NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2002
APPROVAL OF THE SEPTEMBER MINUTES: Ms. Cummins-Sappenfield moved to approve the minutes of September 5, 2002 as presented. Ms. Frederick seconded; the motion carried.
Present: Dick Weaver, Kristie Kaznicki, Marge Frederick, Doug Terry, Don Harris, Judy Setar, Linda Mitchell, John Bissert, Rita Cummins Sappenfield, Mark Byelich, Mike Aguero, Jim Worthington.
CALL TO ORDER – Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order.
CODES DEPARTMENT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REPORT
In Mr. Harwood’s absence, Kristie Kaznicki distributed and reviewed the report for August of 2002.
APPROVAL OF THE AUGUST MINUTES: Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of August 1, 2002 as presented. Linda Mitchell seconded; the motion carried.
LOWER BUCKS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Lisa Kruse was not present. Ms. Mitchell announced the Business Card Exchange would be held at Green House Spa at the Newtown Athletic Club on Thursday, September 19, 2002, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. She said that some free spa services would be offered.
Ms. Mitchell also announced the next meeting of the Newtown Business and Professional Association, on September 24, 2002 from 7:30-9:30 pm at Chandler Hall. Wine and hors de’oeuvres will be served. She reminded Council members that NBPA meetings are every 4th Tuesday of the month.
JOINT DOWNTOWN NEWTOWN CORPORATION
Rita Cummins Sappenfield distributed flyers regarding the posting of events on the JDNC website www.newtowncalendar.com and said that the Organization/Calendar Committee was addressing the level of information being provided. Ms. Frederick had recently listed the Business Card Exchange on the calendar and complimented the website.
SUBCOMMITTEE Concerned with a YMCA in Newtown - Doug Terry, Chair
Mr. Terry reported that the committee is on hold until the YMCA issues the results of its study; there is no indication as to a release date.
Ms. Dunleavy reported that she was looking into bulk mailing possibilities for the membership mailing. She said someone had suggested that the membership form be incorporated into the brochure, thus making the mailing a tri-fold. She will investigate printing and mailing costs. Ms. Dunleavy and Ms. Kruse will update the brochure, and present a draft at the next meeting. Ms. Mitchell suggested having the names of the members, along with their company addresses and phone numbers, on the township website.
Ms. Dunleavy is checking into the possibility that someone has just completed a Newtown map.
Ms. Dunleavy brought a copy of the old New Business Handbook, and said she would contact Belinda Buras to see if she has the document on disk. Ms. Dunleavy will bring additional copies to the next meeting for members to review.
Impervious Surface in the Industrial Park
Mr. Worthington expressed concern over the limitation of 50% impervious surface in the Industrial Park, changed from 60% in the last several years, and the exclusion of medical use in the Park. He said that properties are not being developed because of these limitations, and that impervious surface is 60% in similar districts in other surrounding municipalities. Mr. Worthington said he would like to raise the issue and have the township review these decisions, noting that he does have vested interest in development in the Industrial Park. He said that business development in the Industrial Park needed to be promoted, and suggested that the BDC study and make a recommendation to the supervisors, if warranted. Mr. Worthington said it was a shame to see the empty buildings in the Industrial Park, and noted that the undeveloped land and empty buildings represented a loss in taxes.
Mr. Worthington moved to form a committee to look at the impervious surface percentages in the township and medical usage. Mr. Terry seconded; the motion carried. Ms. Frederick, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Worthington and Mr. Terry volunteered to participate in the committee.
Ms. Frederick said that it would be interesting to know how many properties were not being developed because of the impervious surface limitation. Mr. Terry said that the higher price of property in Newtown and limited impervious cover deterred development. He said he suggested to the BOS that they should assist businesses to figure out how to retrofit some of the large empty buildings, and that impervious surface should be increased to 60% to accommodate parking needs. Mr. Worthington said that as long as storm water management issues were handled, 60% impervious surface should be allowed. Mr. Terry said that people are looking for high tech and office space. Mr. Harris noted that there needed to be more flexibility for various uses of the empty buildings, and agreed that retrofitting them was a problem.
Mr. Terry noted that the Industrial Park is lightly traveled during the day, and that he doesn’t understand any objection to medical use, since people go to the doctor during the day. He said that they had lobbied for parking standards to meet national standards previously. He agreed that the issues should be studied, information gathered, and a recommendation be given to the BOS. He said they had researched BOS minutes, but could find no reference to discussion regarding the change in medical use.
Mr. Weaver said he would check to see if the impervious surface issue could be put on the next work session agenda.
The next luncheon meeting is scheduled for October 3, 2002 at the Goodnoe Farm Dairy Bar at 12:00 PM. The cost is $10; please RSVP by October 1, 2002 to the recording secretary (contact information is included on the attached agenda).
ADJOURNMENT: Without objection, the meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary