TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MINUTES – OCTOBER 6, 2004

 

 

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on October 6, 2004.  Chairman Fazzalore called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. interviewing candidates for the Zoning Hearing Board.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:               Frank Fazzalore, Chairman

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

                                                Todd Day, Township Engineer

                                                Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police

 

Absent:                         Scott Fegley, Supervisor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Ms. Nancy Lewis, 2008 Trowbridge Drive, was present with a number of children from the neighborhood bus stop at Trowbridge and Lindenhurst Road.  She stated there are approximately twenty-three homes in the neighborhood with sixteen children riding the buses.  There are seven buses in the morning, one bus mid-day for Kindergarten, seven buses in the mid-afternoon, and four in the evening.  Ms. Lewis stated she has brought this matter before the Board of Supervisors, Department of Transportation, and the School Board.  She stated a study was done this past year on the bus stop, and as a result it was determined that it would be more dangerous to have the bus stop in the development on Trowbridge than it would out on Lindenhurst Road because if they bring the bus in, it cannot get back onto Lindenhurst Road safely because of existing conditions.  She stated she called PennDOT and asked what they could do about this situation, and they suggested that flashing lights be installed.  This request must be made of PennDOT by the Township.  She stated they can also have another speed study done because of the bus being on the road and hopefully get the speed limit down in that section. 

 

 

 

 

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 9

 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated when he came on the Board, he asked that the Township engineer and the Chief look into this situation.  Mr. Majewski did take pictures of the area and the problem was the northerly direction because of the curve in the road and the tree in that area.  Mr. Majewski felt that if they could eliminate the tree, it would solve the problem; however, the owner of the tree was not willing to remove it.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he would be in favor of making the requests to PennDOT as suggested; however, he is also concerned with the trucks on the road which do not follow the speed limit. 

He would be in favor of asking the property owners again if they would be willing to remove the tree.  Ms. Lewis stated the tree was not an issue in the study done by the School District.  They indicated there is a period of time when you cannot see what is at the top of the hill when traveling south from Washington Crossing Road.  Chief Coluzzi stated the Pennsbury School District did do a traffic study after the Township asked that they change the location of the bus stops because of the danger.  The School District did their own study and found it would be more dangerous to bring the buses into the development as it would expose the bus to a broadside accident when trying to come back out onto the road.  Ms. Lewis stated meanwhile, they have children standing on Lindenhurst Road. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero asked if the School District could not bring in a smaller bus.  Ms. Lewis stated there are seven different buses coming in and going to a number of different schools so she does not feel it would be feasible to have this many small buses. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk asked if they could not have flashing lights with the times that the school buses are in the area with a 15 mile per hour speed limit during those times. 

Mr. Santarsiero stated while he feels they should pursue this, he is concerned that the drivers on the road will not follow this speed limit.  Mr. Santarsiero noted there is a property going down Lindenhurst toward Route 332 next to the corner of Trowbridge where there is a berm and asked if there is an area where they could make a turning lane or an area where the bus could go in to pick up the children more safely.   Ms. Lewis stated she feels this would cut in to the resident’s property.  Mr. Garton stated they could have PCS go out and study this. 

 

Chief Coluzzi stated Mr. Williams assured him that all pick ups and drop offs would not be on the opposite side of the street from the development, but a number of people present indicated this is being done and children are crossing Lindenhurst Road. 

Mr. Santarsiero stated someone needs to follow up with the School District on this as this is not acceptable. 

 

Ms. Herman stated PennDOT has done speed studies on this road, and she is concerned to hear that there is a sight distance problem coming out of a residential development that makes it too dangerous for a bus to go into the development.  She feels they need to take a tough stance with PennDOT and install traffic calming measures on the road as soon as possible so that the traffic is forced to travel at a safe speed. 

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 3 of 9

 

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to authorize the Application for placement of signals and an Application to request PennDOT to conduct another speed study on the basis of the sight distance and the fact that there are school buses there, and also authorize the Township engineer to see if it is feasible to create a pull off for a change in location for the bus pick up. 

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert asked if there are any other bus stops along Lindenhurst Road before Trowbridge, but this was not definitely known.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated when they first developed this area, the people did not want to connect these developments; and now this has created this current problem because there is no connection.  She stated she has always been a proponent of connected neighborhoods because of this.

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

Ms. Herman stated at Representative Steil’s meeting there has been discussion about the possibility of  the railroad hauling stone.  She provided an article to the Board on hauling stone by the railroad which has been successful.  She stated Representative Steil does not seem to be in favor of pushing this option.  She stated she has heard from others that they feel this would be economically feasible.   She stated the residents would like to see the numbers on this.  She stated Mr. Warren has indicated that truck traffic will double in ten years in Pennsylvania.  She stated she feels the railroad option is worth studying.  She stated the Worthington Mill Road residents met with representatives for the Short Line Railroad and they feel it is feasible. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated they did discuss this last Thursday at the League of Municipalities meeting.  He stated Ms. Herman brought this matter up and a number of those present indicated that they would take it back to their Boards and request that they agree as a Township to support this kind of feasibility study.  He stated it is not clear what would have to be done to make this option feasible.  He stated there are lines which would have to be replaced or refurbished and there may be some lines which would have to be built from scratch to make this feasible.

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked who would do the study, and Mr. Santarsiero stated the Department of Transportation would have to do it.  He added they recognize that this could be expensive.    Mr. Santarsiero stated he would like the Board to request that PennDOT and the Federal Department of Transportation undertake such a study to consider alternate means of transportation such as railroad lines.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to authorize sending a letter in support by the Township for a rail study as discussed.

 

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 4 of 9

 

 

Ms. Torbert suggested that the trucking companies be advised that the Townships are heading in this direction which may encourage them to take responsibility for the behavior of the truckers and the condition of the trucks. 

 

Ms. Herman asked to whom the letter would be sent.  Mr. Garton stated they will determine who should receive it.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels it should go out as broadly as possibly because of the need for funding sources.  He suggested PennDOT and the Federal Department of Transportation.

 

Ms. Karen Friedman asked if the DVRPC and the RCC voted to support this option. 

Ms. Herman stated RCC passed a Resolution that DRVPC do a study, but they have not done so.  Ms.  Herman stated she feels this is a political issue,  and they need to get an objective study done.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

CONFIRMATION OF EAGLE SCOUT PROCLAMATION FOR GAINES TAYLOR

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated Mr. Taylor is the son of Denise Taylor who works in the Township Planning Office.  He stated he attended the event on Sunday and presented the Proclamation on behalf of the Township.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to ratify the Proclamation for Gaines Taylor.

 

TABLING OF MINUTES

 

Due to the absence of two Supervisors this evening,  Mrs. Godshalk moved,

Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of September 20, 2004.

 

 

APPROVAL OF SHADY BROOK FARM AGREEMENTS RELATED TO ACCESSORY FARM BUSINESS

 

Mr. Garton stated this will record the prior approval of the Board related to Shady Brook Farm.    The Agreements have been executed by the Flemings, and the Approval conditions are attached as well as the description of the real estate encumbered by the restrictions.

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve the Shady Brook Farm Agreements related to accessory farm business.

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 9

 

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel the area in the front of the farm looks attractive from the road.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the Board made reference to this in a prior Motion. 

Mr. Santarsiero asked that Mr. Fedorchak follow up on this. 

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

AUTHORIZE ADVERTISEMENT OF PROPOSED ORDINANCE VACATING A PORTION OF DOLINGTON ROAD

 

Mr. Garton stated some years ago the Board approved realignment of Dolington Road near the Christmas tree farm.  It was brought to the Township’s attention that there was a portion of the land that the roadway moved away from and the Township was to vacate this.  He has prepared the necessary Ordinance and asked that the Board authorize its advertisement and notify the property owners who adjoin this area. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk noted an old garage in this area.  Mr. Garton stated this will not be affected.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize advertisement of a proposed Ordinance vacating a portion of Dolington Road.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF GRANTING CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS FOR MCCAFFREY’S MARKET AND MOTION TO TABLE

 

Mrs. Godshalk asked if there were any architectural drawings or pictures related to this matter, and Mr. Fedorchak stated he did not have these available.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he has been working with Mr. McCaffrey for some months, and the steel shipment has been delayed.  Since he does not feel they will be starting construction prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors on October 18, he would suggest that the matter be tabled and that Mr. Fedorchak get the information requested by Mrs. Godshalk to the Board for their review.

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to table with the understanding that the Township will issue a Building Permit but architecturals will be reserved until the Board of Supervisors makes a final decision at their next meeting.

 

Ms. Torbert asked if the temporary tent on the property is meant to withstand the winter weather, and Mr. Fedorchak stated it can.

 

 

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 9

 

 

APPROVE EXTENSION TO K. HOVNANIAN COMPANIES FOR FIELDSTONE

(HARRIS FARM)

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to approve an extension of time to K. Hovnanian Companies for Fieldstone (Harris Farm) to 12/31/04.

 

Mr. Santarsiero asked for an update on this property.  Mr. Garton stated they are finding a lot of material and are not close to completing the underlying studies.  Mr. Santarsiero asked about the status of the Railroad building.  Mr. Fedorchak stated after numerous calls it was found that the building is the property of CSX and he has been referred to the CSX Facility Management Division. 

 

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

 

 

SIGNING OF MYLARS FOR CHANTICLEER MINOR SUBDIVISION AND LOT CONSOLIDATION PLAN

 

Mylars were signed following the meeting.

 

 

ZONING HEARING BOARD MATTERS

 

Mr. Garton stated the Tom & Rita Bates, 8 Kenmore Road, Variance request and the Michael Montgomery and Judith Daniels, 249 Forrest Road, Variance request were approved by the Zoning Hearing Board last evening.

 

 

SUPERVISORS REPORTS

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated there will be another Newsletter sent out this year and input is requested from the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Fedorchak stated they anticipate it will be sent out to the residents the second week in December

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated they had a very successful 9-11 Golf Tournament with 234 people in attendance.  They are discussing having another outing next year.  She stated they will continue the raffle until the end of this year so tickets are still available.  She stated Elm Lowne also had a successful fundraiser with approximately 206 people in attendance. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk reported that she attended the meeting last week on the traffic, and the quarry owners who were invited did not attend.  She stated they have not answered any of the letters.  They will be invited again.  She stated they are going to contact the DVRPC about a study.  Mrs. Godshalk stated there have been statements made about the people

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 7 of 9

 

 

serving on the Committee not having any vision for the community, and she does not feel this is the case.  She stated she has expressed her feelings many times that the more roads that are open to handle the truck traffic, the more ways they will have to get to their final destination and the more fair it will be to individual communities.  She stated she also feels they need traffic calming measures as traffic increases on all roads.

 

Ms. Herman stated she feels Mr. Steil is throwing the Township Comprehensive Master Plans “out the window.”  She stated she disagrees that the eighteen-wheelers belong on collector roads where there are thousands of residents.  Mrs. Godshalk stated there are people living on all State roads.  She stated they must slow down the traffic and open up all the roads.  She does not feel the Township can disallow trucks to travel the Township roads but feels they should install traffic calming measuring to slow down the speed of the traffic.

 

Ms. Herman stated she feels it is evident that Representative Steil is choreographing the

Task Force.  She stated she feels a designated truck route will be selected. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she will continue to declare that all roads should be open to spread out the truck traffic.  Mr. Santarsiero asked Mrs. Godshalk what the timeframe is for the proposed study.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she is not sure.  She stated the Minutes of the meeting are not yet available.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated there have not been Planning Commission meetings in some time because of lack of Agenda items. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated there are now fifteen active members in the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities  Two additional Townships have indicated a willingness to participate but have yet to send representatives.  He stated it had been requested by the other members that he draft a set of By-Laws under which the League will operate.  These were reviewed at the meeting last week and after making some minor changes he will re-circulate it to the other members who will then present them to their individual Boards and Counsels.  This should be available for the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors by their first meeting in November.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he invited the people representing the Center for Independent Living to come to the meeting, and they made a presentation.  All members in attendance agreed to do what they could to further that endeavor.  The League is going to request that the Bridge Commission and PennDOT come to their next meeting in December to discuss the proposed widening of the Scudders Falls Bridge and, if in fact there is going to be a study undertaken by PennDOT and the Commission for that stretch of 95 from 332 to the Bridge, it should also include the rest of 95 from 332 down to what will be the new Interchange with the Turnpike so that if the road is widened between the Delaware River and 332, it should be widened south of that point as well to the Interchange so that they do not get cars funneling into a smaller area and create a problem for residents in the future. 

 

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 8 of 9

 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated they also discussed the recent flooding, and it was indicated there was a problem with the Community Alert System in two zones in Upper Makefield which were not called.  Chief Coluzzi stated the System worked very well in Lower Makefield.  Mr. Santarsiero stated the next meeting of the League will be held in Upper Makefield on December 9 at 7:00 p.m.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he has official Minutes from the League and will provide them to Mr. Fedorchak.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he briefly discussed with the Supervisor representative from Middletown that there will be a special meeting on October 25 in Lower Makefield to discuss Matrix.  He will be following up with him to discuss the project in length.

Mr. Fazzalore asked that Mr. Fedorchak invite the entire Middletown Board to the meeting.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he is concerned because the discussions that have taken place with respect to Matrix have occurred with respect to the portion of the property in Lower Makefield only and not the portion in Middletown.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she is concerned that it may be detrimental to have a certain Zoning District in Middletown adjacent to a Residential District in Lower Makefield.  She stated she feels this should be a joint effort with Middletown and feels they should not make a decision until both parties have agreed.

 

 

APPROVAL OF 2004-05 CONSORTIUM PIPE BID

 

Mrs. Godshalk moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the 2004-05 Consortium Pipe Bid to Chemung Supply Corporation.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated at a prior meeting there was discussion about Mr. Dan Quill living in a home owned by Mr. Troilo.  She stated Mr. Troilo has sent a letter to Mr. Quill and has indicated he will be permitted to stay in the house until May 1, 2005.  She stated it also refers to a prior offer of an apartment in Yardley Borough which is still good pending availability of the unit. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated they did request that the Historic Commission submit a report to the Board the second meeting in September and nothing has been received.  Mr. Fedorchak was asked to contact them.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he can provide an update on this matter which involves the Satterthwaite House on the Patterson Farm.  He stated there have been discussions about turning it into an Agricultural Education Center, and

there will be a meeting to discuss the feasibility of that with representatives of Penn State.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he will participate in these discussions and assumes Mrs. Godshalk will as well.  Mr. Fazzalore stated they must also discuss how they will come up with the $400,000 needed to repair the house.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel it will cost

October 6, 2004                                                              Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 9

 

 

only $400,0000 and they should look at this as a residential community.  She stated turning it into anything that takes away the residential atmosphere of that house or the other house on the property should be looked at carefully.  She stated there is a letter and she has had phone calls from an individual in the area who restored a farm and barn and he is interested in this home as are other people who are interested in bringing it back to a residential use.  She stated she does recognize that this would have to be put out to public bid.   She stated she would be careful about an institutional use.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels that having a private owner own the house may not be consistent with the notion of buying the Patterson Farm initially which was to hold it in public trust.  Mrs. Godshalk stated it was also not intended to turn it into a college campus.   Mr. Santarsiero stated this is not the intent.  He stated he feels the $400,000 is a number that was shown when they discussed this previously that does not have a lot of  reality behind it.  Mr. Fazzalore stated the gentleman who was an expert gave them this number. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Frank Fazzalore, Chairman