John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
22 September 2021 BOS Meeting Summary

Resident Comments on Toll Bros New Plan; Reports from Technology & Communications Committee and Environmental Advisory Council; Council Rock School Busing Issues, Engineer's uipdate: Trails & Traffic, BCPC Proposal for OLI/LI Zoning DistrictsMore...

Below is my personal summary of the September 22, 2021, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). See the my notes embedded at the end of this post. Also see 2021 BOS Voting Record for how supervisors voted on motions (updated after minutes of meetings are officially approved by the BOS).

Special Actions

Award & Proclamation Presentation for Firefighter John Gundy

Longtime Newtown firefighter John Gundy Jr. was recognized for his exemplary service to the community. After 25 years with the township, Grundy retired from the Newtown Emergency Services Department in August to take on the job of Bucks County Chief Fire Marshal. More...

Public Comment

Delancey Court Residents Speak Out Against Toll Plan

Several residents of Delancey Court - including HOA Board members - commented on the Toll Bros All Saints Cemetery proposed settlement plan. This new plan eliminates access to Twining Bridge Rd and proposes to use Municipal Drive to access Durham Road. See the plan here and below.

Proposed Development Site Layout

Residents complained that they were not given adequate notice and that Toll is "controlling the narrative." To that point, in its letter to residents, Toll says "After filing the appeal, Toll and the Board discussed a possible settlement that greatly improves the proposed development site layout and furthers the purposes of the Conservation Management District."

Specific complaints from residents included: (1) the planned access to Durham Road via Municipal Drive was unsafe, (2) a 2008 Durham Road Traffic Study concluded that the preferred access to Durham Road from any development in the area is North Drive, and (3) the Township should not be giving up public land to allow access to Municipal Drive.

For more details - including videos of resident comments - read "Delancey Court Residents Oppose Toll's Proposed Settlement Plan" in the Newtown Patch.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission

BCPC Proposal for the LI-OLI District: Although the Commission has not seen the revised proposal (find it here), members did discuss the work to be done in conjunction with the Economic Development Committee and would recommend asking for a possible timeline for the work. The Commission also recommend that rather than holding separate meetings with all of the participating committees individually, the Supervisors might want to consider a “super committee” made up of the EDC and Planning Commission along with a few of the interested Supervisors*. This might be more efficient than trying to follow each individual committee’s schedules.

*I would certainly want to be included. However, if more than 2 supervisors attend such a meeting, it must be advertised and open to the public. Therefore, to prevent any supervisor being locked out of the "super committee," I proposed that this meeting be a regularly-advertised Supervisor Work Session open the the public. We should have nothing to hide!

Technology & Communications Committee

The Technology & Communications (T&CC) Chair Dan Willimas is working with Katherine McGovern, the Township's Assistant Manager, to facilitate a meeting of employees who run the township’s website with T&CC members to discuss (1) website analytics, (2) improvement/awareness of committee updates to site, and (3) share survey information of committee needs. What is the status of this meeting?

After the meeting, Mr. Williams and I were notified that some Newtown website analytics have been performed according to requests by the T&CC. You can find these data here.

Environmental Advisory Council

The EAC met on September 13, 2021. The major action taken was the approval a draft amendment to the Newtown Township Vegetation Ordinance. See the discussion at the Sep 13, 2021 EAC meeting. Find details in my meeting notes below.

No action was taken at this meeting in order to give supervisors more time to read the draft ordinance.

Council Rock School Board

The CRSB met on September 9, 2021. See the meeting on Youtube.

A Newtown Twp resident sent me an email regarding a lack and/or delay of school bus transportation for his children who attend local Catholic schools. As the CRSB liaison, I contacted Edward Tate, member of the Council Rock School Board (CRSB), to get a better understanding of the issue. Find details in my meeting notes below.

Not discussed at this meeting: COVID Plan – Superintendent Fraser said that “My administrative recommendation does continue to adhere to the CDC guidelines,” which states “Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.”

According to the CRSD COVID online dashboard, for the week of 9/13/21 there were 2 cases of COVID infection in CRHS-S and 1 in CRHS-N. To date (9/28/21) since the beginning of the school year there have been 16 cases total for Council Rock North & South high schools (9 in CRHS-S and 7 in CRHS-N) plus 3 for Newtown Elementary.

CRSD COVID Dashboard as of Week of 9/20/21

Reports of Officials

Engineer’s Report

Lower Dolington Road Multi-Use Trail: The signed contracts were received from the township. The next step is to submit the executed contracts to DCNR – the grant-funding agency – for their review. Hopefully that will happen quickly and the twp can issue the notice to proceed to the contractors. Once construction begins, the timeline for completion is 90 days. For more details of this project, see the Engineer's Report section of my August 11, 2021, BOS Meeting Notes.

Brixmor/Village at Newtown Shopping Center Traffic Study: The Township Engineer indicated that the development is pretty much completed (about 77% leased), Brixmor is required to do a traffic study. Brixmor will do that traffic study and hopefully complete it in the fall. It will use general standards to estimate the traffic in occupied areas. In answer to my question, she confirmed that they township will have some input regarding how the traffic study will be conducted such observing traffic on specific days of the week, time of day, etc.

Manager's Report

Consideration to approve the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC) proposal for Planning Services for the OLI/LI Zoning Districts.

For background, read "Newtown Economic Development Committee Discusses LI/OLI Overlay Zoning and New Uses for the Business Commons Area." 

Supervisor Kyle Davis voiced opposition to the proposal saying that he preferred amending the zoning rather than creating overlay zones, which is the goal of the BCPC proposal. The motion was tabled - i.e., no decision was made.

Hybrid Meetings

Video Gold submitted more detailed proposals/quotes for various options to implement hybrid public meetings via Zoom, Youtube etc. (view the proposals/quotes). Kyle Davis requested that the township get more details about the equipment needed. No further action was taken. Background: "Residents Say YES To Hybrid In-Person/Online Public Meetings."

Old Business

Hybrid Meetings

Video Gold submitted more detailed proposals/quotes for various options to implement hybrid public meetings via Zoom, Youtube etc. (view the proposals/quotes). Kyle Davis requested that the township get more details about the equipment needed. No further action was taken. Background: "Residents Say YES To Hybrid In-Person/Online Public Meetings."

Mack's Meeting Notes

The complete notes are embedded below or you can download the PDF file here. Not all items on the agenda may be covered in these notes.

Video Archive of Meeting

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