Newtown Township is now accepting resumes for persons interested in being appointed as a member of the Board of Supervisors to fill a vacancy on the Board. The person appointed will serve as a member of the Board of Supervisors until the reorganization meeting in January, 2022. The appointed member may also choose to run for election in 2021, if desired. Qualified candidates must be 18 years or older and have resided in Newtown Township continuously for at least one year prior to the appointment. NOTE that Supervisors are paid a yearly stipend of $4,125. 

A letter of interest and resume must be received by 4:30 PM on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Interviews will be scheduled at a public meeting during the month of January. Letters of interest and resumes can be mailed to 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, Pennsylvania, 18940, emailed, or faxed to 215-968-5368 – Attention: Olivia Kivenko.

A developer seeking to build a Wawa with gas pumps just off the Newtown Bypass in Newtown Township (read “Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a WaWa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass”; has filed a challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance that governs it and two neighboring townships, claiming it is exclusionary by not providing for a convenience store/gas pumps use.
In a separate but somewhat related action, township supervisors recently approved a curative amendment that seeks to find a zoning area for the use within the jointure area of Newtown Township, Wrightstown and Upper Makefield (view the video here; The jointure is a collaborative body that sets zoning law for the three municipalities.
The curative amendment prevents any other developers from filing a plan for a convenience store with gas pumps in the jointure area for nine months, Newtown Township’s attorney said.
However, it doesn’t “protect” against the Wawa sketch plan/application because that predated the curative amendment and will have to play out along its own track, the attorney explained.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
Although Supervisor Calabro suggested that this is "protecting" Newtown, Township Solicitor Dave Sander said it does not apply to Wawa's substantive legal challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance previously filed by Wawa. Only if that challenge does not succeed will Wawa be subject to the Municipal Cure.   And it appears that Wawa may be interested in building in the other townships that make up the "Jointure". The lawyer representing the developer cryptically stated “If a convenience store/gas station use is ultimately provided for in the jointure, it only needs to be allowed in any one of the three townships to be legally provided for. However, that doesn’t mean that the use will be restricted to a single township."   View video clip from Board of Supervisors discussion and decision regarding this action. 
Bucks County residents will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets next year come tax time.County commissioners approved a $452.6 million budget for 2020 on Wednesday that includes a 1-mill tax increase that equates to a $36.50 hike for residents paying the average tax bill of about $880 a year to support county government operations.The millage increase will bring in about $8 million in revenue to the county.Along with the tax increase, the county will use nearly $7.6 million of its $33.18 million fund balance from this year to fill a near $16 million deficit.
Since this was an election year for commissioners, the budget can be reopened and voted on again by the new board early next year, officials said. For the first time in decades, the Democrats will control county government. They have a transition team in place looking at all aspects of operations and finances now.
The final budget must be adopted by Feb. 15 to allow time for tax bills to go out to county property owners by March 1.
Toll Brothers' proposal for a 41-unit residential development at Rt. 413 and Twining Bridge Road will not be in front of the Newtown Township Planning Commission Tuesday as previously scheduled.Toll Brothers has requested its application for a residential development on a 152-acre parcel be removed from the agenda. The application will likely be heard at the Feb. 4 Planning Commission meeting, Township Manager Micah Lewis said.The application will also be in front of the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors for a conditional use hearing. That hearing, which has been opened and continued by the supervisors, is currently scheduled to resume on Feb. 12.The application seeks permission to construct a 41-unit residential development at the Archdiocese property. Conditional use approval is required because Toll is proposing to use a cluster option when configuring the development.The application includes an onsite wastewater treatment facility.
[This is a summary of a Newtown Patch article. My comments appear in the green "insight'" section at the end.]
A new Wawa is still possible in Newtown, but for the time being, additional gas station-convenience store applications can not be submitted to the township (read "Municipal Cure" Cannot Prevent Developer From Putting a Wawa on the Bypass in Newtown Township;
That's due to an amendment approved by the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors earlier this month. The municipal curative amendment will ensure no further applications for gas station-convenience stores come through until the zoning ordinance can be updated to include a use for such a business.
Currently, the jointure that governs Newtown Township's zoning doesn't have a gas station-convenience store use, which has caused a challenge to the current application filed by Wawa for its proposal off the Newtown Bypass.
During a supervisors meeting on Dec. 11, Newtown Township solicitor David Sander explained that state law mandates municipalities must have zoning for the combined use in its ordinance*. The jointure, which includes Wrightstown and Upper Makefield as well as Newtown Township, does not currently have such a use. [View video clip from Board of Supervisors discussion and decision regarding this action:]
Participating municipalities are working to amend the ordinance to include the use, Sander explained. The process will protect the township, Sander said, noting permitted locations can be established across the jointure — not only in Newtown Township.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
When I questioned the process, Mr. Sander explained the procedure and the relevance, if any, to the Wawa application and the substantive legal challenge to the joint municipal zoning ordinance filed by Provco Pineville Acquisition LLC, the Wawa developer. View his response here.

Regarding “state law mandates municipalities must have zoning for the combined use in its ordinance”… this question is still being actively litigated in PA and at least one township is fighting a similar zoning challenge.   "For example, Plumstead Township BOS appealed a similar type of zoning ruling to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. (Case # 455 CD 2019)," noted resident Mike Horbal in a comment to the article. "That case is currently awaiting a decision as it was just presented to judges on 12/12/2019."   "The outcome of the Plumstead case may carry substantial weight as to whether this new zoning use is truly a required zone that is not provided for in the current joint municipal zoning ordinance (JMZO)," according to Horbal.   "The law firm is the same for both the Plumstead and Newtown developers, and is also the same law firm for the developers of the Arcadia development project in Newtown," said Horbal.
At its most recent board meeting Dec. 11, township supervisors unanimously approved a budget that adds no new taxes in 2020.Newtown’s real estate millage rate is among the lowest in Bucks County. “There continues to be no proposed tax increase to support the general fund or any of the other supporting funds,” said Township Manager Micah Lewis at a November meeting of the supervisors.At a work session hosted in October by the board, Lewis had voiced his concerns over what he saw as decreasing revenues in earned income taxes. [View video: “Thoughts on Newtown Township's Deficit Spending"]
Shortly after the preliminary budget’s unveiling, Board Secretary John Mack proposed the addition of a subscription to Savvy Citizen, a mobile app that alerts users of township announcements.“I like the presentation from Savvy Citizen; I think it’s a good product,” said board Vice Chair Linda Bobrin. “However, I don’t think it’s something we should consider at the moment. We have a lot expenditures coming up including for more police.”When called for a vote at the mid-November board session, the supervisors voted 3-2 against adding a line in the budget for the mobile app.Mack says he’s trying to get sponsors to absorb the cost of the app and that he will ask the board to reconsider Savvy Citizen in discussions set to take place early next year. Supervisors have until Feb. 15 to amend next year’s expenses.
2020 © John Mack
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