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On September 9, 2021, Francis Hanney, Senior Manager - Traffic Services Division/ADA Coordinator at PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT) - hosted an online meeting with residents to discuss road improvements to facilitate access and egress to the proposed Arcadia Green development at the intersection of Newtown Bypass and Buck Road.At least 4 …
 
David C. Babbitt, AICP NJPP, President of David C. Babbitt & Associates, LLC, Land Planning Consultants, was hired by Newtown Township to provide expert testimony at Zoning Hearing Board hearings opposing variances to zoning requested by Wawa.In this 15-minute snippet, Mr. Babbitt presents his opinions of Wawa's request for 8 fueling stations where…
 
Newtown Fire Association member and local businessman Andy Rich talks about the celebrated Newtown Beerfest, which will take place on September 18, 2021, at the Stocking Works, 301 S State St, Newtown, PA.Andy emphasizes the major role that the beerfest has played in raising funds for the new $800,000 fire engine. All made possible by contributions…
 
The last Provco/Wawa witness at the July 8, 2021, Newtown Zoning Hearing Board meeting was Michael W. Tantala who argued that the proposed electronic pricing sign was not an “Electronic Message Center” (EMS) as defined in the Newtown Area Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO).Mr. Tantala claimed that the proposed price signs are not an “Electroni…
 
Michael Hammond, a licensed civil engineer in traffic and transportation, and EVP of Traffic Planning and Design, testified at the July 8, 2021, Newtown Zoning Hearing Board public meeting. In his testimony, Mr. Hammond talked about the “Cone of Vision” of drivers on the Bypass & Lower Silver Lake Road in determining the size and placement of signs…
 
At the July 8, 2021, Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) public hearing, Newtown Township attorney David Sander cross-examined Mr. Mike Redel, a Real Estate Project Engineer employed by Wawa, regarding signage. Mr. Redel presented his testimony at the June 3, 2021, ZHB session: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/zhbwawarnd1.htmlMore details: More details: htt…
 
Newtown supervisor John Mack presents a case for switching from strictly in-person official public meetings to hybrid meetings that allow the public the option of attending in person or via an online technology such as Zoom. Mr. Mack made his comments at the June 28, 2021, meeting of the NT Technology & Communications Committee. Two members of the …
 
Brian Miller, Founder & CEO of Unique Design Studios and member of the Newtown Township Technology & Communications Committee (T&CC) gave a short preliminary review of the township's website at the June 28, 2021, T&CC public meeting. In this snippet, Mr. Miller focuses on the importance of performing regular analytics to determine how the website i…
 
At its June 22, 2021, live public meeting, the Newtown Township Finance Committee (FC) continued its discussion of how it can advise the township on budget priorities. A major issue discussed was the fact that the FC cannot see the preliminary budget before September at which time it is too late to change priorities. A case was also made to have de…
 
At its June 22, 2021, live public meeting, the Newtown Township Finance Committee (FC) continued its discussion of possible uses for PEG (Public, Educational, and Governmental) grants from cable companies. Under federal law, PEG Fees may only be used for capital costs associated with PEG access facilities and equipment. One possible use is to upgra…
 
At its June 22, 2021, live public meeting, the Newtown Township Finance Committee (FC) continued its discussion of possible uses for the $2.005 million in American Rescue Plan's COVID-19 Relief Funds the township expects to receive over the next two years. Various suggestions were put forward. In the end, the consensus was that no decision on spend…
 
Wescorp, located at 1 Pheasant Run in Newtown, PA, is planning on a reconstruction project and would like to "upgrade" two signs - one facing Pheasant Run and one facing Penn Street above the entrance (see sketch).In this 30-minute audio clip from the June 15, 2021, Newtown Township Planning Commission (NTPC)meeting, representatives of Wescorp make…
 
In this 17-minute audio clip, Nick Valla, Assistant Middletown Township, PA, Manager, presents an overview of how his township learned to run "hybrid" public meetings that allow the public to participate in person or remotely via Zoom. Mr. Valla presented his comments at a Zoom Webinar presented by Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRP…
 
In this excerpt from the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) June 3, 2021, Wawa hearing, attorney David Sander representing Newtown Township cross examines Provco/Wawa's expert witness Jason Korczak regarding signage. This audio clip also includes testimony on the signage issue by Mr. Mike Redel, a Real Estate Project Engineer employed by W…
 
In this excerpt from the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) June 3, 2021, Wawa hearing, Provco/Wawa attorney John VanLuvanee solicits testimony regarding signage by the Provco/Wawa expert witness Jason Korczak, P.E., Bohler Engineering regarding signage. Provco/Wawa. Provco/Wawa is asking the ZHB to permit two electronic message center sig…
 
In this 10-minute audio snippet, Holly Fishel, Policy & Research Director at PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors), continues the review American Rescue Plan permitted uses. Her comments were made at a May 14, 2021, PSATS "Town Hall" webinar.Ms. Fishel covered more details on “Permitted Uses” including pay for essential wor…
 
At the May 18, 2021, Newtown Planning Commission Zoom meeting, Joseph M. Blackburn, Partner with Wisler Pearlstine, presented an overview of a "conditional" use application by the Chop't Creative Salad Company, LLC. The application is for a 2,500 sf Chop't restaurant to be located at 2910 S. Eagle Road in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center. Thi…
 
In this 12-minute audio snippet, Scott Coburn, General Counsel and Director of Education at PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors), reviews American Rescue Plan category 1 permitted uses at a May 14, 2021, PSATS webinar. Mr. Coburn talks about uses in response to COVID-19 or consequences of economic harm due to COVID-19. Thi…
 
Township Planner Michele Fountain was a guest speaker at the May 4, 2021, Newtown Planning Commission (PC) Zoom meeting. The topic was "LI & OLI Zoning District Land Use." At the end of the presentation PC Chair Allen Fidler led a discussion on the possibility of rezoning these districts - especially the Newtown Business Commons Industrial zone - t…
 
At the May 3, 2021, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, Newtown Supervisor John Mack tries to explain the delay in the Lower Dolington Road Trail project, which had its start back in 2018. It seems there have been problems with the stormwater management permits that required a change in plans - namely the elimination of rain gardens and using an undergr…
 
At the May 3, 2021, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting, Newtown Supervisor John Mack gave an update on the Wawa "special exception" zoning application. Mack discussed the zoning variances requested by Wawa with residents. The Zoning Hearing Board will consider the application at its May 6, 2021, meeting. The Township Solicitor will be there to oppose th…
 
At the April 28, 2021, Newtown Township supervisors meeting, Township Engineer Leanna Colubriale provided another update on the Lower Dolington Road Trail that has been in the works since 2018! I questioned why it is taking so long to get this project started. It seems there have been problems with the stormwater management permits that required a …
 
Newtown Supervisor David Oxley commented on the results of the Derek Chauvin trial at the April 28, 2021, Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Oxley called for more police accountability at the country, state, and local level and he urged all citizens to work together to ensure action, to do better, and to be kinder.…
 
There was an “unofficial” Zoom meeting of the Technology & Communications Committee on Monday, April 26, 2021 (a quorum was not present). However, members of the Planning Commission (PC), Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) and the Human Relations Commission (NTHRC) attended to have an informal discussion of their communication needs. The discussi…
 
At its April 21, 2021, Zoom meeting, the Newtown Planning Commission discussed Provco’s Zoning Hearing Board “Special Exception” application that includes variances to allow a proposed Motor Vehicle Fueling & Convenience Store (i.e., Super Wawa) on the southwest corner of Newtown Bypass & Lower Silver Lake Road in the Newtown Office Research distri…
 
An excerpt from an April 1, 2021, presentation by Evan Stone, Executive Director of the Bucks County Planning Commission, at a Zoom meeting hosted by the Bucks County Consortium. Download the full PDF version of the Powerpoint: http://bit.ly/FOFSpresoעל ידי Mack's Newtown Voice
 
The safety of 5G cellular technology was discussed at the March 22, 2021, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting. A resident asked prior to the meeting: "Is 5G a topic that has been or will be discussed by Newtown Zoning or other? Are 5G emitters/masts allowed to be close to schools?"The discussion focused on the 5G antennas on top of the Newtown Artesian W…
 
On March 11, 2021, I hosted a Zoom to commemorate the passage of Newtown Township's LOVE is LOVE Resolution.The primary goal of this meeting was to discuss ideas on raising awareness of discrimination against and bullying of the LGBTQ+ minority youth in our community. Participants also discussed building ally ship to combat all forms of discriminat…
 
Many angry residents attended the February 24, 2021, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) Meeting to oppose a settlement with the Arcadia developer to build 60 homes at Buck Road and the Bypass.None perhaps were more angry than Eric Scott Gold, a resident of Eagle Ridge whose lawyer advised the HOA to settle its case against Arcadia (see his statemen…
 
At the February 23, 2021, Newtown Township Finance Committee (NTFC) Zoom meeting, there was a lively discussion regarding ideas for revising the Newtown Budget process. A proposal was put forward by the NTFC in December, 2020, but it was not yet seen by the supervisors when this meeting was held. Supervisor John Mack started the discussion, which w…
 
Karen Downer, President of the Bucks County NAACP, was a guest speaker at the February 17, 2021, Newtown Human Relations Commission (NTHRC) Zoom meeting. Ms. Downer spoke about her organization's approach to working with local police departments in Bucks County.על ידי Mack's Newtown Voice
 
Newtown Gate residents have organized a campaign opposing the application of DoggyDayz, LLC, to set up an indoor “K9 Resorts Luxury Pet Hotel” at 8 Pheasant Run (at the intersection with Terry Drive) in the LI (Light Industrial) district of Newtown Township. In this audio clip from the February 16, 2021, meeting of the Newtown Planning Commission, …
 
This is a clip from a discussion at the February 16, 2021, Newtown Board of Supervisors Work Session. Supervisors discussed a Economic Development Committee memo that proposed zoning changes for the LI (Light Industrial) and O-LI (Office-Light Industrial) districts in Newtown. The ultimate goal is to attract new, high-paying businesses to the area.…
 
At the February 3, 2021, Bucks County Commissioners meeting, Evan J. Stone, Executive Director of the Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC), presented a summary of an Alternative Energy Ordinance that BCPC put forward as a model for Bucks County municipalities to use when adopting their own ordinances. Currently, only about 55% of Bucks County mu…
 
Newtown Township resident Frank McCarron made a case for increased diversity among Newtown Township's police officers. Currently, all 29 or so officers are white. Mr. McCarron suggested that all 3 officers that are planned to be hired in 2021 be officers of color.This audio clip from the January 13, 2021, NT Board of Supervisors meeting includes hi…
 
At the January 13, 2021, Board of Supervisors Meeting, former Supervisor, current Bucks County Deputy Chief Information Officer, and resident of Newtown Crossing said that Eagle Ridge HOA had a better chance of winning an appeal against Arcadia III than does Newtown. He and other residents - including Eric Scott Gold - wanted to know if Newtown was…
 
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 …
 
After voting to adopt the 2021 budget at the December 22, 2020, Board of Supervisors meeting, several residents wanted to hear why I voted to approve this budget that included added expenses and a tax increase.I decided to host a Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting on January 11, 2021, to answer that question.This is an audio segment from that meeting wh…
 
At least 40 residents attended the two-and-one-half hour December 9, 2020, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) Zoom meeting and many expressed their opposition to the preliminary 2021 budget. For some, this was the first time they have participated in local government affairs and several “raised” their hands ands made comments! These a just…
 
The Newtown Area Jointure, which comprises Newtown, Wrightstown, and Upper Makefield Townships, is currently updating the 2009 Newtown Area Comprehensive Plan. One chapter of that plan focuses on transportation. This 17-minute audio podcast includes a portion of a presentation made before the November 5, 2020 meeting of the Joint Zoning Council by …
 
Several Newtown Township residents let their feelings about the proposed 2021 budget be known at the October 26, 2020, Meet Mack Monday Zoom meeting. You can find more information about Meet Mack Monday meetings - including summaries of past meetings and when the next meeting is scheduled - here: https://johnmacknewtown.info/meetmack.html…
 
At the October 21, 2020, Zoom meeting of the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission, member Angelic Acevedo defined the difference between the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic.” It was part of the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and included a presentation entitled “Being Latino in the U.S.” by guest speaker Dr. Leticia Ferri, the Bristol-M…
 
Newtown Township Manager Micah Lewis presented his “recommended” 2021 budget to supervisors and the public on October 19, 2020. Mr. Lewis read from an 8-page “synopsis” and supervisors were able to ask questions. Board members, however, had only a few comments or questions to ask regarding the presentation. You can download the PDF version of the s…
 
At the September 15, 2020, Newtown Township Planning Commission Zoom meeting, solicitor Jerry Schenkman offered his appraisal of the final version of the new E30 Use: Combination Gas Station and Convenience Store (e.g., Wawa) in the OR District of Newtown.על ידי Mack's Newtown Voice
 
There have been notable shifts in the land use characteristics of the individual municipalities of the Newtown Area Jointure (Newtown, Wrightstown, Upper Makefield) as well as in the characteristics of the Jointure, as measured against comparable statistics from 2005. Jeremy W. Stoff, a Bucks County Planning Commission Planner, presented highlights…
 
In this 10-minute audio snippet, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) discuss when and under what conditions - via Zoom or live public meeting - the BOS will make its final decision regarding the Toll Bros conditional use application to build a cluster of 45 homes in the Conservation Management zone located at Twining Bridge Road and Route 413. Questions…
 
At the July 22, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors discussed how to insure that as many people as possible are able to participate in the July 23, 2020, live Town Hall meeting with Police Chief John Hearn given the seating limitations imposed by COVID-19 restrictions. Various ideas were put forward including followup meetings i…
 
At the July 15, 2020, Zoom meeting of the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission, several attendees discussed the upcoming Town Hall meeting with Police Chief Hearn. Some expressed concern regarding the limited attendance due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, making sure people of color are not excluded, and concern that the meeting is…
 
Matt Peters - owner and operator of Weed Man USA of Newtown and co-chair of the Newtown Township Economic Development Committee - talks about Earned Income Tax. This podcast features excerpts from a July 10, 2020, Newtown Business Association “Coaches on Couches With Coffee” Facebook Live presentation by Matt. A very informative presentation to whi…
 
At the July 8, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, Township Solicitor Dave Sander attempted to answer John Mack's request to clarify the timeline and next steps for approval of the final version of the E-30 amendment to the Newtown Area Zoning Ordinance that would allow a combination gas station/convenience store use. Mr. Sander argue…
 
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