The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 13, 1999. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

John Pazdera, Chairman
Edward Koch, Vice Chairman
Deborah Gould, Secretary
Paul Gunkel, Member
Albert Roeper, Member


Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
Douglas Maloney, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison


Mr. Roeper moved and Mr. Gunkel seconded to approve the Minutes of November 29, 1999 as written. Motion carried with Ms. Gould abstaining.


Mr. Bill Dion was present with Ms. Cynthia Smith, engineer. Mr. Dion noted the PCS review letter dated 12/8/99. He stated at the last meeting the previous review letter was more voluminous, and they agreed to submit revised plans. He noted a number of the items in the latest PCS letter are waivers which will not come off the letter until a determination on the waivers is made by the Township.

He noted Item #1 under Preliminary Subdivision Plans and stated this section deals with the access to Dolington Road for which they are requesting a waiver since they are unable to meet the 800’ requirement. He stated they do recognize a PennDOT permit is required to access Dolington Road.

Item #2 is also a waiver request for reduction of cartway width to 30’ throughout the site. Mr. Dion stated any cost savings as a result of the reduction would be offered to the Township as a Fee-In-Lieu.

Mr. Dion stated Item #3 deals with frontage improvements on Wilbur and Dolington Roads. He stated PennDOT will require certain improvements but to the extent that their requirements are less than the Township requirements, they will contribute the difference to the Township as Fee-In-Lieu.

Mr. Gunkel asked about the bikepath on Dolington Road. Mr. Dion stated he understood the bikepath was to go on the opposite side of Dolington Road. Mr. Gunkel stated since there is an existing bikepath on the recently developed side at Orchard Hill, they should install the bikepath on the same side as the bikepath in this area. Ms. Smith stated when it was initially proposed there be a bikepath along Dolington Road the lay out of the site was different. Once the interconnection was proposed, a sidewalk was to be installed and they felt this would be preferable for pedestrians. Mr. Gunkel stated since the bikepath is now in place in this area at Orchard Hill he feels it should be matched by this developer on their side. He noted the Park & Recreation Board agrees it should be put in on the developer’s side. Mr. Dion stated they would be willing to install it if this is the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Mr. Gunkel noted there are some off-sight properties involved to connect it from Orchard Hill to this development and condemnation may be required, but at least this portion will be in place. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the developer should install the bikepath on the development side of the street at this time.

Item #4 was noted which is a waiver request for the requirement that they show all existing features within 200’ of the site. Mr. Dion stated it would be very difficult for them to agree to this requirement because of the number of properties involved and the need to go on private property. Mr. Doherty stated they want to make sure that all the grading as proposed will work. Mr. Dion stated if Mr. Doherty could advise them what specific areas he is concerned with, they could attempt to get permission from those property owners to go onto their properties. Mr. Doherty stated they would only be concerned with areas where they are abutting existing developed properties. He stated they would not have to show features across the creek. Mr. Gunkel suggested they write a letter to those property owners involved requesting access onto their properties, and the developer can advise the Township of those individuals who were not willing to provide access. Mr. Dion stated they will still require a waiver for the properties across the creek, and this was understood by the Planning Commission.

Item #5 was noted which is a waiver request for slopes. Mr. Dion stated they are putting in a berm at the request of the neighbors along Lots 3 through 7 and this will result in a slope greater than that permitted by Ordinance. The Planning Commission was in agreement with granting this waiver. Mr. Doherty stated he would like to have a Note added to the Plan regarding this request.

Item #6 was noted which is a waiver request which is required in order for the developer to construct the cul-de-sac which will result in grading within five feet of some property lines. Mr. Dion stated they will not go onto adjoining properties but will still need a waiver.

Item #7 was noted, and Mr. Dion stated this is due to a typo on the plans which will be corrected.

The Stormwater Management Report was noted, and Mr. Dion stated this requires changing the size of one of the pipes and they will make this revision along with changing the labeling.

Under the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Item #1 refers to Fee-In-Lieu and they will agree to pay this.

Item #2 was noted regarding environmental concerns. Mr. Dion stated one of the underground storage tanks is being used by the existing home, and they would like to continue to use it at this time. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels this tank should be tested to make sure it is not leaking. Mr. Gunkel stated they need a letter from Skelly & Loy indicating they agree with the proposal of the developer. Mr. Dion stated they will comply with all comments in the Skelly & Loy review letter. He stated they would agree to test the underground tank that is still to be used. He stated the developer would like to have Preliminary Plan approval before they proceed with the removal of the items listed by Skelly & Loy because of the cost involved, and they would agree to removing all items before any Building Permits are issued. Ms. Gould asked if they filed a Phase 1 report, and Mr. Dion stated they consider the report they submitted as a Phase 1.

Mr. Dion stated they will comply with Items #1 through #4 under General Comments.

Mr. Gunkel stated he feels a major issue is that they must satisfy Mr. Doherty on the drainage issues. Mr. Dion stated when they engineered the Plan, they did consider the adjoining properties although they did not have exact data on the elevations of the adjoining properties. He stated they have requested a waiver from the requirement for showing existing features within 200’ of the site since the plans were first submitted. Mr. Gunkel stated this is the first time they have indicated that they cannot get the information required on the adjoining property elevations. Mr. Dion stated they would agree to a condition of approval that Mr. Doherty be satisfied with the stormwater management plan. Ms. Smith stated she has walked the site and feels they have addressed the stormwater management concerns and will keep the water off the adjoining properties. Mr. Dion stated if the topos show something that requires an adjustment, it will most likely be a change to a pipe size or the addition of another inlet. He stated the lay out of the Subdivision would not change.

Mr. Doherty stated while he would normally agree, he is very sensitive to water issues in the Township. Mr. Dion stated they went to a great extent to get the site work done in order to provide Mr. Doherty with the plans so that they could get a review this evening. He asked why this is only being raised this evening if this waiver request was always in the review letter. He asked why this was not brought up at any of the previous meetings. He stated by continuing this matter again, this puts them in a worse position than if they had received a denial at the last meeting. He stated he is willing to take the risk that they can satisfy Mr. Doherty on the stormwater management.

Mr. Pazdera noted the Board of Supervisors meets on Monday, December 20 and he does not feel they will get Preliminary Plan approval from the Board of Supervisors until Mr. Doherty is satisfied with the stormwater management plan. Mr. Gunkel stated he would agree to recommending Preliminary Plan Approval with the stipulation that Mr. Doherty is satisfied before they go to the Board of Supervisors. It was noted that the first meeting of the Board of Supervisors in January is a Reorganization meeting and this matter could not be brought to the Board of Supervisors until their second meeting in January. Mr. Doherty stated assuming the information was provided to him by January 3, he feels it could be ready for the Board of Supervisors by January 17, 2000.

Mr. Dion stated they will advise the residents involved in writing that they need to do survey work on their property in order to satisfy the Township engineer. Mr. Dion stated he will work with Mr. Doherty if there are any problems.

Mr. Roeper moved and Mr. Koch seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Revised Preliminary Plan in accordance with the Plans dated 11/25/98, last revised 11/12/99 subject to compliance with the comments in the PCS letter dated 12/8/99 with the recommendation that the waiver requested in Paragraph 1 be granted as well as the waiver request in Paragraph 2. The applicant will provide a bikepath along Dolington Road. The developer will provide to the satisfaction of, and will obtain approval from, the Township Engineer with respect to any existing features of properties adjacent to the new development except with respect to the area along the south portion of the property, and that a waiver of the 200’ requirement over that discussed be granted. It is also recommended that the waivers requested in Paragraphs 5 and 6 be granted. Applicant will agree to furnish a letter from Skelly & Loy indicating that the removal of the tank not being used, the transformer, and the waste material area will be completed in a satisfactory manner with the further understanding that the tank still being used will be inspected. All items to be accomplished prior to going to the Board of Supervisors.

Ms. Holly Bussey asked when this matter will go to the Board of Supervisors and it was noted the earliest it could go would by January 17, 2000.

Ms. Beth Merrick stated she is one of the lots which will be impacted and asked that they take their time with this since she is concerned about increased water on her property.

Mr. Victor Fiori of Dolington Road stated he is concerned with the storm water and the proposed extension to the pipe which will make the water get to his property quicker and at a greater velocity. Ms. Smith stated the water will be taken from Dolington Road back onto their site. The pipe extension was put in at the request of the Township to help eliminate the ponding that occurs.

Motion carried with Ms. Gould voting no.


Mr. Pazdera noted only two Planning Commission members will be available to attend the next regularly scheduled meeting which was to be held on December 27. It was therefore noted they will be unable to meet on that date and the next meeting of the Planning Commission will be held on Monday, January 10, 2000.

There being no further business, Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m.