Minutes of the meeting held on September 12, 2012

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Wednesday, September 12, 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 Joseph McKernan, Jr., Bill Mahler and Kurt Jensen. Not present were members Harriet Beckert, Peggy Driscoll, Doug Terry and Brian Miller. Also present were Patty Powers, Codes Department, Dave Burns and Shawn Ward.

Call to Order:

Mr. McKernan called the meeting to order at 9:47 A.M. and acknowledged that no official voting could take place due to the lack of a quorum.

Minutes of April 12, 2012:

The minutes of April 12, 2012 were tabled due to the lack of a quorum.

Minutes of May 10, 2012:

The minutes of May 10, 2012 were tabled due to the lack of a quorum.

Minutes of August 8, 2012:

The minutes of August 8, 2012 were tabled due to the lack of a quorum.

New Business

Certificates of Appropriateness:

Burns Auto Repair - 19 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed for 19 North Sycamore Street to install an additional double sided freestanding identification sign (26” X 48”, 60” maximum height).

Mr. Ward advised that the applicant is proposing the installation of an additional double sided freestanding identification sign. He reported that a variance for the additional sign was filed and approved by the Zoning Hearing Board on April 19, 2010 and that due to family matters the installation was delayed. The Supervisors granted a one year extension beginning July 12, 2012. The sign is 26” X 48”, 60” maximum height and will be located in the grass area adjacent to the sidewalk. It will not be illuminated. The proposed colors are Fire Red (702-G), Black (799-G) and White (701-G). There will be two symbols on the sign, the Pennsylvania State inspection symbol and the ASI symbol. The Sycamore Street Association supports the sign.

Mr. Mahler inquired if the applicant would consider using a maroon color instead of the fire red, noting that would be more appropriate. The applicant advised that the current sign uses the fire red color.

Mr. McKernan agreed with Mr. Mahler’s comment regarding the fire red.

Mr. Jensen commented on the existing sign having the fire red and noted that due to the age of that sign it is already a historic color.

Mr. Mahler made a motion to approve the application for19 North Sycamore Street as presented, but requested the applicant to consider using an alternative color for the Fire Red. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jensen and passed unanimously (3-0).

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 September 19, 2012. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The Board thanked Mr. Burns and Mr. Ward for their time.

The Board members present signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 19 North Sycamore Street. Mr. McKernan advised that he would present the COA to the Board of Supervisors.

Old Business

Update on the Design Guidelines Book and Brochure

Mr. Mahler advised that he has been unable to meet with Mrs. Beckert to discuss the book and brochure. The Recording Secretary noted that Mrs. Beckert did want to wait until the leaves had fallen before taking more photographs. The members also discussed Mrs. Beckert’s comment at the August meeting to add a section with regards to lighting. Mrs. Powers stated that the Township is reviewing the Jointure ordinance with regards to signage throughout the Township.

Other Business

The members discussed illegal signs within the Township. Mrs. Powers noted that the Township has been addressing unapproved signs. Mr. Mahler advised on his discussion with the Supervisors at the last HARB presentation and their request to notify the Township of any sign concerns. Mrs. Powers suggested any concerns be emailed to her.

The members discussed various businesses with regards to sign concerns which included:

  • The Green Parrot – beer signs hanging on railings.
  • Luna Chick – banner sign hanging on façade.
  • LaStalla – sign promoting all you can eat crabs.

The members discussed the ordinance with regards to neon signs and exposed tubing. Mrs. Powers noted that signs in the Historic District can only be externally illuminated.

The members present welcomed Mr. Jensen.

Privilege of the Floor



There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Mahler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jensen and passed unanimously (3-0).

The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:03 A.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.


Respectfully Submitted,


Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary