Minutes of the meeting held on October 6, 2011


The Newtown Area Joint Zoning Council met on Thursday, October 6, 2011 in the meeting room of the Wrightstown Township Municipal Building, 2203 Second Street Pike, Wrightstown, Pa.

Members present were Chester Pogonowski and Jane Magne representing the Wrightstown Township Board of Supervisors; Jerry Schenkman and Allen Fidler representing the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, respectively; Dan Rattigan and David Kulig representing the Upper Makefield Township Board of Supervisors; Jeffrey Garton, representing the law firm of Begley, Carlin & Mandio and Lynn Bush, the Executive Director of The Bucks County Planning Commission.

Chair Pogonowski called the Meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.

On motion of member Rattigan, seconded by member Schenkman minutes of the meeting held on June 2, 2011 were approved. All voted in favor.

Treasurer Schenkman reported that there was a balance of $7,165.79 in the Checking Account at First National Bank, Newtown. A copy of the report dated October 6, 2011 is attached to the original of these minutes.

Solicitor’s Report: Solicitor Garton up-dated the Council on the status of the Federal Cemetery Ordinance lawsuit filed in the Pa. Supreme Court by developer Toll Brothers, Inc. He will report to the Council pending a final report expected in 2012.

Consultant Report: Lynn Bush reported having distributed copies of the Environmental Ordinances to area Planning Commissions and Boards of Supervisors. She met with the Newtown Township Planning Commission at a recent meeting and had received a copy of the Upper Makefield Township ‘stand-alone’ ordinance relating to solar energy. Also, she had received copies of minutes from the Wrightstown Township Planning Commission relating to a recent discussion. Ms. Bush will circulate a separate proposal relating to solar panels as soon as possible to the three Townships for further consideration and recommendations to the Council.

The Wrightstown Township Board of Supervisors Work Session scheduled for October 10, 2011 includes an agenda item for discussion on the topic.

The concerns regarding wood burning stoves on exterior grounds was the topic of a lengthy discussion. Ms. Bush will include concerns discussed regarding types of burnable materials; inspection and permits of units and distances from dwellings and other structures on properties.

Concerns also included conditions in each township SALDO; emergency inspections and costs to re-fit units following inspections. Solicitor Garton and Ms. Bush will consider all comments/concerns and other applicable regulations in the re-writing of the present document . They were directed to re-circulate their composition to the three township Planning Commissions and Boards of Supervisors.

Member Schenkman suggested inviting a agent from New York who might present further information relating to the Solar Ordinance proposed. Wrightstown Township has two members of the Planning Commission who have expertise in the matter, as well.

Historic Ordinance: Ms. Bush will re-circulate the present proposal dated April 30, 2011 and may contact members of historic commissions in Newtown and Wrightstown Townships for further information.

Joint Zoning Ordinance Codification: Solicitor Garton reported that final copies of the revisions/up-dates of the Document are expected in township offices in the near future. He circulated a draft of “drive-through” regulations which had been developed for Newtown Township consideration. It relates to banks and restaurants who might have or consider to have drive-through paths. He was directed to prepare a similar document for consideration at the up-coming meeting of the Council.

Sycamore Street: Ms. Bush has been working with the Newtown Township Planning Commission/Board of Supervisors and Sycamore Street Committee to re-classify properties along the Sycamore Street corridor in the Township. The document will include consideration of areas along Newtown Creek in the Newtown Township side (west) of the Creek and proposed uses.

Adjournment: There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was duly adjourned at 8:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Ethel K. Hibbs, Secretary