Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

November 2, 2004

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (11/2/04): Mr. Sensibaugh moved to approve the minutes of the 11/2/04 meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr.Mendicino and passed unanimously, with Mr. Piazza, Mr. Dieterle, and Mrs. Beasley abstaining.

The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, November 2, 2004, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Allen Fidler, Jay Sensibaugh, Frank Mendicino, Beth Sanderlin, and Vince Lombardi. Also in attendance were: Solicitor Dave Sander, Engineers Chris Walker and Matt Johnston, 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 (10/19/04):Mr. Fidler moved to approve the minutes of the 10/19/04 meeting; the motion was seconded by Ms. Sanderlin and passed unanimously, with Mr. Lombardi abstaining.

TRAFFIC ENGINEER’S REPORT: Mr. Johnston provided the November 2004 Pennoni Associates report on traffic-related engineering projects.

BYPASS AND BUCK ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: Mr. Fidler asked if it is possible to install two lanes turning right from Buck Road onto the Bypass, a suggestion which has been discussed at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Johnston said this would be difficult to do, and it may not be necessary since the single right turn lane will have a green arrow. Mr. Ward noted that Mr. Smith agreed to revisit this issue when the construction work is done at this intersection.

Mr. Mendicino asked if the developer of the proposed Four Seasons project at this intersection will meet with the Planning Commission again after doing the traffic study the Commission requested. Mr. Sander said the developer is not obligated to do so, but it would be advisable since the Commission’s recommendation for denial still stands.

NEWTOWN-YARDLEY ROAD AND THE BYPASS: Mr. Lombardi asked if an additional lane will be installed on Newtown-Yardley Road as proposed in the TIP project. Mr. Johnston said the Township did not get all the funds requested for this project, but there are enough funds for the intersection improvements. Mr. Johnston agreed to give a detailed report on this project in his next report to the Commission.


CONDITIONAL USE – LOMBARDI – 125 N. SYCAMORE STREET – TMP# 29-12-11: Mr. Lombardi recused himself from the Commission for this item as he and his wife are the applicants. Also present was the applicants’ attorney, John VanLuvanee. The applicants are seeking conditional use approval for four parking spaces within the floodplain on a .41 acre lot in the TC District.

Mr. VanLuvanee said the Board of Supervisors has expressed a preference for impervious paving for the parking area, and the applicant would prefer this too, although the ordinance requires pervious paving. Mr. Sander said the ordinance permits pervious paving but says nothing about impervious paving.

Mr. Sander reviewed the requirements of JMZO Article IX, exhibit B, procedures 1 through 5. This part of the ordinance is mentioned in the 10/8/04 Boucher and James letter. After some discussion it was agreed that #3 does not apply since neither a variance nor a special exception is being sought.

Ms. Goldstein suggested that the applicant be asked to comply with her review letter to the extent it is applicable. Mr. VanLuvanee agreed to do so.

Mr. Sensibaugh moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve this application to allow parking in the flood fringe pursuant to Section 603.E.4 of the JMZO, subject to the following conditions:

1. Compliance with the 10/8/04 Boucher and James letter to the extent applicable

2. The applicant will use impervious paving materials in the parking area.

3. The applicant will comply with Section 603.E.2 of the JMZO, which requires that the impervious surface shall not exceed 50% of the floodplain area, and total impervious shall not exceed 80% of the base site area.

The motion was seconded by Ms. Sanderlin and passed unanimously, with Mr. Lombardi abstaining.

PRD VARIANCE – ANTHONY AND KATHLEEN DIPAOLO – 52 COPPERLEAF DRIVE – TMP# 29-29-170: Anthony DiPaolo was present to discuss his request for relief to permit the construction of an addition to the rear of an existing single family home in the Kirkwood PRD in the R-1 District which will exceed the maximum impervious surface ratio of the final plan.

Mr. Ward asked if the applicant plans to add another deck on his house. Mr. DiPaolo responded that he does not.

Mr. Sander asked how the existing impervious surface ratio reached 28% when the maximum allowed in the final plan is 25%. Mr. DiPaolo said he did not know. Mr. Walker said it was probably increased when an existing shed was built.

Mr. Harwood asked if a permit was obtained when the shed was built, and Mr. DiPaolo said it was not. Mr. Harwood said accessory buildings must be at least six feet from the side and rear property lines, and he suggested that Mr. DiPaolo move the shed.

Several neighbors of Mr. DiPaolo were present and they stated they did not object to the proposed addition or to the existing shed. Mr. DiPaolo indicated he would rather not move the shed.

Mr. Ward said Mr. DiPaolo can amend his application to include a request for relief from setback requirements for the shed. Mr. Sander said if the application is amended the hearing must be readvertised; an amended application must be filed as soon as possible.

Mr. Fidler moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the application for a variance from the revised final plan of Kirkwood to increase the impervious surface area from 28% to 33.4%, and approve a variance to allow an existing shed to remain within six feet of both the side yard and the rear yard property lines. The Commission further recommends that the approval be conditioned on compliance with the 10/25/04 Pennoni Associates letter. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.


Newtown, Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority – Linton Hill Road s/o Wrights Road – TMP# 29-3-73-5: The applicant seeks special exceptions to allow a pumping station and gravity sewer line (Use F-1) and to allow a utility crossing in a floodplain in the CM District. The applicant also seeks a variance to allow this installation on a 5.29 lot where the minimum lot size is ten acres. The Commission had no comments on this application.

Harry Patel – Linton Hill Road s/o Wrights Road – TMP# 29-3-73-5: The applicant is seeking a special exception to allow construction of improvements in a floodplain, and variances to allow disturbance of a floodplain, wetlands, and floodplain soils in the CM District. The Commission had no comments on this application.


a. Board of Supervisors: No report.

b. Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission: Mr. Sensibaugh reported that the 10/21/04 meeting was canceled.

c. Joint Zoning Council: Mr. Lombardi reported that the scheduled meeting was canceled.

d. Sycamore Street Committee: Mr. Lombardi reported that the Committee will meet 11/9/04.

e. HARB: Mrs. Beasley reported that Ellie Campbell, a member of HARB involved for a long time with historic preservation in the Township, died last weekend. Mr. Lombardi added that HARB will meet next week.

f. Park and Recreation Board: Mr. Fidler said the Board will meet on 11/9/04 and he will not be able to attend. The Board will present its recommendations about the Woll Tract. There will be no more Park and Recreation Board meetings until 2005. Mr. Mendicino said he can attend the meeting.

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


PARK AND RECREATION BOARD AGENDA 11/9/04: Members received copies of the Board’s agenda and minutes for the 11/9/04 meeting.

GRAY TRACT REVIEW (UPPER MAKEFIELD: Members received copies of a 10/25/04 letter from Pickering, Corts, and Summerson regarding a preliminary plan for the Gray Tract at Stoopville and Creamery Roads.

ARTICLE RE: LAND USE DECISIONS: Members received copies of an article from the September 2004 PA Township News regarding how land use applications should be made.

ARTICLE RE: PENSYLVANIA’S TRANSPORTATION PLAN: Members received copies of an article on Pennsylvania’s 12-year Transportation plan.



SALDO – CURB AND SIDEWALK ORDINANCE REVISION: Mr. Walker explained that this revision was drafted by Pennoni Associates to correct some discrepancies in the ordinance. It requires the use of 4,000 p.s.i. concrete instead of 3,500 p.s.i. concrete. The proposed standards exceed those of PennDOT and will improve the durability of curbs and sidewalks. Mr. Walker said that contractors are already being asked to conform to this standard.

Mr. Lombardi commented that specific standards are needed for the repair and replacement of the stamped concrete sidewalks on Sycamore Street. Mr. Sander recommended a stand-alone ordinance regarding replacement of Sycamore Street sidewalks.

Mr. Mendicino moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the SALDO revision regarding curbs and sidewalks. The motion was seconded by Mr. Lombardi and passed unanimously.


ADJOURNMENT: Without objection the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary