Summary of 27 September 2023 BOS Meeting
Sewage Treatment Plant Plan, Borscht Belt Deli "Neon Signage Armageddon", Solar Power for Township Buildings, LDRT “Punchlist” Update, RRFB Plans for Crosswalks, more…
This is my personal summary of my notes regarding the September 27, 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.
- NBCJMA Proposes Sewage Treatment Plant on Lower Silver Lake Rd
- Planning Committee Report (from synopsis of 19 September 2023 Meeting)
- Other Items of Interest
- Detailed Notes
- Official Video
- Video Transcript
Warren Gormley, Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority (NBCJMA) Executive Director, and Gannett Fleming, Civil Engineer and member of the Authority Board, presented the NBCJMA’s plan for the construction of a sewage treatment facility on Lower Silver Lake Road. I had a few questions:
The presentation lacked the detail of a recent presentation by Mr. Gormley before the Newtown Borough Council. Consequently, I asked Mr. Fleming a few questions to fill in the gap with some details so that township residents would be informed. I specifically asked about conforming to Newtown zoning, If you check the JMZO, a public utility operation under an F-1 use is allowed by Special Exception in the OR district. The key feature is that it can only occupy 10% of the total property. There was some confusion regarding what the 10% refers to. Here's what the JMZO says: Public Utility Operating Facility. No facility nor projected area thereof as viewed in the plan view shall occupy more than 10% of the property on which it is located." Both Mr. Gormley and Mr. Fleming said they were NOT aware of this ordinance, which can be found here.
“The applicant is appealing the actions of the Zoning Officer who has issued a violation for a large neon sign in the window at Village at Newtown South,” reported Peggy Driscoll, Chair of the Planning Commission. “The applicant was not in attendance; we understand that the applicant had asked to postpone his Zoning Hearing Board appointment for one month (scheduled for the November 5, 2023, hearing).
“The members did discuss the neon sign, the inconsistent enforcement of signage [emphasis added] in our commercial districts and in this particular case, the outdated zoning ordinance [which states that “any sign illuminated by inert gas or any form of exposed tubes is prohibited”]. For many years the Planning Commission has discussed our signage ordinances and we are in agreement that it might be necessary to update the entire sign ordinance for all zoning districts, perhaps at the Jointure is looking into amending the billboard ordinance.”
The Board of Supervisors [BOS] voted unanimously to oppose the Borscht Belt zoning appeal by sending its solicitor to the hearing.
- Borscht Belt Signage Appeal Document
- “Stage Set In #NewtownPA Township For Zoning Showdown Over Neon Signs (aka, ‘Neon Signage Armageddon’)”
- “Borscht Belt Delicatessen Seeks Variance to Allow Neon Sign”
Topics included: Why Newtown Township should consider solar power, Examples of solar projects, How solar works, Financial aspects, How to get it done. EAC member Peter Gilles presented an abbreviated overview of the presentation.
NOTE: The Township Engineer did not report on this at the meeting. However, I was able to ask questions.
When I mentioned that no work has been done to address the official “final punchlist” items (read: “Lower Dolington Road Trail Punch Lists”), Dominic Cundari, the KVE representative, said “I think a majority of them have been completed um there's just a few remaining. There's just a a few remaining um I know there was some work to be done with the guide rail [see video: “Loose Guardrail”] uh there were some stop signs that had to be relocated, um there was some uh concrete that needed repair and remove and replace some concrete sidewalk where water is ponding.” [see video: “Standing Water on LDR Trail ADA Ramp!”].
After the meeting, I made a quick tour of the trail and could not see any changes mandated by the punchlist.
The following image illustrates the Pedestrian Activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Permit Plan for the crosswalk at Tara Blvd and Newtown-Yardley Rd. NOTE: The KVE representative did NOT report on this project at the meeting, but was mentioned in the Manager’s Report.
The plan calls for a 40’ mast arm on the south side of Newtown-Yardley Road (Assembly #1) with a post mounted signal on the NE corner of the intersection (Assembly #2). Local residents – mostly Newtown Walk residents – reviewed and approved the plan. No BOS action is required until PennDOT approves the plan. The Newtown Walk HOA may add a letter of support to PennDOT to be included in the submission of the plan,
I prepare detailed notes before attending BOS meetings. 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.