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Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with 45 Homes and Connection to Public Sewer

Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with 45 Homes and Connection to Public Sewer | 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 heard a presentation by Toll Bros representative at its Feb. 18, 2020, meeting. Listen to an audio recording of that presentation here.]

 

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 45 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.

 

[A hearing on this application is scheduled for the February 26, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, which will be held beginning at 7 PM at 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown.}

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

 

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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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Representative Perry Warren Urged to "Push Back" 37% BCWSA Rate Increase During COVID-19 Crisis

Representative Perry Warren Urged to "Push Back" 37% BCWSA Rate Increase During COVID-19 Crisis | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[BCWSA (Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority) is one of the largest water and sewer authorities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania providing water and sewer services to more than 100,000 households, business accounts, and some 525,000 people in the southeastern Pennsylvania region.]

 

Linda on Nextdoor posted:

"I just received my sewage/water bill and it has increased by 37%. I called their office and they said yes the increase was because they are upgrading some things. This is outrageous and price gouging. Since we have no other choice to go elsewhere. I am paying just as much as my neighbors who have multiple people living in their house. So unfair. I contacted our local rep to ask why. I think you guys should do the same. Maybe if he gets enough complaints he will take action against them. Our rep is Perry Warren. If you Google him you can come up to his website and send him an email. Please do."

Kelly & Joan Curran, Langhorne Gardens...

I just emailed the following, hope something can be done�

Hi Mr. Warren,
I am concerned and quite upset to hear that our water sewer bill is increasing so drastically. As we know, this covid crisis is already having an alarming negative affect on job security, unemployment rates, decreases in retirement funds making retirement for those ready to do unreachable, as well as many other financial changes being made that has lead to incredible financial instability for most during this sad scary and difficult time; not to mention the emotional turmoil so many are experiencing considering worry, fear of getting ill, having loved ones hospitalized or even dying and not being able to grieve the way we're used to (surrounded by those that make up our support system), or be there with their family members when it's needed most. Mr. Perry at a time like this, is such an upgrade really needed for BCWSA that badly, and if so why can't more be done to offset the financial burden it is adding to for all who already are struggling so much to stay above water as it is with all that is going on around us. Please strongly consider pushing these upgrades back, the timing for them couldn't be more wrong, and if that is not possible than at least consider pushing the increase in rates on our people off until things are more settled so that is is not so very devastating for us all to have to absorb such an increase at an already unstable and catastrophic time. Thank you for your time and efforts,
Kelly Curran

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State Rep. Perry Warren Introduces Bill to Prevent Certain Hoarders from Profiting Off Vulnerable People

State Rep. Perry Warren Introduces Bill to Prevent Certain Hoarders from Profiting Off Vulnerable People | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

State Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks, has introduced legislation that would discourage hoarding by limiting the return of grocery items during the current state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“People have come together in a profound spirit of generosity and community during this time of crisis. Still, shortages of certain products have been reported, and this bill would discourage those who might try to make money off of a vulnerable population’s need for basic necessities by hoarding and selling them at exorbitant prices—products ranging from toilet paper and cleaning items to baby formula and diapers.”

 

According to Warren, hoarders could buy up products while “hedging their investment” by returning unsold items to the store for a refund or credit if the shortage abates or when the crisis ends.

 

Warren’s bill seeks to protect residents from shortages of basic necessities, and prevent the return and possible resale of items that could carry the COVID-19 virus on their surfaces.

 

“The resale of returned items that could carry COVID-19 puts both grocery store workers and consumers at risk of being exposed to the virus,” Warren said. Warren noted that similar legislation has passed in the New Jersey General Assembly.

 

The legislation would give grocery stores the sole discretion of accepting returned items that may have been unsafe or otherwise defective at the time of sale. Those items would not be eligible for resale.

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PA Unemployment Claims Hit a Record 834,000! Overwhelms Department of Labor & Industry's Website.

PA Unemployment Claims Hit a Record 834,000! Overwhelms Department of Labor & Industry's Website. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Following the state-ordered closure of businesses to stem the tide of the coronavirus, a record number of Pennsylvanians have filed new unemployment claims over the last two weeks.

 

As of Monday afternoon, the Department of Labor and Industry had received 834,684 new unemployment claims since March 16, when Gov. Tom Wolf announced the closure of all nonessential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

"That eclipses anything we've experienced for a weekly total, or even a yearly total," Jerry Oleksiak, Department of Labor and Industry secretary, said during a media call Monday.

 

"This is a fluid, evolving, unprecedented crisis situation that we are facing," he said.

 

*****COVID-19 Employee Survey*****

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWWQQGP 

 

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?

 

As a Newtown Township Supervisor I expect that I will be called upon to make critical decisions in the coming weeks in response to the financial impact on Newtown Township and citizens of the Coronavirus pandemic and the emergency mitigation measures currently in place. Consequently, it is important that I get feedback from local employees that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. No identifying information is collected via this survey unless you opt-in to provide such information for purposes of follow-up or by subscribing to my email newsletter.

 

NOTE: If you are an EMPLOYER, please take my COVID-19 Business Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D7CVTJ2

 

***********************************

 

 The total jumped nearly 300,000 from March 24, when the Department of Labor and Industry had received 540,000 new unemployment claims in the first week of Wolf's planned closure.

 

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the highest number of first-time claims ever filed in Pennsylvania was 168,200, but that was for the entire month of January 2010.

 

The surge in claims due to COVID-19 caused intermittent failures on the Department of Labor & Industry's website Sunday and Monday along with longer wait times over the phone in recent weeks. Officials urged those affected to be patient and to file online if possible to avoid wait times over the phone.

 

"Don't get discouraged. Continue to be patient and continue to apply," Oleksiak said. "We want to help you. We want to help people that are in these difficult situations."

 

Pennsylvania ― which Wolf last week said was the "epicenter of the unemployment crisis" with more than 3.3 million claims nationwide ― has likely seen more filers because the state does not have mandatory sick or family leave requirements like other large states, Oleksiak said.

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COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey

COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

How have YOU been impacted by COVID-19?


As a Newtown Township Supervisor I expect that I will be called upon to make critical decisions in the coming weeks in response to a possible dire financial impact on Newtown Township due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the emergency mitigation measures currently in place. Consequently, it is important that I get feedback from local employees and businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

 

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HTHQML

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Newtown Police Operating “Routinely” During COVID-19 Restrictions

Newtown Police Operating “Routinely” During COVID-19 Restrictions | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

According to the latest Newtown Township Press Release, the Newtown Township Police Department is operating “routinely” during the current coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully certain precautions are being taken to protect police officers who interact with the public on a daily basis.

 

The March 20-26, 2020, weekly call report from the Newtown Police Dept shows that officers responded to 261 calls for service versus an average of 364 per week from 9 Jan 2020 through 12 Mar 2020 – a drop of 28%. As noted in the report this is due to “COVID-19 restrictions” mostly regarding traffic citations.

 

I noticed two interesting items in the latest weekly call report that I have not seen before:

 

  • 12 Foot Patrol Reports, and
  • 0 Traffic Citations!

 

What's up with that? More...

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Latest Update on Impact of Coronavirus on Newtown Township 

Latest Update on Impact of Coronavirus on Newtown Township  | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The coronavirus outbreak in Pennsylvania and across the nation continues to have vast impacts in Newtown, including the closure of schools and many businesses.

 

As of Monday, there are 249 positive cases of coronavirus in Bucks County, including confirmed cases in Newtown Township and Newtown Borough. There are more than 4,000 cases in Pennsylvania as of Monday, and 48 people have died as a result of COVID-19.

 

Newtown Township is offering only essential services during the Stay at Home order. [Read “Newtown Police Operating “Routinely” During COVID-19 Restrictions”; http://sco.lt/4nZq6K]

 

The closure of all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania has been extended "indefinitely," the governor said Monday.

 

Harvest in Newtown, which had been offering take out, has closed. It will reopen following the coronavirus restrictions. "Please remember the people in the hospitality industry are emotionally and financially struggling right now. It is a very real mourning process as their worlds are turned upside down with no clear date on when the lights will be turned back on," the restaurant said in a Facebook post.

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Delay Of Tax Deadline Will Cause ‘Significant Disruption’ To State Budget Process - And Local Governments as Well!

Delay Of Tax Deadline Will Cause ‘Significant Disruption’ To State Budget Process - And Local Governments as Well! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

With the coronavirus outbreak leading to layoffs, business closures, and a record spike in unemployment claims, Pennsylvania has delayed the deadline for filing personal income tax returns, offering taxpayers much-needed relief.

 

*****COVID-19 Employee Survey*****

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWWQQGP 

 

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?

 

As a Newtown Township Supervisor I expect that I will be called upon to make critical decisions in the coming weeks in response to the financial impact on Newtown Township and citizens of the Coronavirus pandemic and the emergency mitigation measures currently in place. Consequently, it is important that I get feedback from local employees that have been impacted by COVID-19.

The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. No identifying information is collected via this survey unless you opt-in to provide such information for purposes of follow-up or by subscribing to my email newsletter.

 

NOTE: If you are an EMPLOYER, please take my COVID-19 Business Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D7CVTJ2

 

***********************************

But it also could create a cash crunch for the state and put lawmakers in the difficult position of trying to pass a budget without knowing how badly tax revenues have been affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

The delayed filing deadline — which the Department of Revenue moved from April 15 to July 15 to correspond with federal changes by the IRS — will cause “significant disruption to the budget process,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R., Centre) said.

The state typically collects a large chunk of income tax revenue in March and April as people file right before the deadline, Corman said. With the delay, actual and projected revenues will be “very difficult to know” by the June 30 deadline for passing the budget.

“That will be a challenge for all of us like we’ve probably never seen before,” Corman said, adding that lawmakers might need to pass a short-term budget because of the uncertainty.

The outbreak is expected to deal a serious blow to the state’s bottom line as efforts to slow the spread of the virus shutter wide swaths of the economy, undercutting several sources of tax revenue. Already, Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered a hiring freeze and general purchasing ban for state agencies in an effort to cut spending.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Note that in addition to loss of Earned Income Tax related to COVID-19 layoffs (read “PA Unemployment Claims Skyrocket”; http://sco.lt/8s31Qu), Newtown Twp is in danger of losing a significant amount of Real Estate Transfer Tax revenue if the decline in home sales persists. Real Estate Transfer Tax is a tax assessed and imposed upon the transfer of real property or an interest in real property within the limits of Newtown Township, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed or delivered or where the actual settlements on the transfer take place, at the rate of 1% of the amount of the value of said real property. This tax is split between the Township and the Council Rock School District.

 

NOTE: The Township relies entirely on earned income tax, real estate transfer tax, and a local services tax to fund the general operations of the Township.

 

“COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey”; https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HTHQML

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How Bad is Coronavirus' Impact On The Suburban Philly Real Estate Market?

How Bad is Coronavirus' Impact On The Suburban Philly Real Estate Market? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In a normal year, March would see eager home buyers flocking to open houses, and sellers preparing their properties for what is usually the busiest season for the real estate market.

 

But this isn't a normal year.

 

So with no open houses or home tours, where does that leave the local real estate market in what is usually a pivotal time for the industry?

 

Local agents say that while the spring market has gotten off to a fast start, things have slowed since the spread of the coronavirus.

 

"I think it's definitely going to have an impact," said Tom Conte, the broker and owner of Avanti Real Estate in Warrington. He estimates the coronavirus crisis will push the spring market back 30 to 60 days. And an upswing in sales will be predicated on the fact that businesses owners and workers get the assistance they need to bridge life through the outbreak.

 

But for now, the short-term challenges are two-fold, Conte explains.

 

First, there are safety concerns. And then there are the obvious issues of how to market a property that no one can actually see in person.

 

Those contemplating listing their properties will be inviting strangers to come through their homes. "The people coming through your house could be a carrier, and they could be touching things in your house," Conte said.

 

And as a buyer, you're entering homes that could potentially have the virus.

 

The second challenge is how to market the homes that people can't currently tour.

 

To solve that conundrum, a bit of creativity is needed, Mauro Mellon said.

 

"It's a time for agents to start thinking outside the box in order to serve their clients as best as they can," she said.

 

That includes, obviously, online and social media marketing. And while traditional open houses are not an option at the moment, virtual open houses and home tours are a possibility. No contact closings are also an option and keep clients and staff safe.

 

Like many industries grappling with this crisis, there are many unknowns — and there is no clear timeline for how long restrictions will continue.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Note that in addition to loss of Earned Income Tax related to COVID-19 layoffs (read “PA Unemployment Claims Skyrocket”; http://sco.lt/8s31Qu), Newtown Twp is in danger of losing a significant amount ofReal Estate Transfer Tax revenue if the decline in home sales persists. Real Estate Transfer Tax is a tax assessed and imposed upon the transfer of real property or an interest in real property within the limits of Newtown Township, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed or delivered or where the actual settlements on the transfer take place, at the rate of 1% of the amount of the value of said real property. This tax is split between the Township and the Council Rock School District.

 

NOTE: The Township relies entirely on earned income tax, real estate transfer tax, and a local services tax to fund the general operations of the Township.

 

“COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey”; https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HTHQML

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PA Unemployment Claims Skyrocket To 540,000

PA Unemployment Claims Skyrocket To 540,000 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

More than half a million Pennsylvanians have filed new unemployment claims during the past week, a record number indicative of the sweeping economic fallout from Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide shutdown in order to slow the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Labor and Industry had received a total of 540,000 new unemployment claims since March 16, when Wolf first announced the closure of all non-essential businesses, according to a state senator briefed by the labor secretary.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the highest number of first-time claims ever filed in Pennsylvania was 168,200, but that was for the entire month of January 2010, said Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D., Philadelphia), the minority chair of the senate committee on labor and industry.

The state has far surpassed that number in about seven days.

“You are going to have more and more people laid-off,” Tartaglione said. “There are going to be a lot more.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Given that many Newtown Twp residents and non-residents who work in Newtown may be laid off for weeks, if not months, it is likely that Newtown Twp will take a hit on Earned Income Tax (EIT) revenue in 2020. Note that this revenue is 61% of the total revenue projected for 2020.

 

“COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey”; https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HTHQML

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The Truth About "Flushable Wipes" – They Create Havoc with Our Sewer System!

The Truth About "Flushable Wipes" – They Create Havoc with Our Sewer System! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Contrary to what Madison Avenue ad execs may proclaim regarding the modern marvel of “flushable wipes,” the idea of flushing these wipes is a terrible idea.

Flushable wipes have become enemy number one amongst sewerage authorities across the nation and beyond due to the fact that they can, and do, create sewer blockages that result in overflows. Since these “wonder wipes” don’t degrade the way that toilet paper does, they combine with fats, oil and grease that exist in the sewer system and can become giant blobs of immovable objects that create nasty overflows of raw sewage in the streets.

Not only do these wipes create havoc for a sewer authority, but they also can create blockages in your internal plumbing or in your yard. Repairs could be costly when you have to call the local plumber to clear a blockage in your home.

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Earned Income Tax (EIT) Filing Deadline Extended To July 15, 2020

Earned Income Tax (EIT) Filing Deadline Extended To July 15, 2020 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

As in years past, the local EIT filing deadline always aligned with the Federal and State filing deadlines. The PA Department of Revenue announced that Pennsylvania’s income tax filing deadlines are extended to July 15 like the Federal deadlines. For local EIT purposes, Keystone is accordingly extending the Individual filing deadlines to match the State and Federal date of July 15, 2020. Keystone will not apply penalty and interest on Tax Year 2019 Final Return payments until after July 15, 2020.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Obviously, Newtown's Earned Income Tax (EIT) and other tax revenue will likely be compromised with the temporary or permanent closure of businesses.The chart shows Resident+Non-Resident wage earned EIT from 2014 through 2020. The 2020 amount is a projected amount in the 2020 budget, which was approved in February, 2020, long before COVID-19 came on the scene. This source of revenue represents 61% of the total projected revenue of $12,029,477 in the 2020 budget. Clearly, this number is likely to be much less than the estimate and the delay in collecting EIT collection will be impactful as well.

 

“COVID-19 Employee Impact Survey”; https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HTHQML

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Coronavirus Strike: Amazon And Instacart Workers Walk Off Jobs

Coronavirus Strike: Amazon And Instacart Workers Walk Off Jobs | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island and Instacart's grocery delivery workers nationwide plan to walk off their jobs on Monday. They are demanding stepped-up protection and pay as they continue to work while much of the country is asked to isolate as a safeguard against the coronavirus.

The strikes come as both Amazon and Instacart have said they plan to hire tens of thousands of new workers. Online shopping and grocery home delivery is skyrocketing as much of the nation hunkers down and people stay at home, following orders and recommendations from the federal and local governments.

This has put a spotlight on workers who shop, pack and deliver these high-demand supplies. Companies refer to the workers as "heroes," but they say their employers aren't doing enough to keep them safe.

The workers are asking for a variety of changes:

Workers from both Amazon and Instacart want more access to paid sick time off. At this time, it's only available to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or get placed on mandatory self-quarantine.


Amazon workers want their warehouse to be closed for a longer cleaning, with guaranteed pay.


Instacart's grocery delivery gig workers are asking for disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer and better pay to offset the risk they are taking.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

These workers deserve the best protection and better pay!

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All Newtown Park Facilities Closed 'Until Further Notice'

All Newtown Park Facilities Closed 'Until Further Notice' | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

All Newtown Township park facilities will be closed as of 4 p.m. Friday, and will remain closed until further notice, officials announced. The closure is due to the coronavirus crisis, which has caused all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania to shut their doors.

All park facilities, including restrooms, snack stands, basketball courts, and skate parks will be closed until further notice, the township announced.

"All playgrounds and ballfields should be avoided and used discretionarily in accordance with the recommendations of the Governor's Office, and the CDC," the township said.

Organized sports are prohibited from utilizing the fields until further notice.

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8 Bucks County Towns Surrounding Newtown Have Coronavirus Cases, Total Rises To 18

8 Bucks County Towns Surrounding Newtown Have Coronavirus Cases, Total Rises To 18 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Bucks County has released the towns where there have been positive tests for the novel coronavirus. In total, there are 18 cases in Bucks County as of Friday morning. The state has reported a total of 185 cases as of Thursday and one death.

 

The following towns have had cases, according to information from the county:

 

  1. Buckingham Township
  2. Doylestown Township
  3. Lower Makefield
  4. Northampton
  5. Upper Makefield
  6. Upper Southampton
  7. Warminster
  8. Warrington

 

A student at the Central Bucks School District is among the positive cases.

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Newtown Harvest Lays Off 70, Gift Card Sales To Support Employees

Newtown Harvest Lays Off 70, Gift Card Sales To Support Employees | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar chain, which has a location in Newtown, has laid off 700 employees, including 70 in Newtown. The layoffs were a result of the emerging crisis surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus.

To help employees, restaurant chain owner Dave Magrogan will be diverting 100 percent of the sales from online gift cards to employees. He's hoping to raise a minimum $100,000 in gift card sales to help employees pay their rent and other bills. So far, he's raised $16,000 in gift card sales, said Mike Prince of Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations, which represents Harvest.

There are nine Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar locations, including in Newtown, North Wales, and Radnor. Prince said the 700 layoffs are hopefully temporary.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

This and other layoffs in Newtown Township is a blow to the town's tax revenue. Newtown is unique in that the lion share of its revenue sources depend upon “volatile taxes” such as Earned Income Taxes -  a tax for general revenue purposes in the amount of 1% imposed on earned income including salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, incentive payments, fees, tips and other compensation received by residents of Newtown Township and by nonresidents of Newtown Township for work done or services performed or rendered in Newtown Township. This includes 1% of the net profits received from businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of Newtown Township and by nonresidents of Newtown Township. See https://johnmacknewtown.info/glossary.html#EIT

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Residents Urge Newtown Supervisors to Abide by Spirit of Conservation Management Zoning Ordinance

Residents Urge Newtown Supervisors to Abide by Spirit of Conservation Management Zoning Ordinance | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

At the March 11, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors meeting, a Toll Brothers conditional use application to build a “cluster” of 45 homes in the Conservation Management district located at Twining Bridge Road and Route 413 was brought up for a possible decision by the Board.

 

Several members of the public, including Joyann Charlton, Eric Pomerantz, and Steve Pfanstiel, spoke up and sent email in opposition to the plan.

 

View, listen to, and read their comments here: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/resvtoll.html 

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related content:

 

  • “Newtown Supervisors Declined to Vote on Toll Brothers New Plan for 45 Homes to Be Built in Conservation Management District Along Twining Bridge Road. What's Next?”; http://sco.lt/5jMeUy
  • “Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with 45 Homes and Connection to Public Sewer”; http://sco.lt/4uDS6a
  • [Video] “Residents Dissatisfied with Notice by Toll Bros of Conditional Use Hearing”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/tolldissat.html
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Summary of February 26, 2020, Newtown Supervisors Meeting: Toll Bros Hearing, Bomba & Parking, Love is Love Day Resolution Shot Down, More...

Summary of February 26, 2020, Newtown Supervisors Meeting: Toll Bros Hearing, Bomba & Parking, Love is Love Day Resolution Shot Down, More... | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The following is a brief summary of the February 26, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting based upon the official minutes of that meeting.

 

Community

Love is Love Day Resolution: Mr. Mack explained the Love is Love Resolution which Senator Santarsiero brought to the floor of the Senate to recognize February 15 as Love is Love day for LGBTQ youth. The motion failed 3-2 with Messrs. Calabro, Davis and Oxley voting nay. View the video to hear comments from several residents who spoke in favor of the resolution. [UPDATE: A revised version was passed at the March 11, 2020, meeting.]

 

More…

 

Development

Supervisors approved Bomba the conditional use application of Tacos and Rum, an approximate 3,990 square foot tenant space at 2930 S. Eagle Road in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center.

 

Supervisors failed to vote on a Toll Bros conditional use application to a 45-house development in the Conservation District located at 435 Durham and 107 Twining Bridge Roads.

 

Reports of Committees, Boards and Commissions

Planning Commission: JMZO Amendment – Mary Stover from CKS engineering attended the meeting to provide updates and answer questions. She reported Wrightstown and Upper Makefield received the ordinance however they have not officially reviewed it.

 

More…

 

Public Safety

Mr. Lewis stated the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant was coming up and both he and Chief Forsyth recommend the Township move forward and apply for the grant which will provide the Township with additional funds for hiring more staff. He said the Township is looking to expand the department to 7 days/12 hours this grant would greatly help that effort.

 

More…

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Newtown Businesses Reeling Amid Coronavirus Closures. Kudos to Solstice Restaurant for Being Pro-Active & Supporting It's Staff with Paid Leave for 2 Weeks!

Newtown Businesses Reeling Amid Coronavirus Closures. Kudos to Solstice Restaurant for Being Pro-Active & Supporting It's Staff with Paid Leave for 2 Weeks! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A restaurant that had just opened last week in the Village at Newtown has shut their doors. Solstice announced the temporary closure before the governor's order.

The restaurant, which had opened March 9, shut after dinner service on Sunday.

"The health and safety of our staff and community have been, and will always be, our first priority," restaurant partner Rick Darby said. "We believe actions speak louder than words and are doing everything that we can as a small business to support our staff during this uncertain time."

Solstice is offering two-weeks paid leave for all staff. All remaining food will be cooked, boxed and shared with staff to bring home to their families.

"COVID-19's impact is an evolving situation with many unknowns, but one thing we are sure of, is that supporting our staff and community can only make us stronger in the end," said Darby.

The Green Parrot, which this time of year would usually be packed with residents congregating for the annual St. Patrick's Day festival, has closed.

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Bucks Co. State Parks To Close For 2 Weeks Due To Coronavirus; All Parks Events Canceled Until April 30

Bucks Co. State Parks To Close For 2 Weeks Due To Coronavirus; All Parks Events Canceled Until April 30 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Six Pennsylvania state parks in Bucks County are closed for 14 days effective Sunday, March 15, to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, stat officials announced.

 

The closed parks include Delaware Canal, Neshaminy, Nockamixon, Ralph Stover, Tyler, and Washington Crossing.

 

State parks in Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties are also closed.

 

"These parks are being closed because they are in counties where there are the most numbers of presumptive and confirmed cases in the state. The closures further encourage people to stay home and to not travel to these areas," the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said.

 

"We advise people not to visit state parks that are closed; however, trails and roads that pass through parks and forestlands remain open, especially as some are transportation routes or are in neighborhoods that people access them from."

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Middletown To Stream Board Of Supervisors Meeting On Facebook

Middletown To Stream Board Of Supervisors Meeting On Facebook | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In a first for Levittown-area towns, the Middletown Board of Supervisors will stream their upcoming public meeting live to Facebook. 

The upcoming Monday meeting will be broadcast in real-time on the township’s Facebook page. The 7 p.m. meeting at the Middletown Township Municipal Center at 3 Municipal Way will still take place and is open to the public.

“Viewers are encouraged to post comments to the video during the meeting. Staff will be prepared to feed questions to the Board of Supervisors during the meeting. Residents are also encouraged to send questions before the meeting they would like addressed to the Township Manager, Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, at steoli@middletownbucks.org,” a statement from the township stated. 

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Newtown Township Supervisors Unanimously Pass Revised Love is Love Resolution

Newtown Township Supervisors Unanimously Pass Revised Love is Love Resolution | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A revised "Love is Love" resolution was passed by unanimous bipartisan 5-0 vote at the March 11, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting. See the resolution at the end of this post.

My first attempt to pass such a similar resolution at the February 26, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting failed by a 3-2 vote (see here). That resolution, which was modeled after one pushed by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero [which failed to reach the floor in Harrisburg], would have established February 15 as “love is love day” in the township. Chairman Phil Calabro joined Board colleagues Kyle Davis and David Oxley in voting no. All three said they felt the document was "exclusionary."

Both resolutions were inspired by the first ever “Love is Love Prom” for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies on February 15, 2020, hosted by the Rainbow Room LGBTQ Youth Organization at the Michener Art Museum.

After discussions with Marlene Pray, the Rainbow Room’s Director & Founder, Sen. Santarsiero, Yardley Borough Council Chair David Bria, Newtown supervisor Dennis Fisher, and others, I created the revised “Love is Love” draft resolution that I hoped would be more palatable to the Board of Supervisors yet still achieve the utlimate gooal of the LGBTQ+ community; i.e., to know that Newtown Township recognizes the amazing prom and supports and values LGBTQ + minority youth in our community. It worked!

 

More...

johnmacknewtown's insight:
IMHO, the public comments gave us a rare look into the trials and tribulations of LGBTQ + minority youth in our community. For me, that was a valuable outcome even though the process may have been messy at times.
 

Related Content:

  • “Newtown Township Working on “Love is Love Day” Resolution Modeled After One Sponsored By State Senator Steve Santarsiero”; http://sco.lt/6gb2ae
  • “The Day That Newtown Township Failed to Show Love for LGBTQ+ Youth”; http://sco.lt/4hz8Xw
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Solstice Restaurant Celebrates Opening with a March 9, 2020, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Where's the Beef (i.e., Steak)?

Solstice Restaurant Celebrates Opening with a March 9, 2020, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Where's the Beef (i.e., Steak)? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Solstice of Newtown officially opened its doors on Monday with a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony just before noon and its first public dinner service in the evening.

 

On hand to welcome Bucks County’s newest restaurant were leaders of the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce, State Senator Steve Santarsiero and Newtown Township Supervisors John Mack and Dennis Fisher.

 

The new-build 9,245 square-foot restaurant at the Village at Newtown Shopping Center is offering hyper-seasonal menus using ingredients at their peak from the best available locations.

 

Based on the philosophy of fresh, craveable food, as every seasonal solstice or equinox approaches (ie: the first official day of spring, summer, fall and winter), Solstice will unveil an updated menu including dishes that are reflective of what’s in season. And during each season Solstice will launch an ingredient-specific Peak of Season menu featuring one seasonal ingredient prepared and served in 3-4 different iterations. This special menu will only be available for a limited time while the ingredient is at its height of freshness and seasonality.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

When the Solstice conditional use 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". What I learned since then is that one of the investors or principals had some involvement with Shula’s Restaurants.

 

I spoke to the Brixmor representative he said that Shula-style steaks WILL be on the menu along with the seasonal entries. At the opening, I asked Executive Chef Jason Audette to see the menu. There were three steak dishes on the menu. One was a vegetarian “steak” made from celery root!

 

After the ribbon cutting, I toured the restaurant. It has a very bright atmosphere. But after seeing the Larry David’s “The Ugly Section” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, I opined that perhaps the outdoor seating area was the “The Beautiful People Section.” However, most of the view is traffic whizzing by on S. Eagle Road. The rest of the view is blocked by the new Village at Newtown brick wall sign.

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Zoning Hearing Board Hearing on Newtown Township Wawa Delayed Yet Again! Pushed Back to June 4. Will It Ever Move Forward?

Zoning Hearing Board Hearing on Newtown Township Wawa Delayed Yet Again! Pushed Back to June 4. Will It Ever Move Forward? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A hearing to consider zoning variances needed for a proposed Wawa in Newtown Township has been pushed back to June 4, township officials said.

 

It was originally scheduled for Thursday night’s zoning hearing board meeting but was continued at the request of the applicant, ZHB solicitor Michael Clarke said.

 

He said the extension is technically until June 15 but the matter, as least as of now, is scheduled for the June 4 meeting.

 

Provco Pineville Acquisitions LLC is proposing a 5,585-square-foot Wawa with eight fueling stations (16 pumps) on 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 the ordinance was started, officials have said.

 

Other business to be heard Thursday night, including variances needed for a development of more than 20 townhouses off Route 413 near the municipal complex, had to be postponed until the April 2 meeting because a court reporter who keeps a verbatim record of ZHB meetings failed to show up.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

This is the second time the Wawa hearing has been delayed. Read “Delays Upon Delays Plague Newtown Township Hearings for Wawa and Old Navy”; http://sco.lt/63BeOO

 

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

 

In the end, it's practically a given that Wawa will get all that it is asking for in the new E30 ordinance being drafted by the JZC. For more on that listen here: 

https://johnmacknewtown.info/pcone30.html

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Newtown Supervisors Declined to Vote on Toll Brothers New Plan for 45 Homes to Be Built in Conservation Management District Along Twining Bridge Road. What's Next?

Newtown Supervisors Declined to Vote on Toll Brothers New Plan for 45 Homes to Be Built in Conservation Management District Along Twining Bridge Road. What's Next? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A Toll Brothers proposal to put 45 single-family homes at the corner of Durham Road (Route 413) and Twining Bridge Road is not a big hit with the Newtown Township supervisors or nearby residents.

 

At the end of a lengthy recent conditional use hearing during which several residents expressed concerns with the development, the matter failed to draw a motion from any of the five township supervisors.

 

Toll has an agreement to buy a 158-acre unused portion of the 328-acre All Saints Cemetery from the Philadelphia Archdiocese. It’s zoned conservation management.

 

Gregg Adelman, the local attorney representing Toll Brothers, said the proposed project is less dense than many nearby developments and much less dense than the 170 homes Toll had previously planned for the site.

 

He added only about 36 acres of the land would have houses and the rest would remain open space, with an 88-acre portion of open space being offered to the township if officials wanted it.

 

Only about 7% of the property would end up as impervious surface, much less than the 20% allowed under the applicable ordinance, Adelman said.

 

None of his points seemed to impress nearby residents.

 

“This development would take away all I bought into when I purchased my property and cause safety problems for everyone,” said Joe McAtee, who lives on Twining Bridge Road.

 

McAtee and other residents also objected to the proposed development having both its accesses on Twining Bridge Road and the added traffic they said it would mean for the road.

 

“Twining Bridge Road is already so dangerous,” one woman said. “You can’t walk on that street now without worrying whether you will be killed.”

 

Supervisor John Mack expressed reservations about the proposal.

 

“It seems like a contradiction to have a development like this in a conservation management district,” he said. “Newtown Township is very developed as it is.”

 

But Adelman responded the proposal “achieves the goals and purposes of the CM district as currently zoned.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Most of the February 26, 2020, Board of Supervisors session was devoted to the Toll Bros hearing. Just minutes before the hearing began, supervisors were handed a thick stack of "Exhibits" that included site plans, results of s flood plain study, stormwater management report, transportation impact assessment, review letters from our Township Engineer, etc. It should be no surprise, therefore, that I did not read every document from end to end in that pile of exhibits! It just is not humanly possible.

 

I have to question how Supervisors can ask intelligent questions and make the right decision under such circumstances. In fact, in the end, NO decision was made! Now we have 45 days to deliberate (in closed session, BTW) and make a decision.

 

Related:

  • “Toll Bros Trash Original Plan for 41 "Luxury" Homes That Included a "Community Septic Field." Submits a New Plan with 45 Homes and Connection to Public Sewer”; http://sco.lt/4uDS6a
  • [Video] “Residents Dissatisfied with Notice by Toll Bros of Conditional Use Hearing”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/tolldissat.html
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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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