TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MINUTES - JULY 19,1999

 

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 19, 1999. Chairman Strahle called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:

William Strahle, Chairman

 

Wesley Hackman, Vice Chairman

 

Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer

 

Scott Fegley, Supervisor

 

Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

 

Others:

Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

 

Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

 

Jan Gouza, Township Engineer (left meeting in progress)

 

Duke Doherty, Township Engineer (joined meeting in progress)

 

Joseph Bainbridge, Acting, Chief of Police

PUBLIC COMMENT 

 

Ms. Judy Weiss, 2016 E. Wellington noted the article which appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times regarding plans for the Township purchase of the Moon Nursery site to be used for playing fields, a Community/Senior Citizen Center and other uses. She stated the residents have previously expressed concerns about quality of life issues in the area and their concerns with the traffic. Mie stated she feels the Board III the past has purchased land without having definitive plans as to use of the property. She would like to know what the Board considers to be open, space.

 

Mr. Strahle noted the Moon Nursery site was included in the Park & Recreation Board's Road Tour but no recommendations have come to the Board of Supervisors at this time.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he is opposed to the purchase of this property because of traffic conditions currently existing in the area. He stated he feels open space means large farms and not ten acres of open land which will then be used for other activities. He added he does not feel the intention of the voters who voted for the Open Space Referendum was to purchase historic buildings. He also noted the Township voters turned down a Community Center by a 10% margin.

 

Mr. Fegley stated if the Board of Supervisors is still in favor of a Community Center, they should put the matter back on the ballot. He stated he does not view Moon Nursery to be open space and does not feel the Park & Recreation Board should be directed to come up with a plan for a property that the Township does not own.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she does feel ten acres of ground should be considered. She stated the Township recently purchase twelve acres of the most beautiful land in the Township. She stated 150 people went through that property and were very pleased that the Township purchased it. She stated Mr. Flowers contacted the Township about Moon Nurseries and she did look at the property. She stated she feels it is an ugly piece of land and should not be considered for purchase even though it is open space. She stated if the Township feels strongly about a Community Center/Senior Citizen Center, they should consider building it across the street from the Township Building as was previously discussed. She stated she would be in favor of putting this matter on the ballot again and that the financial aspects be reconsidered.

 

Mr. Fegley stated he would be willing to serve on such a Committee if there are people in the Township who want to look into this. He stated he does not feel the Park & Recreation Board should spend any more time looking at the Moon Nursery site. He stated it appears there are three Board members opposed to the purchase of the Moon Nursery site.

 

Mr. Hackman stated he feels open space is whatever land has not been built on. He stated the Board of Supervisors met to discuss how they could implement the Open Space Referendum. At that meeting he asked if the Board was ready to condemn any of the open properties, and a majority of the Board was not willing to do so at that time. He stated the Board is now in a position that they are doing nothing more than reacting to landowners who are ready to sell. He stated in this way different properties become available which may not have been the top priorities of the Board. One of the first properties that became available was the Raab Farm. The Board felt there was an agreement with the Executors to give the Township time for appraisals etc., and while the Board was doing this, the land was sold to developers. He stated Elm Lowne became available next, and a majority of the Board of Supervisors decided to purchase it. The owner of Moon Nursery has now approached the Township, and Mr. Hackman stated he feels the Board is obliged to look into it and see whether it could meet their needs. He stated there is a large building on the property it could be rearranged and used as a Senior Citizen Center. He stated there is also a large barn which could be used for a number of activities including indoor sports. He stated the Park & Recreation Board had a Road Tour and he feels it was appropriate for them to look at this property. The Township Board of Supervisors also looked at it and agreed to have it appraised. He stated the Park & Recreation Board and the Senior Citizens were very much interested in considering this property. He stated, as other properties become available, he assumes the Board will look at them in the same way.

 

Ms. Mary Sinet asked at what point the Board could condemn a property. Mr. Garton stated they can condemn it at any time but the value of the land can be directly related to the status of the land. If a developer has received approval to build a certain number of units on a property, it is worth much more than a vacant piece of land.

 

Ms. Irene Koehler stated she is also present to protest the use of Moon Nurseries for these uses. She stated the land is zoned R-1, and she feels the current building on the property should never have been permitted to be constructed. She also noted there has been filling of wetlands on this property. She questioned how much it will cost to develop the property for recreational uses and how much it will cost to maintain it. She asked if any financial commitment has been made to purchase the property, and Mr. Strahle stated there has been none. Ms. Koehler stated she feels the residents should be invited when tours take place on these properties.

 

Mr. Hackman stated since it seems apparent that Moon Nursery will be selling the property he asked if she would prefer having homes on the property, and Ms. Koehler stated she would prefer homes with one house per acre as it is zoned.

 

Ms. Sally Conlon asked for a definition of open space, and Mr. Garton stated there is no legal definition. Mr. Fegley stated the Ballot question specifically spoke to agricultural lands and natural areas. He feels the Faytol Tract and the Patterson Farm are open space. Ms. Conlon noted if she had known the Board of Supervisors was going to do some of the things they are doing, she would not have voted in favor of the Open Space Referendum.

 

Ms. Sue Herman thanked the Township for scheduling the meeting held on July 1 regarding Lindenhurst and Stoopville Roads traffic issues. She stated at that meeting Senator Conti indicated possibly the State Police should become involved, and she asked the status of this involvement. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated the State Police have not yet been assigned to that detail. Mr. Garton stated they did receive a directive from the State Police that this matter could take some time. Ms. Herman asked the status of working with PennDOT regarding permitting of the CAU project. Mr. Garton stated the Township has filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation for issuing the permit. Mr. Hackman noted Newtown Township has received plans for Newtown Commons to be located in this area as well, and the Board of Supervisors has directed the Township Solicitor to send another letter to PennDOT advising them that Lower Makefield Township wants to be involved in that project as well. Mr. Gunkel noted the Newtown Township Planning Commission will be discussing Newtown Commons at their meeting tomorrow evening.

 

Mr. Leonard Franckoviack stated it has been indicated for some time that the bridge on Swamp Road is not capable of supporting heavy trucks, and he asked if the Township engineer could ask the Department of Transportation to provide copies of the reports that indicate that this bridge is unsafe for heavy trucks. Mr. Strahle stated he understood that Representative Steil had asked that this bridge and the bridge on Lindenhurst Road be closely looked at. Mr. Franckoviack noted the map prepared by Mr. Gouza which indicates the distance trucks are traveling from the quarries to 1-95 and he asked that this be revised to show the distance the trucks travel from the quarries to the By-Pass. He stated he feels this would better reflect their concerns about unsafe conditions since this relates to the amount of time the trucks are on the roads.

 

Ms. Grace Dawkins of Spring Lane asked what use can legally be made of wetlands. She asked if they could reclaim what was done at the Moon Nurseries if they filled in wetlands. Mr. Fegley stated it is very difficult to reclaim wetlands since it is very expensive and time consuming. He stated he does not feel the Moon property falls under the definition of open space, and money would be better spent on another farm or another parcel that may become available in the future. Ms. Dawkins asked what use wetlands could be put to, and Mr. Fegley stated wetlands are not permitted to be developed and cannot be used as bikepaths, or for hiking, etc. He added that if it can be proven that Moon Nursery filled in wetlands, then can take actions which would require them to reclaim them.

 

Mr. Hackman read the Referendum Question which appeared on the ballot which stated, "acquisition of interest in real property for open space including but not limited to purchase of environmentally sensitive areas and open space for active and passive recreation purposes.

 

MOTION REGARDING MOON NURSERIES

  

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to discourage the Park & Recreation Board from further pursuance of the Moon property. Motion carried with Mr. Hackman opposed.

 

APPROVAL TO FORM COMMUNITY CENTER COMMITTEE

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to form a Committee to re-new looking at a Community Center. Mr. Gunkel stated he feels they should appoint people to this Committee who are regular taxpayers not only those who are associated with any particular, group. Mr. Fegley stated he will still insist that there be a Referendum. Motion carried unanimously.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Scott Fegley and Wes Hackman to the Community Center Committee.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of June 21, 1999 as written.

 

CONFIRMATION OF PROCLAMATION FRO PENNSBURY SOCCER TEAM

 

Ms. Chrissy Dolan and Ms. Ginna Lewin- were present to represent the Pennsbury Soccer Team and accept the Proclamation as read by Mr. Strahle honoring the Team and their Coach as State Champions.

 

TABLING DISCUSSION OF REVISION FOR PROPOSED FACILITY AT ROELOFS PARK

 

Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to table. Mr. Hackman stated the softball teams who are the largest users of this facility would like to review the plan and come up with some possible alternatives. Motion to table carried unanimously.

 

DISCUSSION AND TABLING TO LATER IN THE MEETING AWARD OF BID FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF OXFORD ROAD CULVERT

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the cost of $248,848.90 and asked if this is 100% of the cost. Mr. Gouza stated it is 100% and Yardley Borough is obligated by the Court Order to pay 20% of this cost. Mr. Fazzalore noted the cost is $100,000 more than the budgeted amount and questioned from where the funds would come. Mr. Fegley stated that the Board did vote to proceed with the project because of safety concerns Mr. Hackman stated at that time they felt the cost would be considerably less. Mr. Garton noted the Board could table this matter until they get a report from Mr. Taylor as to where the funds would come to pay for the project. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels this matter should be reviewed at Budget time. Mr. Hackman stated he is opposed to proceeding with the project. He stated there was considerable comment that possibly they did not have to proceed with this project. Mr. Taylor stated the $100,000 would have to come from the Street Projects Fund. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board already voted on projects for these funds. Mr. Taylor stated there is a balance remaining in this Fund. Mr. Fazzalore asked that Mr. Taylor provide information on the funds still available.

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to table.

 

Ms. Donna D'Orio of 14 Harvey Avenue stated the area residents have been waiting for three years for the bridge to be reconstructed and there are safety concerns since emergency vehicles are having difficulty getting to the homes in this area since the bridge is out. Mr. Strahle noted this matter was the subject of litigation between Lower Makefield and Yardley Borough which caused a substantial time delay. He noted a number of the area residents also came to the Board of Supervisors indicating that they did not want the bridge re-built.

 

Ms. Barbara Smith of 16 Harvey Avenue stated the majority of the neighbors now do want the bridge to be re-built, and she could provide a petition to prove this.

 

Mr. Hackman asked if it is known if Yardley Borough has the funds to take care of their portion of the project. Mrs. Godshalk stated Yardley is under a Court Order from Judge Garb to pay 20% of the cost. Mr. Garton stated he feels Mr. Fedorchak should put them on notice and send them the bids.

 

It was unanimously carried to table the matter to later on in the evening.

 

DISCUSSION OF SOUTH CRESCENT ROAD AND APPROVAL OF STOP SIGNS

 

It was noted that the Board received two memos on this matter - one from Mr. Gouza and one from Acting Chief Bainbridge. Mr. Gouza stated based on the conversations he has had with representatives for the residents, he feels the most positive response would be to close South Drive although this may not be the most appropriate procedure. Mr. Fegley asked about the use of speed humps. Mr. Gouza stated while they may control the speed, he is not sure that they will cut down on the traffic. He stated since there are no curbs in the area, possibly the drivers will try to go around the speed humps. He stated there can also be problems with rollerbladers or joggers since there is the potential for liability if they install speed humps.

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the report regarding the accidents in the area which indicate the drivers were from S. Crescent Boulevard and would still have occurred whether or not there were speed humps or four-way stop signs installed. Mr. Fazzalore also noted the speeds being recorded during the Police study were for the most part legitimate speeds.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she also conducted her own traffic study in the area following the last meeting and she found there were nine cars coming east toward the river and two cars going toward Edgewood during the hour she was in the area. She found most of the traffic was on Crescent She does not feel closing South Drive will solve the problem. She also stated that the car that was traveling at the highest speed came out of the house directly behind where she was sitting in her car.

 

Acting Chief Bainbridge stated that during their traffic study, the Police sat at two different ends of South Drive.

 

Mr. Gouza stated when they considered speed humps they looked at South Drive and South Crescent. Mr. Strahle asked if they could put a speed hump at the bridge where there is a guard rail to avoid the problem of drivers going around the hump. Mr. Gouza stated they could consider this location. He stated the residents expressed concern with the amount of traffic and the speed of the traffic in the area. Mr. Strahle stated it does not appear from the analysis done by the Police Department that speeding is a problem. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated there were higher speeds during the evening. The highest speed was 42 miles per hour traveled by one car. Five cars were going 41 miles per hour and one car was traveling 40 miles per hour. Mr. Strahle asked the cost to install a speed hump and how long it would take for one to be installed. Mr. Gouza stated they could provide this information. He feels Public Works could install the speed humps. Mr. Fazzalore stated he would be in favor of installing a four-way stop sign before installation of speed humps to see if the stop sign would help the situation. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated the downside to this would be the fact that stop signs could not be enforced and it would result in there being numerous requests for additional stop signs throughout the Township.

 

Mr. Jim Weisberger of 592 Kings Road stated he feels people need to take responsibility for their own driving habits. He stated if they close the roads, they will be moving toward, gated communities which he does not feel is what the Township wants. He added if South Drive is closed it will just put the traffic in other areas.

 

Mr. Bob Kratchie of Crescent Boulevard and W. School Lane asked what time the traffic studies were done. He stated he saw an officer in the area at 7:30 p.m. on a Thursday night and he does not feel this should be considered rush hour. Mrs. Godshalk stated she did her study from 9:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. on 6/22/99. Mr. Hackman stated the Police Department conducted their study from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on 7/16/99 and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on 7/15/99. It was noted they used radar and the Police Explorers.

 

Ms. Debbie O'Hara stated School is currently not in session, and the problem will get worse in the fall.

 

Ms. Susan Weisberger stated she feels this is an enforcement issue and speeds are being exceeded on Kings Road. She stated she does not feel the roads should be closed, rather the speed limit should be enforced.

 

Mr. John Kalb from Sylvan Drive stated the area is used as a cut through to Edgewood and Makefield Roads and the cars are traveling at great speeds. He stated he does not feel it is viable to have Police in the area at all times, and something else needs to be done.

 

Mr. Strahle stated he feels the sense of the Board is that they should have some combination of speed humps and four way stops. Mr. Fegley stated he would be in favor of proceeding with the stop signs but would like to have costs for the speed humps before proceeding with them at this time. Mr. Hackman stated he is not in favor of speed humps because they could create safety and maintenance problems. Mrs. Godshalk asked about reducing the speed limit, and Acting Chief Bainbridge stated he feels those exceeding the current speed limit would continue to do so if the speed limit were reduced. He stated he feels people need to take responsibility for their driving, and there should be directed enforcement.

 

Ms. Mary Pierce of 47 N. Homestead stated her kitchen faces South Drive and the speeds being traveled there are no worse than those being driven on N. Homestead. She is not in favor of closing South Drive.

 

Ms. Mary Katt stated speeds are being exceed on South Drive. She stated no one pays any attention to the stop signs or the speed limits.

 

Mr. Charles Sweeney of 53 N. Homestead asked if the residents are entitled to see the studies which were done, and these were provided to him this evening. Mr. Sweeney stated he and his neighbors have attended a number of meetings on this issue and nothing, gets accomplished. He asked that South Drive be closed on a temporary basis so they can evaluate the impact. Mrs. Godshalk stated if they close South Drive, it is going to impact other streets in the area. She noted the children in the neighborhood should remain on their own property and not be riding "Big Wheels" in the street. Mr. Hackman noted increased traffic is a problem all over the Township. He stated they cannot close roads and put stop signs and speed humps throughout the Township. Mr. Sweeney stated he feels the traffic must be forced out of the neighborhood streets and onto the main roads.

 

Mr. Fegley stated he would like to proceed with enforcement measures as suggested by Acting Chief Bainbridge. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the neighbors should put out a flyer amongst their own neighbors asking that they observe the speed limits since it appears the speeders are from It the immediate area. Mr. Fegley stated if they close South Drive they will inconvenience other people who have not created the problem that is of concern to the neighbors.

 

Mr. John Tracey of South Drive and Countess stated by closing off roads, they are forcing a traffic situation onto other areas as well. He stated there are a number of communities in other States that have automated speed indicators which flash the traveling speed and this may help with enforcement and enlightenment of drivers. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated they plan to propose purchase of this piece of equipment in the 2000 Budget.

 

Mr. Jack O'Hara-of S. Crescent asked if there is an Ordinance that prohibits bicycles from being in the street. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated bicycles and rollerbladers are permitted in the street especially in this area since this is the only place for them to be in this area. Mr. O'Hara stated he would be in favor of enforcement of the speed limit and imposing penalties to those exceeding the speed limit.

 

Ms. Jill Kuntz of S. Crescent asked where they would locate the four-way stop signs. She recommended that they be installed at N. Homestead and S. Crescent and at West School Lane and S. Crescent because of the School in the area.

 

Mr. Tim Forbar of 2003 S. Crescent stated he has reviewed the Police Report and out of 46 timings, he counted 37 over the speed limit during the 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. period. He stated he is particularly concerned because of the School in the area. Mr. Forbar asked why stop signs are not enforceable. Mr. Gouza stated you cannot use stop signs to control speed. He noted you can use them to stop a minor street and can justify a multi-way stop sign if there are sight distance issues. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated if the stop sign does not meet the criteria, the Police Department cannot enforce it. Mr. Forbar asked if the study was done with unmarked or marked cars, and Acting Chief Bainbridge stated they used unmarked cars.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to install a four-way stop sign at W. School Lane and Crescent Boulevard, a four-way stop sign at S. Crescent and N. Homestead, and a three-way stop sign at South Drive and Crescent Boulevard.

 

DISCUSSION OF COST ESTIMATE FOR LANGHORNE-YARDLEY ROAD BIKEPATH AND DIRECTION TO TOWNSHIP MANAGER TO CONTACT YARDLEY BOROUGH

 

Mr. Gouza stated the bikepath for Langhorne-Yardley Road involves Yardley Borough. He stated he has provided cost information to do the work in each Municipality, and the costs are quite expensive. These costs do not include acquisition. Mr. Fazzalore asked if Yardley Borough is aware of the costs, and Mr. Gouza stated he did attempt to discus this matter with the Yardley Borough engineer but was unsuccessful in doing so. Mr. Gouza stated there are 1900 feet in Lower Makefield Township and 800 feet in Yardley Borough.

  

Mr. Strahle stated he feels the costs being shown seem excessive. Mr. Gouza stated there are a substantial number of impediments to installing a bikepath in this area. He stated curbing and storm drainage must be addressed as well as a certain amount of road widening that needs to be done. He noted there are embankments, trees, bushes, and driveways involved as well. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels they must first determine what Yardley Borough is able to do.

 

Mr. Hackman stated if the Scammell's Corner property is developed, possibly they could continue the bikepath on that side instead at the developer's expense. Mr. Gouza stated the north side is a difficult side on which to create a bikepath. Mrs. Godshalk stated if the property is ever developed, the Township can accept Fee-In-Lieu and those funds could be applied to the bikepath on the other side of the road. Mr. Strahle stated Representative Steil has indicated that they can also ask that the developer install the bikepath on the opposite side of the road.

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to direct the Township Manager to contact Yardley Borough to obtain their intentions.

 

Ms. Sandy Goldberg asked that the decision not be made dependent on the desires of Yardley Borough. She stated they have made a presentation to Yardley Borough who indicated they would be contacting Lower Makefield Township on this matter. She stated Lower Makefield Township should at least get the bikepath down to a certain point. Mr. Fegley stated if Yardley Borough is not willing to continue it, Lower Makefield will be constructing a bikepath to nowhere. Ms. Goldberg stated if Lower Makefield does their share, they can then work with Yardley Borough to do their share.

  

Motion carried unanimously.

 

Ms. Goldberg stated even if the costs are felt to be high, she feels they should still proceed with the project over a number of years since this is a safety problem.

 

DISCUSSION OF KIEWIT FIBER OPTICS PROJECT

 

Mr. Lou Terranova, Mr. Eric Gundel, and Mr. Eric Richman were present. Plans for the project were shown to the Board this evening. Mr. Terranova stated the network is going from San Francisco to Canada. This is a main trunk-line for telecommunications. The roads to be impacted in Lower Makefield were shown on the plan. Mr. Richman stated they will install the line four feet below grade Mr. Fazzalore stated there must be no patching of the roads, and the roads must be brought back to their current conditions. Mr. Richman stated where they go onto the roads they bore under the roads so that the roads do not have to be torn up.

 

There was discussion on the plans for Lindenhurst Road, and Mr. Richman stated on the west side they are in the grass to the tributary of Core Creek and they then bore underneath the creek. Once on the east side they are four feet off the edge of the shoulder in the grass. With regard to Woodside Road, they are going down the bikepath and will restore the, bikepath for approximately 500 feet. Mr. Fegley expressed concern with this proposal since a substantial amount of money was spent on the road and the bikepath and he is concerned that it will not be properly restored. Mr. Richman stated in this area they could go shallower and concrete encase it so that they do not impact the root balls. Mr. Hackman noted the location of the Trans-Continental Pipeline and asked if they could use this right-of-way down to the River. Mr. Richman stated they have investigated this and they would have to obtain easements from all the private property owners. Mr. Fegley stated they could take it up the Pipeline through the Township Park and then come down to Woodside Road and pick up their plan from that point. Mr. Strahle stated the only property owner other than the Township they would need to discuss this with would be Mr. Thomas Minehart. Mr. Richman asked if they cannot work out an agreement with Mr. Minehart could they go down the Road for 500 feet rather than the bikepath. Mr. Fegley stated he would prefer that they first contact Mr. Minehart. The applicant agreed to do so and come back to the Board of Supervisors in two weeks.

 

APPROVAL OF CONDITIONAL USE APPLICATION FOR SBA TOWERS, INC.

 

Mr. Michael Sklaroff, attorney, and Mr. David Hedges were present. Mr. Garton noted the Hearing has been duly advertised, and the Township staff posted the property. Notice of the proceeding was provided to the Applicant. Mr. Garton stated they have entered into a Lease Agreement to construct a tower on Township property.

 

Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve Conditional Use Approval for the Plans dated 2/25/99, last revised 6/29/99 subject to:

 

1.

Receipt of all permits and approvals by agencies having jurisdiction;

2.

Requirement to obtain Land Development Approval;

3.

Compliance with PCS letter dated 7/7/99;

4.

Issue of excess evergreens to be resolved at Land Development;

5.

Receipt of Security pursuant to Section 200-5A3;

6.

Appearance of the buildings to be approved by the Township;

7.

Continued compliance with the Lease Agreement dated 4/19/99.

 

 

Mr. Sklaroff agreed to the Conditions of Approval and stated they will meet with the Township with regard to the trees. Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Gouza left the meeting at this time. Mr. Doherty joined the meeting at this time.

 

APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY/FINAL PLAN FOR AT & T WIRELESS PCS OF PHILADELPHIA, LC

 

Mr. Michael Sklaroff, attorney and Mr. Masuchi were present.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to approve Preliminary/Final Plans for AT & T Wireless PCS of Philadelphia, LC plans dated 9/3/98 and 9/9/98, last revised 5/6/99 subject to:

 

1.

Compliance with PCS letter dated 6/22/99;

2.

Tower height to be 130 feet but foundation to be constructed to accommodate 150 feet to cover additional co-locators;

3.

Continued compliance with Conditional Use Approval dated 4/19/99 to the extent not satisfied;

4.

Approval of waivers requested with the exception of Items #1 and #4;

5.

Appropriate Agreement to be executed to guarantee the placement of buffers and so forth;

6.

Payment of all Township expenses to the extent not already paid.

 

Mr. Sklaroff agreed to the Conditions of Approval.

 

Mr. Hackman expressed concern with the space available for the equipment cabinets. Mr. Masuchi stated a 30 by 30 square foot area has been provided and the monopole takes up only a small portion of this. This should provide sufficient space for the equipment cabinets Mr. Gunkel stated at the Planning Commission, the Applicant agreed that if it was necessary, they could go to 1500 feet. Mr. Masuchi agreed to snow this as a dotted line on the plan.

 

An additional Condition of Approval was added:

 

7.

Expand the size of the compound to accommodate co-locators if necessary.

 

Mr. Sklaroff agreed to this additional Condition, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

APPROVAL OF HIDDEN POND ESTATES PRELIMINARY PLAN

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present. Mr. Garton stated the Board of Supervisors previously considered modifications to the Plan to preserve the boarding house and permitted the McClister property to be subdivided so that the farmhouse could be sold as a separate lot.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Preliminary Plans dated 8/ 15/97, last revised 5/26/99 subject to:

 

1.

Compliance with the PCS letter dated 6/21/99;

2.

Applicant will pay to the Township Fee-In-Lieu for improvements to Stony Hill Road;

3.

Receipt of all permits and approvals by Agencies having jurisdiction;

4.

Compliance with the CKS letters dated 7/6/99 and 7/13/99;

5.

Payment of Fee-In-Lieu of Recreation in accordance with Township Ordinances;

6.

Payment of the Off-Site Traffic Impact Fee;

7.

Continued compliance with the Zoning Hearing Board decision related to the boarding, house dated 9/15/98.

 

 

Mr. Murphy agreed to the Conditions of Approval.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated at the Planning Commission the new owners of the farmhouse expressed concern with the movement of the driveway. Mr. Murphy stated he advised them at that time that they should contact the Township to see if some adjustment could be made to the driveway to move it a little further away so that it would not impact the trees.

 

Mr. Fegley stated there was some concern about the wetlands delineation. Mr. Murphy noted the letter dated 6/28/99 from Skelly & Loy on this matter. Mr. Doherty stated he also discussed the matter of the wetlands buffer with Skelly & Loy, and they are satisfied with the determination.

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

BUCKS HILL FARMS 11 EXTENSION AND APPROVAL TO ACQUIRE TAX PARCEL NO. 20-3447

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated the Planning Commission has recommended by letter dated 7/14/99, that if an Extension is granted, that it be done under the condition that they will develop the property under the current Zoning Ordinance regulations. Mr. Garton stated if the developer will not agree to this, the Board would have to make a decision this evening whether to approve or deny the Plans. Mr. Hackman stated earlier this evening there was discussion about this property, and at a previous meeting there was discussion about moving ahead to acquire this property. Mr. Hackman asked that this be considered at this time.

 

Mr. Hackman moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to acquire Tax Parcel #20-34-47. Motion carried with Mr. Fegley and Mr. Strahle opposed.

 

Mr. Hackman moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the request for Extension until 10/29/99.

 

APPROVE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS FOR BEECHWOOD SUBDIVISION LOTS #19 AND #20

 

Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Development Agreements for Beechwood Subdivision Lots #19 and #20.

 

DENY DEDICATION OF AFTON CHASE

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to deny dedication based on:

 

1.

Outstanding issues associated with sewers as outlined in the CKS letter dated 7/16/99;

2.

Outstanding issues outlined in the PCS letter dated 7/14/99;

3.

All lots do not have Final Certificates of Occupancy.

 

 

DENY DEDICATION OF YARDLEY ESTATES IV

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to deny dedication based on:

 

1.

Outstanding issues as noted in the PCS letter dated 7/l/99;

2.

All lots do not have Final Certificates of Occupancy.

 

 

APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE NO. 323 AMENDING ZONING ORDINANCE

 

Mr. Garton stated he has duly advertised this matter for this evening. He stated the chances were required to be made by FEMA in order for the Township to continue to be covered for Flood Insurance. Mr. Garton stated he has prepared two drafts. He noted the first draft has the definitions in the General Definition Section as requested by FEMA. The second draft has the definitions in the Floodplain Section as requested by the Planning Commission. Mr. Gunkel stated the Planning Commission has asked that these not be General Definition Section since they do not feel they should be mixed in with the General Definitions. He feels by having these in the Floodplain Section, it will create less confusion.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to adopt the Ordinance and amend the advertised Ordinance so that they are considering the draft recommended by the Planning Commission.

 

APPROVE REVISIONS TO LOWER MAKEFIELD CORPORATE CENTER OFFICES "B" AND "C"

 

Mr. Edward Murphy was present. He showed a copy of the approved Final Plan for the project as well as a Plan showing the requested revisions. He stated they would like to make Offices B and C identical to Off-ice A. This will result in slightly less square footage as well as seventeen fewer parking spaces. He noted they will still have more than the required parking. He noted the Planning Commission was in favor of these revisions. Mr. Murphy stated he is also asking that the revised Plans be reviewed only by the Township Engineer and they not be required to bring them back to the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors although they would still present the Revised Linens to be signed and they will re-record the Linens.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve the revised lay-out consistent with the submission with the understanding that they will be returning only for the purpose of signing Linens.

 

Mr. Hackman stated he still feels they should come back to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Murphy stated they will come back with a request for them to sign the Linens.

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

DENY APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT WITH JAMES & LAURA KARDAS REGARDING PLANTINGS IN THE SEWER EASEMENT

 

Mr. Garton stated this matter is associated with the Winterfield Project where the homeowner installed landscaping over the sewer easement. The Township staff has indicated that they are satisfied with the landscaping remaining at its current location given the terms of the Agreement.

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Agreement.

 

Mr. Hackman stated he feels this is a poor precedent to set since there are sewer easements all over the Township.

 

The Motion did not carry as Mr. Fegley and Mr. Strahle were in favor and Mr. Fazzalore, Mrs. Godshalk, and Mr. Hackman were opposed.

 

APPROVE AGREEMENT REGARDING FENCE AT GATEFIELD AT FARMVIEW

 

Mr. Garton stated this matter relates to a fence in the existing buffer easement.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Agreement.

 

SIGNING OF LINENS - KOL EMET AND RITE AID PLAZA

 

Linens for Kol Emet and Rite Aid Plaza were signed following the meeting.

 

APPROVE AWARD OF BID FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF OXFORD ROAD CULVERT

 

It was noted that this matter had been tabled earlier in the evening. Mr. Taylor stated they anticipate there will be a $ 1,000,000 balance in the Street Projects Fund by the end of the year.

 

Mr. Hackman moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to award the Bid to S & H Landscaping in the amount of $248,848.90 with the understanding that Yardley Borough will pay 20%.

 

Mr. Strahle stated while he will vote in favor of this, he strongly objects to the Judge requiring Lower Makefield Township to spend this amount of money for a project that is partially in Yardley Borough.

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

APPROVE PURCHASE OF EMERGENCY POLICE COMMUNICATION RADIOS

 

Acting Chief Bainbridge stated they are requesting purchase of radios in the amount of $160,953.000 through the Bucks County Department of Communications and an additional $3,903.20 to be purchased directly from Motorola on the State bid. Mr. Fazzalore asked if the County has already borrowed the money, and Mr. Garton stated they have.

 

Mr. Strahle asked from where the funds would be coming to purchase the radios. Mr. Fazzalore noted they only budgeted $20,000 for radios. He stated if they borrow $160,000 it will cost approximately $23,900 per year at 4% interest. Mr. Fazzalore asked if the system is ready. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated Lower Makefield Township is the only Police Department on this particular zone that has not made the purchase of these radios. He stated these radios will make them ready for the digital system. He stated they intend to provide all officers with portable radios. He stated currently they are sharing radios since they have twenty-eight officers and only eighteen radios. Thirty-five radios have been requested. He noted the seven extra radios can go into a docking station to be used in the special use Police Cars. He noted this is the recommendation of the Department of Communication. Mr. Hackman stated it appears it would be better to put full radios in these cars rather than pay for the portable radios and the adapters. Acting, Chief Bainbridge stated they still need to have extra radios as spares and for use by the Explorer Units. He stated it is the recommendation that an officer on the street have two radios available so that they have one portable radio and one in the car. Mr. Fazzalore stated he is still concerned about the need for the seven extra radios because of the cost involved.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he has been advised that the analog and digital system will be able to work simultaneously, but Acting Chief Bainbridge disagreed.

 

Mr. Hackman stated since there are less than twenty-eight officers on a shift at any one time, they could purchase fewer radios if they were to share. Acting Chief Bainbridge stated these are digital radios and the officers will no longer be able to hear the communications without these radios. He stated these will be available to the officers to use when off duty so that they can hear what is going on in the Township. They want them to have them twenty-four hours a day so that if there is an event in the Township that requires the use of all officers, they will be aware of it. He noted with the flip of a switch they can go to digital on the new radios.

 

Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the purchase of new Emergency Police Communication Radios at a cost not to exceed $165,000 and to purchase whatever possible through the County bid with the financing to be made through the County Loan Program to spread out payments over seven years.

 

APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 1031 ESTABLISHING A POLICY FOR USE OF AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS

 

Mr. Hackman moved, Mr. Fazzalore seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve Resolution No. 1031.

 

APPROVAL OF JULY 5,1999 AND JULY 19,1999 WARRANTS AND JUNE, 1999 PAYROLL

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve July 5, 1999 and July 19, 1999 Warrants and June 1999 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.

 

Mr. Fegley asked from where the funds came to purchase Elm Lowne, and Mr. Taylor stated it has temporarily come from the Capital Reserve Fund. Mr. Fedorchak stated they were directed to do this until the Board of Super-visors decided where they wanted to take the money from - either the surplus funds from the General Fund, the Open Space Funds, or from the Capital Reserve. Mr. Fazzalore stated he felt a majority of the Board agreed to take it from the Open Space Funds. Mrs. Godshalk stated it was agreed that they would temporarily take it from the Capital Reserve until they decided when they would borrow the $7.5 million.

 

APPOINTMENT OF HEIDI SHERIDAN TO THE NON-POLICE PENSION COMMITTEE

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to appoint Heidi Sheridan to the NonPolice Pension Committee. It was noted that she will replace Tom Scott. Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

APPROVE ELM LOWNE CARRIAGE HOUSE LEASE AGREEMENT

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve the Lease Agreement with Jennifer Dhondt in the amount of $985 a month. Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore abstaining. Subsequent to the vote Mr. Hackman asked that his vote be changed from approval to abstaining.

 

APPROVE FIVE MILE WOODS RESIDENCE LEASE AGREEMENT

 

Mr. Garton noted there was some question as to whether some persons who had not yet come forward were attempting to disrupt the Lease Agreement. He stated the individuals who will be renting this property have submitted Credit Reports and these have been found to be acceptable.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Fazzalore seconded to approve the Lease Agreement with Anthony Bradley, Brian McGurrin, and Shane Snader in the amount of $15,000 per year to be paid at $1,250 per month. Motion carried with Mr. Hackman abstaining.

 

APPROVE SEEKING NATIONAL HISTORICAL STATUS FOR ELM LOWNE AND THE PATTERSON FARM AND HIRING OF JENNIFER STARK TO FULFILL HISTORIC NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to hire Jennifer Stark to fulfill the Historic Nomination requirements at a cost of $2,000 plus expenses. No vote was taken on the Motion.

 

Mr. Hackman asked if the Patterson Farm will involve two nominations or one, and Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it will be two separate nominations since there are two parcels. Mr. Hackman stated he has a problem with proceeding with the nomination for the Satterthwaite House since it is not known at this time what will be happening with this building. Mrs. Godshalk stated even PennDOT recognizes this house as an important structure. She stated if it is on the National Register, they might be able to get funding for restoration. Mr. Ralph Thompson stated it was built between 1830 and 1840. Mr. Fazzalore stated if it is determined that they will save the House, they could then apply to have it on the Register at that time. Mr. Strahle stated he would be in favor of moving ahead with this parcel at this time since if it were parceled out, this could help with funds for restoration. Mrs. Godshalk stated by putting it on the Register, it does not require that they save the house. Ms. Langtry stated this would make it eligible for funding which would make it more valuable.

 

Mr. Fegley moved to approve going forward with Elm Lowne and the Patterson Farm for National Historical Status.

 

Mr. Ralph Thompson stated he feels they should go for the entire Patterson Farm. He stated this would not impact the ability to take down the house at a later time.

 

Mrs. Godshalk seconded Mr. Fegley's Motion, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Fegley moved to retain Mr. Ralph Thompson to fulfill the Historic Nomination Requirements at no cost to the Township.

 

Ms. Langtry stated the Historic Commission would like the opportunity to review his proposal and determine if he is willing to work in cooperation with the Historic Commission. Mr. Thompson stated he would be willing to work with the Township Manager and the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Godshalk stated the Historic Commission oversees these matters.

 

Mr. Fazzalore seconded Mr. Fegley's Motion.

 

Ms. Langtry stated if Mr. Thompson is not willing to work through the proper channels, they will be leaving the Historic Commission out of the loop entirely. Mr. Fegley asked Mr. Thompson if he would be willing to submit his work to the Historic Commission for review. Ms. Langtry suggested they have Mr. Thompson submit his work to the Board of Supervisors who could then turn it over to the Historic Commission who would work with a consultant at a lesser fee. Mr. Fegley stated he would prefer that Mr. Thompson submit his work to the Historic Commission for their review. Mr. Thompson stated he has completed two of these Nominations by himself without any review by anyone else.

 

Mr. Hackman suggested he submit his report to the Township Manager who will turn it over to the Historic Commission for their review. Ms. Langtry stated they would still like to hire a consultant to review this.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved to table. There was no second.

 

Mr. Thompson stated he does not feel the Historic Commission has anything to offer and are not qualified to discuss this.

 

Mr. Fegley stated in light of the fact that Mr. Thompson is not willing to consider cooperation with the Historic Commission, he would amend the Motion and hire Jennifer Stark to fulfill the Historic Nomination Requirements at a cost not to exceed $2,000. Mrs. Godshalk seconded the Motion.

 

Mr. Thompson stated they should ask Ms. Stark if she has ever done this work before.

 

Motion carried with Mr. Fazzalore opposed.

 

SUPERVISORS' REPORTS

 

Mr. Strahle advised Ms. Langtry that the Farmland Preservation Corporation volunteered to provide one of the two cornfields at Elm Lowne for use by the School District. Ms. Langtry stated she is concerned about her responsibility in this matter, and Mr. Strahle agreed to discuss this matter further with her in the future. Mrs. Godshalk stated this is the first time she has heard of this and she is the Chairman of the Committee.

 

Mr. Hackman stated he recently met with Acting Chief Bainbridge to review the Emergency Management Package since it needs to be updated. He stated in reviewing the Ordinance that created the Emergency Management Committee, there should be representatives from the Fire Company and Emergency Squad and they cannot start working on this matter until those representatives are provided. He has therefore asked Mr. Fedorchak to contact them to get representatives from their groups so that the Committee can begin to meet.

 

Mr. Hackman stated the Zoning Hearing Board is working on the McCullough problem. It was requested that the Zoning Hearing Board members visit the site and four of the five were able to do so along with Ms. Frick and Mr. Koopman. Mr. Hackman stated he is waiting for their comments but understands there were a number of violations.

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted the latest information regarding the Pool, and it appears they are close to their Budget in terms of income. He noted there are a number of problems at the Pool which will need to be addressed after the Pool closes for the season. Mr. Hackman stated there was previously discussion about heating the pools, and Mr. Gouza was trying to get information from PECO about bringing in gas. He asked that the Township engineer provide an update on this. Mr. Fazzalore stated if they are going, to go forward with this project, it should be done as soon as possible and they should not wait until the spring.

 

Mr. Fegley stated they expect proposals from landscape architects regarding North Park in August. He is concerned about the timing of this since he would like to see something finalized by Budget time so funds can be allocated for next year. Mr. Fazzalore noted very little money is left in the Fee-In-Lieu Fund.

 

Mrs. Godshalk announced that this past weekend approximately 150 people visited Elm Lowne as part of a Garden Club Tour. They have received proposals from people interested in using the house for small meetings and dinners. She stated the Committee is working on an Open House to be held October 17. Mrs. Godshalk stated the structural engineer recommended that the first floor be upgraded to accommodate a heavier bearing load. She has a proposal from Harrison Structural Engineers to prepare plans for the first floor structural upgrade work to support Code-required loading. The cost is $1,500.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to approve the proposal and have Harrison Structural Engineers prepare the documents and put the project out to bid.

 

Mr. Strahle stated he is concerned that they have only this one proposal. He stated a member of the Farmland Preservation Corporation, Allen Houpt, is doing similar work at Summerseat; and he may be willing to do this work for less. Mr. Strahle suggested that he be contacted on this matter.

 

No vote was taken on the Motion.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Hackman stated he would like someone to go through the Satterthwaite House to determine what is necessary to be done to put the house in a structurally- safe condition. Mr. Fegley stated he felt this matter was already discussed in Executive Session, and a plan of action was already approved. It was agreed to discuss this matter further during Executive Session.

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted a tree was cut down at Delaware Rim and Woodside Road as a result of work done b a utility company. He stated the tree caught on fire and it took the Fire Company seventeen minutes to respond which he feels is excessive. He stated parts of the tree are now laying in private yards, and he feels the Public Works Department should remove these from the private property.

 

MOTION REGARDING NEWTOWN COMMONS

 

Mr. Hackman Moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize the Township Solicitor to send a letter to PennDOT regarding Newtown Commons.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:05 A.M.

  

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Frank Fazzalore, Secretary