Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

May 18, 2004

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (5/18/04):  Mr.Fidler moved to approve the minutes of the 5/18/04 meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr.Sensibaugh and passed unanimously. 

The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, May 18, 2004, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Allen Fidler, Jay Sensibaugh, Bob Dieterle, Beth Sanderlin, Sue Beasley, and Vince Lombardi. Also in attendance were: Supervisor Skip Goodnoe, Solicitor Dave Sander, Engineers Chris Walker and Phil Wursta, Planner Judy Goldstein, and Public Works Director Tom Harwood.

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Shawn Ward called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (5/4/04): Mr. Fidler moved to approve the minutes of the 5/4/04 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.


CONDITIONAL USE – KWIK COPY – 121 FRIENDS LANE – SUITE 200 – TMP# 29-10-92-01B: Susan Van Wert was present to discuss her request for approval of 5,000 SF of G-5 Printing Use in the LI District. The 5/12/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed.

Ms. Van Wert said the unit is subdivided now, but she intends to use all 5,000 SF for the Printing Use. She said that approximately three times a year she will receive a delivery by tractor trailer; all other deliveries will be by UPS-type van. She agreed to change her application to indicate the hours will be from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday with occasional weekend hours.

Ms Van Wert said her business requires that she store and use some hazardous materials, such as isopropyl alcohol, a cleaning solvent, and ink. She is currently operating in an office building and there are no problems with these materials. At Mr. Sander’s request she agreed to have the Fire Marshal review her MSD sheets on the materials.

Mr. Harwood said his office is keeping a running total on parking spaces used, and the required 11 spaces are available.

Ms. Goldstein noted that her point 11 b. concerns an existing non-conformity; the property does not front on a principal arterial street.

Mr. Fidler moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve this request, subject to the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mrs. Beasley and passed unanimously.

SKETCH PLAN – VERIZON OFFICE EXPANSION – 369 WASHINGTON CROSSING ROAD – TMP# 29-10-13-3: Thomas Caserta of Verizon, attorney Brian Heun, and landscape architect Adam Binosky were present to discuss their proposal for a 3,600 SF addition to the north side of an existing 9,429.4 SF building on a four acre site in the R-1 District. No improvements are proposed for these lots at this time. The 4/23/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed and the following points were discussed:

Mr. Caserta said the generator was added two years ago, and the proposed addition will house switching equipment.

FINAL PLAN FOR MAJOR SUBDIVISION – TWINING – 178 DURHAM ROAD – TMP# 29-4-37-1: Anne and Edward Twining and engineer Nick Rose were present to discuss their plan to subdivide a 2.5 acre parcel in the R-1 District into two lots, with lot 2 being a flag lot. The 3/29/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed and the applicant agreed to comply with all points except those for which a waiver is requested. The following points were discussed:

The 4/13/04 Pennoni Associates letter was reviewed. The applicant agreed to comply with all points except those for which waivers are requested. The following points were discussed:

Mr. Lombardi moved to recommend approval of the plan, subject to the following conditions:

The Commission further recommends that the following waivers be granted:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS: The Commission reviewed the following applications scheduled for the 6/3/04 Zoning Hearing Board meeting and had no comments on them:


a. Board of Supervisors: Mr. Goodnoe reported on the 5/12/04 meeting, at which the week of 5/17/04 was proclaimed Public Works Week, the Stroupe plan was approved, Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Weaver were appointed to a regional traffic committee, and an ordinance was adopted that set a 35 MPH speed limit on South Eagle Road.

b. Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission: Mr. Sensibaugh said the Commission will meet on 5/20/04.

c. Joint Zoning Council: Mr. Ward said the meeting was cancelled.

d. Sycamore Street Committee: Mr. Lombardi reported on the most recent meeting. The Committee is changing its meeting location to Chandler Hall this summer. The sidewalk contractor has asked to work during daylight hours.

e. HARB: No report.

f. Park and Recreation Board: Mr. Fidler said the Board met on 5/5/04 and discussed Arbor Day celebrations, Pickering Field, Roberts Ridge Park, and the Woll Tract access. Mr. Wert reported on revenues and participation in recreation programs. Mrs. Beasley questioned if the parking provided for the Roberts Ridge playground might be excessive.

g. Plan Expirations: Mr. Sander said there are no plan expirations needing to be addressed.


4/27/04 LETTER FROM DON MARSHALL RE: AGRICULTURAL USES The Commission received a copy of a 4/27/04 letter from attorney Don Marshall to the Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission concerning the proposed JMZO amendments regarding agricultural and contracting uses. Ms. Goldstein noted that the Wrightstown Township Planning Commission also had comments on the draft ordinance.

Several members said they supported Mr. Marshall’s suggestion that a regional committee consider these ordinance provisions. Mr. Fidler said such a group should include farmers as well as agricultural service businesses. Mr. Lombardi said the committee could be the Regional Planning Commission or the Joint Zoning Council, with additional participants from farming and other agricultural businesses.

Mr. Fidler asked Bill Sterling, a Township resident who was present, to comment on what kinds of accessory uses would be helpful to his farming business. Mr. Sterling said he is not sure of what might help him, but he noted that the proliferation of regulations is a statewide problem for farmers.

Mr. Ward said that when a revised version of the ordinance is received the Township will give Mr. Sterling a copy and invite him to discuss it with the Commission. He asked Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Sensibaugh to take the Commission’s concerns to the Regional Planning Commission meeting on 5/20/04 and encourage a regional discussion of these issues.

DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION DRAFT 2005 TIP: The Commission received a 5/7/04 memo from the Manager which included a notice about hearings on the draft TIP and excerpts concerning the two projects which affect the Township, intersection improvements at Newtown-Yardley Road and Penns Trail, and Swamp Road corridor improvements. The memo asked for comments that Mr. Pellegrino can include in his written comments or public testimony.

Several Commission members said they might be able to attend one of the public hearings. They agreed to ask Mr. Pellegrino for an advance copy of his comments so that Commission members can support them. Mr. Ward said he will contact Mr. Pellegrino on 5/19/04.


JMZO 2004-4 – CONDITIONAL USE AND SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS: Mr. Lombardi said he understood that the impetus for this ordinance came from the Upper Makefield Zoning Hearing Board. He proposed that the Commission table consideration of this draft, which is not substantially different from the draft previously reviewed, and ask the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board for their comments. Mr. Lombardi also said that consideration of this ordinance would be more appropriate as part of the review of the Comprehensive Plan which the Jointure currently is undertaking.

Mr. Lombardi moved to ask the Zoning Hearing Board for their comments on JMZO 2004-4 regarding Conditional Use and Special Exceptions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously.


ADJOURNMENT: With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary