8 March 2023 BOS Meeting Summary
Mixed use housing, new apartment building JMZO code, Ardana Food & Drink, single-use plastics ban, Lower Dolington Trail additional costs, new street sweeper approved, more…
This is my personal summary of the March 8, 2023, meeting of Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS). This is not a complete nor an official summary. Note that I did not attend this meeting.
Access the 2023 BOS Chronicle for detailed summaries of all 2023 BOS meetings plus the BOS voting record (UNOFFICIAL) for 2023.
- Planning Commission Report
- Board Member Report
- Public Hearing: Ardana Food & Drink Conditional Use
- Engineer’s Report
- Manager’s Report
- Official Video
- Video Transcript
Mary Donaldson, Secretary for the Newtown Planning Commission (NTPC), reported that the NTPC met on 7 March 2023 with Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC) members Lisa Wolfe and Jeremy Stoff to review their work on an update for an “Overlay District” in the LI/OLI zoning district. This project has been in the works for some time. Listen to the following BCPC presentation:
The NTPC has been expanding on what new uses would be added, and discussed mostly adding a “mixed-use residential” use, which would be buildings with apartments above and commercial uses below. Some new commercial uses that would be considered aren't in that District right now.
The Overlay is designed to be limited to certain areas of the Commons to protect neighboring residential areas from the relaxed zoning standards such an increased residential density and building height.
The NTPC is also considering recommending an amendment to the JMZO to allow for large multi-unit apartment buildings such as the complex proposed recently on Lower Silver Lake Road (read “Sketch Plan Submitted for Apartment Complex in #NewtownPA's OR District”). Listen:
The NTPC had some concerns about Newtown being protected from “validity challenges” as the Jointure (Newtown, Upper Makefield, and Wrightstown) does not provide for any apartment buildings. Consequently, the Commission has asked that in addition to the mixed-use buildings in the Commons, that the BCPC also consider a new apartment building use to add to the JMZO.
- NTPC 7 March 2023 Synopsis
- News: #NewtownPA Planners Have Concerns With Proposed Five-Story Luxury Apartment Building in OR District
Conditional Use, Ardana, 2948 S. Eagle Road: The applicant is seeking conditional use approval for uses E-5 and E-6, eating place and eating place/take out in the same location as the former Solstice Restaurant.
There was a discussion of seating, especially the high number (90) of outdoor “seasonal” seating. Supervisors advised the owner that it is in the restaurant's best interests to not have its employees (10-15 employees per shift with a maximum of 20 per shift) taking up the prime parking spots next to its own restaurant. Ardana’s representative said “it's fair to say that that would be something that they [Ardana] would best self-regulate.”
The BOS voted 4-0 to approve this Conditional Use.
“RVE [Newtown engineering firm] is working with the Township Contractor regarding schedule to return to the project site to continue construction.”
Change Order #4: This change order reflects the work required adjust the underground infiltration trenches as a result of utility adjustments in the field. Additional costs: $36,129.76. The BOS voted 4-0 to approve this Change Order.
Change Order #5: This change order reflects increased costs incurred by the contractor for materials and labor for the project due to the unforeseen utility relocation project delays. Additional costs: $55,913.65. The BOS voted 4-0 to approve this Change Order.
Total Additional Costs = $92,043.41
According to the Township Engineer: “We've [RVE] spoken to DCNR [Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources] because we have some grant funding with this project... portions of this is able to be reimbursed. So we're working through that process with them... I think that's some good news here.”
- Total Incidents: 1,844 vs 2,055 in January
- Traffic Enforcement Details: 144
- Traffic Citations: 158 (see ALL SPEEDING citations for 2022)
- Fraud: 13
- School Checks: 141 vs 147 for January
The BOS approved by a 3-1 vote (Supervisor Snyder voting “nay”) to purchase a street sweeper through CoStars for $292,882.75 using money from the American Rescue Fund. Ms Snyder said: “As I said at our last meeting... I'm not in favor of this purchase at this time. I wish we could ... finance half of it or find another way to not use up this big chunk of our American Rescue funds. I feel ... some of it is needed in other places...”
The motion passed 3-1, with Ms. Snyder voting nay.
Download the unedited time-stamped transcript of this meeting prepared by Youtube from the video: Download PDF file.