John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

A monthly collection of summaries of articles curated from various news, township meetings, and other sources, focused on topics of interest to local residents. The insights expressed here are those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person. See video version below. Subscribe here, if you are not yet a subscriber.

LDR Trail Guardrails: Why Metal and Not Wood?

LDR Guardrails: Why Metal, Not Wood?

Some residents were surprised that wooden guardrails were not used as opposed to metal ones, which seem more appropriate for major highways where cars travel much faster than the 35 MPH limit of Lower Dolington Rd (LDR). There was also the issue that the metal guardrails were not in keeping with the country/rustic appeal of the area. Read more...

From - July 19, 2023

How concerned are residents about over- development in Newtown Township?

To answer that question, I started a short survey, which has received 175 responses (including 130 responses from Newtown Township residents) plus over 120 comments, as of July 19, 2023. Over 80-81% of survey respondents (including Newtown Twp residents as well) are “Very Concerned” about overdevelopment in Newtown Township.

More, including access to ALL comments...

John Mack's Insights:

One of my favorite comments: "Smart development is what Newtown needs and we need Supervisors (thanks John) willing to stand up to developers that want to change the zoning for their financial gain"

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From - July 16, 2023

This is my personal summary of the July 12, 2023, meeting of the #NewtownPA Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary.

Agenda items include:

  • Planning Committee Report: Comments on KRE Upper Kacungie Associates ZHB Challenge
  • Board Member Report: JZC 5G Ordinance Safety Discussion
  • Public Hearing: KRE Substantive Challenge and Curative Amendment
  • Motion to Disqualify ("Muzzle") Supervisor Mack
  • Tara Blvd Crosswalk Discussion
Details, including video and transcript...

John Mack's Insights:

Will developers succeed in “muzzling” Mack? Stay tuned!

From - July 22, 2023
Tickets are now on sale for the 14th annual Newtown Beerfest to be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, at the Stocking Works in Newtown.

Billed as Newtown's premiere beer festival, the event will showcase the area’s top breweries, live bands, and a number of seltzers and wines.

Funds raised at the Newtown Beerfest will benefit Newtown Fire and Rescue and help in purchasing rescue equipment, safety equipment, as well as supplementing the purchase of new fire trucks.

Tickets are now on sale... 

John Mack's Insights:

I always have a good time at the beerfest and often find interesting new brews to sample.

From - July 13, 2023

A developer seeking to build a multistory, 245-unit apartment building on Lower Silver Lake Road is asking the board of supervisors to disqualify vice chairman John Mack from hearing its validity challenge of the township's ordinance.

KRE Upper Macungie Associates LP is challenging the substantive validity of the township's ordinance arguing that the ordinance does not include a multi-family, mid-rise apartment use, which it is planning on Lower Silver Lake Road.

In addition to laying out their arguments [challenging Newtown’s zoning], the lawyers submitted preliminary challenges to the supervisors, including one seeking to disqualify supervisor John Mack from hearing the challenge.

[KRE] has also filed a preliminary motion to disqualify supervisor Mack from hearing the challenge arguing that his blogs and Facebook postings have shown his bias against the filing.

John Mack's Insights:

This is not the first time that a developer tried to muzzle a supervisor, including me. At the 8-Aug-2018: Arcadia Green PRD Hearing: Mr. John VanLuvanee, Esq., applicant’s counsel, requested that several Supervisors [including me] be recused due to bias, Township Solicitor Dave Sander, cited section 603 of the PA Second Class Township Code, which states: “A member of the board shall not be disqualified from voting on any issue before the board solely because the member had previously expressed an opinion on the issue in either an official or unofficial capacity.”] A motion to recuse the Board members was denied.

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From July 18, 2023

On or about July 11, 2023, PECO "fried" the traffic signal box at Buck Rd/Mill Pond Dr intersection (site of infamous U-turn approved by PennDOT as part of the Arcadia/Mayfield development plan). Temporary stop signs were placed at the intersection until repairs can be made.

Meanwhile, on July 17, 2023, a Crowne Point resident emailed me about another problem: crosswalk pedestrian signal option.

“It is imperative that the pedestrian has the right to access the pedestrian button option without risking their life trying to cross to the other side, because someone decided to remove the light button option used by residents of Crown Pointe/ Newtown!”

The pedestrian button will be repaired, but the resident had a good idea to improve pedestrian safety.

Read more about that here...

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