John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Board of Supervisors Minutes Category

Summary of Sep 11, 2019, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the September 11, 2019, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Phillip Calabro, Vice Chairman Linda Bobrin, Secretary John Mack and members Kyle Davis and Dennis Fisher. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale and Township Solicitor David Sander.

Development

Villas of Newtown – Motion to Draw Down Financial Security: Bill Posner, President of the Villas of Newtown (VON) HOA thanked Mr. Mack for reaching out and meeting with VON board members and touring the areas of concern. Since Mr. Mack encouraged the VON board to try to come to an agreement with the builder, they met with John McGrath and Dennis Work from the Township engineer’s office to go over punch list items. Some items can be completed in short order, but the detention basin continues to be the main area of concern. Mr. McGrath indicated he could have the punch list finished by November 26. The VON board is skeptical due to many previous broken deadlines however they decided it would be alright to delay until first board meeting after November 26 to give Mr. McGrath yet another chance to complete the work. In the event the work was not done by that time, Mr. McGrath has agreed to waive any right to that money. Mr. Posner also suggested another option would be for the BOS to pass the motion and consider giving Mr. McGrath the opportunity to get the work done. Mr. Mack suggested we hear from Mr. McGrath.

Mr. Calabro asked where the residents stood on this issue and several came forth to provide feedback. The feedback was mixed with some residents happy with basin as is and the work that has been done and others in disagreement wanting the basin repaired along with final completion of the punch list. Conversation ensued on how the basin should operate, the As-Built plans and whether or not Mr. McGrath will complete work by November 26. The consensus was due to Mr. McGrath’s history of noncompliance over the years most do not feel confident he will live up to his word this time.

Environment

Friends of Roberts Ridge Park Presentation: Resident Elen Snyder, founder of Friends of Roberts Ridge Park stated she formed the group in response to the meadow plan put out by the Township. Ms. Snyder stated the community had concerns with losing shaded areas of the park with the introduction of the meadow plan. In order to regain shade in the park, the community has come together with a plan to add trees back into the park via donations. Over 100 families joined the group and the proposal is to plant 32 trees. Joyce Ely of the Neshaminy Watershed Association has partnered with the group and explained the environmental benefits the native trees will provide. Mr. Fisher asked if donations were still being accepted and Ms. Snyder said they will be accepting them for next year and information can be found at Friends of Roberts Ridge Park on Facebook.

[More details provided by John Mack, not in minutes: "I am very pleased that residents and local area environmentalists are supporting this plan. Not only does it provide a much-needed boost to the Township’s Pollution Reduction Plan, it also enhances the open space of the park for recreational activities such as flag football organized by residents and children's “Super Soccer Stars” classes organized by the Township’s Parks and Recreation Department. It's a win-win for the Township, proving that there is such a thing as ROE – Return on Environment."]

Public Safety

August 2019 Police Report: Chief Hearn reported the department responded to 1,617 calls for service, 60 traffic accidents, made 8 arrests and issued 190 traffic citations. There was one incident of an officer administering Narcan successfully and one suspected death related to narcotics. Focus continues on truck enforcement and aggressive driving throughout the township. Two officers received a letter of commendation for outstanding police work while off duty. [Read "August 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Traffic Citations Down, One Life Saved By Narcan" for more details.]

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Newtown Fire Association Meeting: [Report by John Mack, not included in minutes.] On August 26, 2019, I attended the Newtown Fire Association monthly meeting. Dennis Fisher was also there. There was ongoing discussion regarding activities of the Apparatus Investigating Committee to develop goals and timelines. The next meeting of that committee is on Sept 23, 2019.

The NFA is also applying for a $200,000 federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience. They are getting professional help to apply for the grant.

The NFA is looking into doing more on social media. There will be a social media tent at the beerfest and the Association is thinking of following the lead of the Newtown Police Department in opening a Nextdoor account to reach out to residents.

Bucks County Commissioners Meeting: [Report by John Mack, not included in minutes.] LED Street Light Fund: On September 4, 2019, I attended the Bucks County Commissioners meeting, which was held at the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center. At that meeting, the Commissioners passed Ordinance 160, which authorizes the issuance of a “Participant Note” in the amount of $396,000 to fund the conversion of municipal street lighting to energy and cost saving LED lights. I was told that municipalities could borrow from this fund at a rate much lower than a rate offered by banks.

Newtown Township maintains 1,674 street lights. The Township spends considerable money repairing those lights, which frequently burn out, and paying for electricity to keep them lit.

Looking over the Bills Lists for 2019, I find that the Township has so far this year spent over $70,000 repairing these lights – ie, replacing the bulbs, etc. – and nearly $90,000 to PECO for electricity costs.

Both these costs would be significantly reduced if we replaced our street lights with an LED system- something that Newtown Borough has already done several years ago. Converting to LED street lights could cut energy costs significantly and also the costs of repairs.

Replacing street lights with LED lights can be costly. But the cost will be recouped in as little as 6 years. I hope that Newtown someday in the not too distant future can afford to borrow the necessary funds to make this technology upgrade and save money in the long run.

I notice that there is only $59 in the Street Light Fund according to the 2019 budget.

At some point, Newtown Township has to enter the 21st Century. This is just one example of that need.

Environmental Advisory Council Meeting: Mr. Fisher reported the Environmental Advisory Council is working on a revision of the SALDO Definition focusing on native plants. They are also exploring green infrastructure projects around bicycles and pedestrian accessibility.

Posted on 27 Sep 2019, 13:32 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

Summary of Aug 14, 2019, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the August 14, 2019, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Phillip Calabro, Vice Chairman Linda Bobrin, Secretary John Mack and members Kyle Davis and Dennis Fisher. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale and Township Solicitor David Sander.

Good Communications/Good Government

Savvy Citizen Presentation: Mr. Mack confirmed that the Savvy Citizen representative will be attending the September 16 work session.

At the Last Board meeting it was proposed that a Savvy Citizen representative be invited to attend a future work session. Recall that Savvy Citizen offers a mobile phone based notification system that can inform citizens of meetings, public service notices, Parks and Rec programs, road closures, emergencies, etc. Soon after that meeting, I notified Mr. Lewis that Jeralyn Brown, senior account manager at MSA, the company that is responsible for Savvy Citizen, confirmed that she can attend the Sept 16 Work Session and answer questions.

Development

Villas of Newtown: Resident and president of the Villas of Newtown (VON) HOA, William Posner, addressed the Board on behalf of the VON community. He expressed concern that the motion to draw down financial security being held by the Township for completion of community improvements was removed from the agenda. Mr. Posner said he sent a position paper to the Township and received a response that work on site had commenced and therefore the item was removed until further details could be obtained. Mr. Posner then reviewed the recent history of the situation including interactions with the builder and relayed his concern that the work will not get done. He submitted signatures of approximately 90 residents supporting moving forward and asking for assistance to bring this matter to conclusion.

Mr. Davis acknowledged the issues VON residents have had and assured that the BOS will follow through according to the guidelines. Mr. Calabro added that the BOS wants to see this completed and pressure on the builder will continue and if necessary legal action will be taken in the proper stages.

Environment

Native Plant Resolution: George Skladany from the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) presented a resolution to support the increased use of native plants in the Township in order to benefit the community as a whole and improve the quality of life. He thanked the BOS for their support of EAC activities including this one and the pop-up garden in conjunction with the Audubon Society.

Mr. Mack questioned where residents might obtain a definition and list of acceptable native plants. Mr. Skladnay explained there were many lists and definitions as well as differing opinions on this topic and advised having some leeway could be beneficial. Mr. Mack agreed to accept the ambiguity and move forward. Mr. Fisher added that the EAC was discussing updating the SALDO and after some conversation around this subject it was determined the EAC will continue to work on providing a list of acceptable native plants.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

At the native plant/rain garden exhibit in front of the Newtown Theater. Great day for a walk in town and outdoor dinner tonight on State Street!

A post shared by John Mack Newtown Supervisor (@johnmacknewtown) on

Fiscal Responsibility

Approve and Advertise RFP for 5-Year Financial Plan: Mr. Mack stated since the Plan was written the EIP has changed its name and he is requesting the new name be updated in the Plan. Mr. Sander agreed to replace all appearances of EIP with STMP. Mr. Mack then read excerpt on page 4, paragraph G relating to discrimination and said the Township has a new anti-discrimination ordinance which expands the definition* and he suggested the language that goes out to vendors and consultants should reflect our anti-discrimination ordinance.

New Anti-Discrimination Language To Be Included in All RFPs

“The consultant will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of actual or perceived race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, or use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids.”

Mr. Sander agreed and said he will work with Mr. Lewis to update all appearances to include the new anti-discrimination ordinance language.

Public Safety

July 2019 Police Report: Lieutenant Jason Harris reported the department responded to 1,600 calls for service during July including 12 arrests and 33 traffic accidents. Additionally, 286 traffic citations were issued. The aggressive driving campaign continued on Swamp and Eagle Roads with focus on commercial vehicles on Swamp and Stoopville Roads. [Read "July 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: 3d Wave of Aggressive Driver Campaign, Missing Persons, Terroristic Threats" for more details.]

June & July 2019 EMS Report: Chief Forsyth reported the Fire Department had 113 calls for service during June and 130 in July. During June 82 fire safety inspections were conducted in the Township and there were 31 in July.

Mr. Fisher ... requested Chief Forsyth review gas grill location requirements. The Chief advised never put or use a gas grill on a second-floor balcony. He reminded all the code requirement is gas grills be at least 10 feet away from the home.

Mr. Mack inquired if the safety inspections were both residential and business and Chief Forsyth said inspections are for commercial buildings only.

 

 

Posted on 13 Sep 2019, 01:04 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

Summary of July 10, 2019, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the July 10, 2019, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) meeting based upon the official APPROVED minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Phillip Calabro, Vice Chairman Linda Bobrin, Secretary John Mack and member Kyle Davis. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale and Township Solicitor David Sander. Supervisor Dennis Fisher was absent.

Budget

Savvy Citizen: In relation to the 2020 budget, Mr. Mack proposed the Township consider the Savvy Citizen app [a text/social media based resident notification system recommended by the Newtown Technology Committee] to provide information to residents at a cost of $300 per month. After some conversation it was determined a Savvy Citizen representative could be invited to attend a future work session to review details.

Community

HOA Meetings: Mr. Calabro suggested the Administration contact HOA’s to schedule meetings to discuss community issues and concerns. He also said it would be a good time to obtain their input for the Comprehensive Plan Definition. Mr. Mack added that the Pollution Reduction Plan could also be addressed. It was agreed to revisit this issue going forward. [read "Newtown Revises Pollution Reduction Plan After Hearing Resident Comments"]

Development

Conditional Use Definition – The Smile Company: Attorney Joseph Blackburn represented the applicant and presented the application for use D-2 medical office, abutting Harvest in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center. The space is 2,018 square feet and will house an orthodontics office in an existing building. The motion to approve passed 4-0.

Liquor License Transfer – Iron Hill Brewery: Application of Iron Hill Brewery, LLC for intermunicipal transfer of liquor license was presented by Joseph Blackburn who represented the applicant. The license was acquired from the PLCB auction from within the county.The motion to approve passed 4-0.

Environment

Lower Dolington Road Multi-Use Trail Project "Rain Gardens": Mr. Mack inquired about the rain gardens and how far they extend on Dolington Road.

[More details provided by John Mack, not in minutes: In the Preliminary Construction Drawings (Exhibit 3), I see “Rain Gardens” as for example on page 18, which shows the trail at Lower Dolington Road and Frost Lane. Q: How far south from Frost Lane is it proposed to build these gardens along Lower Dolington? Q: I was wondering if this would impact access to Roberts Ridge Park from Lower Dolington Road? Many residents park their cars along Lower Dolington for easy access to the children’s playground and open space in the park. I’ve often thought that it would be a good idea to provide steps up the steep hill to make it easier for children and grandparents to get up the hill and walk to the playground I am all for “Rain Gardens,” but from the drawings it appears that they would prevent people from parking there.]

Mr. Lewis explained they would stop near playground area and said the specifics will be finalized in the design phase.

Planning Commission

Comprehensive Plan Definition: discussed the Jointure’s Definition Comprehensive Plan which is up for review and modification every ten years. According to the written statement by Mr. Fidler, “the Commission members discussed the Jointure’s Comprehensive Plan... Sharing information with residents and Township committees before the Plan is due would enable productive planning. Using electronic and paper sources for information and feedback would provide a good cross section of residents. All responses would need to be verified that they are actually received from Newtown Township residents.”

In response to Mr. Mack’s questions on the Comprehensive Plan [
More details provided by John Mack, not in minutes: "Is the PC recommending that the Township hold public meetings and survey residents as part of the process should it be decided to go ahead with updating the Comp Plan? Any specific suggestions for verifying responses are from actual residents?"], Mr. Fidler explained that the Joint Zoning Council Definition discussed getting input from residents and businesses by asking pertinent questions regarding their visions on improving the quality of life in the Jointure. Mr. Calabro stated the Board just received notification of the Comprehensive Plan and asked when the Board was expected to complete the process for the Plan. Mr. Fidler said the Planning Commission expects the process to last about one year. Mr. Calabro asked if there was any procedure for the Board at this time. Mr. Lewis said the Plan must be included the budget; it is not in the 2019 budget as it was not a proposal, however it will be included in the 2020 budget. The Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC) is asking the Board to pass a resolution in support of a formulation of the Comprehensive Plan. Ms. Bobrin asked who does the application for the grants and Mr. Lewis replied that it is the BCPC. He said the Township will ask the BCPC to come to future Planning Commission and Board meetings to review details. There was additional discussion on cost and payment, surveys, responsibilities and the aggressive timeline.

It was agreed that sharing information with residents and township committees before the Plan is due would enable productive planning.

Public Safety

June 2019 Police Report: Chief Hearn reported there were 1,603 calls for service during June. There was one death investigation, two non-fatal overdoses and four arrests. Two arrests were for DUI, one for bank fraud and the other domestic assault. [Read "June 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Traffic Citations Drop, But Don’t Get Complacent!" for more details.]

Chief Hearn then informed all that in addition to Facebook and Twitter, the Police Department is now participating in the Next Door app which gives residents another social media outlet to obtain information from the Department. Mr. Mack said he was pleased to see the PD posting on Next Door since many residents use the app.

[More details provided by John Mack, not in minutes: DRUGS I note the discouraging trend in Overdose Calls since these data were recorded: • 2017: 22 • 2018: 15 • 2019: 20 if trend continues (10 as of end of June) In other words, we are not likely to see a significant decrease in the 3 years from 2017 through 2019. ]

June 2019 Emergency Services Report: Chief Forsyth reported the Fire Department had 117 calls for service during May. The department conducted 40 fire safety inspections in the township as well as a successful fire drill at the high school while students were still in attendance. Mr. Mack thanked the Chief for the expanded report and asked about the fires in May. Chief Forsyth explained the details.

Posted on 19 Aug 2019, 14:12 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

Summary of June 12, 2019, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the June 12, 2019, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Phillip Calabro, Vice Chairman Linda Bobrin, Secretary John Mack and members Kyle Davis and Dennis Fisher. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale and Township Solicitor David Sander.

Environment

Pollution Reduction Plan – Public Comment Period and Responses: Mr. Lewis reported the Township has received public comment and provided engineer responses on the Pollution Reduction Plan as required by the DEP. In response to comments and the large number in favor of maintaining manicured lawn at Roberts Ridge Park, the space was reconfigured to maintain a larger area of manicured lawn near the playground. [read "Newtown Revises Pollution Reduction Plan After Hearing Resident Comments"]

Mr. Mack asked Mr. Lewis for an update on the Pollution Reduction Plan specifically regarding Roberts Ridge [Park]. Mr. Lewis said there has been no official revision of the plan yet as the engineers are still reviewing it. CKS is still responding to comments received and then a final decision will be made [read "Newtown Revises Pollution Reduction Plan After Hearing Resident Comments"]. Mr. Mack expressed concern about the risk of invasive vegetation when creating meadows and asked if there was a plan to address this issue. Mr. Lewis replied that there are maintenance procedures to follow with meadows and the Township Public Works crews will be maintaining the meadows.

Mr. Mack stated he would like to see HOA's and the public become involved in meadow conversions and a discussion ensued on this topic. Mr. Fisher then asked about having a walkway cut through in Roberts Ridge park and Mr. Lewis stated once the meadow is established it can be considered.

[Statement by John Mack not in the minutes: Public Involvement Going Forward: The US EPA says “An active and involved community is crucial to the success of a stormwater management program… the public can provide valuable input and assistance to a regulated small MS4’s municipal stormwater management program…” The EPA suggests that “the public be given opportunities to play an active role in both the development and implementation of the program.”

HOA Definition Involvement: At previous BOS meetings as well as at the June 4th Planning Commission meeting mention was made regarding the involvement of Homeowners Associations in the process. As the HOA Liaison, I would like to see the Township work more closely with the Environmental Advisory Board and HOAs to see how they can play an active role in the implementation of our Pollution Reduction Plan.]

Development

Conditional Use – OMD Prospect, LLC – Solstice: Attorney Joseph Blackburn represented the applicant and Richard Darby-Matteoda, representing Solstice, was sworn in. Mr. Blackburn explained Solstice was a full service, sit down dining establishment which is affiliated with Shula’s Steak House. There will be no outdoor music on the outdoor patio. This location brings the restaurant allocation in the shopping center to approximately 26.78% which is still within the 45% limit and the sewer capacity is adequate.

Mr. Mack stated Solstice outdoor seating space has the most of all with 1800 square feet and noted there will be over 5000 square feet total of outdoor dining space in this section of the property. He asked if this space was included in the parking calculations and Mr. Blackburn acknowledged that it was. Mr. Blackburn also noted that this is the largest proposed area, however there will be fewer seats in a bigger area.

Arcadia Appeal: Resident Dennis Schoener provided an update on the Arcadia appeal [for background on this case, read "Newtown Township Supervisors Say 'No Means No' When It Comes to Arcadia Green III Planned Residential Development"] and expressed his concerns on the direction it is going. Mr. Sander acknowledged the update provided by Mr. Schoener was accurate. He then explained it was not legally feasible for the Township to contribute to the legal fees of the Eagle Ridge Association as requested. Mr. Sander is unable to discuss details of the case as it is in litigation and he referred Mr. Schoener to the Eagle Ridge counsel.

Public Safety

May 2019 Police Report: Chief Hearn reported there were 1,633 calls for service during May including 16 arrests, 11 which were DUI related; there was one incident where a sergeant successfully administered Narcan and one corruption of minor arrest. [Read "May 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: A Speeding Ticket Is The Best Education!" for more details.]

Mr. Mack expressed concern on behalf of residents who are concerned about speeding on Sycamore and mentioned there was recently a pedestrian accident there. Mr. Mack also inquired about utilizing LED speed indicators and blinking lights at pedestrian walkways. The Chief said the LED signs are owned by the police department and are moved to where needed. He also reviewed additional initiatives the department uses to enforce speed limits.

Supervisor Reports

Mr. Mack: Mr. Mack reported on the Joint Zoning Council (JZC) Definition meeting which provided updates on ordinances, including gas, oil and transient residential use which addresses Air B&B’s. Also reviewed was a proposal by the Bucks County Planning Commission on a Comprehensive Plan Update.

[More details provided by John Mack, not in minutes:

(1) Transient Residential Use Ordinance, which essentially is designed to limit the use of a home as it was “Pre Airbnb” because of neighborhood disruption. Ms. Kushto (JZC Solicitor) was charged with preparing a draft ordinance to accomplish that will comply with recent decisions of the State Supreme Court. Mack wondered how big a problem airbnb rentals were and suggested we do some research to see how many airbnb listings there currently are in the Jointure. "Personally," said Mr. Mack, "I would not like an ordinance that completely prohibited airbnb-type listings especially since hearing from the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce that it may be interested in promoting airbnb’s in Bucks County to attract tourists, which are good for the local economy in my opinion."

(2) Comprehensive Plan Proposal – A proposal was presented by Lisa Wolff, Senior Planner at the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC). In response to the challenge of continued growth pressures, and the importance of staying current with changing community dynamics and activities, the Newtown Area Joint Zoning Council decided that an update to its Comprehensive Plan Definition may be needed since the current plan is older than 10 years. At the February meeting, the JZC asked Ms. Wolff to come up with a proposal, including fees. Everyone on the Newtown BOS received a copy of the proposal. There was a suggestion that the plan should include a section about what the Jointure Definition needs to do to stay “ahead of the ball” – as Allen Fidler said – of the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with regard to future watershed Definition pollution reduction requirements. There was a discussion of doing a survey of residents, which is optional. The BCPC would create the survey, but the JZC would be responsible for printing and mailing. I suggested that it may be possible to do an online survey, which would be cheaper and probably get more responses. The total base cost of this project is not to exceed $50,880. Payment schedule and sources of funding were discussed. Ms. Wolff said she would prepare a list of potential applicable funding sources. The JCZ will draft a resolution for each to the Jointure Townships to consider.]

Mr. Fisher: Mr. Fisher reported the Newtown Environmental Advisory Council (EAC Definition) discussed a green infrastructure topics document and the Finance Committee worked on the RFP which is in final draft [for more information, read "Newtown Applies for DCED Grant to Assess the Township’s Financial Condition"]. They also talked about conducting a business survey. In reference to the business survey, Mr. Calabro asked for the committee to incorporate the Business Commons in the survey to determine what uses it can handle and how it can be utilized in the future.

Posted on 13 Jul 2019, 01:12 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

Summary of May 22, 2019, Newtown BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the May 22, 2019, 2019, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Phillip Calabro, Vice Chairman Linda Bobrin, Secretary John Mack and members Kyle Davis and Dennis Fisher. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale and Township Solicitor David Sander.

Environment

Pollution Reduction Plan: Mr. Mack asked Mr. Lewis for an update on the Pollution Reduction Plan specifically regarding Roberts Ridge [Park]. Mr. Lewis said there has been no official revision of the plan yet as the engineers are still reviewing it. CKS is still responding to comments received and then a final decision will be made [read "Newtown Revises Pollution Reduction Plan After Hearing Resident Comments"]. Mr. Davis asked if we have mowed the field recently and Mr. Lewis said yes.

Development

Conditional Use - MOD Super Fast Pizza: Mr. Blackburn presented the application for E-5 and E-6 eating place at 2938 S. Eagle Road in the eastern most portion of proposed building eight at the Village of Newtown Shopping Center (see plan below).

Mr. Mack asked about parking for this specific quadrant and how it relates to the rest of center. Mr. Blackburn said the retail space in this area totals 48,642 square feet which requires 228 parking spaces. He said the parking ratio is on a site wide basis and there are 217 spaces proposed for this area. Mr. Mack then asked Mr. Blackburn to review the concept of walkability as it relates to the shopping center. Mr. Blackburn stated the outdoor restaurant seating is a component of the walkability scheme as well as the enhanced sidewalk networks and traffic calming measures.

Mr. Calabro asked about the amphitheater area and if this location will have seating available. Mr. Blackburn pointed out the amphitheater on the plan and explained it will be a common public space with seating not designated for any specific tenant. Mr. Calabro questioned the necessity of 30 outdoor seats for MOD Pizza since there is the amphitheater seating.

Historic Preservation

Historical Architectural Review Board: Mary Donaldson, Vice Chairman of HARB, reported three applications were reviewed at the May 8, 2019 meeting. The first for Affinity, a title company at 9 South Sycamore Street, for signage, painting, windows, roof, front door and guard rail. The second is for Guru Restaurant at 203 N. Sycamore Street for 3 wooden signs to replace the Saloon signs and the third is for Steven Robbins Eyewear for replacement of the sign at 41 Cambridge Street.

Public Safety

Emergency Services Report: Chief Forsyth reported the Fire Department had 101 calls for service during April; there were 44 fire calls, 57 calls for emergency medical responses, NESD responded to 74 calls and 27 calls to the Fire Association.

Mr. Mack asked Chief Forsyth if it was possible in future reports to have a breakdown of the types of fire calls such as commercial building fires vs private building fires, car fires, etc. Chief Forsyth responded that he could give a breakdown every month

Supervisor Reports

Mr. Mack: Mr. Mack was given a tour of the Tyler Park covered bridge trail restoration site. He also reported the Human Relations Commission will be receiving training on 5/28/19.

[More details (not in minutes): Walking Tour of the Tyler Park Covered Bridge Trail Restoration Site: On Friday, May 17, Mr Mack was given a tour of the Tyler Park Covered Bridge Trail restoration site by Joyce Ely, Director of the Neshaminy Creek Watershed Association. Recall that Ms. Ely made comments about Newtown’s Pollution Reduction Plan at the last BOS meeting on May 8 (see here). She also submitted a 4-page document that will be included along with the Pollution plan when submitted to the PA DEP (find that document here). The Neshaminy Creek Watershed Association received funding to plant 249 trees, 40 shrubs and 80 perennials this fall along the trail. I am told that this will add shade and provide caterpillars for feeding young birds – the only food they will eat (I was surprised to learn that the baby birds cannot eat bird seed, which was a disappointment to my wife!).

HRC Training: The Newtown Human Relations Commission members and members of other local commissions will receive training from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission on May 28 right here at the Municipal Center in Newtown. Afterward the Commission will be ready to go to work. If any resident feels that he or she has been discriminated against in housing or employment in Newtown and would like to bring a case before the Commission, you can call (215) 968-2800 and press 8 for the Administration.]

Mr. Fisher: Mr. Fisher reported the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED Definition) grant was fully executed and sent back to the Commonwealth. The Finance Committee is working on the request for proposal. The Committee is also working on a survey to gather data on economic development for the township.

 

Posted on 18 Jun 2019, 15:03 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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