Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

May 3, 2005


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (5/3/05):  Mr. Fidler moved to approve the minutes of 5/3/05; the motion was seconded by Mr. Piazza and passed unanimously, with Mr. Bowe abstaining. 


The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, May 3, 2005, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Jay Sensibaugh, Mike Piazza, Vince Lombardi, Beth Sanderlin, Shannon Wilson, Allen Fidler, and Frank Mendicino. 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 (4/5/05): Mr. Fidler moved to approve the minutes of 4/5/05; the motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson and passed unanimously.

Note: The scheduled 4/19/05 meeting was canceled for lack of agenda items.

TRAFFIC ENGINEER’S REPORT: Mr. Johnston distributed his May 2005 report on traffic-related engineering projects in the Township and highlighted the following items:

Swamp Road Corridor Improvements: Mr. Johnston distributed copies of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission schedule for the Swamp Road Corridor TIP as requested at the last meeting.

No Turn on Red at Bypass and Richboro Road: Mr. Ward said he mentioned this in his report to the Board of Supervisors last month. Mr. Johnston said PennDOT agrees that sight distances are not an issue, and they are studying the history of accidents at this intersection.

Newtown Bypass/Buck Road/Richboro Road Improvements: Traffic signals have been installed and are being tested. Mr. Ward asked Mr. Johnston to look into line painting on the double left turn from Buck Road west onto the Bypass.

Newtown-Yardley Road TIP: The scoping meeting with PennDOT was postponed to 5/11/05.

REVIEWS

CONDITIONAL USE – PNC BANK – 2500 S. EAGLE ROAD – TMP# 29-10-85: Engineer Mary Ellen Saylor and Frank Walters of PNC Bank were present to discuss their request to expand the existing shopping center to include a 3,500 SF bank, B-4 Financial Establishment Use. The site now contains parking areas, lights, and trees. Ms. Saylor said the bank site is part of a project that received final land development approval in 2003.

Mr. Walters displayed an artist’s rendering of the planned building. He explained that PNC Bank is committed to sustainable construction and is making this design part of the corporative identity they are establishing. The design has been certified by the Green Building Council; over 50% of the materials in the building will be recycled and recyclable. The wood is harvested from forests that are being replenished and the building is designed to be energy efficient. Two such banks have already been built in Pennsylvania, and they have been very favorably received. He also said the atrium will glow at night, but there will be no light spillage beyond the perimeter of the pad.

The 4/26/05 Boucher and James letter was reviewed. The applicant agreed to comply with all applicable points. The following items were discussed:

Mr. Ward asked about parking. Ms. Saylor said the applicant obtained a waiver to allow a minimum of 5.5 spaces per 1,000 SF of gross floor area. Nineteen parking spaces are required.

Several members had questions about how the drive-through window traffic will interact with the access to the site. Ms. Saylor said stop signs and traffic-calming devices will be used to slow down the drive-through traffic. Mr. Ward noted that the Commerce Bank site is designed the same way.

Mr. Piazza asked if there will be ATMs accessible to pedestrians. Mr. Walters said ATMs are planned for the inside of the building.

Mr. Lombardi moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve this conditional use application with the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Sander asked if the applicant will comply with Item 7.a of the Boucher and James letter regarding the plan scale. Ms. Saylor said they will.

Mr. Lombardi’s motion passed unanimously.

PRELIMINARY PLAN FOR MAJOR SUBDIVISION – FLOWERS/MADANY TRACT (BROOKSHORE ESTATES PHASE II) – GAUCKS LANE AND WASHINGTON CROSSING ROAD: Attorney David Shafkowitz and engineer Brian Focht were present to discuss their proposed 29 lot single family residential subdivision. Most of the development is in Lower Makefield Township, but one lot and some improvements are in the CM District of Newtown Township. Several residents of Gaucks Lane were present and participated in the discussion.

Mr. Shafkowitz said Phase I of the development has received approval in Lower Makefield. The applicant is not seeking approval of Phase II in Lower Makefield until it is clear what Newtown Township wants.

The 4/26/05 Boucher and James letter was reviewed. The applicant agreed to comply with all applicable points. The following items were discussed:

Mr. Fidler asked about room for a school bus to pull over and for students to wait for the bus. Mr. Ames said the stop is at Gaucks Lane and Washington Crossing Road. Mr. Shafkowitz said the applicant will make sure there is room there.

The 4/14/05 Pennoni Associates letter was reviewed. The applicant agreed to comply with all applicable points. The following items were discussed:

Mr. Sensibaugh asked about the open space. Mr. Shafkowitz said it will be the responsibility of the Homeowners Association. It will require very little maintenance as it is mostly wooded.

Mr. Ward asked that the applicant obtain an updated review of the plan from the Bucks County Planning Commission.

Mr. Sander said the list of concerns submitted to the Commission by Gaucks Lane residents at the 3/1/05 meeting and again tonight can be made part of the Planning Commission’s recommendation. He reviewed the document and the residents agreed all points had been addressed.

Mr. Ames thanked the Commission for its responsiveness to the residents’ concerns.

Mr. Lombardi moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors grant preliminary approval to this plan, subject to the following conditions:

The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Mendicino noted that the development of this parcel takes away a significant part of the proposed route for a northern bypass.

Mr. Lombardi’s motion passed unanimously.

PRELIMINARY PLAN FOR MAJOR SUBDIVISION – DOLINGTON TRACT (UPPER MAKEFIELD) – STOOPVILLE ROAD: Members received copies of a 4/12/05 Boucher and James letter regarding this project. Ms. Goldstein explained that this development abuts the Township and Mr. Harwood asked her to look at its impact on the Township. Mr. Walker said that Pennoni Associates has not seen the plan and cannot comment on the engineering aspects. Members agreed to make no further comment beyond the Boucher and James letter.

SUBCOMMITTEE AND LIAISON REPORTS

CORRESPONDENCE

APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY PLAN – PRYDA LLC – 159 N. SYCAMORE STREET: Members received copies of the 3/9/05 approval by the Board of Supervisors.

APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY PLAN – YAMAMOTO TRACT (FOXHALL ESTATES) – WASHINGTON CROSSING ROAD: Members received copies of the 4/13/05 approval by the Board of Supervisors.

OLD BUSINESS: None.

NEW BUSINESS: None.

GENERAL DISCUSSION

NEXT MEETING (5/17/05): Mr. Ward noted that the next scheduled meeting falls on Primary Election Day. Members agreed to cancel the meeting.

ADJOURNMENT: With no objections the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

____________________________
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary