NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD

Minutes of the meeting held on November 14, 2012

The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Wednesday, November 14, 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 Bill Mahler, Peggy Driscoll, Doug Terry, Harriet Beckert and Kurt Jensen. Not present were members Joseph McKernan, Jr. and Brian Miller. Also present were Patty Powers, Codes Department, Supervisor Ryan Gallagher and Greg Kramer.

Call to Order:

Mr. Mahler called the meeting to order at 9:42 A.M.

Minutes of October 10, 2012:

The members reviewed the minutes of October 10, 2012.

Mr. Terry made a motion to approve the minutes of October 10, 2012 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously with one member abstaining (4-0-1).

New Business

Certificates of Appropriateness:

Allstate Insurance Inc. - 5 North Sycamore Street

The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed for 5 North Sycamore Street to install a double faced freestanding identification sign and one directional wall plaques. The proposed sign color is blue (MP2136/satin finish) with opaque white vinyl lettering (3M 7725-20).

Mr. Kramer updated the Board on what is being proposed. The double faced freestanding sign is 3’ 5” X 3’ 5”, a total of 5’ in height. The proposed colors are blue and white.

Mr. Mahler inquired if Mr. Kramer had reviewed the Zoning Officer’s memorandum. Mr. Kramer replied that he did not receive a copy of the memo.

Mrs. Powers reported on what is permitted by Zoning with regards to the wall mounted directional signs. The logo and company name are not permitted. Prior to today’s meeting the applicant provided a copy of Allstate’s sign rules, but was advised to provide the Codes Department with Pennsylvania State rules. If Mr. Kramer wishes not to revise the directional signs, he would need to appear before the Zoning Hearing Board for relief of the JMZO Section 1106.F.7, directional sign.

Mr. Mahler advised that having the logo on the directional sign that faces Sycamore Street is considered another sign. HARB can approve the colors on the sign, but approval of the directional sign as presented with the additional information being displayed would need relief from the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Kramer advised that he understands what is being said and that he is just looking for approval on the proposed colors and sizes of the signs.

Mrs. Beckert asked if the etching on the door will be removed. Mr. Kramer advised that it is not an etching, but a sticker and yes it will be removed.

Mrs. Beckert advised that the only information that can be on the directional signs are the hours of operation and that all of the other information should be removed because it is a form of advertising which is not allowed.

Mrs. Powers reported that the applicant was advised by Zoning on what information would need to be removed from the directional signs.

Mr. Kramer commented on his discussion with the Zoning Officer and that he was advised that the only information that was not permitted was the wording “Allstate”.

Mrs. Powers suggested that HARB approves the application one sign at a time.

The members discussed the freestanding sign. The post will be white and the sign will be blue with white lettering and a white border. The sign is

3’ 5” X 3’ 5”, a total of 5’ in height. (The application provided was not the one presented at the meeting. The applicant did provide a black and white copy of the freestanding sign. He was also advised that he needed to provide the correct information to the Township as soon as possible.)

Mr. Mahler noted that lighting was discussed at the last meeting. Mr. Kramer advised that he still wants lighting and would use whatever is recommended by HARB. Mrs. Beckert requested the applicant to provide information regarding the spotlights prior to the next meeting so that HARB can approve it without him having to come back again. Mrs. Powers reported that lighting was never part of the application. Mr. Kramer stated that he did discuss lighting with the Zoning Officer. Mrs. Beckert inquired if HARB can approve the application with up lighting as long as the lighting meets the building requirements. The HARB members advised Mr. Kramer that he needs to pick out the lighting. Mrs. Powers and Mr. Jensen advised the applicant on what information will need to be completed for lighting and had the application amended to add lighting.

The members discussed the directional signs. Mr. Kramer stated that he is only looking for the approval of colors and that it is his understanding that the information on the sign needs to be approved by the Township.

Mr. Mahler advised that once the colors for the freestanding sign are approved the applicant does not need to appear before HARB again with regards to the directional signs as long as the approved colors are used.

Mrs. Powers advised on the review process for COA’s, applications are approved by Zoning before going before HARB. She noted that the size and location of the freestanding sign is allowed, but that there are issues with the directional wall mounted sign. She suggested that the applicant scheduling another meeting with Zoning Officer.

The applicant requested HARB to approve the freestanding sign with lighting. The members agreed to approve the proposed freestanding sign with lighting.

Mrs. Beckert advised that she is against advertising on the directional signs and wanted Zoning to be aware of that. Mrs. Powers explained that the directional sign proposed is not in compliance with the JMZO.

The members discussed the memorandum HARB received from the Zoning Officer. Mrs. Beckert provided Mr. Kramer with a copy of the memo.

The Recording Secretary commented on the application’s supporting pictures being different than what was provided and requested Mr. Kramer to clarify what he is requesting. Mr. Kramer advised that he is requesting a 3’ 5” X 3’ 5”, maximum height of 5’ freestanding sign with up lighting.

Mrs. Beckert made a motion to approve the application for 5 North Sycamore Street to install a double faced freestanding identification sign. The sign is 3’ 5” X 3’ 5”, a maximum height of 5’. The sign will have white post, white lettering, and a blue background with a white border. The sign colors are blue (MP2136/satin finish) with opaque white vinyl lettering (3M 7725-20) and a natural white border (MP11477/matte finish). The sign will have up lighting on both sides with the condition that it meets the current building requirements. The directional sign colors will also be blue and white conditional on approval from the Zoning Department or relief from the Zoning Hearing Board. The motion was seconded by Mr. Terry and passed unanimously (5-0).

Mr. Mahler 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 November 28, 2012. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.

The members thanked Mr. Kramer for his time.

Mrs. Powers requested the applicant to initial the permit application to verify the modifications to the size of the freestanding sign and the request for lighting.

The Board members present signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 5 North Sycamore Street. Mr. Mahler advised that he would present the COA to the Board of Supervisors.

The members discussed the information received in the Allstate packet being inaccurate. The Recording Secretary advised Mrs. Powers that she would make a her copy of the sketch provided by Mr. Kramer today with regards to the freestanding sign.

Mrs. Powers updated the members with regards to the history of this application and advised that the information that she received from the Zoning Officer and had forwarded along to the applicant.

The members discussed the information that the applicant was proposing to be displayed on the directional signs and agreed that the information with regards to the disclaimer needs to be displayed within the office of the business.

Old Business

Update on the Design Guidelines Book and Brochure

The members discussed the Design Guidelines book with regards to adding a section regarding signs. Mrs. Beckert reported that she still needs to take additional pictures.

Other Business

Mrs. Beckert discussed her possible resignation from HARB and advised that she would make a decision in December.

Privilege of the Floor

None.

Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Board, Mr. Terry made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously (5-0).

The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:15 A.M.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13, 2012 at 9:30 A.M.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary