MINUTES - JUNE 28, 1999

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on June 28, 1999. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 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


John Koopman, Township Solicitor


Duke Doherty, Township Engineer


Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 24, 1999 as corrected.

Mr. Koch moved and Ms. Gould seconded to approve the Minutes of June 14, 1999 as corrected. Motion carried with Mr. Gunkel and Mr. Roeper abstaining.


Mr. Steve Saedal, Site Acquisition Manager for AT & T Wireless, Mr. Edward Rasiul, Civil Engineer, and Mr. Michael Sklaroff, attorney were present. The PCS letter dated 6/22/99 was noted. Mr. Rasiul stated they will comply with Item #1.

With regard to Item #2, they are requesting a waiver since they will be locating in the center of the tract.Mr. Sklaroff noted in some interpretations this project would not qualify as Land Development; and since they are within the building envelope, they would request a waiver on this item. Mr. Gunkel asked about past applications, and Mr. Doherty stated this is the first one which has not done a survey. Mr. Gunkel stated since all other applicants under similar conditions have done the survey, he feels it should be required in this instance. The applicant agreed to comply.

They will comply with Items #3 through #8.

With regard to Item #9, Mr. Rasiul stated this refers to the list of waivers which was submitted to the Township. It was noted these would be more appropriate to a typical development. There was discussion about the need for a grading plan since this is required for a Building Permit.Mr. Rasiul stated they could show the proposed grading. Mr. Gunkel noted Item #4 on the Waiver List. Mr. Rasiul stated they did not feel this would be necessary for the minor amount of work to be done. Mr. Gunkel stated if they are going to comply with Item #2 of the PCS letter this information would be provided. Mr. Rasiul stated these are two different surveys. Mr. Gunkel asked about past practice,and Mr. Doherty stated these surveys have been provided in the past. Mr. Gunkel stated they should follow what has been done in the past so all submissions are consistent. Mr. Doherty stated they can contact the Sewer Administrator for the sewer elevations. The applicant agreed to comply with Items #1 and #4 on the Waiver list. It was noted that for some of the other requested waivers they may still need to provide information in order to obtain their Building Permit.

There was discussion on Item #10 and the amount the Township is requesting they post as security. Mr. Sklaroff asked about the amount Comcast was required to post for their monopole. No one present was aware of the exact amount. Mr. Koopman stated it would be the same amount posted by the other firms and suggested they contact his office to obtain the amount.

Item #11 was noted regarding the FAA review and this information was provided to Ms. Frick this evening. It was noted they will not need to install lights on the tower.

Mr. Koopman noted Item #12 and asked if this application was reviewed on the basis of a 110 foot tower or a 130 foot tower. Mr. Saedal stated he feels it was based on a 130 foot tower. He stated when they met earlier with the Township, the Township had discussed potentially raising the height even higher than 130 feet and asked that this be discussed this evening. He stated they would be willing to build it taller, but would need to know what height the Township is requesting. They need 130 feet since they have one sector at 130 feet and two sectors at 110 feet. Mr. Koopman stated it appears the Conditional Use Approval was for a 110 foot tower. Mr. Sklaroff stated this was the applicant’s suggestion but the Supervisors felt that co-location would be encouraged by having a higher tower. Mr. Koopman asked what was approved by way of height for the Conditional Use. Mr. Sklaroff stated they approved 130 feet but in some correspondence it was suggested that this would be subject to discussion at the Planning Commission stage. Mr. Gunkel asked how many additional co-locators could connect to the tower at 130 feet. Mr. Saedal stated they need their antennas at 130 feet and 110 feet. Mr. Gunkel asked if anyone else would be able to connect at those heights, and Mr. Saedal stated they would not. Mr. Saedal stated they would have an open space at 90 feet, 100 feet, and 120 feet.

Ms. Gould stated she does not recall that they have had any submissions for anything less than 110 feet. Mr. Saedal stated this would depend on the carrier, their needs, and the location of their other sites. Mr. Doherty stated the Conditional Use indicates the final height of the tower will be discussed during the Land Development process. Mr. Saedal stated if they build it at 150 feet, there would be more co-location possibilities. It was noted that the FAA approval is for 140 feet. Mr. Koopman stated it is likely that the FAA would approve 150 feet.

Mr. Sklaroff advised that as part of the Ordinance requirements AT & T Wireless did solicit at least five other carriers as to whether or not there was interest to co-locate at this location. Mr. Saedal stated they received no favorable co-location interest, although this could change in the future. Mr. Gunkel asked if they would be able to extend the tower at some point in the future if another carrier expresses interest to co-locate at this location, and Mr. Saedal stated he did not feel this would be possible since the foundation is designed for a specific tower height. Mr. Doherty stated they could be required to design it for a 150 feet even though they are only building to 130 feet at this time. The applicant indicated they would agree to this. Mr. Gunkel asked if the 900 square feet would then be adequate to contain all the equipment needed, and Mr. Saedal stated it should. Of the 900 square feet, Mr. Saedal stated they are using 50 square feet. He noted in the Lease Agreement they can expand their area out to 1500 square feet if need be.

Mr. Koopman asked if they plan to sell these locations to someone who would manage the towers, and Mr. Saedal stated this is a possibility. Mr. Saedal stated if another carrier required a larger building to be constructed, they could go to the property owner to lease additional ground and come before the Township for approval. Ms. Gould asked if the cost to expand this tower in the future would be cost prohibitive such that another carrier would prefer to build their own tower.

Mr. Saedal stated he felt it would be less expensive to add an addition to an existing tower. Mr. Roeper asked if a large number of changes to the plan would be required should the Supervisors require them to build to 150 feet. It was noted they would have to go back to the FAA. Mr. Gunkel noted that there is a 500 foot tower less than a mile away from this location so he would not assume there would be a problem getting FAA approval at 150 feet.

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they approve the Application of AT & T Wireless PCS of Philadelphia Preliminary/Final Land Development Plans in accordance with the Plans dated 9/3/98, last revised 5/6/99 subject to compliance with all of the comments in the PCS letter of 6/22/99 with the recommendation that the proposed tower be built to 130 feet but the foundation and the tower be designed to accommodate a 150 foot tower. The Planning Commission further recommends that the Waivers requested in the Land Development Application as listed in the letter from Ballard, Spar, Andrews, and Ingersoll dated 5/10/99 as an attachment be granted with the exception of #1 and #4.


Mr. John Donahue, attorney, and Ms. Greta Martin, engineer were present with Mr. Daniel Lacey and Mr. John Goodwin, the owners of the property. Mr. Donahue stated the property is located at the intersection of Township Line Road and re-located Stony Hill Road. They propose to locate a two-story office building at this site consisting of approximately 7000 square feet.

The PCS letter dated 6/22/99 was noted. Mr. Donahue stated they will comply with Items #1 and #2 with regard to the Preliminary Record Plan. With regard to page 2 of the PCS letter, Item #1, they are requesting a waiver with regard to showing all existing features within 200 feet of the site. This was acceptable to the Planning Commission. They will comply with Items #2 and #3.

With regard to Item #4, Ms. Martin stated they are requesting a waiver from the requirement to grade within five feet of the property line. Ms. Martin showed on the plan how they propose to grade and how they are grading Detention Basin 2. Mr. Gunkel inquired about the adjacent property owner, and it was noted this is the DeLuca property and is currently vacant. Mr. Gunkel asked if their grading will cause any flooding on that property, and Ms. Martin stated it will not.

Mr. Koopman asked if they will be putting any additional water on the DeLuca property, and Ms. Martin stated they will not. Mr. Koopman asked if they will be doing any grading on the DeLuca property. Ms. Martin stated they have grading within the right-of-way, but not on the DeLuca property. Mr. Doherty stated his only concern is with the grading associated with the detention basin being within the right-of-way. Ms. Martin noted the area involved is not bermed, it is only sloped and asked if it would be permitted to make sure the cut is not such that the water from a one hundred year storm would be in the right-of-way. She stated they are creating a depression on the applicant’s property so that what is graded in the right-of-way is actually a cut and not filled. Mr. Doherty stated he feels grading should occur only on the applicant’s property. Ms. Martin agreed to pull the grading out of the right-of-way. Mr. Donahue stated they would still be asking for the waiver for the grading being within five feet. Mr. Gunkel stated they must demonstrate to the Township engineer that the detention basin will work.

Mr. Donahue stated they will comply with Items #5 and #6 on page 2.

Page 3 was noted and Mr. Donahue stated they will comply with Items #1 under Detail Plan.

Under the Stormwater Management Report, Mr. Donahue stated they are requesting a waiver as noted in Item #1. This was acceptable to Mr. Doherty. There was discussion on Item #2 regarding the Township engineer’s request for a percolation test. Ms. Martin noted there will be no drain from the basin but there will be a spillway. Mr. Doherty noted that anything that has more volume than a five year storm will go out the spillway. Mr. Doherty stated he does not feel it will involve a great deal of water. Mr. Doherty noted if he were designing the project he would eliminate Basin #2 and push it all to the other basin. Ms. Martin stated they did look into this possibility but the site is only one acre and there is a ridge on the site. Three-fourths of the water goes in one direction and one-quarter goes in another. She stated they were not able to get the pre-development numbers required from one basin. Mr. Donahue stated they will comply with Item #2 and supply the percolation test.

Mr. Donahue noted Item #1 under General Comments and stated they are requesting a waiver which the Township engineer’s office is supporting. With regard to Item #2 Mr. Donahue stated he understands the Board of Supervisors will determine this matter. Mr. Donahue stated they will comply with Items #3 and #4.

Mr. Pazdera asked about the impact on the parking count if changes are made to the detention basin. Ms. Martin stated she does not feel this will have any impact and feels they could add an additional parking space in the area of the dumpster if necessary. Mr. Pazdera stated it appears they are required to have twenty-five parking spaces and they are showing twenty-eight spaces.

Applicant agreed to make the changes to the Plan and come back before the Planning Commission.


Mr. Gunkel noted he will be attending the meetings on this matter. He expressed concern with how this will be tied into the traffic pattern for the improvement of the intersection. He noted the intersection is currently at a Level F and they have not agreed how they will fix that. He stated anything taken away for development limits the way they can correct the traffic problem. He stated at one time the plans for the "Northern By-Pass" went through this property under discussion. He feels the Township should recommend that Newtown Township be sure they have satisfied the requirements to improve the intersection before they approve this development.

Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Roeper seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they suggest to the Newtown Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors that in their reviewing of the Newtown Office Commons that they satisfy all the current and future needs for the improvement of the 332 and Lindenhurst intersection before they approve this development.


Mr. Garton stated he understands the matter has been sent to Bucks County Planning Commission and has or will be advertised for consideration by the Board of Supervisors at their July 19, 1999 meeting. Mr. Roeper noted the response letter received from Mr. Gunkel dated 6/24/99. Mr. Roeper stated he agrees with Mr. Gunkel that some of these proposed changes will have a negative impact. Mr. Gunkel stated he feels these changes should be for floodplain only and should not pertain to other parts of the Ordinance. Mr. Roeper agreed. Ms. Frick noted they worked for a significant amount of time to define "basement" and are satisfied with it.

Mr. Roeper stated he feels the definition now being proposed should be put in 200-53 or 200-59. He feels it all should be in the Floodplain District provisions between 54 and 59. Mr. Koopman stated it appears the Planning Commission would be in favor of the definitions provided they are in the provisions regarding the Floodplain Ordinance, indicating that these definitions only apply to Floodplains, and not have them in the General Definition Section. Mr. Doherty noted FEMA wants these in the General Definition Section. Mr. Koopman stated it appears they will now have two definitions of basement. Mr. Koopman suggested the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the definitions applicable to the floodplain regulations be in the Floodplain District sections and not in the General Regulations provided it is possible to convince FEMA that this will satisfy the legal requirements.

Mr. Roeper asked if "Historic Structure" as it is defined in the proposed Ordinance with the addition of the one comment made by Mr. Gunkel, be a proper definition for the entire Ordinance. Mr. Gunkel noted Section 269-a-2-a which defines Historic Structure. Mr. Roeper noted there is no definition for this in 2007. Mr. Gunkel noted this is true for a number of items since they left them in the areas to which they applied. Mr. Roeper stated he agrees with the FEMA representative that the definition for Historic Structure should also be in the General Definitions and not only in the section dealing with Bed and Breakfasts. Mr. Gunkel asked if the FEMA representative will be satisfied with the definition for Historic Structure. Mr. Koopman stated he does not feel she will be since she has not been very flexible with her definitions to date. Mr. Koopman stated he assumes the purpose is to make this uniform Nationally since FEMA is a Federal agency. Mr. Koopman stated they could put her definition in and indicate it only applies to the Floodplain Regulations. He stated it appears the Planning Commission would like to see a separate Definition Section in the Floodplain Sub-Chapter.

Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Roeper seconded and it was unanimously carried that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors that if permitted, that all of the definitions listed in Section 1 of the proposed Ordinance be included in the appropriate spots in 200-53 to 200-59 and that they only apply to the Floodplain Regulations and be set forth in the Chapter or Sub Chapter dealing with the Floodplain Regulations.

There being no further business, Mr. Koch moved, Mrs. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.