PARK AND RECREATION BOARD

NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

MINUTES OF OCTOBER 2, 2002


Approval of Minutes: Mr. Strover noted that the trees for Roberts Ridge would be planted at the end of November. Mr. Davis moved to accept the minutes as amended. Mr. Strover seconded and the motion passed 4-0 with Mrs. Sutton abstaining.


The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on October 2, 2002. In attendance and voting were Bernard Bires, Chairman; Andrew Levine, Vice-Chairman; John Davis, Kathy Kelly, Buck O'Neill (late), Russell G. Strover and Anne Marie Zambriscki, members. Also in attendance was Bill Wert, Park and Recreation Director. 

Mr. Bires called the meeting to order at 7:00PM. 

Approval of the Minutes 

Mr. Davis moved to approve the minutes of September 4, 2002. Mr. Strover seconded and the motion passed 6-0. 

New Business 

Hidden Valley Sketch Plan 

Mr. Dean Reniker of Gilmore and Associates presented a sketch plan for a sub-division on Hidden Valley Way. He explained that a parcel of 5.8 acres, with one house on it would  be divided into three parcels. The existing house would be on a 4 acre parcel, and the remaining 1.8 acres would be divided into two lots for two new homes. The lots back onto Neshaminy Creek, and Mr. Reniker believes this land belongs to the County. 

Mr. Wert said that in calculating the fee in lieu of open space he did not know whether the lot with the existing home would be included. He estimated the fee would be about $10,000.00 

Mr. Levine moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors accept a fee in lieu of Open Space for this sub-division. Ms. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 6-0. 

McLaughlin Tract 

Mr. Michael Palmer of Toll Brothers presented the preliminary plan for development of the McLaughlin Tract, a 38 acre parcel on Stoopville Road. Mr. Palmer explained that Toll Brothers plans to build 35 single family homes of 17,000 square foot lots. 20.8 acres of land will remain as open space. 

Mr. Davis noted that the open space on the plan was spread throughout the development and that no large parcel would be easily accessible to the public. 

Mr. Levine noted that the developer intends to leave the acreage as open space belonging to  and maintained by the Homeowners Association, and that it would not be built on.  

Mr. Wert said that a fee in lieu of open space for this development would be about  $175,000.00. 

Ms. Kelly moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors accept a fee in lieu of open space for this development. Ms. Zambriscki seconded and the motion passed 6-0. 

Roberts Ridge Park 

Mr. O'Neill arrived as Mr. Wert gave his report. 

Mr. Wert reported that the playground at Roberts Ridge opened on September 22, 2002, with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by about 300 people. A concert followed by Monday's Blues Big Band. The concert was sponsored by Commerce Bank. Although there was a delay in the scheduled starting time for the concert, it was well attended and the band was very good.  

During the opening, Mr. Wert had the opportunity to speak with many residents from along Frost Lane and the developments along Lower Dolington Road. Many expressed concern about the parking along  the perimeter of the park, and about poor sight line distances exiting Frost Lane onto Lower  Dolington. The parking lot signs have not yet been installed and Mr. Wert hopes the signs will help to alleviate the on street parking, as many people do not realize that the parking lot is not exclusively for the alternative school. He has also met with Pennoni Associates to discuss these concerns. Pennoni will visit the site and make recommendations.  

Mr. Davis noted that the park is constantly in use, with a dozen children playing at any given time. Mr. Bires agreed that he sees many residents making use of the playground now, bringing blankets to picnic on the grass. 

Mr. Wert said that picnic tables and benches are to be installed shortly. He noted that it might be a good idea to create a mulched area in the shade of the large tree, for a cement picnic table and benches. 

Mr. Wert said that a port-o-potty has been placed at the park. It is handicap accessible and stroller accessible. The location for it was chosen to accommodate the large truck that services it weekly. 

Mr. Strover said that he will be arranging for planting of 30 trees in the park in late October. He is not sure yet of the sizes and varieties. Because of drought conditions, some trees are not recommended for planting this fall. He will go to the nursery and tag the trees. He intends to plant some large conifers as a buffer between the park and Roberts Nursery and some deciduous trees in  the arboretum area. He hopes to organize a volunteer effort for planting of the trees. The Public Works department will dig the holes. He said that he will bring the plans for the tree planting to the Planning Commission at their next meeting, then to the Board of Supervisors. 

Skate Park Sub-Committee 

Mr. O'Neill reported that he has not made any formal progress with the skate park plans, but continues to gather information on available locations and equipment. 

Clark Property 

Mr. Wert reported that the parking lot for the Clark property will be complete by the October 26, 2002 opening scheduled by Mr. Harp. The driveway apron will extend to the house. Trails will be marked as "wilderness trails" so that they do not need to be compliant with ADA accessibility requirements for the time being. Penn Dot has limited the access to the parking lot to 25 trips per day. There is room on the property for an expanded parking area, but Penn Dot would require a deceleration lane and other traffic accommodations. 

Silver Lake 

Mr. Strover reported that he has continued to research the application process for a DCNR grant for development of this park for passive recreation. He said that a major component of the grant is Intergovernmental or Corporate Partnership. He said that the first step in the process would have to be a master site plan. This will be required for the application, but also would be needed in order to approach any possible partners. He said that he would like to apply for a grant in the 2003/04 cycle. 

Mr. Wert repeated that he thought that there were a number of opportunities for partnerships with Lower Makefield to connect the trails in Yardley and Newtown, running from Tyler Park to the Delaware River; with Bucks County, connecting the lake with Core Creek into Lake Luxembourg; and with Lockheed Martin for employee recreation. He said that the sub-committee's recommendations for a picnic pavilion and all purpose ball field would work well with a corporate partnership. 

Mr. Bires said that he would again request that the Board of Supervisors include the master site plan in the Park and Recreation budget, as he had done at the September 25, 2002 meeting. 

Park and Recreation Director's Report 

Mr. Wert reported that the Fall brochure had been mailed in early September and has had a very good response. There are 80 children enrolled in the NFL flag football program. There is a 9% increase in revenues and 15% increase in participation. There are 578 programs offered, an increase of 39%. The recreation programs are 103% self-sufficient. 

Mr. Wert noted that because the Board of Supervisors had shifted their meeting schedule for the month of November, the Park and recreation Board would have to meet in the Martindell House on November 6. 

Ms. Zambriscki moved to adjourn at 8:00PM. Ms. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 7-0.

 

Respectfully Submitted

 

______________________________
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary