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So what's the status of the proposed Old Navy at the Newtown Shopping Center?

So what's the status of the proposed Old Navy at the Newtown Shopping Center? | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Last month, the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) heard an application for the new clothing store, which is proposed to be located in between Acme and Bed Bath & Beyond.

The shopping center sought impervious surface relief, parking relief, and loading berth location relief in its quest to build the 12,500-square-foot store.


The ZHB denied the variance for the impervious surface relief. The other variances for parking and the loading berth were approved.

The impervious surface variance that was denied sought to allow for 61.70 percent impervious surface, where 50 percent is required and 59.65 is currently existing.

Township Manager Micah Lewis said that leaves the applicant with a few options: Resubmit a new application, file an appeal of the denial, or simply do nothing. Lewis said the township has not yet received correspondence from the applicant indicating how they plan to proceed.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

The application voted on by the Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) plans included a 385-square-foot addition to the existing Chick-fil-A restaurant plus a right-turn only lanes leading up to the Chick-fil-A to ease traffic jams.

 

At the July 8, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting prior to the ZHB meeting, I questioned if it was the norm to have two applications in one (Old Navy + Chick-fil-A). Township Solicitor Dave Sander replied it is not unusual when a property is owned by one entity and proposes various improvements to some but not all the property to include all relief requested in one application. I saw the need for Chick-fil-A improvements but had concerns over the Old Navy portion of the plan.

 

Related Content:

  • “Survey Says Newtown Area Residents Oppose Old Navy Box Store”; http://bit.ly/ONChicSurvey
  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote Not to Oppose Zoning Relief for Chick-Fil-A & New Old Navy Store in Newtown Shopping Center, But...”; http://sco.lt/7C16n2
  • “Planning Commission Supports Improvements to Access to Chick-fil-A and Addition of Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center”; http://sco.lt/9LQJSi
  • 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
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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 Attorney Tiffany Thomas-Smith Announces Run For Bucks County Judge Seat

Newtown Attorney Tiffany Thomas-Smith Announces Run For Bucks County Judge Seat | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Tiffany Thomas-Smith is hoping to make history as the first Black female judge to serve on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.

 

The Lower Makefield resident is one of four candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination in the upcoming primary election on May 8.

 

The Newtown attorney received her law degree from Howard Law School in 1996 and has been practicing family and criminal law in the Philadelphia region for more than two decades, first in the Philadelphia Public Defender's Office, then as a clerk for Judge Thomas Smith (no relation) in Mount Hawley, New Jersey and finally as the owner and managing partner of her own outfit, the Thomas Smith Firm, P.C. law firm in Newtown.

 

She uses the term "compassionate justice" to describe the focus of her campaign.

 

"What that means to me is having understanding and empathy for others and intersecting that fair application of the law to reach the best results," she said.

 

As for the court system, Thomas-Smith said she sees room for improvement. For one, there is the issue of diversity.

 

"The reality of it is there's been no African-American woman that has run for this position," Thomas-Smith said. "I think it's time for that, not because of the issue of race but for the recognition of diversity as an educational tool. The more we know about one another the better off we are as a community."

 

Thomas-Smith and three other candidates for the judge seat will outline their platforms and answer questions from the public in a virtual forum hosted by Bucks Voices at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. Click here for more information: http://bit.ly/39VXyod

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Speaking of diversity, have you taken my survey: Do you believe the NT Police Department should hire officers of color?

 

A survey respondent who voted “No” said:
 
“I don’t care what color the police officers are- I would just like the NTPD to hire those officers that are most qualified for the job- if racial profiling is not good why would we use it to screen potential job candidates. Just hire the most qualified person and leave race out of it.
 
A survey respondent who voted “Yes” said:
 
“Absolutely, a police force should represent the community it serves. Each candidate should meet the same requirements. As a veteran I had always supported preferential hiring for those who served. However, through the years I have seen repeated examples of municipalities skimping on background checks relying instead on nepotism and military or other lesser law enforcement related work experience to benefit one candidate over another. Time and again this has proved to be a mistake.”
 
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Take the survey now: https://bit.ly/NTPDdiversitySvy
 
johnmacknewtown's curator insight, January 23, 8:01 AM

Speaking of diversity, have you taken my survey: Do you believe the NT Police Department should hire officers of color?

 

A survey respondent who voted “No” said:

 

“I don’t care what color the police officers are- I would just like the NTPD to hire those officers that are most qualified for the job- if racial profiling is not good why would we use it to screen potential job candidates. Just hire the most qualified person and leave race out of it.

 

A survey respondent who voted “Yes” said:

 

“Absolutely, a police force should represent the community it serves. Each candidate should meet the same requirements. As a veteran I had always supported preferential hiring for those who served. However, through the years I have seen repeated examples of municipalities skimping on background checks relying instead on nepotism and military or other lesser law enforcement related work experience to benefit one candidate over another. Time and again this has proved to be a mistake.”

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Take the survey now: https://bit.ly/NTPDdiversitySvy

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Newtown Borough Constable & Former Council Member John Burke To Run For Mayor

Newtown Borough Constable & Former Council Member John Burke To Run For Mayor | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

A former Newtown Borough councilman has announced he is running for Mayor of Newtown Borough in the upcoming 2021 election.

 

John Burke, 52, who currently serves as a constable for Newtown Borough, announced his candidacy Thursday.

 

Burke was elected to Newtown Borough Council in 2009 and served on the borough's Environmental Advisory Committee. He was elected constable in 2015.

 

As a manager of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Burke said he will bring his experience in the private sector to find solutions to real-world challenges.

 

"My goal as Mayor is simple: bring common sense to our local government and achieve positive results on everyday issues ranging from improving our roads to providing for our police, firefighters and emergency responders, to ensuring our small businesses are able to survive and thrive," he said. "I know we can achieve great successes in our community if we all work as one for our community, and that is the effort I will lead as Mayor."

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FBI Questions Jim Worthington and Other Bucks County Residents Following Attack On Capitol

FBI Questions Jim Worthington and Other Bucks County Residents Following Attack On Capitol | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

[Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, a former FBI special agent, suggested Worthington call an attorney.]

 

Special agents from the FBI have visited multiple Bucks Countians as part of their investigations following last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol

 

Two law enforcement sources and a political insider have confirmed to LevittownNow.com that special agents have visited residents in the county, including in the lower end. A law enforcement source said it was their understanding that the visits were part of due diligence on tips received.

 

Two organized bus trips from Bucks County went down to Washington D.C. last Wednesday for a rally featuring President Donald Trump and allies airing grievances about President-Elect Joe Biden’s win. No one connected to the buses is known to be facing charges and organizers for the one bus convoy said the group went to hear Trump speak at the rally a short distance from the capitol complex.

 

Jim Worthington, the owner of the Newtown Athletic Club and a supporter of Trump who organized the one bus group, said on The Conservative Voice radio program Friday that the FBI visited him Wednesday. He said his girlfriend was at his Bucks County home and put the special agents in touch with Worthington.

 

Worthington, who personally and as a business owner has faced backlash for his support of Trump, said he spoke with the special agents with his attorney present. He said the FBI special agents asked about his whereabouts last Wednesday and he showed them video while describing he was just feet from Trump during his speech at the rally and not at the capitol.

 

The businessman, who runs the People4Trump group, said in a statement last Saturday that the people on his buses did not break the law. He added during the radio interview that he was not on the buses and was in his car headed home while the attack was happening.

 

Worthington noted he knows of another person who was at the rally who was visited by federal agents.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Related Content:

 

  • “1700 Sign Petition Against The NAC For Sending Busloads of Local Citizens to "Save America" Demonstration That Turned Into #CapitolRiot”; http://sco.lt/6JDzv6
  • “Newtown Athletic Club to Remain Open in Defiance of New State COVID-19 Mitigation Orders”; http://sco.lt/5lSB4y
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Resident Challenges Newtown Township Police Chief to Hire Officers of Color

Resident Challenges Newtown Township Police Chief to Hire Officers of Color | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

At the January 13, 2021, Newtown Board of Supervisors Zoom meeting township resident Frank McCarron made a case for increased diversity in the Newtown Police Department (NTPD). Currently, all 29 or so NTPD police officers are white. Mr. McCarron suggested that all 3 officers that are planned to be hired in 2021 should be officers of color.

 

Listen to a 5-minute audio clip from the Zoom meeting that includes Mr. McCarron’s comments and Chief John Hearn's response when asked by Supervisor David Oxley to respond.

 

What do you think? Do you favor the hiring of police officers of color to diversify the racial/ethnic composition of the Newtown Township Police force?

 

TAKE MY SURVEY NOW!

johnmacknewtowns insight:

I think, however, that the argument that the racial makeup of our police force should match the racial makeup of citizens is irrelevant. First, the Chief implied that the all white police force already closely matches the township racial profile. However, the major work of our police force has to do with traffic stops on the Newtown Bypass and Swamp Road, which I bet are largely traveled by people who are NOT Newtown residents.

 

Therefore, I contend that our police force must match more closely the racial and ethnic makeup of those people, not the township. But that makeup can only be known IF the NT Police first follows the lead of the PA State Police.

 

Related Content:

 

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Pa. State Police Resume Collecting Racial, Ethnic Data During traffic Stops

Pa. State Police Resume Collecting Racial, Ethnic Data During traffic Stops | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

The commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police said Tuesday that his department began collecting data during traffic stops at the beginning of the year as part of a program to identify any racial or ethnic disparities and recommend remedies if they do exist.

 

“Troopers take an oath to enforce the law ‘without any consideration of class, color, creed or condition,” and this data collection effort is one way to show the public we are upholding that oath,” Col. Robert Evanchick said in a statement.

 

“Regular and ongoing analysis by a neutral third party is a critical part of this program that emphasizes our department’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement,” he said.

 

Evanchick said State Police will collect data for 30 fields, including driver and passenger ages, gender, race and ethnicity, as well the length of the stop, any searches and search results.

 

Data will be analyzed by University of Cincinnati researchers to determine patterns of racial or ethnic disparity any recommendations for changes to State Police policies or training, Evanchick said.

 

A final statistical analysis report will be released in April 2022, police said.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

One topic related to this that of of interest to me is how to achieve more diversity in the hiring of Newtown police officers. This topic was brought up by Mr. McCarron, a Newtown Resident, at theJanuary 13, 2021,  BOS meeting. It is also a topic of interest to the Newtown Human Relations Commission. Karen Downer, the President of the Bucks County NAACP will be a speaker at the Wednesday, February 17th (7pm) Zoom meeting of the NT HRC.  She will talk with residents about the NAACP's efforts to Reimage Public Safety.  "I think we are all on the same  page about the problem with racism in Bucks County, and in the police force in particular," said Aamir Nayheem, Chair of the NT HRC.

It is VERY timely to discuss this. See this article: "Pa. State Police Resume Collecting Racial, Ethnic Data During traffic Stops"; http://sco.lt/8IzfnM 

 

NT HRC members alerted me to another article on this topic: "Highway ‘stop-and-frisk’: How Pennsylvania state troopers conduct illegal traffic searches",

The argument that the racial makeup of OUR police force should match the racial makeup of Newtown citizens is not citing what's more relevant: that the major work of OUR police force has to do with traffic stops on the Newtown Bypass and Swamp Road, which I bet are largely traveled by people who are NOT Newtown residents. Therefore, I contend that our police force must match more closely the racial and ethnic makeup of those people, not the township people. But that makeup can only be known IF the NT Police first follows the lead of the PA State Police and collect racial and ethnic data of subjects at ALL traffic stops, including those that do not result in a citation.

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, January 14, 12:34 PM

At this time, the Newtown Police Department does not collect such information for all traffic stops unless it results in an arrest.


In 2020, the Newtown Police Department (NTPD) made 54 traffic stops due to vehicle "Code Violations." About one-third of  these stops involved involved marijuana and nearly half resulted in DUI charges.

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Newtown Harvest Offering Heated Outdoor Igloos/Pods, Whatever! But Is It Safe?

Newtown Harvest Offering Heated Outdoor Igloos/Pods, Whatever! But Is It Safe? | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Restaurant owners have had to get creative during the COVID-19 pandemic, building heated, outdoor tents, patios and igloos to keep customers warm but safe during their dining experience.

 

As owner of the Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar chain of restaurants, Dave Magrogan is no stranger to the ups and downs of the industry. The restauranteur laid off hundreds of workers in March following the COVID-19 shutdown.

 

When restrictions were lifted in June, the Newtown location began offering outdoor dining, but cold weather has proved to another hurdle for most restaurants.

 

While the cold weather may deter most people from eating outside, Magrogan is hoping to draw in more customers by deploying heated outdoor igloos at his area restaurants, including 12 pods at his restaurant in the Village at Newtown.

 

Most of the pods can comfortably seat six to eight guests, he said.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

I am concerned about the health and wellbeing of restaurant businesses in Newtown, but of bigger concern to me as an elected official is the health and wellbeing of residents, which I swore to protect. So I have to ask: Is this safe? I’ve been wondering how this is different from eating indoors.

 

Seating 8 people – even from the same family or close friends – would invite the spread of the virus considering that as many as 1 in 3 people may be infected and the new, more highly infectious variant of the virus that is currently causing problems. Every night on the nightly news, we have seen too many cases of family deaths due to even small gatherings.

 

Related Content:

 

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Resident Opinion: Arcadia's Proposed Newtown Development Has "Ridiculous" Access

Resident Opinion: Arcadia's Proposed Newtown Development Has "Ridiculous" Access | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

[The following is the opinion ofAlison T. Kelley]

 

Arcadia is the name of a proposed development of a large, wooded acreage behind Shir Am Synagogue and spreading to Route 532 and the bypass of about 60-plus single homes.  

After several attempts through the years, this development has been rejected because of a difficult or impossible access road onto Route 532 with a ridiculous U-turn. It seems the only access now that is proposed is somehow through the Shir Ami property onto Route 332, which is far from ideal on many levels.  

The only valid objection to developing the acreage seems to be access. Never mind the many animals — deer, foxes, owls, etc. — that make their home there. And, never mind the trees that are helpful for purifying the air and cooling the environment in summer.  

Also, water and sewer are issues. I look out my back and see lovely woods, deer and occasionally other wildlife.  


johnmacknewtowns insight:

Related Content:

 

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Newtown BOS Rejects Chick-fil-A/Old Navy Settlement Agreement

Newtown BOS Rejects Chick-fil-A/Old Navy Settlement Agreement | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

At it's January 13, 2021, public meeting, the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted 3-2 against agreeing to a settlement with Newtown Bucks Association (NBA) regarding Chick-fil-A and a "retail pad" in the Newtown Shopping Center.

NBA intended to make certain traffic/circulation improvements as related to the existing Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Shopping Center, together with a proposed pad that would be used for additional retail space (i.e., proposed Old Navy site).

The agreement would have granted several variances, including allowing additional impervious surface for the retail space, which was the main reason the Zoning Hearing Board originally voted against the application (read "So what's the status of the proposed Old Navy at the Newtown Shopping Center?").The BOS, however, seemed mostly concerned about the plan to "improve" traffic related to Chick-fil-A.

 

Listen to the discussion leading up to the decision.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

The applicant, IMHO, could have avoided this by submitting 2 separate applications. The ZHB would have approved the Chick-fil-A application and denied the "retail pad" application and this settlement would never have come before the BOS to vote on - always an unknown factor.

 

Related Content:

 

  • “Survey Says Newtown Area Residents Oppose Old Navy Box Store”; http://bit.ly/ONChicSurvey
  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote Not to Oppose Zoning Relief for Chick-Fil-A & New Old Navy Store in Newtown Shopping Center, But...”; http://sco.lt/7C16n2
  • “Planning Commission Supports Improvements to Access to Chick-fil-A and Addition of Old Navy to Newtown Shopping Center”; http://sco.lt/9LQJSi
  • 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
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A Review of Major 2020 Decisions and Actions of the Newtown Board of Supervisors

A Review of Major 2020 Decisions and Actions of the Newtown Board of Supervisors | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it
ac·com·plish·ment
/əˈkämpliSHmənt/
 
noun
plural noun: accomplishments
  1. something that has been achieved successfully.
     

The Newtown Supervisors made some notable if not popular accomplishments/decisions in 2020. 

 

Regardless of whether or not these accomplishments are "popular," I am proud to have served the community to the best of my ability during difficult times that required difficult decisions to be made to secure the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the township. I am sure my fellow BOS members feel the same. With your support and input, I look forward to a prosperous and safe 2021 New Year.

 

More…

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Here are a few of these decisions, which I consider "accomplishments." 

 

  • Appointed First Person of Color as Supervisor
  • Held the First Ever Police Town Hall Meeting
  • Rejected Arcadia III Development Settlement
  • Passed “Love is Love” Resolution
  • Approved a “Contentious” 2021 Budget

 

Let me know if you agree or disagree with these and other decisions: TAKE MY SURVEY.

 

Your responses are confidential - no identifiable information will be revealed in any summary of the results of this survey. When you complete the survey, you can see the de-identified results to date.

 

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official Newtown Township Survey. It’s purpose is solely to inform John Mack, a Newtown Supervisor, of residents' opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.

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Newtown Area Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Petrucci Announces Re-election Campaign

Newtown Area Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Petrucci Announces Re-election Campaign | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Magisterial District Judge Michael W. “Mick” Petrucci (07-2-07) has announced his intention to seek re-election to the bench one day after the 5th Anniversary of his original swearing-in. Petrucci is serving in his first term after winning election to fill the seat left vacant by the untimely passing of District Judge Donald Nasshorn.

“I am proud that during my first term I have kept the promises I made five years ago by running a fair and efficient court, putting the safety of our families first, and coming down from the bench to make our local court an active part of our community,” Petrucci said. “I have kept politics out of the courtroom and treated everyone who comes before the bench with the respect and fairness they deserve. It is my intention to build upon this record if I am again blessed to earn the support of local residents.”

During his time on the bench, Petrucci’s court has handled nearly 20,000 docket cases with Petrucci presiding over approximately 5,000 hearings.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Good luck, Mick!

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Penndel Enacts New 1% Earned Income Tax to Boost Borough Revenue

Penndel Enacts New 1% Earned Income Tax to Boost Borough Revenue | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Penndel will start collecting a 1% earned income tax this year after the ordinance allowing the tax was approved by borough council late in 2020.

At the same time, the borough council as part of the $2.6 million 2021 budget cut property taxes three mills, from 30.8 to 27.8 mills. That will be $63 less in annual property taxes for a resident with a property assessed at the borough average of $20,906.

The earned income tax will be assessed to both residents and non-residents at 1% of earned income and net profits, according to a news release from Keystone Collections Group, the company that collects the EIT for municipalities and school districts in Bucks County.

Anyone earning less than $12,000 a year will be exempt from the tax.

"While this tax type is new to Penndel, the majority of residents already pay the local EIT to the community they work in, and now the tax funds will go directly to Penndel," Keystone officials said.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

This is an example of how Newtown's revenue from EIT is subject to decrease when neighboring municipalities - including Penndel to a small degree - institute their own EIT. Although, in this case, the impact is probably minimal given the fact that very few - if any - of the 2,885 residents of Penndel are employed in Newtown. 

 

[I've learned that the estimated 2021 loss of Non-Resident EIT for Newtown do to this about $12,700.]

 

I like the fact that anyone earning less than $12,000 a year will be exempt from the tax. I wonder if Newtown has the same policy. I'll have to ask.

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The Newtown Township Supervisors to Keep Fighting Arcadia, But Solicitor Doesn't Rule Out a Settlement at Some Point

The Newtown Township Supervisors to Keep Fighting Arcadia, But Solicitor Doesn't Rule Out a Settlement at Some Point | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township supervisors will continue to fight a large proposed housing development in court after taking no action on a settlement proposed by the builder, Philadelphia-based Arcadia.

 

The settlement had reduced the size of the project at Buck Road and the Newtown Bypass from a mix of 53 townhomes and 23 single-family dwellings, down to 60 single-family homes. It also offered alternate ideas on access and proposed to do additional landscape buffering and road improvements, among other items.

 

But all five supervisors at a recent virtual meeting said they wanted to take no action, meaning that litigation will continue in Commonwealth Court on the 76-home proposal after Bucks County Court had sided with the developer.

 

"If Arcadia comes back with another settlement proposal I'm sure the supervisors will look at it," township solicitor David Sander said at the meeting. "This doesn't preclude a settlement at some point in the future but as of now, there is no settlement."

 

That was welcome news for nearby residents, including those in the Eagle Ridge development who are a party to the litigation. They fear the development will add to traffic problems in the area and otherwise negatively impact their quality of life.

 

Supervisor Kyle Davis said he couldn't foresee voting in favor of any development on the land. "I don't see any project going in there that would not worsen traffic," he said.

 

But Arcadia representatives said such general objections are not valid legal reasons to deny the development. They contend the 76-home plan is "by right", meaning it complies in all ways with the township's zoning ordinance and requires no variances or waivers, and added they have little doubt Arcadia will prevail in court.

 

"The idea that no development will happen on this site is a fantasy," Arcadia President Jason Duckworth said when reached Wednesday. "We are willing to do anything that is reasonable, but the idea that we'll just go away is not happening."

 

He said he took it as somewhat of an encouraging sign that the supervisors took no action and didn't formally vote the settlement proposal down.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

I believe the BOS was misled regarding the view of Eagle Ridge residents. Supervisors only had the Eagle Ridge HOA board’s agreement to accept the settlement. The HOA never surveyed the residents and consequently many residents never heard about the settlement.

 

One resident - Deanna Bender, in a Dec 21 email to all BOS members - said “What deal was made to Eagle Ridge Board Members privately behind the community’s back to entice them to sign off on jeopardizing the safety of our neighborhood and the peaceful environment we now have?”

 

Ms. Kender via FB Messenger said : “I just read the document that our HOA Board Members signed. It states that they held a special meeting to vote on their decision to approve the Arcadia deal. According to our bylaws, written notice of 15 days must be given to each Member. None of the members of Eagle Ridge received any notice for this special meeting with the exception of the board members.”

 

Read my Notes from the December 22, 2020, BOS Meeting.

 

This developer is DEFINITELY NOT going to stop fighting and will use every tactic to fight the township. Recall that there are two other suits filed against Newtown by this developer regarding two previous PRD plans. These suits have not be dropped and are ongoing in appeal at this point.

 

Related Content:

 

  • “Newtown Township Rejects Settlement Deal With Arcadia”; http://sco.lt/6ukgvA
  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Say "No Means No" When It Comes to Arcadia Green III Planned Residential Development”; http://sco.lt/5qmEfw
  • “Arcadia at Newtown Claims Its 3rd PRD ‘Has Been Deemed Approved’ Because of Failure of Timely Action By Board of Supervisors. Newtown Solicitor Says It's a ‘Frivolous Claim’”; http://sco.lt/8xHSJl
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Green Parrot Fighting Eviction As Coronavirus Cripples Business

Green Parrot Fighting Eviction As Coronavirus Cripples Business | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Last week, business owner Bob Lutz received word from his attorney that his landlord is seeking a judgment in court regarding tens of thousands of dollars in late rent payments.

For Lutz, owner of the Green Parrot Restaurant on Sycamore Street, the notice is just one more obstacle brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has crippled his business for the past nine and a half months.

While he was able to benefit from the Payroll Protection Program, a forgivable loan to help small businesses keep their workers on payroll during the pandemic, it hasn't been enough to make up for steep losses in revenue since mid-March.

Despite attempts to make partial payment arrangements, the landlord is seeking a judgment in court, Lutz said.

"There's a major situation with our landlord that needs to be done to be able to do business long term," Lutz told Patch. "I hope we get there. I don't know if we'll get there, but we're gonna do our damndest."

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Resident Petition to Limit Large Truck Traffic on Stoopville Road

Resident Petition to Limit Large Truck Traffic on Stoopville Road | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Are you concerned about the large truck traffic on Stoopville Road. Did you know that several dangerous accidents have occurred on Stoopville Rd within the past few months, resulting in temporary closure of the road? Did you know that PennDot redesigned Stoopville Road several years ago narrowing it in efforts to reduce the high volume of traffic?

PennDot’s Traffic Reduction Initiatives not only failed, but it resulted in creating a state roadway that is significantly limited in handling the high volume of large truck traffic. This is extremely unsafe! The weight and size of these large trucks had caused tremendous erosion of this roadway’s surfacing, especially along narrow shoulder.

I implore you to stand as a community of residents to support the limitation of large truck traffic on Stoopville Road. Contact the township manager, Micah Lewis, PennDot representative, Don Centofante, and state representative Perry Warren.

 

Find and sign the petition here: http://bit.ly/StoopvilleTruckPetition 

johnmacknewtowns insight:

On November 17, 2020, the Newtown Police tweeted: 

"ROAD CLOSED. Stoopville Road is closed between Durham Road (Route 413) and Eagle Road for a rollover truck accident. Please avoid the area until further notice."

 

On January 13, 2021 the Newtown-Makefield Truck Enforcement Unit conducted a commercial vehicle safety inspection detail on Stoopville Rd in Newtown Twp. Results from the details: 11 trucks stopped and inspected; 3 Trucks out of service; 12 Violations, 10 Warnings; 2 Citations

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, January 5, 7:50 AM

On November 17, 2020, the Newtown Police tweeted: 

"ROAD CLOSED. Stoopville Road is closed between Durham Road (Route 413) and Eagle Road for a rollover truck accident. Please avoid the area until further notice."

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Final Newtown Township 2021 Budget Further Reduces Tax Increase

Final Newtown Township 2021 Budget Further Reduces Tax Increase | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

A final 2021 Newtown Township budget proposes to use one of the largest property tax increases in township history to fund the hiring of an assistant township manager and three new police officers.

 

The $13.8 million spending plan approved 3-2 by the township supervisors hikes property taxes 3.99 mills, or $149 for a resident with a property assessed at the township average of $37,459.

 

And while very high by township standards, the increase is four mills less than the 7.99-mill increase in township Manager Micah Lewis' recommended budget from several weeks ago, and two mills less than the 5.99-mill increase in a preliminary budget advertised in November.

 

"We came a long way from the budget our manager presented," supervisor Dennis Fisher said in voting along with John Mack and David Oxley to approve the final budget. Board Chairman Phil Calabro and member Kyle Davis voted no.

 

Davis said the hiring of an assistant township manager in 2021, in particular, was not necessary coming off a year when many residents suffered financially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

"I don't think we're going far enough," to curtail expenses, he said. "I don't like the idea of locking in additional employees and long-term expenses coming off a year like we've had."

 

Several residents who joined the recent virtual meeting where the final budget was approved agreed with Davis.

 

"You haven't done anything on the revenue side except go after the residents for more money," said Ashok Kamath, who along with some other residents sent a letter to township officials with several suggestions for cutting expenses.

 

"The board is tone deaf to what we are saying. None of the expenses have been cut enough. This is a very difficult year."

 

A substantial tax increase was the recommendation of consultant Econsult in its proposed five-year financial plan for the township submitted in September. Officials from the company said the township needs to dramatically increase revenue in order to continue to provide adequate services and avoid using up its savings account, which now stands at about $2 million, in the next two years.

 

Econsult had recommended hiring 10 additional employees in the next five years, including the three police officers, assistant manager, director of zoning and code enforcement and five more paid firefighters. Hiring the zoning and code enforcement director was part of the preliminary budget but was dropped from the final spending plan at the suggestion of supervisor David Oxley.

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Newtown Township Rejects Settlement Deal With Arcadia

Newtown Township Rejects Settlement Deal With Arcadia | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

A three-year legal squabble between Newtown Township and a Philadelphia-based land developer remains unresolved.

 

In a unanimous vote* Tuesday, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors decided not to enter into a settlement agreement from Arcadia Land Company, which is looking to construct 76 residential units (23 single-family detached houses and 53 single-family attached homes) on 22 acres off the Newtown Bypass at Buck Road. The proposal rejected by the board would have reduced the number of residential units to 60 while adding traffic improvements to Buck Road at Arcadia's expense.

 

[* Actually the motion to vote on the settlement of the Arcadia III "Mandamus" case was never made and thus no vote was taken. In any case, the result is that the settlement was NOT approved by the Board.]

 

[As reported by Bucks Local News:  "As part of the settlement, Arcadia, at its expense, would have attempted to pursue access directly onto the Newtown Bypass with a right out only. If that was unsuccessful it would have pursued a left out of the service road onto northbound Buck Road. And if that didn’t work, it would have pursued a proposed u-turn at Mill Pond and Buck to get traffic to the bypass from the development.

 

"There were also provisions in the agreement for set backs and landscape buffering between the development and neighboring Eagle Ridge and Newtown Crossing that are not required by ordinance. And it would have included improvements to Buck Road at the Bypass and at Buck and Mill Pond.

 

"The agreement would have also ended all litigation associated with the development."]

 

Arcadia has submitted three different land development plans for the land parcel since December 2017, all of which have been rejected by supervisors, who have cited overdevelopment and traffic concerns.

 

In an appeal filed on Dec. 21, 2019, Arcadia attorney John VanLuvanee argued his client did not receive a signed copy of township supervisors' rejection of the project and therefore the plans are "deemed approved" by the township.

 

[Read “Arcadia at Newtown Claims Its 3rd PRD "Has Been Deemed Approved" Because of Failure of Timely Action By Board of Supervisors. Newtown Solicitor Says It's a Frivolous Claim”;http://sco.lt/8xHSJl].

 

 

During last Tuesday's board meeting, several residents thanked supervisors for rejecting the most recent settlement agreement.

 

"On behalf of the 630 residents in our development, we appreciate the unanimous decision to not take action on the settlement agreement," Peter Nacona, Vice President for the Newtown Crossing Community Association, told supervisors. "We acknowledge and recognize that this is an available piece of property and there are going to be developers, but we also are very interested in the safety of our community."

 

When asked what Arcadia could have done to sweeten the deal, Supervisor Kyle Davis struggled to come up with an answer.

 

"I don't see a project going in there that won't be detrimental to traffic," Davis said. "I don't see any project there that makes sense."

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Read “Arcadia at Newtown Claims Its 3rd PRD "Has Been Deemed Approved" Because of Failure of Timely Action By Board of Supervisors. Newtown Solicitor Says It's a Frivolous Claim”; http://sco.lt/8xHSJl

 

Actually, it was the Township Solicitor - David Sander of Kilkenny Law - who failed to officially file the Board's decision before the deadline.

 

Fees paid to date to KILKENNY LAW for ARCADIA III MANDAMUS ACTION: 

 

04/17/20: $154.00

05/08/20: $196.00

06/19/20: $168.00

07/17/20: $1,386.00

12/22/20: $2,351.25

TOTAL for 2020 = $4,255.25

 

02/22/19: $189.00

03/22/19: $4,018.19

04/18/19: $1,059.75

05/17/19: $216.00

07/08/19: $148.50

09/20/19: $216.00

08/09/19: $378.00

10/18/19: $2,227.50

TOTAL for 2019 = $8,452.94

 

GRAND TOTAL = $8,452.94 + $4,255.25 = $12,708.19

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1700 Sign Petition Against The NAC For Sending Busloads of Local Citizens to "Save America" Demonstration That Turned Into #CapitolRiot

1700 Sign Petition Against The NAC For Sending Busloads of Local Citizens to "Save America" Demonstration That Turned Into #CapitolRiot | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

More than 1,700 people have signed an online petition calling on numerous groups and community organizations in Bucks County to end their partnerships with Newtown Athletic Club after the gym's owner organized a bus trip to Washington as part of a planned protest against the certification of Joe Biden as the nation's next president.

 

Jim Worthington, Newtown Athletic Club owner and founder of the People 4 Trump organization, has faced criticism after he organized a bus trip of nearly 200 people to the nation's capital for a rally hosted by President Trump. Some attendees of that rally later stormed the capital and caused a riot where five people died.

 

On Saturday, Worthington issued a statement to clarify that none of those individuals took part in the storming of the Capitol building.

 

The petition was launched Saturday by Greg Bullough, of Doylestown, who said schools, businesses and medical facilities should distance themselves from the athletic club.

 

"The owner of Newtown Athletic Club, a notorious supporter of Donald Trump, organized three busloads of seditionists to converge on the US Capitol on January 6th," Bullough posted on Facebook. "His club's web page has a large list of 'community partners' including businesses, medical providers, our community college, and private schools, all of whom he likes to be associated with."

 

The petition: https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/end-partnerships-with-newtown-athletic-club

johnmacknewtowns insight:

The petition asks the following organizations listed on NAC's "Community Partner's" page to end their partnership and association with this business:

 

  • AUDI of Warrington
  • Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
  • Boot and Shoot
  • Bucks County Community College
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • First Priority Bank
  • Harvest Seasonal Grill
  • Holy Ghost Prep
  • Jammer Doors
  • Kel Tren Water Care
  • Langs Ski and Scuba
  • New York Life
  • Newtown Internal Medicine
  • Newtown Vet Hospital
  • Off to Neverland Travel
  • Peruzzi Auto Group
  • Premier Home Renovations
  • Quaker School at Horsham
  • Rejuvenation Medical Aesthetics
  • ReMax
  • Renewal by Anderson
  • Rothman Orthopaedics
  • School of Rock Newtown
  • Team Toyota
  • Thomas Edison Electric
  • Total Eye Care
  • Villa Victoria Academy
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Newtown Township 2021 Budget Includes One of the Lowest Municipal Property Tax Rates in the Region

Newtown Township 2021 Budget Includes One of the Lowest Municipal Property Tax Rates in the Region | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

In a split vote Tuesday, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors approved a 2021 budget that nearly doubles the property tax rate.

 

The $13.8 million spending plan increases the township's millage rate from 4.5 mills to 8.49 mills, an 89 percent jump. [Calculate your tax here.

 

Supervisor David Oxley proposed several last-minute expense cuts to the budget — eliminating a new Director of Zoning & Code Enforcement position that was slated for next year, nixing a $20,000 study for a new police building, reducing new police vehicles from three to two and reducing the road program by $50,000 — that were ultimately approved as part of the spending plan.

 

Supervisors Oxley, John Mack and Dennis Fisher voted in favor of the budget. Supervisors Philip Calabro and Kyle Davis voted against the measure, with Calabro noting that Oxley's revisions did not impact the tax rate increase*.

 

[Mr. Oxley said "Listening to the residents helped us in our deliberations. I love Newtown and we want to preserve Newtown the best way we can. We want to see it flourish and some of the services we provide are important." Listen to all comments here.]

 

The full budget is available for viewing here.

 

Related Content:

johnmacknewtowns insight:

*Despite Mr. Calabro’s assertion, the final budget DOES cut the tax rate proposed by the advertised preliminary budget, which would have raised taxes by 133%. The final approved budget not only reduced the average yearly increase in taxes from $240 to $160 for the average Newtown homeowner, it also ensures that our savings account (aka reserve fund) is sufficient to cover contingencies, which is something no other budget put forward to the Board did.

 

A resolution passed by the BOS previously has set the goal of maintaining a reserve fund of 8-10% of expenditures in order to ensure fiscal stability and maintain the township’s high credit rating.

 

The projected reserve fund for the approved budget is $1,199,998, which is 8.7% of expenditures versus 6.7% in the budget that was originally presented before the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for approval at the December 22, 2020, meeting.

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Newtown Supervisors Approve Final 2021 Budget By a 3-2 Vote

Newtown Supervisors Approve Final 2021 Budget By a 3-2 Vote | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

[Above: A resident comment submitted via John Mack's 

 2021 Budget Cut Survey.]

 

Many Newtown Township residents were understandably upset about the proposed Newtown Township “Preliminary 2021 Budget,” which includes a 133% increase in municipal property tax. For the average Newtown Twp homeowner that translates to an ADDITIONAL $200 to $300 per year paid in taxes to the township.

 

That version of the budget included many new and increased expenditures for personnel, services, and capital improvements.

 

John Mack’s Budget Cut Survey* asked respondents to select items in the preliminary budget they would be willing to cut in order to reduce or eliminate the proposed tax increase. The list of items to cut includes many – but NOT all – of the expenditures in the originally proposed preliminary budget. A total of 128 responses were collected.

 

The final budget was approved at the 22 December 2020 BOS meeting by a 3-2 vote. Voting for this budget were Dennis Fisher, John Mack, and David Oxley. Voting against were Phil Calabro and Kyle Davis.

 

The following expenditures cuts were made.

 

  • Eliminate hiring of new Director of Zoning & Code Enforcement. 65% of survey respondents chose that as an item to cut. Estimated savings: $40,000
  • Reduce the Road Program by $50,000. Although a high percentage (47%) of survey respondents were happy with cutting $280,000 from the road program. The majority of supervisors felt it was important to continue to pave at least 3-4 miles of roads every year.
  • Eliminate New police building study. This was "no-brainer." 84% of survey respondents chose that as an item to cut. Estimated savings: $20,000
  • Reduce new police vehicles from 3 to 2. 73% of survey respondents chose that as an item to cut. Estimated savings: $56,667

 

TOTAL ESTIMATED SAVINGS: $166,667

 

The final APPROVED budget includes a 3.99 mill increase in Newtown property taxes, which is a decrease of 2 mills from the preliminary budget. That works out to be about $160 per year increase for the average homeowner. The total Newtown property tax is 8.49 mills or about $340 per year. Calculate your tax here.

 

DISCLAIMER: This was not an official Newtown Township Survey. It’s purpose was solely to inform John Mack, a Newtown Supervisor, of residents' opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

*Note: The budget is just a plan for spending. The township will still have the option to spend money on any of the cut items with, however, approval of the Board of Supervisors at a public meeting.

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Newtown Residents Voice Concern Regarding the Preliminary 2021 Budget

Newtown Residents Voice Concern Regarding the Preliminary 2021 Budget | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

More than 40 Newtown Township residents attended the two-and-one-half hour December 9, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) Zoom meeting and many expressed their concerns regarding the increase in taxes and spending proposed by the preliminary 2021 budget. For some, this was the first time they have participated in local government affairs.

Ash Kamath, mentioned a petition signed by over 700 residents and submitted a list of questions about the budget he hoped could be answered. Find the petition and many emails sent to supervisors opposing the tax increase here.

Steve Demeglio, representing the “Newtown Taxpayers' Alliance,” urged supervisors to cut spending. “A 133% increase is the wrong solution while increasing spending,” said Mr. Demeglio. He suggested that costs for responding to false burglar alarms should be paid by homeowners involved. He also asked about the profitability of Police coverage of Wrightstown. “Simply too much spending,” concluded Mr. DeMeglio.

Frank McCarron questioned how the expenditures in the 2021 budget is $14 million when the consultants recommended $13.4 million. “What does that mean for future years,” he asked. He also mentioned the grant application for hiring additional firefighters for weekend coverage. What are we doing in the meantime? He had several recommendations.

Michael Della Rocca noted the concern of previous speakers regarding the “trajectory” the township is on with regard to this budget. Mr. Della Rocca just retired from a career of municipal and state government consulting and over the past year he has worked with over 100 different organizations. “I can’t think of one,” said Mr. Della Rocca, “that is approaching its planning for next year from a baseline of continuity and increased costs.” Specifically he challenged supervisors make some difficult and hard decisions on reductions to be made.


Listen to the comments from these residents and others here...

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Recruitment for PFAS Health Study to Begin This Spring in Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Recruitment for PFAS Health Study to Begin This Spring in Bucks and Montgomery Counties | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Recruitment for a study into the long-term health effects of PFAS exposure in Bucks and Montgomery counties should start this spring.

 

Officials with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are hoping to have 1,000 adults and 300 children exposed to the suspected carcinogen near Warminster, Warrington and Horsham.

 

The chemicals contaminated public and private drinking water wells for decades from firefighting foams used at nearby active and former military bases.

 

The ATSDR, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and researchers from the nonprofit group RTI International, the state Department of Health, Temple University and other groups have been organizing the study over the past several months.

 

Researchers were able to provide more details on eligibility during a Dec. 3 public Zoom meeting announcing the potential expansion of the study area since July.

 

The primary focus will be in residents living near some of the most heavily contaminated wells in the three townships, a population of roughly 32,000 people in 12,000 households.

 

Wells in Bucks and Montgomery counties were among the most contaminated sites tested in the country four years ago, with some having nearly 100 times more than the EPA’s 70 ppt limit.

 

Researchers will directly contact certain residents in those areas once a study site office is established and operational in the spring.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Related Content:

 

  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
  • “Guest Opinion: PFAS Crisis Calls for Nonpartisan Support of Setting Lower Maximum Contamination Levels”; http://sco.lt/4vcjfU
  • “Gov. Wolf Says PA is NOT Going Too Slow to Set Safe Limits for PFAS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/7JCbGy
  • “Why Isn't the Military Cleaning up Firefighting Chemicals That Continue to Contaminate Local Drinking Water Sources?”; http://sco.lt/8JEvvk
  • “Senators From BOTH Parties Press EPA to Develop Enforceable Standards Limiting PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/8NQUwz
  • “U.S. House Launches Bipartisan PFAS Task Force That Promises to Set Formal Drinking Water Standard for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/6JjI4P
johnmacknewtown's curator insight, December 13, 2020 8:03 AM

Related Content:

 

  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
  • “Guest Opinion: PFAS Crisis Calls for Nonpartisan Support of Setting Lower Maximum Contamination Levels”; http://sco.lt/4vcjfU
  • “Gov. Wolf Says PA is NOT Going Too Slow to Set Safe Limits for PFAS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/7JCbGy
  • “Why Isn't the Military Cleaning up Firefighting Chemicals That Continue to Contaminate Local Drinking Water Sources?”; http://sco.lt/8JEvvk
  • “Senators From BOTH Parties Press EPA to Develop Enforceable Standards Limiting PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water”; http://sco.lt/8NQUwz
  • “U.S. House Launches Bipartisan PFAS Task Force That Promises to Set Formal Drinking Water Standard for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/6JjI4P
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Some Good News: Bucks County Plans No Tax Increase for 2021!

Some Good News: Bucks County Plans No Tax Increase for 2021! | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

The Bucks County commissioners do not plan to raise taxes to cover a $12 million deficit in the county budget for 2021,and will use available federal CARES ACT funding to help bridge the gap.

 

But, that infusion of cash must be used this year on allowable pandemic-related expenses. By using the federal money now, it will allow the county to carry over $20 million from its general operating fund balance into the 2021 budget, officials said.

 

The general fund balance will balloon from $30 million to "north of $50 million," county Finance Director David Boscola told the commissioners during a Zoom public hearing on the $467 million budget Wednesday night.

 

County Commissioner Director Diane Ellis-Marseglia said the county wouldn't rule out tax increases in future years, but since so many residents have been economically affected by the pandemic this year, she hoped the taxes could remain at the current rate of 25.450 mills or $25.45 for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

 

County Commissioner Director Diane Ellis-Marseglia said the county wouldn't rule out tax increases in future years, but since so many residents have been economically affected by the pandemic this year, she hoped the taxes could remain at the current rate of 25.450 mills or $25.45 for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

 

"I hope we don't need to do a tax increase, to put this on the shoulders of taxpayers this year, " she said.

 

The county commissioners are expected to adopt the final budget at their next public meeting, 10 a.m. Wednesday. That meeting will be held at the Bucks County administration building in Doylestown, but in-person capacity is limited. The meeting will be live-streamed on the county's Facebook page.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

This is good news because 17% of Newtown residents’ property tax goes to Bucks County. Read How to Calculate Your Yearly Newtown Township Property Tax; https://bit.ly/CalcREtax

 

Meanwhile, At the November 25, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, the supervisors voted 4-1 to advertise (aka, "hang") the preliminary 2021 Newtown Township budget. This was NOT an approval of the proposed budget. The earliest that supervisors can vote to approve the budget is December 22, 2020.

 

Over 400 residents have signed a petition to oppose this budget and there is a call for a Newtown Taxpayers Alliance to oppose this and "any other insanely high township tax increases in the future."

 

Related Content:

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@Newtown_Police Chief Hearn Asks Residents to Report Non-Emergency Issues (fraud complaints, minor property damage, ID theft, lost property, etc.) to 24/7 Non-emergency Line: 215-328-8524

@Newtown_Police Chief Hearn Asks Residents to Report Non-Emergency Issues (fraud complaints, minor property damage, ID theft, lost property, etc.) to 24/7 Non-emergency Line: 215-328-8524 | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

Due to the ongoing situation involving coronavirus/COVID-19, the Newtown Township Police Department is once again asking for the public’s assistance regarding reporting  non-emergency services for the following circumstances: To file non-emergency police reports (fraud complaints, minor property damage, ID theft, lost property, etc.), Please call our 24/7 non-emergency line at 215-328-8524 and ask for an officer to call you or you can email us at policeinfo@twp.newtown.pa.us during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. An officer will contact you back to obtain information and document the incident.

 

We ask that you refrain from visiting the police department if you are sick, have or had a fever or other associated symptoms. We strongly encourage the use of phone and/or email reporting for non-emergency matters. If you have symptoms and are on location at our headquarters, please utilize the “red” phone outside our building and an officer will advise you of proper procedures. Do NOT enter the building! 

 

Also, all fingerprinting request are to be made by phone at 215-579-1000 x220 where an appointment and following of all safety guidelines will be required.

 

We are taking these measures to assure the health and safety of our officers and their ability to continue to provide the highest level of protection for our residents. Thank you for your continued support!

 

John L. Hearn Chief of Police

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, December 3, 2020 7:24 AM

Also note this public notice from Newtown Twp Manager:

 

As of Friday, December 4, 2020, public access to all Township

Administrative Offices will be Closed to the public pending further

direction from the Governor's Office.

 

Attendance to all in-person public meetings, recreation programs, etc. will be limited to the occupancy levels established by the Governor’s Office.

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Newtown Athletic Club to Remain Open in Defiance of New State COVID-19 Mitigation Orders

Newtown Athletic Club to Remain Open in Defiance of New State COVID-19 Mitigation Orders | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

The owner of the Newtown Athletic Club says he plans to stay open despite Gov. Tom Wolf's suspension order on gyms set to take effect Saturday.

 

Jim Worthington, owner of Newtown Athletic Club and Horsham Athletic Club, said in a statement on Facebook that his gyms have had no identified community spread out of more than 200,000 check-ins.

 

"We believe that we are doing more service to our community if we remain available for them to continue their exercise and healthy lifestyle regimes – which in the end, according to the science, are among the best lines of defense against COVID-19," he said.

 

Pennsylvania reported 258 new deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the record of 220 deaths set the day prior.

 

It's not clear how the state plans to enforce the gym closure order. Patch has reached out to state health officials for clarification on potential repercussions.

johnmacknewtowns insight:

Question: How did Mr. Worthington determine that there is no community spread of the virus among his members? Where's the data? 

 

As per the notice posted on the official Newtown Township home page, you can submit a complaint about any business in violation of COVID-19 restrictions to the PA Dept of Health using the online COVID-19 Complaint Form: https://apps.health.pa.gov/covidcomplaint 

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Jointure Comprehensive Plan Survey: Summary of Responses From Newtown Township Residents

Jointure Comprehensive Plan Survey: Summary of Responses From Newtown Township Residents | Newtown Area News | Scoop.it

The Newtown Area Jointure (the joint municipal zoning consortium comprising Newtown Township, Upper Makefield Township, and Wrightstown Township) is in the process of updating the Newtown Area Comprehensive Plan, which was last updated in 2009.

 

See 2009 Newtown Area Joint Comprehensive Plan

The is the Jointure's primary land use policy document that sets goals and objectives, and a vision for future development and growth. The Comprehensive Plan (CompPlan) sets the foundation for land development standards, including subdivision and zoning laws. 

 

The plan is periodically reviewed in order to make sure it reflects the most current needs and views of the community. To review and update the CompPlan, the Joint Zoning Council (JZC) hired the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC).

 

The Jointure would like to hear the views of as many residents as possible and is committed to ensuring the community plays an active role in developing the policies that will help shape the development in the Jointure for the next ten years and beyond. To that end, the BCPC hosted a Citizen Survey.

Survey Summary for Newtwon Residents

At the December 3, 2020, JZC meeting, BCPC Planner Jeremy Stoff reviewed results of the Citizen Survey. The following is a summary of the results focused on Newtown Township responses. The full results - including responses from all three municipalities - will be included in the final updated plan.

 

See the summary here...

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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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