NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Minutes of the meeting held on September 6, 2011
Present: Chairman Allen Fidler, Vice Chairman Robert Whartenby, Paul Cohen, Craig Deutsch, Peggy Driscoll, Dennis Fisher, Larry Galley and Michael Iapalucci (late), members. Also in attendance were Michele Fountain, Township Engineer, John Torrente, Township Solicitor, Kevin Kochanski, Township Planner and Michael Hartey, Code Enforcement Officer.
Call to Order: Mr. Fidler called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. The Commission welcomed its new appointee, Craig Deutsch.
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Fisher moved to approve the minutes of August 16, 2011. Mr. Fidler seconded and the motion passed 4-0-3, with Messrs. Whartenby, Cohen and Deutsch abstaining.
Weglos Dental Office, 759 Newtown Yardley Road, Preliminary/Final Plan: Attorney Ed Murphy and Dr. Mark Weglos presented the revised plans for a new 2,067 square foot, single story dental office building with associated parking access drive, landscaping and stormwater management on a 0.42 acre lot in the R-2 high density zoning district. The applicant has received a use variance from the Zoning Hearing Board. He reminded the members that this plan had been reviewed in June and has since been revised to comply with the Planning Commission’s recommendations.
(Mr. Iapalucci arrived at this point.)
Mr. Murphy said that he has met with Ms. Fountain about the trail extension and the applicant has agreed to extend the trail from the Headley open space to the end of his property. The discrepancy between the architectural plan and the engineered plan has been corrected. The architectural rendering showed a walkway from the door facing Newtown Yardley Road and a porch. The porch and walkway have been removed. The main entrance will be through the rear parking lot; the door at the front is decorative, but is not for general access.
Mr. Murphy noted that the applicant is seeking a waiver from the requirement for a traffic study.
Mr. Fidler said that there would still be a traffic impact fee.
Mr. Fidler asked about the right of way concerns discussed at previous meetings.
Ms. Fountain confirmed that there will be sufficient room on Newtown Yardley Road for the proposed widening that has been on the TIP. The extension of the trail will not interfere with this.
Mr. Fidler said that stormwater best management practices are referenced in the CKS letter.
Ms. Fountain said that she is asking that the current infiltration points be added to the plan.
Mr. Fisher asked about tree protection, which is referenced in the Bucks County Planning Commission letter.
Mr. Kochanski said this is no longer an issue, as the tree in question is to be removed and replaced.
Mr. Iapalucci asked about the parking issue discussed in the Boucher and James letter, which states that the one space cannot be accessed if the other space is occupied.
Mr. Kochanski said that this was an issue with the template and it had been corrected.
Mr. Cohen moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the Preliminary as Final Plan of Land Development of Dr. Weglos Dental Practice (“Applicant”) for the premises located at 759 Newtown Yardley Road, Newtown Township, Bucks County for Tax Map Parcel29-10-53 prepared by Dumack Engineering dated February 1, 2011, last revised on July 26, 2011 and consisting of 9 pages, subject to the following conditions and variances previously granted:
Mr. Whartenby seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mr. Iapalucci asked whether the condition requiring compliance with Township sign ordinances would prevent the applicant from seeking relief from the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Murphy said that he would be reviewing the signage requirements for the business at a later date with Dr. Weglos.
Mr. Fidler said that the sign ordinances would not be as prohibitive as this location is not within 1,000 feet of the Newtown Bypass.
The motion passed 8-0.
Subcommittee and Liaison Reports
Board of Supervisors: Mr. Fidler reported that the Supervisors approved the Red Berry Yogurt Conditional Use.
Park and Recreation: The recording secretary reported that the Board had reviewed and recommended that the Newtown Athletic Club pay a fee in lieu of open space for its pool and baseball academy additions. The Board has rescheduled its September meeting to September 12, at which the preliminary plan for McDonald’s in Village at Newtown will be reviewed.
Environmental Advisory Committee: Mr. Fisher reported that he has discussed regulations on use of pesticide with Mr. Kochanski, who has provided sample ordinances from other states for the EAC to review.
Ms. Fountain reported that she has been in correspondence with the EAC on a pamphlet about stormwater management for residents planning home improvement projects involving increased impervious surface. She may attend an upcoming meeting to review this further.
The Commission has been copied on a letter from Lorraine Pentz, chairman of the Joint Historic Commission to the Supervisors discussing the inclusion of the Stockburger showroom on Sycamore Street in the historic district. This is in anticipation of the proposed demolition of the showroom and construction of a Beneficial Bank at the site.
Mr. Fidler suggested that, while this is a topic of interest to many in the Township, the Commission should await direction from the Supervisors before weighing in on the issue.
Mr. Fidler said that he would like to hold a few instructional sessions on the JMZO and SALDO and the duties and responsibilities of Planning Commissioners lead by Ms. Fountain and Mr. Kochanski. These would be scheduled at 7:00 PM for 30 minutes, before regular meetings. He asked the recording secretary to keep the members informed of the agenda schedule through the fall, so as to schedule these meetings when the agenda will not be lengthy.
Ms. Fountain and Mr. Cohen discussed some revisions being made by the DEP to the recently adopted stormwater management ordinance. These revisions will exempt all projects under 1,000 square feet from the recently adopted requirements.
Mr. Cohen moved to adjourn at 8:45 pm. Mr. Fisher seconded and the motion carried 8-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary