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Frequently Asked Questions & Concerns

Frequently Asked Questions & Concerns 2017-06-30T10:40:30+00:00

Below are a listing of questions frequently asked regarding Newtown Township, its departments, and their functions within the township. Please feel free to browse the FAQ section for answer to most commonly asked questions, and/or sort by a particular department or function.

If you still have questions, please feel free to contact the Township Municipal Offices by phone at (215) 968-2800, or in person at 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA 18940.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Administration

Administration

How do I submit a Right to Know request?

Requests shall be made in writing to the Township Open Records Office on a form provided by the township.

For more information please visit the Right to Know page.

Codes & Zoning

Codes & Zoning

I would like to erect a fence on my property, whom must I notify?

ALL residents, or their contractor, MUST notify the Pennsylvania “One-Call System”, in order to identify underground utilities including gas, electric, phone and cable.

***This procedure is extremely important for your safety and your neighbor’s safety.***

In addition to this procedure, you, the resident, must contact the Newtown Townships Codes & Zoning Department to apply for a permit prior to establishing the fence.

Is a use & occupancy required when selling a house in Newtown Township?

No, Newtown Township does not require a use & occupancy for residential re-sale.  A residential use & occupancy is only required for New Construction.

Is a permit required for the placement of Real Estate Signs in Newtown Township?

Yes, a Real Estate Sign Permit form must be submitted annually. Note: Real Estate Signs must be placed on the property. Only one (1) sign shall be erected on the property unless the property fronts more than one (1) street, in which event, an additional sign is permitted.

Do I need a permit to construct a deck, patio, walkway and/or shed on my property?

Yes, any deck  constructed under 30” above grade requires a Zoning Permit, and if the deck is 30” or higher, a Zoning & Building Permit is required. Patios, walkways, driveway expansions also require Zoning Permits for setbacks and impervious.  A permit is also required to install a shed (if less than 200 sq.ft. – Zoning Only and if 200 sq.ft. or more – Zoning & Building).

Do I need a permit to replace a walkway on my property if it’s the same size as my existing walkway?

No, unless you’re increasing the impervious surface area (this is defined as area  which does not absorb water such as brick pavers, concrete, asphalt, etc.), a permit will not  be required.

Do I need a permit to replace my roof?

Any single family detached home does not  need a  permit for a roof replacement. Townhomes/attached single family dwellings do need to secure a permit for roof replacement.

Do I need a permit to install a fence?

Yes, a permit is required to install a fence.  (Note: If you  live in a development with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), you will be required to submit a letter from your HOA with the permit application.)

Do I need a permit to replace an existing fence on my property?

Yes, unless it is  considered  a “same in kind” replacement which means it’s the same type of fence, same height of  the existing fence, same type of materials, same location, etc. and a permit was issued.

Do I need a permit to replace a window?

A permit will be required only if the new window is  not the same size as the existing window and requires structural changes (framing).

Emergency Services

Emergency Services

Why practice a fire drill?

Practicing a home fire drill is very important. First, It makes everyone in the home aware of what to do in the event of a fire. Second, a well planned and practiced drill minimizes time for escape. Third, it ensures all components work properly, knowing two ways out, windows and doors operate properly and having a safe meeting place.

Should I buy a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers are worth the investment. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can prevent small fires from becoming larger, minimizing the spread and damage of fire. Always call 9-1-1 first before attempting to extinguish a fire. Fire extinguishers can be purchased from your local home center and have directions for use printed right on them. There are many types of extinguishers to choose from. If you’re not sure which type is best for you, contact the department at 215.968.2800 x 255 for more information.

Should I have a Carbon Monoxide detector?

If you have appliances that burn fuels, such as gas or wood fireplaces, fueled fired heaters or gas stoves, yes you should have at least one detector. Install the detector as per manufacturer’s installation instructions near the sleeping areas and at least 15 ft away from heating or cooking appliances.

Where can I get more information on Fire Safety Prevention?

Please visit our Fire Safety and Tips page for more information on how you and your family can help prevent fires.

You can also stop by or call the fire station and talk to a Fire Professional with your questions. The fire station on Municipal Drive is open weekdays during regular business hours and can provide additional literature upon request.

 

What do those numbers on fire trucks mean?

As part of the Bucks County Emergency Services Community each fire station, police department, ambulance squad has a unique number. These numbers are communication designations for talking to the Bucks County Communications Center when dispatched to emergencies. In Newtown, Station 45 is located on Liberty Street. They are the 45th department in the Bucks County system out of some 60 fire departments. So all of their apparatus bear the number 45. The station on Municipal Drive is Station 55, and apparatus bears this number. Other abbreviations include E=Engine, L=Ladder, R=Rescue, SS=Special Service, C=Chief, D=Deputy and B=Battalion Chief.  L45 on the side or back of the apparatus designates Ladder 45.Other designations you may see, for example, FM252. FM=Fire Marshal. All Fire Marshals in the Bucks County system are a 200 designation. 52 relates to the Municipality. Newtowns’ Police Department is 52PD.The bus, CP252 refers to a mobile Command Post, CP, and again 252 relates to the municipality. All Ambulance departments, or Ambulance Squads as they are referred to, have a 3 digit numbering system.

Police Department

Police

How do I report special needs people in my household should an emergency occur?

A Premise History File is kept at the 9-1-1 Center of Bucks County. The information that you supply to the 9-1-1 call center is only referred to should a 9-1-1 call come from this address. It will only contain the information you provide. The Premise History File will alert any and all emergency service responders to a person with disabilities or special needs that resides at your residence. Emergency responders can then respond to those with specific needs accordingly.

You can submit a Premise History File to the Newtown Township Police Department Here.

How dark can I have the aftermarket tinting on my car windows?

Aftermarket window tint films are allowed on the driver’s side and passenger’s side glass of the vehicle, as long as the light transmitted to the inside is at least 70% of the exterior light. The Newtown Township Police Department does have window tint meters, and it is a primary violation, which means you can be stopped based on window tint alone.

Who can I call for stray animals?

Newtown Township provides animal control services when necessary. If you require such services, please contact the Police Department at (215) 598-7121.

Can I pay my ticket at the police station?

The only tickets that can be paid at the police station are parking tickets which are issued in yellow envelopes, typically placed on the windshield of your vehicle. Most parking tickets are issued to motorists who choose to park in the fire lanes of our shopping centers, too close to a fire hydrant or where parking is prohibited by signs. Another situation that leads to residents receiving parking tickets is during inclement weather when residents choose not to follow Township Ordinance 93-O-4 (click here to view Ordinance) which imposes restrictions on street parking.

In order to respond to and/or pay for State citations, please contact district court 07-2-07 at:

District Justice Michael W. Petrucci
28 North State Street
Newtown, PA 18940
(215) 968-1657

How do I obtain a copy of a police report?

Please contact the Newtown Township Police Department Business Office during normal business hours, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.  They can be reached at 215-968-2800 ext 398, or 215-579-1000.  No police reports are ever faxed.  There is a fee of $20.00, per report, payable by check, credit card or exact cash.

How do I obtain a copy of an accident report?

Please contact the Newtown Township Police Department Business Office during normal business hours, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.  They can be reached at 215-968-2800 ext 398, or 215-579-1000.  No police reports are ever faxed.  There is a fee of $15.00, per report, payable by check, credit card or exact cash.

Is soliciting permitted in the township?

Soliciting is only allowed with a proper permit. Permits can only be obtained at the police department. The applicant must provide photo identification, and the results from a criminal record check from the Pennsylvania State Police. Non-profit groups are exempt from the fee, but should still notify police when they are going to be working in the area. The fees are as follows:

  • $20 per day/per person,
  • $75 per month/per person with a (3) month maximum permit.
  • Renewal after the initial (3) months is a cost of $50 per month/per person.

For more information, please visit our solicitation information page by clicking here.

Does the Township offer a fingerprinting service?

Ink based fingerprinting services are offered through the Newtown Township Police Department.  They are done for a fee of $25.00, payable by check, credit card or exact cash. Fingerprinting is done on an appointment basis. Please contact Dan Hibbs at (215) 968-2800 x220 to schedule an appointment or for more information.  If you are a volunteer/teacher/health care worker and need to obtain electronic fingerprints, please visit the PA COGENT website for more information.

NOTE: The Newtown Township Police Department does not offer electronic/digital fingerprints.

Public Works

Public Works

Who picks up animal carcasses found along the roadways in the township?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (610 926-3136) is responsible for picking up dead deer, bear, or elk carcasses along most roadways in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (215 345-6060) will pick up dead deer on state highways only. Newtown Township DOES NOT have the required equipment to pick up and removed a deceased animal. On private property it is the responsibility of the property owner. A domestic animal carcass is the responsibility of the owner.

There is a pothole on my street, who can I contact to repair it?

Please use our Report a Concern tool, or contact us directly by phone at (215) 968-2800 extension 246, and we will dispatch a representative to evaluate the damage for repair.

Who can I call for stray animals?

Newtown Township provides animal control services when necessary. If you require such services, please contact the Police Department at (215) 598-7121.

Who can I call to remove a dead deer from the roadway?

Please contact the Southeast Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission at (610) 926-3136. They will generate an official request and dispatch a representative to retrieve the animal.

Who collects oversized or heavy items that are not included in my normal trash pick-up and when?

You should contact your contracted waste hauler for assistance with the above large items. Please be aware that there maybe an additional charge for the disposal of oversized items.  If you have any type of Hazardous Household Waste you need to dispose of, please visit the Bucks County Planning Commission’s site for recycling.  Residents may take tree limbs and branches to Warwick Green Grinders.

I am a new resident, how do I obtain a trash can and recycle bin?

Your contracted waste hauler will provide containers.   You may also purchase a recycling container at the Administration office for a fee of $12.00, while supplies last.

How can I obtain more information about “storm water?”

You should visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection website. They also have brochures, “When it Rains, it Drains” and “Pollution Prevention” which detail information about storm water.

Who should I contact if I notice a street light isn’t working?

To report an inoperable or broken street light, please use our Report a Concern page, or contact the Public Works department at 215-968-2800 extension 246. When possible, please have nearest street address and the pole number available at the time of your call.

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