NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> The board of supervisors in a 4-0 vote at the Jan. 22 meeting approved a motion to advertise the township’s extensive road paving project this year.

Voting to seek the bids from area contractors were: Chairman Phil Calabro, along with Supervisors Dennis Fisher, John Mack and Kyle Davis.

The healthy resurfacing schedule will continue on the 71.3 miles of township-owned roads.

Twenty township roads covering roughly 4.13 miles are slated for repaving in 2020 at a cost of about $1,686,194, most of that amount, roughly $1-million, will be taken out in a loan.

Besides the repaving, sidewalks and culverts along the way will also be will be repaired.

Of the township roads and streets that will be repaved, 15 will be completely resurfaced from end-to-end, while five will be partially done.

The 15 roads to be fully repaved are: Chatham Place, Bedford Lane, Hampton Circle, Candlewood Court, Brighton Place, Chesapeake Drive, Canterbury Court, Commonwealth Drive, Fountain Farm Lane, Iris Court, Newtown Gate Drive, Goldenrod Court, Bluebell Court, Sunflower Court and Primrose Court.

The remaining five roads which will only be partially paved are: Jonquil Drive, from Eagle Road to Foxglove Court and Eagle Road to Shamrock Court; Linden Avenue, from Richboro Road to Swamp Road; Swamp Road, from the Newtown Bypass to Sycamore Street; Penn Street, from Pheasant Run to the Newtown Borough border; and Upper Silver Lake Road, from Old Frost Lane to Newtown-Yardley Road.

If there is any money left over from the initial 20-road project, then paving will begin on as many as another 14 township roadways covering as much as 3.85 miles. That resurfacing will be done in descending order from the back-up list.

According to township engineer Leanna Colubriale, the bids are expected to be in by mid-February. After the supervisors award the contracts, paving is anticipated to begin in late April or early May, depending on the weather.

The supervisors also voted 4-0 to advertise bids for a $1-million loan from area banks to finance the project. The remaining money will come from township funds set aside in this year’s budget.

From 2017 through 2020 the road program will have paved 16.53 miles, average a little more than four miles in each of those years.

Toll Brothers Twining Bridge development

Also at the meeting, as expected, the supervisors granted Toll Brothers’ request to reschedule a public hearing on its condition-use application to build 41 high-end luxury homes off of Route 413.

The mandated hearing has originally been scheduled for Jan. 22, but will instead be postponed until the Feb. 12 supervisors’ meeting.

The planning commission is scheduled to consider the project at its Feb. 4 public meeting, and the township Zoning Hearing Board will take up the requested variances at a special meeting scheduled for Jan. 30.

All the meetings are anticipated to be well-attended by neighboring residents opposed to the project.

Toll wants to build the units on 152 acres off of Route 413 (Durham Road) and Twinning Bridge Road adjoining the municipal complex and All Saints Cemetery.

The conditional-use hearing had been originally scheduled for the Dec. 11 supervisors’ meeting, but was had been continued until Jan. 22 at Toll’s request.

The property, which is zoned Conservation Management (CM), borders Durham Road to the east, Twinning Bridge Road to the north and east, Devonshire Meadows to the west, the Newtown Township Municipal Complex to the west and All Saints Cemetery to the south.

However, the current proposed development is considerably reduced from the original plans for the property.

At first, Toll Brothers had wanted to build 173 new high-end homes in a variety of styles on the site which was owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and was envisioned to be part of the cemetery.

In September 2018, the developer had presented a conceptual plan to the supervisors during a regular board meeting.

That proposal would have required the supervisors to amend the CM zoning district to allow the use.

To keep traffic off of Twinning Bridge Road, the original plan had called for building a new 1,200-foot single-access road through the cemetery to connect with Route 413 and Wrights Road.

But in October, Toll had amended its application, as well as downsized the number of proposed homes for the property.

A new plan was submitted to the township which now calls for 41 single-family luxury homes to be built on the parcel.

Under the amended application, two access roads would instead be located on Twinning Bridge Road.

The downsized plan which had originally called for an on-site wastewater treatment facility has been abandoned. The development would instead be connected to the township’s public sewer line.

Township solicitor David Sander speculated this is the reason why Toll Brother had wanted to reschedule the public hearings.

Even if Toll does receive the conditional-use approval, final development plans would still have to go through the regular land use and subdivision process before the planning commission and board of supervisors.

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