TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - MAY 3, 1999
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on May 3, 1999. Chairman Strahle called the meeting to order at 7:55 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. discussing personnel matters.
Board of Supervisors:
William Strahle, Chairman
Wesley Hackman, Vice Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Fegley, Supervisor
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
Jan Gouza, Township Engineer
Joseph Bainbridge, Acting Police Chief
Sgt. Tom Roche, Police Department
Mr. Leonard Franckowiack thanked the Police Department for the checks they ran on Lindenhurst Road.
Ms. Jennifer Stark reported on vandalism which took place at the Vargo property over the weekend. She stated some of the masonry foundation for the chimney was vandalized and the silo was entered. She asked that a security plan be implemented at the property as soon as possible. Mr. Hackman noted the Township will clean out the area but it has not yet been decided if they will restore the masonry and the springhouse at this time. He asked if they repaired the masonry, would this help assure its stability or will a fence still need to be installed. Ms. Stark stated the existing mortar is dusty and is easy to undermine. She stated if they would stabilize the foundation and re-mortar, it would be more difficult to destroy. She is not sure, however, that this would be enough of a deterrent. She stated she feels it may be best to have this property put on a regular schedule of surveillance.
Ms. Lynn Landes distributed a hand-out to the Board this evening which is a shortened version of a report she had submitted previously on contamination in the Township. She is concerned about a number of areas in the Township which show soil disturbance. She is concerned that no one is keeping tract of these problem areas. She noted particularly a number of violations which have occurred in the past and are currently taking place on the Harris Tract which has an impact on Brock Creek. Mr. Fegley stated the Environmental Advisory Council made a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on this matter.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they did authorize Skelly & Loy and the DEP to check out this property and he also asked that Ms. Landes be invited when they visit the site. Ms. Landes noted she was invited. Ms. Landes stated she would suggest that DEP and Skelly & Loy do a split sample. Ms. Landes stated she has been advised by an individual of dumping that was done on a relative’s property in the Township which she will show Ms. Landes.
Ms. Landes stated testing should also be done on the Lower Makefield portion of the Tangora property.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to provide the Landes report to Skelly & Loy and ask them to provide an estimate on what it would cost to do a study on the additional concerns listed on Page 2.
Mrs. Godshalk noted extensive testing was done at Macclesfield Park. Mr. Garton reviewed the results of tests that were done and the consensus was that they should cover the area. Mr. Fedorchak stated within the fenced-in area there are at least four to five monitoring wells and samples have been taken a number of times. They have not seen any migration of heavy metals. Ms. Landes stated she feels the items of concern in that location should be removed. Mr. Garton noted this could cost up to $10 million. Mr. Fedorchak stated they are actively monitoring the situation and there is no reason to believe there is migration of hazardous substances. Ms. Landes expressed concern if there were to be a major flood in this area.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT OF SERGEANT JOSEPH BAINBRIDGE AS ACTING CHIEF OF POLICE
Mr. Strahle announced that Chief Ronaldo is in intensive care at St. Mary’s Hospital. He stated the Township wishes him a speedy recovery.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Sergeant Joseph Bainbridge as Acting Chief of Police.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of April 19, 1999 as corrected.
APPROVAL TO ACQUIRE ELM LOWNE PROPERTY
Mr. Garton stated he has not taken a role in these discussions since there is a relationship between the Begley Carlin firm and the Formidoni family.
Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to acquire Elm Lowne (Tax Parcel
#20-64-72) at the price agreed to of $685,000.
Mrs. Godshalk stated this property is located on Dolington Road near Quarry Road and consists of twelve acres of pristine open space or park land. It includes a manor house which is in excellent condition with the original portion of the home dating back to 1740. She stated it also includes a carriage house, lake, barn and springhouse. She read a letter from the attorney who noted that Claire Formidoni, prior to her death, had noted her desire that the property would not be sold off to developers.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he disagrees with the purchase of this property. He stated the voters were asked to approve the borrowing of $7.5 million in order to preserve open space. He stated this request was not to purchase historic properties. He noted at the price being paid for this property, the Township would only be able to purchase 90 acres of open space.
He stated he feels this is one of the worst decisions the Board has ever made. He noted the Township hired an architect to look at this property to determine possible uses. He read from the letter from the architect which indicates that converting this property into something usable such as a Senior Citizen Center or Community Center would cost almost $4.5 million. Mr. Fazzalore stated last Monday he received a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Prickett indicating they were interested in purchasing this property themselves and were willing to sign an agreement that they would not sell it off to developers.
Mr. Fegley stated he is not in favor of the purchase of this property. He stated the Township Board prepared an Open Space Plan which was submitted to the County when they sought the Municipal Grant under the County Open Space Funding. He noted in the preparation of that Plan, the Board of Supervisors consulted all volunteer Boards and Commissions who were asked to submit to the Board the properties they felt most suited to Township needs. They came up with a list of fifteen properties, and this property was not on the list. He stated the Board is now about to go against its own Open Space Plan. He stated for $685,000 they could be acquiring 22.8 acres at $30,00 an acre which is what they paid for the Patterson Farm. He stated if they spent $10,000 an acre for Conservation Easements, they could preserve 68.5 acres. He read the question which appeared on the Open Space Ballot in the fall which indicates nothing about purchasing historic properties. He stated he has heard nothing as to what these buildings could be used for. He stated private citizens were willing to purchase and deed restrict this property so that it would not have been subdivided. He stated the Township could achieve the purpose of preserving these historic buildings and save the $685,000 for the purchase of other open space if they had allowed these individuals to purchase the property themselves.
Mr. Hackman stated the voters gave the Board of Supervisors the right to borrow $7.5 million. Approximately one month ago, the Board held a special work session to discuss the open space opportunities in the Township. The Board considered whether they should spend the majority on the money on another large purchase similar to the Patterson Farm or
provide smaller portions of open space in a number of sections of the Township. No final decision was made although they did take some action to try to determine who was interested in selling their land or development rights. Mr. Hackman stated one year ago the Board was interested in the Raab Farm and because they could not react as quickly as the developers, a developer purchased this property. He stated the Board now has an opportunity to purchase a piece of property which is for sale for a price he feels is reasonable. He feels this parcel could be an asset for the Township.
Mrs. Godshalk stated when the Board tried to acquire the Raab Farm, they were not able to since the developers came in so quickly. She stated there is a building boom in Bucks County. She added a developer did contact the Township to find out how many lots they could get on the Elm Lowne property and also wanted to fill in the lake. Mrs. Godshalk stated she did take some people representing various groups in the Township out to the property to get their opinion. She feels many people in the Township will benefit from the use of this property. She stated she can envision musical groups and children’s groups using the property. She stated the Township is currently getting rents from some of the properties they currently own and they plan on renting the carriage house on this property and funds from this rent will help maintain the property. She is not sure what the house
will specifically be used for at this time. She stated some people in the private sector have already indicated they may want to get involved in this project.
Mr. Hackman stated when they first looked at the property they asked if the property could be used for a Community Center/Senior Citizen Center, and the architects were asked to look at the property. They came back indicating that it would cost about the same as it would cost to build a new building.
Mr. Ralph Thompson stated twelve years ago the Township approved a policy of preserving historic houses by getting the developers to set them off on their own lot and let private ownership take over the job of preservation. He reviewed a number of homes in the Township which were preserved in this fashion. He stated the Township has also been able to provide open space by having the developers set aside a certain amount of open space. In this situation, the Township wants to take over the function of what private citizens have been doing. He added that while this is an interesting historic home, private citizens are interested in purchasing it and doing exactly what has been done successfully in the past at no cost to the Township. He stated the Township will now have to maintain this property and they are not even maintaining the buildings on the Patterson Farm since one of them is ready to collapse. Mr. Thompson stated he does not feel this is the job of the Township. He stated when the people voted for open space, they voted for open space and not for buildings which will cost the taxpayers money to repair and maintain. He feels this is a double-cross on the people who voted for open space since the Board of Supervisors is not doing what they said they would do especially in this instance where there is a private individual willing to purchase this property.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she would not put too much stock in this private individual’s letter. She stated those individuals did have an opportunity to purchase this property and only when they found out how much the Township was going to pay, which was substantially less than it was being offered for, did they come forward. She stated they also wanted to have a business at this location and this would require them to go before the Zoning Hearing Board. She stated the Township is also trying to purchase another farm across the street from this property.
Mr. Fazzalore suggested the Board postpone a decision on this matter for two weeks to give Todd and Debra Prickett the opportunity to make an offer on the property. Mr. Fegley stated he would be in favor of this.
Mr. Hackman stated there is not going to be a single piece of land in the Township that will go up for sale that will not have people interested in purchasing it. He stated prices will continue to go up and the Township will be bidding with all other bidders. He stated there were people lining up to purchase the Patterson Farm. Mr. Fegley stated the people interested in purchasing the Patterson Farm were developers, not private individuals. He stated they have in this instance an individual who is interested in purchasing this property who will agree to protect the twelve acres. The Township is now competing with these private citizens. He stated the historic structure would be preserved at no cost to the Township if they allowed these individuals to purchase the property and the Township could then use their funds elsewhere.
Ms. Carla Risoldi stated it is very costly to restore a historic home and the Township will either destroy the architectural integrity in their effort to make the property useful or it will not be a very useful property. She stated she lives in the Balderston House and it has taken over a year to restore. Mr. Hackman noted the property the Township is purchasing is in good condition. Mrs. Godshalk commended Ms. Risoldi on the work she has done at her property. She stated the home the Township is purchasing is in fabulous condition.
Mr. Paul Gunkel stated the Bond Issue was for open space, and he does not feel it would have passed if it were for open space and historic development. He stated he feels they should not use the open space funds for the purchase of this property and they should use other funds. He stated he still feels the best way would be for the private individuals to take over the property. He stated the Township currently owns five houses and he does not feel the Township should be in the real estate business.
Mr. Fegley asked if this purchase could make the Township liable if the Township citizens feel this is not part of what they considered to be part of the Open Space Referendum.
Ms. Debbie Prickett stated she and her husband were not only interested in the property when they were made aware of the price being paid by the Township. She stated they were not able to get to the property quicker because of family obligations. She stated she feels a family should be living on this property.
Ms. Helen Heinz stated she serves on the Township’s Historic Commission and Historical Society. She stated this is a great property and agrees with Mr. Fegley and Mr. Fazzalore that it is a property that should belong to a private individual and the Township should not spend their money on it. She stated the Township should be looking to purchase property in the center of the Township for a Community Center, and she would recommend purchasing land in Edgewood Village. She stated if private individuals own the property under discussion it will be protected. She is concerned that it will not be preserved if the Township owns it. She stated she would hate to see the meadow turned into parking spots.
Mr. Bud Danion stated he has not been following this issue and only learned of it this evening. He stated if it is possible to preserve the property and prevent building and not cost the Township any money, they should proceed with this alternative method.
Mrs. Godshalk stated the Pricketts never made a bid on the property. Mr. Danion asked that they follow Mr. Fazzalore’s suggestion and postpone this matter for two weeks.
Mrs. Godshalk stated they have already run out of time.
Ms. Ann Langtry stated this property could be used by the Boy and Girl Scouts, performing arts, women’s club, garden clubs, senior programs, etc.
Mr. Dennis Smith stated he moved into Lower Makefield Township one month ago and is interested in preserving the open space. He stated Mr. Hackman has indicated that builders are coming in and prices are skyrocketing. He stated if a private individual is willing to pay $685,000 for this property, the Township could save their money and get another piece of property away from a developer. He stated if the private individual is willing to sign a deed that they would not sell it to a developer, he feels the Township should allow them to do so.
Mr. Hackman stated the Township has no control over who will buy the property. The Estate is trying to sell the property and they approached the Township because they wanted to preserve it the way it is now. Mr. Hackman stated he feels there are developers who are willing to pay quite a bit more for this property. He stated the Pricketts could be out bid by developers. Mr. Fegley asked why the developers did not out bid the Township.
Mr. Hackman stated the he feels the Township is going to have a difficult time finding properties to buy.
Mr. Smith asked why the Township and the Pricketts could not work together to preserve the property.
Mr. Fegley stated he feels the Estate would be willing to sell the property to the Pricketts for $685,000 if they are willing to sell it to the Township for that price. Mr. Fegley stated there was a prior bid for the property of $675,000 from a private individual and the Township raised their price $10,000.
Mr. Chuck Snyder stated if they go forward there will be discussion on whether the money was used appropriately and there is already evidence of this tonight by those in attendance.
Ms. Jo Norum representing Freedom Valley Girl Scouts stated she has seen the property and feels this is the kind of property that will offer the Girl Scouts an enormous opportunity. She stated the property is not conducive to being made into ballfields. She stated while they would not be able to use the property for mass activities for the Girl Scouts, she does feel they could make use of the barn and the house.
Ms. Karen Freedman stated while she is in favor of purchasing open space, she is now hearing that they might be using this property for a Community Center or other community uses. She asked where the money will come from to renovate the property. Mr. Fegley stated this would come from tax dollars. Ms. Freedman stated there was a vote taken on a $4.5 million Community Center and this was turned down by the voters. She stated it now seems they will be using this for community activities which will require installing a parking lot which will result in this no longer being a pristine property. Mrs. Godshalk stated the part that would be used for parking backs up to I-95 and it has been a corn field for many years. Ms. Freedman stated it appears the Board is purchasing this property under the guise of open space and then using it for a Community Center which was voted down by the voters. Mrs. Godshalk stated it will not be used as a Community Center although it will be used by the community. She stated no additions will be constructed onto the house since this would ruin the historical significance.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board of Supervisors has put no plan together as to what this would cost and future expenses.
Ms. Freedman stated there is too much open as to what this could turn into.
Mr. Fazzalore stated earlier there were comments made that people were standing in line to buy the Patterson Farm. He stated those who were interested in that property were commercial developers who were willing to pay much more than the Township bid, but they would have needed a zoning change.
Ms. Claudia Fountaine stated it appears whoever is selling this property seems to want to keep the property in its present condition rather than sell it to a developer. Mr. Fegley
stated the property is in the hands of the Estate. The Township found out it was available for purchase. There was already a $675,000 bid offered by a private individual, not a developer, and the Township then went to $685,000 to acquire the property. Subsequently, the Pricketts indicated their interest in the property. Mrs. Godshalk stated a developer has already called the Township to find out how many lots they could get on the property. Mr. Fegley stated no offers were made by any developers. Mrs. Godshalk stated she did hear from the Real Estate Agent that several developers have looked at it as well as other commercial users.
Mr. Victor Fiori stated currently the property is in excellent condition although it does back up to I-95. He stated he feels a light will have to be installed eventually in this area as well as road widening. He stated there are also storm sewer issues which need to be addressed. Mrs. Godshalk stated for twenty years a road widening project has been on the books to link this up to Creamery road so that there will no longer be a T-intersection.
Mr. Richard Storm asked what the interest is of the Township Historical Society with this property. Mrs. Godshalk stated other than a few people, they do not really know much about this property. She noted she is the liaison to the Historic Commission. Mr. Storm asked if the property is registered, and Mrs. Godshalk stated it is not. Mr. Storm asked if a private individual could make a commercial operation out of this property. Mrs. Godshalk stated it is not zoned for commercial use. Mr. Storm noted there are fifteen properties on the Open Space Plan that were ahead of this property and he questioned why they are discussing this property and spending $685,000.
Mr. Fegley stated the Township Solicitor was asked to contact the large property owners in the Township to see if they had any interest in selling their properties; however they have not yet heard from all of these landowners. He feels they are now rushing ahead and spending 10% of the available funds and this may prohibit them from purchasing a larger contiguous parcel.
Mr. Hackman stated the property they are discussing is available, and he feels the buildings alone are worth $600,000. He added that while they will not build a Community Center at this location, the buildings would be available to people of the community.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they should postpone a decision for two weeks to allow the Pricketts time to make an offer equal to that made by the Township.
Mr. Fedorchak stated he was advised by the Executor last November that the Estate received an offer for $675,000 and the Estate turned this offer down because they did not feel it was sufficient.
Mr. Strahle stated he wishes some of the large property owners were coming to the Township indicating they wanted to sell their land, but they have not received these offers. He stated the developers are trying to build anywhere "grass is growing" in the Township. He stated they have learned from the sale of the Raab Farm that if they do not move quickly, the property will be sold to developers. He stated he feels Scout groups will use the property and also envisions presentations by the Historic Society for school children.
Motion to approve carried with Mrs. Godshalk, Mr. Hackman and Mr. Strahle in favor and
Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Fegley opposed.
Mr. Hackman suggested the Township Manager be directed to post a sign indicating this is Township open space/recreation land, to quickly find a tenant for the carriage house at a rent to be determined, to have someone look at the grounds to determine maintenance which needs to be done, to secure the barn, and to form a Committee to be headed by
Mrs. Godshalk to include members of the Historic Commission, Historic Society, Girl Scouts, and others interested and ask them to report back to the Board of Supervisors by September 15 with suggestions on uses for the property. He also asked that the Police Department begin to patrol this property.
r. Fedorchak stated there is currently a tenant in the house who will be there until July 1.
He and Mrs. Godshalk will be working on getting someone into the carriage house which they feel is in sufficient condition to have someone move into. They will padlock any open doors at the property within the next few days. He and Mr. Coyne have already discussed the maintenance issues in anticipation of there being a positive vote this evening. There is a landscaping firm in the area which, at a reasonable cost, is currently cutting the grounds and most likely they will recommend that they continue to use this company.
DENY ACQUISITION OF SAMOST TRACT
Mr. Garton stated he has prepared a Resolution of Condemnation for the parcel located at the corner of Oxford Valley and Edgewood Roads.
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve the Resolution, number to be identified at a later time, authorizing acquisition of Tax Parcel #20-34-47 which is the property between the boys’ baseball field and girls’ softball fields on Oxford Valley Road. The property is 26 3/4 acres.
Mr. Fegley stated since the Township is still involved in litigation over the last condemnation, he is not in favor of proceeding on this matter at this time.
Mrs. Godshalk stated they have been discussing this piece of land for years. The owner is interested in selling. They tried to contact him today and have been negotiating with him in the past. They do have an appraisal and she would recommend proceeding with acquisition of this land since it is adjacent to other Township properties.
Mr. Hackman stated he considers this parcel the only strategic parcel in the Township because it ties together the Township lands in the center of the Township. It is large enough for a number of uses. He stated the developer does have a plan in for this parcel for approximately 24 houses.
Mr. Fazzalore stated this developer could not get his plan past the Planning Commission. He stated this parcel circles a water tower and all plans submitted were insufficient.
Mr. Fegley stated this is the site selected for the Community Center which was voted down in last fall’s Referendum. He stated if there is any thought of going forward with a Community Center there should not be one dollar of the Open Space Referendum money used to purchase this property.
Mr. Hackman stated the Township borrowed $7.5 million when they purchased the Patterson Farm and they spent only $7.2 million. He stated a portion of the Patterson Farm has been approved by the County for County Open Space money so the Township will be reimbursed $687,000. He does not feel any of the Referendum money will be used for the purchase of the Samost Tract.
Mr. Strahle stated he is philosophically opposed to condemnation of land and was also opposed to the condemnation of the other tract which is currently in litigation. He does, however, feel a Board of View may be a fair way to find a legal middle ground.
Mr. Gunkel stated this property was at one time tied into with Afton Chase and one of the conditions of approval for Afton Chase was the Township would get $65,000 for a drainage system once this property is developed. He asked how this would be handled. Mr. Garton stated this would be an issue before the Board of View.
Motion did not carry as Mrs. Godshalk and Mr. Hackman voted yes, and Mr. Fazzalore, Mr. Fegley, and Mr. Strahle voted no.
RCN CABLE STATUS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Elliott Paul, Chairman of the Cable TV Advisory Board, was present. He stated at the meeting held on March 11 it was decided to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they proceed with negotiations with RCN Telecom to apply for a Cable TV Franchise as was recently concluded in neighboring Newtown Township. He stated Mr. Thomas Cohen is the acting agent at RCN in the cable negotiations. The CATV Board feels it would be good to have a competing firm in the Township. Mr. Paul stated rates would stabilize or go down slightly and there would be more channels likely to be offered. The Township would also have another franchise fee coming in. It is estimated that in Newtown Township it will take two to three years before the system could be installed since they do have to install fiber optics. Mr. Paul feels competing service could be obtained in Lower Makefield Township within three to four years.
Mr. Hackman asked if they will have to have another set of "dog boxes" installed.
Mr. Paul stated they did review the history of this problem in Lower Makefield with
Mr. Cohen. He stated technology has been improved and there are ways of hiding and burying boxes. He stated LBC did not work with the residents in the past with regard to this issue and this created problems. Before any cable boxes or pedestals would be installed or buried, they would have discussions with the residents involved.
Mr. Fazzalore asked the impact of the AT & T negotiations with Media One in this regard since he understands they will use wireless cable. Mr. Paul stated there is the possibility that RCN may also be taken over in the future.
Mr. Paul stated they are requesting that a Township representative contact Mr. Cohen and ask RCN to submit a Franchise Application.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to have Township representatives contact Mr. Thomas Cohen at RCN and ask them to submit a Franchise Application.
Mr. Fegley stated he feels this Application should be submitted to the Cable TV Advisory Board for their comments and then submitted to the Board of Supervisors.
APPROVAL OF LEASE AGREEMENT WITH SBA, INC.
Mr. Garton stated he has made some changes to the proposed Lease Agreement and the
representative for SBA has agreed to the changes. Mr. Chris Brasso was present on behalf of SBA, Inc.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve execution of the Lease Agreement subject to comments in Mr. Garton’s letter dated 4/3/0/99.
Mr. Hackman asked Mr. Brasso how quickly they will move on this. Mr. Brass stated plans will be submitted tomorrow for the site, and they are proceeding with the soil tests. He stated he advised Mr. Fedorchak that they have had discussions with Sprint and are furnishing them with a Lease. They also hope to find additional tenants. They hope to go through the Land Development process in forty-five days.
LINDENHURST ROAD DISCUSSION
Mr. Fedorchak stated at the direction of the Board of Supervisors he sent a letter to the Township Managers of Upper Makefield and Newtown Townships asking if they would be willing to participate with Lower Makefield in having Lindenhurst Road turned over to the three communities. Mr. Hopkins from Newtown Township has forwarded his letter to the Newtown Board of Supervisors but no action has been taken to date. They do have a meeting on May 12, but this item is not scheduled to be discussed at that time. Upper Makefield will discuss this matter at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting scheduled for
May 5. All three Municipalities must participate in order for PennDOT to agree.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Pennsbury School District did write a very strong letter to Representative Steil about the conditions of Lindenhurst Road.
Mr. Gouza showed a plan on the overhead on the alternate routes that might be available for truck traffic assuming the truck traffic is coming out of the quarries in Wrightstown and heading to the 332/ I-95 Interchange. He stated the trucks are currently using Windybush Road to 413, going down 413 to Stoopville to Lindenhurst Road to the By-Pass and then to the interchange. He stated they could use Windybush/413 but instead of using Stoopville go to 413 and pick up the By-Pass in Newtown Township to the Interchange. Another alternative would be using Swamp Road from Windybush by the College to the By-Pass/413. Currently there is a truck weight restriction on Swamp Road for fifteen tons so it is unsafe at the current time for trucks. Mr. Gouza stated they looked at obstacles for the alternate routes and these obstacles are either stop conditions or traffic signals. There is a stop at 413, one at Stoopville, and one at Eagle. There is a light at Quarry Road, a light where Lindenhurst Road meets the By-Pass, and one at Stony Hill Road and the Interchange. If they take the route at the By-Pass, there is still a stop at 413 and Windybush, a light at the By-Pass, although this is a free right movement, and nine lights along the By-Pass. In talking to the trucking companies, this is the glitch in the system.
He noted on a mileage basis, the By-Pass is the shorter route, but there are more obstacles in the way. If they were able to restrict the trucks by weight or class on Lindenhurst Road
down to the By-Pass, the alternates would force them onto Washington Crossing Road down Taylorsville to pick up I-95 or Dolington Road which then goes through the Township residential area to Taylorsville Road back up to I-95 and the Interchange.
Mr. Fegley stated he feels they should be required to use the By-Pass. Mr. Gouza stated by law there is a strict procedure you need to go through to either limit trucks on a State highway by either weight or class or ban them all together and this takes into consideration the alignment of the route they are taking, what the obstructions are on those routes, what the structural capabilities of the various structures are, and there must be a logical, feasible route for trucks to take.
Mr. Hackman stated he understands Newtown Township had a program with PennDOT to time the lights. Mr. Gouza stated the trucks would probably use the By-Pass if they knew the lights would be synchronized so that they could go 45 miles per hour and not have to stop at a light. Newtown, in cooperation with PennDOT, is in fact developing plans to interconnect all the signals on the By-Pass to accomplish this.
Mr. Garton stated he does not feel it is likely PennDOT will restrict the truck traffic.
He stated the first element is the turnback and then you would have the analysis Mr. Gouza has outlined.
Ms. Irene Koehler asked if the trucks ever go 45 miles per hour and stated she does not feel timing the lights will work since they are going 60 miles per hour. Mr. Gouza stated once the drivers travel this a few times and recognize that if they go 45 miles per hour they will not have to stop, they will do so.
Ms. Claudia Fountaine asked if it is possible they are not sequencing these lights on purpose. Mr. Fazzalore stated he did not feel this was true. Ms. Fountaine asked if the Township could send Newtown Township a letter asking when they feel this sequencing will be in place.
Mr. Leonard Franckowiack asked if the Board of Supervisors feels there are unsafe conditions on Lindenhurst Road, and the Board agreed this is true. He stated he is concerned that a stone truck will hit a school bus and people will be asking why something was not done before this happened. He stated he feels Newtown Township representatives should be considering as well whether this is an unsafe condition. He stated he does not feel PennDOT recognizes that Lindenhurst Road is unsafe. He stated Andy Warren has been sent letters and these went unanswered. He stated three trucks were involved in an accident on Lindenhurst Road recently and a truck ran onto a lawn on Autumn Drive in order to avoid a school bus.
Mr. Fedorchak suggested they invite Mr. Steil to a meeting and ask him to invite
Mr. Warren and other PennDOT representatives to attend as well. He stated at that meeting interested residents and the Board of Supervisors could present the evidence to them. He stated Sergeant Roche will be discussing later in the evening the results of the safety checks run by the Police Department. He understands a number of vehicles stopped were in unsafe condition and those vehicles were not permitted to be driven until they were fixed.
Mrs. Godshalk stated several years ago there was a problem with the State at Oxford Valley and Mr. Wright arranged a meeting and videos were set up. They went to the Secretary of Transportation with the videos and they got a reaction. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels this would be effective since she does not feel the State representatives will come to the Township. Mr. Hackman stated Mr. Steil lives in Lower Makefield and was a Township Supervisors for a number of years and must know that this is a problem. He stated Andy
Warren was a County Commission and lives in Newtown Township. He stated Joe Conti lives in Doylestown and could also come to Lower Makefield. Mr. Hackman stated
Mr. Schweiker is from Middletown. Mrs. Godshalk stated the decision is made by the Secretary of Transportation. Mr. Strahle stated he does not feel anything is mutually exclusive. He stated they could do a video and also invite people to come to the Township. He also asked that the Police Department make traffic stops a priority in this area until the last day of school. He stated they should make it more costly in economic terms for the truck drivers to continue to come down Lindenhurst Road or Dolington Road.
Ms. Koehler stated she hopes the Police Department will continue to make stops even when school is over since there are residents in the area who are also concerned with the conditions.
Ms. Jo Norum asked how the stop light at Quarry Road was approved, and Mr. Hackman stated this was approved because of the two schools in the area. Mr. Hackman stated there were plans for one or two others, but the State has rules and regulations on installing traffic light and the roads did not meet those requirements. Ms. Norum asked how they could make the lights synchronized on a two-way road. Mr. Gouza stated it is technically possible to do so although it does cost money.
Ms. Sue Herman asked what they need to do to quickly initiate a meeting. Mr. Strahle stated Mr. Fedorchak will coordinate this. Ms. Herman asked about the video.
Sergeant Roche stated the Police Department did set up a video some years ago in
Mr. Hackman’s barn. Mr. Hackman stated he feels the Police Department could do this again. Ms. Herman asked if PennDOT could restrict Lindenhurst Road from truck traffic, and Mr. Garton stated the State could do this but Lower Makefield could not at this time.
Ms. Herman asked if the Township could restrict trucks if the Township took the road back, and Mr. Garton stated they can if they do the analysis Mr. Gouza has described.
Ms. Herman stated she feels this is a Newtown Township problem since they have the lights that need to be synchronized. Mr. Hackman stated he feels Newtown can help the situation, and it seems that they plan to do so. Ms. Herman asked that Lower Makefield do whatever they can to encourage Newtown Township to facilitate this. She thanked the Police Department for conducting the safety checks and feels they need to be continued at frequent and unexpected times. Mr. Hackman stated three weeks ago the Police Department also ran a speed trap and caught quite a few cars exceeding the limit. Sergeant Roche stated the Chief did report on this at the last meeting. Ms. Herman stated at the last meeting they asked Newtown Township and Upper Makefield to also police Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Hackman stated Upper Makefield has very little land actually on Lindenhurst Road. He has seen Newtown Township Police cars frequently on Lindenhurst Road. It was noted they did ask Chief Ronaldo to report on this and he is unable to report back at this time. Sergeant Roche stated Newtown Township gave up their truck inspection capabilities and sold their scales. He stated they do not have official truck inspectors. He noted Newtown Township only has one half mile of Lindenhurst Road. Ms. Herman stated she would like to ask Newtown Township for their assistance in patrolling their portion of Lindenhurst Road.
Mrs. Godshalk suggested they advise Newtown Township that Lower Makefield Township would be willing to take over the maintenance of Lindenhurst Road if they would agree to participate in the giveback. Ms. Fountaine stated she did have a discussion with a Newtown Township Supervisor who suggested this as well. Mr. Hackman noted there is an "S" turn and a bridge in Newtown Township, and he would like to give further consideration on the maintenance issue and have the engineer comment on it as well before they agree to this.
Ms. Risoldi stated people are upset because they have purchased expensive properties in this area and prior to living in them saw them only on Sundays. Now that they are living in the properties, they have to deal with the traffic Monday through Friday. She stated there is also a problem near the Village Market where trucks are cutting off the median to turn.
Mr. Hackman noted a letter was sent by the Pennsbury School District. Ms. Langtry noted the significance of this letter from three principals. She asked that the Board of Supervisors put pressure on the State legislators. Mrs. Godshalk stated they should have written to the Secretary of Transportation and the Governor. Ms. Herman stated she will ask that they also send a copy of the letter to those individuals as well as Representative Steil and
Mr. Conti. Ms. Langtry noted summer programs are held at the schools in the area.
Mr. Hackman asked if Ms. Langtry has any contacts with Council Rock Schools since there are a number of Council Rock buses in this area as well.
LINDENHURST ROAD RECONSTRUCTION STATUS REPORT
Mr. Hackman stated since this involves improvements in front of his property, he will not vote on this matter but would like to comment.
Mr. Gouza stated they were asked to provide an update as to where the Dolington Estates II
project was in terms of the permitting specifically for the improvements along Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Gouza stated they submitted this on April 9, 1999. Four issues are still outstanding. He stated the Bridge Unit of PennDOT did issue a report. He stated part of the memo was also an analysis of the construction costs involved along that stretch of Lindenhurst Road. The agreement the Township entered into by Stipulation with the developer was that they were to assume certain costs. They have shown the Township portion of the construction costs and applied the guidelines issued in the Stipulation and the total construction cost is $730,000 and of that the Township portion would be $180,000.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he is concerned that improvements made to the road will encourage higher speeds. He stated the $180,000 was not in the Budget.
Mr. Hackman stated at Final Plan there was a design of these improvements which included a design for the bridge and he asked if this is a current plan. He stated he has been asked to sign off on a plan he has not seen. He stated he did give a 25 foot wide easement for a sewer easement and now they are indicating they are not going to meld the driveway back into the improvements. Mr. Gouza stated to his knowledge, there is no new plan and the plan is the same as the one that was before the Board of Supervisors. They are in the process of answering various questions coming from the various agencies who will issue the permits so ultimately there will be a revised plan that will incorporate the various issues to satisfy the permitting They should not materially change the concept of the project.
Mr. Hackman asked when this will come back to the Board of Supervisors for final revision and approval. Mr. Garton stated the final allocation of the cost would need to come back to the Board of Supervisors which he assumes would be based on a final plan. Mr. Garton stated the reviewing agency comments would come out before they come back to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Hackman asked about the bikepath across the bridge. Mr. Gouza stated the bridge is to be widened to carry a bikepath on the opposite side of Mr. Hackman’s property. The bridge will be approximately 42 feet wide. Mr. Gouza stated the Corps of Engineers and DEP have raised the issue as to whether this should be one bridge or two bridges with one of the bridges carrying the bikepath. This issue has not been resolved.
Mr. Garton noted the Board of Supervisors has already agreed by Court Order to pay its share of the road improvements.
OXFORD ROAD BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION STATUS REPORT
Mr. Gouza stated they should have the results of the bidding before the Board at their second meeting in June.
AWARD 1999 PAVING PROGRAM CONTRACT NO. 1
Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to award Contract No. 1 for placement of a 1 1/2" wearing course to Miller & Son Paving, Inc. in the amount of $253,296.00.
Mr. Strahle asked if these projects have been coordinated with the Sewer Department, and Mr. Gouza stated he has been discussing the streets program with Mr. Hoffmeister and he is aware of what they intend to do.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
AWARD 1999 PAVING PROGRAM CONTRACT NO. 2
Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to award Contract No. 2 for placement of a bituminous seal coat to Gorman Brothers, LLC in the amount of $58,793.60.
DISCUSSION OF DEFIBRILLATOR POLICY
Mr. Strahle stated since the Chief is not present this evening, they do not have a Policy to discuss. Sergeant Roche stated they are working on this and hope to have this to the Board at their next meeting. Mr. Hackman stated the other question had to do with training of Police Officers. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated everyone has been trained. Sergeant Roche stated they have two units but they are kept in house since they do not have a policy in place. He stated he understands there is a third unit in the process of being purchased.
Mr. Strahle stated the Board is also considering putting the purchase of these units in the Budget so that one would be in every Police Car.
OUTDOOR PISTOL RANGE REPORT
Mr. Strahle stated they need to discuss this matter with the Chief. Mr. Fazzalore stated they do have a report, and he would suggest that the engineer be authorized to put this out to bid. Mr. Hackman stated he still has questions.
ADOPTION OF PROCLAMATION ON NATIONAL POLICE WEEK AND POLICE MEMORIAL DAY
Mr. Strahle read the Proclamation which was signed by the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to adopt the Proclamation.
REPORT ON TRUCK SAFETY CHECK PERFORMED BY POLICE DEPARTMENT
Sergeant Roche reported that 102 trucks were stopped and twelve citations issued on April 27, 1999 at 332 and Lindenhurst Road. Two vehicles were put out of service. He stated most of the violations were tire violations and one driver was cited for driving without a license.
Mr. Hackman stated it has been suggested that they do this on a more active schedule. Sergeant Roche stated this involves an overtime situation and it takes at lease six to eight people depending on the volume.
Mr. Strahle asked if there is a location on Lindenhurst Road where they could be pulled over since the idea is to get them off Lindenhurst Road. Sergeant Roche stated you need a large stretch of road. He stated if you deadline a truck you must have room to pull them over. Sergeant Roche stated he feels they did get most of the people who were heading down Lindenhurst road. Mr. Strahle stated he would still like to be a little more proactive on Lindenhurst Road itself.
Mr. Hackman stated there is an area in front of Heather Ridge which would probably be the best place.
APPROVAL OF RITE AID/CVS PLAZA REVISED FINAL PLANS
Mr. Edward Murphy was present. He noted this is a Revised Final Plan. He stated Rite Aid has had some discussions with CVS and CVS has elected to step in at this location.
The building will be smaller by 900 square feet and there will therefore be a reduction in the number of parking spaces. The Planning Commission recommended approval as did PCS.
The facade will be the same.
Mr. Hackman stated the drive-in window has been changed, and Mr. Murphy stated it has been moved to the rear of the building instead of the side.
Mr. Garton noted the Plan is still subject to all prior conditions.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Rite Aid/CVS Plaza Revised Final Plan subject to all prior conditions and the fact that the building will be brick. Also subject to the PCS letter dated 4/21/99.
APPROVAL OF BIBLE FELLOWSHIP EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH FINAL PLAN
Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Final Plan for Bible Fellowship Evangelical Free Church plans dated 7/1/95, last revised 3/1/99 subject to:
1) Continued compliance with conditions of Preliminary Plan dated
2/2/98 to the extent not satisfied;
2) Receipt of all permits and approvals by agencies having jurisdiction;
3) Compliance with PCS letter dated 3/30/99;
4) Compliance with CKS letter dated 3/26/99;
5) Funding and execution of Development and Financial Security
Agreements with the Township with the Impact Fee to be based on
one residential unit.
Mr. Caracappa, attorney for the applicant, agreed to the conditions.
Ms. Helen Kahn stated her neighbor, Stu Goldman, wrote a letter addressing some of their concerns. She did not know when the letter was written. She asked if there will be parking permitted on Oxford Valley or Moyer Road. Mr. Garton stated this was dealt with by the Zoning Hearing Board. Ms. Kahn asked if lighting will be confined to the property.
Mr. Garton stated this is an Ordinance requirement.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 1027 ACCEPTING DEDICATION OF THE RIDINGS
Mr. Garton stated the staff has recommended approval.
Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve Resolution No. 1027 accepting dedication of The Ridings.
Mr. Fazzalore noted there is work taking place in the area. Mr. Garton stated this is utility work. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the Township policy should be changed so that the utility companies are required to repave the road similar to the State requirement when utility companies do work on State roads. Mr. Fedorchak stated he will discuss this with Mr. Coyne and report back at the next meeting.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
OXFORD OAKS SIGNING OF REVISED LINENS
These were signed following the meeting.
ZONING HEARING BOARD
The Township Solicitor was asked to appear in opposition to the Dream Home Remodelers request for Variance for 1237 Quarry Commons Drive to construct a patio resulting in greater than permitted impervious surface.
No action was taken on the Toll Brothers request for Variance for the property at 531 Hearthstone to permit a 3" encroachment into the front yard setback.
TABLING OF APPROVAL OF 1999 CONSORTIUM PIPE BIDS
Mr. Fedorchak asked that this matter to tabled until he can obtain additional information.
Mr. Strahle stated this matter is tabled by acclamation. No vote was taken.
APPROVAL OF GASOLINE, DIESEL & HEATING FUEL BIDS FOR THE YEAR 1999-2000
Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the gasoline, diesel & heating fuel bids for the year 1999-2000 to Farm & Home, Texas Liquids, and Connective d/b/a Petron.
Mr. Fazzalore stated at the Planning Commission meeting, a representative for the developer of Pebble Creek Estates appeared and was very argumentative. He stated the developer is interpreting the Agreement to indicate they can use interior roads as a construction entrance and they do not have to use the designated construction entrance shown on the plans for the construction of the homes. Mr. Gunkel stated the road going into the greenhouse was to be used for all construction. The developer is indicating that once the roads were built, they could use any road they wish. Mr. Garton stated the construction entrance was to be used for all construction vehicles. Mr. Fazzalore stated the residents have indicated the developer is already in violation since they are currently using Innis Lane. Mr. Garton stated they could withdraw their building permit. Mr. Fedorchak stated the Code Enforcement Officer could be sent out to the site.
TABLING OF DISCUSSION OF REQUEST FOR SUPPORT BY BUCKS RESIDENTS FOR RESPONSIBLE AIRPORT MANAGEMENT REGARDING TRENTON-MERCER AIRPORT
Mr. Fedorchak asked that this matter be tabled. He feels the people involved will be present at the next meeting. Mr. Fazzalore stated they did write a very nice letter.
No action was taken this evening.
TABLING TO EXECUTIVE SESSION THE YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD EMERGENCY UNIT OPERATIONAL REPORT
Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to table this matter and feels it should be discussed in Executive Session. No action was taken.
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Mr. Fazzalore and Mr. Fegley stated they will be in attendance for the Parade to be held at 11:00 A.M. on May 31, 1999. Mr. Fegley asked that there be an appropriate way to affix the Lower Makefield sign on the vehicle they are riding in.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Rudolph Mayrhofer to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Andrew Newbon to the Park & Recreation Board.
There being no further business, Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 11:40 p.m.
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary