Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

Minutes of March 15, 2011

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on March 15, 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, Philip Calabro and Michael Gallagher, members. Also present was Michele Fountain, Township Engineer.

Members of the audience included: Township employees Ron Weaver, Kathy Pawlenko and Chief Pasqualini; Jeff Werner, Advance; Township residents Vadim Smolensky, Cathy Stribula, Chris Weidenmiller, Mr. and Mrs. Sean Cardonick, Todd Stambaugh, Claire Wilson and Jay Sensibaugh.

Call to Order: Chairman Ciervo called the meeting to order at 7:32 P.M.

Community Comments

Mr. Cardonick (105 Parkview Way) commented on the skate park with regards to the noise. He feels that the issue needs to be resolved and that the park should be closed temporary until the noise issues can be resolved.

Chairman Ciervo reported that the Township has received other complaints regarding the noise and that Mrs. Pawlenko and the parks & recreation board are working on resolving the problem. Proposed ways to reduce the noise included insulating the ramps and enclosures with sound damping equipment. He advised that the matter would be added to the agenda of the March 23, 2011 meeting. He also discussed the costs involved to fix the problem.

Mr. Cardonick commented on the great job done by Mrs. Pawlenko. He requested that the park be closed until the noise issues can be resolved.

Chairman Ciervo advised that the Township is aware of the sound issues and that the Board is not prepared to make any decisions at this time. He also discussed the Township determining how quickly the issue can be resolved.

Supervisor Benchener thanked Mrs. Pawlenko for all of her work. He advised that he empathizes with the neighbors and agrees that the issue needs to be addressed quickly.

Supervisor Gallagher suggested that if the park is to be closed, now is the time. He also agreed that this issue needs to be resolved quickly.

Mr. Cardonick thanked the Supervisors for taking the time to listen and advised that he looks forward to seeing the park reopen once the noise issue is resolved.

The Supervisors' apologized to the residents.

Mr. Weidenmiller (107 Parkview Way) questioned if the residents were notified regarding to the skate park. Chairman Ciervo advised that several members of the skate park committee were residents from Tyler Walk. He also discussed the information the Supervisors received from the skate park committee and the ramp companies.

Mr. Weidenmiller also agrees that the park should be closed until the sound issues can be resolved. He thanked the Supervisors for their time.

Ms. Wilson (53 Parkview Way) commented on the unacceptable noise coming from the skate park, the effects to property values and the effect to the residents’ quality of life. She suggested that the park be relocated. She questioned what the Township offers for older residents. She also agreed that the park should be closed temporary, so that the noise issues can be resolved. Chairman Ciervo reiterated that the Township is aware of the problem and are looking into resolving the matter. He also reported that the parks & recreation committee is working to develop a senior park in the Township.

Mr. Smolensky (111 Parkview Way) commented on acceptable noise levels. Chairman Ciervo advised that the Township does have a noise ordinance. Mr. Smolensky reported on his experience regarding noise levels. He advised that he feels that the levels of noise coming from the park are unacceptable for this area. He commented on measuring the noise. He thanked the Supervisors for their time. The Supervisors requested Mr. Smolensky to provide the Township with the noise levels he is measuring.

Mr. Stambaugh (103 Parkview Way) commented on the noise coming from the park and how it is affecting his life. He reported that he is concerned with how the noise will effect property values. He advised that he did not receive any notification from the Township with regards to the skate park and feels that the Township failed the residents. He also has concerns with the Township spending more money with no guarantee that the problem with be solved. He advised that he does not want to hear any noise from the park and that he will contact an attorney if needed. Supervisor Schenkman advised that the Township is not prepared to make any decisions tonight, further information is needed prior to making any decisions.

Mr. Stambaugh suggested relocating the skate park to Tyler Park. Chairman Ciervo advised that Tyler Park is a state park. He also discussed other locations in the Township that were proposed and explained why the current location was chosen. Mr. Stambaugh suggested closing the park temporary and removing the ramps if necessary to deter skating. Chairman Ciervo reported that if the ramps need to be removed, that work would need to be done by the American Ramp Company; due to warranty issues. The ramp companies that the Township looked into were American Ramp Company and Spohn Ranch.

The Supervisors discussed the time frame for having an answer on resolving the noise. Mrs. Pawlenko reported that she should have more information regarding enclosures with sound damping equipment by the end of March/beginning of April. Chairman Ciervo advised that this matter would be put on the March 23, 2011 agenda.

Mr. Weidenmiller inquired to the total cost of the skate park. Chairman Ciervo advised that the approximate cost of the park was $90,000; some of the money was raised through fundraisers.

Mr. Weidenmiller suggested that the Supervisors visit the park on a Saturday.

Mr. Cardonick commented on the park being used by outside residents and suggested that police patrols be increased.

Supervisor Schenkman suggested directing the Township staff to close the park until the issue can be resolved.

Discussion

Eccologix, LLC (Deer Hunt Update) – Eric Schade

Mr. Schade and Mr. Nitterour updated the Supervisors on the 2010-2011 Deer Management Plan, a memorandum was provided in the Supervisors’ packets. They reported that a total of 29 deer were taken from either the Clark or Linton Hill properties. They also discussed Township properties being hunted by outside hunters, telephone calls to the police, the need for the land to be clearly posted and various other activities witnessed on the properties.

Supervisor Gallagher commented on Eccologix needing to have good communication with the police and suggested that they be provided a direct number to the Newtown Township Police Station.

Mr. Schade and Mr. Nitterour inquired as to how the Township would like to proceed going forward. They discussed the possibility of using bait and explained what is involved with baiting. They also discussed determining how many deer should be taken next year, Depredation Permits, the processing of the meat, and hunting key sites (large properties, common space in HOAs).

Supervisor Schenkman recommended that the Township send correspondence to the HOA’s regarding Eccologix’s deer management program and to see if they would like to get involved. Mr. Nitterour advised that Eccologix could help design the letter.

Mr. Schade and Mr. Nitterour recommended hunting Township properties that abut Tyler Park. Supervisor Gallagher suggested also contacting Mike Crawley (Tyler Park) to see if there would be interest in working together.

Supervisor Schenkman suggested also contacting someone at the Bucks County Community College. Mr. Nitterour reported on Eccologix hunting the property over the Christmas break.

Chairman Ciervo suggested that Eccologix present options to Supervisors for next year. Mr. Schade and Mr. Nitterour reported that they would provide that information to Mr. Czajkowski.

The Supervisors thanked Mr. Schade and Mr. Nitterour for their time.

Newtown, Bucks County, Joint Municipal Authority (40 Year Growth Plan) – Warren Gormley

Chairman Ciervo reported that this discussion would be postponed.

Stormwater Management Ordinance (Updated Neshaminy Creek Watershed Plan) – Michele Fountain

Mrs. Fountain updated the Supervisors on the new Neshaminy Creek Act 167 Watershed Plan. The plan was approved by the PA DEP in November of 2010. All municipalities in the watershed have six (6) months to pass an ordinance meeting the new requirements. The Planning Commission began reviewing the revisions to the Newtown Township stand-alone ordinance at their March 1st meeting. One of the major components of the ordinance is the requirement that all increases of impervious coverage are going to require Stormwater management BMPs to control the volume of runoff regardless of the size of the property. The existing Township ordinance requires a site plan, volume control and peak rate control when a landowner installs 5,000 sf of new impervious coverage. The new ordinance will require volume control at any increase in impervious coverage; a site plan at 1,001 sf and greater of impervious coverage and peak rate controls at 5,000 sf and greater. The ordinance does allow for the Township to adopt a Non-Engineered Small Project Site Plan allowance that would not require infiltration testing and engineered drawings for any site plan less than 5,000 sf of new imperious coverage for residential developments. I have recommended to the Township Planning Commission to include the Stormwater and erosion and sedimentation control sections of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance into the Township’s stand-alone ordinance. The ordinance is scheduled to be reviewed again by the Planning Commission at their next meeting.

Supervisor Benchener inquired as to why these regulations are being put in place. Mrs. Fountain reported that water concerns include flooding and water quality problems in the Bucks County streams.

The Supervisors discussed how the new ordinance will effect residents.

Supervisor Schenkman advised that he has concerns for the non-engineered site plan reviews. Mrs. Fountain reported that the plan would be reviewed; most likely by her office.

The Supervisors thanked Mrs. Fountain for her time.

Old Business

None.

New Business

None.

Other Business

Chairman Ciervo reported that prior to the meeting being called to order, the Board met in Executive Session to discuss matters of potential personnel litigation.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 9:23 P.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Mike Gallagher, Chairman

Robert Ciervo, Vice-Chairman

Matt Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member