Powered by Scoop.it
Lower Makefield residents will get their chance to voice their support or displeasure for a proposed development that includes a Wegmans grocery store.
A hearing to amend a zoning ordinance to establish a “mixed-used overlay district” around a 36-acre property near Shady Brook Farm will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Pennwood Middle School, 1523 Makefield Road, township officials announced Friday.
On Aug. 12, the planning commission voted to continue the last hearing after hundreds of residents packed the township building with many opposed to the proposal by Shady Brook Investors LP and ELU DeLuca Yardley LLC. The plan they have dubbed Prickett Run at Edgewood calls for stores, apartments and amenities along with the Wegmans.
On the day of the hearing, several attendees received a flier in the mail from an unidentified sender warning that “Lower Makefield is for sale” since the proposed ordinance would “change our zoning for big box retail, apartments, warehouse, stores ... whatever.” [Read “Lower Makefield Residents Jam Hearing to Protest Proposed Ordinance Amendment to Allow Wegmans & Apartments on Stony Hill Road Near Shady Brook Farms”;
During the meeting, several residents said that they are worried that the development would bring even more traffic to the heavily traveled road near the Newtown Bypass. Many said that the township doesn’t have room for more development.
Developers want to amend the current ordinance* to bring the 100,000-square-foot supermarket, 55,000 square feet of retail space and 200 apartments less than than a half mile from Route 332 at the corner of Stony Hill and Township Line roads. Along with the supermarket and retail space, Prickett Run would include a “community gathering area” featuring a clubhouse, courtyard, splash fountain and amphitheater, said Vince DeLuca, of DeLuca Homes.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
* This should be of interest to residents of Newtown Township for several reasons, one of which is that the developer is seeking an ordinance amendment to allow this use in zone that currently does not allow it. Similarly, Newtown Township is grappling with a developer who requested that Newtown amend its OR (Office/Research) zoning ordinance to allow a Wawa combination gas station and convenience store to be built on the Bypass. It’s unclear where that is headed. (read “The Newtown Township Planning Commission Stymies Path Forward for Wawa - For Now” and “What's Next for Ordinance Amendment to Allow Wawa on Newtown Bypass?... It's Complicated!”]   On a lighter note, What’s wrong with the site rendering displayed at the top of this scoop?   The 3 pigeons seen in the lower left are not found here. In 2017, there were 288 rock pigeons, the species of pigeon that's most commonly found in cities, reported to have been seen in Philadelphia. Personally, I have NEVER seen a pigeon in Bucks County and especially not in Lower Makefield or the entire Newtown Township area. And I know what a rock pigeon looks like – I come from NYC!   Obviously, this rendering was made by someone who lives in NYC. If it were made by someone local, those birds would have been Geese. And we all know what Geese leave behind!
Here’s one thing the both Republican and Democratic legislators in Bucks County can agree on: The state ought to give the Tohickon Creek in Upper Bucks County its top rating and highest level of safeguarding.
We’re glad that U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1, state Rep. Todd Polinchock, R-144, state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-12, and state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-143, lent their support to a successful grassroots effort to halt, at least for now, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to downgrade the creek.
The Tohickon Creek is a meandering, 11-mile stream that divides Bedminster and Plumstead townships from Tinicum. In recreational water sports circles, the stream is famous for its twice-yearly whitewater releases. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources opens the Lake Nockamixon Dam, typically on a weekend in March and a weekend in November. The openings create Class 3 and Class 4-designated rapids through Ralph Stover State Park that draw kayakers, whitewater enthusiasts and spectators from near and far.
Earlier this year, the DEP finished a decades-long study of the steam and concluded it should be downgraded from a cold water fishery to a warm water trout fishery. That designation would suggest that the creek’s water is not suitable to support a native trout population and result in decreased environmental safeguards. The DEP reasoned that the creek is too warm to maintain its cold-water status, noting that the temperature only meets the criteria 50% of the time, yet it meets the warm water criteria 80% of the time.
Ullman submitted a guest opinion to our sister paper, The Intelligencer, urging readers “to fight for the Tohickon Creek” while other legislators and environmental groups like the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Tinicum Conservancy spent the summer pushing residents to provide feedback on the DEP’s draft report. Their efforts prompted a flood of 900 public comments denouncing the conclusion.
But the real push that’s underway is to convince the DEP to assign the Tohickon its gold-standard “exceptional value” designation, a campaign that the National Park Service supports. The EV designation would require developers to meet standards and use practices that’d prevent degradation of the waters and wetlands.
Wolf also gave an update on the state’s PFAS Action Team, saying the first results from a statewide water testing program were anticipated to be released this fall. He added the Pennsylvania Department of Health had hired a toxicologist to help study PFAS and that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was finalizing a contract for an outside toxicologist to help develop state drinking water standards for the chemicals.Asked about criticisms the state was moving too slowly to regulate PFAS, Wolf acknowledged that states such as New Jersey are further ahead on regulations but then pushed back.“It’s not going slowly,” Wolf said. ”(New Jersey) started before we did. I think we’re catching up to them. We want to do this right, we want to have this science-based.”

State Sen. Maria Collett, D-12, of Lower Gwynedd, has introduced legislation that would force the creation of state standards for drinking water and hazardous substances (read “PA Senator Maria Collett Introduces Two PFAS Bills - Classifying PFAS as Hazardous Substances & Lowering 'Safe' Limits in Drinking Water to 10 ppt vs EPA's 70 ppt’"). Collett was in Greece on Thursday but released a statement welcoming the money and calling for additional action.“While this is positive news for the pocketbooks of residents in my district, it is a band-aid on a bullethole,” Collett said. “Meaningful progress will not occur in Pennsylvania until we classify these dangerous chemicals as hazardous substances... and set a maximum contaminant level.”
Kelly Sitch, an ecologist with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources — Bureau of Forestry, will share an illustrated program about Pennsylvania’s native plant species at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Old Library by Lake Afton, 46 W. Afton Ave.The free presentation is hosted by the Friends of the Delaware Canal.As well as providing the basics, Sitch will tell how native plants can be threatened, what the commonwealth is doing to manage and protect them, and what the public can do to help conserve them. Sitch will be joined by Kristi Allen, coordinator for the Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Network.The PPCN is a new statewide program that coordinates conservation efforts of native plants by working with communities to promote stewardship.Pennsylvania is home to about 3,000 plant species; two-thirds are considered native because they have adapted to the local environment and can exist without direct or indirect human intervention. The use of native plants in the landscape can save time, money, water and provide vital habitat for birds and other wildlife.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
Playa Bowls came before the Newtown Planning Commission (PC) last night seeking permission for conditional use. Some members of the PC had concerns about the safety of the outside seating area (8 seats) and suggested barriers more esthetically pleasing than concrete bollards.   Others wondered when the heck would people partake of these  bowls especially if the owners plan to open the assembly-line eatery at 8 AM - a tad late for breakfast, which is the most logical time for this "meal alternative."   

The next step for this applicant is to get approval from the Board of Supervisors at its September 11, 2019, public meeting. The consensus of the Planning Commission is that the Board not oppose this application on condition that it include safety measures for the outside seating area.  

Joe Blackburn, the lawyer representing this applicant and Brixmor (the landlord) noted that with this restaurant, the total % of square feet allotted to eating places in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center will be 28%. Recall that the Village received a variance from the Newtown Zoning Hearing Board - without any opposition from the Board of Supervisors at that time - to allow up to 45% of the total square footage to be devoted to eateries. Of course, a lot more square footage has been added since then with all the new buildings. I presume the ZHB were apprised of these additions when they made their decision - I wasn't on the BOS at the time.
2019 © John Mack
If you no longer want to receive emails from us, you can unsubscribe.