News of Interest to Newtown Area
by johnmacknewtown
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Date Set for Another Hearing on
Wegmans in Lower Makefield. Will
the 2nd Time Be the Charm?
From - September 1, 7:27 AM
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.
Gov. Wolf Says PA is NOT Going
Too Slow to Set Safe Limits for
PFAS in Drinking Water as He
Announces $3.8M to Help PFAS-
contaminated Communities
From - Today, 6:59 AM
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
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
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!
BCCT Editorial: Tohickon Creek
Deserves the Best Protection the
PA DEP Can Offer
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.”
johnmacknewtown's insight:
Related stories:
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
As EPA Launches National PFAS
Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People
“Can’t Wait” for Federal
Government & Launches Its Own
Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for
Perfluorinated Compounds
Detected in Newtown Township's
Water Supply
Friends of Delaware Canal to Hold
Native Plants Presentation on
September 12
From - August 25,
7:38 AM
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
From - August 30,
7:42 AM
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
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
johnmacknewtown's insight:
Related: Video: “Supervisors Pass
Resolution to Support Native
Playa Bowls Planning Newtown
From - September 4, 7:13 AM
Playa Bowls opened its first location five
years ago in the Jersey Shore town of Belmar
by Robert Giuliani and Abby Taylor.The pair
was inspired by surf trips to Panama, Costa
Rica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, California and
Hawaii."Almost every exotic surf town they
visited offered their own unique version of an
acai or pitaya bowl. They decided to recreate
their favorite recipes with their own twist at
home at the Jersey Shore," according to the
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
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
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.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
Learn more about DEP’s study at the
2nd Friends of Fisher & Mack
Fundraiserwhere State Senator, Steve
Santarsiero, State Representative, Perry
Warren, and environmental activist,
Sharon Furlong, will discuss issues
impacting the state of local rivers and
streams and legislation to set safe
standards for PFAS in our drinking
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
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