Meet Mack Monday
Are you concerned about overdevelopment in Newtown, tax increases, traffic, quality of our roads, preserving open space or about any issue that has or will come before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and other township boards and commissions?
Feel free to attend one of my Meet Mack Monday (MMM) events that I host periodically, usually the 2nd Monday of the month before the first BOS meeting (refer to the Event Calendar for specific dates and access to registration form). I will inform you of items coming up for discussion at public meetings you may not be able to attend and that are not televised. I will listen to your concerns and together with other residents and business owners I will try to come up with solutions to problems that make sense for Newtown as a whole.
DISCLAIMER: Meet Mack Monday meetings are not official Newtown Township meetings. The opinions expressed at Meet Mack Monday events are solely those of John Mack and the attendees of the meeting and do not represent the opinions of any other entity.
The following is a list of issues discussed at the May 16, 2022, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting.
Wawa Land Development
[Newtown Township, May 11, 2022] At 4:21 PM, Newtown Township Manager Micah Lewis informed supervisors that “Provco/Wawa will be removed from tonight's agenda at the request of the Applicant.” According to a letter received via email from John A. VanLuvanee, the attorney representing Provco Pinegood Newtown, LLC, who said that his client has “elected to grant the Township a 90-day extension of the time period within which the Board of Supervisors is required to take action on its pending preliminary/final land development plan application. The time for the Township to take action pursuant to the most recent extension that I granted expires on May 15, 2022. Accordingly, this extension is granted throught (sic) August 15, 2022.”
Mr. VanLuvanee requested that the plan be removed from the agenda of the May 11, 2022, Board of Supervisors meeting. No reason was given. Was it a "poison pill" that that arose at the last minute? What's Next?
Background: "Newtown Planning Commission Reviews Wawa's Latest Plan"
Better Meeting Audio-Visual Technology
This special Meet Mack Monday (MMM) meeting will be held before a Board of Supervisors (BOS) Work Session on the same day at 7:00 PM. Supervisors will discuss upgrading the public meeting room audio-visual, live streaming and production technology (e.g., hybrid meetings). What's YOUR Opinion? More details about this agenda item...
Other Items on the Agenda
Reports from the EAC (renewable energy), JZC (Comprehensive Plan, Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, Billboards on the Bypass, Wireless 5G Antennas), Planning Commission (LI/OLI Rezoning, Sidewalk Improvements)
ARP Funds Are Sitting in the Bank
Some time ago Newtown Township supervisors were asked to submit comments on their priorities regarding the Township Manager's recommendations for the use of over $2 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds available or soon to be available to the Township. The recommendations were developed based on opinions by department heads (police, parks and rec, public works, and finance). However, residents have not had a chance to officially review or comment on these recommendations.
Upgrades to the public meeting room A/V system were suggested under the “Technology” category with suggested dollars amounts as shown in the table below.
"Hardware and wiring upgrades to improve the quality of meeting productions" seems focused on technology to broadcast live BOS meetings. Improvements in that area include higher resolution cameras for live streaming via Youtube and cable TV.
Many people who attend the meetings cannot hear what is being said or see the displays on the monitors. To improve the room audio/visual technology we need better microphones, better speakers in the front and back of the room and bigger and higher resolution (4K) monitors in the room.
Currently, supervisors must use there own laptops or iPads during meetings. These are small screen devices that may not be secure. We need secure large-screen workstations for supervisors.
In addition, we need to implement truly hybrid meetings that allow older and handicapped as well as busy parents of young children to attend and participate remotely.
Topics for Discussion Included:
Wawa Plan Update: I discussed the Newtown Planning Commission’s review of the latest Wawa Land Development Plan and specifically focused on issues raised by the Bucks County Planning Commission in a letter to the township, including orientation of the buildings, traffic issues, and pedestrian safety.
I also mentioned that the E30 ordinance gives the Newtown Board of Supervisors the option to limit the hours of operation if there is a residential use with 750 feet of the Wawa site. In this case, where the site is at the intersection of the Bypass and Lower Silverlake Road, there is a residence within 750 feet. The question is: Must there be a complaint from this resident in order to limit the hours of operation?
Newtown Gun Show - NAC has filed an appeal to the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board. However, an “indefinite” extension of time to hold the hearing has been granted to the NAC.
That’s about all I can say due to the fact that this is a matter of potential litigation. However, as reported in the April 5, 2022, issue of the Bucks County Courier Times, Jim Worthington was reported to have said “We’re working with the township to come up with a resolution.”
I can say my take on this is contrary to the headline of the article that stated the gun show “could make a return.” My personal hope is that there will never be a gun show permitted in Newtown and if and when this comes before the BOS, that will be my position on this.
As part of the registration process, I asked which topics people were interested in. The following chart summarizes the results from the meeting registrants.
Embedded below are my notes that I prepared before the meeting. It includes questions and links to background information and other details. You can also download the PDF file.
- March 7, 2022, Meet Mack Monday Zoom Meeting.
- February 7, 2022, Meet Mack Monday Zoom Meeting.
- 10 January 2022: Pedestrian Safety, Arcadia U-turn (Notes)
- 22 November 2021: Pedestrian Safety (Notes & Audio Archive)
- 18 October 2021: Manager's Recommended 2022 Budget (Notes & Audio Archive)
- 20 September 2021: Toll Bros All Saints Cemetery Proposed Settlement, Hybrid Meetings (Notes & Audio Archive)
- August 9, 2021: Arcadia Land Development, Toll Bros New Plan, Wawa (Audio Archive)
- June 21, 2021: Starting the 2022 Budget Process Sooner, Wawa ZHB Hearing Summary, Arcadia Land Development Overview, Lower Dolington Trail Progress Report, How to Spend COVID Relief Funds (Video Archive)
- May 3, 2021: Wawa Update, Lower Dolington Trail Update, Preliminary Survey Results (Audio clips)
- March 11, 2021: Wawa, Doggy Dayz K9 Resort, Is 5G Safe?
- February 8, 2021: Arcadia III Settlement
- January 11, 2021: Why I Voted to Approve the 2021 Budget
- December 7, 2020: What Can Be Done to Limit a Tax Increase
- November 9, 2020: Continued discussion of the "Recommended" 2021 Budget
- October 26, 2020: Discuss Details of the "Recommended" 2021 Budget
- October 12, 2020: Arcadia Litigation, Proposed 2021 Budget
- September 21, 2020: 5-Year Financial Plan, E30 Use
- August 24, 2020: Toll Bros Plan
- July 6, 2020: Police Accountability
- May 11, 2020: Newtown BINGO! Helping Businesses During COVID-19
- April 20, 2020: Diversion of Tax Funds to Cover Deficit Spending
- March 9, 2020: Code Regarding Neglected Property
- February 10, 2020: Speeding on Mill Pond Road