10 August 2022 BOS Meeting Summary
No Gun Shows at NAC, Yes or No to EMS Tax Referendum? Pedestrian Safety, No Sewer Sale? Abortion Rights Resolution, More…
This is my personal summary of the August 10, 2022, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary. NOTE: I did not attend this meeting.
Access the 2022 BOS Voting Record (UNOFFICIAL).
- Reports of Board Members
- Public Hearing
- Reports of Officials
- Solicitor: Consider approving zoning enforcement settlement agreement re Gun Shows at the NAC Sports Training Center
- Solicitor: Consider adopting a Resolution authorizing the placement of a referendum on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot seeking voter approval of an additional one-half mill of real estate tax annually to support ambulance, rescue, and other emergency services
- Solicitor: Authorization to draft a Resolution supporting Abortion rights
- Official Video
Warren Gormley, Authority Manager at Newtown Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority (NBCJMA), advised supervisors that the sale of the BCWSA sewer assets to a private company (Auqua PA), is “just not a good thing for the rate payers...it will increase rates dramatically."
View the video of his remarks.
The letter states, in part: "We respectfully solicit the County Commissioners to take any and all reasonable steps to compel BCWSA to abandon its negotiations with Aqua and for BCWSA to continue operating as an independent, non-profit agency, as intended when it was created in 1962 by the Bucks County Commissioners."
The BOS unanimously approved the township to send the letter.
The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) gave conditional use approval for the family-owned [Princeton-based Blue Point Grill aka BPG] to open at 3 West Road next to the TD Bank at the Newtown Shopping Center. [BPG will also have a bar and serve alcohol; read “Newtown Planning Commission is OK with Blue Point Grill's Conditional Use Application. Liquor Will Be Served!”]
"We're not going to be a bar to drink. We're going to be a restaurant to eat," said Jack Morrison, the owner of BPG. "If you're coming for a cocktail at 10 p.m. that's not who we are."
In addressing concerns over parking, Morrison's land development lawyer Mike Meginniss noted that the seafood house would be a complementary use to the neighboring TD Bank, which shares the 52 space parking lot. "We believe this is a good synergistic use with the peak hours of the bank during the day and BPG being a dinner operation," said Meginniss.
Piccolo Trattoria Italian sit down and takeout restaurant, located a few doors down from the ACME in the Newtown Shopping Center, received conditional use and land development approvals from the supervisors to expand into the former Dogs and Cats Rule space next door. The expansion will allow the restaurant to enlarge its kitchen and dining area.
A variance was granted to permit the shopping center to continue to maintain 953 parking spaces, of which 169 are "held in reserve" whereas the patio addition would have required the construction of an additional 15 parking spaces.
The board did not think that parking would be an issue on that side of the Newtown Shopping Center parking lot. I was not at this BOS meeting, but if I were, I would have noted that he dining room expansion with additional seating plus additional outdoor seating could mean 200 additional guests requiring parking spaces.
Gun shows are officially off the table at the Sports Training Center at 116 Pheasant Run and 209 Penns Trail in Newtown Township.
The BOS approved a zoning enforcement settlement agreement reached between the board of supervisors and the Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) which operates the center.
The Sports Training Center will be allowed to host event-style shows – such as camping or hunting shows - at the venue, just not gun shows. The agreement states: “Newtown Associates agrees...that no ‘events and event-style shows and sales’ use undertaken on the Property shall be for the primary purpose of showing, selling, or exchanging of any firearm...No guns, firearms, rifles, shotguns or the like shall be shown, sold or exchanged at the Property except for once per calendar year, and any such showing, sale, or exchange shall not be the primary purpose of the event or the event-style show or sale.” Download the settlement agreement...
Background: “Residents Voice Concerns Regarding Newtown Gun Show”
The BOS approved a resolution to add a referendum to the November ballot, which, if it passes, would raise the EMS tax by 0.5 mill. Find details in the resolution...
The BOS had a lively discussion of abortion rights (view the video). In the end, supervisors voted 3-1 (Mr. Mack was absent) to authorize the Township Solicitor to draft an abortion rights resolution to be voted on at the September 14, 2022, BOS meeting.
Supervisor Kyle Davis opposed the action saying "I'm not unsympathetic to your thoughts on on the issue ... I just wanted to make this statement: it's not in our purview and it's a very controversial issue and ... I don't want to bring controversial issues from state and federal level down to Newtown Township."
Other members respected that opinion but noted that there is a need to prevent the state government from altering the constitution taking away women's right to choose.
Supervisor Snyder said "What we're doing is supporting our elected officials as they fight for women's rights and to keep them in the constitution as they already exist... so we're just telling them to please fight for women."
One resident commented on the respectful manner in which the BOS expressed their opinions: "What drew me to this lectern, said Terry Christensen, "was the respectful way that you communicated with one another . You set a fine example. There was an understanding an exchange of ideas. It didn't turn into personal attacks. You set a fine example. I wish some of our members of Congress could see how it works - maybe they should come to our meetings more often."
View the official video of the meeting on Youtube for more details (includes an interactive transcript that allows you to jump to specific sections of the video related to entries in the transcript).