Bucks County Herald

Tinicum covers costs for donated conservation easement

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

Hailed by officials as a “first of its kind” action, the Tinicum Township Board of Supervisors has approved a fully donated conservation easement, for an 11.48-acre property on Creamery Road in Ottsville, that includes township reimbursement for the owners’ “up front costs.”

The reimbursement feature, in this case worth $13,575, was established by the board about two years ago, as an incentive program to encourage more fully-donated easements. The action for the Creamery Road property was taken at the supervisors’ Dec. 5 public meeting.

The property, described by Land Preservation Committee (LPC) Chair Norman MacArthur as “right on Tohickon Creek, offering spectacular views,” is owned by Paul Coleman and Charlene Koretz.

MacArthur also announced he is stepping down from the LPC, after serving since 1998. Supervisor Chair Vincent Dotti praised him for the accomplishments he led, and “a legacy that will endure.”

Also at the meeting, supervisors adopted their no-tax-increase budget for 2018, which leaves the real estate tax at 8.5 mills, including 1.5 mills for fire protection, 0.5 mills for EMS (Emergency Medical Service), and 0.5 mills for open space preservation.

Earned Income Tax (E.I.T.) remains at 0.75 per cent, including 0.25 per cent for open space preservation. A 5 percent amusement tax was explained as referring to a recreational operation located within the township on the Delaware River.

During her budget presentation, Township Manager Teri Lewis noted that pending permitting from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the township hopes to replace the Red Cliff Bridge during 2018.

In addition, at the meeting, long-running consideration of revisions to the township’s 1951 nuisance ordinance, and a new measure regulating transient residential uses, both reached the advertising stage.

The latest change to the nuisance measure establishes a two-year limit on the use of storage containers outside on residential properties, unless extended by the township in writing. The ordinance revision, which is to be posted on the township website, is scheduled for adoption at the Jan. 2 supervisors’ meeting.

With further review still needed for the new transient regulation, from the township and county planning commissions, adoption may not be scheduled until the Jan. 16 supervisors’ meeting. It is also to be posted on the township website. The measure presently calls for annual permitting for residents who wish to offer transient rentals for 14-29 days.

Some of the present requirements include adequate on-site parking; sufficient septic capacity; providing notice to neighbors; approval by any Homeowners Association (HOA ); compliance with building and safety codes; and a ban on food preparation, to further distinguish transient use from bed and breakfast, which is already permitted and regulated.

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