Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

November 16, 2004

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (11/16/04): Mr. Sensibaugh moved to approve the minutes of the 11/16/04 meeting with one correction: The first sentence of the penultimate paragraph under Newtown Rental Center should read “…not recommend that the Township oppose or support the request…” The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously, with Mr. Lombardi abstaining.

The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, November 16, 2004, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Allen Fidler, Jay Sensibaugh, Frank Mendicino, Mike Piazza, Bob Dieterle, and Sue Beasley. 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: Secretary Allen Fidler called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM as the Chairman was delayed. Mr. Fidler chaired the meeting until Mr. Ward arrived.

Mr. Fidler announced that item 4.b., the conditional use application of Teletronics, would be continued at the request of the applicant.

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.


CONDITIONAL USE (SOIL STRIPPING) – COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION REALTY – 5 CAULFIELD PLACE – TMP# 29-10-78: Richard A. Alito of Scozzari and Sons was present to discuss the applicant’s request for approval to remove approximately 8,700 cubic yards of topsoil (Use G-15) from the construction site for Building D on a 23.09 acre site in the OR District.

The 11/8/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed and Mr. Alito agreed to comply with all points. The following items were discussed:

Mr. Sensibaugh asked how the Township will know how much soil is removed. Mr. Walker said his office will inspect the site afterwards.

Mr. Piazza moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve this request for G-15 Use to permit the applicant to remove approximately 8,700 cubic yards of topsoil, subject to the following conditions:

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

Mr. Ward arrived and chaired the remainder of the meeting.

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS: The Commission reviewed five applications scheduled for the 12/2/04 meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board.

Brandywine Realty Trust – 656-04: No comments.

David Fisher (Slack’s Hoagie Shack) – 669-04: No comments. Mr. Harwood said the application will not be heard at the Zoning Hearing Board because it is for an E-5 Use.

Acme Supermarkets – 670-04: No comments.

Orleans Homebuilders – 671-04: The applicant seeks several variances relating to soil disturbance and open space in connection with the development of the Yamamoto Tract. Mr. Ward noted that the variances are necessary because the Commission preferred a particular design for this development. Mr. Sander said the design that was not favored by the Commission would have complied with the ordinance.

Mr. Piazza moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors not oppose this request. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ward.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Dieterle said some of the relief sought was substantial. Mr. Sensibaugh said the developer could have modified his plan, perhaps by eliminating a few houses, instead of seeking relief.

Mr. Piazza’s motion passed 6-1, with Mr. Sensibaugh voting “nay”.

Newtown Rental Center – 672-04: The applicant seeks multiple variances in connection with the relocation of an existing house and the proposed construction of a new building. A signed agreement between the applicant and the Township regarding this project is attached to the application. Mr. Ward commented that the agreement and the plan specify a 5,000 SF building, while the application for zoning relief refers to a 7,500 SF building. Members were not able to determine if the descriptions referred to the footprint or the total area of the proposed building.

Mr. Fidler asked what will happen to the agreement if the stone house falls apart during the proposed transport. Mr. Sander said the agreement contains a clause which states that it will be null and void if the house is not moved successfully, and the Zoning Hearing Board cannot grant relief from the terms of the agreement.

Mr. Sensibaugh moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors oppose this request for relief because the application is ambiguous. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ward for discussion.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Sander commented that the Township has agreed not to oppose some of the variance requests in its agreement with the applicant.

Mr. Sensibaugh’s motion failed 1-6, with Mr. Ward, Mr. Piazza, Mr. Mendicino, Mr. Fidler, Mrs. Beasley, and Mr. Dieterle voting “nay”.

Mr. Ward suggested that the Commission not recommend that the Township oppose support of the request, but that the recommendation point out the ambiguity regarding the size of the building and the concern that any relief granted should be contingent on compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Mr.Sensibaugh moved to not recommend that the Board of Supervisors either oppose or support these requests, but to advise the Board on two points: 1) any relief granted should be subject to compliance with all terms of the agreement the applicant has with the Township; and 2) the actual size of the proposed new building, described as 7,500 SF in the application and 5,000 SF in the agreement, should be clarified. The motion was seconded by Mr. Piazza and passed unanimously.


a. Board of Supervisors: No report.

b. Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission: Mr. Sensibaugh reported the Commission did not meet.

c. Joint Zoning Council: No report.

d. Sycamore Street Committee: Mr. Ward reported that the Committee met 11/9/04. The Committee is trying to get PennDOT funding for sidewalks along Chandler Field. There will be no work done on Sycamore Street between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

e. HARB: No report.

f. Park and Recreation Board: Mr. Mendicino reported that the Board has completed a plan for the Woll Tract and will not meet again until January.

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


INFORMATION ON K. HOVNANIAN FOUR SEASONS PROJECT: Members received in their packets an 11/2/04 memo from Mr. Boyle regarding the ownership of open space and adjacent parcels.

CODE UPDATES: Members received in their packets a 11/9/04 memo from Lisa Russo regarding updates for codification books.

PRYDA PROJECT: Members received in their packets a 11/4/04 letter from Pryda Design and Construction describing recent decisions regarding their project on Sycamore Street.

JMZO – AGRICULTURAL SALES/ACCESSORY USE: Mr. Ward received a 11/15/04 letter from Terry Clemons commenting on this ordinance. The letter will be distributed to members in the next packet.




MEETINGS: Mr. Ward said the 12/21/04 meeting will be canceled unless there is pressing business to conduct. The 12/7/04 meeting will be followed by a Christmas celebration at the Brick Hotel.

ADJOURNMENT: With no objections the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.


Respectfully Submitted,


Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary