Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

December 20, 2005

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: The minutes of the previous meeting on 12/20/05 were presented and reviewed. There were no changes. Mr. Fidler made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Bowe seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0 with Mr. Piazza, Mr. Ward, and Ms. Sanderlin-Weachter abstaining. Mr. Wilson was not present for the vote.

The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, December 20, 2005, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Vice Chairman Vince Lombardi, and members Jay Sensibaugh, Allen Fidler, Shannon Wilson, Jim Bowe, and Frank Mendicino. Beth Sanderlin and Mike Piazza were absent. Chairman Shawn Ward was excused due to illness. Also present were Solicitor Steve Harris, Engineer Chris Walker, Planner Judy Goldstein and Public Works Director, Tom Harwood.

CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Lombardi called the meeting to order in the absence of the Chairman and introduced the Planning Commission members and support staff to the public that was present.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: The minutes of the previous meeting on 12/06/05 were presented and reviewed. There were no changes. Mr. Sensibaugh made a motion to approve the December 6, 2005 minutes as presented and the November 15, 2005 minutes with the following correction: page 1, under Woll Tract Master Plan, 4th line from the bottom – change to “…requested Mr. Levine look at the placement of the Babe Ruth field.” Mr. Piazza seconded the motion. The motion passed with Mr. Bowe abstaining.


a. 11 Friends Lane, Lot 28 – Sketch Plan

The applicant is 11 Friends Lane, LLC. The plan, dated 9/21/05, proposes to renovate an existing 34,831 square foot, one-story building for a D-1 Business Office Use, and D-2 Medical Office Use. Additional site improvements include the reconstruction and expansion of the existing parking areas. No variances are being requested at this time.

Don Marshall was present representing the applicant; Mr. Salvatore was also present at the meeting. Mr. Marshall said he did not expect any decision regarding the sketch plan this evening. He reviewed the plans and clarified that there would be approximately 73 off street parking spaces. He said that the proposed adaptive reuse of the building would require the installation of additional parking. Mr. Marshall noted that there is a wooded area in the rear of the property.

Mr. Marshall said the office space is not yet fully filled, and introduced Dr. Kipp, a potential tenant, who has a practice of four primary care physicians that would inhabit 15,000-17,000 sq. ft. of the building. He noted that the practice would include an x-ray facility occupying about 500-1000 sq. ft., and there would be no surgical or hospital use. Dr. Kipp said that, based on current and anticipated usage; he would have 22 employees working varied hours, and four doctors averaging 4 patients each at any given time. He said he currently uses 66 spaces.

Mr. Marshall said parking is a major issue, and that since the building covers ¾ an acre on a 3-acre lot they cannot comply with current parking requirements. He said they have tried to maximize the parking; in combination D-1 and D-2 use 195 parking spaces would be required, and in pure D-1 use 175 spaces would be required. Mr. Marshall said they currently have 155 spaces and require Zoning Hearing Board relief.

Mr. Fidler noted that they would be 40 parking spaces short; Mr. Marshall said they felt that medical use in this case was more like clinic use. Mr. Sensibaugh inquired about stormwater control; Mr. Marshall clarified that they are proposing underground pipe water.

Mr. Lombardi asked about environmental concerns; Mr. Marshall said they are planning to limit and not extend pavement into the green area in the rear. Mr. Marshall noted the project was 4% under the impervious surface limit. Engineer Richard Knudsen noted two photos in the packet illustrating the impervious surface in the rear of the building, and said that new impervious surface would be limited to the flat area near the loading area. Ms. Goldstein cited the letter cautioning the applicant to be careful of sensitive environmental areas. Mr. Knudsen clarified that there has been a Phase 1 environmental study and that there were no issues.

It was the consensus of the Commission that the applicant could precede with the project. Mr. Marshall said they would return with a preliminary plan.

b. Zoning Hearing Board Applications

¨     Newtown Industrial Commons, Inc., 111-115 Pheasant Run 

      Variance request #713-05

The applicant is seeking a variance to install (3) three identification signs for (3) three separate buildings where only (1) one joint   use sign is permitted.  Two of the proposed freestanding signs will also exceed the maximum allowable size requirements of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983, as amended.  The third sign, “public information and service” exceeds size requirements and includes a message referencing tenants that does not qualify it as public information and direction only.  The property is located in the LI, Light Industrial District. 

Mr. Sensibaugh asked if a building number was required; Mr. Harwood said he thought it needed to be attached to the building.  There was no further discussion.

The Planning Commission issued no comment on this application.

¨      Ina and Robert Paul, 3 Hansel Road, Eagleton Farms

Variance request #714-05

The applicants plan to place a shed 9 feet from the side yard and rear yard, where 12 feet is required.  The applicants also plan to reconfigure a 118 sq. ft. walkway, and erect a 140 sq. ft. 10 ft.x14 ft. shed, for a total of 258 sq. ft.  This will increase impervious surface from the current maximum of 6,465 sq. ft. (or 34.5%) to 6637 sq. ft., an increase of 280 sq. ft. resulting in a 35.9% impervious coverage.  The residence is a single-family cluster-use B-12 in the R-1 zoning district.

Mr. Bowe felt the shed could be relocated.  Mr. Mendicino asked if the homeowners association had been involved; Mr. Harris confirmed that the HOA and neighbors should have been notified.

The Planning Commission issued no comment on this application.



  1. Board of Supervisors – No report was given.
  2. Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission – No report was given.
  3. Joint Zoning Council – No report was given.
  4. Sycamore Street – No report was given.
  5. Historic Architectural Review Board – No report was given.
  6. Park and Recreation Board

Mr. Lombardi noted that the agenda did not include a presentation on the Wall Tract by the Park & Recreation Board, and the meeting had not been properly advertised to include discussion of the Woll Tract project.  The Commission agreed to hear only the changes to the plans that reflected the Commission’s comments at their last meeting.  Mr. Levine presented plans revised to integrate the Commission’s comments, which included:

¨      Parking had been centered and shifted away from the Leck property; headlights would head away from Leck.  Parking distribution within the park was maintained.

¨      The park had been reconfigured, lights relocated, fields more centrally located.

¨      The stacking issue at the Rte. 413 entrance was addressed.

¨      Stormwater issues maintained.

¨      Additional buffering created next to the Leck and Fleming properties.

Mr. Sensibaugh made a motion to table any further discussion until a proper hearing was established.  There was no second.

Mr. Mendicino made a motion to deny the sketch plan until the traffic issue was addressed.  Mr. Sensibaugh seconded the motion.  Mr. Levine clarified that he was agreeable to waiting until January to have a properly advertised meeting at which to further discuss this issue.  Mr. Lombardi said that the discussion of the Woll Tract would be placed on the agenda at the first Planning Commission meeting in January.  Mr. Mendicino withdrew his motion; Mr. Sensibaugh withdrew his second.

  1. Environmental Advisory Council – No report was given. 

3.  CORRESPONDENCE:    No correspondence was discussed. 

4.  OLD BUSINESS:    No old business was discussed. 

6.  NEW BUSINESS:    No new business was discussed. 

7.      GENERAL DISCUSSION:  There was no discussion. 

8.      ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted by:


Leslie Dunleavy, Acting Recording Secretary