TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

MINUTES – SEPTEMBER 20, 2004

 

 

The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on September 20, 2004.  Chairman Fazzalore called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. noting that the Board had been meeting in Executive Session since 6:30 p.m. interviewing candidates for various Boards and discussing land and legal matters.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:               Frank Fazzalore, Chairman

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Vice Chairman

                                                Scott Fegley, Secretary/Treasurer

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Kenneth Coluzzi, Chief of Police

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Mr. Gary Cruzan stated several months ago he reported to the Board the fact that an eighty-nine year old Veteran was faced with the possibility of eviction from the house where he has lived for many years.  He stated this situation has continued, and he is concerned that the individual’s rights are being violated.  He is concerned that if they move him very far, it will be detrimental to this individual.  Mr. Stainthorpe questioned what power the Township has in this situation.  Mr. Garton stated the Township may be able to give assistance in obtaining the appropriate advice so that his rights are not violated.  He stated the Township cannot take up his cause although they could direct him to the Veterans Administration or Legal Aid.  Mr. Cruzan stated the property owner wants to tear down the building in which he lives.  Mr. Santarsiero asked the type of lease involved, but Mr. Cruzan did not have this information.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels the Township should do what they can to get this individual representation so that he can find out what his rights are.  Mr. Fegley stated he would be willing to speak to him at no charge.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels some people are already looking into some avenues in helping this individual.

 

Mr. Sam Conti, Sutphin Road, stated the Township previously had a large dumpster in the parking lot and asked why it his was removed.  Mr. Fedorchak stated BFI has changed its policy and is now charging for all dumpsters.  To keep the dumpsters at the

September 20, 2004                                                       Board of Supervisors – page 2 of 11

 

 

Township parking lot it was going to cost the Township $6,000 to $7,000 per year which is not in the Township Budget.  He stated they will discuss this matter during their discussions of the 2005 Budget.  Mrs. Godshalk stated there is a liberal policy with the Township haulers with regard to private collection.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he questions why anyone would come to the Township with items when they can put them out at their own residences.  Mrs. Godshalk stated the prior company, Anders, did not charge the Township for the dumpsters.

 

Ms. Sue Herman asked the Board’s position on posting of Minutes from Rep. Steil’s Task Force meetings.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she felt this had already been approved.  The Board indicated this evening that they are agreeable to the Minutes being posted once they are approved.  Mr. Fedorchak agreed to take care of this matter.  Ms. Herman stated the next Task Force meeting will be Wednesday, September 29 and will be extremely important.  She reviewed items which are to be discussed at that meeting.  Both

Mrs. Godshalk and Mr. Stainthorpe indicated that they will be in attendance at that meeting.

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked about traffic conditions since Stoopville Road has been closed, and Ms. Herman stated truck traffic on Lindenhurst has decreased since Stoopville Road was closed.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he understands some roads in other Township are going to be permanently restricted on some of the Township-owned roads.  Ms. Herman stated she applauds these efforts since it indicates that they recognize the problems with commercial traffic on residential roads.

 

Mr. Larry Borda, 508 Heritage Oak Drive, stated the Zoning Hearing Board was planning on addressing the Sunrise Special Exception request tomorrow evening.  Mr. Garton stated this matter has been delayed.  Mr. Borda stated the residents do not want to see a nursing home on the site and feel it should be left as open ground or residential.  However, since the Applicant is trying to obtain a Special Exception and may persevere on this issue beyond the level of the Township, the residents feel possibly the Township should consider approving a Variance which would permit a two-story building rather than a three-story building.  If the Board agrees to this and if the project is ultimately approved, it could only be a two-story structure rather than a three-story structure as proposed.  They would like to know the Township’s feelings about this site. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked if a two-story structure would reduce the number of units, and

Mr. Borda stated it would not.  Mr. Borda stated this is why they would need a Variance for impervious surface since they would have to spread out the building more. 

Mr. Garton stated the Board of Supervisors has already authorized his office to appear in opposition as well as authorized a traffic consultant to study the traffic.  Mr. Garton stated if something has happened between the neighbors and the developer, it would be appropriate to schedule this matter for discussion at the next Board of Supervisors

 

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meeting.  Members of the Board asked if they could support a Variance and oppose a Special Exception, and Mr. Garton stated this would be a possibility. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated following the last meeting when this was discussed a number of the neighbors were talking to the developer and she asked why the residents would try to make an arrangement with the developer.  She stated at the last meeting when this was discussed, she feels the Board made it clear that they would oppose this Plan. 

Mr. Borda stated the developer indicated that they wanted to be good neighbors and wanted to eliminate neighborhood opposition.  There have been discussions between the neighbors and the developer.  Mr. Borda stated they feel it is very possible that this developer plans to persevere with this project.  He stated the neighbors felt if they were going to have to have this use, they wanted to try to get the best building they could.  

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked what they feel would happen if they advised the developer that they wanted the building to be the same size it was proposed but without the third floor. 

Mr. Borda stated the developer indicated the proposed number of patients was what they needed to make the project successful.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he did not feel a two-story building would be much better than a three-story building.  He stated he feels this use will impact the Township in a major way; and while the developer may be willing to persevere with his Application, he would be willing to persevere as well.

 

Ms. Sandy Nuzzolo, Stony Hill Road, stated the property owner has the right to market his property and did try to market it as residential.  The developers felt this was not the proper location for residential development.  Ms. Nuzzolo stated she feels the best option is for the Township to buy the property and keep it as open space.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she does not feel the property owners would be willing to sell it to the Township at a price the Township would be willing to pay and would be able to get much more selling it to a commercial developer.  Mrs. Godshalk stated a Special Exception cannot conflict with the health and welfare of the residents, and she feels this is a strong point in the Court. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore suggested that the Township Manager contact the developer to see if they want to present something to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Ms. Nuzzolo stated the property owner could go for a hardship since he cannot sell his property.  Mr. Garton stated the property owner has the right to make a reasonable use of his property.    Mr. Fegley stated he is aware of a Church that is looking for property.

 

Mr. Ralph Nuzzolo, Stony Hill Road, stated there are water issues on the subject property and he understands that the Army Corps was doing a survey.  Mr. Fegley stated he felt this study was being done on Brock Creek, not on this site.  Mr. Borda stated the developer told him today that there are no wetlands on the site.

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APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Fegley moved and Mr. Stainthorpe seconded to approve the Minutes of August 16, 2004 as written.  Motion carried with Mr. Santarsiero abstaining.

 

 

APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 7, 2004 AND SEPTEMBER 20, 2004 WARRANT LISTS AND AUGUST, 2004 PAYROLL

 

Mr. Fegley moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the September 7, 2004 and September 20, 2004 Warrants lists and August, 2004 Payroll as attached to the Minutes.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he reviewed the financial information, and they are on Budget.  He complimented the Chief of Police for keeping overtime under control.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND MOTION IN SUPPORT OF A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF ESTABLISHING A CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING IN BUCKS COUNTY

 

Ms. Liz Harbison and Ms. Lisa Huchler-Smith were present.  Mr. Fegley stated there is currently under consideration a Center for Independent Living to be located in Bucks County.  This is a facility that acts in a general sense as a clearinghouse for information and services for residents of Bucks County.  Currently, Bucks County residents have to go to Delaware County or Philadelphia for such services.  There are Grant funds available in the amount of $250,000 for establishing this Center for Independent Living.  There are only six or so such Centers in existence State-wide and a number of Counties are competing for these funds.  Mr. Fegley stated the more support they can lend, the greater the chances are of obtaining the Grant monies.  Mr. Fegley stated there is an aging population and a number of disabled residents in Bucks County   He stated they would like the Board to approve a Resolution in support of establishing a Center for Independent Living in Bucks County.

 

Mr. Fazzalore moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to support a Resolution in support of establishing a Center for Independent Living in Bucks County.

 

Ms. Harbison stated getting a Center for Independent Living will expand the opportunity to offer services to people with disabilities.  Ms. Huchler-Smith stated individuals can also write letters in support of this proposal. 

 

Mr. Fegley stated the Grant would fund this for a five-year period.  This would provide for one-full time staff person and a small rental location.  If they obtain the Grant, they plan to locate the Center somewhere in Lower Bucks County with a possible small

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satellite office in the Quakertown area.  Mr. Fegley stated the Board that would be directing the Center would be comprised of at least 51% disabled persons.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she is aware of a facility already in existence which serves as a clearinghouse for social services in Bucks County.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels they should move forward with the Resolution as well as seeing if there could be coordination with the facility Mrs. Godshalk has noted.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he serves on a Board as well which may also be of help and he asked that they contact him to obtain their phone number. 

 

Mr. Fegley stated the BCCID will be instrumental in helping with the preparation of the Grant, but will not be running the facility.  It will be run largely by the disabled persons themselves.

 

Mr. Santarsiero suggested that a form letter be prepared to be placed on the Website so that Township residents can write individual letters in support of this as well. 

Mr. Santarsiero asked that Mr. Fegley prepare some background information on this as well to go along with the form letter.

 

Mr. Sam Speara, Tomlinson Lane, stated he is concerned with the number of programs that start out with Grant funds; but then when funds are no longer available, the Township needs to pick up these costs.

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert, Yardley-Newtown Road, asked  who will make the decision about which County gets the Center.  Mr. Fegley stated the decision will be made by the State Department of Human Resources.   Ms. Torbert suggested that this information be discussed at the next League of Municipalities, and Mr. Santarsiero agreed to bring this up at the next meeting to be held on September 30 at the Newtown Township building.  He invited Ms. Harbison and Ms. Huchler-Smith to attend as well.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she has no problem with applying for the Grant, but feels they should also look at other agencies that are already set up.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Board of Supervisors is not applying for the Grant.  Mrs. Godshalk stated possibly there could be a partnership sharing.   Mr. Fegley stated disabled people want to be in control of their own destiny and their services and do not want to be looked at as charity cases.  He stated they want to do it on their own and not have others making decisions for them.

 

Mr. Rick VanHorn, Heacock Road, stated he has a seventeen-year old son who is disabled.  He stated they have benefited from some programs in the County, but it is hard to find services easily.  He feels this would be very helpful, and he would encourage the Township to support the project.  Ms. Huchler-Smith stated it is very empowering for the disabled to be in control.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

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DISCUSS SUPPORTING LOCAL EXTENSION OF COMMUNITIES THAT CARE PROGRAM

 

Ms. Joyce McGlynn, Mr. Gary Sanderson, and Mr. Chris Porter, Director of the Peace Center were present.  Ms. McGlynn stated they have recently received a continuation Grant that they need for the funding of programs they are currently running.   They are also looking at other sources.  Mr. Garry Sanderson presented a video on the Communities That Care Program.  Mr. Porter made a presentation on the Peace Center’s Bullying Prevention Program which is conducted in the Schools.  This is done in the third or fourth grade.  He stated they know that these programs work and significant results have been shown.  This program was originally started through a Grant, and they would like to see the program continue.  They are going into the Townships and the Public School to solicit funds so that the program can continue. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked what they are looking for in terms of a contribution.   Mr. Sanderson stated they originally received a Grant including State and Federal resources.  As of September of this year those funds have expired.  Recently they were encouraged to apply for another Grant; however that Grant is only to support their mentoring program.  They have been invited to submit a Grant through the Bucks County Republican Caucus and are still $15,000 short. 

 

Chief Coluzzi stated he is very familiar with their Bullying Prevention Program, and it is an excellent program.  Mr. Fazzalore asked if the Schools are participating financially, and Mr. Sanderson stated as of this time, they are not. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk asked who checks into the people who go into the classrooms, and

Mr. Porter stated they do the hiring of the experts that go into the classrooms. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated if the Board made a contribution, they would be giving out the taxpayer’s money.  She asked if they have gone to private industry in the community.  Mr. Sanderson stated they are going to do this.  Their problem now is the short-term sustaining of the Program.  Any Grants they would try to obtain would be for continuing support.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board is working with a very tight Budget this year; and if they decide to do something, it would have to be included in the 2005 Budget.  Ms. McGlynn stated she feels most of the Municipalities are looking at 2005 as well.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe asked the total amount they are looking for from the Township, and

Mr. Sanderson stated they need to collect $15,000.  They have made a request of Falls Township in the amount of $5,000 and they would like the same from Lower Makefield as Lower Makefield and Falls have approximately an equal amount of students in the Pennsbury School District.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does not feel they could do this at the current time but could consider it for 2005.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked what the School

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Board would put into this, and Mr. Sanderson stated they have made a commitment that they would try to cover any costs they cannot get from other sources.  They have no formal commitment from anyone at this time.   Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would encourage them to look for financial support from the School District. He stated the Township does support the DARE program already.  He stated the Schools do benefit directly from the programs the Peace Center is offering because it results in better behavior in the classrooms.  Mr. Porter stated Falls Township did ask that all the other Municipalities involved with the Pennsbury Schools join in and wanted their contribution to go directly into the Program and not to administrative costs. 

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated the Township does require a copy of the Budget for any group to which they give financial support.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF DELAWARE RIM AND SUNNYSIDE LANE SEWERS AND MOTION TO ACCEPT THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SEWER AUTHORITY

 

Mr. Tom Zarko was present.  Mr. Fedorchak stated Mr. Hoffmeister was unable to attend the meeting this evening as he is working with flooding problems in the area. 

Mrs. Godshalk asked if the residents were invited to this evening’s meeting, and

Mr. Fedorchak stated they were not.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels the matter should be tabled since the residents are not present.  Mr. Fazzalore asked that they make the presentation before the decision to table is considered.

 

Mr. Zarko stated he was asked to present to the Board the findings of the study which was done in the Delaware Rim and Sunnyside Lane area.  He stated there are seventy-eight parcels, eight or which are vacant or undeveloped.  They focused on the seventy developed parcels.  They had discussions with the property owners when available and did an inspection of each property were access was provided to assess the condition of on-lot systems and test ground water samples.  A summary of the results was presented to the Board.  He stated seven of the sixty-seven properties to which they were granted access had malfunctioning systems or problems with ground water samples. 

He reviewed the malfunctions found.  Four of the sixty-seven properties were deemed to have marginal systems or periodic problems.  Fifty-six of the sixty-seven were found to have systems functioning property.  He stated there is not a widespread problem in this area of the Township although there are some localized problems.  He stated many of the property owners are doing a very good job of maintaining their on-lot systems, and this is why they got good results. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Zarko stated they presented the summary of their report to the Sewer Authority at their August meeting and based on the presentation, the Sewer Authority has made several recommendations as follows:

 

            1.  On-lot sewage disposal systems in the area should be re-assessed

                   in three years to make sure the systems continue to function

                   properly recognizing that on-lot systems do have a finite life;

 

            2.  Results of the marginal and failing systems should be forwarded to the

                  Bucks County Health Department and the affected property owners

                  and have them contact the Health Department to see if there are some

                  means of repair to help resolve the problems that were noted during the

                  evaluations;

 

            3.  The Township should send letters to the properties that were restricted

                  from access to advise them that they could not do the evaluation and

                  noted that there were some problems in the area and they may want

                  to contact someone to have their systems evaluated to make sure

                  there are no problems with their system.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Fegley and it was unanimously carried to accept the recommendations of the Sewer Authority.

 

 

AWARD BID FOR 2004 BIKEPATH RESURFACING PROJECT

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Santarsiero seconded to award the bid for 2004 Bikepath Resurfacing Project to General Asphalt Paving Company in the amount of $174,341.35.

 

It was noted this was included in the Budget in the amount of $150,000  for repair and $30,000 for new construction.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

AWARD BID FOR REPLACEMENT OF CULVERTS AT DAVID TERRACE AND ESTHER LANE

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated this was included in the Budget in the amount of $300,000. 

Mr. Fedorchak stated these culverts are downstream from the proposed Rock Run Dam location, and they are in need of immediate repair.

 

 

September 20, 2004                                                       Board of Supervisors – page 9 of 11

 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to award the bid for replacement of culverts at David Terrace and Esther Lane to

N. Abbonizio Contractors in the amount of $260,575.00.

 

 

APPOINT ZONING HEARING BOARD TO SERVE AS BOCA BOARD OF APPEALS RELATING TO THE WILSHIRE GLEN/RAAB FARMHOUSE

 

Mr. Garton stated an Appeal has been filed by the owner of the Raab Farmhouse.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint the Zoning Hearing Board to serve as the BOCA Board of Appeals relating to the Wilshire Glen/Raab Farmhouse.

 

 

APPROVE GRANT OF EXTENSION OF TIME TO ELLIOTT BUILDING GROUP FOR FLOWERS/MADANY SUBDIVISION

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve grant of extension of time to Elliott Building Group for Flowers/Madany Subdivision to 12/20/04.

 

 

APPROVE GRANT OF EXTENSION OF TME TO JOSEPH MARRAZZO FOR BOXWOOD FARMS

 

Mr. Santarsiero moved, Mr. Stainthorpe seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve grant of extension of time to Joseph Marrazzo for Boxwood Farms Final Subdivision Plan to 12/10/04.

 

 

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPEALS

 

With regard to the AAA Development & Management Inc. Variance requests for the property located at 1050 Stony Hill Road to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mr. Santarsiero seconded and it was unanimously carried to authorize the Solicitor to appear in opposition.

 

With regard to the Frank Oliveti Variance request to build an addition in the floodplain and encroaching in the front yard setback of the property located at 76 Manor Lane, it was agreed to leave the matter to the Zoning Hearing Board.

 

 

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APPROVAL TO FIX A PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS MATRIX PROJECT

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mr. Fegley seconded to fix a public meeting for October 25, 2004 for the sole purpose of discussing the Matrix project.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he would like to have this meeting publicized as much as possible, and Mr. Fedorchak agreed to do so.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

MOTION TO CHANGE NEXT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated they are having a Tournament on October 4 to raise money for the 9-11 Memorial.  She stated a Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for that evening and she would request that they change that meeting to Wednesday, October 6. 

Mr. Fazzalore stated some weeks ago Mr. Santarsiero made a request to change the meeting night, and Mrs. Godshalk made the comment that Mr. Santarsiero knew what the meeting nights were when he ran for office.  Mr. Fazzalore stated he does not feel they should cancel the next Board meeting for a Golf outing.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he would not be opposed to moving the meeting to another night rather than October 4. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated if they are unable to reschedule the meeting, he does not feel they should change the date.  Mr. Majewski stated he has a conflict on Wednesday evening, but could send someone else from his office. 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to change the first meeting in October to Wednesday, October 6. Motion carried with Mr. Fegley and Mr. Fazzalore opposed.

 

SUPERVISORS REPORTS

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated the next meeting of the Southeastern Bucks League of Municipalities will be held next week in Newtown Township and he invited the public to attend.  The next meeting after that will be in December in Upper Makefield.  He commended the Police and Fire and Rescue workers as well as the Red Cross for the work done over the last few days relating to the flooding in the area.  Mr. Santarsiero stated a number of residents from the Woodside/River Road area called him to see if there was some way they could get gas-generated pumps to help people in that area pump out their basements.  He asked that this be done when possible.  He stated there is also a need for large dumpsters.  Chief Coluzzi stated the Fire Department may now be able to provide the pumps.  He stated they do not want to clog the area with dumpsters, but possibly they could provide Road Department trucks.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he would prefer the residents move the debris to the curb and the Township trucks can pick this

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material up.  He will discus the matter further with the Chief.  Mr. Santarsiero asked that information in this regard be posted on the Township Website and the Cable TV Channel.

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated on Friday, October 1 the fundraiser for the preservation of Elm Lowne – the Tasting Party – will be held.  Sixteen restaurants will be participating and the event will be held this year in the tent on the property.

 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he was contacted by someone in Yardley requesting mulch for Buttonwood Park, and he stated he did not feel this would be a problem.  They also asked if the Yardley residents could get free mulch as well, and Mr. Fazzalore stated he did not feel this would be a problem.  This was acceptable to the Board of Supervisors.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mrs. Godshalk stated she was at the bank near Christine’s and a bus came through the drive-through and hit the canopy.  She stated she feels there should be a sign indicating it is a drive-through only as well as the height restriction.  Chief Coluzzi agreed to contact the bank and make this suggestion.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved, Mrs. Godshalk seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Deborah Gable to the Cable TV Advisory Board.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe moved and Mrs. Godshalk seconded to re-appoint Ann Langtry to the Historic Commission, Liuba Lashchyk to the Historic Architectural Review Board and George Davenport to the Sewer Authority. 

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels that when someone’s position comes up for

re-appointment, the position should be advertised to the public and the person in the position should be considered along with others interested in serving. 

 

Motion to re-appoint carried unanimously.

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Scott Fegley, Secretary