23 January 2023 Meet Mack Monday Meeting Summary
A dozen people (mostly Newtown Twp residents) attended this Zoom meeting, which focused on the following topics (view the presentation below...):
- Change Zoning to Allow Apartment Complex? [Background: “20 December 2022 Newtown Planning Commission Meeting Summary”]
- Should Newtown Pull Out of the Jointure? [This was discussed at the 17 January 2023 Planning Commission meeting. Listen to the discussion...]
- Sewer Rate Increase: Why? Will It Be the Last? [Background: “#NewtownPA Sewer Authority Manager Warren Gormley Explains Rate Increase”]
- “Historic” Site on Toll Bros Site: Should It Be Preserved? [Background: “A ‘Major Historic’ Resource Re-Discovered!”]
- Newtown-Yardley Rd & N Sycamore St Pedestrian Safety: Flashing Beacons, Lower Speed Limits
- Wawa’s Substantive Validity Challenge: What’s Next?
- Lower Dolington Road Trail
- LED Streetlight Procurement Program
- Privilege of the Floor – Q&A Session covering the following:
- Trucks Parked on Lower Dolington Road – Quite an Eyesore AND a potential danger to drivers!
- Spot Zoning in OR District!
- No Turn on Red – More Dangerous for Pedestrians?
- Detailed Meeting Notes
Video of Opening Presentation
The following is a 28-minute video recording of the presentation that was made at the beginning of the meeting:
Trucks Parked on Lower Dolington Road
Residents of developments along Lower Dolington Road (LDR), including Woods of Saxony and Hill Haven, have complained about tractor trucks parking on LDR near their developments, usually south of Yorkshire Drive.
As one resident sent me the following comments via email:
“I would like to express my concern regarding tractor trailer trucks parking on dolington road. There are at least 2 that park there all the time and it looks terrible. The trucks also block road signs that alert oncoming cars to a stop sign at frost lane. I believe the trucks belong to residents that live in the area and park their trucks there when they are home. It's unsafe ( blocking the signage), and an eyesore. I mentioned it to the police and they said they would look into it. Nothing has changed. It's Been months.”
Considering that the township is spending over $1 million to construct a beautiful trail along LDR, we should not allow parking of any vehicle along the trail, especially not big tractor trucks, IMHO.
Another, perhaps more serious concern, is large trucks parked on LDR too close to the intersection with other roads exiting developments. One problem I experienced personally is exiting the Country Bend development at Everett Drive trying to make a left-hand turn onto LDR to go north. Just south of that intersection was a large, high-profile tractor trailer truck that blocked my view of cars coming south on LDR.
Paragraph 22-507 (“Street Intersections”) of the Newtown Township Municipal Code specifies requirements for Corner Sight Distance (Clear Sight Triangle): “Whenever a proposed street intersects an existing or proposed street of higher order in the street hierarchy, the street of lower order shall be made a stop street. The street of lower order shall also be designed to provide a minimum corner sight distance as specified in the accompanying chart:”
In my case, the truck was parked about 10 feet from the intersection whereas it should have been parked NO CLOSER than 350 feet from the intersection according to code; the speed limit for LDR is 35 MPH, hence Y = 350 feet.
The following is a recording of the discussion of this issue that took place at the end of the January 23, 2023, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting.
Spot Zoning in OR District
On December 20, 2022, the Newtown Planning Commission reviewed a “sketch plan” submitted by Kushner Real Estate (KRE) to construct a multi-story residential building – “Market Rate” Apartment Complex – containing 225 luxury apartments on a 17.87-acre parcel in the OR (Office/Research) District of Newtown.
Rather than go before the ZHB to obtain variances to the OR zoning, KRE would prefer that the Jointure amend the JMZO to include the specific use that KRE is proposing. It sounds like “spot zoning” to me!
The following is a recording of the discussion of this issue...
No Turn on Red
Newtown Township, with the approval of PennDOT, has placed "NO TURN ON RED" signage at the intersection of Durham Road / Sycamore Street and Washington Crossing Road / Durham Road.
I am sure that this was done to improve pedestrian safety, which has been an issue on North Sycamore Street (read for example, "Supervisors Act To Improve Pedestrian Safety!").
There seems to be a difference of opinion on that as evidenced by this discussion:
Detailed Meeting Notes
See the meeting notes embedded below or download the PDF file here.
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