NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD

Minutes of the meeting held on March 11, 2010

 

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Thursday, March 11, 2010, at 9:00 A.M. in the main meeting room of the Newtown Township Administration Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA.

Members present were Harriet Beckert, Frank Tyrol, Bill Mahler, Doug Terry and Building Inspector Rich Wendling. Not present were member Joseph McKernan, Jr. and Planning Commission Liaisons Peggy Driscoll and Sue Beasley. Also present were Phil Calabro, Supervisor Liaison, John Boyle, Assistant Township Manager; Patty Powers, Codes Department Administrative Assistant; Randen Seitchick, Zoning Department Intern; Bob Lang, Lang’s Ski ‘N Scuba; Michael Hutchinson, 234 North State Street; Nancy Gracia-Kyle, 127 South Sycamore Street; Julia Alaniz, 127 South Sycamore Street.

Call to Order:

Vice Chairman Beckert called the meeting to order at 9:09 A.M.

Emergency Repair

Lang’s Ski ‘N Scuba – 109 North Sycamore Street

The members discussed the need for emergency repair to Lang’s Ski ‘N Scuba’s awning. A COA has not been submitted as of today, but the applicant agreed that he would submit one. Vice Chairman Beckert advised that applicant that if the work is done prior to approval of the COA it would be at the applicant’s own risk, but that she did not see a problem. Mr. Lang advised the members that the awning would be replaced in kind, he did not plan on altering the colors, dimensions or materials. The members requested Mr. Lang to provide a sketch drawing with the measurements and material type to be put in the file for the record. Mr. Lang agreed to provide the sketch with the measurements. Mrs. Powers suggested that the applicant not be charged for the COA. The members agreed there would be no charge for the COA.

Emergency Repairs Discussion

The members discussed how emergency repairs should be handled. Vice Chairman Beckert reported that in the past, Board members have made themselves available to go out and view emergency situations. In most cases the applicant were given advice and the repair was made in accordance to the Board’s recommendation. The members agreed that the applicants should be permitted to do the repair work immediately and that documentation is needed for the file. Mr. Tyrol suggested that further discussion is needed on how to handle the process for replacement in kind. Mrs. Powers reported that she did find an ordinance with regards to painting something the same color and that a COA is not needed. She will research other changes that do not require a COA and provide the Board with that information.

Minutes of January 12, 2010:

Mr. Tyrol made a motion to approve the minutes of January 12, 2010 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously (4-0).

New Business

Certificates of Appropriateness:

Michael Hutchinson – 234 North State Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 234 North State Street to construct a one-story addition to the rear and side of the existing house using windows and exterior finishes as shown on the drawings. The paint colors will match the existing house.

Mr. Hutchinson advised that a one-story wrap around addition is being proposed. The materials will be hardi-plank and wood. The paint color, asphalt shingles and aluminum gutters would match what currently exists on the house.

Mr. Tyrol made a motion to approve the application for 234 North State Street as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously (4-0).

Vice Chairman Beckert advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. She advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on March 24, 2010. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Mr. Hutchinson for his time.

The Board signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 234 North State Street.

Mrs. Powers advised the applicant that he can submit the building permit ahead of time and that if the COA is approved the permit would be available sooner.

Nancy Gracia-Kyle – 127 South Sycamore Street

(Mr. Terry arrived.)

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 127 South Sycamore Street to replace the existing 48” post-n-rail wood fence with a 36” wooden white post-n-rail fence (a new fence line would be established), add a picket style gate to the front portion of residential entrance, landscaping, freshen the exterior stucco color of residence from existing cream to a brighter white (Benjamin Moore/frostine/ AF-5), add one set of raised panel shutters to front stucco portion of residence, remove plastic mailbox and replace with appropriate style and remove large existing business sign including post.

Mrs. Gracia-Kyle advised the Board with regards to what is being requested on her COA. The proposed fence would a 3-foot wooden post-n-rail; painted to match the color proposed for the stucco (Benjamin Moore/frostine/AF-5). She would like to replace the existing plastic mailbox with a mailbox that is more appropriate to the home (see packet for photo). She would like to add a picket gate to her front entrance. The gate would be painted to match the fence and appropriate hinges and hardware would be used (no plastic). She would like to add one set of raised panel shutters to the first floor stucco portion of the residence. The shutters would be white. She would like to remove the existing sign to be replaced at a later date. The proposed landscaping would be out front and parallel with the fence. Plant materials would include white shrub roses, dwarf jensen boxwood, creeping jenny, rozanne cranesbill, liriope and color coordinating annuals.

Vice Chairman Beckert advised the applicant that the Township would need to know the type of hinges and hardware being proposed and that she should bring that information with her to the Board of Supervisors’ meeting. The applicant also needs to provide the Township with a landscaping plan for the file. The applicant would need to appear before HARB at a later date with regards to installing a sign.

Mr. Tyrol made a motion to approve the application for 127 South Sycamore Street as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Terry and passed unanimously (5-0).

Vice Chairman Beckert advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. She advised the applicant that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on March 24, 2010. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Mrs. Gracia-Kyle for her time.

The Board signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 127 South Sycamore Street.

Old Business

Update on developing a Book of Appropriateness

Vice Chairman Beckert reported that Chairman McKernan did try to schedule a meeting with Lynn Bush from the Bucks County Planning Commission, but it did not happen due to the weather. She suggested using the photographs that she has for a start with the intention to add more photographs in the future. She reported that she should have the book ready for review at the April meeting.

Report from Planning Commission Liaison

None.

Privilege of the Floor

Mrs. Powers introduced the members to Randen Seitchick. Ms. Seitchick is a student at Bucks County Community College and is interning in the Codes Department at the Township.

Mr. Tyrol asked if this is when and where the Board will be meeting in the future. The Recording Secretary advised that the Board’s meetings would be held in this room on the second Thursday of the month at 9:30 A.M.

Vice Chairman Beckert asked about the status of Marisa The Art of Apparel with regards to the color of the outdoor columns, the applicant had until the end of March 2010 to repaint the columns. Mrs. Powers updated the Board and advised that she is looking for direction from HARB on how to proceed. The Board discussed the Board of Supervisors tabling the matter. It was agreed that the Codes Department would follow up on the matter.

Mr. Mahler reported that he has been approached by several business owners in the Borough regarding the painting on the rear of the Steaz building. Mr. Wendling advised that he would go out to the property and take photographs.

Mr. Boyle updated the Board with regards to the moveable sidewalk signs and applications being due. Mr. Tyrol advised that on March 12, 2010 the Sycamore Street Association is having an executive board meeting and he will bring up the matter. He requested Mrs. Powers to email him a copy of the application. Mrs. Powers reported on a memo that was sent out to businesses with existing applications. Vice Chairman Beckert requested Mr. Tyrol to discuss the wording that appears on the signs, she feels that some of the wording is inappropriate. Mr. Tyrol suggested that the Township begins enforcing the ordinance and remove any signs that do not have an application. He reported that the Sycamore Street Association holds quarterly meeting for members and advised that he would review the ordinance.

Mr. Tyrol reported that the Sycamore Street Association would like to start using the streetlight post along Sycamore Street for hanging banners and advertising festivals. Vice Chairman Beckert reported that banners, lights and other items would need approval from HARB. She also discussed items being taken down in a timely manner. Mr. Tyrol reported on a meeting with Mr. Crossland, Public Work Director. Mrs. Powers suggested that once the Sycamore Street Association has a better idea to submit a draft application to the Codes Department.

Mr. Tyrol asked if the Township allows banners that hang above the street that temporarily advertise a community event and how the Township feels about that type of banner. Mr. Boyle advised that the Codes Department would research Mr. Tyrol question.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:59 A.M.

The next meeting is schedule for April 8, 2010 at 9:30 A.M.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary