Meeting held on June 25, 2012

The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council met on Monday, June 25, 2012 at the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were members Sanford Bender, Shannon Escalante, Pam Fitzpatrick and Eric Korn. Also in attendance was Planning Commission Liaison Dennis Fisher.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Ms. Escalante moved to accept the minutes of May 21, 2012. Ms. Fitzpatrick seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Old Business

Quarterly Forum: Ms. Escalante reviewed the June 2, 2012 quarterly forum. She noted attendance of about a dozen residents. The topics included Bird Town, organic gardening and landscaping.

Ms. Escalante said she would begin planning the next forum shortly with a goal of having a fall or winter topic.

Mr. Fisher said that Township Engineer Michele Fountain would be interested in attending a future forum. He suggested that stormwater management could be a topic of interest to residents with Ms. Fountain as a speaker.

Liaison Reports

Newtown Creek Coalition: Ms. Escalante reported that the Coalition held a clean-up day on May 19, 2012. A dumpster of trash and debris was filled. The group continued to develop plans for recruiting Board members and discussed fundraising. There has been no further updates on the Centre Avenue Bridge.

Planning Commission: Mr. Fisher reported that the Planning Commission had reviewed some changes to the land development plan for the Promenade and a few Zoning Hearing Board applications, including an application for a seasonal haunted mansion on Richboro Road.

Park and Recreation Board: The recording secretary reported that the Park and Recreation Department, working with Autumn Thomas had received a Bucks Beautiful Grant in the amount of $550 for plantings in Carl Sedia Park. The grant had required projects with visibility, and the plantings will help improve the curb appeal of the park on Sycamore Street.


Stormwater Management Pamphlet: For the benefit of the newer members, Mr. Fisher and the recording secretary reviewed the goal of the pamphlet. Mr. Fisher noted that although not always required by the Ordinance, the Zoning Hearing Board sometimes requires applicants to mitigate additional run-off on residential projects which are being granted impervious surface relief. The pamphlet should discuss ways that homeowners can address this with “do it yourself” solutions like seepage pits and rain gardens.

The recording secretary noted that both the Planner and the Township Engineer do not consider rain barrels as adequately addressing additional run-off. They have indicated that although rain barrels can help with run-off and are a good idea for homeowners wishing to control run-off and conserve water, they require attention and maintenance and do not adequately address run-off in very heavy storm conditions.

Mr. Korn provided copies of some changes he had made to the first draft and agreed to make changes to better meet the goals discussed.

Bird Town: Ms. Fitzpatrick said that Stephen Saphir of the Audubon Society would like to host a Bird Town training session in Newtown using our meeting room facilities.

Ms. Escalante suggested that this could be the fall quarterly forum, although she understood that attendance would not be free. The members agreed to discuss this further at upcoming meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45PM.


Respectfully submitted by:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary