John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Zoning Category

Itís Time for Newtown Township to Update Its Comprehensive Plan!

Zoning Map for Newtown Area Jointure

A Guest Opinion (see end of this post) on the role of zoning in community planning published in the August 4, 2019, edition of Bucks Courier Times, is very relevant to Newtown Township as it begins the process of updating the Newtown Area Joint Comprehensive Plan Definition.

Newtown Township is a member of the Newtown Area Joint Zoning Council (JZC Definition) Other members include Upper Makefield and Wrightstown Townships. At the June meeting of the JZC, Lisa Wolff, Senior Planner at the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC), presented a proposal to update the Newtown Area Joint Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in 2009 (listen to her presentation below). [Download the proposal here.]

The Municipalities Planning Code (MPC Definition) recommends that Comprehensive Plans be updated every 10 years. Components of the Plan should include:

  • Objectives
  • Land use plan (including preservation areas and development areas)
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Community facilities and utilities
  • Protection of natural and historic resources
  • Protection of water resources and water supply
  • Energy conservation
  • Implementation strategies
  • Interrelationships among the plan components
  • Relationship of the plan to surrounding communities
  • Hazard Mitigation (BCPC recommendation, supported by the state)

The JZC is recommending that the proposal be accepted by each of the member municipalities. The Proposal must be considered by each Planning Commission Definition and by each Board of Supervisors with the Board of Supervisors adopting a Resolution that: authorizes the Proposal; authorizes the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan Update; agrees to splitting the cost in accordance with the Jointure Agreement; and authorizes the Chair of the JZC to apply for any grants that may be available to offset the cost. 

Lisa Wolff has offered to attend each Municipality’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors meetings to explain the Proposal and to answer any questions that members may have.  

Newtown Township is in receipt of the BCPC proposal, which will likely be moved forward for review by the Township Planning Commission to evaluate and advise the Board of Supervisors.

 

Enforce zoning to benefit the whole community!

 

Posted on 04 Aug 2019, 01:58 - Category: Zoning

Is a DAS Antenna Coming to a Pole Near You?

At the August 2, 2018, Newtown, Upper Makefield, and Wrightstown Zoning Council (JZC) meeting, solicitor Vicki Kushto reviewed the current court rulings regarding small wireless cells [aka Distributed Antenna Systems or DAS]. 

At the present time, DAS providers are considered Public Utilities and not subject to local zoning requirements. This means that DAS services could be installed in any public right of way (ROW) for which the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission (PUC) provides approval. 

There is new legislation (HB2564) being introduced by Rep. Frank Farry that would severely limit local municipalities ability to regulate this use or to seek reimbursement for the use of its public ROWs.

The JZC opposes this legislation, which is being driven by DAS providers to install 5G services (see article embedded below).

The Council was concerned that HB2564 legislation could result in DAS poles/structures being installed in developments, which are now served by underground utilities.

According to a memo (here) written by Farry to all PA House members, the proposed legislation is needed “because decisions are made on a municipal level, wireless providers are faced with varying fees and different procedures that may slow and, in some cases, deter their ability to deploy this new and modern infrastructure. With an array of municipal ordinances governing wireless infrastructure, compliance could be burdensome, time consuming, and costly. This results in less robust services for your constituents.”

Upper Makefield Supervisor, Tom Cino suggested the Jointure work together to oppose this legislation. JZC Chair, Chester Pogonowski was in agreement but felt it might be more impactful if the Council raises this issue with the Bucks County Association of Township Officials (BCATO) Boad of Directors, which is already working on this issue and has previously met with Representative Farry to express concern.

Posted on 27 Aug 2018, 01:58 - Category: Zoning

Pages: [1]

 

This site is paid for and approved by John Mack: john@johnmacknewtown.info
The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Campaign Websites by Online Candidate