Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

June 21, 2005


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (6/21/05):  Mr. Piazza moved to approve the minutes of 6/21/2005; the motion was seconded by Ms. Sanderlin and passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, June 21, 2005, in the lower level Township meeting room.  In attendance were:  Chairman Shawn Ward; members Jay Sensibaugh, Mike Piazza, Vince Lombardi, Shannon Wilson, Allen Fidler, Jim Bowe, and Frank Mendicino.  Beth Sanderlin was excused.  Also in attendance were: Solicitor Dave Sander, Engineer Chris Walker and Planner Judy Goldstein.

 

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

 

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (6/7/2005): Mr. Piazza moved to approve the minutes of 6/7/05; the motion was seconded by Mr. Fidler and passed unanimously.

 

NOTE: The scheduled meeting for July 5, 2005 has been canceled because of the July 4th holiday.

 

REVIEWS

 

AMENDED FINAL PLAN – REQUESTING A WAIVER FROM LAND DEVELOPMENT – COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION REALTY (CRICKLEWOOD GREEN), CAUFIELD PLACE:  J. Halleck Hoeland, President of Princeton Development Group, Inc., representing the owners of Cricklewood Green and Frederick Schmitt, AIA Principal Architect were present to discuss a request for a small increase in the floor area of the previously-approved barn/meeting house and, as granted in 2001, a waiver of the land development plan approval for this minor revision.  Mr. Hoeland states that this is a very small increase in the barn/meeting house that we plan to build at the Cricklewood Green site.  The current approval provides for a barn/meeting house that is 2600 SF smaller than what we are seeking here tonight.  They are requesting 2,637 SF increase of floor area plus an additional 1,091 SF of impervious surface.

 

The Planning Commission expressed concern with the increase of square footage and the total impervious surface.  The Planning Commission expressed their concern with the applicants coming in with a totally different blueprint with increase square footage.  It is suggested that it be returned to the applicant and file it as a revised final.  It is a minor part of the overall project. But we need to review everything from square one when it comes to this building. 

 

Mr. Mendicino moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors deny the application for amended final plans – requesting a waiver from land development to increase square footage of the barn and the impervious surface.  In addition the Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors that the applicant be require to file a preliminary plan and it be treated as a preliminary as final.  Mr. Sensibaugh seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Lombardi added an amendment to the motion that the Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors request the entire site be reviewed subject to the sensitivity of the area as to the impervious coverage is concerned.  Mr. Piazza seconded the amended motion.  Mr. Mendicino agreed to the amendment.

 

Mr. Lombardi added an amendment to the motion that the Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors to request the entire site be reviewed subject to the sensitivity of the area as to the impervious coverage is concerned.  Mr. Piazza seconded the amended motion.  Mr. Mendicino agreed to the amendment.

 

Mr. Ward asked for discussion or comments from the public.  There were none.

 

The motion passed 7 to 1.  Mr. Sensibaugh voted “nay”.

 

PREMINARY PLAN FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT – PENNS TERRACE OFFICE PARK, 54 PENNS TRAIL:   Don Marshall, Esq. and engineer Curt Rittler were present to discussed the preliminary plan submitted that addressed the Commissions’ recommendations to the Board of Supervisors since the last meeting of June 7, 2005.  The preliminary plans addressed the recommendations of the Township Engineer regarding traffic circulation. 

 

The first revision created an exit out on to Penns Trail.  The second revision, which Mr. Marshall believes the Township Engineer prefers and Mr. Rittler prefers, actually extends the fire lane, no curb cuts on to Penns Trail and still had circulation around the entire building completely.  The other addition changes include the loading area being moved.  We have shown the appropriate buffering on the west line, which we had sought a waiver from and there had been some discussion on. 

 

There was a discussion about the exit on to Penns Trail and the traffic that would be caused by the exit.

 

Mr. Piazza made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the preliminary plan for Penns Terrace Office Park, 54 Penns Trail, with the amendment be added that the Planning Commission also recommends to the Board of Supervisors that “Plan B” be accepted with no entrance on to Penns Trail, and with the following conditions:

 

Compliance, as applicable, with the conditions cited in the Boucher & James’s correspondence dated May 31, 2005.

Compliance with the conditions cited in the Pennoni Associates’ correspondence dated May 31, 2005.

Compliance with the condition cited in the Bucks County Planning Commission’s correspondence date May 15, 2005.

Compliance with the conditions cited in the Newtown Emergency Services’ correspondence dated April 27, 2005.

Compliance with the conditions cited in the Suburban Lighting Consultants’ correspondence dated April 28, 2005. 

The motion included the support of the Commission with regard to the following waivers:

Section 402.3B of the Subdivision ordinance from the requirement to show existing features on the plan.

Section 402.5 a requirement for a traffic impact study to be completed.

Section 402.1.A to allow a Plan scale of 1”= 30’ rather than the require scales.

Section 520.5 which requires nothing to be placed in an easement area.

Section 402.4.M which requires a landscape architect to seal the landscape plans.

Section 514.2 which states that parking shall not occur in the front yard in this type of use.

Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.  Mr. Ward asked for any discussion or comments from the public.  No discussion or comments were received.  The question was called. 

 

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to accept this motion.

 

FINAL PLAN FOR MINOR SUBDIVSION – VILLAGE AT NEWTOWN SOUTH – PARCEL “A”, SOUTH EAGLE ROAD:  Mr. John A. VanLuvanee, Eastburn and Gray, P.C. was representing the owner which is seeking a recommendation for approval to separate the areas on which the existing buildings are located from the area that is under development for the purposes of financing.  In order to place construction financing on the center section and permanent financing on the existing buildings, which are on either side, the lenders has made the suggestion that this parcel be divided into separate parcels.  Mr. VanLuvanee gave a brief history of how the Village was divided into 8 parcels in the late 1980s.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated that their request is to create 3 lots; one the southern piece which has the farm market building and the restaurant pat sites, one the existing office building, leaving the construction parcel as a separate parcel subject to a note. 

 

Mr. VanLuvanee stated that the declaration of easements that he prepared suggests for purposes of any future development, this would be treated as one parcel.  That will be recorded.  Parcel “A” is still Parcel “A” with compliance to zoning.  This request is for strictly finance reasons.   Mr. VanLuvanee made reference to correspondence with the Township Solicitor and stated that the letter could be used, if someone tries to propose any kind of land development that it is contrary to these restrictions, the township can

use this document as the basis of rejection without having to sue.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated that basically they were consenting to allow the Township to enforce a private restriction.

 

Mr. Mendicino asked Mr. VanLuvanee from his legal point of view and explanation that if someone coming in later to develop it or someone purchasing lots, in Mr. VanLuvanee opinion, how solid are we behind this subdivision. Mr. VanLuvanee stated it is entirely solid and I am sure that the Board will not approve this plan until the Township Supervisor signs off on this and approves it.

 

Mr. Mendicino stated just for clarification that if these lots lines were established before you came through with the development plans for the new center would they been able to share parking.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated that they could have been shared based on the 1987 Declaration of Protected Convenience.  That is already in placed. 

 

Mr. Mendicino asked if we have weakened that declaration in any way by doing this, in Mr. VanLuvanee opinion.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated no, because that declaration remains in effect.  This is essentially an addition to that declaration.  We can not change the fact that declaration already governs the entire shopping center.  But because of the way this section had been treated in the pass, we wanted to make sure that you were not weakening the way the Township has handle Parcel “A” in the past.

 

Mr. Fidler moved that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the revised approved plan for the Village of Newtown South, Parcel “A” to allow the extinguishment of an approved lot line creating two parcels and the replacement of that with two (2) lot lines creating three (3) parcels on the property subject to a recording of unilateral declarations and covenants that Parcel “A” is to be treated as one parcel for zoning purposes and subject to the review and approval of the Township’s solicitor.

 

Mr. Piazza seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any comments or questions from the public.  There was none.

Mr. Ward called the question. 

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the motion.

 

PRELIMINARY PLAN FOR MINOR SUBDIVSION – LINTON HILL PUMPING STATION (NEWTOWN SEWER/PATEL PROPERTY), WRIGHTS ROAD

 

Attorney, Edward Murphy spoke on behalf of the Newtown Bucks County Joint Sewer Authority came before the Planning Commission to seek their approved recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to subdivide Tax Map Parcel #29-3-73-5 into two(20 lots.  The plan shows that Lot 1 (4,988 acres), will remain as a vacant parcel of land and will be retained by Harry Patel.  On Lot 2 (0.302 acres), a pumping station

(Use H-1), approximately ten (10) feet by twenty (20) feet in size will be constructed and owned by the Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority.   Mr. Murphy gave a brief history of the efforts to correct problems in that area and the township’s decision to locate a regional pumping station in the area at the bottom of Linton Hill road.  Mr. Murphy stated that the land acquired from Mr. Patel was a 1/3 of an acre of frontage property by the bridge.

 

Mr. Mendicino questioned if the neighbors had been notified of the construction to take place with the pumping station.  Mr. Murphy replied yes that all neighbors had been notified.

 

Mr. Piazza made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Minor Subdivision Plan for the Linton Hill Pumping Station submitted by the Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority with the following conditions:

 

The applicant complies with the matters listed in the Boucher & James’s correspondence dated April 25, 2005 plus compliance with the letter from Pennoni Associates dated May 31, 2005.

 

Mr. Piazza’s motion states that the Planning Commission recommends that the following waivers be granted:

Subdivision Ordinance, Section 516.2, waving requirement for curbing on Linton Hill Road.

Section 517 waving the requirements for sidewalks on Linton Hill Road.

Section 1203.2.B waving the fee in lewd of dedication of park and recreation land.

Part 13 of the Subdivision ordinance requiring traffic impact fee to be pa

Mr. Fidler seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any further discussion or comments from the public.  There were none.

Mr. Ward called the question.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the motion.

 

CONDITIONAL USE – AMAZON CAFÉ, 2834 SOUTH EAGLE ROAD, VILLAGE AT NEWTOWN

Michael Petrucci, President of Amazon Café and James Payne agent for Alma Garcia, owner of the specific Amazon Café listed for conditional use, came before the Planning Commission to seek a recommendation of approval to the Board of Supervisors for conditional use for the proposed E-5, Eating and Place use.  The applicant states that the proposed use will be for the sale and consumption of food and beverages.

 

The Planning Commission questioned about the type of deliveries to be made to the establishment, the hours of operation and number of employees that would be hired.  The Planning Commission expressed concern that the patrons do not use the fire lane for quick parking asked that the applicant to discourage patrons from doing this.

 

Mr. Sensibaugh made a motion to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of conditional use application submitted by Mr. Petrucci, President of Amazon Café and James Payne, agent for owner Alma Garcia, of Amazon Café, 2834 South Eagle Road, Village at Newtown with the following conditions:

The applicant’s hours of operation would be 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, 7 days per week.

The applicant has a maximum of 6 employees for the establishment.

The applicant does not use or place on the establishment any hazardous materials.

There is no adverse environmental impact to the area.

Alcoholic beverages are not sold or served on the premises.

Trash will be stored in sealed containers.

 

Mr. Bowe seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any questions or discussion from the public.  There were none.

Mr. Ward called the question.

The Commission voted unanimously to approve the motion.

 

CONDITIONAL USE – SOCCER & LACROSSE CORNER, 53 GERMAN AVENUE:

Attorney Don Marshall representing Mr. Yardley, owner of 53 German Avenue and Susan Hillman, owner of Soccer & Lacrosse Corner is seeking a recommendation of approval to the Board of Supervisors for conditional use for proposed E-1 Use, retail shop.  The proposal is to use 3,000 SF of an existing building in the CC district.  This matter was tabled at the June 7th Planning Commission meeting by a 5 to 4 vote so that the neighbor could provide written information to the Commission about his objections to the application. 

 

Mr. Ward refers to the letter that was sent by Eastburn and Gray, P.C., dated June 14, 2005, on behalf of S. Phillip Neuhard, a neighbor that owns property adjacent to 53 German Avenue.  Attorney, G. Michael Carr represents the neighbor, Mr. Neuhard however Mr. Carr was unable to attend tonight so attorney, John A. VanLuvanee is substituting for Mr. Carr and is representing Mr. Neuhard at this meeting. 

 

The question of whether German Avenue is a private road was discussed.  Mr. Sanders questioned Mr. VanLuvanee about the effect on other neighbors on the block of German Avenue giving up their right to private access. How does not that leave German Avenue?  Mr. VanLuvanee stated that he was not sure what the people intended when they signed off the quiet title action.  Mr. Marshall states that Mr. Yardley also owns the corner property so he owns rights right up to the parking area.  Mr. Marshall debates that the court order was on a quiet title action, in 1983. Mr. Marshall contends that German Avenue has always been open between Linden and Walnut. 

 

Mr. Sanders states that what should be a concern to the Commission, a point that came up at the last meeting, regardless of whether German Avenue is public or private; all the parcels have the right to access to their properties.  Mr. Sanders further states that the concern, when you are considering a conditional use, is the traffic flow and the circulation of traffic is safe for the use it is proposed. 

Mr. Mendicino makes a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors in favor of the Conditional Use – Soccer & LaCrosse Corner, 53 German Avenue.  Mr. Bowe seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Ward asked if there are conditions to be recommended such as the parking area to be paved.  Mr. Mendicino replied no. 

 

The conditions that Mr. Mendicino includes in the motion are as follows with the December 7, 2004 Zoning Board Hearing decision and any conditions attached to it. 

 

The hours of operation will be 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

There will be a maximum of 2 employees.

The applicant will provide 8 parking spaces plus 2 parking spaces for the residence.  There should one handicapped parking space that should meet ADA and State Licenses and Inspections requirements and be accessible pursuant to the ADA and State Licenses and Inspections requirements.

The applicant will have only infrequent UPS deliveries and no larger vehicles than that to make deliveries.

 

There will be no hazardous materials or environmental impact. 

 

The applicant is subject to compliance to Boucher and James, Inc., letter dated May 27, 2005.

 

Mr. Bowe seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Ward raised the paving condition again.  Mr. Ward states that the six spaces on German Avenue and the access to those spaces should be paved.  Mr. Marshall states the owner is agreeable to condition.  Mr. Mendicino raised the issue of storm water management if the area is being paved.  Mr. Marshall states that the area is impervious now.  Mr. Ward states that if by paving, it raises storm water management regulations which the owner would have to comply with them.  Mr. Mendicino stated that he is satisfied with the area as it is now.  

 

Mr. Ward withdrew the request for hard paving.

 

Mr. Mendicino amends his motion to include a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors in favor of granting the waiver of Section 514.3 of the subdivision ordinance of the requirement for paving. 

 

Mr. Mendicino reiterates his belief that paving is not necessary.

  

Mr. Walker, the Township Engineer, recommends that a plan be prepared and seal by a professional calculating the impervious area of the entire site.  The Engineer believes that there are additional impervious areas not shown on the plan. The plan would document what is the use of the buildings and what are the impervious areas. Mr. Sensibaugh states that if this plan is done, then the storm water issues need to be addressed.  Mr. Walker raises the issue because when he visited the site he saw additional stone areas and concrete areas and he is not aware if they have been calculated and go beyond the 50% limit of impervious area. 

 

The Planning Commission requested clarification from the Solicitor as to what can be recommended under conditional use.  Mr. Sanders stated that any reasonable recommended condition and if there is an issue with regard to impervious area, a reasonable condition would be to recommend that the applicant identify all impervious surfaces on the plan and to document the existing uses.

 

Mr. Ward states that there is a motion on the floor that was properly seconded and asked Mr. Mendicino if he would like to amend the motion.  Mr. Mendicino states that he would not like to amend the motion. 

 

Mr. Ward asked for any other comments from the Planning Commission. 

Mr. Ward asked that the motion be read again.  It was read again as stated previously.

 

Mr. Fidler stated that basically the motion does not make a provision that an “as built” needs to be prepared or that the impervious area that is impacted on the site is shown on any plans.  Is that a correct interpretation?

 

Mr. Ward stated that is correct that Mr. Mendicino did not want to add that requirement as an amendment.

 

Mr. Piazza stated that he believes it is a mistake if the Planning Commission approves this motion as it stands.

 

Mr. Ward asked for any comments from the public.  Mr. Bruce Weed, part owner of Weed Chevrolet, on the Board of Directors of First Federal Savings, his sister is the business owner of Soccer and LaCrosse, Susan Hillman.  Mr. Weed states that he introduced Ms. Hillman to the property owner, Mr. Yardley because of her need to move from the retail space she was occupying due to costs of the space. Mr. Weed stated that Ms. Hillman is a widow and has to move the store out of the retail space while waiting for the conditional use approval which has caused a financial hardship for her.  Mr. Weed is requesting a positive recommendation by the Planning Commission to the Board of Supervisors with whatever conditions the Planning Commission feels necessary to recommend so that Ms. Hillman may proceed to move into the facility owned by Mr. Yardley.  Mr. Weed is confident that Mr. Yardley will comply with any conditions require.

 

Mr. Ward called the question.  Mr. Fidler, Mr. Piazza, Mr. Ward, Mr. Bowe voted nay; Mr. Mendicino, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Sensibaugh voted yes.  Mr. Lombardi abstained.

 

The motion did not pass.

 

Mr. Fidler made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors in favor of the Conditional Use – Soccer & LaCrosse Corner, 53 German Avenue with the following conditions:

 

The December 7, 2004 Zoning Board Hearing decision and any conditions attached to it. 

 

The hours of operation will be 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

There will be a maximum of 2 employees.

 

The applicant will provide 8 parking spaces plus 2 parking spaces for the residence.  There should one handicapped parking space that should meet ADA and State Licenses and Inspections requirements and be accessible pursuant to the ADA and State Licenses and Inspections requirements.

 

The applicant will have only infrequent UPS deliveries and no larger vehicles than that to make deliveries.

 

There will be no hazardous materials or environmental impact. 

 

The applicant is subject to compliance to Boucher and James, Inc., letter dated May 27, 2005.

 

The applicant provides the Township Engineer proof of the existing impervious coverage on the site and that the Township Engineer be satisfied that the existing impervious coverage does not exceed that require by the ordinance. 

 

Mr. Ward asks for a second to the motion. 

 

Mr. Piazza seconds the motion.

 

Mr. Ward asked for any discussion or comment from the public.

Mr. Sensibaugh stated that in addition to the issues on the site, there is the road issue of access and whether 1o to 12 feet sufficient for this type of use.

Mr. Ward replies that the Commission is fully aware of that.

Mr. Ward calls the questions.  Mr. Sensibaugh voted nay.  Mr. Ward, Mr. Bowe, Mr. Mendicino, Mr. Lombardi, Mr. Fidler, Mr. Piazza voted yes.

 

The motion is passed.

 

Mr. Ward stated that the Planning Commission was not reviewing 104 Pheasant Run because it was not on the agenda.  It had been placed under correspondence because Parks and Recreation is requesting a fee in lewd of.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE AND LIAISON REPORTS

 

Board of Supervisors:    Mr. Ward stated for the record to show that Mr. Goodnoe was not present at this meeting to give a report.

 

Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission:   Mr. Sanders, Planning Commission Solicitor, was present at the meeting.  The Commission continued the review of the comprehensive plan.  Mr. Sanders did note for the Bucks County Planning Commission information all of Newtown Township’s parks and public owned park areas and what the discussion are currently on what is being used and how they want to be use.  The response was favorable from the Commission with how much area is set aside.  This Planning Commission will soon be receiving a plan of Newtown showing existing land uses and we will have to go over thoroughly to make sure it is correct.

 

Joint Zoning Council:  Mr. Sanders was present for that meeting.  The Ad Sales ordinance has been distributed and should appear in our next agenda for review.

 

Sycamore Street:     Mr. Lombardi stated that Sycamore Street was being paved on June 21, 2005.

 

Park and Recreation Board:  Mr. Fidler stated that he did not attend the last meeting.

 

Environmental Advisory Council:  Mr. Sensibaugh was present at the meeting and stated that Mr. Harwood was going to give a presentation at the meeting.  Unfortunately, Mr. Harwood was not present at the meeting to give the presentation.  The Council focused somewhat on various ideas and talked about inviting the Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board to speak with about items the Park and Recreation Board has done that overlap. 

 

Plan Expirations:   Mr. Sanders stated that he did not see any. Mr. Ward requested that Recording Secretary check with Mr. Harwood for any plan expirations when preparing the packets for the Planning Commission.  The Recording Secretary stated that she would do that requirement.

 

Mr. Ward asked if there was any old business or new business.

Page 11

Newtown Township Planning Commission Meeting

Minutes:  6/21/2005

 

Mr. Ward expressed his appreciation for everyone’s condolences for the recent passing of his father.

 

Mr. Ward stated that the Planning Commission meeting schedule for July 5th and September 6th are canceled.

 

Adjournment:  10:40 PM

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

_____________________

Marian Stroup, Recording Secretary