NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD

Minutes of the meeting held on May 12, 2009

 

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at 1:30 P.M. in the Meeting Room of the Newtown Township Administration Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA.

Members present were Frank Tyrol, Bill Mahler, Harriet Beckert, Joseph McKernan, Jr., Doug Terry Peggy Driscoll and Building Inspector Rich Wendling. Not present was member Sue Beasley. Also present were Mike Galla, KMS; John Boyle, Assistant Township Manager; Patty Powers, Codes Department Administrative Assistant; Lilly Salvatore, Lilly’s Cocina Loca; Gregory Kramer, Allstate; Steve and Sandi Thomas, Carriage House; Rosemary Wuenschel, Rep. Santarsiero; Township resident Ludson Worsham.

Call to Order:

Chairman McKernan called the meeting to order at 1:33 P.M.

Minutes of April 14, 2009:

Mrs. Beckert advised that she had one change to the minutes. On page 5, under Elect Vice- Chairperson – Mrs. Beasley made the motion not Chairman McKernan.

Mrs. Beckert made a motion to approve the minutes of April 14, 2009 as amended. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously with two members abstaining (5-0-2).

New Business

Certificates of Appropriateness:

 Lilly’s Cocina Loca – 255 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed by Lilly’s Cocina Loca with regards to the installation of a new sign.

Ms. Salvatore advised the Board that she is removing the existing sign and replacing it with a new sign. The proposed sign would be 12 square feet (5 feet tall, 2 inches thick) and made out of a high-density urethane. The sign would be indirectly illuminated from the ground. The proposed sign colors are as follows:

  • background – cream (7403)
  • trim – blue (pantone 313U)
  • lettering – red (pantone 193U) and orange (pantone 166U)

Mrs. Beckert commented with regards to the colors being proposed and suggested going with a paler yellow for the background. Ms. Salvatore agreed to go with a paler yellow for the background.

Mrs. Beckert suggested that the application reference that the sign would be lit from the ground.

The members advised Ms. Salvatore to bring a color chip for the background color to the Supervisors’ meeting on May 13, 2009.

Mr. Tyrol made a motion to recommend approval of Lilly’s Cocina Loca’s Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of a new sign as presented. The proposed sign would be 12 square feet (5 feet tall, 2 inches thick) and made out of a high-density urethane. The sign would be indirectly illuminated from the ground. The proposed sign colors are as follows:

  • trim – blue (pantone 313U)
  • lettering – red (pantone 193U) and orange (pantone 166U)

The applicant has agreed to go with a paler yellow for the background and will bring color chips to the Supervisors meeting on May 13, 2009. The motion was seconded by Chairman McKernan and passed unanimously (7-0).

Chairman McKernan advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. He advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 13, 2009. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Ms. Salvatore for her time.

The Board signed Lilly’s Cocina Loca’s Certificate of Appropriateness.

Allstate – 5 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed by Allstate with regards to revising the existing sign.

Mr. Kramer advised the Board with regards to the proposed sign revision to include an additional agent’s name and telephone number. The material for the sign is a high-density urethane. The existing colors and font style would remain the same. The sign colors are blue (PMS 288) with white lettering and trim. The existing posts would remain.

Ms. Driscoll made a motion to recommend approval of Allstate’s Certificate of Appropriateness to revise the existing sign as presented. The proposed sign is a 3’ X 4’ routed sign, double sided. The material for the sign is a high-density urethane. The existing colors and font style would remain the same. The sign colors are blue (PMS 288) with white lettering and trim. The existing posts would remain. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously (7-0).

Chairman McKernan advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. He advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 27, 2009. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Mr. Kramer for his time.

The Board signed Allstate’s Certificate of Appropriateness.

Carriage House – 221 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed by Carriage House with regards to the installation of an open beamed porch.

Mr. Thomas advised the Board with regards to the proposed installation of an open beamed porch. The rafters would be a 3 by material with a wide plank board on top, allowing it to fit in with the style of the existing building. All of the exterior millwork will be Azek with a white latex paint (Olympic Premium Semi Gloss – 73210). He brought samples of the proposed millwork and shingle. The shingles match what is currently on the main house.

Mrs. Beckert questioned how wide the porch is. Mr. Thomas reported that the proposed size of the porch is 9 ½’ X 25 ½’.

Mr. Tyrol questioned if there was a porch there in the past. Mr. Thomas reported that there has been a porch in past years.

Mr. Terry questioned if the roofs will match. Mr. Thomas reported that the roofs would match.

Chairman McKernan commented with regards to the proportions shown on the plan being nicely done.

The members agreed that they felt the proposed open beamed porch would complement the existing building.

Chairman McKernan requested the applicant to verify the proposed colors again. Mr. Thomas advised the paint color being proposed is white.

Mrs. Beckert suggested that the applicant consider painting the underside of the porch sky blue.

Chairman McKernan suggested making a recommendation that the applicant accent the chamfer with a darker white or off-white to pick up the detail. The members agreed to include that recommendation in their motion and requested the applicant to bring sample colors to the Supervisors’ meeting on May 27, 2009.

Mr. Terry made a motion to recommend approval of the Carriage House’s Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of an open beamed porch as presented. The porch size is 9 ½ X 25 ½ feet. The rafters would be a 3 by material with a wide plank board on top, allowing it to fit in with the style of the existing building. All of the exterior millwork will be Azek with a white latex paint (Olympic Premium Semi Gloss – 73210). The chamfers would be accented with a darker white or off-white to pick up the detail. The shingles match what is currently on the main house. The motion was seconded by Mr. Tyrol and passed unanimously (7-0).

Chairman McKernan advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. He advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 27, 2009. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Mr. and Mrs. Taylor for their time.

The Board signed Carriage House’s Certificate of Appropriateness.

Representative Santarsiero’s District Office – 277 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed by Representative Steven j. Santarsiero’s District Office with regards to the installation of three (3) new signs (two identification signs and one directional sign).

Ms. Wuenschel advised the Board with regards to the three signs being proposed. The signs were constructed by Boyd Sign Corp. One freestanding two-sided identification sign (38” X 42.5”) is to be installed in the grass near the sidewalk along Sycamore Street. This sign would use the existing 5’ posts. The other identification sign is one sided (38” X 42.5”) to be installed on the building at the site of the previous tenant’s sign, facing the parking lot. The one-sided directional sign (12” X 24”) to be installed above the door on the building facing Sycamore Street. The sign colors are Royal Blue and HP Metallic Gold.

Mr. Mahler questioned if all of the proposed signs are allowed in accordance to the Township’s zoning. Mrs. Powers advised that the three signs being proposed do comply with the Township’s zoning.

Mrs. Beckert made a motion to recommend approval of Representative Santarsiero’s Certificate of Appropriateness for the installation of three new signs (two identification signs and one directional sign) as presented. One freestanding two-sided identification sign (38” X 42.5”) is to be installed in the grass near the sidewalk along Sycamore Street. This sign would use the existing 5’ posts. The other identification sign is one sided (38” X 42.5”) to be installed on the building at the site of the previous tenant’s sign, facing the parking lot. The one-sided directional sign (12” X 24”) to be installed above the door on the building facing Sycamore Street. The sign colors are Royal Blue and HP Metallic Gold. The motion was seconded by Mr. Terry and passed unanimously (7-0).

Chairman McKernan advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. He advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 27, 2009. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Ms. Wuenschel for her time.

Old Business

Mrs. Beckert advised that with regards to approvals being grandfathered in the Historic District the approval is not automatic if the HARB disapproves the matter has to go first to the Planning Commission and then to the Board of Supervisors.

Update on the Supervisors request regarding developing a Book of Appropriateness

Mr. Mahler updated the Board on the Supervisors request regarding the development of a Book of Appropriateness. He reported that the Supervisors would like an actual handout that includes everything (doors, windows, signs, font styles, and general facades).

Chairman McKernan reported that he would like to divide the work between the members of this Board.

The members discussed Pottstown’s Historic District’s book. Chairman McKernan requested the Recording Secretary to make copies of the book and mail them to the members for their review.

Mrs. Beckert commented on the Borough having a reference book for signs.

The members discussed the book worked on by Elle Campbell in the HARB file cabinet. A suggestion was made to keep a copy of the book in the Codes Department. The Recording Secretary pulled the book from the file cabinet and gave it to Chairman McKernan for his review.

Mrs. Beckert reported that Newtown Historic Association has a book called “Past & Present” with photographs of Newtown, which could be used as examples of facades.

Chairman McKernan reported that as far as the Township developing a Book of Appropriateness. He would work on signs and font styles. Mrs. Beckert would work on general facades. Mr. Terry would work on doors and windows.

Update on suggestion for HARB to work with the Planning Commission

Chairman McKernan updated the members on his discussions with Allen Fidler, Planning Commission Chairman. Items discussed included the redevelopment of the Acme site, density issues and expanding the Historic District.

Mrs. Beckert commented on residents from the Borough attending the Township’s Planning Commission meetings and what the Borough is doing with regards to expanding the boundaries of their Historic District. She suggested that the Township and Borough resolve that issue at the same time.

Ms. Driscoll commented with regards to Sycamore Street having several types of zoning (examples: TC, PC).

Chairman McKernan reported that he was involved with developing two concept plans for the Acme site. He advised on his proposed designs.

Mr. Terry reported on his involvement with what McGrath is proposing for the Acme Site. Chairman McKernan requested a copy of McGrath’s concept plan.

Mr. Mahler reported that he discussed the suggestion at his presentation to the Supervisors on April 22, 2009 and that the Supervisors encourage HARB to work with the Planning Commission regarding Sycamore Street.

Update regarding the moveable sidewalk signs

Mr. Mahler updated the members with regards to the ordinance for the moveable sidewalk signs being amended so that the sign standard would include approved building and sign colors. Mr. Galla reported that this matter is scheduled to go before the Supervisors on May 27, 2009.

Report from Planning Commission Liaison

Ms. Driscoll reported that the Planning Commission is currently reviewing the current uses along Sycamore Street and on future concerns.

Chairman McKernan reported that he did discussed the TC zone and incorporating historic elements with Mr. Fidler.

The members discussed the Stockburger property on Sycamore Street.

Ms. Driscoll advised that the next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for May 19, 2009.

Mrs. Beckert reported on a packet she received from the Township Engineer at the Planning Commission’s meeting with regards to Historic Districts in other towns.

Mrs. Powers provided the members with a map of the Historic District. Mrs. Beckert took extra copies for members of the Planning Commission.

Mrs. Beckert commented on the Historic Resource Survey being worked on by the Joint Historic Commission. The Recording Secretary advised that the Commission is still working on the survey.

Privilege of the Floor

The members discussed the presentations to the Supervisors on May 13, 2009 and May 27, 2009. Chairman McKernan advised that he could not make the May 13, 2009 presentation, but would make the May 27, 2009 presentation. Mrs. Beckert advised that she would make the May 13, 2009 presentation.

Mr. Worsham (Bucks County Beads - 2 Cambridge Lane) advised that he had applied for a moveable sidewalk sign and that his application was denied due to his business not being located on Sycamore Street. He reported that he was involved in the group that helped to develop the ordinance for the signs and that it was his understanding that he would be eligible for the sign. The members discussed Mr. Worsham’s comments. Mr. Tyrol suggested that Mr. Worsham’s comments and the ordinance be reviewed furthered. Mr. Galla reported that according to his interpretation of the ordinance, the applicant needs to be located on Sycamore Street. The members discussed getting clarification. The members discussed the Corners at Newtown Place ( Cambridge Lane/Richboro Road) being approved December 17, 2008 for the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness for two of three directory signs. Mrs. Powers advised that a permit was never issued. Mr. Galla reported that he would bring the matter up at the Township staff meeting scheduled for May 13, 2009 and update Mr. Worsham. The members discussed getting input from the Supervisors. Mrs. Beckert reported on past discussions with regards to signs being located in the green space. Mr. Boyle reported that the Township could address this matter quickly at the staff meeting scheduled for May 13, 2009. Mrs. Powers reported that the current ordinance expires at the end of 2009.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 2:47P.M.

The next meeting is schedule for June 9, 2009 at 1:30 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary