NEWTOWN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
LUNCHEON MEETING AT GOODNOE FARM DAIRY BAR
THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2005
DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL UNTIL APPROVED
Present: Dick Weaver, Hal Roberts, Thomas Harwood, Sue Britsch, Patrice Martin, Mary Ann Broderick, Marge Frederick, Brandon Wind, Wayne Bishop, Eric Bauman, Chris Messick, Bob Michaud, Robert M. Pellegrino, Anne Marie Berardinucci.
Call to Order: Mr. Weaver called the meeting to order.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Mr. Harwood distributed and reviewed the report for May 2005, noting that the Stockburger Revitalization plan was on hold per applicant, and the Verizon Central Office addition had been withdrawn.
Approval of the Minutes
Ms. Britsch moved to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2005 meeting as presented. Ms. Frederick seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
There will be a Percolator meeting on June 9th at 8:00 p.m. at Fisher’s Tudor House. Ms. Martin announced that Korman Communities would be hosting a Business Card Exchange from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on June 21st. Information and further detail about all LBCCC events is available on the website: www.lbccc.org.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Main Streets Assistant Leslie Dunleavy reported that she was working on the Doing Business in Newtown manuals – one for the Borough and one for the Township - and that the JDNC had hosted a successful informational forum about the Stockburger relocation plan at the Chancellor Center on June 1st. She said that approximately 100 people had attended, and that the Stockburgers had given a short presentation, after which concerns of the public were solicited and recorded, for response at the next forum to be held at the Chancellor Center on June 15th.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Mr. Wind noted that Welcome Day was a huge success. He noted upcoming NBPA events: a Business Card Exchange to be held June 7th at Citizen Bank in Newtown, the Car Show and Summer Festival on July 24th, and the annual golf outing in August. Information is available on their website: www.newtownbpa.org.
Economic Development Commission
Mr. Weaver reported that there is a lot happening commercially in Newtown right now, including the upcoming construction of PNC Bank, the Blacksmith Rd. project, Doug Terry’s project in the Business Commons, and the beginning of construction of the Newtown Office Park. He said that the Elliott Building Group had been chosen to develop the Acme site; the redevelopment and sale agreements had been issued to two developers. Mr. Weaver noted that Elliott was the only one with a two tier parking garage in its plans. He said that after the site is cleaned up there would be a reception at the Acme site to show the new plans.
Mr. Weaver said that the survey regarding Stockburger relocation proposal would be mailed soon, after the second of the two information forums were held. He clarified that no one at Stockburger had seen the survey, contrary to some reports. He noted that the Brandywine bridge issue is still in front of the Zoning Hearing Board; Mr. Pellegrino said there will probably not be a decision until September. Mr. Weaver said there have been many misconceptions about the issue on the part of the public.
Mr. Weaver reported that the officers of the Newtown Business Commons Association had been chosen; there are several vacancies on the Board. He said that bylaws had been adopted and a bank account started. Mr. Weaver noted that the park is older, and that issues such as larger building numbers, uniformity of signs, and on street parking would be addressed by the association.
Mr. Pellegrino said that heavy construction on Sycamore Street, including sidewalks and road paving, should be completed by the end of June, weather permitting. He said that the stream bed restoration itself is finished, with some finishing work to be completed. Mr. Pellegrino said that Mr. Lorenzeti has presented an attractive plan for commercial development, probably smaller retail, on Durham Road near the corner of Eagle Road and is asking for a zoning change to allow commercial uses at that location. Mr. Lorenzeti has purchased the property along Durham Road from 413 to Eagle Road, opposite the Village shopping center. Mr. Pellegrino said that the Board of Supervisors has asked Mr. Lorenzeti to speak with the homeowners associations of the surrounding developments regarding his proposed project.
Mr. Wind asked about field lights at Helen Randle Park. Mr. Pellegrino said there would be meetings with residents, off schedule from the regular Board of Supervisors meetings, to get public feedback. He noted that the possibility of lights at other township fields needed to be discussed; issues to be addressed include field ownership and maintenance, cost of utilities, and who would purchase the lights. Mr. Weaver said that the sports organizations have offered to contribute to the cost of the lights as well as sponsor other costs at the parks. Mr. Wind asked if it would be less expensive to develop fields at the Wiggins tract; Mr. Pellegrino said possibly yes, and said that the Board is looking into the cost of fields at several township recreation locations. Mr. Weaver noted that fields at the Wiggins tract and near Staples are already being maintained by the township, so no additional maintenance costs would be incurred there.
Mr. Harwood noted that additional business spaces are currently being developed and sold, indicating that companies believe that the township is supportive of business development and the business climate in Newtown is good. Mr. Messick noted that some companies are coming in from New Jersey; their condos are selling very well.
The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, July 7, 2005.
On motion by Mr. Wind and without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1:20 p.m.
Leslie Dunleavy, Recording Secretary