John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of June 24, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting: Gaucks Lane, Invasive Plants, JMZO Amendment, HRC Applicants, More...

Summary of June 24, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting: Gaucks Lane, Invasive Plants, JMZO Amendment, HRC Applicants, More...

The following is a brief summary of the June 24, 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.

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commission

Planning Commission (PC): Martin Becker, 25 Gaucks Lane. Mr. Mack added several PC members were ok with this pending neighbor support, however several neighbors sent emails to Board members stating they opposed the application. He said the applicant said there was no opposition, however the letter states otherwise. Mr. Fidler said he did not receive that email and if they had presented an email, the PC could have read it into the record.

Mr. Sander understands the neighbors have objected as they often will and his general advice to the BOS is to reserve active opposition in sending the solicitor to the ZHB’s to those issues of much broader impact to the residents of the Township and not neighbor vs. neighbor issues. He added the Township is party to every Zoning Hearing and if the ZHB makes a decision the BOS does not like; the BOS may appeal the decision without having participated before the ZHB on the hearing level.

Mr. Calabro said he does not have a problem with it going before the ZHB. Mr. Mack said five neighbors sent an opposition email and the PC discussed the conservation management concept because it violates the CM guidelines. Mr. Mack is also concerned about residents who claimed they could not make comments at ZHB. The consensus of the BOS is to take no action and send to the ZHB.

Invasive plant species list. Mr. Mack asked Mr. Fidler about the outcome of his meeting with Jan Filios in May related to invasive species. Mr. Fidler replied he has a Zoom meeting scheduled with Jan and Katherine on the recommendations the EAC would be making and directing to the BOS.

JMZO Amendment, E-30 Convenience Store/Fueling Station use. Mr. Schenkman advised the matter is now in the hands of the BOS and the PC will have no further involvement unless directed by the BOS.

Economic Development (EDC): Members discussed ways to help businesses through the Township’s permitting procedures for such accommodations as restaurant outdoor seating, erecting tents and sidewalk sales tables for retail. Other considerations were relaxation of signage restrictions on a temporary basis to alert the public of business openings and altered business hours of operation.

The members spent considerable time discussing a possible inaugural event to promote business, an outdoor movie night at Village at Newtown’s amphitheater. This event would take place on open space near Iron Hill Brewery. Members will work with representatives of the shopping center and the Township to put together this event with the cooperation of Mr. Gold’s event company.

Mr. Calabro expressed concern with ambient music spilling over from an event at the amphitheater and suggested a remote location such as a field. He also sees a conflict with Mr. Gold’s company handling the event. Mr. Mack said the amphitheater is private property not regulated by the Township and Mr. Gold is donating his time and equipment. Mr. Calabro said there is still a concern of conflict that he will be promoting his business.

Reports of Officials

Mack on Human Relations Commission (HRC): Mr. Mack reported the HRC met on June 17 to discuss priority action items on racism in Newtown. HRC is working in conjunction with the Borough HRC on their goal of ensuring there is no place for racism in our Township or Borough.[See here for a summary of that meeting.]

Mr. Mack said there were several applications received for the HRC openings and asked if we can accept them. Mr. Calabro suggested advertising the openings on the website and TV channel to give others an opportunity to apply and then the BOS can review the applicants possibly at the second meeting in July.

Oxley on Policing: Mr. Oxley reported he met last week with Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub and discussed the current state of policing and ideas of community policing in Bucks County. Mr. Oxley met with Mr. Mack about the upcoming town hall involving the police and the community.

Votes on Motions

The following are my personal notes that I used to prepare for this meeting. I may not have asked all the questions in the notes at the meeting. You can also download the PDF version here.

Posted on 14 Jul 2020, 10:10 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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