Newtown Township

Planning Commission Minutes

January 16, 2001

MINUTES OF 1/16/01:  Mr. Kester moved to approve the minutes of 1/16/01; the motion was seconded by Mr. Lombardi and passed unanimously. 

The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, January 16, 2001, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM.  In attendance were: Chairperson Karen Doorley, members Allen Fidler, Paul Kester, James Baldwin, Vince Lombardi, Bonnie Kelly, and Sue Beasley.  Also in attendance was Supervisor Raymond Goodnoe.


Chairperson Karen Doorley called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM. 



MINUTES OF 1/2/01:  Mr. Kester moved to approve the minutes of 1/2/01 with one correction:  on page 3, the Sycamore Street Committee liaisons are Mr. Lombardi, Mr. Mendicino and Mrs. Doorley.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Baldwin and passed unanimously with Dr. Kelly abstaining.





CONDITIONAL USE - LASTALLA RESTAURANT - VILLAGE AT NEWTOWN SOUTH - TMP# 29-10-85-6:  Attorney Don Marshall was present to discuss the application to use 4,087 square feet on the first floor of an existing building (the Lovett Barn) in the Planned Commercial District, for Use E-5, Eating Place.  Mr. Marshall stated that the applicants plan a Tuscan style family restaurant seating up to 150 people.  Approximately 15% of the business will be takeout.  They have not applied for a liquor license.


Mr. Marshall stated there will be an average of ten and a maximum of fourteen employees on site, working in two shifts.  The hours of operation will be 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM seven days a week.  There will be no hazardous materials or offensive environmental effects.  Refuse will be stored in a dumpster provided by the shopping center.  Twenty three parking spaces are required, and they will be provided in a lot shared with the Workbench (on the second floor of the building).


Mr. Fidler asked if the applicants plan to have diners seated outdoors.  Mr. Marshall said there will be seating on the terrace in good weather, but no music will be played outside.  The only exception might be a special event, for which a permit would be obtained.


Mr. Baldwin moved to recommend approval of the conditional use application, subject to the Heritage Conservancy review letter of 11/21/00, with the hours of operation 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM seven days a week, and provided that there will be no outdoor music unless a permit is obtained for a special event.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kester and passed unanimously.





a.       BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:  Supervisor Raymond Goodnoe reviewed the 1/10/01 Board of Supervisors meeting.  He mentioned that a small parcel of Township land lies completely within the Borough.  The possibility of ceding it to the Borough came up as the Supervisors discussed the new Office-Light Industrial District.  Commission members agreed to discuss this further at their next meeting on 2/6/01.  Mr. Goodnoe added that at the work session later that night, the Supervisors decided to try to assume the remainder of the lease of the Acme property, and ultimately to acquire the property.


b.       JOINT PLANNING COMMISSION:  Mr. Kester reported the Commission will meet on 1/18/01.  He said that many projects are in progress, including several proposed JMZO amendments and the reconciliation of the three municipalities’ versions of the JMZO.  A color coded map of all the zoning districts in the Jointure is now available. 


c.       JOINT ZONING COUNCIL:  No report.


d.       SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE:  Mr. Lombardi reported that the last meeting was cancelled.  He said that if there are no agenda items, he will generally cancel the Committee meetings, but he will be present at the scheduled time in case members of the community have concerns or questions.


e.       HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD: Mr. Baldwin reported that HARB recently reviewed plans for the Jones Medical facility on Sycamore Street.  HARB meets again on 1/17/01 to review the Tyrol plan; Mr. Baldwin  cannot attend, but Mr. Lombardi said he would try to be there.


f.         RECREATION BOARD:  Mr. Baldwin reported that the Board met on 1/3/01.  Bernie Bires was re-elected chairman.  A new Recreation Department staff person was present at the meeting.  The Department is now 80% self sufficient.


g.       TRAIL COMMITTEE:  No report.


h.       PARK & OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE: No report.


i.         COMMUNITY CENTER COMMITTEE:  Mr. Fidler reported that the Committee met with the Board of Supervisors at their work session on 1/15/01.   The Committee is focusing on the Acme site, and has a better idea of where to spend their energies in the remaining 6 months of their charter.  The next Committee meeting will be 1/25/01.


j.         PLAN EXPIRATIONS:  None to be addressed.














SUSTAINING NEWTOWN:   Commission members received a brochure on this subject in their packets.  Mr. Goodnoe explained the history and purpose of the “Sustaining Newtown” project, and invited everyone present to attend the first meeting on 1/18/01.  He said that the meetings are being held to find out what residents think about the economic future of the Newtown area.  Although land use is not the primary focus, he felt it was possible that the subject will come up.  The meetings also address a requirement in the guidelines of the application for a grant to fund the Main Street Manager program.  The meetings are being conducted by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.  Each meeting will build on the previous one, but anyone can come to any or all of the meetings and participate fully.  Mrs. Beasley asked if the planning will take into account the high mobility of Newtown residents, who typically move every few years.  Mr. Goodnoe said that even short term residents are interested in residential taxes and property values.  Several Commission members said they will try to attend the first meeting.



ADJOURNMENT:   Mr. Kester moved to adjourn.  With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.








Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary