TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - MARCH 15,1999

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 15,1999. Chairman Strahle called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since
6:30 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters.

 Those present

 

Board of Supervisors:

William Strahle, Chairman

 

Wesley Hackman, Vice Chairman

 

Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer

 

Scott Fegley, Member

 

Grace Godshalk, Member

 

 

Others:

Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

 

Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

 

Jan Gouza, Township Engineer

 

Charles Ronaldo, Chief of Police

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Steve Seu, resident of Mt. Eyre Road, thanked the Board of Supervisors for the opportunity to speak with the Board on the recent Road Tour. He stated he would like to discuss the flooding in that area. Mr. Strahle noted that this matter is on the Agenda and will be discussed later on this evening. Mr. Seu was asked to hold his comments until that time.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 15, 1999 as corrected.

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of March 1, 1999 as corrected.

Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of the Road Tour held on March 6, 1999 as corrected.

GATEFIELD/LOBERG ESTATE SKETCH PLAN

It was noted that Mr. Dwyer was not yet present; however, Mr. Fedorchak stated he was expected to attend the meeting this evening. The matter was therefore not discussed at this time.

WILSHIRE GLEN - DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED CONNECTING ROAD FOR RAAB FARM

Mr. Michael Swerdloff, developer, was present with Ray Grochowski, engineer. Mr. Swerdloff stated there were a number of stub streets adjacent to their development. They decided to create a plan that would maintain access off Dolington Road and also provide a secondary means of access. They also intended to maintain an area for stormwater management which would be outside of the floodplain and buffer areas. Mr. Swerdloff stated they met with the Civic Associations and after listening to the concerns of the existing residents, they felt it would be best to have a cul-de-sac in one location in lieu of a connector. He stated the Pinebrook Civic Association was opposed to a connector to their neighborhood. He stated the Planning Commission has made a recommendation that they connect. The developer would like to have input from the Board of Supervisors on this issue before they revise their plans.

Mr. Gouza asked the variances which will be needed. Mr. Swerdloff stated they do not need any variances. Mr. Gouza stated the entrance on Dolington Road does not meet the requirements. Mr. Swerdloff stated they will need a waiver on this matter. He stated they cannot meet the 800 foot requirement because of limited frontage; however they do meet sight distance requirements where they have shown the entrance. He stated they would like to maintain the access off Dolington Road. Their road frontage on Dolington Road is 742 feet. The distance from the Dolington Road entrance to Knoll Drive is approximately 250 feet.

Mrs. Godshalk stated the Board did not allow an entrance off Edgewood Road for Afton Chase. Mr. Strahle asked why the Planning Commission requested a connection to the lower section. Mr. Swerdloff stated they indicated they wanted this connection for municipal services including emergency services. Mr. Fazzalore stated it was also to stop delivery vehicles and school buses from having to go back out to Dolington Road. Mr. Swerdloff stated they recognize there is a need for a secondary access point and this is why they suggested the connection to the upper area. Mr. Hackman stated if the roads are not going to be connected there should be cul-de-sac built so that if cars go up the street, they can turn around to go out. Mr. Swerdloff stated they could also provide a permanent barrier and put "Dead End" signs at the end of the roads. He stated they would not have room to provide cul-de-sacs. Mr. Hackman stated it would make sense from a planning view to have the cul-de-sacs installed.

Mr. Strahle asked why they did not connect Pine Lane to Pine Lane; and Mr. Swerdloff stated they would not then have been able to provide proper stormwater management since this is the low side. Mr. Strahle stated they could provide it but might lose some lots. Mr. Swerdloff stated the plan being shown does not give the maximum density according to Ordinance. Mr. Hackman stated they are not guaranteed maximum density.

Mr. Fegley asked what would be done with the existing buildings and green area surrounding the existing buildings. Mr. Swerdloff stated the green area shows the tree line. The house will stay and the current owner of the land will maintain ownership of the existing residence and the barn which is on a separate lot. Mr. Hackman asked about access to the barn and Mr. Swerdloff stated it is on a flag lot. He stated the Ordinance does not permit him to include the post of the flag in the minimum lot size calculations. The current owner of the property is Eastern Equities.

Mr. Hackman stated he feels Pine Lane should be connected. He feels Barbara Lane and Raab Drive could be cul-de-sacs. Mr. Grochowski stated he feels Pine would be the worst road to connect because it would be a long straight-away. Mr. Gouza stated they could eliminate the entrance off of Dolington Road, take Raab and run it into a cul-de-sac and run Barbara to Pine. This would provide multiple accesses and would not require any waivers. Mr. Gunkel stated the Planning Commission wanted to see a tie in but did not really consider the solution that Mr. Gouza has just now recommended.

Mr. Garton stated the Board of Supervisors will be informally giving the developer direction on this matter but no Preliminary Plan approval is on the Agenda for consideration this evening.

Mr. Steve Merrick of 10 Knoll Drive stated many of the residents did recognize that the

development on either side would be connected. He stated the way the plan is now designed it will force the residents in the area to go back onto Dolington Road if they want to go between the neighborhoods. He feels the road should be opened both ways. Mr. Fegley stated a number of the neighbors have indicated they did not want the traffic going through. Mr. Merrick suggested they take the road out to the north side of Raab. He is not in favor of the entrance at Dolington Road since it is not centered.

Mrs. Godshalk stated in other developments recently built in the Township on Edgewood Road they did not allow an entrance out to Edgewood Road because of safety concerns. She stated the more connections they have, the less likely it is that any one person will bear the burden of cars passing their house. She feels every stub street should be opened which will spread out the traffic.

Mr. Russ Hinkle of 23 Knoll Drive stated he would like to see at least one of the roads go through if not more so his children can walk to the adjoining neighborhoods. Mr. Hackman stated the new development will be required to install sidewalks. Mr. Swerdloff stated their plan also has a bikepath shown on their side of the road even though the Master Plan had it on the other side. Ms. Debbie Hinkle stated if they do not connect to Pine Lane she asked that they make some kind of paved path for bikes and strollers so they can have access to the other neighborhoods. She stated in Orchard Hill they do not have access and they have to go out to the road.

Ms. Holly Bussey, President of the Pinebrook Civic Association, stated the Board of Supervisors received last week a letter outlining the Association's position. She stated it is important for the Township to provide safe access for bikes on Dolington Road. She stated the majority of the area residents still would like to see the Township accept the plan currently before the Board, and she submitted a petition which indicates they do not want the connection to Pine Lane east. She read the petition into the record.

Ms. Hinkle stated she does not feel Pine to Pine should be connected because it is very straight and will result in increased speeds in the area. Mr. Hackman stated he feels this will be local traffic going through.

Mr. Jim Sanders of 20 Knoll Drive noted this development borders Yardley Borough and they get a number of people coming into the development who are lost. He feels the connection will increase the traffic in the area. Ms. Bussey stated people drive faster on straiaht-aways.

Mr. Swerdloff stated the existing cartway widths are not really built to handle what the Township is proposing. Mrs. Godshalk stated this is true in many of the older neighborhoods and it could be feathered in. Mr. Fegley stated he would be in favor of a reduction oil cartway widths in the new development. Mr. Gunkel stated the Ordinance requires 36 feet and the Planning Commission has recommended 30 feet. Mr. Fegley stated the cartway in the existing neighborhoods is much smaller and he has not heard of problems with service and emergency vehicles in these areas. He feels they could reduce the cartway width in the new development to 24 or 26 feet. Mr. Swerdloff stated they are showing the cartway width at 30 feet and the right-of-way at 56 feet. Mr.Fegley recommended they connect Barbara Drive down to Pine Line at the bottom, connect at the top of the cul-de-sac up to Will bur Road somewhere opposite the other street and eliminate the access to Dolington Road.

 Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels they should eliminate the Dolington Road entrance and open up as many of the stubs as possible taking the wetlands into consideration.

Mr. Fazzalore agreed that they should eliminate the access to Dotington Road.

Mr. Hackman stated he is in favor oil connecting Pine Lane south to Pine Lane north although it would also be satisfactory to connect to Barbara. He stated he is concerned about eliminating the connection out to Dolington Road since all thirty-one homes would then need to come out through one of the older roads. He suggested connecting Raab with Wilbur, Pine Lane south to Barbara, and cul-de-sac Pine Lane north.

 Mrs. Godshalk asked what will happen to the wetlands. Mr. Swerdloff stated they are dedicating, the open to the Township. Mrs. Godshalk noted the road to the basin and stated they will need to have a turn around in this area.

Mr. Strahle asked if Wilbur Road will become the frontage, and Mr. Gal-ton stated it will. Mr. Strahle asked if they can request improvements to Wilbur Road. Mr. Garton stated they would have to improve frontage roads although he is not sure they would want to request improvements to Wilbur Road. Mr. Strahle stated he is concerned with turning out onto Wilbur Road. Mr. Garton stated Wilbur Road would become a frontage improvement. Mr. Strahle stated he is in favor of eliminating the Dolington Road entrance and feels there should be a cul-de-sac off Pine Lane at the top of the Plan. He feels they should connect Barbara with Pine Lane and Raab with Wilbur.

 Mr. Garton stated it appears a majority of the Board would be in favor of eliminating the Dolington Road entrance, Pine Lane at the bottom of the Plan be connected with Barbara Drive, that Pine- Lane to the top of the Plan be a cul-de-sac and Raab Drive be connected up to Wilbur Road.

Mr. Fegley stated he does not feel Raab should go all the way through. He feels there is sufficient access without this connection.

Mr. Hackman stated if the entrance to Dolington Road is eliminated, they should improve the area on Wilbur Road from Raab out-. to Dolington. Mr. Swerdloff stated this may require a waiver since they will not have sufficient room to meet the requirements. Mr. Gal-Lon stated it appears the Board would be in favor oil gm6ns! this waiver.

Mr. Swerdloff stated he feels he must have an entrance off Dolington Road. The Board was not in favor of this. Mr. Grochowski asked if they would be permitted to have a boulevard entrance off Wilbur Road. Mr. Fegley stated he would want to see how this would be designed before agreeing to the boulevard entrance. Mr. Hackman stated the problem is that if they do not improve the top of Wilbur Road, the boulevard will be off center. Mr. Fegley stated he feels they would have to improve the whole road and not just their half of the development and the developer would have to agree to this concession. The Board agreed to look at a plan for this.

Ms. Bussey stated she understands about the access on Dolington Road but asked how over thirty cars will get to Dolington Road if they eliminate the Dolington Road entrance. She stated this will make all the new traffic go onto Knoll or Wilbur. Mrs. Godshalk stated if they agree to the plan being presented, they would then have over thirty cars pulling out onto Dolington Road which is only 200 feet from Knoll Drive.

Chief Ronaldo stated Dolington Road is a truck route because Woodside Road is restricted He feels there should be an entrance to Dolington Road. Mr. Fegley stated in light of the Chief's comments, he would be in favor of leaving the entrance onto Dolington Road. Mrs. Godshalk asked why they did not permit an entrance from Afton Chase or Yardley Estates onto Edgewood Road. Chief Ronaldo stated he feels the Police Department did recommend these entrances onto Edgewood Road but were overruled.

Mr. Hackman stated he feels the preferred way out from this development would be the new entrance out to Dolington Road.

 Mr. Fazzalore asked if PennDOT would be concerned about the distance between the new entrance and Knoll Drive. Mr. Grochowski stated they have adequate sight distance. Mr. Hinkle asked if they could move the Dolington Road entrance up somewhat. Mr. Gouza stated he is concerned that there are already too many entrances onto Dolington Road and this will introduce another one.

Mr. Strahle stated after listening to the discussion he, too, feels there should be a connection to Dolington Road which means that three Supervisors would be in favor of this entrance.

Mr. Gouza marked on the plan what a majority of the Board agreed to with regard to road access the Dolington Road entrance will remain, Barbara will connect to Pine Lane at the bottom and Raab Drive will connect to Wilbur with a bulb built to facilitate access to the basin.

Mr. Elmer Jordan of Wilbur Road stated he has lived in the Township for 37 years and fanned this property being discussed. He stated they are now going to build $300,000 homes on the property and feels the residents should be able to vote on this project. He stated the residents do not want these houses built in this area.