Minutes of the meeting held on August 14, 2007


The regular monthly meeting of the Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 in the meeting room of the Township Administrative Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pa.

Members present were Harriet Beckert, Vincent Lombardi, Michael Imperial, Frank Tyrol and Melva Vittoriano. Also present was Patti Powers, Code Department Clerk.

Call to Order:

Chair Beckert called the meeting to order at 1:05 P. M. and declared that a quorum was present for the purpose of conducting business.

Minutes of July 10, 2007:

On motion of member Tryol, seconded by member Lombardi and approved by all members present, minutes of the meeting held on July 10, 2007 were approved as presented.

Certificates of Appropriateness:

Rock Factory proprietor, Peter Baldes, was present requesting a recommendation to approve colors for two signs at the business location: 3 Cambridge Lane

At earlier meetings, Mr. Baldes was requested to return with font proposals for the two signs as well as color chips for the background and lettering.

After a lengthy discussion, member Lombardi motioned and member Imperial seconded the motion, which was approved by all members, except member Beckert who opposed, the following recommendations:

The font presented will be recommended to the Board of Supervisors.

Sign colors: lettering and sign border to be Almond.

Background color to be Dark Blue. (Chips were presented to be attached to the Original COA. Signs to be installed facing Sycamore Street in front of the building between present posts and one over the Business doorway. (Prior sign along Sycamore Street had been used by Tower Furniture Business).

A discussion followed and a motion was made by member Tyrol, seconded by member Imperial, approved by all members to request the Secretary to write to The Quaker Group and invite a representative to attend the October 9, 2007 meeting of the HARB to discuss the understanding and interpretation of signage and appropriate colors in the Historic District along Sycamore Street.

RAR, LLC Applicant: Massimino Brothers, owners of the structure located at 131 S. Sycamore Street (Former St. Andrew Convent). Moira McClintock was present to represent the business.

The COA requested recommendation for approval to install a sign, 4' -8" wide, 3' high with two 4' x 4' posts installed along S. Sycamore Street.

Colors: Background: Black

Letters: Almond

Note: Name emblem: M to be painted Rose ( and two tips of posts) With appropriate plantings beneath.

On motion of member Imperial, seconded by member Tyrol with all members present approving, except Chair Beckert who opposed, the recommendation will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors as stated above.

A discussion followed relating to logos, emblems representing a business on signs, etc., and concluded with the request for the Board to include information and dialogue about suggestions and/or requirements at a to-be-scheduled Work Session since earlier requests indicated Board members and Applicants would be better served with more clarity of requirements. Builders, construction and design personnel would be well-served with more definititive direction/suggestions.

The Saloon: 203 N. Sycamore Street, Owner Vincent Vitella

Mr. Vitella had given the HARB Board an Extension through August 31, 2007 and had been notified by mail of his position on the August 14 th Agenda with suggested colors, textures, etc., to provide.

On motion of member Imperial, seconded by member Tyrol and approved by all members present, the Certificate of Appropriateness for replacement of 11 second-story windows was denied, as no Applicant was present at the time.

Sycamore Kitchens, and More: 123 N. Sycamore Street, Applicant Bruce Roth

The Applicant requested a recommendation for approval to install signs at a business located at 123 N. Sycamore Street owned by Vincent A. Lombardi. (Location: vacated Knithaven business)

On motion of member Tyrol, seconded by member Imperial and approved by all members present, the recommendation will be submitted to approve the COA as requested with the following details:

“Installation of front and rear signs to replace existing for new business: Sycamore Kitchens and More:

Front sign: 2' x 3', wood material sand-blasted with carved lettering

Rear sign: 2' x 2 ½' material painted metal construction

Colors: background to be red (Raleigh tavern china red #CN 102;)

Lettering: cream: (writers parchment #WN50)

Goodnoe Corner: 298 N. Sycamore Street: Owner Joe McGrath

The Applicant introduced persons who accompanied him as tenants/proprietors of business and a designer of signage for the Project. The Township Zoning Hearing Board had approved a request for lettering to be 15" high for many of the businesses.

Signs will be 2' x 16' with 15" raised letters; wooden construction; with beveled borders. Assorted styles and designs of brackets will be suggested.

Mr. McGrath plans to attend the September meeting of HARB with tenants, samples of proposed colors and styles of signs with designs for placement on buildings and/or the two monuments which had been approved by the Board of Supervisors meeting earlier.

Suggestions made by HARB members to Mr. McGrath were to propose placing the signs at various heights on the buildings, on the right or left of main doors with suggestions to use older-style hanging mechanisms.

Ms. Mimi Olsen circulated designs for the AT&T Business in Building #5 and showed placement of signs on gooseneck arms protruding from the building. Dialogue between Board members and Ms. Olsen resulted in her agreeing to return to the September meeting with diagrams showing canopies, hanging arms and designs for 2-sided goose-neck hangings. She indicated signs would be “ routed-face” lighting and will provide examples of area businesses of other such signs at AT&T businesses.

First Trust Bank will propose signs facing the parking lot and Durham Road, being “Back-lit” signs. One example of such signage is located at 385 Oxford Valley Road should members wish to drive by that location. One sign at the drive-thru will be lighted internally (flourescent) and timed to be extinguished. Examples will be shown at the September meeting.

Privilege of the Floor:

Secretary Hibbs was asked to write to Architect Alfredo Trevino stating that his attendance at HARB meetings provides a greater quality of dialogue, since his in-put and comments are valued by Board members as well as Applicants.

The September meeting of HARB was reviewed by Chair Beckert and will include presentations of The Newtown Historic Association, via Brian Rounsavill. There will be 11 signs requested for recommendation of approval by the Board of Supervisors for historic locations in Newtown Township. Other items will also appear on the Agenda.


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 3:15 P. M.


Respectfully Submitted:


Ethel K. Hibbs, Recording Secretary