NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD
Minutes of the meeting held on December 12, 2012
The Newtown Township Historical Architectural Review Board met on Wednesday, December 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 Bill Mahler, Peggy Driscoll, Doug Terry, Joseph McKernan, Jr., Harriet Beckert and Kurt Jensen. Not present was member Brian Miller. Also present was David Hamski.
Call to Order:
Mr. McKernan called the meeting to order at 9:33 A.M.
Minutes of November 14, 2012:
The members reviewed the minutes of November 14, 2012.
Mr. Mahler made a motion to approve the minutes of November 14, 2012 as presented. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Driscoll and passed unanimously with one member abstaining (4-0-1).
(Mrs. Beckert arrived after the minutes were approved.)
Certificates of Appropriateness:
St. Andrew’s Church – 135 South Sycamore Street
The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed for 135 South Sycamore Street to install a fence in front of the cemetery.
Mr. Hamski updated the members on what is being proposed. He advised that the Church would like to install a fence in front of the cemetery on Sycamore Street. The matter has appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board. The fence proposed is manufactured by Alumi-Guard. The style is Ascot 3-Channel with rings. The fence is 4’ in height. The color proposed is Florida Bronze, which will match the stone material on the Church. No gates are being proposed.
Mrs. Beckert advised that she is concerned with the bronze color being proposed and noted that black would be more appropriate.
Mrs. Driscoll questioned the location of the closest black fence. Mr. Hamski reported that the closest black fence is located approximately three blocks away boarding the creek.
The members discussed the black fence located on the Stockburger property and the work done by the Sycamore Street Committee.
Mr. Mahler inquired on the location of the proposed fence. Mr. Hamski advised that the fence will be located in front of the cemetery and that the scrubs that where there prior have been removed.
Mrs. Beckert stated that she feels that a black fence is more historically appropriate. Mr. Hamski advised that the bronze color was chosen because of its match to the Church stone.
Mrs. Beckert commented on the work done by the Sycamore Street Committee.
Mr. Mahler agreed with Mrs. Beckert that a black fence would be more appropriate historically, but noted that he is was unsure if the bronze color would keep him from voting to approve the application.
Mr. Jensen, Mr. Terry and Mr. McKernan also agreed they were okay with the bronze fence.
Mrs. Driscoll questioned if the matter was reviewed by the Sycamore Street Committee. Mr. Hamski stated that he did not believe so.
The members inquired if Monsignor Picard would consider changing the fence color to black. Mr. Hamski stated that he was not sure and again explained why the bronze color was chosen.
Mr. Mahler advised that HARB makes a recommendation to the Supervisors and inquired that if HARB recommends a black fence will that give Mr. Hamski enough time to discuss the matter with Monsignor Picard. Mr. Hamski advised that he will check with Monsignor Picard to see if a black fence would be an option.
Mr. Terry suggested contacting a representative from the Sycamore Street Committee for their opinion on the matter.
Mr. Hamski noted that the Church is hopeful to have the installation of the fence done before Spring.
Mrs. Beckert advised that the applicant has appeared before HARB in the past for other matters. It was noted that this was Mr. Hamski’s first appearance before HARB.
Mr. McKernan made a motion to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness application for 135 South Sycamore Street on the following conditions. HARB recommends the fence color be black, due to the black color being more historically appropriate. HARB would contact a representative from the Sycamore Street Committee for their input on the color. And that the applicant will consider using black vs. bronze. The fence proposed is an Alumi-Guard Ascot 3-Channel with rings. The fence is 4’ in height. The motion was seconded by Mr. Mahler and passed with Mrs. Beckert voting nay (5-1).
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 December 19, 2012. The meeting starts at 7:30 P.M. and a representative should be present.
It was suggested to contact Mr. Lombardi or Mr. Ward with regards to the fence color. Mr. McKernan advised that he would contact Mr. Lombardi and update everyone.
Mr. Mahler noted that HARB’s recommendation would be for a black fence due to the color being more historically correct.
Mrs. Beckert commented on the Sycamore Street Committee having guidelines that should be available for review.
The members thanked Mr. Hamski for his time.
The Board members present signed the Certificate of Appropriateness for 135 South Sycamore Street.
Bare Root Design Studio – 127 South Sycamore Street
The Board discussed the Certificate of Appropriateness application completed for 127 South Sycamore Street to erect a double sided freestanding blade style identification sign. The applicant was not present for the discussion. The proposed materials are aluminum for the post and bracket and wood for the sign. The proposed color for the post and bracket is powder coated black. The proposed colors for the wooden sign are SW 7566 (same as bldg. exterior) for the background; BM 1596 and SW 6704 for the lettering; and HC 166, BM 1596 and SW 6704 for the logo. The sign can’t exceed the maximum height of 5’ per Section 1106 L (5) of the zoning ordinance.
Mrs. Beckert commented on the proposed use of aluminum for the post and noted that HARB has always recommended that the post be constructed of wood. She also questioned if the Township is now allowing hanging signs, reporting that in the past hanging signs had been deterred. She advised that she is okay with approving the sign.
Mr. McKernan and Mr. Terry stated that they are in favor of what is being proposed.
Mr. Mahler made a motion to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness application for 127 South Sycamore Street as proposed. The post and bracket will be black powder coated aluminum. The sign will be wooden. The sign colors will be SW 7566 (same as bldg. exterior) for the background; BM 1596 and SW 6704 for the lettering; and HC 166, BM 1596 and SW 6704 for the logo. The sign can’t exceed the maximum height of 5’ per Section 1106 L (5) of the zoning ordinance. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jensen and passed unanimously (6-0).
The members signed the application and noted that the matter would be discussed at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on December 19, 2012.
Due to Mr. McKernan not being able to attend the meeting on December 19, 2012, it was agreed that Mr. Mahler would present the applications to the Supervisors.
Update on the presentation of the COA application for Allstate Insurance Inc. - 5 North Sycamore Street at the Supervisors’ meeting on November 28, 2012
Mr. Mahler advised the members that at the November 28 th meeting the applicant proposed a style of LED lighting. The Supervisors amended the application and approved the new LED lighting being proposed.
Update on the Design Guidelines Book and Brochure
Mrs. Beckert reported that she still needs to take additional pictures.
The members discussed HARB’s budget and the possibility of having the brochure done professionally.
Mrs. Driscoll advised the members that the Public Utility Commission (PUC) will be holding two public meetings today at the Township Administration Building with regards to the Newtown Artesian Water Company proposing the installation of a pumping station in the CM District (Tanner’s Lawn Equipment, Rt. 532). The meeting times are 1 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. The matter did not appear before the Township’s Zoning Hearing Board. She is concerned with how the pumping station will affect the wells of residences in the area. Mr. McKernan advised that Howard Woods is a consultant on this type of matter and lives in the Township. He will contact Mr. Woods and have him contact Mrs. Driscoll. Mrs. Driscoll advised the members that she is against the pumping station being placed in the CM District and that the matter is opposed by the Township Supervisors, Senator McIlhinney and Representative Santarsiero. She encouraged concerned residents to attend the hearings.
Mrs. Beckert discussed the design guidelines brochure for Hopewell Township, New Jersey. She felt the brochure was done very well, was very interesting and was a good resource.
The Recording Secretary requested the members to change the day of the January meeting from January 9 th to January 8 th due to a personal conflict. The members agreed to meeting on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
The members discussed attendance at meetings.
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. Terry and passed unanimously (6-0).
The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:14 A.M.The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9:30 A.M.
Christy Holley-Flaherty, Recording Secretary