Minutes of the meeting held on February 9, 2012

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. in the main meeting room of the Newtown Township Administration Building, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA.

Members present were Harriet Beckert, Doug Terry, Joseph McKernan, Jr., Bill Mahler, Peggy Driscoll, and Building Inspector Rich Wendling. Not present was member Brian Miller. Also present were Supervisor Liaison Ryan Gallagher, Patty Powers, Codes Department and Candis Krzaczyk.

Call to Order:

Mr. McKernan called the meeting to order at 9:35 A.M.

Reorganization of the Board:

The members discussed the reorganization of the Board. Mr. McKernan agreed that that he would like to continue as Chairman. Mrs. Beckert advised that due to attendance issues she would not like to continue as Vice Chairman, but would like to remain on the Board as a member.

Mrs. Driscoll made a motion for Mr. McKernan to continue as Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. Terry and passed unanimously (6-0).

Mr. Terry made a motion to nominate Mr. Mahler as Vice Chairman. The motion was seconded by Mr. McKernan and passed unanimously (6-0).

Minutes of October 13, 2011:

The members reviewed the minutes of October 13, 2011.

Mr. Terry made a motion to approve the minutes of October 13, 2011 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (3-0-3).

Minutes of December 8, 2011:

The members reviewed the minutes of December 8, 2011 and noted that a quorum was not present and no official voting took place. All members reported that they reviewed the minutes and had no comments.

Mr. Mahler made a motion to approve the minutes of December 8, 2011 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously with three members abstaining (3-0-3).

New Business

Certificates of Appropriateness:

Sycamore Salon – The Organic Option, LLC – 9 South Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 9 South Sycamore Street to install a 12 sq. ft. identification sign.

Ms. Krzaczyk advised the Board that she is proposing the installation of a painted wooden sign. The background color is One Shot lettering enamel (Polar White). The lettering, design, border and pin stripe would all be Black.

Mrs. Beckert commented on the appropriateness of the tree that the applicant has chosen and explained its significance.

Mrs. Powers reported that the previously approved sign for Bayada Nurses and the proposed sign are the same in size and that the same post will be used.

The members agreed to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness as presented.

Mr. Mahler made a motion to approve the application for 9 South Sycamore Street as presented. The identification sign is 12 sq. ft. The sign material will be wood. The proposed sign colors are Polar White (One Shot Lettering Enamel) for the background and Black for the lettering, design, border and pin stripe. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously (6-0).

Mr. McKernan advised the applicant that this Board only makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and that they give the final approval. The matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on February 22, 2012. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

Mrs. Powers advised the applicant that once the Supervisors approve the COA, a permit can be issued.

The Board thanked Ms. Krzaczyk for her time.

The Board members present signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 9 South Sycamore Street.

Old Business

Update on developing a Book of Appropriateness

Mrs. Beckert updated the members on her presentation at the Supervisors’ October 17, 2011 meeting. (A copy of the minutes was included in the members’ packets.) Suggestions from the Supervisors included posting the information on the website and having a brochure available for public review. There was a comment made regarding the book having been copyrighted. Mrs. Beckert advised on her reasons for having the book copyrighted and that she would allow the Township to use the information. The Solicitor advised that once the book is complete, and the Supervisors have agreed to adopt the guidelines a formal adoption by resolution would be needed. It was also recommended to include farms and more modern buildings that fit in. Mrs. Beckert agreed that she would update the book for further discussion at the next meeting.

The members thank Mrs. Beckert for the time she has put into developing the book agreed that having it would be very helpful to developers and people contemplating renovations.

Mrs. Beckert advised that according to the National and State Guidelines the Township is supposed to have design guidelines and reported that the format she used to develop the book’s design guidelines was primarily from the Pennsylvania State Guidelines, and that some information did come from other States’ guidelines.

Mrs. Beckert reported that she would make the updates to the book and present it at the next meeting. She also discussed her schedule and advised that she may resign from the Board if she can’t attend the meetings.

Other Business

Mrs. Beckert reported that she did try to discuss the proposed expansion of the Joint Historic Commission, but that the Supervisors did not want to discuss the matter due to it not being on the agenda. She expressed the expansion being a difficult and time consuming task. She suggested a better way to handle the matter would be through the Town Commercial District. Mrs. Driscoll advised that the Planning Commission will be reviewing the TC Ordinance to bring the Commission’s new members up to speed and that she would let the HARB members know when that discussion is scheduled to take place.

Privilege of the Floor

The members welcomed Supervisor Gallagher as the new Supervisor Liaison to the Board. Supervisor Gallagher gave a brief history on his background and reported that he is always available to talk. He requested the members introduced themselves. The members introduced themselves.

Mrs. Powers reported that this would be Mr. Wendling’s last meeting. The members thanked Mr. Wendling for his service to the Township.

Mrs. Powers reported that she has been advised by the Manager that the new Building Inspector will be in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. She was unsure of the hours. The new Inspector will be from Boucher and James.


There being no further business to come before the Board, Mrs. Beckert made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed unanimously (6-0).

The meeting was duly adjourned at 9:55 A.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.

Respectfully Submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary