Newtown Business Development Council
Minutes for the Meeting held on October 4, 2007
Present: Michael Solomon, Wayne Bishop, Riki Brennan, Marge Frederick, Hal Roberts, Chip Bromley, Patricia Johnson, Lud Worsham, Kent Lufkin, Dick Weaver, Jennifer Karpchuk, Nancy Crescenzo
Call to Order: Mr. Solomon called the meeting to order in the absence of the Chairman.
Public Comment: Nancy Crescenzo said that a great relationship between business and the township is important.
Codes Department Business Development Report
Director of Planning & Zoning Mike Solomon presented the report, covering September 2007, noting there was little new. He distributed a chart of zoning districts and permitted uses in the township.
Approval of the Minutes
Ms. Frederick moved to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2007 meeting as presented. Mr. Bromley seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce
Marge noted the upcoming Percolator meeting would be held at Bucks County Technical School; information and details about all LBCCC events is available on the website: www.lbccc.org.
Joint Downtown Newtown Corporation
Ms. Dunleavy announced the annual meeting of the JDNC would be held during AHA! Friday, at 6:15 at Newtown Borough Hall. She noted that Mr. Weaver was appointed to the JDNC Board of Directors. The JDNC/Main Streets website is: www.newtownpa.us.
Newtown Business and Professional Association
Ms. Brennan noted that upcoming events include the 1 st Annual Business Expo, to be held from 3:00-8:00 pm at the NAC on October 10 th. Information about the association and its events is available at the NBPA website: www.newtownbpa.org.
Newtown Business Commons Association
Mr. Weaver noted that the organization is growing, with membership increasing; membership dues have been reduced. He said the association had their quarterly meeting and hosted a candidates forum.
Mr. Weaver said that the township traffic engineer has brought in designs for the extension of Terry Drive; there should be no problem with approvals from PennDOT. This change should take a lot of traffic off of Fountain Farm Road. Mr. Weaver noted that the intersection of S. Eagle and Swamp Road will be changed so that the entrance to the Meglio shopping center would be directly across from S. Eagle Road; the intersection will be signalized.
Mr. Weaver reported that he had met with Mr. Dilks, owner of the wooded area behind Lukoil and near the Meglio shopping center. He said Mr. Dilks was agreeable to the idea of parking in that area, which would yield an additional 20-25 parking spaces. Mr. Weaver said he has met with a major property owner in the Borough to discuss the possibility of a parking garage. He suggested that the beer distributor and state liquor store at 10 Centre Avenue could be moved up to the street and a parking garage built behind; this could potentially add 400 parking spaces. Mr. Weaver said that Allan Smith has been working on a similar design, and noted that the garage would not be very visible, as it would be screened by trees and buildings on the street. He said the garage could be similar to some in Princeton, NJ; the upper level could be available from State Street and the lower level accessible from Centre Avenue. Mr. Weaver said a parking authority would need to be formed; they would look to the township and borough for some kind of stipend to help fund the garage. He said he has been told he could get some financial help for the project; there are economic development funding resources to assist with such projects. The next step would be to get the project engineered.
Mr. Weaver said he has started to put together a brochure about the Business Commons. He reported that the old Acme site is in bankruptcy court now; the township intends to demolish the building after it gets ownership, suggesting the site could serve as a temporary parking area.
Mr. Roberts commended Mr. Weaver’s work on the parking issue and promotion of business in Newtown.
It was noted that the new hotel planned for the Business Commons should break ground soon; the developer has stated that it would take 10 months to complete.
The next scheduled BDC meeting will be Thursday, November 1, 2007 at Dolce Carini Restaurant, 2821 S. Eagle Road.
AdjournmentWithout objection, the meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.
Leslie P. Dunleavy, Recording Secretary