TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
MINUTES - JUNE 7, 1999
The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on June 7, 1999. Vice Chairman Hackman called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
Board of Supervisors:
Wes Hackman, Vice Chairman
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Fegley, Supervisor
Grace Godshalk, Supervisor
Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Joseph Bainbridge, Acting Chief of Police
William Strahle, Chairman - Board of Supervisors
Ms. Liz Warner stated she is pleased with what Lower Makefield has done as far as the open space and providing recreation areas where children can play in the Township such as Macclesfield Park. She stated Macclesfield Park is used extensively and there are a lot of games played on the fields. She hopes that the Township considers the importance of availability of recreation for children of the Township and hopes they will devote more space to this use. Mr. Hackman stated he feels there is a need for additional fields in the Township because the existing fields are overused. He stated in the past these areas were paid for by developers and development is now winding down.
Ms. Jean Madden of 104 W. College Avenue stated she has written to the Township regarding the Tangora property. She stated asphalt was previously dumped onto the site and not cleaned up. She received a call from Tom Scott that when he visited the site in 1990 he saw only dirt. She stated at least six adjoining residents have seen the asphalt that was dumped on the site and there is asphalt sticking out of the ground. She stated she has pictures to prove this. Mr. Fazzalore noted some of this property is in Lower Makefield Township and some is in Yardley Borough. Ms. Madden stated she understands the current owner owns three parcels with one and a half acres in Lower Makefield Township where there is asphalt. Four to five acres are partially in Lower Makefield and partially in Yardley Borough. The property owner is requesting permission to subdivide the property into two parcels - one in Lower Makefield and one in Yardley - and has an application in to build on the Lower Makefield parcel.
Mr. Fazzalore asked for an accurate map to show which parcel is in Lower Makefield Township. He noted the map they received was not clear. Ms. Madden stated originally Tom Scott indicated the dumping took place in the Yardley Borough portion but she went to Yardley Borough and Doylestown and from the maps it appears the dumping was partially in what is Lower Makefield. Yardley Borough did take Tangora to Court and he was to clean up the property and he dug it up and buried it on the Lower Makefield side.
Mr. Fazzalore asked that Mr. Fedorchak provide a map showing where the dumping has taken place. He stated Skelly & Loy should also visit the site and determine what is on the Lower Makefield property. Mr. Gunkel stated the Planning Commission received a copy of the Minor Subdivision Plan in their packet, but it has not yet been discussed.
Mr. Hackman stated the Township engineer will have to determine the property line.
Mr. Fedorchak stated they will contact Ms. Madden in advance of Skelly & Loy going out to the site so that she can meet them on the site.
Ms. Lynn Landes stated the Yardley Borough engineer did do test borings and indicated 20% of the fill is asphalt and concrete. The residents have indicated they saw metal poles as well. Ms. Landes stated ground penetrating radar would be appropriate for this site. She stated the DEP and EPA consider asphalt clean fill so that no permit is needed. She stated Mr. Doherty has indicated the Development Agreements indicate this is not appropriate fill for building. She stated this type of fill creates sink holes. She stated the DEP and EPA do not have regulations to protect the public.
Ms. Madden stated she did speak to a DEP representative who indicated the problem is asphalt may not be compacted and if this is built on, the home may collapse. She stated she has also heard other materials were dumped on this site.
Mr. Rich Blazakis of 1 Fairway Drive stated he lives across the street from this property and there are tremendous floods on the lot being discussed. Mr. Hackman stated they will look into this during the planning process. Mr. Doherty stated they have looked into this since there was a problem with the maintenance of an inlet at the County Club, and they are now cleaning this daily. Mr. Blazakis stated during a heavy rain this outlet does nothing. He stated there are also problems with flooding of the creek. Mr. Doherty stated if this property is in the floodplain according to FEMA, they cannot build on it.
Mr. Charlie Podhaizer of 397 Sally Road stated he visited with Chief Ronaldo while he was in the hospital and the Chief had expressed his concern with the future of the Police Department. Mr. Podhaizer asked that the Township consider creating a bust or a plaque in the Chief’s memory to be placed somewhere in the Township Building.
Ms. Joanne Seglem asked the status of bikepaths in the Township. Mr. Hackman stated most of the bikepaths that are in the Township were built by the developers. The Board of Supervisors did authorize completion of some of the bikepaths. Ms. Seglem asked about the bikepath going down Black Rock Road to River Road. Mr. Fegley stated there was incredible opposition to this from the surrounding neighbors. Ms. Seglem asked why there are no sidewalks in front of Makefield School. Mr. Hackman stated many of the older sections of the Township do not have sidewalks. Mr. Fazzalore stated the School District recently redid the area in front of Makefield School. Mr. Hackman stated there is a Master Plan for bikepaths in the Township. Mr. Fegley stated the Township could not put sidewalks on School property, and this would be the responsibility of the School District. Mr. Fegley noted the installation of bikepaths is a very costly project.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 17, 1999 as amended.
DISCUSSION OF REGIONAL TRAFFIC PROBLEMS MEETING
Mr. Hackman stated at the last Supervisors’ meeting there was discussion about setting up a meeting with Mr. Conti, Mr. Warren, and Mr. Steil to discuss regional traffic problems. Mr. Fedorchak stated the meeting is scheduled for July 1, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lower Makefield Township Building. He noted Mr. Conti and Mr. Steil have agreed to attend and they are still waiting for a commitment from Mr. Warren.
DISCUSSION OF I-95/332 LOOP
State Representative David Steil was present and stated in 1993 the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors asked him to approach PennDOT to gain support for this project. The project was subsequently put on the PennDOT Twelve Year Plan in 1995. It is now important for the Board of Supervisors to reaffirm that this is a partnership. They have no desire to debate the value of the project and they are mindful that the Township owns a fair piece of the land that will be needed to complete this project. They have completed the archeological phase and will complete the environmental phase by the end of the summer. They will begin to prepare the report beginning in September. As part of this project, local support is very important and they need to understand that there is support to continue the project. A good part of the engineering portion will be completed in the preliminary phase and before they go onto the final design and acquisition of the property, they need to know that this is a project the Township wants to continue with. Mr. Steil stated they would like to have some indication from the Board of Supervisors by the end of the summer whether or not they should proceed.
Mr. Hackman stated the Board feels there are regional traffic problems in this area which require that Lower Makefield and Newtown work together particularly in addressing Lindenhurst Road.
Mr. Steil stated the funding for the I-95/332 project is already in place. If the project does not move forward into the final stages, the money will drift away since there is such a demand for highway funds.
Mr. Hackman asked if Mr. Steil feels there is a traffic problem on Lindenhurst Road, and
Mr. Steil stated he does. Mr. Hackman stated Lindenhurst Road is a State road and he feels the State should be involved in correcting these problems. Mr. Steil stated if they did decide to do something about Lindenhurst Road, it could not be done in a short period of time since it would have to be put on the Twelve Year Plan. Mr. Hackman stated at this point all they are trying to do is get trucks off Lindenhurst Road and this should not be expensive.
Mr. Fazzalore stated he is in favor of proceeding with the I-95/332 Loop Project since it will benefit both Newtown and Lower Makefield Township residents.
Mrs. Godshalk stated while this will free up movements going east and north in the morning there is a problem going west coming off I-95 and this should be equally important. Mr. Steil stated there is a need for a change in the timing of the lights so the traffic can flow easier and not back up onto I-95.
Mr. Steil stated if Newtown and Lower Makefield Township can agree on a plan of action they will have to get it on a Twelve Year Plan. Mr. Hackman asked what will happen if they cannot get cooperation with neighboring Townships. Mr. Steil stated he will try to help the Townships work together since PennDOT is not likely to approve a project if the municipalities cannot agree, and it would be difficult to get Federal funding if there is local opposition. Mr. Hackman stated he feels people would be happy if they could get the truck traffic off Lindenhurst Road, and Mr. Steil stated they will be prepared to discuss this on July 1.
Mr. Frank Mendsino of Newtown Township asked about future development on the Lower Makefield parcel where a hotel is currently under construction. Mr. Hackman stated two additional office buildings are planned in addition to the hotel and one office building currently under construction. Mr. Mendsino asked if any additional road improvements are proposed, and Mr. Doherty stated the only additional improvements will be to Stony Hill Road. Mrs. Godshalk stated there will also be additional construction across from Lockheed. She stated this is the area where both engineers recommended the installation of a jughandle.
DISCUSSION OF SOUND BARRIERS
Mr. Steil stated he has received a number of letters from Lower Makefield residents requesting installation of sound barriers along I-95. He wrote to Mr. Strahle asking if the Board of Supervisors would like these installed and where they should be installed. He noted this would require Federal funds and the time period for installation could be lengthy. Mr. Hackman stated he is aware of only one person who has requested these. He stated the zoning does require landscaped buffers and additional setbacks. Mr. Fegley stated he considers the sound barriers to be eyesores and would not be in favor of their installation.
Mr. Fazzalore noted he would only be in favor of them being installed at rest stops.
A majority of the Board was not in favor of the installation of sound barriers.
DISCUSSION OF JOINT MEETING OF NEWTOWN AND LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIPS TO DISCUSS LINDENHURST ROAD/ROUTE 332 TRAFFIC CONCERNS
Mr. Fedorchak stated at the Board’s direction a meeting has been set up with Newtown Township at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 1999 at the Lower Makefield Township Building. There was discussion on the number of Supervisors who should attend.
Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels since this is a public meeting, any Supervisor who wishes to attend should be able to do so.
Mr. Sean Ward, Newtown Township Planning Commission Member, stated he was present as a Newtown Township resident and asked if Newtown Township was invited to the meeting to be held with Mr. Steil, Mr. Conti, and Mr. Warren. Mr. Fedorchak stated they were not.
Mr. Fegley stated the purpose of the meeting to be held on June 11 is to come up with some concrete Agenda items for a future meeting. He stated he feels they will be discussing the quarry trucks on Lindenhurst Road and the possibility of taking back the road.
Mr. Gunkel noted the Newtown Township Planning Commission is currently discussing this. Mr. Fegley stated at the meeting on Friday, they may also discuss the I-95/332 Interchange. He feels there will also be a recap from the two engineers on what was previously discussed at the prior joint meetings.
Mr. Leonard Franckowiack stated Lindenhurst Road is currently unsafe and there have been near misses between stone trucks and school buses. He wants to make sure that they are as efficient as possible in working with Newtown Township. He feels there should be agreement among the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors before they go into this joint meeting.
A gentleman asked who from Lower Makefield will be attending. Mr. Hackman stated he understands Mr. Strahle will be in attendance. Mr. Fegley stated he too plans to attend. Mr. Fegley noted this will be a public meeting. Mr. Hackman stated he understood this would be a work session. Mr. Fedorchak stated this is a work session but he is sure that at the conclusion of the meeting, they will accept comments from the public.
Mr. Ward stated he feels Newtown Township is interested in a solution to the Lindenhurst Road problem; however forcing the problem from one area to another does not correct the problems. He stated the traffic is not all coming from Newtown Township and much of it is coming from 532 and 332 from Richboro and 413 from Buckingham. He feels having a meeting with State Representatives and PennDOT and not inviting Newtown Township is an attempt to shift the problem to Newtown Township. He stated with regard to the Newtown Office Commons, the area is zoned O/R and if a plan is submitted that meets the requirements, they must approve it. Mrs. Godshalk stated Newtown Township traffic experts recommended a jughandle at this location. Mr. Ward stated Lower Makefield Township also has O/R in the area adjacent to Newtown’s O/R and he feels the Lower Makefield’s O/R is twice as big as Newtown’s. The Lower Makefield Supervisors did not feel this was correct with regard to the size of the O/R area. Mrs. Godshalk noted Lower Makefield did build a new road to service their O/R and they are not sure that Newtown Township is planning to do this. Mr. Ward stated this was the concept behind Concept Way which was a plan on paper in order to collect funds from developers. Mr. Hackman stated the problem with Concept Way was it was a four lane highway going into a two lane road with an "S" turn and a small bridge. Mr. Ward stated Concept Way was never designed.
Mr. Hackman stated the purpose of the joint meeting is to find out what the plans are for the area. Mrs. Godshalk stated she served on the joint committee for some time and Newtown did not show a road to the By-Pass. She also noted she did recommend that Newtown Township be invited to the meeting with the State Representatives. Other Supervisors present this evening agreed that Newtown should be invited, and
Mr. Fedorchak agreed to do so.
DISCUSSION AND MOTION ON NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP’S APPROVAL OF THE CAU DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Fedorchak stated on May 26 the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors approved the CAU Final Plan. He stated if Lower Makefield plans to take an Appeal, there are
certain time limits. Mr. Hackman stated the Board’s next meeting is June 21 and he asked if this would be sufficient time to take action. Mr. Garton stated they would need to take
action within thirty days from the date of the approval. Mr. Garton noted he did write to PennDOT asking them to keep the Township advised of the status of permits, and
Mr. Fedorchak has indicated he has not been advised of the status of the PennDOT permit.
Mr. Hackman stated while traffic problems were the primary concern, there were also lighting issues raised. Mr. Garton stated they could ask Mr. Doherty to check on the status of the PennDOT permits. Mr. Garton noted they would need to get PennDOT approval before they could proceed with construction of the CAU project.
Mr. Fazzalore moved to authorize the Township Manager, Township engineer, and Township solicitor to ascertain the status of the PennDOT application with respect to CAU, review the approval and the conditions to see whether it has an impact on the traffic issues and determine if the approval creates a master road that dumps traffic onto Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Fegley asked that there be an addition to the Motion that the Solicitor give an assessment on the likelihood of the success on any Appeal.
Mr. Fegley asked Newtown Township representatives present the status of Concept Way.
Mr. Ward stated he does not feel Concept Way is being discussed at this time. Another Newtown Township representative stated Concept Way was only an idea that was considered when they discussed how to deal with traffic in the area and it is not currently being discussed. Mr. Hackman stated they hope to find out about the details of this at the meeting on Friday.
Mrs. Godshalk seconded the Motion.
A Newtown Township representative stated it appears Lower Makefield plans to legally challenge any development that plans to take access on Lindenhurst Road. Mr. Hackman stated they are planning to investigate this issue. The representative stated the lighting issue was resolved.
Motion carried with Mr. Fegley opposed.
DISCUSSION OF PROPOSED NEWTOWN OFFICE COMMONS DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Fedorchak stated last week the Township received Land Development Plans for the Newtown Office Commons Development. It appears there are two office buildings of 52,000 square feet apiece. The staff will be including this on the next Lower Makefield Planning Commission Agenda and then referring it to the Board of Supervisors for discussion. Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels this issue should also be discussed at the meeting on Friday. Mr. Ward asked who provided this information to Lower Makefield, and Mr. Fedorchak stated it was provided by Thomas Hardwood, from the Newtown Township Public Works Department. Mr. Ward asked if Lower Makefield provided information on their office parks to Newtown. Mr. Gunkel stated they provided this information to Newtown in 1988.
POSTPONEMENT OF CONDITIONAL USE HEARING FOR CELICO PARTNERSHIP d/b/a BELL ATLANTIC MOBILE
Mr. Fedorchak stated the applicant has requested that this matter be postponed.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to postpone this matter until the next meeting.
APPROVAL OF EXTENSIONS FOR HIDDEN POND, WILSHIRE GLEN, AND LACEY/GOODWIN
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Hackman seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve an extension of time for Hidden Pond Revised Preliminary Plan until 9/15/99.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve an extension of time for Wilshire Glen until 9/12/99.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve an extension of time for Lacey/Goodwin Preliminary Plan until 9/26/99.
Mrs. Godshalk noted a number of these extensions are being extended to 9/12 or 9/15 and since the Board will most likely not be meeting the first week in September due to the Labor Day Holiday, they will probably need to be extended longer. Mr. Garton suggested these extensions be granted at this time and if necessary, additional extensions could be obtained.
APPROVE GRANTING OF CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR 676 STONY HILL ROAD - LUIGI’S SIGN
Mr. Fazzalore noted the Historic Architectural Review Board has recommended approval.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the Certificate of Appropriateness.
SIGNING OF LINENS FOR ALBERT & JOANNA WILL PRELIMINARY/FINAL PLAN
These were signed following the meeting.
DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF APPOINTMENT OF INVESTMENT ADVISORY SERVICE
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to appoint Manchester Associates as the investment advisory service as recommended by the Pension Committee.
Mr. William Taylor was present and stated in 1998 the Pension Advisory Committees were formed. He stated they feel there is a need to change the professionals they are dealing with for investments and for the actuarial services. The joint Pension Committee has recommended the Manchester Advisors as the investment advisory service.
There was discussion on how well the funds have performed in the past. Mr. Fazzalore stated he understands they will be investing mainly in mutual funds. Mr. Taylor stated the Pension Committees will have input on the investments. Mr. Fazzalore noted the employees have recommended changing to this group. Mrs. Godshalk stated the Township is still responsible for these investment plans, and the Township taxpayers did have to put $100,000 into these funds last year. She stated she would prefer giving the firm they are currently working with additional time to work with the Township.
Mr. Taylor stated they are currently with Meridian which is a subsidiary of First Union. Mr. Hackman suggested they table this matter until they can get Mr. Strahle’s opinion on this matter.
Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Hackman seconded to table. Motion carried with
Mr. Fazzalore voting no.
APPOINTMENT OF ACTUARY
Mr. Taylor stated the current firm they are using has not been very responsive. He would recommend they hire the Manchester Benefits Group as recommended by the Pension Committees.
Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint the Manchester Benefits Group as Actuary.
APPROVAL TO ADOPT DECISION REGARDING RICHARD KRUMM
Mr. Garton stated at the Board’s request he has prepared a Decision regarding Richard Krumm which is ready for the Board’s approval.
Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to adopt the Decision.
Mr. Hackman read the Decision terminating Richard Krumm’s employment as a Probationary Officer. Mr. Fegley stated even though Mr. Strahle is not present this evening, he feels he would agree with this decision.
Motion to approve carried unanimously.
OXFORD ROAD BRIDGE UPDATE
Mr. Doherty stated bids will be advertised June 24 and July 1 with bid opening scheduled for July 15 and the matter referred to the Board of Supervisors on July 19. Mr. Fazzalore asked if there will be sufficient time to complete this in 1999, and Mr. Doherty stated he feels there is sufficient time.
Mr. Hackman noted this matter went before the Court and the Bucks County Court decided Lower Makefield Township should pay 80% of the cost. Lower Makefield appealed this Decision and the Upper Court upheld the Lower Court’s decision so Lower Makefield will have to pay 80%. Mr. Fazzalore stated at some point in the discussion, Yardley Borough offered to deed the entire road to Lower Makefield and he asked if they should accept this.
Mr. Garton stated the other alternative is Yardley Borough could pay Lower Makefield 20% of the costs of maintenance since the precedent has been set that they are responsible for 20% of the construction costs.
ZONING HEARING BOARD APPEALS
With regard to the Special Exception request of Dr. Carol Baker to permit a home occupation for a chiropractic business at 1100 Big Oak Road, Mr. Garton noted there were some questions about the amount of acreage. The Solicitor was asked to represent the Township and oppose any Variance. Mrs. Godshalk stated they should also be required to provide a turn-around so that no one is backing out onto Big Oak Road. Mr. Gunkel stated they are already showing a turn-around.
With regard to the William Gunser request for an interpretation and variance to the Zoning Ordinance to permit signage on off-site property at 650 Newtown-Washington Crossing Road, Mr. Garton stated there are signs in Lower Makefield advertising activities at
Mr. Gunser’s property in Upper Makefield Township. Mr. Fazzalore stated the Township was opposed to other signs in the Township and he does not feel they should make an exception in this instance. A majority of the Board of Supervisors agreed that the Township Solicitor should appear in opposition.
With regard to Country & McCaffrey Associates request for a Special Exception to permit outside sale of flowers and plants and for special events, the Township Solicitor was asked to appear for the purpose of obtaining additional information.
APPROVE CANCELING JULY 5 MEETING DUE TO INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY
Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to cancel the July 5 meeting due to the Independence Day Holiday.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Paul Krupp to the Emergency Management Committee.
Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to
re-appoint Deborah Gould to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Fegley moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Patricia Martin to the Park & Recreation Board and to recommend to the Park & Recreation Board that she be the liaison to the Environmental Advisory Council.
There being no further business, Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Fegley seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m.
Frank Fazzalore, Secretary