NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR

THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 2003


APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER MINUTES:Mr. Terry moved to approve the minutes of November 7, 2002 as presented.Mr. Worthington seconded; the motion carried.


Present:†† Richard Weaver, Thomas Harwood, Judy Setar, Linda Mitchell, Belinda Buras, Dave Callahan, Evan Lambros, Alesia Schaum, Paul Salvatore, Doug Terry, Jim Worthington, Bill Messick, John Tyrol, Sue Roberts, Thomas Profy, Ted Laskowski, , Craig Appel, Patricia Bachi, Bill and Marty Ginty, Allen Fidler, Robert West, Mike Sison, and Sean Frawley, George Stockburger V and Colleen Rees of Stockburgerís. 

CALL TO ORDER Ė Chairman Weaver called the meeting to order.  

PUBLIC COMMENT

Ms. Mitchell said that the NAC is sponsoring a Super Bowl Sunday, and that businesses can support the event; those interested in sponsorship should contact her.She distributed a flyer publicizing the event. 

Robert West from the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania announced that the association would be sponsoring a fundraising event in May to raise funds for researching lung diseases.The event will be a walk held in Tyler Park; there will be a $10 fee per walker.Mr. West distributed information. 

CODES DEPARTMENT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT REPORT

Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report for November and December 2002.

APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER MINUTES:Mr. Terry moved to approve the minutes of November 7, 2002 as presented.Mr. Worthington seconded; the motion carried.

LOWER BUCKS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - No report.†††††††††††††

JOINT DOWNTOWN NEWTOWN CORPORATION - Paul Salvatore

Mr. Salvatore thanked Mr. Weaver for his support of the JDNC at the recent BOS meeting.Mr. Salvatore distributed information about the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation, and will contact them regarding a speaker for the February BDC meeting.He said that JDNC is working to address concerns that have arisen, and that they hope to meet with the borough and township to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

NEWTOWN BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION - Linda Mitchell

Ms. Mitchell reported that the NBPA had sponsored a Breakfast with Santa at the Brick Hotel to benefit the Neighborhood Outreach Foundation.They are now planning for the annual reorganization and recognition meeting; guests are welcome.Mr. Salvatore said that NBPA is looking forward to working with the township and borough in joint projects such as parades and celebrations in Newtown.Ms. Mitchell said that the First Night Committee is looking for new volunteers; contact her if interested. 

SYCAMORE STREET-No report. 

SUBCOMMITTEE Concerned with a YMCA in Newtown - Doug Terry

Mr. Terry suggested that the subcommittee be discontinued until such time as the issue is reopened.

OLD BUSINESS

Membership Mailing

Ms. Dunleavy distributed the updated brochure, which contained a membership form, for review by the Council.She asked that anyone finding any necessary corrections should contact her immediately.She said that the brochures will be mailed to all businesses in the borough and township, and that it would be less expensive to mail the brochures with first class postage than to pay a printer for bulk mailing.Mr. Weaver noted that the brochure would need final approval by the Board of Supervisors before being posted. 

Mr. Salvatore moved to approve the revised membership brochure for mailing, after approval by the Board of Supervisors.Ms. Buras seconded; the motion carried.Ms. Dunleavy will contact Ms. Kruse to finalize the brochure.

NEW BUSINESS

The Stockburger Proposal - George Stockburger V, Sean Frawley

Sean Frawley summarized the revitalization proposal to allow Stockburger to move to the Bypass and redevelop the Sycamore Street and borough properties.He said they had requested to be included on the BOS meeting agenda in February.†† Mr. Salvatore noted that previously approved plans for the property on the Bypass included a three building multi-level office building complex, containing approximately 100,000 square feet of office space.Mr. Frawley said that the property is approved to be built to its greatest potential, with allowed density on the existing 14 acres as if the property was 17 acres.†† Parking at a dealership on the Bypass would be at least 435; older plans included parking for 600 and two entrances onto Silver Lake Road. 

Mr. Frawley noted that moving to the Bypass would not make the dealership any larger, but would help make business more efficient, parking the same number of cars (about 500) as the existing facility and generating less traffic than the original office building plans.Mr. Terry felt the existing dealership was not in keeping with the look of downtown, and would rather see revitalization concepts developed rather than the car lot in town.Mr. Stockburger said that expanding the car lot in the township and borough was a back-up plan, but emphasized that they would rather not go in that direction. 

Mr. Worthington felt that one misconception held by many was that a move to the Bypass would open the floodgates for other car dealerships.Mr. Stockburger said that there are franchise agreements that would limit and prevent that from happening, and that it would not make sense for dealerships on Rte. 1 to move to the Bypass.It was clarified that there are only two other undeveloped parcels on the Bypass:a 9-acre piece owned by PECO and a landlocked piece near Newtown Crossing.Mr. Worthington asked if one exception were made if that condition would have to be extended to everyone; Mr. Harwood said no, not technically.Mr. Terry noted that the township does not like spot zoning.Mr. Stockburger said they are looking for conditional use.

Mr. Ginty felt that there is strong opposition in Newtown to the Stockburger proposal because a car lot is different than what is there now.Mr. Salvatore disagreed, and noted that the parcel would not remain green space and said that the Stockburger dealership on the Bypass would be better than more office buildings. Mr. Stockburger said that they are proposing a non-typical car dealership, with landscaping and more buffering than some other businesses in the township.†† Mr. Ginty thought people were afraid that if Stockburger moved out of town, that their property would be converted into parking lots; Mr. Frawley said that the township and borough do not want parking lots there.Mr. Worthington said that the NAC has more daily traffic than would occur at Stockburgerís, and felt that people in Newtown are in support of the proposal.

Mr. Frawley said that the property owner in town, Mr. McBride, is supportive of the Stockburger proposal.He said they have already received offers for the property on the Bypass, and noted that they propose turning off the lights in the car lots off completely at night.He said that he has not seen any car dealership that resembles the one they are proposing.

Mr. Salvatore asked Mr. Weaver for his opinion, as a Supervisor; Mr. Weaver said he needed to be convinced, considering the long fight the township years ago that was taken all the way to the Supreme Court to prevent a move to the Bypass.†† Mr. Salvatore said that people should take into account that the scenario has changed greatly since that confrontation, and that Newtown is mostly built out.He said that empty buildings in the township and borough needed to be filled, and that if new businesses come in on the Bypass that the Industrial Commons will be the lower tier for filling up space and will remain partially vacant.†† He said that the Board of Supervisors needed to be open to discussion before coming to a decision on this issue.

Mr. Terry asked if there were people in town now that complained about the car dealership, such as noise issues or the large car carriers.Mr. Stockburger said they receive complaints now and then, and have attempted to comply with requests from residents, such as lowering the volume when paging.Mr. Frawley said that they are attempting to convince area residents that less traffic will be generated by a dealership than by an office building, and said that they are willing to do whatever the residents want.Ms. Bachi wondered if people knew how rare it was for a business to be so concerned with the publicís concerns.

Mr. Ginty asked if anyone from Stockburgerís has been involved with the Sycamore Street, Acme Site or other related committee; Mr. Stockburger said they have been reluctant to become involved as people might see it as self serving.Mr. Ginty said the Supervisors should be thanked for their support of JDNC and for encouraging further discussion of the Stockburger proposal.

Mr. Salvatore said that it needed to be made clear that the BDC does not dictate policy to the BOS, but makes suggestions.He felt that the BDC should take a position on the Stockburger issue. 

Mr. Worthington moved that the Business Development Council endorse the Stockburger proposal, assuming all details are worked out to the satisfaction of the township and the borough.Ms. Roberts seconded; the motion carried, with abstention by Mr. Fidler.

It was agreed that Ms. Mitchell would draft a letter to the Board of Supervisors outlining the BDCís endorsement of the Stockburger proposal; Ms. Dunleavy will distribute the draft via email to BDC members and meeting attendees for feedback. 

Mr. Salvatore noted that the JDNC is still planning the details for a public forum for discussion of the Stockburger Proposal on January 30, 2003.

NEXT MEETING

The next luncheon meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 6, 2003 at the Goodnoe Farm Dairy Bar at 12:00 PM.The cost is $10; please RSVP by February 3, 2002 to the recording secretary (contact information is included on the attached agenda).††† Mr. Salvatore will contact a potential speaker for the meeting; agenda topics will include the conditional use process and rapid access key boxes. 

ADJOURNMENT:Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm. 

Respectfully Submitted:†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††

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Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary