Newtown Township

Planning Commission Minutes

October 16, 2001


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (10/16/01):  Mr. Ward moved to approve the minutes of the 10/16/01 meeting with one change.  In the fourth paragraph under Final Plan - Tyrol’s Sycamore, the last sentence should read: “… Mr. Frank assured her that only Professional Office Uses are permitted under the conditional use approval.”  The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously, with Mr. Kester and Dr. Kelly abstaining.   


The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, October 16, 2001, in the lower level Township meeting room.  In attendance were: Chairperson Karen Doorley, members Bob Dieterle, Allen Fidler, Shawn Ward and Vince Lombardi (late).  Also in attendance were: Township Engineers John Barbaz, Township Planner Mike Frank, and Township Public Works Director and Interim Manager Thomas Harwood. 

Chairperson Karen Doorley called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.  Approval of the minutes was deferred until a quorum was present (see later).

REVIEWS: 

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS:

VARIANCE REQUEST #512-01 - KAREN DEMONT - 20 AUTUMN DRIVE: Mrs. Doorley noted that the applicant is seeking to exceed the impervious surface limit by nearly 50%. She also noted that the shed is 12' from the house; however, Mr. Barbaz said that a 12' side yard setback is permitted in the OR District.

Mr. Ward moved to recommend that the Township oppose this application because the relief requested is excessive. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously, with Mr. Lombardi abstaining.

VARIANCE REQUEST #513-01 - MR. & MRS. JAMES BURNS - 432 TAYLOR AVENUE: Mrs. Doorley noted that this applicant is seeking to exceed the impervious surface limit by nearly 100%.

Mr. Ward moved to recommend that the Township oppose this application because the relief requested is excessive. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously, with Mr. Lombardi abstaining.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (10/2/01): Mr. Frank's 10/12/01 letter to Mrs. Doorley suggested that a sentence be added to the minutes regarding the discussion of rezoning the Eagle and Durham Roads area.

Mr. Lombardi moved to approve the minutes of 10/2/01 with the following addition to the end of the discussion of rezoning the Eagle and Durham Roads area: "Although the Planning Commission provided a notepad for the collection of names and addresses, one of the meeting attendees left with the notepad and as such, the Commission was left without the identification of those interested in future meetings on the subject." The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously with Mr. Fidler and Mr. Ward abstaining.

Mrs. Doorley asked that a copy of Mr. Frank's letter be sent to Fran Poole, the President of the Cliveden Homeowners Association.

REVIEWS (CONTINUED):

FINAL PLAN - TYROL'S SYCAMORE -TMP #29-12-20: John Tyrol was present to discuss the plan for an addition to an existing building in the Town Commercial District to be used for D-1 Professional Office Use. The plan received preliminary approval from the Board of Supervisors on 5/9/01. Mr. Tyrol provided copies of a map showing additional parking in the rear of the building.

The Heritage Conservancy's letter of 10/3/01 was reviewed. Mr. Frank said that the 5' easement for a future trail along Newtown Creek was not wide enough to provide access for construction and maintenance of a trail. Mr. Lombardi suggested that the applicant work out a limited adjacent construction easement with the Solicitor, and put a mote regarding the easement of the plan. Mr. Tyrol agreed to do so. Mr. Lombardi commented that he was confident that the development will be consistent with the plans of the Sycamore Street project.

Carroll Engineering's letter of 10/11/01 and the Bucks County Planning Commission's letter of 9/13/01 were reviewed. Mr. Tyrol agreed to comply with all points in the letters.

Melba Vittoriano, an adjacent property owner, was present and stated that she is satisfied that her concerns about parking have been addressed. She asked about the uses permitted on the site, and Mr. Frank assured her that only Professional Office Uses are permitted.

Mr. Ward moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the final plan for Tyrol's Sycamore, subject to compliance with the 10/3/01 letter from the Heritage Conservancy, the 10/11/01 letter from Carroll Engineering and the 9/13/01 letter from the Bucks County Planning Commission. The applicant will work out a limited adjacent construction easement for a future trail along Newtown Creek with the Solicitor, and add a note on this to the plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously.

CONDITIONAL USE - MCLAUGHLIN TRACT - TOLL BROTHERS: Mr. Harwood said that Toll Brothers discussed their plan at the Board of Supervisors work session the previous evening, and they will be bringing a revised application to the Township.

SUBCOMMITTEE AND LIAISON REPORTS:

a. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: No report.

b. NEWTOWN AREA REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: No report.

c. JOINT ZONING COUNCIL: No report.

d. SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE: Mr. Lombardi reported that the water company will start its work on 10/22/01, and will use the Acme parking lot as a staging area. The work will be done at night.

e. HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD: No report.

f. RECREATION BOARD: No report.

g. TRAIL COMMITTEE: Mrs. Doorley reported that on 10/15/01 the Trail was officially turned over to the Township. Mr. Lombardi asked if PennDOT has reimbursed the Township fully; Mr. Harwood said there are still some funds to be received.

h. PARK & OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE: No report.

i. SWAMP ROAD SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: No report.

j. PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Harwood said he has received an extension 12/15/01 from Toll Brothers regarding the McLaughlin Tract. There were no other expirations to be addressed.

CORRESPONDENCE:

HERITAGE CONSERVANCY LETTER OF 10/9/01 - JMZO CONSOLIDATION AND CODIFICATION ADDENDUM: Mr. Frank provided copies of his 10/9/01 letter to the three municipalities in the Jointure regarding some additions to the recently consolidated JMZO, on which the municipalities will be holding public hearing in the near future. He described the additions as housekeeping items.

Mr. Lombardi moved to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve the addendum to the Consolidated JMZO. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ward and passed unanimously.

BUCKS COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION LETTER OF 10/3/01 - PROPOSAL FOR AMENDMENT TO JMZO - FORESTRY/TIMBER HARVESTING USES: Mr. Lombardi moved to refer this letter to the Solicitor and the Board of Supervisors for their review. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ward and passed unanimously.

PICKERING, CORTS & SUMMERSON LETTER OF 9/25/01 - UPPER MAKEFIELD REVIEW: The Commission received a copy of the Upper Makefield Engineer's review of Toll Brothers' conditional use application for development of the Gray Tract.

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS: None

GENERAL DISCUSSION

MEETING DATES: Mrs. Doorley said that the first Tuesday in January 2002 falls on New Year's Day. Commission members agreed that there will be no meeting on 1/1/02. If necessary, the Chairperson will call a meeting for 1/8/02.

SIGNS AT NEWTOWN BOROUGH ENTRANCES: Mrs. Doorley said she was asked recently if the Sycamore Street project could include welcoming signs at the entrances to Newtown Borough. Mr. Lombardi responded that the project does not extend to the entrance points.

ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Ward moved to adjourn. With no objections the meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM. It was noted that the next meeting of the Commission will be on 11/20/01.

 

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,

 


 ______________________________
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary