events, such as football games, at the high school.

Resident Ray Lions said that the Township needs the added revenues that McDonald’s will bring. McDonald’s is a good neighbor who will work with the residents to address their concerns. He discussed McDonald’s charitable works in the community.

Resident Lori Samuels said that she is opposed to McDonald’s plans because the area is too congested already. McDonald’s will destroy the rural environment and will generate too much traffic. She also said that McDonald’s food is unhealthy and their advertising targets teens and children.

Resident Emily Sokowski said that she supports McDonald’s plan because McDonald’s has many programs for young people and offers many employment opportunities for teens.

Resident Peggy Furillo said that there are over twenty McDonald’s restaurants in Bucks County, but none are as near to residential communities as this proposed plan. She is concerned with noise, litter, traffic and parking.

Resident Jim Hillman said that he is supportive of the plan for McDonald’s because he believes the experts will be able to address the traffic concerns and McDonald’s takes an active role in the schools and communities where they are located, providing after school social activities and scholarships as well as Ronald McDonald House, the first of which was in Philadelphia.

Kathy Kingston, a former resident and current McDonald’s corporate employee, said that many McDonald’s restaurants are located close to residential neighborhoods. McDonald’s is a good neighbor, gives back to the communities where they are located, provide employment and work with local park and recreation departments.

Resident Richard Young, an employee of Parisi Incorporated, which employs 28 people in Newtown Business Commons, said that his firm provides the interiors for fast casual dining restaurants, including McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a good corporate neighbor, providing jobs and career opportunities for young people.

Resident Dianne Jaffee said that she is very concerned with the proposed location for McDonald’s. McDonald’s will be a destination restaurant, bringing in more traffic than the engineer has indicated. She noted the many tournaments hosted at Newtown’s parks. Participants in the tournaments will drive to McDonald’s, adding to the traffic.

Resident Angel Conicelli said that if McDonald’s is brought to this location, large buffers should be installed to shield neighbors from the sight, noise and lights. She also has concerns about littering extending to the nearby neighborhoods.

Resident Tom Engle said that he thinks the proposed location is bad.

Resident Eric Linden said that McDonald’s will be detrimental to the community.

Resident Barack Shah, president of the Overlook Homeowners Association, said that residents of Overlook are all concerned about traffic and safety. McDonald’s will add to the already congested shopping center.

Mr. Benchener said that he is very proud of Newtown’s balance of business and residential community. Zoning is in place to control development. While he is supportive of business’s contribution to the Township’s fiscal health, he is concerned that this might not be the right location for McDonald’s. McDonald’s would not have a great impact on Township revenues; while bringing in some development fees, it will not bring high paying jobs. This is a twenty year decision. The Board must consider the long term impact.

Mr. Gallagher said that he first became involved in local government when he learned of a plan which would have been developed near his own home. He made an effort to learn all he could about zoning and the land development process in order to participate and advocate for his position in opposition to a proposed plan. He said that he was pleased to see so many residents coming to the meeting and getting involved in local government and he urged their continued participation.

Mr. Calabro agreed that it is encouraging to see so many residents becoming involved with local government. Sometimes this involvement can make a difference. He said that he is not opposed to McDonald’s in the community but does agree that this might not be the best location.

Mr. Schenkman said that he worked for McDonald’s when he was in school. While he is eager to see new business in the community, he agrees that the layout of this property might not be the best for this use.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether McDonald’s would build without drive through service.

Mr. Murphy said that McDonald’s would not consider the project without the drive through service.

Solicitor’s Report

AT&T Cell Tower Sublease: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that it had agreed not to extend the AT&T cell tower sublease indefinitely on a month to month basis pending a new lease with Bucks County. Mr. Garton has subsequently learned that delays in the agreement stem from AT&T’s desire to improve the tower to accommodate additional equipment. Specifications for the equipment have been submitted for review by the County’s engineers. AT&T is now asking to extend the month to month lease through June 30, 2011 while awaiting the County review, which is expected to be completed in May.

Mr. Gallagher moved to extend the AT&T sublease to June 30, 2011. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Ordinance Restricting Parking on Portions of Newtown Bypass: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that an ordinance prohibiting parking, standing or the discharge or accepting of passengers or loading or unloading of property on the Newtown Bypass has been advertised in the Newtown Advance for adoption.

Dr. Ciervo opened the public hearing.

Mr. Gallagher said that the area near the skate park is not a safe place for stopping, as there is a curve in the road making visibility a problem.

Mr. Schenkman agreed that it is dangerous for people to stop and drop off passengers who are using the skate park. He said that signs could now be placed advising drivers of the restrictions.

Mr. Gallagher moved to adopt Ordinance 2011-O-11,prohibiting parking, standing or stopping or discharging and/or loading or unloading of passengers or property on the southerly side of the Newtown Bypass north between the intersection of Route 414 ND Swamp Road and the intersection of Route 413 and West Road. Mr. Schenkman seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Sensibaugh said that he is supportive of the ordinance but has a concern that PennDOT would have to approve signage.

Mr. Czajkowski said that PennDOT has been notified.

Mr. Garton said that the Township controls parking and signage will meet PennDOT criteria.

The motion passed 5-0.

Manager’s Report

PBA Collective Bargaining Agreement: Mr. Czajkowski reported that the Police have not yet forwarded the signed agreement to the Township. This will appear on the next agenda.

Police Report: Police Chief Henry Pasqualini reported that the department had responded to 1371 calls including some daytime burglaries. He urged residents to be alert to any unusual activity and to report any suspicious circumstances.

The Police Department has started truck details with Upper Makefield. There have been no violations found.

The Department will sponsor a take back day for prescription drugs on April 30, 2011 in cooperation with the DEA at the Township building.

Mr. Calabro asked whether the motorcycle patrols would begin again.

Chief Pasqualini said that some patrols have already begun now that the weather is changing.

Manager: Mr. Czajkowski said that the LEED certification plaque has arrived and will be installed in the lobby.

Paperwork for the new wind generator has been submitted to PECO.

Public Comment: Le Sheppard thanked the Police Chief for the patrols on Route 413. He said that he has seen surveyors at the intersection of Route 413 and Stoopville Road. He asked to be kept informed of progress on this project. He asked whether the Township can do anything to improve traffic on private roads as was discussed earlier for Eagle Road at West Road.

Dr. Ciervo said that the Township can request that the property owner install a four-way stop but there are enforcement concerns on private property.

Mr. Sheppard said that the State DEP is requiring changes to the stormwater ordinances under Act 167. He suggested that the Township work together with its neighbors and to seek financial help from the State to meet the new regulations.

Mr. Sensibaugh said that he has sent a letter of interest to be appointed to the Financial Planning Committee, which has had a few resignations recently and has lacked a quorum at meetings.

Dr. Ciervo said that he did not know that the Township had received any applications.

Mr. Czajkowski said that applications would be forwarded to the Board shortly.

New Business

Mr. Gallagher said that the Board had recently received a letter from the Joint Historic Commission asking for the Board’s opinion on some historic structures including the abandoned house in front of Newtown Swim Club and the Chrysler showroom on Sycamore Street.

Mr. Schenkman said that he is liaison to this Commission. The members have recently discussed asking a structural engineer to evaluate the condition of the Toll House in front of the bank at Village at Newtown. He understands that Newtown Corporation might be interested in helping with this project. He and Dr. Ciervo asked Ms. Fountain if she could give an idea of what such an inspection and review would cost.

Ms. Fountain said that her firm has been involved in a similar evaluation in Northampton and she estimated that it would cost less than $1000. Any architectural evaluation would be outsourced.

Warren Waldorf of the Joint Historic Commission said that only a structural assessment is needed.

Lorraine Pentz said that she has spoken to the property manager about gaining access to the Toll House before the property changes hands. She will provide the Board with that contact information.

Mr. Schenkman said that he would like to see the Chrysler showroom preserved and has mentioned this to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Garton said that there had been some activity on that property a while ago but he has not heard anything recently.

Mr. Czajkowski reported that he has spoken to Upper Makefield about regionalization of police and would be contacting DCED to discuss the review process. In response to Mr. Benchener’s question, Mr. Czajkowski said that a DCED evaluation would have no cost.

Mr. Garton reminded the Board that any costs associated with this process would need Board approval.

Mr. Schenkman suggested that the other municipal neighbors should be alerted to this investigation of regionalization.

The members agreed that there could be benefit to consolidation, regionalization and contracting of services among municipalities.

The meeting adjourned at 11:35 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary



Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager

Robert Ciervo, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Michael Gallagher, Member