Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of September 25, 2013

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on September 25, 2013 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Michael Gallagher, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary Ryan W. Gallagher and Philip Calabro and Robert Ciervo, members. Also in attendance were: Kurt Ferguson, Township Manager, Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor and Michelle Fountain, Township Engineer.

Call to Order : Chairman Gallagher called the meeting to order with a moment of silence followed by an invocation by Mrs. Alan Crosman of Newtown Friends Meeting and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Changes to the Agenda: Mr. Ferguson announced two additions to the agenda, a Technology Committee report and a change order for the Silver Lake Dam repair.

Public Comment

Resident Rick Bankoff thanked the Supervisors for their actions on the Newtown Sewer Authority’s proposed new sewage treatment plant, but he noted that although the Board had voted to not include a treatment plant in the update to the Act 537 Plan, he has received a letter from the Sewer Authority’s attorney stating that DEP had met with the Township Manager and Engineer on September 19, 2013, and had directed them to include the plant in the Act 537 Plan. He asked the Board to address this letter and to also consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance to prohibit building of sewage treatment plants with capacity greater than 100,000 gallons per day within one mile of any residence.

Mr. M. Gallagher said that the letter to Mr. Bankoff and Crown Point residents misrepresents the facts of the DEP meeting as he understood them from our Township Manager and Engineer. He also pointed out that the parcel being considered for a possible sewage treatment plant is already zoned so that the plant is not a permitted use.

Mr. Ferguson said that at a meeting with DEP, he and Township Engineer Michelle Fountain discussed options for the Act 537 alternatives and explained that the Township would opt to send sewage elsewhere. He explained to DEP that the Township does not wish to include a new plant because of costs which appear to be above $70 million because of an existing agreement with Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA). The DEP recommended that the Township use the wording “preliminarily discussed and dismissed” the treatment plant option in its Act 537 update. The DEP understands the Township’s position.

Ms. Fountain confirmed that she and Mr. Ferguson made clear to the DEP that the plant is not a viable option.

Mr. Bankoff said that the letter he has received from the Sewer Authority attorneys indicates something different. He would like the Supervisors to demand the resignations of the Authority members, who seem to be acting against the interests of the taxpayers and ratepayers. He asked whether the Township has been in communication with BCWSA about these concerns. He continued to urge the Board to consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance.

Mr. Gallagher said that he would like to arrange a face to face meeting with the Sewer Authority members to discuss with them that the Township is not including the treatment plant in the Act 537 plan. He noted that the Supervisors have only recently received a letter from the Sewer Authority attorneys but had not been copied on the Crown Point residents’ letter. He and Mr. Ferguson have been working with Mr. Jones of BCWSA on the ongoing issues with DEP. It is his understanding that DEP is considering opening up 200,000 gallons shortly. He is optimistic that some Township projects may be able to move forward.

Mr. Garton explained that throughout the Jointure there are already existing sewage treatment plants and places where private plants are a viable option. To consider an amendment to the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, the entire ordinance, as it applies to all zoning districts in three municipalities, would have to be reviewed. An amendment cannot be a “gut reaction” but must be carefully considered.

Dr. Ciervo noted that perhaps an amendment could be crafted based on capacity, as many developments in Upper Makefield are already using private on-site sewage treatment plants. He would discuss this at a Jointure meeting. Meanwhile, there are many steps involved in considering a municipal treatment plant, including zoning relief for this particular proposed plant.

Mr. M. Gallagher said that there will be many opportunities for residents and officials to oppose the proposal. Public hearings will be advertised.

Resident Karen Barton said that Crown Point residents had sent a letter to the Sewer Authority posing many questions and have yet to receive a reply. She asked whether the residents should seek answers through a “right to know” request. She asked whether there are any viable alternatives to the sewage treatment plant for the Act 537. She is very concerned that the Sewer Authority will proceed with the new sewage treatment plant despite the Township’s and the residents’ opposition.

Mr. M. Gallagher said that the Township will continue with the status quo and will identify where possible hook-ups can be made through BCWSA. He suggested that the residents pursue answers to their questions through a “right to know” request.

Mr. Ferguson said that the Township has begun its update of the Act 537 plan but some issues cannot be resolved until issues between BCWSA and DEP have been addressed.

Mr. Garton said that the Board of Supervisors has the ability to appoint members to the Sewer Authority and to address issues through the Act 537 Plan, however the Sewer Authority is an independent agency. The Board cannot force the Authority to act. Newtown Borough also appoints 50% of the Authority members. As ratepayers, residents have a right to oppose what the Sewer Authority proposes.

Betty Tatum, who will be living in Pennswood Village shortly, urged the Board to have a frank discussion with the Sewer Authority expressing residents’ strong opposition to the plant.

Wayne Tatum thanked the Board for its continued support of residents opposed to the sewage treatment plant. He said that he is concerned that the Sewer Authority is not forthcoming with information and has been misrepresenting the costs of the plant and its impact on ratepayers. He urged the Board to carefully and closely watch the Sewer Authority’s records.

Mr. Benchener noted that the Township only appoints half of the Sewer Authority members; Newtown Borough appoints half and will have two open seats in January. He urged the concerned residents to bring their concerns to Borough Council.

Swamp Road Residents Group: Residents Moe Sood, Dennis Fisher and Eleanor Lyons, representing Swamp Road Residents Group, provided the Board with packets of information about their ongoing concerns with plans for improvements to Swamp Road. Mr. Fisher reminded the Board that in 2007 it had passed a resolution, supported by 98% of residents of the Swamp Road corridor, opposing PennDOT’s plan to widen Swamp Road. Since that time the road has been reclassified and some of the requested traffic calming has been implemented.

Mrs. Lyons said that the Tamara Farm Bridge widening has remained on the TIP. Residents are opposed to this because it would involve further widening of the road near the bridge. The residents’ group is asking the Board to support its request to remove the bridge repair from the TIP. Residents would also like to see a three way stop sign at the intersection of Swamp Road and Twining Bridge Road.

Mr. Sood said that DVRPC has indicated the Tamara Farm Bridge is not unsafe. The bridge acts as traffic calming and residents are eager to keep the traffic from speeding.

Mr. M. Gallagher moved to send a letter to PennDOT and to DVRPC requesting that the Tamara Farm Bridge repair be removed from the TIP and that a three way stop sign be installed at the intersection of Swamp and Twining Bridge Roads. Mr. R. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Sood asked that copies of the letter be sent to our State Representative and State Senator.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission : Secretary Peggy Driscoll reported that at its September 17, 2013 meeting the Commission reviewed three Zoning Hearing Board applications. Mark and Deborah Weinstein, 39 Harmony Way, seek variances for setback relief of 16 feet where 30 feet are required to enclose an existing screened in porch and extend an existing patio. The Commission voted to recommend that the Board not oppose this application. The Commission reviewed the application of Mercer Bucks Cardiology, 104 Pheasant Run, for a 20 square foot sign, which will be a third sign where only two are permitted. The applicant’s medical offices are at the rear of the building, not visible from the street and the sign is necessary to direct patients to the correct entrance. The Commission recommended that the Supervisors support this application.The Commission reviewed the application of Sycamore Salon, 9 S. Sycamore Street, for a 12 square foot sign, which is a second sign where only one sign is permitted and recommended that the Board not oppose this application. The existing sign is not visible to northbound traffic on Sycamore Street and is needed to direct customers to the location. The applicant was advised that if a variance is granted the sign must still be approved by HARB.

Technology Committee: Chairman Kyle Davis reported that at its September 24, 2013 meeting, the Committee prepared recommendations for use of technology to better serve the community including:

Social Media - the Township should enact a social media policy to guide the Township administration on proper use of social media to communicate with the community. Once a policy is in place, the Township should consider a presence on Facebook and Twitter to alert residents of ongoing issues, including changes to Board agendas, road closings, power outage updates, etc. Facebook and Twitter should be used for output only, as an interactive presence would require ongoing monitoring.

Wireless Access throughout the Administration Building to enable better use of the small lobby conference rooms and the community meeting rooms. Using consumer grade wireless access points this should cost less than $200 and involve a few hours of work.

Hardware for use during public meetings: The Committee recommends budgeting for purchase of notebooks, tablets or Google Chrome books for use during meetings for those volunteers who do not own personal devices. These could be set up and later removed by Township staff.

Upgrade of Video for Supervisors Televised Meetings: Allow applicants to broadcast plans and visual exhibits directly to the television, rather than the current method of focusing the camera on the plans on easels.  This could be accomplished by supplying electronic copies of the documents in advance to enable switching between the live video feeds and electronic documents for television viewers and meeting room audience.

Web site Upgrade: The Committee has researched the sites of neighboring municipalities and recommends upgrading to a site which can be maintained by more staff members. Permits and applications could be completed, filed and paid for on line.

Finance Software: The current system had been created some time ago and is not compatible with other software. The application runs on a proprietary non-standard database format. Currently this is not causing an issue but due to the age and nature of the system, the Technology Committee foresees the possibility of issues with this system in the future.

Mr. M. Gallagher asked about extending wireless connections throughout the building.

Mr. Davis said that the Committee recommends that the public access to the internet should not be password protected and should be separated from the Township’s internal information.

Board of Supervisors: Mr. M. Gallagher announced that Veterans Park would officially open on October 5, 2013 with a ribbon cutting at 9:00 AM. The fields will be used that day for exhibitions games. The Park and Recreation Department will be sponsoring a scarecrow making event and other games and activities. The Park and Rec Board is sponsoring a community yard sale for children’s items.

Mr. R. Gallagher announced that the Newtown Grant Garage Sale will be on Saturday, September 28 from 7:00 AM until noon in the pool parking lot.

Dr. Ciervo said that Council Rock School District will hold a special meeting on Monday, September 30 to review a recently completed capacity study which will consider not only current building capacities but also projections of future enrollment.

Mr. Calabro announced that the Supervisors have rescheduled the Budget meeting for October 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM. To accommodate this new schedule, the Planning Commission meeting will take place that same evening at 7:00 PM.

Land Development

College Nannies and Tutors, 277 N. Sycamore Street: Dr. Ciervo moved to approve the conditional use of College Nannies and Tutors, 277 N. Sycamore Street. Mr. M. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Corner Bakery Café, 3 West Road: Dr. Ciervo moved to approve the modification to the conditional use of Corner Bakery Café to allow music on the patio. Mr. Benchener seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Oishi Restaurant, 2808-2810 South Eagle Road: Mr. Benchener moved to approve the conditional use of Oishi Restaurant, 2808-2810 South Eagle Road. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Beneficial Bank, 34 South Sycamore Street, Reconsideration of Preliminary as Final Plan: Mr. Garton reminded the Board that on May 29, 2013, the Board approved a stipulation agreement with Beneficial Bank in response to a court order. Relying on the court order, Beneficial prepared and submitted plans for land development consistent with the stipulation agreement. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the plans subject to certain conditions. At the September 11, 2013 meeting the Board did not approve those plans. Attorney John VanLuvanee responded to the Board with a letter reminding it that the plans were in response to a court order and that the Board could be faced with contempt of court and significant financial consequences for failure to approve the plan. The plan is being offered for reconsideration at this time. The conditions of approval are identical to those presented on September 11.

Attorney Kelly McGowan represented the applicant. She indicated that the applicant will accept the conditions of approval.

Mr. M. Gallagher said that the plans submitted were the result of a compromise between the Township and the other parties in opposition and the Bank and the stipulation agreement had been approved. He had been surprised that the vote had failed and in light of the consequences of failure to approve the plan, he asked the Bank to return and he now asked the Board to reconsider its position.

Mr. Calabro said that although there have been some modifications to the original plan, his key concern has always been traffic and this has not been adequately addressed. He asked the Bank to consider eliminating the left turn into the Bank from Richboro Road, making that access point right in/right out only.

Ms. McGowan said that there have been numerous discussions and traffic studies, all concluding that right only exit but right and left in will be safe and will not cause a traffic issue.

Mr. Calabro disagreed, noting that this is already a very busy street and adding an additional left turn will add to the difficulties. He also resented the tone of Mr. VanLuvanee’s letter, threatening to sue the Township, while at the same time seeking the Township’s residents as customers. He urged residents not to do business with this bank at this location.

Mr. Benchener said that he agrees with Mr. Calabro’s concerns and had not originally supported the plan, but as it appeared that the Township would lose in court on its refusal to grant conditional use approval, he did agree to the stipulation agreement. The land development vote was to have affirmed what had already been agreed to in the stipulation agreement. To oppose the plan now will put the Township at financial risk and could lose the compromises which were gained in the stipulation,

Mr. Calabro said that he feels this is a fight worth fighting. He is asking for one additional concession, the right in only access on Richboro Road. He would like to see the project completed but is not willing to risk the residents’ safety.

Ms. McGowan said that the Bank has no desire to sue the Township; this is an issue that has already been resolved and the applicant has submitted a plan which complies with the stipulation.

Mr. R. Gallagher said that none of the Board members are happy with the plan, as it goes against the Township’s vision for Sycamore Street. He had expected the vote to have been the same as it had been at stipulation. While he is not in favor of the plan, he is not in favor of a fight that the Township cannot win. He will change his vote to avoid a costly fight in court.

Dr. Ciervo said that he had been disappointed that he had been singled out for criticism in Mr. VanLuvanee’s letter. He had been against the original plan and against the stipulation agreement. His concern has always been traffic and the safety of the left turn entrance on Richboro Road. He feels the stipulation was not a compromise but that the Township gave in. All of the other changes made to the original plan were minor. He will not change his vote.

Mr. Benchener moved to approve the preliminary plan as final for Beneficial Bank, 34 South Sycamore Street, subject to the following conditions.

(a) Section 402.3B&C, so as to permit an aerial photo in lieu of a survey;

(b) Section 5.224.B to allow grading within five feet of the property lines;

(c) Sections 402 and 403 to allow the Plan to be reviewed and approved as Preliminary/Final Plan;

(d) Section 402.1.A and 403.1.A to allow the Plan to be drawn on a scale of one inch equals thirty feet;

(e) Section 521.5B to allow existing ground cover to be used in the predevelopment condition in lieu of meadow condition;

(f) Section 224.3 of the Newtown Township Stormwater Management Ordinance to use existing site conditions to determine allowable release rates;

(g) Section 238.C of the Newtown Township Stormwater Management Ordinance to allow roof drains to discharge to areas other than in infiltration areas or vegetative BMP’s;

(h) Section 530.3.D.3 to permit the planting of trees within fifteen feet of overhead wires, but to compensate for the location of the trees, ornamental trees selected from the latest edition of compatible tree fact sheets ( a resource outling trees approved by PECO and other utility companies for use and proximity to power lines) shall be used so as to not adversely impact the power lines;

(i) Section 5.224.A to permit a three to one grade in lieu of the required four to one;

4. Compliance with the Boucher & James report dated August 13, 2013 except to the

extent waivers have been granted;

Mr. M. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. R. Gallagher said that while he understands Dr. Ciervo’s position, he would be voting to support the motion because he wants to protect the taxpayers from a costly litigation. He asked the Board to support this motion unanimously.

Mr. Calabro asked what Beneficial will do if the motion fails again. He asked again to consider a right in only on Richboro Road.

Ms. McGowan said that Beneficial would return to court to ask that the stipulation be enforced. She said that a right in entrance is not acceptable.

Mr. Calabro said that he would vote in favor to avoid costly litigation but he does not believe the bank is acting in the best interest of the community.

Resident Ethel Hibbs said that when Stockburgers was open, for many years it had a very busy repair and body shop at that location and the left turn in had not been a problem. There have not been any serious accidents at that intersection; she feels it will continue to be safe. She objected to Dr. Ciervo’s criticism of Mr. VanLuvanee.

Resident John D’Aprile said that he feels the intersection will be difficult and traffic will be worse, especially if the Borough’s plans for the other Stockburger property are developed. He also disagreed with Mrs. Hibbs’ comments.

Mr. Benchener said that the initial objection had been because of traffic, but recent traffic studies do not support that objection.

The motion passed 4-1, with Dr. Ciervo voting nay.

Engineer’s Report

Birches Certificate of Completion #1: Mr. Benchener moved to approve escrow release to the Birches in the amount of $369,838.61. Mr. R. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Sidewalk Ordinance: Ms. Fountain explained that this is a request to authorize advertisement of a new sidewalk ordinance which will clarify the 2004 ordinance regarding definitions of disrepair of sidewalks and will set timelines for repair or replacement.

Mr. Ferguson said that the original ordinance required the Township Engineer to decide when a sidewalk must be repaired or replaced. The new ordinance will permit the Public Works Director to make that determination, keeping the work in-house.

Mr. Garton said that the new language regarding definitions of disrepair is less subjective. The ordinance allows 60 days to complete repairs.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize advertisement of a new sidewalk ordinance. Mr. M. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Silver Lake Dam Repair: Ms. Fountain said that the Board had authorized Hale Built to repair the Silver Lake dam at a cost of $33,984.07, however when DEP issued its letter of authorization it required some additional work. She provided the Board with photographs showing which repairs have been included in the original bid and the additional cracks revealed when the concrete was removed. It appears that unsuitable fill had been used in the past. The additional work will cost $12,824.74.

Mr. Gallagher asked whether this will fit into the initial budgeted amount.

Mr. Ferguson said that the Board had allocated $50,000 for the job. With the change order, the project will still be about 10% under budget.

Mr. Benchener moved to authorize a change order in the amount of $12,824.74 for the Silver Lake Dam repair. Mr. M. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Trees from the Birches Project: Ms. Fountain reminded the Board that there are 27 trees remaining from the Birches tree replacement project. The Board had authorized planting 10 trees at Cliveden Estates with the remaining trees to be planted at Silver Lake and Roberts Ridge Parks. There is not available space for all of the additional trees at Roberts Ridge Park; Ms. Fountain suggested that the remaining trees be planted at Veterans Park.

Dr. Ciervo said that he visited Roberts Ridge with Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko and agreed that although some shade is needed at the playground, the trees would be too close together and would not grow well.

Dr. Ciervo moved to authorize planting the remainder of the Birches trees at Veterans Park to help create a buffer between the park and its residential neighbors. Mr. R. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Solicitor’s Report

Daniel Smolczynski, 135 Swamp Road, Zoning Hearing Board Application: Mr. Garton explained that Mr. Smolczynski is seeking a variance to permit 19.71% impervious surface where 12% is the maximum, to build a house on an undersized lot. Some residents had expressed concern that the application was to have been before the Zoning Hearing Board on Rosh Hashanah, so it has been continued to the October 3, 2013 meeting.

Resident Alan Gamble said that the residents of Walnut Ridge are very concerned about ongoing issues with stormwater management and run-off from the three lot subdivision at this location. Two of the houses have been built and Walnut Ridge residents have experienced increased standing water in their yards. He did not expect this to be before the Board this evening. He has a letter from the Walnut Ridge Homeowners Association stating that no residents are in support of the application.

Mr. M. Gallagher explained that the Supervisors review applications to the Zoning Hearing Board to determine whether the Township should participate in the hearing, where the decision will be made.

Attorney Don Marshall represented the applicant. Mr. Marshall said that Mr. Smolczynski did not object to continuing the application to the October meeting. The Planning Commission has already reviewed the application and recommended that the Supervisors not oppose it. He said that this is a three lot subdivision; each lot is 36,060 square feet where 40,000 square feet are required. There is a 120 foot right of way at this location. Since the subdivision was created, two homes have been built. This lot has a circular driveway which Mr. Smolczynski would like to keep for safety reasons. It is a difficult driveway to back out of; cars will have to turn around to exit. A drainage system has been designed for all three lots with the largest seepage bed on this lot. It has not yet been installed, but will bring post development flow to below pre-construction. He showed an aerial photograph of the three lots.

Mr. Vince Fiorvante, engineer on the project, explained that the proposed new house will be similar to the other two in the subdivision. There is 600 feet of lawn between the house and the culvert in Walnut Ridge. The subdivision slopes in the front toward Swamp Road. At the rear, the run-off will flow across the lawns to the swale at the rear. The stormwater must be controlled to pre-development conditions. A seepage bed is planned for this lot to capture all run-off. There will not be a detrimental impact on the Walnut Ridge culvert.

Mr. Marshall said that the plans now include porous pavers for a portion of the new driveway areas, as suggested by the Planning Commission. Although the ordinance considers porous paving as impervious, the net effect is a 15.15% impervious surface. He explained that the existing circular driveway represents 11%

of the impervious surface. Township Engineers have reviewed the seepage pit for these lots and found them adequate. There will be the standard maintenance agreement with the Township.

Mr. Gamble said that the aerial photograph does not show the ongoing ponding on the lawns. He also asked whether trees are to be removed.

Dr. Ciervo said that in 2005, Mr. Mastromarco had been the equitable owner when variances were granted to permit a three lot subdivision, creating the undersized lots. The proposed change is major, from 12% to 19.71%. He would like to see some compromise on the total impervious surface. This is not a hardship. There are ways to reduce the impervious surface further. He would support a variance, but not such a large one, especially since the residents nearby are opposed. He noted that there is no permit for the circular driveway.

Mr. Marshall noted that the neighboring development has 25% impervious surface. The applicant is proposing adequate stormwater management to control the additional run-off.

Mr. M. Gallagher also questioned the hardship; he did not see the necessity of the large circular driveway.

Mr. Marshall said that the driveway was built many years ago.

Mr. Fiorvante said that the applicant will be removing 500 square feet of driveway. The street is very busy and the applicant wants to keep the house far from the road for his children’s safety. The house backs to Tyler Park and open space and is very similar to the other two on the subdivision. He assured the Board that it would have no impact on drainage.

Dr. Ciervo said that if the impervious could be reduced further he would not be opposed.

Mr. Smolczynski said that he wants to keep the driveway and place the house farther from the road because he has five small children. He wants them to be safe in the front yard and when they grow up and are learning to drive, he wants safe egress from the house. There is a financial hardship in tearing out the circular drive, which has existed for many years.

Dr. Ciervo asked about the proposed stormwater management.

Ms. Fountain said that she had not been Township Engineer when lot #1 was developed, but she had reviewed lot #2’s stormwater management and found no problems. Lot #3 has not been fully reviewed but it appears to be larger than the other two seepage beds. Fully engineered stormwater management plans will be submitted and reviewed before permits are issued. She has met with Mr. Gamble and is aware of his concerns.

Mr. Gamble said that the increase in impervious surface is a problem and he asked the Supervisors to uphold the ordinance.

Mr. R. Gallagher said that he is not willing to send the solicitor to the Zoning Hearing Board, but he urged the applicant to revise his plans to reduce some of the impervious surface.

Mr. Smolczynski said that he will review his plans; he does not want to be uncooperative with his neighbors.

Mr. M. Gallagher moved to send the solicitor to oppose the application of Daniel Smolczynski at the Zoning Hearing Board. Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Benchener said that he would urge the applicant to look for ways to reduce the impervious surface but he is unwilling to send the solicitor to oppose the application.

Dr. Ciervo said that Mr. Smolczynski should not have purchased land which has zoning in place to prevent what he was hoping to build.

Mr. Marshall said that Mr. Smolczynski will review his plans and look for ways to reduce the impervious surface further.

The motion failed 2-3, with Messrs. Benchener, Calabro and R. Gallagher voting nay.

Wildgust Property, 104 St. Andrew’s Place ( Mr. Benchener left the meeting at this point.) : Mr. Garton explained that Mr. Wildgust recently purchased a home at 104 St. Andrew’s Place and wishes to install an inground swimming pool, but has discovered that his rear yard is deed restricted open space.

Attorney Russell Sacco represented Mr. Wildgust. He provided the Board with copies of the as-built plan for the house. He pointed out that the entire yard, almost to the back door, is deed restricted open space. There was no mention of the restriction in the deed for the house. Note #8 of the 1989 plan does provide for the Township to approve a deviation from the restrictions. The Homeowners Association has made no mention of the deed restrictions in its bylaws. Some of the other homes in the development have in-ground pools. Mr. Sacco showed a plan for the pool and noted that the pool would increase the impervious surface from 14% to 17%. A variance will be required and additional stormwater management will be necessary. The property backs to Wrights Road.

Dr. Ciervo said that he is concerned that some of the deed restricted open space might be protected wetlands, and also that increased impervious surface could exacerbate the already difficult issues of icing on Wrights Road. It is also difficult to discuss this matter without a completed plan for the pool.

Mr. R. Gallagher asked if any trees would be removed to build the pool.

Mr. Sacco said that one tree would be removed. The house is not visible from the road.

Mr. R. Gallagher said that because the entire yard is deed restricted, he is not opposed to considering a pool, but would want more detailed information first.

Mr. Sacco explained that Mr. Wildgust would not want to pursue this further if it is not going to be allowed at all. He wanted some indication that the Board might consider allowing construction in the open space.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether there is any way to minimize the increase in impervious surface.

Mr. Sacco said that the property is permitted 15% impervious surface and is already at 14%. Some relief will be necessary. The pool will not be close to the wetlands. This is a unique situation in that the open space is not on common land, but on the homeowner’s land.

Mr. Calabro said that he has concerns about approving this because of the possible proximity to wetlands and the ongoing difficulties with flooding and icing of Wrights Road.

Mr. Garton said that it appears that the Board is not entirely in support of considering the pool without more information on the location of the wetlands, the increase to impervious surface and the proposed stormwater management. It is up to Mr. Wildgust to decide whether to pursue this further by addressing the Board’s concerns.

Police Report

Police Chief Henry Pasqualini reported that the Department had answered 1255 calls, including a number of mental health calls. The officers are trained in handling these issues. He said that there had been one call this month about a road rage incident. He urged residents not to shout at or gesture at other drivers, as we never know who we might be dealing with. He also noted two daytime burglaries and cautioned residents to report any suspicious activity near their homes.

Manager’s Report

Treasury Report: Mr. Ferguson reported that the income from real estate transfers, earned income tax and local services tax has been better than anticipated. The current cash balance is $3,072,762. The Township has received the State contribution to the pension funds. The Minimum Municipal Obligation will be paid at the next meeting in the net amount of $653,555.

Rock Salt Bid: Mr. R. Gallagher moved to award the rock salt bid to International Salt Company as outlined in a memo from Ronald Weaver dated September 17, 2013. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Minutes: Mr. R. Gallagher moved to accept the minutes of September 11, 2013. Dr. Ciervo seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Hibbs noted that on page #4, a motion is made but not seconded. On page #5, that motion is amended, seconded and passed. The original motion was never acted on as it had not been seconded.

Mr. M. Gallagher said that the video tape should be reviewed to see whether the original motion had been seconded and if not, the Board can correct its action at the next meeting.

Mr. M. Gallagher moved to table consideration of the minutes of September 11, 2013. Dr. Ciervo seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Bills: Mr. R. Gallagher moved to approve payment of bills totaling $409,427.91. Mr. M. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. R. Gallagher moved to approve interfund transfers totaling $180,430.08. Mr. M. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

The meeting adjourned at 10:40 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Kurt Ferguson, Township Manager


Michael Gallagher, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Ryan Gallagher, Esq., Secretary

Philip Calabro, Member

Robert Ciervo, Member