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Newtown Township Supervisors Discuss Ways To Attract New Business to the Newtown Business Commons District

Newtown Township Supervisors Discuss Ways To Attract New Business to the Newtown Business Commons District | Newtown News of Interest | Scoop.it

At a recent Newtown Township Board of Supervisors meeting, local officials discussed ways to create a more business-friendly environment in the township. [See my notes from that meeting: http://bit.ly/16FebMackNotes]

 

The discussion comes on the heels of the first tax increase for the township in several years, brought on partly by losses in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Supervisors centered much of their discussion on the Light Industrial (LI) and Office-Light Industrial (O-LI) districts.

 

"If you notice the surrounding areas around the township, there's a little more economic development going on and we want to get some of that," Supervisor David Oxley said at the Tuesday board of supervisors' meeting.

 

"This has been a conversation for the past 20 years," Supervisor Phil Calabro said.

 

Supervisors also discussed the challenge of increasing the walkability of the business commons, which is currently lacking in sidewalks. Other options include allowing for more multi-family housing and expanding building heights to allow for more three and four-story buildings.

 

Planning Commission Chair Allen Fidler said the township could benefit from contracting with an economic development expert to identify types of uses that have been successful in neighboring communities "so we don't have to reinvent the wheel."

johnmacknewtown's insight:

As reported in Bucks Local News:

 

The EDC is recommending an expansion of allowable services (dry cleaners, barbers, convenience shopping, etc.), more restaurant uses, expansion of entertainment uses as was granted to Rafters and the Brewery, consideration of an overlay district for multi-family housing and other possible uses that might fit into the Commons that are currently not permitted or are only permitted as special exceptions/variances.

 

Supervisor John Mack said with COVID-19 forcing a restructuring of business across the nation, grant dollars may be available to pay for the county professionals to determine the best amenities and uses.

 

“I think it’s a great idea and making it more attractive is awesome,” said Davis. “I do, however, want to make sure we don’t change the zoning in such a way that will enable it to be bulldozed and a strip mall put in. We need to be careful of how we make those changes.”

 

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Newtown News of Interest
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