LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - APRIL 19, 1999
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 19, 1999. Dr. Strahle called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. to discuss land and 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
William Taylor, Finance Director
Charles Ronaldo, Chief of Police
Henry Hoffmeister, Sewer Administrator
Mr. Richard Storm of 428 Ramsey Road stated there is a retention basin behind his house where people walk dogs and do not clean up after them. He said there formerly were signs, but the signs seem to have disappeared. Children also play there and leave trash behind. Mr. Storm further stated that drivers travel 50 to 60 miles per hour on Ramsey Road. Mr. Hackman asked what signs had been posted. Mr. Storm replied the sign stated dog owners must clean up after their dogs. The Township Manager was directed to make sure the proper signs are in place. Dr. Strahle suggested Mr. Storm alert the Police Department when he witnesses offences.
Mr. Fazzalore recognized Yardley Borough Council President, Joseph Hunter, and thanked him for coming.
Irene Koehler of Lindenhurst Road spoke of an accident last week involving a stone truck and another near accident involving a school bus. She again is asking that the trucks be stopped for brake checks. Chief Ronaldo replied that two police officers had a speed check there and had issued many citations the day before the accident. He stated the truck drivers are saying their brakes are failing when in reality they are not anticipate the light
changing. Chief Ronaldo stated that his department is planning a meeting with the trucking companies who use the road routinely. The Police Department also plans to request a warning light be installed. Mr. Hackman said it is inevitable that an accident will occur involving a school bus and a stone truck unless the truck traffic is removed from Lindenhurst Road.
Claudia Fontaine asked if Lower Makefield Township has asked Upper Makefield and Newtown Township if they will cooperate in taking Lindenhurst Road back from the State. Mr. Fegley replied that he had personally spoken to one of the Newtown Supervisors who flatly told him "No, Newtown Township would not favor that request". Chief Ronaldo stated that Newtown and Upper Makefield were asked several years ago and declined. Mr. Fegley stated there was a consensus on the LMT Board to go forward with taking back Lindenhurst Road.
Sue Herrman of Lindenhurst Road stated she is disappointed with the lack of passion on the part of the Board of Supervisors regarding Lindenhurst Road. She asked if someone from the Board would meet with her individually to see what steps can be taken to help resolve the issue. Mr. Hackman suggested she call State Representative, David Steil; State Representative, Joseph Conti, State Senator; Lt. Governor, Mark Schweiker and Governor, Tom Ridge. Mrs. Godshalk added the Secretary of Transportation to the list of persons to contact.
Mrs. Hermann asked what the residents and the Board could do together. Mr. Garton suggested Mr. Fedorchak provide the residents with a copy of his letter setting forth the State guidelines with respect to the turnback of roads from the Commonwealth to local municipalities.
Mrs. Mays spoke of accidents at the intersection of Lindenhurst Road and Route 332. She said the problem is people need to slow down.
Yardley Borough President, Joseph Hunter, stated the Borough Council did not even know PennDOT was planning to close Main Street to redo the bridge until they read it in the newspaper.
Mr. Fazzalore used the example of people like Mr. Bill Gibney in his pursuit of a lower speed limit on Edgewood Road to show people power. He said people other than government officials often have a greater impact on PennDOT.
Mr. George Korchowsky, co-chairman of the Brock Creek Watershed Association, asked to give a short slide presentation. He showed a map of the Brock Creek Watershed stating it begins in Middletown Township at the Saba
tract and runs through Lower Makefield into Upper Makefield. He noted that the Buck Creek portion of the watershed is still quite healthy.
APPROVAL OF APRIL 5, 1999, MINUTES
Frank Fazzalore moved to approve minutes of the April 5, 1999, meeting. Mr. Strahle seconded, and it was unanimously carried to approve the minutes of April 5, 1999 as amended.
APPROVAL OF TRANSFER OF CABLE FRANCHISE FROM TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY TO TCI CABLEVISION OF FLORIDA, INC.
David Shiels of the Township’s Cable TV Advisory Council was present along with Brenda McCullough, Lower Bucks Cablevision General Manager and Michael Miller, also of Lower Bucks Cable. Mr. Shiels stated that the Cable TV Advisory Council had extensively reviewed the contract and recommends that the Board approve the transfer. The Township Solicitor has reviewed the transfer and recommends the following conditions be effectuated if the Board approves the transfer:
Mr. Fazzalore stated there was an article in the newspaper about a neighboring municipality not finding TCI favorable in its investigation. Mr. Shiels replied that the Council was aware of that investigation and noted that most of the problems cited occurred before TCI was acquired by AT&T. He further stated that the people now working with Lower Bucks Cable do plan on remaining there, and Township relations with LBC of late have been most favorable.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and the motion to approve the transfer of the cable franchise from Time Warner Entertainment Company to TCI Cablevision of Florida, Inc. was unanimously approved.
Mr. Fegley asked Mr. Shiels when information on RCN would be available. Mr. Shiels offered to attend the next Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss RCN. He will contact Mr. Fedorchak about inclusion on a May agenda.
DISCUSSION OF CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS TOWER PROPOSALS TO TOWNSHIP COMPLEX – AWARD CONTRACT TO SBA, INC.
Mr. Fedorchak stated that after the last meeting when the SBA presented its proposal for a cellular communications tower on Township property, Sprint, Spectrasite and Motorola contacted the Township expressing interest in submitting proposals. SBA modified its proposal by increasing the amount paid to the Township for co-location fees received from other carriers to from 15 to 30 percent. Spectrasite and Motorola did not submit proposals.
Christopher Schubert was present to represent Sprint Spectrum. Sprint proposes to construct a 190 foot lattice tower on Township property with a 100’ x 100’ compound area to accommodate additional providers. Upon completion of the tower, Sprint would donate it to the Township which could then lease to other carriers and collect 100 percent of the revenues. Sprint would be responsible for fair market rate on a monthly basis; however, actual rent payments would be abated against the capital costs incurred in the design and construction of the tower. Once the capital investment was fully off-set, rent would be paid to the Township by Sprint at the then market rate.
Chief Ronaldo stated that Bucks County would like to place a receiver on this tower for its emergency communications system, and the LMT Police and Public Works Departments also need to be accommodated. Mr. Schubert replied that the tower Sprint planned would accommodate all mentioned by Chief Ronaldo as well as five major providers.
Dr. Strahle asked Mr. Schubert if Sprint would be willing to co-locate on a tower constructed by SBA providing it could give them the height required. Mr. Schubert answered that Sprint would be willing to do that.
Christopher Basso was present representing SBA, Inc. He referred to his letter of April 13, 1999, which increased the Township’s percentage of the rent for co-locaters to 30 percent. Scott Estrin, AT&T’s Radio Frequency Expert, stated that the SBA proposal would eliminate the other two proposals.
Mr. Hackman asked Mr. Hunter if the tower planned to be constructed in Yardley Borough was a "done deal." Mr. Hunter felt is was, he said the final vote was to be taken tomorrow evening. It was hoped that the tower being built in Lower Makefield Township might save the need for the one in Yardley.
Mr. Hackman moved to award the construction of the tower to SBA, Inc. Mr. Fazzalore seconded.
Mr. Fegley asked that SBA move with all due speed to contact Omnipoint to see if they could avoid building the tower in Yardley. Mr. Fazzalore commented that the Sprint proposal might be better over the long term; however, he does not feel that the Township should go into the business of dealing with the co-locators. The motion carried.
DISCUSSION OF EDGEWOOD VILLAGE SEWER SURVEY – APPOINTMENT OF CKS TO PERFORM SEPTIC SYSTEM SURVEY OF EDGEWOOD VILLAGE
Fred Riechers and Len Frankowiack from the Sewer Authority, and Hank Hoffmeister, Sewer Administrator, were present to discuss investigating the possibility of sewering the Historic District of Edgewood Village. Mr. Hoffmeister said he had mailed a survey to all property owners. With 65 percent responding as of this date, 69 percent are in favor of sanitary sewers.
Mrs. Godshalk stated that the affirmative response is less than 50 percent overall.
Dr. Strahle asked for the recommendation of the Sewer Authority. Mr. Riechers replied that the Sewer Authority recommends that an on-lot septic system survey similar to what was conducted on River Road last year be performed. CKS has submitted a proposal to do so at a cost of $4,300.
Mr. Hackman asked if the Authority proposed a gravity feed system. Mr. Riechers said it would be a gravity feed system.
Mrs. Godshalk said she thinks all this discussion is premature. She stated that the Bucks County Planning Commission discourages sewering in Historic Villages. She stated that a firm has been retained to perform a study of Edgewood Village and suggested the Board wait for the results of that study. Mr. Fazzalore said if cosmetic work is to be done, it would be better to have the sewering installed first. Mr. Hoffmeister said the sewering should be done in conjunction with the study. Mr. Hackman stated that the critical point is the number of properties with failing septic systems. Mr. Riechers noted that the majority of the homes have wells, and some may be contaminated by failing septic systems. Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fegley seconded, and the motion carried to have CKS perform an on-lot septic system evaluation in accordance with DEP guidelines of the Edgewood Village Historic District at a cost not to exceed $4,300. Mrs. Godshalk voted "nay". Mrs. Godshalk commented this action would be subsidizing developers.
REVIEW OF 1998 AUDIT
Mr. Ed Furman from Mallie Falconeiro reviewed the 1998 Audit. He stated that the management letter cites no material weaknesses. Mr. Furman said that the assistance from the accounting staff was so outstanding that the
auditors were able to complete their work in less than the estimated time. He stated that revenues came in higher and expenses came in lower than expected placing the Township in very good shape financially.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and the motion to accept the 1998 audit carried unanimously.
DISCUSSION OF REQUEST FOR AMENDMENT TO COMMERCIAL ZONING LAWS
Mr. James McCaffrey from McCaffrey’s Market was present. Mr. McCaffrey said he is finding the commercial zoning laws very restrictive with regard to outside storage of merchandise, particularly at this time of year when he needs to display plants and gardening materials. He also sponsors special charitable events that require extra outdoor area.
Dr. Strahle stated that Mr. McCaffrey’s request should be dealt with through a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Fazzalore suggested sending the request to the Planning Commission for a recommendation. Mr. Hackman said the ordinance does not require enough parking, and merchan-dise displayed outdoors will cut down even further on that space. Mr. Gunkel from the Planning Commission stated that when Mr. McCaffrey built the store, the ordinance required ten parking spaces per 1000 square feet of store space; and Mr. McCaffrey went to the Zoning Hearing Board and had that requirement reduced to five spaces per 1000 square feet of store space.
The Township Manager was directed to refer Mr. McCaffrey’s request to the Planning Commission for review.
DISCUSSION OF SUBMITTAL OF PA DEP SECTION 319 NON-POINT SOURCE GRANT APPLICATION
Lee Irwin and Andy Brookens were present from Skelly & Loy. They have prepared a draft submission for a PA DEP Section 319 Non-point Source Grant application. The application requests funding in the amount of $134,735.98 with matching funds of $8,750.00.
The scope of work would include preparing a plan for the entire Brock Creek watershed and beginning restoration work on the portion that is in most
critical need of restoration. With the completed blueprint, grants could be applied for as they become available to restore other sections.
Mr. Hackman asked what the objective of the plan is and if it is a flood control plan. Andy Brookens replied that it is not a flood control plan, and that the
objective is to restore the streambanks which have deteriorated from storm events and normal wearing. Mr. Fegley stated that there are a number of residents who are losing their backyards, and the stream channel that which was five feet in 1978 is now fifteen to twenty feet wide due to erosion. The erosion will continue and will destroy more property.
Mr. Fegley stated that Middletown Township and Yardley Borough are joining in this grant application and have stated that they would provide matching funds for any work done in those municipalities.
Mr. Fegley moved that the Board authorize Skelly & Loy to submit application for the Section 319 Non-point Source Pollution Grant to the DEP leaving the amount open ended. Mr. Fegley asked that Skelly & Loy adjust the numbers to provide enough funding for restoration of 2,000 linear feet. Mr. Fazzalore seconded the motion.
Mr. Hackman asked if there were any partial grants. Mr. Brookens told him there were no partial grants.
Mrs. Godshalk asked if the grant could be declined if the Board felt the Township contribution would be too high to complete the work. She was told the grant could be declined.
Mrs. Maria Bechis asked on behalf of Mr. Joseph Hunter of Yardley Borough if the Township would be willing to consider input from Yardley Borough. Mr. Irwin stated that they would perform a very comprehensive study and each section would be evaluated individually. Mrs. Bechis also asked what section would be restored first to which Mr. Irwin replied that that would be determined after completion of the analysis.
Mrs. Bechis asked the Supervisors if they would consider holding public hearings. Mr. Fegley stated that the plan would be coming back to the Board of Supervisors, and the public is more than welcome to attend.
Mr. Fiore asked if the unnamed stream on his father’s property on Dolington Road could be considered for evaluation. Mr. Fegley replied that this study is limited to Brock Creek; and although the Environmental Advisory Council would like to extend the efforts into other areas, funding constraints make prioritizing necessary.
Mr. Hackman stated that we would never do this if we were spending LMT money.
The motion carried with Mr. Hackman voting nay.
AT&T CONDITIONAL USE HEARING
Tina Makoulian, Esq. represented AT&T Wireless PCS of Philadelphia LLC in the continuation of the conditional use application filed by that entity.
Mr. Garton stated the hearing had been continued from the April 5, 1999, meeting to permit supervisors additional time for review of the technical information provided them by Mr. Beverage and also to see if the facility could be located on the Bellemead parcel.
Mr. Fazzalore moved to approve the conditional use for the AT&T, and Mr. Fegley seconded the motion.
Mr. Hackman suggested moving the tower location closer to Route 1 so access could be taken through Bellemead.
The motion to approve the AT&T conditional use with the following conditions carried with Mr. Hackman voting "nay."
DISCUSSION OF LOBERG LINE OF SIGHT ISSUES
Township Engineer, Jan Gouza, stated that the Board had asked the engineers to determine what the site distance was on Mt. Eyre Road at the
possible intersection which would be created if the street ran all the way
through the Loberg property. The engineers determined that from the proposed intersection the site distance to the east is 425 feet, the sight distance to the west is at least 600 feet. With a 35 mile per hour speed limit,
the sight distance needs to be a minimum of 350 feet, the proposed intersection meets that requirement in both directions.
Mrs. Godshalk moved to reduce the speed on Mt. Eyre Road to 25 miles per hour. Mr. Fazzalore seconded the motion.
Mr. Fegley stated he does not feel that this project requires a road coming out on to Mt. Eyre Road. He said he agrees with the 25 mile per hour speed limit but thinks a cul-de-sac-road would be a better solution than the two roads.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board should reconsider its position, that it is not that important for fourteen houses to have two exits.
Dr. Strahle opened the discussion to the public.
Mr. Bill Bayer stated he is a resident of the Gatefield community. He said requiring the road to Mt. Eyre would necessitate removal of the farmstead
Mr. Hackman stated he thinks the development should have two entrances. He said when it was built Gatefield should have had a stub street which could be connected giving both developments two entrances.
Resident Steve Seyou stated that when people are purchasing homes for $500,000 and up, they should be able to decide where they wish to drive.
Mrs. Godshalk stated that when the residents came before they did not know their property lines. That was when Mrs. Godshalk suggested the residents meet with the developer.
Mr. Neil Kern stated that the residents had met with Mr. Dwyer as suggested by the Board of Supervisors, and they thought everything had been resolved.
Mr. Stan Tilton owns the last lot in Gatefield. He met with Realen, and they came up with a compromise. He feels he was used by the Board. Mrs. Godshalk said the residents misinterpreted what was stated.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the residents did what they were told to do, and that twenty-one residents presented a petition to the Board at the last meeting.
Mrs. Donna Parker stated that the roads were discussed at a Board of Supervisors meeting last year. They did what they were told, and now everything is being ignored.
Mrs. Arlene Kern stated each issue is intermingled with the other. Twenty-one out of the twenty-two people from Gatefield do not want the two entrances. They prefer the cul-de-sac plan.
Mr. Topper Brick stated he owns thirty-eight acres along Mt. Eyre Road. People travel 50 miles per hour along there.
Mr. George Luciani owns property adjoining Loberg Estates. He stated he can not believe the developer put a house on the farm and the tennis court. He suggested the Township might want to buy the whole tract if the developer backs out of the project.
Mr. Richard Mullay stated he is concerned about safety issues. He stated that the Board is not powerless on this issue, and he implored the Board to reconsider the plan which was agreed upon by the developer and the residents.
Dr. Strahle asked Mr. Gunkel if Mr. Dwyer ever came back with another plan.
Mr. Gunkel replied that no new plans had been submitted since Mr. Dwyer’s last appearance before the Board.
The motion to reduce the speed limit to 25 miles per hour carried unanimously.
Mr. Fegley moved that the Board reconsider its direction to the applicant and indicate that the Board does not want a throughway from Dolington to Mt. Eyre. Mr. Fazzalore seconded
Mr. Seyou stated that Mr. Dwyer has agreed to stay on as the project manager for this subdivision.
The motion was defeated with Mr. Fegley and Mr. Fazzalore voting for it and Dr. Strahle, Mr. Hackman and Mrs. Godshalk voting against changing the Board’s direction regarding the two entrances.
OMNIPOINT CONDITIONAL USE HEARING
Mr. Garton stated this is a conditional use application filed by Omnipoint based on plans prepared by Betzwood Associates dated 2/10/99 and last revised 4/7/99. Edward Wild, Esq. and Scott Gollie, consultant, represented Omnipoint.
Mr. Fegley asked if Omnipoint would consider co-locating on the Lower Makefield Township tower to eliminate the need for the tower planned for Yardley Borough. The attorney would not respond to the question.
Mr. Fazzalore moved to approve the condition use application. Mr. Hackman seconded the motion.
Mr. Garton asked if the following conditions were acceptable to Omnipoint:
Mr. Wild stated the conditions were acceptable to Omnipoint. Mr. Wild asked what process would be required for approval of the building. Mr. Garton said that as long as the building was consistent with the Omnipoint building, he should discuss it with the Director of Zoning, Inspections and Planning, Nancy Frick, who would then run it by the Board.
The Conditional Use application was approved unanimously.
Mr. Fegley asked Mr. Wild to find out if it is technically feasible to co-locate and contact Yardley Borough officials tomorrow before a final decision is made on the Yardley Borough tower.
TABLING OF DISCUSSION OF OUTDOOR PISTOL RANGE REPORT
Because of the lateness of the hour and the comprehensiveness of the Pickering, Corts & Summerson report on the Outdoor Pistol Range, it was decided to table discussion of same to the next meeting.
EXTENSIONS GRANTED TO BUCK HILL FARMS II AND ALBERT & JOANNA WILL
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve extensions as follows:
APPROVAL OF APRIL 5 & 19, WARRANT LISTS & MARCH 1999 PAYROLL
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and the motion to approve the Warrant Lists of April 5 & 19 and March, 1999, payroll as attached to the minutes.
RESOLUTION NO. 1026 – DESTRUCTION OF SPECIFIC RECORDS
Mr. Taylor stated that certain records are permitted to be destroyed in accordance with the Pennsylvania Municipal Records Manual of July 16, 1993, which was adopted by the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors by Resolution No. 950 on November 18, 1996. Such records are referenced in the attachment to Resolution No. 1026.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and the motion to approve Resolution No. 1026 carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and it was approved to appoint Rick Breitenfeld to the Zoning Hearing Board and Henry Carpenter to the Park and Recreation Board. The motion carried. Mr. Fegley abstained since he was not present to interview the individuals.
There being no further business, Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Hackman seconded, and the motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:35 p.m. carried.
Frank J. Fazzalore,