Minutes of the meeting held on March 6, 2007


Present : Shawn Ward, Chairman; Jay Sensibaugh, Vice-Chairman; Allen Fidler, Dennis Fisher and Vincent Lombardi, members. Member Frank Mendicino was absent; members, Jim Bowe and Shannon Wilson were excused. Also in attendance were: Paul Beckert, Solicitor; Edward Koehler, Township Engineer; Judith Stern Goldstein, Township Planner, Jerry Schenkman, Township Supervisor and Michael Solomon, Code Enforcement Officer.

1. Call To Order – Chairman Shawn Ward called the meeting to order at 8:05 PM.

2. Changes to the Agenda - Mr. Ward reported that there would be no report from the Traffic Engineer. There have been no changes since the last report. In response to Mr. Fisher’s question at a previous meeting, Mr. Ward said that he has learned from the Traffic Engineer that there is no schedule for Swamp Road at this time.

3. Approval of Minutes: Mr. Sensibaugh moved to accept the minutes of February 20, 2007. Mr. Lombardi seconded and the motion passed 3-0-2, with Messrs. Fidler and Ward abstaining.

4. Land Development

a. Rouget – 2 Swamp Road – Conditional Use: The Commission reviewed the application for conditional use for Rouget for a proposed E-5 eating place, as permitted by JMZO Section 602.A.2.i, part of a shopping center use in the PC zoning district. The plans pertain to the conversion of the previously existing Tasteful Teas, a tea house and gift shop, to Rouget, a Provincial style restaurant and tea house. No improvements are proposed for the exterior of the existing building; no additional parking or stormwater facilities are proposed. The restaurant will occupy approximately 2,275 square feet in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center.

Applicant Brian Held, a partner in the business with his mother, explained that they intend a similar menu to Tasteful Teas, however expect to expand the hours of operation to include dinner. He expects deliveries by large box style trucks about three times a week, a total of about nine deliveries. Deliveries will be through the parking lot, with trucks remaining about fifteen minutes. He is aware that the property is in the historic district and his signage will require a certificate of appropriateness from HARB.

The Commission discussed arrangements for trash removal. Mr. Held said that Leck and Sons had provided an eight yard dumpster and a recycling box, to be shared with Rita’s Water Ice. Pick-up is to be once a week.

Mr. Ward expressed some concern that the dumpster might not be adequate for the needs of the two businesses. He noted that when he recently visited the site the dumpster was overflowing. He noted that the dumpster occupies a parking space, and customers would park along side the dumpster. If not carefully maintained it could discourage customers.

Mr. Held said that a smaller dumpster had been at the location, but had recently been changed. He speculated that the dumpster was overflowing because the florist shop was in the process of vacating. At that time, cardboard boxes had not been broken down. That has since been addressed. In response to Mr. Lombardi’s question, he said that all bio-degradable materials are bagged before being thrown into the dumpster.

When members discussed requiring more frequent pick-ups of trash, Mr. Lombardi noted that it can be very difficult to arrange additional pick-ups, regardless of the contractor. Mr. Ward suggested that a condition be added to approval that if the trash is not kept sealed and begins to overflow, an additional pick-up would be required.

The members discussed the shared parking in that section of the shopping center. Mr. Fidler noted that the previous tenant had not served dinner. This section of the parking lot serves La Stalla and Rita’s Water Ice, both very busy summer businesses.

In response to Mr. Ward’s suggestion that employees be required to park on Sycamore Street, Mr. Held said that his employees are currently parking in the section of the lot nearer the Farmers’ Market.

Mr. Lombardi said that the paint store has a great deal of parking that is not used. He suggested that employees be directed to that section of the lot. He noted that the business requires thirteen parking spaces.

Mr. Held acknowledged that he has been made aware that the parking lot is very busy on summer afternoons and evenings.

In discussing the proposed hours of operation, Mr. Held said that his last seating would be at 9:00 PM and that he did not intend to open on Mondays except for a private party. He currently is not serving breakfast, but has considered it.

Ms. Goldstein suggested that Mr. Held apply for any hours he might open. He would not be obligated to open during all hours granted approval, however, if he expanded his hours beyond those approved, he would need to return to the Supervisors for approval of those expanded hours.

Mr. Fidler moved to recommend conditional use approval for Rouget, 2 Swamp Road, Village of Newtown South Shopping Center for an E-5 Eating Place Use on the following conditions:

(1) The Use be E-5 Eating Place Use for a restaurant use including on site food preparation consisting of 2,275 square feet.

(2) That no alcoholic beverages be sold on the premises.

(3) The maximum number of employees be 12.

(4) The hours of operation be 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, the last seating beginning no later than 9:00 p.m.

(5) That deliveries be by no larger than 16 foot box trucks with no deliveries being permitted on Sycamore Street.

(6) That parking be required for employees in the Village of Newtown South Shopping Center on the westerly side of South Eagle Road.

(7) That no hazardous, flammable or explosive materials will be stored or used in the building.

(8) That no noxious or hazardous environmental impact shall be generated by the use on the site.

(9) That pursuant to Section 1301.B of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance the use appears to be consistent with and as the same type of uses in the vicinity and compatible therewith; that the improvement will not be a detriment to the property in the immediate vicinity; that the property is suitable for the use in question and in conformance with the Zoning Ordinance.

(10) That a true and correct copy of the lease shall be provided.

(11) That no new signage shall be erected without conformance with Section 1100 of the JMZO and upon approval of a certificate of appropriateness by the Board of Supervisors upon the recommendation of the Historic Architectural Review Board.

(12) That adequate dumpster facilities be provided; that the dumpsters be at all times sealed and covered; that no overflow of trash be permitted; that if any overflow is found to exist the Township may require additional trash pickup; and that all biodegradable trash will be wrapped tightly.

(13) That all review fees be paid as part of the conditional use review by the applicant in full.

Mr. Fisher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

b. Final Plan for Minor Subdivision – Newtown Township/Archdiocese of Philadelphia – Municipal Drive and Durham Road: The Commission reviewed a plan to subdivide tax map parcel #29-3-13 into three parcels. The 9.6581 acre Parcel A and the 1.6839 acre Parcel B are to be conveyed to Newtown Township. The Archdiocese will retain the remaining 16.57 acres. Parcels A and B have frontage on Municipal Drive and Durham Road. The remaining 16.57 acre Archdiocese parcel will only be accessible through the adjacent owned property, tax map parcel 20-3-20.

Mr. Koehler explained that the subdivision is to allow the Township to purchase parcels A and B, after which they would be consolidated with the Township’s other property. There was some concern about creating non-conformities if the parcels are not consolidated.

Mr. Solomon suggested that he could provide an overlay of the parcels on an aerial photograph to help the members visualize the locations of various Township buildings.

In response to Mr. Lombardi’s questions, Mr. Koehler said that it was his understanding that the Board of Supervisors had wanted Remington, Vernick & Beach to prepare the minor subdivision and Boucher and James to review it, rather than using outside engineering firms.

Mr. Fisher moved To recommend approval of the subdivision application of Newtown Township to allow the subdivision of Tax Map Parcel 29-3-18 into three parcels: Parcel A containing 9.6581 acres; Parcel B containing 1.6839 acres, both to be conveyed to Newtown Township and the remaining parcel, Parcel C containing 16.57 acres to remain with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the following conditions:

(1) The plan shall be revised to comply with the review letter of Boucher & James of Boucher and James dated February 26, 2007 and of the Bucks County Planning Commission dated February 7, 2007.

(2) A deed of consolidation consolidating parcels A and B for Tax Map Parcel 29-3-18-2 and with Tax Map Parcel 29-3-18-1 (the Martindell property) and with Tax Map Parcel 29-3-19 by deed of consolidation.

(3) That Parcel C, Tax Map Parcel 29-3-18 is consolidated into the land of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to wit, Tax Map Parcel 29-3-20.

(4) That all review fees be paid.

Mr. Sensibaugh seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

5. Ordinance Reviews

a. JMZO 2006-11, Landscape Contractors: Mr. Sensibaugh said that the Commission’s concerns about the ten acre minimum had been addressed. The language now provides for a conditional use on lots less than ten acres in the CM Conservation Management zoning district.

Mr. Fidler said that he still has some concerns about properties being used for multiple landscape businesses. He felt that the changed Ordinance did not completely address this concern.

Mr. Sensibaugh moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors adopt JMZO 2006-11, Landscape Contractors. Mr. Fidler seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

b. JMZO 2007 – Rezone Tax Map Parcel from CM Conservation Management to MS Municipal Services: Mr. Fisher moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors adopt JMZO 2007, rezoning tax map parcel from CM to MS. Mr. Sensibaugh seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

6. Liaison Reports

a. Board of Supervisors: Mr. Schenkman reported that the Board is interested in holding a series of special meetings to review the Comprehensive Plan. He suggested that there should be some morning meetings and some evening meetings, to better allow all Commission and Board members an opportunity to attend.

Mr. Beckert noted that the meetings would have to be advertised for two weeks. He suggested that the Vice Chairman circulate some dates and poll members. After a few dates have been chosen, he would arrange to advertise them all.

b. EAC: Mr. Fisher reported that at the February 26, 2007 meeting the EAC discussed acquiring maps to better inventory the Township’s open space. They were very interested in getting copies of the maps that are included in the Comprehensive Plan.

Ms. Goldstein suggested that she might be able to help with some of the maps they might want.

Mr. Fisher said that the EAC has also begun to investigate wildlife management. At this point they have only just begun to collect data.

7. Plan Expirations: None

8. Old Business: Mr. Ward announced that the vacancy on the Commission would be filled at the March 14, 2007 Board of Supervisors meeting. He understood that there had been a few applicants for the position.

9. New Business: Mr. Fidler moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors require the Village at Newtown to install its reserve parking. Mr. Lombardi seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Beckert said that he has recently discussed this with Village at Newtown’s attorney, John Van Luvanee. He would like to invite Mr. Van Luvanee and Mr. Shasha to the Board’s April work session.

The motion passed 5-0.

11. Adjournment: Mr. Sensibaugh moved to adjourn at 9:30PM. Mr. Fisher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary