John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of October 14, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

Summary of October 14, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

2019 Audit, Arcadia PRD Litigation Decision, Toll Bros Delancey Court Request Denied, Police Report, More...

The following is a brief summary of the October 14, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) Zoom meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. You also can view the video archive here.

Planning Commission Report

Comprehensive Plan: Chairman Allen Fidler reported that the Commission ... members ... would like to have input into any recommendations to change uses in the Business Zoning Districts as part of the Comprehensive plan. Mr. Fidler said that the Comp Plan would be considering the directions the Jointure will take for the next ten years to keep our community vibrant and functioning. It would be appropriate to ask the Bucks County Planning Commission to have some input.

Business Commons: The members briefly discussed work being considered by the Economic Development Committee to consider expanding the permitted uses in the Business Commons.

Audit Presentation

Mike Gentile and Dan Pearson of Maillie, LLP presented their 2019 audit, reviewed the Township’s net position over the past five years and issued a clean opinion of the Township’s finances. In response to Mr. Mack’s comments on a decline in net position [the township's net position decreased each year from 2015 ($37,106,877) to 2019 ($31,955,572) - a 14% decrease], Mr. Pearson said that he has seen similar declines in other municipalities, some of it due to overall depreciation of fixed assets and some due to changes in reporting requirements, such as regarding pension liabilities.

In response to further Board questions, Mr. Pearson said that the Township’s overall position is healthy. The Township is seeing some decline in overall revenue but is working toward improvement.

Public Safety

Police Chief John Hearn reported that the department responded to 1530 calls in the last month, including 10 arrests, 63 traffic accidents,17 deer-vehicle collisions and three instances of NARCAN use to revive drug overdoses.

Mr. Mack asked about a criminal mischief call which involved anti-Semitic graffiti and asked why it was not considered a hate crime. Chief Hearn explained that the call involved an offensive symbol graffiti but it was not directed at a specific person or property, so it is not hate directed at an individual.

See the October 2020 Newtown Township Police Report for more information.


Arcadia Decision: Township Solicitor Dave Sander asked the Board to consider an appeal to the mandamus order which deemed the Arcadia Land Holdings PRD application approved.

The motion passed 5-0.

Delancey Court Decision: Mr. Sander reported that CKS Engineers has reviewed the Delancey Court request for final dedication and found a number of unresolved items on the punch list. He asked the Board to pass a motion to deny dedication.

Mr. Calabro explained that developers usually complete punch lists, and in this case it has just not been completed yet. Resident Frank McCarran said that he lives in Delancey Court and his homeowners association has found a number of costly issues as yet unresolved, including standing water on his own property, need for repaving the entire Rittenhouse Circle street and a number of trees and shrubs that need replacing. Mr. Sander said that CKS will work with Toll Brothers to have these issues resolved. Should this not address the concerns their development agreement will be reviewed to see if Toll is in default, in which case the Township can draw down escrow money.

The motion passed 5-0.

Board Member Reports

Newtown Fire Association: Mr. Mack reported that he had attended the Newtown Fire Association meeting in September and expressed some concern about the Association’s difficulty providing staffing and recruiting of new members and board officer positions.

Joint Zoning Council: Mr. Mack attended the Joint Zoning Council (JZC) meeting, where the E-30 use amendment was adopted and the Council submitted two proposed ordinances on short term rentals and riding academies to the member planning commissions for consideration. The JZC also considered recommendations submitted from the Newtown Environment Advisory Council (EAC) for inclusion in the Joint Comprehensive Plan. It was agreed that further discussion among the member EAC’s and Planning Commissions is needed.

Economic Development Committee: Mr. Oxley reported that he has spoken with both the Economic Development Committee (EDC) and Financial Committee chairmen about the Econsolutions report. He has also spoken to Commissioner Harvie about attracting biotech firms to Newtown. He reported that the EDC has been discussing expanding the permitted uses in our business districts, including multi-family housing, and would like to seek some advice from Bucks County Planning Commission for the comp plan. Mr. Calabro suggested that the EDC and Planning Commission should work together on such recommendations. He also suggested contacting Pete Krauss from Bucks County IDA about bringing in tech firms.

Summary of Votes on Motions

Download the UNOFFICIAL 2020 BOS Voting Record to date.

More Information

Download the Newtown Township Meeting Notes newsletter. Topics include: Arcadia PRD Litigation Decision, Toll Bros Delancey Court Request Denied, Resident Critiques ESI Consultants' Financial Report, 2021 Budget Coming to Town!

The following are my personal notes that I used to prepare for this meeting. You can also download the PDF version here.

Posted on 13 Nov 2020, 12:59 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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