10 May 2023 BOS Meeting Summary
Applebee’s, Billboards, Pedestrian Safety, Lower Dolington Road Trail Fiasco, Business Commons Sidewalk Project, Fire Services Agreement, Sterling Act Resolution, AV System Upgrade Proposal Discussion, more…
This is my personal summary of the May 10, 2023, meeting of the #NewtownPA Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary.
Access the 2023 BOS Chronicle for detailed summaries of all 2023 BOS meetings plus the BOS voting record (UNOFFICIAL) for 2023.
- Planning Commission Report
- Public Comment Regarding Wawa & Pedestrian Safety
- 4 May 2023 Engineer’s Report (link to full report)
- Fire Services Agreement Amendment
- April 2023 Police Report
- See My Detailed Meeting Notes for more details, including Sterling Act Resolution, Bills List, Meeting Room AV Improvement Proposals, etc.
- Official Video
- Video Transcript
Applicant wishes to construct an unenclosed paver patio at the northeast side of the restaurant in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District. The patio will be landscaped and will only be accessible through glass doors inside the restaurant.
There is no net gain of seating, as 30 indoor seats are to be removed to accommodate access to the patio.
The Commission voted to recommend that the Board approve this application subject to compliance with our professionals’ review letters.
This proposed amendment addresses all types of signage including billboards, both on and off-premises. We tabled discussion to review some research done by previous Planning Commissions. Listen to the discussion...
According to the proposed amended ordinance, off-premises signs are permitted in the following locations: Convenience Commercial (CC) District. Sign Size: An off premises sign is subject to the following size restrictions according to the posted speed limit of the road which the off-premises sign faces: 46-55 MPH (e.g., Bypass speed limit) – 150 square feet.
More details available on page 40 of the 2023 BOS Chronicle...
“We’ve had a lot of conversation lately about pedestrian safety,” said resident Terry Christensen. “From reading the Patch there probably will be a Wawa going in. One of the concerns I had at the time I was on the Planning Commission there were not adequate provisions made for pedestrian traffic or bicycle traffic [see below]. The Wawa is going to be an attraction for young people. We need to be careful about that.
“I would encourage you as this moves forward to make sure that we are adequately protecting our young people. Because most of the people who are going to be attracted to that store live north of the Bypass.
“I hope I’m wrong about this, but it looks like a tragedy in the making to me.”
- “Planning Commission Members Driscoll & Christensen Chastise Wawa”
- Hear Christensen’s comments on how Wawa misled the PC with an out-of-date traffic study
“The Township Contractor plans on returning to the site to finish construction mid-May 2023.” In an email to supervisors, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale, said “I spoke with the Contractor for the trail project and their status for returning to the site. They had initially indicated the beginning of this month, however, with last week’s weather, their other project end dates were delayed. With that said, they plan on being on site May 15 to restart construction. We are also working with the Lumens contractor to address our punch list items following the relocation work that was completed a few weeks ago.”
[Refer to the “Lower Dolington Road Multi-Use Trail Project Timeline” going back to March 2018.]
Supervisor Snyder asked: “There is nothing we can do to hold their feet to the fire? So in other words, if it rains again, if we have a week of rain, that's going to push them back they're able to say to us again well we were held back because of the rain?”
Ms. Colubriale responded: “ What we're going to do is issue them a letter more or less getting their contract time to start again and then once we do that there are other avenues that we can take within the contract. There's provisions of them returning to the site and completing things within certain timelines.”
Supervisor Mack said “It's all about the Benjamins. I don't know what the timing is on this, but I know they periodically submit payments due. If these come in the summer, I hope those bills are not paid without the township first taking a look at them even though we have this new resolution about paying bills when the we're not in session.”
As shown in the image above, the project includes a sidewalk extension between Yorkshire Drive and Devon Road. This will allow the LDR trail to extend a bit north of Yorkshire drive via the sidewalk. This was made possible by a special grant.
I had email correspondence with a New Haven (Devon Rd) resident who said “It seems to me that New Haven (Devon Road) is always overlooked. It is just a block down from Woods of Saxony (Yorkshire) and the end of the housing developments before you reach Silver Lake road… it seemed a little short sighted not to have included up to Devon Road with the LDT.”
Unfortunately, the sidewalk does not extend all the way up to Devon Rd, but New Haven residents can still access it via Hill Haven Court as shown in the image.
I asked the Ms. Colubriale if this sidewalk extension is still planned. Her ANSWER: “Yes!”
The BOS approved a resolution amending the Fire Services Agreement with Newtown Borough to add up to 3 members to the Newtown Fire Association to the Joint Fire Commission.
DISCUSSION: I asked how many members the Joint Fire Commission would have if this amendment was approved. ANSWER: 10 (3 NT Boro, 2 NT Supervisors, NT NEMS Fire Chief, NT EMS Deputy Fire Chief, 3 NFA members)
I asked if meetings were open to the public and if so, where does the public go to see when meetings are scheduled and where to go to attend. ANSWER: This is a advisory body. The meetings are open to the public. Meetings must be “advertised” – listed in the township calendar, for example. Up til now, this has not been done – at least not in the NT Twp calendar. The next meeting will be in June, 2023. The consensus of the BOS is to include the information for these meetings in the Twp calendar on the Twp website.
I prepare detailed notes from all BOS meeting. These notes include links to background information and other details related to the items on the agenda. See the meeting notes for this meeting embedded below or download the PDF file here.
Download the unedited time-stamped transcript of this meeting prepared by Youtube from the video: download PDF file.