John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of January 22, 2020, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

Summary of January 22, 2020, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting

The following is a brief summary of the January 22, 2020, 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 Dennis Fisher, Secretary John Mack, and member Kyle Davis. Also in attendance were: Township Manager Micah Lewis, Township Solicitor David Sander, and Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale.


Toll Bros. Conditional Use: Mr. Sander received correspondence from Toll Brothers requesting continuance of the hearing to 2/12/2020 citing a revised plan being submitted to the Township involving the elimination of the on-lot sewage disposal and incorporation of public sewer to the development and the plan is not quite ready. [See UPDATE below]


2016 Act 537 Plan: Township Planner Michele Fountain is seeking approval for revisions to the Newtown Township Act 537 update. The BOS approved the Act 537 update in 2015 and at that time approved the Comprehensive Plan for existing, present and future sewage needs for the Township saying the public sewer system said would stay where it was.

This took almost four years and the agreement was finally executed in September 2019. The agreement required an Infiltration and Inflow (I&I) abatement program to reduce I&I entering the water system. The I&I program was completed by the Newtown Authority in December 2019. Mrs. Fountain showed the present and future sewer service areas on the plan (fig 11) stating the future is the same as the existing one with one exception. The future area includes the proposed development at Twining Bridge and Durham Roads.

Resident Jack Brod said 5-6 years ago there was a proposal to develop a sewer treatment plant in Newtown Township to address the shortage of EDUs where the local authority suggested we get off the authority and do treatment ourselves. He asked if this plan was explicitly excluded before we approve the 537 Plan. Mrs. Fountain said it is not included as a viable option in the plan.

Provco Pineville Acquisitions, LLC: Mr. Sander explained the ZHB application filed by Provco, owner of the property on Lower Silver Lake Road, filed an application challenging the substantive validity of the joint municipal zoning ordinance alleging it is unconstitutional as it does not provide for a combined gas station/convenience store use. He said there have been several continuances and it is now scheduled for March 5, 2020. The Board can decide if they want to send the Solicitor to the ZHB to take a position. After some discussion, Mr. Mack said he would be in favor of sending the solicitor to oppose this application and Mr. Davis agreed.


Consideration to award the Five-Year Financial Plan Proposal to Econsult Solutions, Inc.: Dan Connelly, Director with Econsult Solutions presented a strategic management plan and provided the Board with a power point presentation booklet describing the proposal. He introduced his team stating they have strong experience with Pennsylvania municipalities and governments in general as they have worked with all sizes of municipalities not only on long term planning but on any issues where public finance intersects with government. Mr. Mack asked how much this will cost the Township. Mr. Connelly said the proposal is $69K which is covered 50% by DCED match. Mr. Mack, referring to the Pottstown study, inquired how enthusiastic they were to follow the plan proposed by Econsult. Mr. Connelly said it was a mixed review and described some recommendations that were made.


Public Safety

ESD Report: Chief Forsyth reported there were 118 calls for service during the month of November. There were two building fires, seven dwelling fires, two brush fires and 64 EMS calls. The fire association completed 49 safety inspections in the Township and 26 in the Borough. Emergency service staff completed refresher training for traffic incident management and also participated in a mutual aid drill with Middletown Township EMS to handle large vehicle extrications. The department assisted two Newtown Grant residents with safety inspections.

During December the Chief reported 105 calls for service including one building fire, five dwellings, 1 brush fire and 56 EMS calls. There were 81 safety inspections in the Township and 29 in the Borough. The ESD completed their annual refresher on emergency vehicle operation and assisted Northampton Township on a working fire.


Authorization to advertise the 2020 Road Bid: Ms. Colubriale requested authorization to advertise for the 2020 Liquid Fuels Road program bid reporting the base bid is approximately 4.13 miles of Township road. Mr. Calabro inquired about the time frame for the bids. Ms. Colubriale anticipates taking bids in mid-February with possible award in March; weather permitting the project can proceed in late April or early May. Mr. Mack questioned if there was a second round since the number was previously 5.2 miles. Ms. Colubriale said a few roads were modified as a result of the sewer authority work being done, however they will be added back in.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission: Newtown/Bucks Associates, Newtown Shopping Center - The applicant is seeking variances for a proposed 12,500 square foot retail building to house an Old Navy with 80 parking spaces and a 400 square foot addition to Chick-fil-A along with roadway improvements to eliminate traffic congestion in the surrounding area. The Commission supports the application for relief.

JMZO Amendment - after two meetings and much discussion the Planning Commission recommends the BOS forward the draft of the Ordinance to our partners in the Jointure along with the Bucks County Planning Commission with the following suggested changes:

  • Eliminate eat in dining (section 13-3)
  • Limit fuel pumps to 8 and permit up to 4 charging stations
  • Specify hours of operation and limit to 18
  • Make sidewalks a requirement (section 13-19, remove “if”)

Additionally, the Planner will be looking at specifics around the facades of the fuel pump area and fencing to ensure they are keeping within the character and architecture of the building.

Resident Norm Seeger questioned reducing the number of pumps stating Wawa has stated they won’t make any changes. Mr. Calabro said this is a gas station/convenience store use which applies to anyone seeking this use. Mr. Seeger said he was glad the Township was looking at other sites as Wawa stated 2,400 cars/day would be using this station; he expressed his concern about the traffic and additional policing requirements.


Consideration to send the E-30 Ordinance to the Jointure: Mr. Sander asked the BOS to consider sending the combined gas station/convenience store ordinance to the Jointure as previously discussed this evening. Mr. Davis asked if that includes the recommended changes by the Planning Commission. Mr. Sander suggested sending as is with an attachment of the comments made by the Planning Commission.

Votes on Motions

Not all motions are included.

Posted on 14 Feb 2020, 14:01 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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