John Mack - Newtown Supervisor

A monthly collection of summaries of articles curated from various news, township meetings, and other sources, focused on topics of interest to local residents. The insights expressed here are those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person. Subscribe here, if you are not yet a subscriber.

Single-Use Plastics Ban Survey Results

Nearly 200 people have responded to my survey, which asks: Do you think a BAN of single-use plastics imposed upon local Newtown Township businesses is a good idea? Over 100 respondents submitted comments. To see ALL the comments, download the PDF version: “Single-Use Plastics Ban Survey Results”. For more details about the proposed ban, read “EAC Proposes Single-Use Plastics Ban”.

From - May 5, 2023

At the April 26, 2023, #NewtownPA Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Michael Fuller of Keystone Lighting Solutions (KLS) presented a summary Phase 2 of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) LED Street Light Procurement Program.

John Mack's Insights:

Phase 2 consists of Design and Auditing. KLS will perform the field audit of the existing lights and then prepare a report on the design and cost options. At the end of Phase 2, the Township will decide to work through DVRPC to complete the work. There is typically a 20% reduction on costs through this program than if the municipality did it on their own.

Related Content:

From - May 1, 2023

The most recent proposal by Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC) laid out the details for “Mixed Use” newly constructed apartment buildings in the OLI/LI Overlay Zones; e.g., in the Business Commons area, like the ones shown in the graphic above (source: BCPC).

“We are optimistic that we will be able to add some residential uses to the Commons to help us attract and retain younger residents to the area,” said Ms. Driscoll, Chair of the Newtown Township Planning Commission. [VIDEO LINK:]

The problem, however, is that the NTPC and BCPC seem to be at odds about how to implement “mixed-use” residential/retail in the business commons.

From - April 27, 2023

The Blue Point Grill (BPG) on Monday, May 1, 2023, asked the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board for relief to build an outdoor paver patio to accommodate additional seating at the soon-to-open seafood restaurant at 3 West Road.

UPDATE (May 1, 2023): In a unanimous vote, the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board granted the owners of Blue Point Grill permission to expand its outdoor dining area on the north side of the building by 960 square feet, enough to fit an estimated 12 to 16 additional tables. BPG will now need to amend the conditional use application, which means one more appearance before the board of supervisors. More...

The 976 square foot patio would increase impervious surface at the site by .10 percent, which the planning commission determined to be a de minimis impact and recommended against any opposition..


From - May 3, 2023
At the April 27, 2023, Bucks County Tax Collection Committee meeting, the discussion focused on the Sterling Act and passing a resolution to formally request the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Senators and Representatives of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania to amend the Sterling Act and require that an amount of up to one (1%) percent of the non-resident Philadelphia Wages of non-residents of Philadelphia be remitted to the municipality in which the taxpayer resides.

As of 2021 data, there are 763 Newtown Twp residents who pay in excess of 3.4% Wage Tax to Philadelphia. This represents a loss of over $360,000 per year in EIT that the Township would have collected from these residents.

UPDATE (May 5, 2023):Senate Passes Farry’s Commuter Tax Fairness Act to Keep Tax Dollars Local” More details…

UPDATE (May 10, 2023): NT BOS authorizes Solicitor to draft a Resolution in support of amending the Sterling Act

From April 30, 2023
LED Street Light Program, Deluca Construction Proposal Violate CM District Zoning, Mixed-Use Residential/Retail Mix-Up, more…

Agenda Items include:
  • Planning Commission Report [SYNOPSIS]
  • Deluca Construction at 70 Twining Bridge Road
  • My Detailed Meeting Notes
  • Official Video
  • Video Transcript
Related Content:
  • Access the 2023 BOS Chronicle for detailed summaries of all 2023 BOS meetings plus the BOS voting record (UNOFFICIAL) for 2023.

From - April 25, 2022
This Zoom meeting focused on the following topics:
  • Single-Use Plastics Ban: What McCaffrey’s Market VP of Operations had to say about it at the April 3, 2023 EAC meeting
  • Lower Dolington Road Trail Fiasco: Residents are disappointed in the progress or lack thereof
  • New Plan to Fix Villas of Newtown Detention Basin – Another project that has been plagued by delays. Bids accepted for new solution. Will It Work?
  • Tractor Trailer Trucks Parked on Lower Dolington Road: An Eyesore & Hazard – What Can Be Down About It? More importantly, what can be done to improve pedestrian safety?
  • Wawa Update – Decision by ZHB regarding Amended Challenge to Validity of the JMZO put off to May 4, 2023. Why?
  • More...
Related Content:
  • “State Senator Steve Santarsiero Announces a $630,000 Grant To Fund Expansion Of The Rainbow Room Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Bucks County”
  • “Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community”