Newtown Township
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 1-301 Creation of Commission.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 1]
There is hereby created a Commission known as the "Newtown Township Planning Commission."

§ 1-302 Membership.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 2; as amended by Ord. 51-1971, 7/12/1971, §§ 1, 2; and by Ord. 1984-O-128, 5/5/1984, §§ 1, 2]
1. 
The Commission shall be composed of nine members to be appointed by the Township Supervisors with the power to organize, appoint and operate in accordance with the provisions of the enabling legislation. Board members shall serve for terms of four years or until a member's successor is appointed and qualified, except that the terms of the two new members shall be so fixed that the first new member's term shall expire on July 1, 1987, and the second member's term shall expire on July 1, 1988.
2. 
At least five members of the Commission shall at all times be residents of the Township who shall not be officers or employees thereof. Any member may simultaneously serve on the Regional Zoning Hearing Board.

§ 1-303 Appointment of Officers and General Procedures.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 3]
The Commission shall appoint from its membership a chairman and such other officers as it may deem necessary for the ordinary procedure of its business, and, may adopt by-laws, rules and regulations governing its procedure not inconsistent with the provisions of the ordinances of the Township and the Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It shall keep a record of its resolutions, transactions, findings and determinations, which record shall be a public record.

§ 1-304 Appropriation and Disbursement of Funds.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 4]
Funds appropriated by the Board of Supervisors and budgeted for work of the Commission shall be disbursed by the official disbursing officer of the Township, upon vouchers issued by the Commission and within the budgeted appropriations made.

§ 1-305 Reports and Fiscal Year.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 5]
The Commission shall make full and complete reports to the Supervisors of the Township at such time as may be designated or requested by the Supervisors. The fiscal year of the Commission shall conform to that of the Township.

§ 1-306 Powers and Duties.

[Ord. 17-1956, 6/4/1956, § 6]
Such powers as are now or may hereafter be provided by the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by ordinances of the Township relating to the creation of the Commission and the carrying out of its powers and duties, are hereby vested in the Commission to be exercised by it, subject to any and all restrictions contained in such powers and ordinances.

§ 1-311 Creation and Establishment of Commission.

[Ord. 99-O-4; 4/14/1999, § 1]
1. 
The Council ("Council") of the Borough of Newtown ("Borough") and the Board of Supervisors ("Board") of Newtown Township ("Township") believe that the preservation of historical sites, papers, documents and relics pertaining to the greater Newtown area are of significant value and deem it advisable to cooperate with one another in the creation of a joint advisory board.
2. 
The Council and Board hereby ratify and confirm the creation of a Joint Historic Commission (the "Commission") pursuant to the applicable sections of the Borough Code, Second Class Township Code and other applicable Pennsylvania law, which Joint Historic Commission was originally created by virtue of a resolution adopted by Council on August 14, 1984 and thereafter by the Board on August 20, 1984.

§ 1-312 Purpose.

1. 
The purposes of the Commission include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
To advise the Council and the Board on matters of historical heritage of the Newtown area. "Historic" or "matters of historical heritage" shall mean those items, records, documents, etc., which relate to or have the character of events, culture, persons, places, occurrences, etc., of significance to the development of Newtown Borough or Newtown Township.
B. 
To assist in the discovery and collection of matters and articles relating to the historical heritage of the Newtown area.
C. 
To advise the Council and the Board on the manner and mode of the preservation and display of same in the public interest.
D. 
To perform these advisory functions as the duly constituted body when requested by the Township's Code Enforcement Officer or Borough's Zoning Officer, as the case may be.
E. 
To perform those functions specifically identified in § 318 hereof.

§ 1-313 Membership; Vacancies in Office.

1. 
The Commission shall consist of eight members, four of whom shall be appointed by the Board and four of whom shall be appointed by Council. Each member shall be a person interested in the functions and purposes of the Commission.
2. 
Upon enactment of this Part, the Council and Board shall ratify and confirm the terms of the existing Commission members from the Borough and Township, as applicable, as follows: one member for a term of one year, one member for a term of two years, one member for a term of three years and one member for a term of four years to establish a series of overlapping terms, with one term expiring for the Council's and Board's appointees each year. Thereafter, upon expiration of the term of a member from the Borough or Township, Council or Board, as the case may be, shall appoint a member to serve for no longer than a four-year term so that the terms of the members shall be staggered in such a manner so at least one expires annually from both the Council's and Board's appointees.
3. 
A member may succeed himself or herself. Should a vacancy in the office of any member of the Commission occur before a term has expired, an appointment shall be made by Council or Board, as the case may be, according to law for the unexpired term.

§ 1-314 Residency; Compensation; Attendance; Conflict of Interest.

1. 
All members of the Commission shall be residents of the Borough or the Township and shall serve without compensation other than for such expenses in connection with their duties on said Commission as the Council and Board shall approve in advance. Only appointed members of the Commission shall have the right to cast a vote during proceedings of the Commission.
2. 
The Council and/or Board, as the case may be, may require attendance by Commission members at Council and/or Board meeting, as applicable.
3. 
Any conflict of interest which arises with regard to an application shall be noted by the Commission member experiencing the conflict and said member shall refrain from participating in the consideration and vote of any such application.

§ 1-315 Annual Budget; Appropriations.

1. 
The Commission shall, on or before the first day of September of each year, submit a proposed budget for the following calendar year to Council and Board for approval. Expenditures made on behalf of the Commission during the year shall be itemized in accordance with the Budget and presented as part of the Annual Report due each February 15 under § 319 hereof.
2. 
Council and/or Board, after consultation with the other municipality, may provide monies within the annual budget for operational expenses.
3. 
No consultant or similar professional may be retained by the Commission without the express approval of both the Board and Council.

§ 1-316 Annual Audit.

The Commission shall present its books annually on or before February 15 to the auditors of the Borough and the Township.

§ 1-317 Organization.

1. 
The Commission shall elect from its members, at the annual meeting in January of each year, a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and such other officers as the said Commission may deem necessary, for one-year terms, by a majority vote of the Commission members. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person.
2. 
Written notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed to the Council President and to the Chairperson of the Board and each Commission member by the secretary at least 10 days prior to said meeting. Regular or special meeting(s) shall convene at the call of the chairperson or in such other manners as the members may, by a majority vote, designate.
3. 
The Commission shall keep minutes of every meeting and such minutes, as approved, shall be submitted to the Council and Board. In the event Council and/or Board requests, a Commission member shall appear at a Council or Board meeting, as applicable, and deliver a report on the Commission's activities.

§ 1-318 Functions and Responsibilities.

1. 
The Commission shall undertake and perform the following functions and responsibilities in connection with advising the Council and Board in identifying and preserving historical sites, buildings, papers, documents and relics of historical significance to Newtown Township and Newtown Borough:
A. 
Conduct investigations on historical matters relating to the Borough and Township and report the same for public information.
B. 
Collect data and information on matters of historical heritage to the Borough and the Township and report same to Council and Board.
C. 
At times the Commission may determine, maintain a survey of the historical sites or buildings of significant value to the history of the Borough and the Township.
D. 
Make recommendations for providing suitable plaques or markers to distinguish historical sites and buildings of the Borough and the Township.
E. 
Cooperate with any qualified historical society in the investigations of historical matters relating to the Borough and the Township.
F. 
Recommend to the governing bodies a suitable depository and display of historical papers, documents and relics.
G. 
Cooperate with and encourage the activities of interested citizens to the end that such activities will serve the historical interest of Newtown Borough and Newtown Township.
H. 
Demolition Applications.
(1) 
When requesting by the Zoning Officer in the Borough or Code Enforcement Officer in the Township, the Commission shall assess the historical significance of any structure proposed to be demolished and render a preliminary report regarding same within 21 days of the date the demolition application is made. The preliminary report shall include whether the subject property, building or structure is on or eligible for registration on the National Register of Historic Places and may include whether the subject property, building or structure is on the most recent update of Newtown Borough's or Newtown Township's Historic Resources Survey as applicable.
(2) 
If the property, building or structure is on or eligible for registration on the National Register of Historic Places, the Commission shall assess the subject property, building and/or structure to determine the existence of any historically significant features and shall render a final report on ways the property and/or features may be preserved within 70 days of the date the demolition application is made.

§ 1-319 Reports.

The Joint Historic Commission, by its Chair or by other members, shall make such reports, in addition to the annual report due each February 15, to Council and Board as a majority of the Commission members shall deem advisable.