John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Summary of January 27, 2021, BOS Meeting

Summary of January 27, 2021, BOS Meeting

Doggy Dayz, Council Rock School Board, Rezoning for Businesses, Fire Report, Business Liaison

The following is a brief summary of the January 27, 2021, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) public meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting, which you can find here. You also can view the video archive here.

Development

Doggy Dayz, 8 Pheasant Run: Newtown Planning Commission Chairman Allen Fidler reported that Doggy Dayz is seeking a use variance and a number of performance standard variances for a dog day care and kennel in the LI Zoning District, where such use is not permitted. The Commission has been aware of the idea of introducing new service uses into our business districts and found that this use could possibly be a good match, however the members had a number of concerns about drop off and pick up of the pets and its impact on parking and traffic circulation in the parking lot and the impact it would have on other tenants in the building. It was the Commission’s recommendation that the Board consider supporting this new use provided all traffic and circulation questions have been reviewed by the Township Planner and Engineer.

Mr. Mack said that he visited the site of the proposed dog day care and he agreed that this use could be compatible with the Commons and the Board is eager to attract new business but he agreed that the circulation might be a problem.

Solicitor Sander noted that this applicant has asked to continue the application in order to investigate the concerns brought up by the Planning Commission. They will be at the second Board meeting in February to discuss the application.

John Mack's Insights:
 

This is NOT a new use – it’s an application for multiple variances to allow this specific use, which is not likely to be sort again by another applicant. The township cannot continue to willy-nilly grant variances to enable different very specific businesses to occupy space in the Newtown Commons area. What we need is to completely redefine the LI zone – which encompasses the Business Commons – to allow “by right different” businesses than are currently allowed now – especially high-paying businesses with multiple employees. Industrial use simply is not going to cut it in this day and age. The township needs to get “the best bang for the buck” as Mr. Fidler stated at the PC meeting.

Related Content/Followup:    

Reports from Board Members

Council Rock School Board: Mr. Mack reported that he had been unable to attend the Council Rock School Board meeting but instead met with members Marcell and Tate to discuss the relationship of the Township and the School District. The Board is very pleased with School Resource Officer Renee Hearst, who is very well liked by students and staff. The schools will be returning to a five day schedule next week. He asked about any proposed increase in the school taxes but was told that the District is on a fiscal year schedule and has not begun its budget process yet.

Related Content/Followup:    

Economic Development Committee (EDC): Mr. Oxley reported that the EDC had sent a memo to the Board, which will be distributed to the members in the morning, which discusses some suggested zoning changes to attract new business to the Business Commons and Office Research District. Mr. Calabro asked Jerry Schenkman, Planning Commission Solicitor, how to proceed with such a review.

Mr. Schenkman said that each committee would be sending liaisons to each other’s meetings and the planning professionals would have input into some of the ideas being suggested. He noted that the Bucks County Planning Commission has been addressing a number of municipalities’ business/industrial districts as the zoning has become obsolete and as new uses that have never been considered before have to be added. The BCPC would be an excellent source of information.

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Public Safety

Emergency Services Department Report: Fire Chief Glenn Forsyth reported that in the past month the Department and Fire Association responded to 118 calls, including one building fire and conducted 64 fire safety inspections.

New Business

Township Business Relationship Liaison: Mr. Davis agreed to take this position to act as liaison to business owners to help any way the Township can to keep current businesses and offer support where needed. Mr. Sander said that he would prepare something more formal outlining a description of this position.

Summary of Votes on Motions

Download the UNOFFICIAL 2021 BOS Voting Record to date.

My Personal Notes

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

Posted on 04 Mar 2021, 12:52 - Category: Board of Supervisors Minutes

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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