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January 15, 2013 Minutes

Planning Commission Meeting
January 15, 2013

The monthly meeting of the New Britain Borough Planning Commission was called to order by Chairman David Holewinski.  All commission members were present, except Dr. Paul Land and Mr. John Remmey.   Mr. Joe Cangelosi motioned to approve the minutes of the December 18, 2012 meeting as written; seconded by Mr. Jack Brady.

New Business:

Old Business:
Student Housing Ordinance
Mr. John Brown, Vice President of Student Housing, Delaware Valley College, attended the Planning Commission Meeting to express his concerns regarding New Britain Borough’s Ordinance 340: Student Housing.  Mr. Brown’s objection specifically relates to the reference to “students” in the ordinance which he feels is of a discriminatory nature.  Mr. Tom Yatsky explained the research gathered and solicitor approval before the ordinance was finalized.   Planning Commission members and Mr. Brown share the primary concern of student safety in off-campus housing.  All agreed that future off-campus housing may come in the form of college-purchased property to develop apartment residences.

Black Oak Property
Property located on Industrial Drive was subdivided six years ago leaving an extra 3.5 acres (Lot 2) for future use.  Most of this land is unbuildable wetlands and wooded area.  Mr. Jim Chant is proposing to donate a majority of this property to New Britain Borough; however, additional subdivision would be required for Mr. Chant to retain a portion of the property to place a small building.  The property is adjacent to the Nature Preserve with no direct access.  An easement would be required and has been agreed to by Mr. Chant.  Mr. Mark Hintenlang approximated $4,500 to complete the subdivision; a proposed Borough expense.  Mr. Chant will provide a sketch plan of the property and some wetland delineation work.  Costs for this project will be reviewed again with New Britain Borough Council.  A motion was made by Mr. Joe Cangelosi for New Britain Borough Council to review the donation proposal, with the strong approval of the Planning Commission, as soon as possible, seconded by Dr. Parke.

Matthews Avenue – Traffic Solutions
The Planning Commission received a letter from Mr. Nick Carleton, Carleton, Inc., dated January 11, 2013 regarding New Britain Borough’s intent to temporarily closing access from South Tamenend to Butler Avenue utilizing Matthews Avenue.  Mr. Carleton’s expresses concern to possible congestion at the top of Sand Road and the inconvenience to his business.  Mr. David Holewinski pointed out the new “smart” traffic light at Sand Road addresses any issue of congestion.  The Planning Commission agreed the adjustment to traffic flow since the light has been installed has proven to be successful.  Mr. Carleton will be attending the next New Britain Borough Council meeting at which time Borough Council can address his concerns.

Open Space Plan
All Planning Commission members have reviewed the updated draft of the Open Space Plan.  The purchase of the rear Apple Orchard property is close to being finalized and needs to be added into the Plan.  A motion was made by Dr. Parke to make the revisions/corrections to the Open Space Plan and incorporate the newly to be acquired Apple Orchard property followed by submission to New Britain Borough Council for approval; seconded by Mr. Cangelosi.

Mr. Peter LaMontagne raised the issue of how to spend the balance of monies obtained from grant to purchase the Apple Orchard property.  Discussion ensued regarding the different areas of bike/hike trail where these monies would be beneficial.  Mr. David Holewinski will forward three options to Planning Commission members for discussion at the next Planning Commission meeting.

Dr. Parke motioned to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Cangelosi and the meeting ended at 8:40 PM.