TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - NOVEMBER 15, 1999
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 15, 1999. Chairman Hackman called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
Board of Supervisors:
Wesley Hackman, Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer
Fred Allan, Supervisor
Scott Fegley, Supervisor
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Joseph Bainbridge, Acting Chief of Police
Mr. Paul Krupp thanked Mr. Fedorchak and Mr. Hackman for participating in the meeting regarding in the expansion of the Trenton-Mercer Airport. He stated the BRAM group appreciates their involvement in speaking out on the effect the expansion will have on Lower Makefield. He stated he feels this expansion will have more of a negative impact on the Township than any other issue. Mr. Hackman stated Mr. Fedorchak will discuss this matter in more detail later in the evening.
Mr. Len Franckowiak thanked Mr. Gouza for providing the map he requested. He asked the status of the Right to Know question regarding the downgrading of the bridge on Swamp road. He stated the truck drivers have asked that this Bridge be opened up since it is the best route for them to use. Mr. Fedorchak stated they have crafted letters which were sent out to the Bridge Department of PennDOT in St. Davids citing the right sections of the Right to Know law. He noted this is the second time they have requested the information. He talked to the Manager of the Inspection Division who stated it is PennDOTís policy that the bridge inspection reports are excluded from Right to Know consideration. He stated they do not feel there is any point in pursing this matter with that individual.
Mr. Fedorchak asked for the name of that individualís superior in Harrisburg, and he has called that individual but has not received a return phone call. Mr. Hackman asked what can legally be done. Mr. Garton stated they have the right to bring an action in the Commonwealth Court to compel them to provide the information. He has also discussed the matter with Mr. Conti who agreed to look into the matter. Mr. Garton noted Representative Druce is the Chairman of the Transportation Committee in the House and he will be contacted.
Mr. Franckowiak stated he had applied for the position of Supervisor and was asked during the interview process what he felt would be important to the Township which could be done, and he noted his concerns with traffic safety in the Township. He stated that since that interview there have been two fatalities in the Township, and he feels this is a very serious issue. He stated he would like to ask the Board of Supervisors to set a goal that there would not be any serious traffic accidents in the Township. He feels once this goal is set, objectives will be set in place. He stated no other Township is doing anything about this problem, and he would like Lower Makefield Township to set such a goal and then follow up with objectives to make this goal a possibility. Mr. Hackman stated he believes that without saying it, it is certainly their goal that there be no accidents; however, he does not know other than saying this is their goal, what can be done. He stated possibly Mr. Franckowiak could provide what type of objectives should be considered which would be reasonable. Mr. Fegley asked how they could have prevented a tractor-trailer from running a red light and striking a car and killing someone. He noted the accident in Wrightstown involved a woman who was speeding and swerving in and out of traffic which resulted in a head-on collision. He questioned how the Supervisors can prevent such negligence. He noted there was a fatality at Mirror Lake Road and 332 and a light was installed at this intersection which will hopefully prevent another accident in the future. He stated if there are problems with sight distances they can address these, but they cannot prevent negligence. Mr. Fazzalore stated they can do a campaign with the Police Department and put out "Drive Safe" brochures. Mrs. Godshalk stated over the years she took great pride in attending many of the awards ceremonies hosted by Keystone for lack of serious accidents in the Township. She noted over the years Lower Makefield Township has had an excellent record. Mr. Hackman stated in the 2000 Budget they have included $10,000 for a speedometer trailer which will help make people more aware of how fast they are driving. Mr. Hackman stated he is also putting together the Newsletter and possibly they could include an insert addressing these concerns. Mr. Hackman added most of the complaints they get from residents are about their own neighbors speeding through the neighborhoods. Mr. Hackman asked that if Mr. Franckowiak has any specific ideas, he provide them to the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Ann Debelis stated she felt the Raab Farm was going to be addressed this evening. Mr. Hackman stated when the Planning Commission completes their review it will come before the Board of Supervisors for approval. Mr. Fazzalore noted there were a number of items the developer had not addressed in the PCS review letter and they were asked to include them on the plans. Ms. Debelis asked if the items have anything to do with the street lay out, and Mr. Doherty stated they do not. He noted the revised plans have come in and they plan to review them at the Planning Commission meeting on December 13. Ms. Debelis asked if they are looking at the traffic study which was presented, and Mr. Hackman stated they have passed this on to the Township traffic consultant. Mr. Doherty noted the Planning Commission will not address the road situation at the December 13 meeting.
Mr. Paul Gunkel stated there have been at least twelve traffic studies done in the Township, and he feels they should look at all of the intersections in the Township to see what was recommended and work on those deficiencies. Mr. Gunkel stated he feels improvements could be made at 332 and Stony Hill Road. Mr. Hackman stated this intersection was just improved.
Ms. Marie McGallum stated on June 15, 1998 the Board asked the Township Solicitor to prepare a report on all outstanding litigation and advise on outstanding settlement negotiations. She asked if the public can review this. Mr. Hackman stated the Board routinely reviews legal matters in Executive Session. Mr. Garton stated he did prepare this report and his audit report is available through Mr. William Taylor, the Finance Director. Mr. Taylor can be contacted about this and will make it available. Mr. Garton stated he anticipates there are four to five items which he is presently handling which have monetary consequences.
Mr. Reuben Anders stated the By-Pass is still a problem for the trucks. Mr. Hackman stated they are working on the synchronization of the lights. Mr. Fedorchak stated Senator Conti has advised that the project is being engineered and they anticipate construction will begin late spring or early summer of next year.
REPORT ON THE PUBLIC SCOPING MEETING FOR THE TRENTON MERCER AIRPORT
Mr. Karen Freedman thanked Mr. Hackman for representing the Township residents so well at the meeting on the Trenton Mercer Airport expansion. Mr. Hackman stated they asked that Lower Makefield be included in the study. Mr. Fedorchak stated reading the paper, it appears they are committed to moving the expansion project forward.
Mr. Rich DiLullo also thanked Mr. Hackman for his efforts at the meeting. He stated the people of New Jersey are determined to get this airport expanded. He stated they were going to proceed without any environmental impact studies. He suggested they plan a meeting with the full Board of Supervisors to discuss this matter.
Mr. Fedorchak stated in the Boardís packet he included the report which Mr. Hackman presented as the Townshipís formal submission as part of the Public Scoping Meeting. They identified where the glide path is and how much development has taken place within that space over the last ten to fifteen years. It was also noted that there are three schools representing 1700 students and a Day Care Center in this glide path. In addition, they sent letters to Mr. Santorum, Mr. Greenwood, and Mr. Schweiker. They have not yet received any response. They asked those individuals to submit their comments by the November 18 deadline for inclusion as part of the study. Mr. Conti, Mr. Fitzpatrick, and Mr. Steil were also asked to respond and all three have indicated they will submit their comments prior to November 18.
Mrs. Godshalk stated after the meeting she had a phone call from an individual who attended the evening meeting and asked why she had not heard about this matter previously. Mrs. Godshalk advised her that the Board of Supervisors had discussed this matter a number of times and she provided her with the names of people who are already involved in the group involved in fighting the expansion.
TABLING OF MINUTES
Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of 10/26/99.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of November 1, 1999.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of November 3, 1999.
APPROVAL OF 2000 PRELIMINARY BUDGET AND AUTHORIZATION TO FILE MILLAGE RATE REQUEST
Mr. Hackman noted no tax increase is proposed for this Budget. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Budget does not include the filing of the bond issue of $7.5 million for open space at this time. Mr. Fazzalore noted they will have to use some of the surplus funds. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board of Supervisors did agree to approve the requests of all Departments.
Ms. Sally Conlon stated some time ago it was reported that the Township was at the maximum allowed for millage. Mr. Taylor stated the maximum is 14 mills which can be increased to 19 mills with Court approval. This Budget is 18.18 mills. This is for the General Fund only.
Mr. Hackman stated the Budget is available for review at the Township offices.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the 2000 Preliminary Budget and authorize filing of the millage rate request.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO LOBERG SUBDIVISION
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to the Loberg Subdivision Preliminary Plan to 2/20/00.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO JOSEPH CASADONTI
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Joseph Casadonti Minor Subdivision to 2/20/00.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO SBA TOWERS, INC.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to SBA Towers, Inc. Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan to 2/8/00.
APPROVE GRANTING EXTENSION OF TIME TO SHOPS AT MAKEFIELD QUARTERS
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant an extension of time to Shops At Makefield Quarters Revised Final Plan to 2/19/00.
APPROVAL OF DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR CARMELLO SANSALONE MINOR SUBDIVISION
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development Agreement for Carmello Sansalone Minor Subdivision and authorize execution by the appropriate officers of the Board.
APPROVAL OF SBA TOWERS, INC. PRELIMINARY/FINAL PLAN
Mr. Garton reviewed possible conditions of approval. He stated this is for the facility located on the Township property to the rear of the Municipal Building.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve the Preliminary/Final Plan for SBA Towers, Inc. plans dated 2/25/99, last revised 10/22/99 subject to:
Receipt of all permits and approvals by agencies having jurisdiction to the extent required;
Compliance with PCS letter dated 11/4/99 except with respect to Item #2 which has to do with evergreens, cash be provided to the Township in lieu of installing the trees;
Continued compliance with conditions of Conditional Use approval which occurred on 7/19/99 and set forth in Mr. Gartonís letter of 7/22/99;
Pursuant to Lease Agreement dated 4/19/99;
Funding and execution of Development and Financial Security Agreements.
Mr. Larry Washington was present representing the applicant and agreed to the conditions of Approval.
Mr. Doherty asked that all outstanding invoices be paid. Mr. Garton stated this is included in the Agreements. Mr. Washington stated he will insure that all outstanding invoices are paid. Mr. Fazzalore noted the Police Department and Road Department are both interested in seeing this project move forward.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
APPROVE GRANTING OF CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR 1742 LANGHORNE-YARDLEY ROAD
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting Certificate of Appropriateness to reshingle roof at 1742 Langhorne-Yardley Road.
APPROVE GRANTING OF CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR 1766 LANGHORNE-YARDLEY ROAD
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve granting Certificate of Appropriateness to reshingle roof at 1766 Langhorne-Yardley Road.
DENY REQUEST FOR DEDICATION OF AFTON CHASE
Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to deny the request for dedication of Afton Chase based on outstanding issues in the CKS letter dated 11/12/99 and since two lots do not have Final Certificates of Occupancy.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they had a dumpster at the corner lot which was in a very dangerous location and could not be seen in the dark. He stated he feels they should prohibit these from being placed so close to a corner. Mr. Hackman asked the Police Department and Township engineer to advise the Township if they see any similar problems.
Mr. Doherty noted Mr. Bodine has concerns about the drainage situation, and he feels this should be added to the list of concerns. Mr. Garton stated they cannot take this orally at the meeting and a letter regarding this item should be submitted from Mr. Doherty to the Township.
Motion to deny dedication carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION NO. 1040 - DEDICATION OF YARDLEY ESTATES IV
Mr. Garton noted the staff has recommended approval of dedication. Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1040 - Dedication of Yardley Estates IV.
REPORT ON ACTIVITY OF JOINT TRAFFIC SAFETY TASK FORCE
Acting Chief Bainbridge stated from 10/25/99 through 11/5/99 they have conducted six truck safety checks in the Lindenhurst/332 area and at Taylorsville Road. He stated they have issued thirty to thirty-five citations on twenty-five trucks which were in violation. The inspector indicated there were no severe safety problems where they had to take trucks out of service and most had to do with procedural items such as medical cards and problems with log books. They also had a few problems with tires and a few incidents of driving under suspension. They have received good input from the truck drivers who indicated they were in favor of these inspections. Mr. Allan asked if fines are imposed, and Acting Chief Bainbridge stated fines are imposed with some fines being more than $150. One half of the amount collected goes to the State and half goes to the Township on State fines.
Mr. Fegley asked how often they are monitoring, and Acting Chief Bainbridge stated they are monitoring often since the three Townships are working together. He added Newtown Township is working toward having their own inspector come on as well.
DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR THE NEWTOWN BYPASS CLOSED LOOP SIGNAL SYSTEM
Mr. Fedorchak stated he and Mr. Garton are continuing to work on this with Newtown Township. Mr. Fazzalore stated a Grant was obtained for this project which will pay 100% of the costs.
Ms. Sue Herman stated a Lindenhurst Road resident has asked if they are taking into account the fact that it takes a loaded truck more time to accelerate than it does a regular vehicle and asked if the timing of the lights will take this into account. She stated that resident was advised by a PennDOT representative, Mr. Brown, that they were not taking this into account and in order for them to do so they would have to receive a formal request in writing to PennDOT from the Township, Public Works Department, or the Police Department. Ms. Herman was asked to provide a copy of this information to Mr. Fedorchak, and Ms. Herman stated she had already done so.
CONFIRMATION OF MEETING TO DISCUSS LINDENHURST/STOOPVILLE ROAD
It was noted the meeting with David Steil, Andrew Warren, and Cornell Hopkins to discuss Lindenhurst/Stoopville Road will take place on Thursday, November 18 at 2 North State Street at 9:00 a.m. Mr. Hackman stated he plans to attend. He stated he will bring up the letter previously referred to by Ms. Herman.
DISCUSSION OF SIGNAGE LIGHTING DEMONSTRATION AT HAMPTON INN & SUITES
Mr. Fedorchak stated they need to reschedule the signage lighting demonstration in order to resolve the outstanding issues related to signs. He reminded the Board that the applicant was interested in having more signs than permitted by Ordinance and Mr. Strahle had asked for a demonstration on the site. Since this demonstration did not take place, they need to reschedule the date. Mr. Hackman and Mrs. Godshalk indicated they felt the applicant should only be permitted to install what is permitted by Ordinance. Mr. Fegley stated if they do not want to comply with the Ordinance they should come back to the Board of Supervisors.
APPROVAL OF NOVEMBER 1, 1999 AND NOVEMBER 15, 1999 WARRANT LISTS AND OCTOBER, 1999 PAYROLL
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the November 1, 1999 and November 15, 1999 Warrants Lists and October, 1999 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.
ZONING HEARING BOARD
The Moore Zoning Hearing Board application was noted. Mr. Garton stated he has reviewed the application and discussed it with Mr. Fedorchak. This is a request to increase the impervious surface from 18% to slightly more than 23% for the purpose of constructing an addition to the house. The home is located on Manor Lane. The application shows the addition will be approximately 1500 square feet. They cannot tell from the application what is being added. The current house is 1568 square feet. A copy of the floor plan was shown. Mr. Fazzalore stated he is concerned with increasing the impervious surface by this amount since water is already a problem in this area.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize the Township Solicitor to take a position voicing opposition.
Mr. Fegley stated they are still waiting for a status report on RCN. Mr. Fedorchak stated they will meet with them this week. Mr. Fegley asked for an update at the next meeting.
Mr. Fegley stated the consultants have proposed three plans for North Park. He added he feels they did an outstanding job particularly with the Natural Theme which received the most favorable response at the Park & Recreation Board meeting.
Mr. Fazzalore noted cables were laid in the Township and the areas have not yet been restored. Mr. Doherty stated he feels this work should be done shortly.
Discussion of Elm Lowne and Approval of Open House
Mrs. Godshalk stated there will be an Open House held at Elm Lowne on December 4 and December 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. She stated five service groups have been invited to participate.
Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve the Open House at Elm Lowne on December 4 and 5, 1999. Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore abstaining.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she was contacted by a group who would like to hold an Antique Show at Elm Lowne in May, and she will provide the information to Mr. Garton.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels Elm Lowne should be set up as an official Township Committee as are the other Township Boards and Commissions. Mr. Fegley stated he felt the Elm Lowne Committee was going to come up with a long-term plan for the use of Elm Lowne. He stated he feels it may be a good idea to lease it out to a private individual to operate as a Bed and Breakfast. Mrs. Godshalk stated she was not in favor of this.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel Elm Lowne should be the private domain of one Supervisor and a Committee should be set up. He stated he does recognize that Mrs. Godshalk is doing a good job but he still feels a Board should be running it and not a Supervisor. Mr. Hackman stated he equates this with the Friends of the Five Mile Woods who, in conjunction with the Park Ranger, are involved in running Five Mile Woods. He stated there is an Elm Lowne Committee which he feels is similar to the Friends of the Five Mile Woods. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Elm Lowne Committee was set up by one Supervisor. Mrs. Godshalk stated a majority of the Board approved having the Committee even though Mr. Fazzalore opposed it. Mr. Hackman asked if it could be turned over to an existing Committee. Mr. Fegley stated he feels a small group of people are determining the function of Elm Lowne and its long-term use. He stated the Board of Supervisors is only being told what is taking place and what prices are being charged. They are not being given any long-term uses for the property. Mrs. Godshalk stated the Board of Supervisors has the right to have input at any meeting when these activities are discussed. Mr. Fegley stated the Committee was going to present a long-term proposal for Elm Lowne. He stated he would like to see other uses considered for the property such as a Bed and Breakfast.
Mrs. Godshalk stated this use would exclude every other group in the Township.
Mr. Fegley stated if this makes money and could cover the costs of maintenance of the property, he feels a Bed and Breakfast would be a good idea. He stated he feels this would be better than paving over the cornfield for the parking needed for the uses now being considered. Mrs. Godshalk stated all requests for use of Elm Lowne have received approval by the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the Committee should become an official Township Committee by Ordinance as they have done with all other Committees. Mr. Garton stated they can do this by Ordinance or Resolution. Mr. Hackman suggested they consider this further and discuss it at the next meeting.
Ms. Herman stated she feels this is open space which should be available for all to enjoy.
Mr. Fegley stated a number of people have also expressed concern that the Township spent too much money on such little acreage. He stated he agrees that they are having nice functions and making good use of the property but feels the money could have been spent to preserve more land. Ms. Herman stated a majority of the Board of Supervisors approved the purchase and the public seems to be enjoying the property and she would not be in favor of this becoming a money-making venture. Mr. Fazzalore noted the purchase of Elm Lowne has already been accomplished and his only concern now is that it be run the same as every other Committee in the Township is run. He would be in favor of setting up an additional Committee or making it part of the Park & Recreation Board. Mr. Fegley noted the Five Mile Woods does fall under the auspices of the Park & Recreation Board and a report is presented to them each year. Mrs. Godshalk noted the Five Mile Woods also has a part time ranger earning approximately $10,000 a year. Mrs. Godshalk noted the Township is receiving funds from Elm Lowne by renting out a portion of the property to a tenant.
Ms. Diane Mayes stated she is pleased to see that they are getting some funds for the Elm Lowne property. She stated the remainder of the buildings need maintenance and a large parking lot will be needed to be installed. She feels they should have a Board run this property since the taxpayers are paying for it. She stated she feels it should have been sold to someone who would have lived in the property. She stated a number of people are concerned that this property was purchased by the Township.
One gentleman asked the status of the Golf Course and it was noted the arguments were heard by the Judge and the Township should hear something by the end of the year.
Mr. Fegley stated he will be attending the Governorís Award Ceremony on November 30, 1999 at 8:00 a.m. to accept the 1999 Governorís Award for Environmental Excellence.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he felt the Chairman of the Board should accept all awards.
There being no further business, Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 p.m.