News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
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News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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Newtown Stylist, Tracey Bowen, Hired For Celebrity Show Hosted By Jimmy Kimmel

Newtown Stylist, Tracey Bowen, Hired For Celebrity Show Hosted By Jimmy Kimmel | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A local hair stylist has been selected to do the men's grooming for an upcoming "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" special 20th anniversary series featuring Jimmy Kimmel as the host.

Tracey Bowen Tobin of Bowen's Barber Shop in Newtown will be doing the hair and makeup for the men guests on the show. Bowen Tobin says she'll be shooting the series in March in California, and the eight-episode special will air in mid-April on ABC.

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Newtown Township Working on “Love is Love Day” Resolution Modeled After One Sponsored By State Senator Steve Santarsiero

Newtown Township Working on “Love is Love Day” Resolution Modeled After One Sponsored By State Senator Steve Santarsiero | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Stressing that all people deserve equal care and treatment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification, a resolution being considered by the Newtown Township supervisors would make Feb. 15 “Love is Love Day” in the township.

 

The document drafted by Supervisor John Mack is modeled after one pushed by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-10, of Lower Makefield and state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-143, of Plumstead, that failed to reach the floor in Harrisburg after not receiving unanimous support from Republicans.

 

The Newtown Township board discussed the resolution at its Wednesday meeting and seemed generally supportive, but voted 4-1 to table the matter until Feb. 26 so that exact wording and other elements could get more study.

 

Mack saw no reason to delay voting on the resolution and was the lone no vote on the table motion.

 

“Valentine’s Day receives much media attention with couples and loved ones proclaiming their love for each other,” his draft resolution states. “Those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual and other sexual minorities are often excluded from Valentine’s Day mainstream media coverage.

 

“Being an adolescent during a time when those around you are expressing their love for each other can be overwhelming, especially if you do not see examples you identify with.”

 

The resolution states that Newtown Township was the first township in Bucks County to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance that created a Human Relations Commission to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of sexual orientation or perceived gender.

 

The rate of suicide among LGBTQ+ teenagers is nearly four times higher than for their heterosexual peers, according to the resolution. “Accepting the LGBTQ+ youth in our communities and in society at large helps remind those who we care about that love is love regardless of how they identify,” it adds.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Anti-discrimination efforts in Bucks County

The Bucks County Young Democrats unanimously passed an anti-discrimination resolution during its inaugural 2020 meeting in Newtown Township on Jan. 24.

 

The Democrats’ resolution establishes the group supports federal and state legislation like the federal Equality Act and Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual.

 

The resolution also “calls upon all municipal governments within Bucks County to enact LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances ... which prohibit discrimination upon sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.”

 

“It’s long past time for LGBTQ people to have equal protection under the law,” said David Bria, Bucks County Young Democrats president and Yardley councilman. “I can proudly say that every Democratic State Representatives and Senators from Bucks County are co-sponsors of the PA Fairness Act, and each of the Democratic Congressional candidates have pledged their support to the Federal Equality Act. While these bills remain stalled both in Washington and Harrisburg, local government can and should take action.”

 

Seven municipalities in Bucks have passed similar ordinances, including Bristol, Doylestown, New Britain, New Hope, Newtown and Yardley boroughs as well as Newtown Township.

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Newtown Supervisors Reverse Course & Approve to Hire Econsult Solutions, Inc. to Help Plan the Township’s Future Finances

Newtown Supervisors Reverse Course & Approve to Hire Econsult Solutions, Inc.  to Help Plan the Township’s Future Finances | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

After taking no action last month, the board of supervisors has now decided to go ahead and hire Econsult Solutions, Inc. to prepare a detailed report to help the township plan its future financial goals.

 

In a 4-1 vote at the Feb. 12 meeting, the board approved letting the Philadelphia-based firm conduct the study.

 

Voting to award the contract were: Chairman Phil Calabro, along with Dennis Fisher, John Mack and newly-appointed Supervisor David Oxley. Kyle Davis was the lone dissenter.

 

At the Jan. 22 supervisors’ meeting, the board did not vote on awarding a contract to because the motion failed to get the required second, and therefore died.

 

But the supervisors’ sentiments had since changed. [See Insights]

 

The financial study is aimed at helping the township develop a comprehensive multi-year plan, as well as establish short-and-long term budgetary objectives and strategies over the next five-to-10 years, which are expected to have significant revenue shortfalls.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At the last meeting, I with a couple of other Supervisors, did not second Mr. Fisher’s motion to award this proposal to E-Consult Solutions. Frankly, I was reminded of that Bob Dylan line: “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.”

 

However, after interviewing Mr. Oxley for the position of Supervisor and after he was appointed, I better understand the benefit of going forward with this project because I am confident that Mr. Oxley and Mr. Fisher, who has also championed this project, will make it an open process that involves as much resident input as possible.

 

Why do I believe that?

 

First, Mr. Oxley described himself as a “man of the people” and said that accessibility is a “true value.”

 

Second, as I said previously, Mr. Oxley brings to the Board extensive expertise in financial management combined with business development experience and I have confidence that he will lead our effort to work with the consultants, residents and the business community to come up with a via 5-year budget plan that will put an end the township’s deficit spending.

 

Related Story:

  • “The Marseglia-Harvie Transition Committee Names Newtown Resident Steve Wray of ESI as Economic Development Chair”; http://sco.lt/8xv2e0
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Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with Connection to Public Sewers.

Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with Connection to Public Sewers. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[At the February 12, 2020 meeting, Newtown Township] supervisors … granted Toll Brothers’ request to again reschedule a public hearing on its condition-use application to build 41 high-end luxury homes on 152 acres off of Route 413 and Twinning Bridge Road.

 

This is the third time that the mandated hearing has been rescheduled. It is now be postponed until the Feb. 26 supervisors’ meeting. [Read “Supervisors' Review Of Toll Brothers Proposal Pushed Back, Again!”; http://sco.lt/5ppv3A]

 

The planning commission also has rescheduled its examination of the conditional-use application until its Feb. 18 meeting.

 

According to township solicitor David Sander, the requested postponement is because the developer has made some minor revisions to its proposal.

 

The property, which is zoned Conservation Management (CM), borders Durham Road to the east, Twinning Bridge Road to the north, Devonshire Meadows to the west and the Newtown Township Municipal Complex to the south.

 

In October, Toll had amended its application, as well as downsized the number of proposed homes for the property. A new plan was submitted to the township which now calls for 41 single-family luxury homes to be built on the parcel.

 

Under the new application, two access roads would instead be located on Twinning Bridge Road.

 

The downsized plan which had originally called for an on-site wastewater treatment facility has been abandoned. The development would instead be connected to the township’s public sewer line.

 

Even if Toll does receive the conditional-use approval, final development plans would still have to go through the regular land use and subdivision process before the planning commission and board of supervisors.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The "amended" new plan can be viewed at the Township Building.

 

Related Podcast:

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Solstice Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center Set to Open March 9

Solstice Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center Set to Open March 9 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The restaurant will be a 9,245 square-foot indoor and outdoor dining spot located in the new building on Durham Road. Schwartz said the restaurant space itself is constructed, but furnishings and additional details need to be added ahead of the eatery's debut.

 

Solstice, the first project from Captivate Hospitality Group, will offer "thoughtfully prepared, seasonally curated dishes" in a "dynamic social environment," representatives said.

 

Solstice will boast a "city-like dining experience" with "modern, whimsical plating," according to Schwartz. The indoor dining room and bar will have 165 seats. A 2,500 -square-foot outdoor patio space will seat 92.

 

The menu at Solstice will rotate four times a year by season. Once every quarter, Solstice will unveil a special "Peak of Season" menu that will be available for just four to six weeks.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

When this application came before the Newtown Board of Supervisors at the June 12, 2019, public meeting, Attorney Joseph Blackburn representing the applicant described the Solstice as being "affiliated with Shula’s Steak House" (it turns out the principals are executives with Shula’s Restaurants, which is the only connection with steak!)

 

I spoke to Mr. Blackburn he said that Shula-style steaks WILL be on the menu along with the seasonal entries. However, the Patch article does NOT mention steak as one of the entrees. “Entrees,” says the article, “will include items such as hand-rolled ricotta lobster cavatelli, braised wagyu pappardelle, Cape May seared scallops, roasted chicken, Lancaster butternut squash risotto, and more.” I guess steak is included in the “more” category.

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Route of Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run on March 14 Will Be Entirely in Newtown Borough

Route of Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run on March 14 Will Be Entirely in Newtown Borough | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[Newtown Borough Council] approved a revised Special Event Application for the Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run to be held on Saturday, March 14 in Newtown Borough.

“This is another great opportunity to show off our town and bring an economic factor,” said Councilman Bob Szwajkos. “The cooperation of activity people, council and business is very important and we’re doing it better than ever.”

More than 850 runners took part in last year’s shuffle, which will wind its way through the residential streets of Newtown Borough in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Parking will be at Council Rock North High School and at the parking lot across from Olde Saint Andrew Church on Sycamore Street with shuttle service to and from the start and finish of the race.

The run, sponsored by Boss Events, will take place from 9 to 10 A.M. along a revised race course through Newtown Borough. The race will start and finish on North State Street and will use Edgeboro Drive, Liberty Street, Green Street, North Congress and North Chancellor streets.

“Rather than 800 participants winding up at the Green Parrot, they’re going to be in the borough eating in our restaurants, shopping in our stores rather in the township,” said Police Chief James Sabath, of the revised course.

A Love For Life, a Newtown Borough-based nonprofit supporting pancreatic cancer research, has been named the event’s official charity partner.

Organizers said participants in this year’s race will receive great swag, including an official event t-shirt, a finisher medal and charms.

In addition, participants will be eligible for specials and discounts from local merchants and restaurants, including the Temperance House, the Coffee Room, Salt Cave, Newtown Brewing Company, LaStalla,Newtown Hardware House, Isaac Newton’s, the ProShop and more. For additional information and to register, visit NewtownShamrockShuffle.com.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

For many years previously, this run was sponsored by The Green Parrot and the start and finish of the race was at that location on North Sycamore Street in Newtown Township. This year, the Green Parrot obviously is not a sponsor.

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Bensalem Police Look for Wawa Robber

Bensalem Police Look for Wawa Robber | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Bensalem police are searching for a man, they allege, robbed a Wawa last week.

The department said in a news release that the man entered the store at 2250 Lincoln Highway about 2:25 a.m. Friday and demanded $100 from the cashier, said William McVey, deputy director of public safety.

He said the man did not make any threats, but did insinuate that he may have a weapon. Police said the man received the money and then fled the store in a gray four- door sedan with silver or chrome rims.

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Supervisors' Review Of Toll Brothers Proposal Pushed Back, Again!

Supervisors' Review Of Toll Brothers Proposal Pushed Back, Again! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Toll Brothers' application in front of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors for conditional use approval to construct a residential development at Rt. 413 and Twining Bridge Road will be continued to Feb. 26. [Read “Toll Brothers Submits New Proposal For Twining Bridge Road/Route 413 Property in Newtown Township”; http://sco.lt/9Jw5Q0]

 

The hearing was originally scheduled for Feb. 12 but has been pushed back again. [Read “Planning Commission Review of 41-Unit Toll Brothers Development Pushed To Feb. 4; BOS Hearing Will Resume on Feb. 12”; http://sco.lt/8M1Lvc]

 

Toll Brothers is seeking approval for a 41-unit residential development on a 152-acre parcel at Rt. 413 and Twining Bridge Road. [See Video: “Residents Dissatisfied with Notice by Toll Bros of Conditional Use Hearing”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/tolldissat.html]

 

Last week, Toll Brothers requested to be removed from the Planning Commission meeting agenda for the same application. Newtown Township Manager Micah Lewis said he expects the application will be heard at the Feb.18 Planning Commission meeting.

 

Conditional use approval is required because Toll is proposing to use a cluster option when configuring the development. The application includes an onsite wastewater treatment facility.

 

[UPDATE: “Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with Connection to Public Sewers.”; http://sco.lt/7O5HG4]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

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You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! Everybody Gets a Wawa! Wawa's Plan for Newtown Area Domination.

You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! You get a Wawa! Everybody Gets a Wawa! Wawa's Plan for Newtown Area Domination. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A new Wawa store has been proposed in the Holland section of Northampton Township.

 

Township officials on Monday confirmed that developers have submitted plans for the 5,585-square-foot Wawa on a property at the intersection of Holland, Rocksville and Buck roads. The plan was submitted by Provco Pinegood Northampton, LLC.

 

The Wawa would have gasoline sales and there would be 50 parking spaces at the store [and 16 fueling pumps], according to plans submitted to the township.

 

The plan currently is being reviewed by township staff and consultants. The Northampton Township Planning Commission will first consider the application, followed by the board of supervisors.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

LOL! This map was used by Provco in a presentation to Newtown Township Supervisor's to justify why Newtown needs a Wawa; i.e., other surrounding Wawa's are just too far away.

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Wrightstown Supervisors Prefer "Mom & Pop" Convenience Stores to "Chain Operations"

Wrightstown Supervisors Prefer "Mom & Pop" Convenience Stores to "Chain Operations" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

There's a fairly good chance the operation of the Wrightstown Country Store at 557 Durham Road (Route 413) will continue under a new owner, said Bobbie Pringle, who has owned the store for 34 years along with her husband, Tom. They closed it last month and put it up for sale.

 

Wrightstown supervisors Chairman Chester Pogonowski and fellow board member Jane Magne, both frequent visitors to the store, hope to see it up and running again.

 

"It would be good news if someone purchased the property and continued the breakfast and lunch takeouts," Pogonowski said. "I was reminiscing with a few friends last week about the great BLTs and chicken salad sandwiches.

 

The store had become part of the fabric of Wrightstown, Magne added.

 

"It would be a big asset to our small town community if the Wrightstown Country Store would continue in operation," she said. "Locally owned mom and pop businesses, as opposed to chain store operations, help to define the character of the community and to maintain our identity."

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Meanwhile, Wrightstown, Newtown, and Upper Makefield are debating how to amend the JMZO to allow for a "chain operations" such as Wawa that not only sells hoagies and coffee but also gasoline and alcoholic beverages! For more on that, listen here: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/pcone30.html

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Delays Upon Delays Plague Newtown Township Hearings for Wawa and Old Navy

Delays Upon Delays Plague Newtown Township Hearings for Wawa and Old Navy | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township zoning hearing board’s consideration of variances for a proposed new Wawa and Old Navy have both been pushed back.

  

Wawa’s hearing was continued until the March 5 meeting at the request of township solicitor David Sander, a move agreed to by the developer’s attorney John VanLuvanee, zoning hearing board solicitor Michael Clarke announced.

 

Consideration of Old Navy variances were continued for at least 60 days but no actual date has been set, he added.

 

The 12,500 square-foot Old Navy is being proposed for a spot at the Newtown Shopping Center just off Route 413. Variances being considered also include those for a proposed 400-square-foot expansion of the Chick-fil-A in the same center.

 

“I understand that the (Newtown Shopping Center) plans are possibly being amended, which would require them to start the (application) process over again,” Clarke said.

 

[Related: “Survey Says Newtown Area Residents Oppose Old Navy Box Store”]

 

Developer Provco Pineville Acquisitions LLC is proposing a 5,585 square-foot Wawa with eight fueling stations (16 pumps) for five acres just off the Newtown Bypass near Upper Silver Lake Road.

 

Provco is asking for 13 variances and has also filed a challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance that sets zoning law for Newtown Township, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown because it makes no provision for a combined convenience store/gas pumps use.

 

A new ordinance that would set aside areas for the use in all three municipalities is being developed but the Wawa must be considered separately because plans for the project were filed before the process for drafting a new JMZO was started, officials have said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At the February 6, 2020, Newtown Area Joint Zone Council (JZC) meeting, Jointure Solicitor Mary Eberle, of Grim, Biehn & Thatcher, told JZC members that the Commonwealth Court judges "beat up pretty bad" the lawyers representing Wawa at the Plumstead Township Board of Supervisors appeal. She advised the JCZ: "You are allowed to free your mind of the 5600 square foot minimum and the traditional Wawa layout" when drafting the E30 Ordinance to allow a combination gas station and convenience store in the Jointure. Listen to her comments here: http://bit.ly/EberleOpenMind 

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Newtown's “Explosive Growth”: What Are the Pros and Cons? Is There a Plan? Where's the Input From Residents?

Newtown's “Explosive Growth”: What Are the Pros and Cons? Is There a Plan? Where's the Input From Residents? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

While a $35 million expansion of the Village at Newtown Shopping Center that will include a new Solstice Restaurant, Iron Hill Brewery and several other establishments is rapidly taking shape, a new 12,500 square-foot Old Navy and 400 square-foot Chick-fil-A expansion is being proposed at the adjacent Newtown Shopping Center.

 

In the meantime, township officials are considering a proposed Wawa with gas pumps just off the Newtown Bypass near its intersection with Lower Silver Lake Road. Company officials have filed a challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance that covers Newtown Township, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown because it doesn’t designate areas for a combined convenience store/gas pumps use.

 

[Also read: “Mack & Fisher Respond to Questions About Development”]

 

A zoning hearing board meeting to consider variances for the proposed Wawa and the Newtown Shopping Center work is set for Thursday.

 

[Meet Mack Monday & discuss this: February 3, 2020]

 

As for the overall bright business outlook in the township, growth is good so long as it’s well thought out and managed, said Jim Worthington, owner of the largest business in Newtown Township, the Newtown Athletic Club.

 

But it’s not all positive, stressed Newtown Township Supervisor John Mack. In particular, he cited the proposed Old Navy as the wrong kind of business growth for the township.

 

Mack said he’s gotten 75 comments so far from Newtown-area residents in opposition, including comments that the store is not up-scale enough and many residents would prefer Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Wegman’s.

 

[What do you think? Take Mack's "Old Navy/Chick-fil-A Proposal Survey"]

 

The supervisor cites the Old Navy as the kind of commercial development that “brings only few low-paying jobs which does little to add to our revenue.”

 

On the other hand, Mack had a generally favorable view of businesses that will move in as the result of the Village at Newtown expansion “although parking is sometimes a problem. I understand that malls have to rethink their business plans to compete with Amazon.”

 

Township officials have to take a very hard look at the types of projects being allowed, said Mack, who added he is suggesting a voluntary moratorium on all new commercial development in the township while officials and residents “meet with commercial developers to ensure that their plans jibe with our new 10-year comprehensive plan, which currently is in the works.”

 

[Read "It’s Time to Update Newtown's Comprehensive Plan!"]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

People who are concerned about the types of stores coming to the shopping centers in Newtown should contact the property owners/realtors who bring these stores to Newtown. Potential leasees need to understand the preferences of residents. In the future, the Township may be sending a questionnaire to businesses to ask what can Newtown do to attract more business with the goal of keeping TWP real estate taxes low, currently 4.5 mills (for a typical homeowner that's about $192 per year that goes to the Twp for police, public works, fire & emergency services, etc. not counting the much higher school and county taxes that we pay. For moe on that go here: http://bit.ly/NTtaxInfo). We should also be asking residents what businesses they would like to see come to Newtown and what the Township can do to attract those businesses, IMHO.

 

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David Oxley Appointed Newtown Township Supervisor

David Oxley Appointed Newtown Township Supervisor | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A seven-year township resident with extensive financial experience is the newest supervisor in Newtown Township.

 

Board members voted 3-1 at a special meeting Wednesday night to appoint Democrat David Oxley to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Linda Bobrin. Oxley, 36, will serve through 2021 by virtue of the appointment but would have to run and win in that year’s election to retain the seat.

 

“I’m really excited to be in this position,” he said. “I want to put my own stamp on the township and working together, I know we can make things better.”

 

Oxley added he will “work hard to keep the township safe, especially for our youth. Maybe we can add some bike paths. I want to help keep Newtown Township family-oriented and promote growth, though we don’t want to grow too fast.”

 

More…

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Mr. Oxley brings to the Board extensive expertise in financial management combined with business development experience and volunteerism, which are perfect qualifications for the work that the Board must do in the coming months. In particular, I hope that he will lead our effort to work with consultants, residents and the business community to solve the township’s deficit spending death spiral.

 

Growing up in Hartford, Conn., Oxley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics and government from the University of Hartford.

It was there, Oxley said, that he met his future wife, Danielle, a college basketball player from Upper Makefield Township who attended Council Rock, graduating in 2003.

 

According to Oxley, he started working in the banking industry as a teller, eventually becoming a branch manager and later working for Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.

 

In 2008, he moved to Philadelphia with Danielle, later marrying and then relocating to Newtown Township, which he says he loves.

The couple has four children: Micah, 14; Abigail, 7; Jonah, 4; and, Anna, 2.

 

“[As supervisor] I want to make sure our community is safe and keeps that family-oriented feeling,” Oxley told BucksLocalNews.com.

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Meet Mack Monday

Meet Mack Monday | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Are you concerned overdevelopment in Newtown or about traffic in the shopping center or about the quality of our drinking water or about preserving the open space in our parks or about any issue that has or will come before the Board of Supervisors and other township boards and commissions?

Feel free to attend one of my "Meet Mack Monday" events that I host each month. 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.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Topics discussed at a recent meeting include:

 

  • Meet David Oxley, the newly-appointed Newtown Township Supervisor (read "David D. Oxley Sworn in as Newtown Township Supervisor!").
  • Newtown A.O.P. (Toll Bros.): a conditional use proposal to construct a cluster of 41 single-family homes on a 152-acre parcel at Rt. 413 and Twining Bridge Road (read "Newtown Residents Dissatisfied With Toll Brothers").
  • Challenge to Validity of the JMZO and variances in connection with proposed convenience store (WAWA) with fuel dispensing station on Newtown Bypass & U. Silver Lake Rd. (this is on the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) schedule for 2/6/20). The Board of Supervisors voted to send its solicitor to this hearing to oppose the challenge.
  • Variances in connection with a proposed 12,500 square foot Old Navy Retail Store (new bldg.) and additions to existing Chick Fil-A (4 West Road) - ZHB will also hear this case on 2/6/20. I will hand out a summary of the results of my "Old Navy/Chick-fil-A Proposal Survey."
  • Update on the ZHB 1/30/20 hearing re Variances in connection with a proposed B-8 use for 27 townhomes on a 4.49 acre lot in the PS-2 district (413 Durham Rd. The Board of Supervisors also opposes this (read "Newtown Supervisors Oppose Plan To Build 27 Townhouses").
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Newtown Borough Council to Consider Partnering with Coalition & Newtown Township on Pedestrian Bridge Project

Newtown Borough Council to Consider Partnering with Coalition & Newtown Township on Pedestrian Bridge Project | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Borough Council at its February work session will consider partnering with Newtown Township and the Newtown Creek Coalition to explore the feasibility of building a pedestrian bridge across the Newtown Creek.

 

At its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14 Mike Sellers, from the Newtown Creek Coalition, detailed the coalition’s vision for a footbridge that would span the creek via an existing right of way between Frost Lane in Newtown Borough and the Sycamore Center in Newtown Township.

 

As photographs flashed across the screen, Sellers said the span would create a safe, recreational and pedestrian connection across the Newtown Creek that would provide a missing link in the local and regional trail system and easy pedestrian access between residential neighborhoods in Newtown Borough and Newtown Township’s commercial core.

 

The coalition initially brought the concept plan to the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors this past fall. In November, the supervisors subsequently voted to start the ball rolling on the project, passing a resolution establishing a working group to explore the feasibility and available state grants to build the structure.

 

[Read “Summary of November 26, 2019, Newtown Township BOS Public Meeting’; https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/blog/?viewDetailed=201912141204 and “Newtown Supervisors Agree to Investigate Feasibility of Getting State Funding for Bridge Over Newtown Creek”; http://sco.lt/7ExuVM]

 

According to Sellers, between 60 and 65 percent of the project is located in Newtown Township with the balance in the borough.

 

“It is for this reason Newtown Township was first approached about its interest in pursuing the pedestrian bridge,” Sellers told council. “Obviously if the township for any reason was not interested in moving forward there would be no point to talk to the borough about it.”

 

After hearing the presentation, the councilors expressed general support for the idea, but said they’d like to hear what borough residents have to say before adopting a resolution. They have scheduled a vote on the resolution for its February 5 work session.

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Expansion Project Proposes to Bring Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center

Expansion Project Proposes to Bring Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Another Newtown shopping center is poised for a major expansion.

 

This week, the Newtown Township Planning Commission voted to support zoning relief for a number of new improvements being planned at the Newtown Shopping Center on West Road. The center is anchored by ACME and is also home to a Bed, Bath & Beyond and a Staples store.

 

Newtown/Bucks Associates LP is seeking variances from the township’s zoning hearing board for the construction of a new 12,500 square foot retail building to house an Old Navy retail store along with 80 new parking spaces.

 

The proposed new free standing store would be built next to the Bed, Bath & Beyond store adjacent to the Acme shopping center and backing up to the Council Rock North property.

 

 

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Give me your opinion. Take my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9KWDX87 

 

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  • “Planning Commission Supports Improvements to Access to Chick-fil-A and Addition of Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center”; http://sco.lt/9LQJSi
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Planning Commission Supports Improvements to Access to Chick-fil-A and Addition of Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center

Planning Commission Supports Improvements to Access to Chick-fil-A and Addition of Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown Township’s planning commission voted to support zoning variances needed for the projects.

Some big changes are being proposed for the Newtown Shopping Center in Newtown Township.

Township planning commission vice chairwoman Peggy Driscoll told the supervisors at their Wednesday night meeting the planners had voted to support zoning variances needed for a new 12,500-square-foot Old Navy and a 400-square-foot addition to the kitchen of Chick-fil-A.

The Old Navy would be constructed on what is now vacant ground at the center at 20 West Road, just off Route 413, that includes the Chick-fil-A, Applebee’s, Acme, Gap, Staples and other stores. Driscoll said the proposal also includes work that would improve traffic flow within the center.

She said the added kitchen space at the busy Chick-Fil-A is sorely needed. “They apparently can’t keep up with the demand,” Driscoll said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Listen to the presentation by representatives of the shopping Center and Chick-fil-A at the January 21, 2020, Planning Commission meeting: http://bit.ly/2uxjN2B 

 

Give me your opinion. Take my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9KWDX87 

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Council Rock Posts $256M Budget - School Tax Increase Could Be Higher Than Usual Next School Year!

Council Rock Posts $256M Budget - School Tax Increase Could Be Higher Than Usual Next School Year! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Council Rock School District will apply for exceptions that, if granted by the state, will allow the school board to hike property taxes more than the district’s state Act 1 Index of 2.6% for next school year.

 

However, district Business Administration Director Bill Stone emphasized the move doesn’t necessarily mean any tax increase will be more than the index, but it gives the school board that option if a majority feel it’s necessary.

 

For this school year, the district applied for and received exceptions to go above the Act 1 Index of 2.3% but ended up raising taxes only 2.18%, Stone said. Exceptions are allowed for pension and special education expenses.

 

To give residents an early glimpse at how school taxes might affect their household budgets, state law requires districts by sometime in January to either post preliminary budgets or pass resolutions pledging to not hike taxes more than their Act 1 Indexes.

 

Council Rock chose the preliminary budget, which is posted on the district website, crsd.org.

 

It lists estimated total revenue for 2020-21 at $246.7 million and total estimated expenses at $256.3 million. However, Stone said truly accurate and reliable figures in those categories and other budget details for next school year won’t emerge for several more weeks and be refined until the board is scheduled to vote on a final budget in May.

 

Total property tax millage in Council Rock is 126.301, or $5,052 in annual taxes for a landowner with a property assessed at the school district average of $40,000. Many residents also pay a 1% earned income tax that is split with the district’s five municipalities of Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Northampton, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related Stories:

  • “Council Rock School District Residents Likely to See Property Tax Hike for the 2019-2020 School Year”; http://sco.lt/5lidmr
  • “School Property Taxes in Aren't going Anywhere But Up”; http://sco.lt/5JhQ7F
  • “Council Rock Raising Taxes Again! Average Homeowner Will Pay $112 per Year MORE for Total of $4,796”; http://sco.lt/8e8W6z
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Newtown Parking Sarcasm in Letter to the Editor of Bucks County Courier Times

Newtown Parking Sarcasm in Letter to the Editor of Bucks County Courier Times | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In the January 28, 2020, edition of the Bucks County Courier Times (BCCT), a letter to the editor (LTE) titled "Newtown parking joke is on all of us" states that the "board of supervisors just announced a decision ... All of the new restaurants [in the Village at Newtown shopping center] would be opened as drive-through only" (see image).

Obviously, as you read on, this is an attempt at sarcasm. Matthew Allen, the author, suggests, for example, the Iron Hill Brewery would have overhead hoses that could pour you an IPA at a drive-through window, but ONLY if you were cool enough.

Ha, Ha! ROTFLMA!

Here's my problem with this... 

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Hard Seltzer Now Available at Iron Hill Breweries, Including One Coming to Newtown Township

Hard Seltzer Now Available at Iron Hill Breweries, Including One Coming to Newtown Township | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant chain, including one in Huntington Valley, Montgomery County and one coming to Newtown Township in the spring, has included Rivet Hard Seltzer among its drink offerings.

The drink, which is low calorie and 5% alcohol by volume, is available in passion fruit orange guava, blueberry acai and black cherry. It’s $5 for a 16-ounce pour.

“We’re very excited to bind together our extensive brewing industry knowledge with one of the most popular trends to come from the beverage industry in some time,” Iron Hill Brewery Operations Director Mark Edelson said.

According to an article in daily.sevenfifty.com, an online publication for the beverage industry, sales of all hard seltzer brands exceeded $585 million in the year from April 2018 to April 2019, a 185% increase from the year before.

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Zoning Hearing Board Proposal for Lower Southampton Super Wawa Reconvenes on January 14

Zoning Hearing Board Proposal for Lower Southampton Super Wawa Reconvenes on January 14 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

VOICES NEEDED attendance encouraged to STOP Lower South Wawa Now n 24% increased traffic next to Sunoco @Bristol/Brownsville for THE HEALTH SAFETY and WELFARE of yOUR COMMUNITY and yOUR children whose school buses are heavily travelled on these roads from Neshaminy Bensalem and as far as Council Rock. Petitions can be found at our community supported local AWESOME small businesses: Trevose pizza/ Erwin's Country kitchen/ Johnny Gs Famous Pizza/ Pepe's/ Do or Dye Hair Salon/ 7-11/ Nina's Pizza/ Village Pantry/ Pat's Polish Deli/ Kopper Kettle takeout/ Wiggleworms. It is NOT over. Thank you.

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Are Tiny Houses Allowed in the Newtown Area?

Are Tiny Houses Allowed in the Newtown Area? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A Newtown resident contacted me because she was interested in knowing if there were any restrictions on the types of property in Newtown that a tiny house can be placed or built on. She also wanted to know if it was allowable to place a tiny house on another person’s private property with that person’s permission.

It just so happened that I was planning to attend the monthly meeting of the Joint Zoning Council (JZC) that night, so I decided to email members and experts associated with the Council to see if they had the answers. 

After some back and forth via email, the topic of tiny houses was added to the January 9, 2020, JZC agenda. The following recording is an excerpt from the discussion. Participating in the discussion were Chester Pogonwski (Wrightstown Supervisor), Chair, Tom Cino (Upper Makefiled Supervisor), Vice Chair, Phil Calabro (Newtown Supervisor), Lisa M. Wolff, Bucks County Planning Commission, myself and others.

 

Listen to the discussion here.

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My Year (2019) as Newtown Supervisor

My Year (2019) as Newtown Supervisor | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In 2019 I spent, on average, 39.4 hours per month on official Supervisor business. I spent a total of 56 hours attending required meetings and 63 hours in optional meetings for a total of 119 hours for the year.

 

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Planning Commission Review of 41-Unit Toll Brothers Development Pushed To Feb. 4; BOS Hearing Will Resume on Feb. 12

Planning Commission Review of 41-Unit Toll Brothers Development Pushed To Feb. 4; BOS Hearing Will Resume on Feb. 12 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Toll Brothers' proposal for a 41-unit residential development at Rt. 413 and Twining Bridge Road will not be in front of the Newtown Township Planning Commission Tuesday as previously scheduled.

Toll Brothers has requested its application for a residential development on a 152-acre parcel be removed from the agenda. The application will likely be heard at the Feb. 4 Planning Commission meeting, Township Manager Micah Lewis said.

The application will also be in front of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors for a conditional use hearing. That hearing, which has been opened and continued by the supervisors, is currently scheduled to resume on Feb. 12.

The application seeks permission to construct a 41-unit residential development at the Archdiocese property. Conditional use approval is required because Toll is proposing to use a cluster option when configuring the development.

The application includes an onsite wastewater treatment facility.

 

[UPDATE: “Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with Connection to Public Sewers.”; http://sco.lt/7O5HG4]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Sit down with John Mack, Newtown Supervisor, have a coffee, and discuss what's on your mind on January 20, 2020 at the Corner Bakery in Newtown, 2-3 PM to discuss this hearing and other issues. More... 

 

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Newtown Township Board of Supervisors 2019 Accomplishments

Newtown Township Board of Supervisors 2019 Accomplishments | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

 

The following are some notable accomplishments of the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) in 2019. I am proud to have been involved in these decisions along with my fellow BOS members. I look forward to a prosperous and safe New Year!

 

  • Enhanced the Health & Safety of Residents & Employees
  • Protected & Improved Our Environment
  • Supported Sensible Development
  • Practiced Fiscal Responsibility
  • Advanced the Well-Being of Citizens

 

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I am a retired small businessman who has lived in Newtown Township PA since 1995. The opinions expressed here are solely mine and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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This board is dedicated to promoting the value of diversity and addressing discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin and disability. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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