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Local Government – Falls Township

Falls Seeks Input from Businesses as Part of County Survey

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Do you own a business in Falls Township? If so, your input is sought as part of a survey of Bucks County business owners.

The Bucks County Commissioners and the Bucks County Planning Commission are seeking more information about local businesses to help shape the upcoming revision of the county’s comprehensive plan.

To help gather data about the county’s vast range of businesses and how they operate, the county recently released a business survey for owners to complete as part of the Bucks 2040 initiative.

The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and will help the Bucks County Planning Commission in updating the 2011 comprehensive plan. It will also help ensure that the needs of the Bucks County business community are incorporated into future discussions of the plan.

Survey input will form a collective vision for Bucks County and set a direction for future Bucks County policies and programs. Bucks 2040 will focus on the quality-of-life issues that are most important to local residents and how planning can help communities achieve better land use outcomes.

In addition to advancing local business initiatives, the plan aims to make homeownership more attainable for Bucks families, improve roads, and give residents more transportation options.

The county envisions the plan helping to keep the air clean, fight climate change, and give residents more economic
and educational opportunities. Survey results will be tabulated through July. From there, a public open house is planned for fall.

Plan development is expected to begin in winter. As part of the plan, Bucks County Planning Commission staff will evaluate current conditions and trends of greatest importance to Bucks County’s future. Staff will gauge how and where the county is growing, where housing is most and least attainable, how successful the farmland and open space preservation programs have been, where critical remaining natural resources are located and where the county should focus is transportation and other infrastructure
upgrades.

By spring 2022, a draft comprehensive plan will be presented at a public open house. The Bucks 2040 comprehensive plan is expected to be adopted by summer 2022. Businesses wishing to complete the survey can do so by visiting this link

To learn more,visit www.bucks2040.com or email Bucks2040@buckscounty.org.

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Local Government – Falls Township

Proposed Future Look for Falls Township Fire Company

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Falls Township Fire Company was granted approval from the zoning board for their request of building additions presented earlier this month at the board’s meeting.

The petition #4 in this month’s agenda was to expand the building with an addition for a new bay. The additional bay would be to accommodate equipment that is being delivered in 2025.The expansion would  accommodate newly purchased apparatus and also other renovations inside the building to make it more usable for them.

Credit: Zoning Board Meeting 4/9/24 – Current Fire Company

Representing the fire company was Brian Binney, a professional land surveyor, of Anderson Engineering now a division of Pennoni Engineering. David Shamberg from the fire company was also present to testify.

The variances presented were as follows: 

Section 209:

  • -20.1.E and Table 4 – to allow a minimum front yard building setback less than 100 feet as required on Table 4 and to allow a maximum impervious surface ratio greater than 70% as required on Table 4
  • -20.1.I – to allow existing parking within 20 ft. to the street line without curbing and plantings as required by Section 209-22.F(2)
  • -38.1.E(4) – to not provide 20 ft. buffer yards
  • -40 – to not provide a lighting plan
  • -42.B(1) – to not provide landscaping between off-street parking and street lines or lot lines
  • -42.C – to not propose additional lighting fixtures 
  • -42.E – to allow an existing continuous open driveway greater than 30 ft. wide

Binney said all the variances except for one were currently in existence. The one non-existent variance relates to the dimensional variant of the front yard. He proceeded to detail each requested variance for the board. 

Comment from the board was that the fire company was not asking for much as most of these variances were already there, and they were not asking to really change any impervious surface or anything that’s going to be detrimental to the neighborhood. Binney replied “….just trying to memorialize it.”

Credit: Zoning Board Meeting 4/9/24 – Proposed Future Fire Company

During public comment, Amy R. asked questions regarding clarity of the building’s expansion and addition, type of new equipment and logistics of the fire trucks entering and exiting the building. Binney clarified the expansion and addition, explained the new equipment would be fire trucks and that the fire trucks would use the front to enter and exit. 

Shamberg also replied “We have not taken a major renovation like this since the 1950s. We’ve been in the Fallsington area for over a 100 years. Lord knows the township is growing exponentially as all you folks know and we’re getting ready for it……”. He added they were able to purchase three new fire trucks with delivery due next year. 

The board, in relation to public comment, asked for and received clarification that the “addition is not going to be detrimental in any way, it’s taking a part of the parking lot that is already existing there so you’re basically just moving the building sideways pretty much and then you’re just going to relocate the parking that you have existing. Is that correct?” Binney answered that it was correct. Next question from the board was regarding height of the decorative portion. Binney answered that it would  conform to the requirements of the zoning district.

The Zoning Board unanimously approved this petition in its entirety.

Credit: Submitted

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Local Government – Falls Township

Falls Stays with Grant Writing Firm in 2024

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Monday Night, the Falls Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the renewal of Millennium Strategies’ contract as their grant writing firm.

Millennium Strategies has worked with Falls Township since 2021. The company secured a little over $1 million in grants during their tenure, said Vice Chairperson Erin Mullen.

Matt Takita, Township Manager said, Millennium Strategies charges a flat monthly retainer fee of $1,500 not to exceed $18,000 a year and an hourly bill rate of $130 per hour. Millennium monitors grants that may be useful to the community. Once the township decides to move forward with a grant, then the township is charged the hourly rate.

Credit: Laughs for Recovery

Currently, the township and Millennium are working on grants for road improvements, parks and the new building, said Takita.

The grant service was extended to the volunteer firefighters, either 2022 or 2023,and this should help them, said Supervisor John Palmer. 

Founded in 2005, Millennium Strategies is the largest full-service grants consulting firm in the region. They help their clients, local governments and boards of education entities, finance critical programs and projects by working to secure funding through federal, state, county, corporate, and philanthropic grant programs, according to their website.

Credit: Submitted

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Health - Falls Township

New Quick Serve Eatery Possibly coming to Levittown

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A Pittsburgh area fast food restaurant is seeking to open its doors in Levittown

The application came before the Falls Township Zoning Board last week seeking  approval on variances to open a family-owned eatery, called Two and A Fry, in the township.

Jennifer Gage, of Thornridge, purchased the property at 8025 Mill Creek Parkway in 2022. Gage hopes to bring her father’s ( James Pelissero ) Pittsburgh-based business model including quality food and low prices to the township offering up milkshakes, hot dogs, burgers, fries, and more.

Gage explained Two and A Fry derives its name from their signature menu item. The customer gets two hot dogs, french fries, and a drink for $5.00. No matter the inflation – the intent is for the price to never change. The eatery would be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and employ three to five people.

Bryce McGuigan, attorney for the applicants, Gage and Pelissero, spoke on their behalf. McGuigan explained the property is .69 acres and the existing building is 1562 square feet. The structure was previously a doctor’s office and is located at the corner of Mill Creek Parkway and Fallsington-Tullytown Road. 

McGuigan acknowledged challenges, such as the location being at a busy intersection and, although an eatery is permitted to exist at the location, the drive-thru portion of the structure would go through another, yet different approval process.

John Richardson, a PA licensed professional engineer, testified in regard to his design of the property’s plans presented to the board. He detailed each of the seven variances being sought for approval. 

There were two major concerns to address: Overflow/spillage of the drive-thru onto the adjacent roadways and the location of the entrance/exit driveway adjacent to the two roadways.  To counter the challenge of vehicles overflowing into the streets from the drive-thru, the plans call for a longer drive-thru than the township requires, so as not to impact the traffic on the roadways. Countering the other main challenge of the driveway(s), the design calls to move the driveway as far away from the intersection as possible and also do the same for the Fallsington roadway.

The listed variances relate to existing conditions, parking, and loading, said Richardson. The drive-thru is labeled as a conditional use which is a separate process and goes before the board of supervisors and is reviewed by the township’s engineer.

                                  Credit: Laughs for Recovery

The plans do not call for any proposed changes to the existing building, the roadway or the median. Richardson explained, due to the median on Mill Creek, customers would only be able to turn right on entering or exiting the property.

McGuigan and Richardson said that in addition to the conditional use process, the entirety of the plans need to go through several processes including land development process, and a PennDOT review and would have to adhere to any recommendations by PennDOT.

Residents, during public comment, raised concerns of pedestrian safety, traffic safety and management of waste.

The application was approved with a vote of 4-1 by the board and now heads to land development before seeking Board of Supervisors approval. 

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