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Board of Supervisors
1/23/2019 7:00 PM

The agenda meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors was held at 6:00 pm.

 

Present were:

Barry Moore

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Adam Selisker

Robert Pellegrino

William Wert

Joseph Pizzo

Kurt Schroeder

Amanda Fuller

Agenda items were reviewed and discussed.

 

The regular business meeting of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

 
Members of the Board present were:

Barry Moore

Eileen Silver

Dr. Kimberly Rose

Frank O’Donnell

Adam Selisker

Others present were:

Robert M. Pellegrino, Township Manager

Kurt Schroeder, Township Engineer

Joseph Pizzo, Township Solicitor

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chairman Moore led the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence in support of military and emergency services personnel. 

 

CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Chairman Moore announced Item I to consider authorization to advertise the Zoning Ordinance Amendment for Bucks County Roses Property, 1235 Buck Road has been removed from tonight's agenda at the applicant's request.  Also, an addition under unfinished business is an appointment to the Building Code Board of Appeals to fill an expired term.

 

Mr. Moore stated that although the Bucks County Roses was pulled from tonight's agenda, the Board felt it is necessary to let the residents know their thoughts on the project and for the residents to provide input should the project be revisited at a later time. Chairman Moore called for Board comment on the Bucks County Roses Property on the proposed zoning amendment.

 

Each Board member took the time to explain the pros and cons of the project.  Each Board member was in full agreement stating they would have voted no for the proposed amendment to change the zoning to allow for townhomes to be built on the property.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATION

Police Service Awards

Chairman Moore and Mr. Selisker called Chief Clark forward to present awards to Township police officers for their outstanding work in 2018.

Chief Clark recognized the following:

  • Detective Stark – Letter of Commendation
  • Officer Leaper – Commendation of Merit
  • Unit Citation for CID and B Platoon- Accepted by Sergeant Heath
  • Officer Wigler, Officer Devaney, and Officer Raza – Heroism Award
  • Officer Leaper with the 2018 Officer of the Year Award, which recognizes an officer who displays the core values of the police department – honesty, integrity, courage, service, dedication, and loyalty.

 

Chief Clark thanked the Board and the community for their continued support.

 

Chairman Moore called for a recess at 7:50 pm and reconvened at 7:58 pm.

 

Employee Service Awards

 

Chairman Moore and Ms. Lynne Tomlinson presented the following 2018 service awards as follows:

 Employee Name                        Department                                Years of Service

Dennis Getty

Custodian Library

5

Sergio Martins                         

         Pu  Public Works

5

Brett Prazych

Public Works

5

Linda Rowan

Library

5

Jean Ladden

Library

20

Megan Geist

Library

5

Robert Armelin

Finance Director

 

10

Patrick Jainnini

Police

10

Ryan Jumper

Police

10

Michael Solomon

Director-Zoning

10

Julio Dieso

Crossing Guard

10

Sheila Jobs

Senior Center

15

Thomas Martin

Police

15

Joan Haegele

Clerk-Police

20

Nancy Opalka

P&R Director

30

Catherine Walls

Public Works

30

Stephen Kingsdorf

Police

35

Charles Rochelle

Code Dept

45

Michael Clark

Chief of Police

45

 

 

 

Chairman Moore congratulated the employees and thanked them for their service.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Vincent Deon, 1250 Spencer Road, updated the Board and the public on the operations of the Tax Office and thanked the Board for the appointment as the new tax collector. He also noted all tax bills will be mailed on March 2, 2019.

Joe Johnson, Grant Drive, commended the Board on listening to the resident’s concerns regarding the Bucks County Roses Property.

Ralph Sarne, 50 Jericho Road, thanked the Board for being open and responsive to the public and not being in favor of the rezoning for the Bucks County Roses property. Mr. Sarne provided a letter to be made part of the minutes and it is labeled as Exhibit 1.

CONSENT ITEMS

The Board meeting minutes of December 11, December 19, 2018, and the reorganization meeting of January 7, 2019, was approved by unanimous consent.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

The accounts payable for January 9, 2019, in the amount of $856,071.20, and January 23, 2019, in the amount of $1,060,656.51, was approved by unanimous consent.

 

PUBLIC HEARING

Consider Ordinance Adopting the 2015 International Fire Code

Chairman Moore opened the hearing at 8:20 pm.

Mr. Selisker stated on October 1, 2018, the State updated from the 2009 International Code Series to the 2015 editions of the code with respect to the Statewide Building Code (UCC). Those updates took effect automatically. The Fire Code, however, is outside the realm of the UCC and therefore new editions need to be updated by ordinance. The primary purpose of this ordinance is for consistency across the editions of the code the Township enforces. The ordinance was advertised in the Advance of Bucks County on January 13, 2019.

A motion was made and seconded (Selisker-Silver) to approve Ordinance #603 adopting the 2015 International Fire Code.

Chairman Moore called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

Motion passed 5-0.

Consider Appointment of Township Engineer for 2019

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-Rose) to appoint the firm of Gilmore & Associates with Kurt Schroeder, and Amanda Fuller assigned as Township Engineer for 2019 on a month to month basis.

Chairman Moore called for Board comment. None was heard.

Motion Passed 5-0.

Consider Appointment of Township Labor Attorney for 2019

A motion was made and seconded (Silver-O’Donnell) to appoint the firm of Offit /Kurman Attorneys at Law with Neil Morris, Esq. assigned as the Township Labor Attorney for 2019 on a month to month basis.

Chairman Moore called for Board Comment. None was heard.

Motion passed 4-1 (with Dr. Rose voting nay).

Consider Appointment to the Building Code Board of Appeals

Mr. Selisker stated Raymond Foisy was interviewed before the Board and is an outstanding candidate for the position.

A motion was made and seconded (Seilsker-Rose) to appoint Raymond Foisy to the Building Code Board of Appeals to fill a term expiring on December 31, 2023.

Chairman Moore called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

Motion Passed 5-0.

NEW BUSINESS

Consideration of Minor Subdivision Plan-Platt Minor Subdivision, 1677 Chinquapin Road

Chairman Moore asked the applicant and Engineer to introduce themselves. Rob Cunningham, of Holmes Cunningham Engineering, LLC introduced himself as the Engineer for the project and introduced Geraldine Platt, the applicant.  Mr. Cunningham briefly summarized the project.

Mr. O’Donnell stated the applicant’s property is located at 1677 Chinquapin Road in the R-2 Zoning District. The parcel is located on the southern side of Chinquapin Road between Witherington Drive and Holland Road. Overall the parcel area is 13.71 acres and the subject property currently contains a single-family dwelling, barn, pond, driveway, raised garden, patio, and pavers.

Mr. O’Donnell explained the applicant proposes to subdivide the property into two lots as follows:

  • Lot 1 will contain 44,421 square feet (1.019 acres).
  • Lot 2 will contain 551,698 square feet (12.665 acres).

The existing single-family detached dwelling is located on Lot 2. The applicant proposes a flag lot for this parcel. Access to the lots will be off of Chinquapin Road. The plan indicates the lots will be served by public sewer and on-lot well systems.

Mr. O’Donnell listed the following six waivers that are being requested by the applicant per their engineer’s letter dated August 14, 2018:

  1. Providing curbing along Chinquapin Road. There is no existing curbing along Chinquapin Road
  2. Providing a sidewalk along Chinquapin Road. There is no existing sidewalk along Chinquapin Road
  3. Providing a driveway width of 20-feet for the existing access to Lot 2. The existing driveway is to remain unchanged.
  4. Providing street trees along Chinquapin Road. There are several existing trees along Chinquapin Road which create the intended streetscape. The majority of these trees are expected to remain.
  5. Providing the location of all 6-inch trees on the property be located since there is a large area of woods on the property. There is no development on the property at this time and due to the limited amount of trees on Lot #1, preservation of 80% of the existing 6-inch trees seem unlikely.
  6. Providing cartway widening of Chinquapin Road to the required minimum cartway of 31 feet. The existing cartway is approximately 20 feet wide along the property frontage which is a narrow property frontage of approximately 113 feet. The speed limit along the road is 25 miles per hour and the property is within a bend in the road with existing dwellings close the edge of the pavement on either side of the road. Maintaining a narrower cartway along this curb provides a traffic calming feature and helps minimize speed.

Mr. O’Donnell announced there could be a possibility of a plan change to include a single driveway to accommodate both properties rather than adding an additional separate driveway. Mr. O’Donnell deferred to Mr. Cunningham to explain.

 

Mr. Cunningham explained this became a discussion item during the planning and zoning stage. A concern regarding site distance on Chinquapin Road was brought forward and noted that if a second driveway was added it could exacerbate the issue. So by providing a shared driveway utilizing the existing driveway and splitting off it would keep the condition the same and not cause any unforeseen traffic issues and would be a safer condition than providing an additional driveway. The only change to the plan would be that the subdivision line as shown would shift slightly.

 

A motion was made and seconded (O’Donnell-Silver) to approve the Platt Subdivision, SLD 18-2 subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated June 26, 2018, the Township Planner’s review letter dated June 20, 2018, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter dated June 29, 2018 dated In addition, it is recommended that the requested waivers per the Applicant’s Engineers letter dated August 14, 2018, be granted and subject to the following conditions:

 

  1. A fee-in-lieu of sidewalks is required for all road frontages where sidewalks are not proposed based upon calculation by the applicant's engineer to be reviewed and approved by the Township engineer. 
  2. A fee-in-lieu of recreation/open space shall be submitted in the amount of $5,850.56 for the proposed lot. 
  3. The applicant shall enter into a land development agreement and escrow agreement in a form acceptable to the Township solicitor and engineer.  This shall include a stormwater management maintenance and operations agreement. 
  4. The applicant is responsible for obtaining any outside approvals that may be necessary, including, but not limited to, DEP, PennDOT, and the Municipal Authority.
  1. All conditions and recommendations incorporated within the motion and minutes are subject to the Township Solicitor’s approval letter.

 

Chairman Moore called for Board and public comment. None was heard.

 

Motion Passed 5-0.

 

Consider Resolution to Authorize an Application to the Department of Community and Economic Development to Construct an All-Inclusive Playground at Municipal Park

 

Dr. Rose stated The Pennsylvania Department of Community Development has indicated that a grant in the amount of $50,000 has been earmarked for the Northampton Township Municipal Park All-Inclusive Playground Project.

 

The proposed improvements include the installation of new play equipment that allows children of all abilities to participate in playground activities.  The existing play structures will remain.  The new pieces of equipment are specially designed to accommodate children who use wheelchairs and other assistive devices.  Other equipment will provide sensory stimulation for children of all abilities but greatly benefit those children on the autism spectrum.

 

In order to accommodate the new equipment, minor demolition to the existing stage area and interior concrete curved wall is necessary.  An expansion of the playground area is also necessary and will be accomplished by expanding the area up to the sidewalk.  The entire playground will be fenced.  The project also includes replacement of the existing surface and the installation of the surface under new equipment.  Additional improvements take into account seating areas and shade structures. 

 

A requirement of the grant program is to have a resolution from the municipal governing body authorizing submission of the grant application and designating a Township official to execute the application and other documents related to any grant award.

 

A motion was made and seconded (Rose-Selisker) to adopt Resolution R-19-4 authorizing the Township Administration to submit an application to the Department of Community and Economic Development for a grant to fund improvements to the Municipal Park playground to create an all-inclusive playground facility.

 

Chairman Moore called for Board comment.

 

Mrs. Silver thanked Senator Tomlinson for his help in getting this $50,000 grant.

 

Motion passed 5-0.

 

 

LIAISON REPORTS

 

Dr. Rose made the following announcements:

  • The Historical Commission has changed their meeting date to the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm and welcomed three new members.
  • Parks and Recreation have many great programs for all ages check out the Park and Recreation website at www.northamptonrec.com for more information.
  • The annual Bunny Hunt will be taking place on April 13, 2019, from 9:30 am until 11:15 am at Welch Elementary.
    • The Senior Center has been closed due to a sprinkler head bursting and causing water damage, they expect to be back in full operation on Monday, January 28, 2018, at 9:00 am. Thanked all the employees for their hard work during this trying time.
    • Richboro Elementary students visited the Senior Center and shared Hot Cocoa, Cookies and the singing of songs. Amazing time had by all.

Mr. O’Donnell made the following announcement:

  • A bike lane and trail study are taking place, more information to come soon.
  • The Library’s first meeting of the year will be Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 pm all interested persons are invited to attend.
  • The Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Authority Building located at the former Fox Chase Bank Building. Mr. Zeuner will be giving a water quality report at the February Meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
  • The Veterans Advisory Commission meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:30 pm. They met on Monday, January 21 and discussed their event plans for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day to be held on Sunday, November 10th,(Bricks are available for sale now) and the Wreath program for First Responders and Veterans at the Union Cemetary to be held in early December.
  • The Government shutdown is impacting the Coast Guard for people who don’t know, the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security and therefore are not getting paid right now. The Association of the United States Army  (AUSA) and the American Legion are taking contributions in the form of gift cards as the Commander of the Coast Guard stated they cannot take cash donations and the gift cards cannot exceed $20 as that is the limit of gifts they are allowed to accept under the law. Some cards are allowed in the amounts of $60 which the Coast Guard will use to set up a food bank.  Mr. O’Donnell stated his contact information is on the website, reach out to him and he will put you in contact with the appropriate people to make a contribution.

 

Mr. Selisker made the following announcements:

  • Look for the Annual Subscription Drive from Tri-Hampton Rescue it will be coming out shortly.
  • Chief Clark asks that people call the Police Department directly, he stated that just because you know someone on the Police Force you should not be contacting them, if it’s an emergency call 911 or for all non-emergencies call 215-357-8700.
  • The Police Department is now working with the Ring Company. There are over 800 subscribers in Northampton, and the Police Department in conjunction with the Ring Company are working together to become part of a network. Northampton will be the first Department in Bucks County to do this.
  • As the liaison to the Northampton Country Club, updates will be provided throughout the year.

 

Mrs. Silver made the following announcements:

  • Provided an update on the Council Rock School District. As part of that update, the resignation of Jerry Grupp was noted.
  • The collection of Christmas Trees took place and noted this happens the third week of January every year.
  • Thanked the Public Works Department for keeping our roads safe

Mr. Moore made the following announcements:

  • A minor issue during the development at Spring Mill. Trees were cut down, a meeting was held with the developer and the issues have been corrected.

SOLICITOR’S REPORT

Mr. Pizzo announced the Board met in executive session immediately prior to tonight’s meeting. Those present for the executive session were the five (5) Township Supervisors, the Township Manager, the Assistant Township Manager, and the Township Solicitor. The matter discussed was the status of the negotiations with one of the Township bargaining units. No official action was taken during that executive session and no official action is required at this evening’s meeting as a result of that executive session.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Lisa Dooley, 172 Wooden Bridge Road, raised concerns over the condition of Buck Road, and the roads in her development, she also questioned the status of the Mill Race Inn redevelopment. Mr. Pellegrino and Mr. Pizzo took turns explaining the matters related to her concerns.

John Luciano, Holland raised concern over the icy conditions of Buck, East Heron, and Wooden Bridge. Mr. Pellegrino stated the matter will be referred to the Township Public Works Department.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

______________________

Frank O’Donnell, Secretary

Government

Helpful & Related Pages

Northampton Township

Administration Building
55 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Phone: (215) 357-6800
Fax: (215) 357-1251

Northampton Township Police
111 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: (215) 357-8700
HQ Business: (215) 322-6111

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