TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PLANNING COMMISSION
MINUTES - JULY 12, 1999

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 12, 1999. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

John Pazdera, Chairman

 

Edward Koch, Vice Chairman

 

Paul Gunkel, Member

 

Albert Roeper, Member

Others:

Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

 

John Koopman, Township Solicitor

 

Duke Doherty, Township Engineer

Absent:

Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Secretary

#505 & #505-A - SBA TOWERS, INC. PRELIMINARY/FINAL LAND DEVELOPMENT DISCUSSION AND CONDITIONAL USE RECOMMENDATION

Ms. Tina Makoulian, attorney, Mr. David Hedges, and Mr. Julian Toniato were present. Mr. Hedges stated they are proposing to construct a 190 foot tall lattice tower to support a number of antennas to be located to the rear of the Township Building. Sprint, AT & T, County and Municipal antennas, and space for future co-locators are proposed at this location. A 100’ by 100’ compound at the base of the tower is proposed along with equipment shelters. Mr. Hedges noted on the plan where they will take access from Edgewood Road.

Ms. Makoulian stated they received the review letter on the Land Development application from PCS dated 7/7/99. She noted Item #5, and stated they have done a Phase I Study and taken soil borings for the area which they feel should be acceptable. They will submit this information to the Township.

Ms. Makoulian also noted Item #11 regarding the slope in the area, and stated no grading is proposed. She stated although there is a ravine close by, it is not in the area of their facility. They do not feel any grading is required since the area involved is very flat. Mr. Pazdera noted the contours on the site plan show a six foot drop from corner to corner. Mr. Hedges stated some work has been done by Mr. Coyne so that the area where the tower will be located is flat. Pictures of the site were shown. Mr. Hedges agreed to revise the drawings to reflect the site as it is presently.

Ms. Makoulian stated they will comply with all other items in the PCS letter regarding the Preliminary/Final Land Development plan and will come back to the Planning Commission with the revised plans.

Ms. Makoulian noted the Bucks County Planning Commission letter dated 7/9/99. She stated they feel they have addressed the Use issue by virtue of the fact that they have filed a Conditional Use Application.

 
The PCS letter dated 7/7/99 with regard to the Conditional Use Application was noted.Mr. Toniato noted Item #1 and stated the foundations will be designed according to BOCA standards, and they will follow the requirements of the American National Standards Institute and the Telecommunications Industry Association. With regard to Item #2, Mr. Hedges stated they are proposing a 190 foot tower. Sprint has indicated they would like to locate just below the 190 foot level, and the Township Police antenna will be located at 180 feet and will extend to 198 feet. He stated they are therefore proposing the minimal number of feet which can accommodate the users. They will submit letters to the Township indicating they are following the requirements as outlined in Items #1 and #2.

Ms. Makoulian noted they will comply with Item #3.

With regard to Item #4, Ms. Makoulian stated there is existing screening on three sides. With regard to the westerly side, Mr. Toniato stated based on the topography and what the Township is doing in the area, he does not feel trees would be appropriate. He noted the westerly portion does face the railroad. Mr. Doherty stated if trees were planted in this location, they would block Mr. Coyne’s access. Mr. Fazzalore stated it has been the practice of the Township in the past that if they do not use the trees, they accept them from the developer and use them at some other location. Mr. Hedges stated they would agree to this.

Ms. Makoulian stated they will comply with Item #5 and have already filed for the FAA approval for the proposed location and will supply this to the Township when received.

Ms. Frick stated the Conditional Use Hearing is scheduled for the next Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Conditional Use as outlined in the drawing last revised, 6/29/99 in accordance with the PCS letter dated 7/7/99 with the special note that the Board should consider where to relocate the evergreen trees not needed for screening on the 100’ by 100’ tract.

#486 - HIDDEN POND ESTATES - PRELIMINARY PLAN RECOMMENDATION

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, Mr. Larry Young, engineer, and Mr. William Scanlon were present.Mr. Murphy stated the last time they were before the Planning Commission was in the spring when they reviewed the 3/5/99 PCS letter. He stated since that time he has appeared a number of times before the Township to obtain the Minor Subdivision Approval for the McClister farmhouse. They have revised the Preliminary Plans for Hidden Ponds Estates and submitted them to PCS. In the interim they have also received a wetlands jurisdiction letter which was supplied to Skelly & Loy who confirmed the accuracy. Skelly & Loy also made a further on site inspection and verified the accuracy of the wetlands buffer now shown on the plan.

The PCS letter dated 6/21/99 was noted. Mr. Murphy stated they have already or will comply with Items #1 through #4. Mr. Murphy stated they recognize what needs to be done with regard to Item #5 and will pay Fee-In-Lieu of improvements so that the road improvements are consistent with other projects along the road.

Mr. Roeper moved and Mr. Koch seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve the Revised Preliminary Plans for Hidden Pond Estates in accordance with the original Plan dated 8/15/97, last revised 5/26/99 subject to compliance with the comments in the PCS letter of 6/21/99 (type dated 3/5/99).

Mr. Paul Hanson stated he has previously discussed the road accessing the rear of his property. He stated he is concerned that this development will impact water on the road noting that his driveway has already washed out a number of times. Mr. Gunkel asked who owns the road, and Mr. Hanson stated he does. Mr. Murphy stated this driveway is not on their property and they are not proposing any improvements to it. They have not requested any easements from this property owner. Mr. Murphy stated the new development will not have any impact on this driveway and the water will flow as it does now. Mr. Murphy stated there may be some improvement in the situation since they are creating some detention basins which do not presently exist. Ms. Frick noted this is a secondary access for Mr. Hanson. Mr. Hanson stated he does not feel this makes any difference. He stated he is concerned that the engineer may be wrong and it will have an impact on his property. Mr. Hanson stated his concern is that the problem will worsen and he questions who will be responsible for this. Mr. Koopman stated the applicant’s engineer has submitted calculations indicating that the development will not make the situation worse, and the Township engineer has agreed with this. Mr. Koopman stated the plans were reviewed to check compliance with Township regulations and if they meet those requirements, the Township is obligated to approve the Plans. Mr. Koopman stated Mr. Hanson may have private rights that go beyond what the Township can do, and he may want to consult with his attorney or engineer.

Mr. Eric Rosen stated there is a tree line between his property and Leslie Avenue and asked if this tree line will be maintained. Mr. Rosen showed his property on the plan and the extent of the tree line to be saved was shown to him.

Mr. William Freeman stated he now owns the McClister farmhouse and understands they will be providing water and sewer. He stated someone came out to mark the driveway and he is not satisfied with the proposed driveway location. Mr. Murphy stated certain improvements were to be made to the McClister driveway as a condition of approval.Mr. Freeman stated it appears they will be taking out a number of large trees. Mr. Murphy stated while the developer cannot do anything about this, perhaps Mr. Freeman could contact the Township to see if they would be willing to make some revisions. Mr. Freeman stated he feels they should be able to move the driveway location five feet and this would save the trees. Mr. Murphy stated he felt Mrs. Godshalk was not in favor of the driveway being so close to the boarding house lot. Mr. Freeman agreed to discuss this matter with the Township.

Mr. Roeper asked if there was anything that could be done to address Mr. Hanson’s concerns. Mr. Doherty stated the water in a 100 year storm goes over the driveway 4 1/2". Mr. Young stated they did do a study and found that up to the 25 year storm will fit through the culvert. About 4 1/2" does go over the top during the 100 year storm as it does currently. Mr. Doherty stated the control is the culvert under the railroad. Mr. Koopman asked if the basins could be made larger. Mr. Young stated many other properties would be involved since they would have to take into consideration the overall watershed. He stated it would involve more than one parcel of land to make this work.

Motion to approve carried unanimously.

#495 - STEWART’S FIELD @ YARDLEY - PRELIMINARY PLAN RECOMMENDATION

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, and Mr. Pete Anderson, engineer, were present.Mr. Murphy noted they last met with the Township in March. They also met with a number of the adjoining neighbors about stormwater concerns. They have revised the plans since that time and received the PCS review letter dated 7/6/99. Mr. Murphy noted Item #1 and stated they will comply with the request to obtain easements. They will also comply with Item #2. Mr. Murphy stated all items on Page 2 of the PCS letter refer to PCS’ support for certain waivers the applicant is requesting. Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #10 and #11. Mr. Murphy noted Items #2 and #11 do require revisions to the Plan.

Mr. Gunkel stated he did review the waivers with Mr. Doherty this afternoon and would recommend that they be granted. Mr. Murphy stated what the plans reflect are on site and off site improvements for which Mr. DeLuca has no responsibility but has agreed to do to hopefully correct the situation which was created by upstream developments.

Mr. Roeper moved and Mr. Gunkel seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Revised Plans in accordance with the drawings dated 9/8/95 and 9/22/98, last revised 6/28/99 subject to comments in the PCS letter of 7/6/99 with further recommendation that the Board of Supervisors grant the waivers requested in Paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 of the PCS letter dated 7/6/99.

Mr. Dave Tittle of 1480 Page Drive stated he wanted to make sure that no fences will be placed around the detention basin as were placed at Afton Chase. Mr. Anderson stated none are proposed. Mr. Doherty stated a fence was required at Afton Chase during construction since there was 4 1/2 feet of water in the basin and this presented safety concerns. This should not be needed at this location. Mr. Tittle stated he would also prefer that there not be low flow channels as proposed since they are not attractive.Mr. Doherty stated when the grade is 1% or less, they make them put in the low flow channels. He stated there can be problems with mosquitoes if these are not installed.Mr. Anderson stated they did met with Mr. Tittle and some of his neighbors and agreed to fill in a portion of their rear yards and additional landscaping will be included on their properties to shield their view from the low flow channels. Mr. Gunkel noted it appears what is proposed is the most economic and healthy way to construct the basin. Mr. Doherty stated they were trying to protect the residents on Leslie Lane from being flooded out.

Mr. Jim Breece of 1530 Edgewood Road stated he is present to represent himself and the Coynes who reside at 1536 Edgewood Road. He stated they were advised that public water and sewer would be brought to their properties once these properties were developed.He stated they are showing public sewer but not public water. Mr. Anderson stated they are showing sewers only. He added Mr. Breece and Mr. Coyne’s properties have nothing to do with this development. He stated no sewer is needed in Edgewood Road to serve the new development but they did agree to run an easement through the development to accommodate sewers to the Breece and Coyne properties. He stated it is up to Pennsylvania American Water to run the water lines to these properties. Mr. Roeper asked the cost to put in the water lines if Pennsylvania American Water agreed and if the Board of Supervisors were to request public water to these properties. Mr. Anderson estimated the cost to be between $15,000 and $25,000 assuming the shortest loop. Mr. Doherty stated he feels they would have to loop it or the water would be stale. Mr. Breece asked where the water currently ends, and Mr. Anderson stated it ends 100’ to 150’ off site to the west.Mr. Breece stated several years ago when the developments were being proposed in the area, the existing residents petitioned the Township for public water and sewer and all his neighbors except for himself and the Coyne property now have public water. Mr. Koopman stated it is not certain whether Pennsylvania American would provide the lines to these two homes. Mr. Murphy agreed to contact PAWC and see what the cost would be for public water to these two properties. Mr. Koopman suggested that Mr. Breece also discuss this matter with the Water Company and the Township Board of Supervisors.

Motion to approved carried unanimously.

#374-A - LOWER MAKEFIELD CORPORATE CENTER RECOMMENDATION

Mr. Murphy showed a copy of the approved plan along with a copy of the proposed revised plan. He stated Mr. DeLuca would like to construct Office B and Office C so that they are identical to Office A. This will reduce the square footage slightly. Parking will also be reduced somewhat, but they are still over what is required by Ordinance.

Mr. Koch moved, Mr. Gunkel seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve the revisions to the Lower Makefield Corporate Center Offices B and C as outlined in Mr. Murphy’s letter dated 7/1/99.

OTHER BUSINESS

Makefield Crossing

Mr. Roeper stated at Makefield Crossing in the buffer zone along Edgewood Road there are a number of very small pine trees that were planted, and he does not feel this follows the Ordinance requirements for buffers. Mr. Doherty noted this development was approved prior to those Ordinance requirements to which Mr. Roeper is referring. Mr. Doherty reviewed a number of other items the developer was required to include at this property.

Buck Hill Farms II Recommendation

Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Roeper seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that in granting another extension to Buck Hill Farms II, that they do it on the condition that they will develop under the current Zoning Ordinance regulations.

There being no further business, Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.