PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD
MINUTES OF MEETING OF DECEMBER 6, 2006
The Newtown Township Park and Recreation Board met on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Joel Grosso, Vice Chairman; Michael Clancy, John Davis, Kathy Kelly, Buck O’Neill and Susan Sutton, members. Also in attendance were Russell Strover, Township Naturalist, Donald McEachron, EAC Liaison and Philip Calabro, Township Supervisor.
Call to Order
Mr. Grosso called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Clancy moved to accept the minutes of November 1, 2006. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 6-0.
11 Friends Lane – Preliminary Plan
Richard Knudsen and Paul Salvatore presented a plan for retrofitting an existing 34,382 square foot building. There will be an addition of 84 parking spaces, but no change in the building footprint.
Members were not sure whether a retrofitted building would generate a recreational impact fee, and took no action.
Goodnoe Corner – 298 Sycamore Street – Preliminary/Final Plan
Joe McGrath and Wayne Johnson presented a plan for development of the Goodnoe Dairy Bar property as a 30,600 square foot shopping center, consisting of seven individual buildings. The buildings will contain retail and restaurant businesses and a large pharmacy. There will be a storefront appearance on both the street side and parking lot side of the buildings, with sidewalks and pedestrian walkways on Sycamore Street and throughout the interior.
Mr. Davis moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors accept a fee in lieu of open space for this project. Mrs. Sutton seconded and the motion passed 6-0.
Goodnoe Tract – 235 Eagle Road – Preliminary Plan
Bill Breigel of Orleans Homebuilders was in attendance to review a plan for development of a housing subdivision consisting of three existing homes and 21 new homes in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District. The development will front Eagle Road with one long cul-de-sac. Some variances will be required. There is a sidewalk planned for one side of the street. Open space will run behind the houses to an area at the rear of the development, for a total of 37.875 acres of open space.
The Board discussed whether to accept the open space, as it touches a small corner of Hidden Lake and Peter Taylor Farmstead. At a previous presentation of plans for this property, Mr. Wert had considered extending the trail from the Woll Tract to Eagle Road and through this property to Hidden Lake, forming a “linear park”.
Mr. Breigel pointed out that Newtown Creek bisects the open space, and it is very wide. The wetlands are also very wide here and there are protected agricultural soils along the rear of the property. He did not think it would be possible to traverse the creek to go into the Hidden Lake area. He also noted that there is some other private property between this parcel and Hidden Lake. Any open space would not be easily accessible to the public, but would remain as open space, maintained by a homeowners associationMr. Davis moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors accept a fee in lieu of open space, with the understanding that if it is possible to extend the trail through the property to Hidden Lake, that that portion of the property be accepted as open space, with the cost of a trail being deducted from the fee. Mr. Clancy seconded and the motion passed 6-0.
Mr. O’Neill reported that the high school students who have volunteered to research a skate park would be ready to make a presentation at the January or February meeting. (Mr. O’Neill left the meeting at this point.)
The Board reviewed the responses to the request for proposals for the Woll Tract engineering. Township Manager Robert Pellegrino had prepared a summary sheet explaining the components of work to be done with associated costs.
Mr. Clancy moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors award a contract for engineering of the Woll tract to Gilmore & Associates. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mrs. Sutton reported that the fences have been removed from Roberts Ridge Park of Possibilities. Children have been using the playground all week. She believes that the only work left to be completed is installation of roofing tiles on the picnic pavilion. (Mr. Davis left the meeting at this point.)
Mrs. Sutton reported that she has contacted Chandler Hall about working jointly on refurbishing the facilities at Carl Sedia Park. Chandler Hall residents were very enthusiastic about working together. She has learned that among the residents are retired engineers and gardeners who could make valuable contributions to any project. Chandler Hall also has a grant writing professional on staff who would work with the Township on funding proposals for possibly replacing the exercise stations.
Dr. McEachron said that the EAC has applied for a grant for restoration and erosion control of Newtown Creek in the area of Carl Sedia Park. At this time it is not known whether the grant has been awarded, but the EAC has also made initial contact with Council Rock School District about using student volunteers to help with the project. He suggested that the EAC and Park and Recreation Board keep each other informed as these projects get underway, as there would possibly be some overlapping of the project, and opportunity to work together.
Board of Supervisors
Mr. Calabro reported that the 2007 budget has no increase in taxes. There is a transfer of funds to Park and Recreation of $30,000. He briefly discussed a recent newspaper article about Silver Lake Park. He said that with recent residential development in that section of the Township, Silver Lake will probably see increased use, and for that reason he supports leaving money in the budget for some improvements there.
Environmental Advisory Council
Dr. McEachron reported that the Environmental Advisory Council, Planning Commission and Park and Recreation Board have been invited to join a coalition with Newtown Borough’s EAC and Planning Commission and the JDNC that would study and make recommendations for revitalization of the Newtown Creek in the Sycamore Street/State Street area. Maps created in 1776 show the Creek and the Newtown Commons as the center of activity in the Newtown area. The Coalition would like to examine ways to plan for reclamation of the Commons as a center of Township and Borough.
Mrs. Sutton agreed to represent the Park and Recreation Board on this coalition.
Dr. McEachron said that an EAC member recently attended a seminar on deer/wildlife management. He suggested that, since the Park and Recreation Board has also begun to investigate ways to control deer in the parks, that EAC and PRB work together on investigating wildlife management. Dr. McEachron said that there are serious environmental and safety concerns as deer overpopulate the area.
Mr. Clancy moved to adjourn at 8:15PM. Mrs. Kelly seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary