For at least the third month in a row, New Garden resident Bob Testa was before the township's Board of Supervisors with complaints about the exterior lighting at the new CVS at the corner of Newark Road and Route 41,which is adjacent to his home.
Last month, Testa told the board that both the lights under the front canopy and the lights that illuminate signs along the side of the building were so bright that you could read a newspaper in his bedroom with the lights out.
At that time, the board had ordered CVS to change the canopy fixtures to ones that are recessed and to also reduce the bulb wattage from 250 to 175 watts. While Testa said that the changes -- which he claimed took five weeks to complete -- helped somewhat, the lights for the "Drive Thru Pharmacy" and "Beauty" signs are still causing a problem.
Testa told the board he believed that no matter what the wattage is on the side lights, the white semi-reflective surface of the sign itself is what causes the glare.
"It's like shining a light into a mirror," Testa said. "It just bounces right back."
The lights also remain on longer than they should, Testa said; instead of being shut off no later than one half-hour after closing. In most cases, the lights remained on all night, which is a violation of CVS's initial development agreement with the township.
Township engineer Dave Bailey said that a recent check of the light levels surrounding CVS showed that the levels were "slightly below" original plan standards.
Testa asked if Bailey had bothered to check the levels in his living room, which Bailey said he had not.
"Would you like to?" Testa said.
Board member Bob Perrotti suggested that CVS be contacted about changing the background color on the signs that are causing the glare in hopes that some matte finish instead of the glossy white would reduce the light pollution levels on Testa's property.
Board chairman Steve Allaband agreed, stating that he would like to see the lights out at the predetermined time as well as the background color change on the signs.
Testa said that he'd like to see these changes implemented in a shorter span of time than before. Perrotti pointed out that the board had given CVS until May 1 to complete all previously requested changes, but board member Jim Neal said that the lights being turned off in a timely manner should begin immediately. Bailey said he would stop by CVS later on that evening and mention the lights.
@bod:The board voted on several housekeeping issues on Monday evening, including the establishment of stormwater and fire lane ordinances and the overall codification of existing township ordinances.
Township Manager Carmen Raddi explained that the codification project renumbers and organizes the township's many ordinances into chapters. No major changes were made in the process, save for the elimination of outdated or conflicting ordinances that were still lingering on the books.
Board member Bob Norris informed the public that the ordinances will be available online as well, and will give users the ability to search the ordinances under any topic.
"It's a pretty slick site," Norris said.
Raddi pointed out that the Web site will be updated when new ordinances are passed, but the updates will be done on a quarterly basis.
"So if you pass a new ordinance, it isn't going to show up on the Web site until next quarter," Raddi told the board.
Neal added that the current ordinances do not include the burning and false alarm ordinances that are still being worked out.
Sitting in for township solicitor George Brutscher, attorney Neil Land explained that if a particular section of an ordinance is deemed illegal or otherwise unenforceable by a court, the remainder of the ordinance would be unaffected.
The board's decision to adopt a unified stormwater management plan ordinance is a direct response to the mandatory MS4 program already being enacted in several area communities. Although some current ordinances have certain elements of stormwater management, there has never been a single township-wide ordinance. Raddi explained that this ordinance went way beyond anything the township currently has in the way of stormwater management.
"For all intents and purposes, this is new, but we've had stormwater management plans in the past to cover certain things," Raddi said.
The township has also never had a specific fire lane ordinance in place, although they too have existed under certain circumstances. This new ordinance will allow the fire marshal and chief of police to examine and recommend certain commercial or residential locations for a fire lane.
"The intent here was to have something logical that could fit into existing circumstances," Raddi said, later adding, "I believe it will work."
There was much discussion over certain language in the proposed ordinance, specifically related to the financial responsibility that goes along with maintaining signage and other lines of demarcation when establishing the fire lanes. Owners of commercial properties will be directly responsible for their locations, and roadways that are not dedicated to the township -- roads or cul-de-sacs within developments -- will fall under the jurisdiction of the development's homeowners association.
The board also decided on a $50 fine for violators who park in the established fire lanes.
The three ordinances were all passed unanimously, with only a few minor changes in language, which Land said would not constitute additional advertising in order to officially adopt the ordinances.