John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

Save the Woods

Arcadia Green’s latest proposal to build 85 single-family homes on land near the intersection of Buck Road and Newtown Bypass, calls for egress traffic to pass through roads in the Newtown Crossing development (read more about that in the October 12, 2017, issue of Newtown News Update here).

Many residents of that community oppose the plan. The final hearing before the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) was held on Tuesday night, December 5, 2017 (read the Bucks County Courier Times report here).

Save the Woods Petition

Meanwhile, residents of Newtown Crossing have posted a petition on Facebook (here) urging the Newtown BOS to vote NO. The petition cites “several areas of safety concern,” including:

  • Traffic, access to property
  • Demolishing a house in Newtown Crossing and replacing it with a road into a cul-de-sac
  • Houses potentially being built on an existing retention basin

To date, almost 350 people have signed the petition. Some comments include:

“This proposed development will change the character of our neighborhood and negatively impact our quality of life. Enough is enough. Open space is scarce. Let's preserve the tiny bit we have left.”

“I reside on High Street and the additional traffic on my cul-de-sac is a safety concern for my family.”

A decision by the Newtown BOS on this project is expected to be made at the scheduled December, 27, 2017, public meeting.

I am opposed to this project because it will destroy precious open space and adversely impact the neighboring communities. I, like most residents speaking at the hearings, am especially concerned about the traffic problems this development will cause. The plan also lacks an easy way for residents of the proposed community to commute to work and to visit the shops and activities in Newtown.

Posted on 09 Dec 2017, 12:13 - Category: Development



BOS Approves Publication of Preliminary 2018 Budget

On November 21, 2017, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved the publication of the Preliminary 2018 Budget. You can find a PDF version of this budget here.

The budget does NOT include a 2 mill property tax increase for the general fund proposed in the version presented to the BOS on 16 October 2017 by Township Manager, Kurt Ferguson (read "Newtown Township Manager Proposes Tax Increase").

It does include, however, a 0.45 mill new tax specifically earmarked for the ambulance squad and a 0.55 mill new tax specifically for fire hydrant maintenance.

The estimated new income from these taxes is $147,239 and $185,000, respectively. In the previous version, these expenses were paid through the general fund. By implementing new taxes to cover these expenses the Township will save approximately $305,000 (previously, $120,000 from the general fund was allocated to the Ambulance Squad and $185,000 for fire hydrants).

Note that with the new tax, the ambulance squad will receive approximately $27,000 in additional funding to cover increasing expenses due to increased call volume. It will also help the squad maintain staff with competitive salaries. The Squad had sought a 0.5 mill tax increase to cover these expenses. For more about that, read “Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding”.

October 17, 2017, Budget Meeting Video


Also read this article:

 

Posted on 01 Dec 2017, 12:40 - Category: Budget



Newtown BOS Accepting Resumes

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) is accepting resumes for consideration for Township boards, committees, and commissions. Resumes will be accepted until December 20, 2017. Please submit a letter of interest and resume to Olivia Kivenko,
Newtown Township, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA 18940, by email to oliviak@newtownpa.gov, or by fax at (215) 968-5368.

The following is a list of available openings:

  • Zoning Hearing Board
  • Planning Commission
  • Parks and Recreation Board
  • Newtown Joint Historic Commission
  • Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB)
  • Traffic Impact Advisory Committee
  • Newtown Joint Municipal Sewer Authority Board
  • Environmental Advisory Council
  • Technology Committee
  • Economic Development Committee

More information, including meeting times and committee goals, about committees, boards and commissions (also see here and here):

Economic Development Committee - The Economic Development Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM. Several positions are open.

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this committee here.

Technology Committee - To advance the Board of Supervisor’s desire to advance the use of technology in Newtown Township; it is the mission of the Technology Committee, in cooperation with the Board of Supervisors and the Township Manager, to promote employee and volunteer efficiency, maximize customer service, and reduce Township costs through the use of technology. The Committee meets the last Tuesday of each month, 7:30 PM, in the public meeting room of the township building. Its members serve a three-year term. At least 3 positions are open.

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this committee here.

Environmental Advisory Council - The Newtown Township Environmental Advisory Council was established to protect the natural resources within the Township and create community awareness. The seven EAC members work together to build an environmentally sustainable community by championing and promoting natural resource conservation, consideration of environmental impacts in decision-making, education and awareness of environmental issues in Newtown Township. The Council meets the fourth Monday of each month, 7:30 PM, in the Public Meeting Room in the township building. Its members serve a three-year term. 

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this council here.

Parks and Recreation Board - Assesses parks, open space, and recreational needs of Township residents and also reviews development plans and provides recommendations to the Board of Supervisors as to whether open space should be dedicated to the Township or if the developer should pay the Township a “Fee-In-Lieu” of open space. The Board meets on the first Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM, in the Public Meeting Room in the township building. Its members serve a three-year term.

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this committee here.

Zoning Hearing Board - A quasi-judicial body appointed by the Board of Supervisors. It hears and decides on appeals from a decision, or determination, of any administrative official in connection with the Zoning Ordinance, and grants Special Exceptions and Variances from the terms of the Zoning Ordinance.   The Board meets the first Thursday of each month, 7:00 PM, in the Public Meeting Room of  the  township building, as required. Its members serve a five-year term.

Planning Commission - Working in conjunction with the Bucks County Planning Commission, the Township Planner, and other Township boards, commissions, committees and councils, advises the Board of Supervisors on all planning, zoning and traffic matters, reviews Conditional Use Applications and Land Development Plans, and examines traffic impact issues. The Commission meets the first and third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 PM, in the Public Meeting Room in the new township building. Its members serve a four-year term.

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this commission here.

Joint Historic Commission - Eight member board, four year term.   Meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30 PM. The Joint Historic Commission’s primary responsibility is the protection and preservation of historically and/or architecturally significant structures in Newtown Borough and Newtown Township.  The Commission is comprised of four residents from each of these two municipalities.  Meetings are held in Newtown Borough Hall, 23 North State Street. As an advocate for historic preservation, the Joint Historic Commission can be a resource for property owners and Borough and Township boards and committees regarding historic and/or architecturally significant structures.

Find more details about the mission, residency requirements, term, and the powers and duties of this commission here.

Traffic Impact Advisory Committee - Derives the formula used for traffic impact fees imposed by the Township under the Municipalities Planning Code and the Subdivision and Land Use Ordinance, during the land development process. The Committee meets as required. Its members serve a one-year term.

 

Posted on 24 Nov 2017, 10:50 - Category: Newtown



Support the Newtown Ambulance Squad

I recently subscribed to the Newtown Ambulance Squad by making a household donation of $60. 

Resnikoff and Mack
John Mack (R) hands subscription check over to Evan Resnikoff (L), Chief of Operations, Newtown Ambulance Squad.

I hope I never need the services of the Squad, but if I do, it's good to know that my contribution - which is tax deductible - will cover any costs, even the insurance co-pay. Donations like this, which make up about 5% of the Squad's revenue, help cover the costs of the squad. But more is needed as costs keep rising and calls for drug overdoses balloon (read "Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding").

The subscription drive is mailed annually to all households in the Squad's primary service area, which includes all of Newtown Township, Newtown Boro, Northampton Township in select sections of Holland, and very small parts of Upper Makefield and Lower Makefield Townships. Look in you mailbox and consider subscribing!

Subscription Brochure

In addition to help fund operations and equipment needs, your tax-deductible donation ensures coverage of your insurance deductible or co-pay in the event you should need service.

For more information, visit the Newtown Ambulance Squad website: http://www.newtownambulance.org/

Posted on 18 Nov 2017, 01:46 - Category: First Responders



Arcadia Green Development Hearings, Part 1

On November 8, 2017, the first session of hearings before the Newtown Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed so-called Arcadia Green development project took place. On October 11, 2017, there was public comment and the selection of "witnesses" who would testify at the hearings (for more on that, read "Newtown Crossing vs Arcadia: Truth to Power!").

I had to leave by 9:30 pm after more than an hour of testimony by Arcadia’s president Jason Duckworth who desribed the project in much detail (see photo below).

Duckworth (left) Testifies

I was able to capture an image of thr proposed project (see below) from the multi-page document that Arcadia introduced into evidence.

Proposed Arcadia Green Developemnt

The main issue for many residents of Newtown Crossing is the impact of traffic. The plan calls for an egress road through High Street. Residents at the meeting were dismayed that Arcadia has yet to supply the Township with a traffic impact study, which is needed before an iinformed decision by the Board can be made.

I will continue to follow this issue. Meanwhile, see the piece below for some history regarding this proposed development.

Posted on 09 Nov 2017, 01:29 - Category: Development



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