John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of August 26, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

Summary of August 26, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting

Toll Bros Defeated, Park Bathrooms, E-30 Ordinance, Human Relations Commission Appointees, More...

The following is a brief summary of the August 26, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) LIVE public meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting. Vew the video archive here.

Public Comments

Econsult Study: Resident Frank McCarron addressed the Econsult study which suggests increasing from 4.5 to 11 mils which is triple that of 2017 and 2.5 times what it is now. He said this would increase taxes $51k per year for his community of Delancey Court and the residents are being offered no new services for that money. Mr. Fisher asked Mr. McCarron to email his presentation with the BOS. [Download Mr. McCarron's comments here.]

Re-opening Bathroom Facilities in Parks: Mr. Lewis read one email received from resident Terry Halper of 7 Geranium Court regarding reopening the bathroom facilities at Veteran’s Park. Mr. Lewis explained the restrooms will remain closed due to the risk of contamination and lack of staffing to thoroughly clean. Eventually, after several more emails from Mr. Halper, Mr. Lewis decided to install portable toilets in the public parks:

Development

Trinity Rehab Conditional Use Hearing: Mr. Sander marked board exhibits for the Conditional Use to operate a use D-2 medical office at 2826 South Eagle Road in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center in the PC Planned Commercial zoning district. Attorney Joe Blackburn represented the applicant stating Trinity Rehab LLC will be located in an existing 3,866 square foot tenant space directly across from the handicap parking in the middle of the strip between Hand and Stone and Saladworks. Mr. Mack inquired about ADA compliance and Mr. Blackburn identified the crosswalk flanked by two ADA compliant parking spaces on the plan. The plan was approved 5-0.

Newtown A.O.P. Toll PA XVIII, L.P. – Conditional Use Decision: Mr. Sander reviewed the history of the Conditional Use hearing which was advertised, held and closed on February 26, 2020; the BOS deliberated at that time and did not make a decision. The BOS brought the matter back on March 11, 2020 where a motion was made, and public comment was accepted. He said the decision was tabled at that time where it remains and will be brought off the table this evening.

Mr. Mack said the BOS was notified this afternoon that their decision must be based solely on the comments made at the February meeting and questioned the role of the public comment tonight. Mr. Sander replied the BOS is considering taking action and the Sunshine Act requires the BOS to take public comment. Mr. Mack said it has no impact whatsoever and Mr. Sander replied in this case that is correct.

[There were many comments from the public who attended the meeting. The application was denied. For details, read "In an Unanimous Vote, Newtown Township Supervisors Denied Toll Brothers Conditional Use Application to Build 45 Homes in Conservation District. Residents Ecstatic!"]

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission (PC): The Commission reviewed the final draft of the E-30 Ordinance Amendment. Mrs. Fountain detailed the most recent changes made that primarily [a]ffected Newtown Township. The Commission members asked questions and shared thoughts and concerns that certain things they hoped to see carry forward were not universally accepted in the final document. The Newtown PC had significant involvement in this process and overall felt their efforts deserved more critical evaluation by the BOS before they made their recommendation to the Jointure partners. The Chairman said the Commission is not party to all the litigation impacting the Township via the curative amendment and explained the BOS makes their modifications and suggestions to the Jointure based on the information they have. The PC feels their positions and ideas were in the best interest of the Township and were unable to come to a majority motion to recommend approval.

Mr. Mack said he appreciated the work the PC did on the Curative Amendment and said it does incorporate several things the PC wanted and that he fought for at the JMZO meeting Including fewer than eight fueling stations with two pumps each. He identified the charging station and no indoor eating which was incorporated into the amendment. Mrs. Driscoll said some things the PC took exception to were the other Townships not having the same requirements and the lack of consistency throughout the Jointure.

[Followup: The BOS approved the ordinance by a 3-2 vote on September 23, 2020. Supervisor Davis and Mack voted "no".]

Board Member Reports

Economic Development Committee (EDC): Mr. Mack gave a summary of the EDC meeting who are eager to expand their ability to contact local businesses specifically to provide info on State grants and loans. He said the business list from the NBA and Newtown Commons only offer a few contacts and an EDC member spoke to a firefighter who keeps list of businesses for inspection purposes who can share the info with approval of the Township Manager.

Reports of Officials

Engineer's Report: DCED Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant Resolution – Lower Dolington Road Multi Use Trail Phase 2 Ms. Colubriale reported the Township received partial funding for the trail project and is seeking additional funding for the entire trail length with the focus from the PECO easement to Upper Silver Lake Road. She said this is the last year that this grant has zero match for municipalities.

Mr. Mack asked about the road program and if there was a schedule for the program. Ms. Colubriale said she anticipates starting in next few weeks and is still waiting on material and formal schedule. Mr. Mack inquired if any manpower issues are anticipated and Ms. Colubriale said no.

2020 Roadwork Schedule
Swamp Rd (from the Bypass to Sycamore St) • Fountain Farm Ln • Newtown Gate Dr • Penns St • Upper Silver Lake Rd (part) • Silver Lake Rd (part) • Newtown Yardley Rd (Patch Paving between Tara Blvd & N. Penns Trail). More details here.

Appointments

Human Relations Commission (HRC):Mr. Calabro said there are two positions open. Mr. Mack noted one vacancy expires in 2020 and the other in 2022. Mr. Mack moved to appoint Kevin Antoine to the HRC position expiring in 2022 and Nicole Adams to the position expiring in 2020. Mr. Fisher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Votes on Motions

Download the UNOFFICIAL 2020 BOS Voting Record to date.

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 27 Sep 2020, 01:05 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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