Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

Minutes of the Meeting on August 1, 2006


Present: Chairman Shawn Ward, Vice Chairman Vince Lombardi and members, Jay Sensibaugh, Allen Fidler, Shannon Wilson, Jim Bowe, Frank Mendicino, Beth Sanderlin-Weachter and Mike Piazza. Also present were Solicitor Paul Beckert, Township Engineer Edward Koehler, Township Planner Judy Stern Goldstein, Traffic Engineer Matt Johnston and Mike Imperial, Inspector (Keystone Municipal Services)

1.     Call To Order – Chairman Ward called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Members, except for Mike Piazza who abstained from the vote, unanimously accepted the Minutes of 07/11/2006 with these changes.

3. Traffic Engineers Report

Matt Johnston provided the board with the Township Engineer’s Report as of 08/01/2006 and discussed the following:

Regarding the Promenade at Sycamore Street, Vice Chairman Lombardi asked if anyone had seen the McMahon Traffic Study; Matt Johnson, Judith Stern-Goldstein and Paul Beckert advised they had not. Mr. Beckert agreed to request a copy of the study for review.

Regarding the issue of Sycamore and Jefferson Streets, Frank Mendicino motioned to request information as to the process by which decisions were made, whether it was a safety issue and whether it was generated by PennDOT or by the police department. Chairman Ward seconded the motion and members unanimously approved. Mr. Mendicino expressed his concern over decisions being made outside the normal flow of review and approval by Township boards. 

4. Land Development – Mastromarco Minor Subdivision, 135 Swamp Road – Final Plan for Minor Subdivision

Vince Fioravanti advised that the driveway configuration for the 3 lots has been revised and they have received permits from PennDOT; Lot 1 and 2 will have a shared driveway and Lot 3 will have a separate one. He added that they have received most of the permits and clean review letters on the project. Across the board, the applicant agrees to comply with all issues in the Boucher and James letter of July 12, 2006, the Remington and Vernick letter of July 14, 2006 and the letter from the Bucks County Planning Commission, yet to be received, for conditional approval.

Judith Stern Goldstein clarified that the revisions the applicant advises have been made, have not as yet been reviewed. Mr. Fioravanti confirmed that the revisions have not been submitted yet and the applicant was looking for recommendations conditional upon the re-submittal.

Regarding the trees along the front of the property, Mr. Fioravanti advised some of the trees would be removed. Judith Stern Goldstein advised that she wanted to see the actual disposition of existing trees and new trees in the plan. Mike Piazza asked about the site distance respecting the driveways; Ed Koehler advised the applicant was in compliance with PennDOT requirements.

Regarding impervious surface requirements, Mr. Fioravanti advised they were in compliance; Ms. Goldstein wanted to see the calculations in the plan.

Regarding landscaping, Mr. Fioravanti advised that tree fencing protection will be complied with, adjusting for the corrected tree locations. He asked for recommendations on street trees, noting a waiver would be requested due to the existing line of evergreens.

Jim Bowe recommended that any approval by the board be conditional upon the applicant replacing the evergreen trees if a problem with them arose. Further, Mr. Bowe was concerned about the left turn into the property. Matt Johnston did not see a problem; however, Vice Chairman Lombardi recommended that the applicant meet with PennDOT. Chairman Ward recommended that Mr. Fioravanti have discussions with Township consultants to iron out any issues. Paul Beckert recommended that Mr. Fioravanti contact the Fire Marshall to confirm that there were no problems. He further confirmed with Mr. Fioravanti that they would be requesting a waiver regarding sidewalks.

Jim Bowe motioned to table this issue until the reviewed changes/plans could be presented to the board; Beth Sanderlin-Weachter seconded. Members unanimously approved the motion.

5. Zoning Hearing Board – St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church, 81 Swamp Road

Ed Murphy, Esq. advised that the Zoning Hearing Board would be reviewing this issue on September 7, 2006. The applicant is seeking relief to increase the impervious surface for the expansion of the parking lot by 51.25%; 127 additional spaces. The maximum allowable percentage in the R-2 district where the church is located is 35 and currently the applicant is at 31.5%. Allen Fidler asked if the existing stormwater basin would be able to handle the additional water flow and Mr. Murphy advised additional BMPs would be constructed beneath the parking area, as well as increasing the capacity in the existing basins. Mr. Murphy added that construction is scheduled to start in the summer of 2007 and as shown on the plans, there is a lot of stormwater construction that will be taking place. A new section of reinforced concrete pipe will be installed surrounding the rectory; this is due to the premise that the pipes are not adequate enough to move a heavy flow of water into the basins. Judith Stern Goldstein advised that the parking spaces appear to be encroaching into the basin onto the headwall. Mr. Murphy assured her that they did not; however, the headwall might have to be relocated. Chairman Ward asked if there was a need for a buffer since the parking area was coming so close to the front of the property. Mike Piazza asked about exit lane improvements and Edward Koehler advised that the design would be a mountable curb on one side or the other. Mike Piazza and Mike Imperial asked about handicapped spaces; Mr. Murphy advised he would find out how many would be provided.

Vice Chairman Lombardi motioned to recommend approval to the Board of Supervisors with the following conditions:

Mike Piazza seconded the motion and members unanimously approved. Frank Mendicino suggested involvement by Pennoni Associates, Inc.

6. Ordinance Reviews

Jay Sensibaugh motioned to table this issue pending receipt of purpose and intent; Jim Bowe seconded the motion. Members unanimously approved.

7. Subcommittee Reports

8. New Business – Chairman Ward provided everyone with a copy of the plans for the Summit Square Shopping Center renovation. 3,000 SF will be added to the existing premises, a new 22,000 SF office/retail facility and a new 12,375 SF grocery store will be built.

8. General Discussion

9. Adjournment - Chairman Ward adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m. with unanimous approval by members.

Respectfully Submitted by:


Susan M. Dalman, Recording Secretary