News Brief…

All information obtained from Suburban Realtors Association 

General News

Stop Patent Trolls
Tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, to stop patent trolls and protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits. REALTORS® across the country receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier. These patent trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits. H.R. 9 is scheduled for House floor consideration next week.   Congress must pass this common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect small businesses and REALTORS® from patent troll abuse. Click here to take action now!

Wolf Administration announces members of new pipeline task force
Governor Tom Wolf (D) has announced members of the state’s new Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, which will be led by P Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley. The 48-member body was chosen from an applicant pool of about 200 people. An additional 101 people will serve on working groups that will help inform the task force, according to a press release. Although states have little authority when it comes to major interstate pipeline construction projects, the Wolf administration says it wants to bring all stakeholders together in an attempt to institute planning and best practices to a pipeline building boom that includes an estimated 4,600 new miles of interstate pipes over the next three years, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s in addition to thousands of miles of gathering lines, which carry gas from the well heads to the interstate lines. Much of those smaller lines are unregulated. A complete list of task force members and their affiliations are posted on DEP’s website, along with the mission of the group and the list of work group members. It will be organized into 12 separate working groups, which include pipeline safety and integrity, siting and routing, environmental protection, conservation, agriculture, emergency preparedness, natural gas end use, county government, local government, public participation, workforce and economic development, and historical, cultural and tribal issues. Both Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone (D) and State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D) will serve on the task force. Members will meet for the first time at a public meeting July 22 in Harrisburg, which will be live-streamed. Wolf has asked the task force to submit recommendations by February 2016.
Source: Newsworks; 7/8/2015

Bucks County

Bristol Borough school taxes hold steady
The Bristol Borough school board approved a $22.4 million budget that does not increase school property taxes for the upcoming school year. The millage rate will remain at 154 mills. The owner of a property assessed at the borough average of $16,400 will pay about $2,526 in school taxes for the next school year. The spending total went up slightly from the preliminary budget due to several capital projects, including repairs to the high school boiler room roof, boiler, and additional summer projects administered by the buildings and facilities manager. The money to cover the additional costs will come from the school district’s fund balance, according to Chris McHugh, the district’s business manager.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 6/25/2015

Middletown’s Stone Meadows Farm eyed for development
The 168-acre Stone Meadows Farm at Route 413 and Fulling Mill Road in Middletown Township is being eyed for a development of more than 100 single-family homes. Several years ago, township supervisors – none of whom are still on the board – attempted to condemn the farm to preserve it as open space out of concerns it would eventually be developed. The condemnation was unsuccessful. A plan recently filed in the township and then “taken off the table” for revisions called for 122 single-family homes on the property to be built by the Metropolitan Development Group of Wyomissing. According to township Director of Zoning, Planning and Engineering Patrick Duffy, a project similar to the one withdrawn by the developer would probably be allowed under the land’s residential-agricultural, but he cannot be sure until he examines the revised plan. Duffy said it could be weeks or months before the developer brings another plan to the township.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 7/10/2015

Commissioner joins work board
Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia has been appointed to the county’s Workforce Investment Board. The Workforce Investment Board leverages resources, such as developing partnership with employers and educational agencies, to benefit county employers and workers. The board also oversees strategic planning to that end, factoring in the county’s demographics and economic indicators to promote a healthy workforce. The board conducts quarterly meetings at locations around Bucks County. Visit www.bc-wib.org for more information.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer; 7/9/2015

Springfield Township special meeting to discuss comprehensive plan
The Springfield Township Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will hold a special meeting to discuss comprehensive planning issues on Monday, July 20. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Springtown Volunteer Fire Company located at 3010 Route 212, Springtown, PA 18055. Visit the Springfield Township website here.
Source: The Intelligencer; 7/9/2015

 For more information contact The Vickie Landis Team of Keller Williams Realty Group 
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