Newtown News
Update
Welcome to the May, 2019, issue of
Newtown News Update
. Back issues and subscribing
information can be foundhere. The opinions expressed here are solely the those of John
Mack and do not reflect the opinions of any other person or entity.
Public Comments Save Roberts Ridge
Park
At the May 8, 2019, Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) public
meeting, several residents and watershed experts spoke out against the
establishment of a "meadow" in Roberts Ridge Park as part of the
township's Pollution Reduction Plan.[For more details regarding the plan
and its potential impact on parks, please read the story published in the
Newtown Patch
here.]
The plan calls for such meadows to be established in
"under-utilized" park
areas
. For Roberts Ridge Park, which is located on Lower Dolington Road
and Frost Lane, the meadow was proposed for the area where the Newtown
Parks & Recreation Department hosts its “Super Soccer Stars” educational
program for children and where many local residents fly kites, play frisbee,
and walk their dogs.
When residents discovered that the meadow was already established before
anyone was notified, and before the Township received comments from the
public as required by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP),
many expressed their concern on the Nextdoor discussion boardhere
(membership required). Several residents also showed up at the May 8,
2019, public meeting to make comments before the BOS (see video here).
Comments from the Neshaminy Creek Watershed
Association
Residents speak up at the May 8, 2019, BOS public meeting.
Selected Comments
In an email to the Township, one resident wrote:
"I would like to voice my strong opposition to the conversion of a portion of
Robert Ridge park to meadow. As a resident of Newtown Walk and the
parent of a Goodnoe Elementary student, this park land is very important.
Although it looks like just a grassy field, the kids in our neighborhood play
there and they walk through there on their way to and from school.
Furthermore, it's our main sledding hill in the winter. I fear that taking away
this land would negatively impact them day to day."
The Township listened and agreed to mow the area in the park that was
allowed to go wild - for the time being. Several good ideas were put forward
- such as HOAs implementing their own watershed "meadows" to help the
township meet its DEP MS4 Definition permit requirements without spending
hundreds of thousands of dollars (read more about that here). More
importantly, watershed experts stepped forward to volunteer to help the
Township better design the meadows to prevent invasive plants from taking
over and to apply for grants to plant more trees rather than just let the
grass grow into meadows.
The Township Planner will respond to all comments submitted during the
comment period and re-evaluate how to move forward with modifying the
plan. This will be discussed at the June 12, 2019, BOS meeting,
which will be held at 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, at 7 PM.
Restaurants, Outdoor Seating,
and "Walkability" in Village at
Newtown
At almost every Newtown BOS meeting, Joe Blackburn of Wisler Pearlstine,
LLP, presents another application for an eating place/restaurant in the
Village at Newtown “Shopping” Center currently being renovated by
Brixmor, which owns and manages the center.
Since becoming a Supervisor, I have voted to approve many such
applications, including:
1. Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (read “Supervisors Give Iron Hill
Brewery the Go-ahead”)
2. Turning Point (read "Newtown Business Association Welcomes Top
Cleaners and Turning Point to Town With Ribbon Cuttings")
3. Melt Shop (read “Melt, a Grilled Cheese Store, To Open Newtown”)
4. Chipolte Mexican Grill (read “Summary of February 27, 2019, BOS
Public Meeting”)
5. Drive-thru Starbucks (read “Drive-thru Starbucks is Back on Track!”)
What's With the Outdoor Seating?
It seems that every restaurant wants outdoor seating! At the May 22, 2019,
BOS meeting, I asked Mr. Blackburn, who was representing MOD Pizza, if
this is part of Brixmor's plan to make the area a “Walkable Town Center”
where people can linger for an ice cream, a cup of coffee, or meet friends
and neighbors for a chitchat. Mr. Blackburn describes the Brixmor plan in
this video.
Joe Blackburn explains the concept of "Walkability" at the May 22, 2019,
BOS Meeting.
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