Upper Makefield Township
December 2011
In This Issue
A look at the Upper Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board
2012 Budget Approved With Tax Decrease
Officer Lee Crawford is new D.A.R.E. instructor for Upper Makefield
Win a chance to ride on George Washington's Durham boat
Rake it...or leave it!
Winter safety tips from UM Fire Department
Keeping the roads clean, salted, and safe this winter
Get involved, make a difference!
Community Updates & Events
Washington Crossing Re-enactment Rehearsal  
Sunday, December 11 (Rehearsal)  

If you can't attend the Christmas Day re-enactment of the Continental Army and militia crossing the Delaware River at Washington Crossing Park, come out to the dress rehearsal on Sunday, December 11 from 11 am to 3 pm. Bring your thirst for history and appetite for savory food prepared by the Upper Makefield Fire Company chefs at Washington Crossing Park. Refreshments will be for sale throughout the afternoon, and the actual crossing happens at 1 pm. Cost to attend the dress rehearsal is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children ages 10 to 18 years, and free for children under age 10. Proceeds support future crossings. Learn more about the re-enactment on Christmas Day below and read more about the dress rehearsal here. 


Lingohocken Fire Company Santa Parade       

Saturday, December 17


Wave to Santa as he drives through the community on a bright red fire truck on Saturday, December 17. The Lingohocken Fire Company will be Santa's helper for the day and will escort him to various parts of the community from 2 to 6 pm. Read the parade route and learn more information.


Upper Makefield Fire Company Santa Parade & Food Drive Sunday, December 18


There are 2 chances to see Santa this weekend! On Sunday, December 18, Santa spreads holiday cheer to everyone on a holiday-themed float during the Upper Makefield Fire Company's Annual Santa Parade. Food donations are accepted on parade day to support a local food drive from 9 am to 8 pm at the Upper Makefield Fire Company, Station 71 on Taylorsville Road. All food drive participants will be entered into a drawing to win a holiday gift certificate. Also, pack your camera and wish-lists for time with Santa! Santa returns to the firehouse from 6:30 to 8 pm for photos and visits with children.Learn more about the parade route and times. 

Christmas Day Delaware River Crossing Re-enactment!   Sunday, December 25 


Every Christmas, thousands of people gather on the banks of the Delaware to watch the reenactment of George Washington's daring 1776 river crossing. This year's reenactment is scheduled for 1 pm, and visitors will see re-enactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by Washington and then row across the river in three replica Durham boats. $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and kids 10-18, under 10 free. Read more information about the history of the crossing here. 
We will try to include as many events as possible; however we may edit submissions. The township maintains the right to select appropriate submissions for inclusion.

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A look at the Upper Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board    

Girl Scout troop 2312The Upper Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board (ZHB) is a volunteer Board with 5 members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. They are from left to right: Vice Chair Tom Ragan; Chair Spencer Saunders; Counsel to ZHB Bill Bolla, Esquire; Barbara Hirst; Bill Trainer; Alternate Ben Kreider, Missing:  John Devlin and Alternate Janet Chaby.   


Each municipality has a ZHB which is responsible to help assure the fair and equitable application and administration of the Zoning Ordinance. As a quasi-judicial body, the ZHB operates independently of the elected board, conducting hearings to review applications for variances or special exceptions from the Zoning Ordinance. It also hears appeals from the actions of the Zoning Officer. As part of its quasi-judicial nature, the ZHB is required by law to have separate legal counsel.


About zoning hearings

Zoning hearings are similar to any judicial or court room proceeding in which witnesses are sworn in and cross examined, exhibits are introduced and a stenographic record is kept.    


The operation of the ZHB is dictated by the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), which is the state legislation that governs zoning and planning in Pennsylvania. The MPC includes very specific timing and notification requirements. For example, a Zoning Hearing Board must hold a hearing within sixty days of receiving an application and must provide public notice of the hearing. In addition, any Decision of the ZHB must be issued within forty-five days of the conclusion of the hearing. If any of the time requirements of the MPC are not met, the application may be deemed approved.


Any decision of the ZHB may be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days.


2012 Budget Approved With Tax Decrease 
The 2012 Final Budget was recently approved by the Board of Supervisors with a .5 mil tax decrease in real estate taxes. Please click here to read the final budget document.    
Officer Lee Crawford is new D.A.R.E. instructor for Upper Makefield   

Girl Scout troop 2312Recently, the Upper Makefield Township Police Department selected Officer Lee Crawford as its new D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructor. D.A.R.E. is a community policing program that is taught by police officers to school aged children ranging from kindergarten to seniors in high school with the goal of helping the students live productive, drug and violence-free lives.


Uniformed officers as D.A.R.E. instructors not only serve as role models for children at an impressionable age, but also have high credibility on the subject of drug use. Moreover, by relating to students in a role other than that of law enforcement, officers develop a rapport that promotes positive attitudes towards the police and greater respect for the law.


Since its inception in 1983, the D.A.R.E. program has been instituted by approximately 75% of the school districts across the United States and in more than 43 countries throughout the world. The success of D.A.R.E. has allowed for more open communication between the law enforcement and the youth of community, stimulated conversations between the school, parents, and the police on dealing with other concerns in the community.  


Additionally, D.A.R.E. has allowed students to get to interact with police and see policemen as helpers-not just enforcers of the law. The main emphasis of the program focuses on teaching the students how to make better decisions in their everyday lives, so that they will have the tools and skills necessary to resist peer pressure and avoid getting involved with the drugs and violence that can plague a community.


D.A.R.E. in Upper Makefield

In the 2011-2012 school year, countless children who live in Upper Makefield will reap the benefits of the D.A.R.E. Program.

Due to the unwavering support of the Upper Makefield Township Police Department in conjunction with Sol Feinstone Elementary School and the Council Rock School District, the 6th grade students at Sol Feinstone Elementary will also be able to partake in the program.


The success of the D.A.R.E. program has been seen in communities throughout the country, including the Town of Upper Makefield. Some of the benefits reported are:

  • Significantly less substance abuse
  • A sharp decrease in school vandalism and truancy
  • Improved student work habits
  • Reduced tension between ethnic groups
  • A more positive attitude toward police
  • Better student rapport with teachers and school officials

About Officer Crawford

Officer Crawford is a Bucks County native, born and raised in Warrington, and is a graduate of Central Bucks East High School. Having always wanted to serve in law enforcement, Officer Crawford began his pursuit of his dream by attending Kutztown University and graduating with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

After graduation, Officer Crawford attended the police academy and was later hired as a patrol officer with the Upper Makefield Township Police Department in 2006. Since his hire, Officer Crawford has attended many continuing education classes, with the most recent being the D.A.R.E. Instructor Course in Virginia.

Additionally, Officer Crawford is pursuing his master's degree in criminal justice. In his spare time, Officer Crawford is an avid Philadelphia sports fan and enjoys hunting and fishing.

Officer Crawford brings to the classroom not only his experience, but a strong desire to teach and mentor the youth in our community. Officer Crawford is enthusiastic about his new role, and says he is committed to the success of our children.

Win a chance to ride on George Washington's Durham boat during re-enactment rehearsal or Christmas Day re-enactment!

You've been a spectator on Christmas Day for years at Washington Crossing Park...now don't miss your chance to ride on George Washington's Durham boat during this year's re-enactment of the General's Delaware River crossing of 1776!  


A raffle to win a chance to be a part of the re-enactment is being sponsored by the Friends of Washington Crossing Park. Two rides are being raffled off: one for the crossing dress rehearsal on December 11 (see details in our Community Events Section) and the other for the Christmas Day crossing on December 25 (see details in our Community Events Section).  


Raffle winners get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dress in colonial garb and accompany General Washington throughout the ceremony and crossing. Read more about the history of the Washington Crossing here.

Raffle tickets are on sale now at
www.CrossWithGeorge.com for $10 a piece or $50 for 6.  


Additionally, raffle tickets can be purchased in person at: Continental Tavern in Yardley, Crossing Vineyards and Winery in Washington Crossing, Bucks County Visitors' Centers in Bensalem, New Hope and Peddler's Village, and the temporary Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor's Center at the corner of Rts. 32 and 532.  


In addition to getting a chance to cross the river, six other prizes will be raffled off!  


Additional raffle prizes include:

  • A numbered and framed limited edition lithograph of the Inn at Philips Mill by James Redding
  • Dinner for 8 at the Continental Tavern with General Washington and Glover's Marbleheaders - the sailors who rowed on Christmas
  • A Crossing Vineyards and Winery party for 10
  • A 2-night stay at the Inn at Bowman's Hill and dinner at Plan B Bistro
  • A meeting with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in Washington and a tour of the U.S. Capitol for 4 guests
  • Four one-day tickets to Sesame Place

Rake it...or leave it!

Rake it..or leave it! It really is that easy! Below find some maintenance tips to make your yard-cleanup decisions more environmentally friendly for stormwater management.

Rake It! Never rake leaves into or near storm drains, ditches, creeks or a river. Decaying leaves use up the water's oxygen, harming aquatic inhabitants.


Leave It! Leave your leaves where they fall, and mulch them by running over leaves with your lawn mower at next cutting. Leaves mixed with grass clippings are the best fertilizer for your lawn.


Or..., rake it and leave it! Rake leaves into a compost pile for a nutrient-rich fertilizer to use on your garden next spring.
Winter safety tips from UM Fire Marshal     

With the chilly winter months just around the corner, the Upper Makefield Fire Marshal has a few safety tips for you and your family to keep in mind to stay warm the safe way this season. 

  • Do not overload electrical circuits with extension cords or surge protectors
  • Schedule an authorized chimney sweep to clean your chimney prior to winter use
  • Have your oil heater serviced by a technician prior to winter use
  • Make sure all your smoke alarms are working
  • Add smoke alarms to your garage, attics and crawl spaces
  • Plan and practice a home fire drill
  • Keep candles a minimum of 12 inches from combustible and never leave unattended
Have more specific questions? Send an email to Upper Makefield's Fire Marshal John Kernan.


Keeping the roads clean, salted, and safe this winter   
Snow plows are on trucks, shovels are out of storage, and we're stocked up on road salt. The Public Works Department is ready to protect, clean, and maintain our roads this winter.

Specifically, the Upper Makefield Public Works Department is responsible for plowing and salting 52 miles of dedicated roads and over 13 miles of State roads, including 40 cul-de-sacs and 14 dead-end streets in the township.  

When snow begins to fall, the Public Works Department starts cleaning streets early to get through all of the roads as quickly as possible. Typically, main roads are cleared before development roads to accommodate traffic flow.

The Public Works Department would like to share simple shoveling and yard maintenance tips that can help our team get the roads cleared as easy as possible:

  • Residents in un-curbed developments should mark their lawns with 4-foot posts (you can also use reflective markers) approximately 2 feet from the road edge
  • Remove trash cans and other objects from the roadway
  • Do not put driveway snow in the roadway
  • Help us reduce snow pushback by waiting to clear snow from driveways until plow trucks have cleared all the snow from the roadway. You can also shovel to the right of your driveway to reduce snow pushback
  • Do not park on the roadway when a snowfall of 4 inches or more is expected
  • Place mailboxes a minimum of one foot from the road's edge. The township is not responsible for mailboxes damaged during snow plowing operations
  • Place sprinkler heads a minimum of 2 feet from the road's edge

PennDOT is responsible for snow and ice removal on the following Upper Makefield area roads:

  • Dolington Road
  • Pineville Road
  • Route 32
  • Route 532
  • Route 232
  • Stoopville Road
  • Street Road from Lurgan Road to Solebury Township Line
  • Taylorsville Road

For any questions you may have PennDOT's telephone number is 215-345-6060.

Upper Makefield Township encourages and invites all of our residents to serve on a township board or committee today.

Click here to learn more or please send a letter of interest (indicating which board/committee you are interested in) to 1076 Eagle Road, Newtown, PA 18940 or email judyc@uppermakefield.org  by December 27, 2011.

Our website and eNews are two of our most cost-efficient ways to provide residents with valuable information. However, if you know someone who does not have a computer, and would be interested in receiving a copy of this eNews by mail, please have them call the township at 215-968-3340. For those with e-mail .