TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - MARCH 8, 1999

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 8, 1999. Vice Chairman Koch called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

Edward Koch, Vice Chairman

 

Paul Gunkel, Member

 

Albert Roeper, Member

 

 

Others:

Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

 

Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

 

Duke Doherty, Township Engineer

 

Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor

 

 

Absent:

John Pazdera, Planning Commission Chairman

 

Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Secretary

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. Roeper moved and Mr. Gunkel seconded to approve the Minutes of July 13, 1998 as written. Motion carried with Mr. Koch abstaining.

Mr. Gunkel moved, Mr. Roeper seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 8, l999 as written.

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Gunkel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 22, 1999 as written.

#500- - ERIN DEVELOPMENT CORP.- MINOR SUBDIVISION PRELIMINARY/

FINAL PLAN APPROVAL

Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated this is a Minor Subdivision Plan that will carve

out the McClister residence from the balance of the tract. The proposed lot line is identical

to the proposed lot line for the Major Subdivision. They are proceeding in this fashion so

the McClister’s can conclude the sale of the residence. He noted the plans have been

revised based on a earlier PCS review letter. He has seen the most recent letter from

Mr. Doherty’s office, and they recognize they will need a waiver.

Mr. Gunkel asked if they included a note on the drawing regarding the Zoning Hearing

Board matter, and Mr. Doherty stated this has been added to the plan. Mr. Gunkel asked

about the road improvements, and Mr. Murphy stated Note #7 refers to the road

improvements.

Mr. Gunkel moved and Mr. Roeper seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors

approval of the Preliminary/Final Plans, plans last revised 2/11/99, for Erin Development

Corp. for Lots #20-16-76.1 and #20-16.1 with approval of the waiver as recommended by

PCS in their letter dated 2/12/99.

Mr. Roeper asked if the existing dwellings will be connected to public water and sewer,

and Mr. Murphy showed the note on the plan which relates to this matter.

There was no public comment and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

#486 - HIDDEN POND ESTATES PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION AND EXTENSION

Mr. Murphy stated this is the plan for the balance of the Subdivision previously discussed.

He stated he has not yet received the most recent letter from PCS dated 3/5/99, although he

is familiar with the comments in that letter. He is not seeking a recommendation for approval this evening but is present to advise the Planning Commission that they are in the process of addressing the PCS comments. They are waiting for comments from Skelly & Loy regarding wetland buffers. They expect to be back to the Planning Commission in a few weeks when they have satisfactorily addressed the PCS comments.

Mr. Gunkel asked if there is anything that they can do to correct the problem where the

existing driveway to Lot #2 will be under water at times. Mr. Doherty stated they just

received the stormwater report today, and it indicates if there is a 100 year storm there can

be 4 1/2" of water over the driveway. Mr. Garton stated he feels they would seek some

acknowledgment of record from the lot owner on this matter. Mr. Murphy stated the

owner is prepared to provide a written acknowledgment. Mr. Gunkel asked if this

absolves the Township of any responsibility, and Mr. Murphy stated it would if it were

properly written.

Mr. Paul Hanson stated he owns the property parallel to the driveway being discussed. He

is concerned since they get frequent wash-outs, and the Township has replaced stone in

this area in the past. He is concerned about additional development in the area. He noted

this is not his only access to his property. It was noted this is a back entrance used for his

business. Mr. Doherty stated he will have to review the report to determine if there will be

any more water in this area. Mr. Gunkel suggested Mr. Hanson come back at the next

meeting when this matter is reviewed after they have reviewed the stormwater report.

Mr. Murphy agreed to provide an extension.

 

#501 - KINDER CARE - INFORMAL SKETCH PLAN DISCUSSION

Mr. Stephen Goldstein, attorney, was present with Mr. Edward Mack from Kinder Care,

and Mr. Stephen Atkins, engineer. Mr. Goldstein stated the property is on the corner of

Big Oak and Derbyshire Roads. It is somewhat in excess of ten acres and is a wooded lot

with some wetlands. Mr. Goldstein stated they will need some variances from the Zoning

Hearing Board; however, prior to that, Mr. Goldstein felt it was preferable to come to the

Planning Commission with the Informal Sketch Plan to get their input.

Mr. Goldstein stated the owner of the property, Mr. Hartstein, has entered into an

Agreement with Kinder Care to construct a Learning Center at this location which they feel

would fit in well with the area since there are already two schools in the area. They feel

this would be a minor development given the size of the site.

Mr. Stephen Atkins noted a rendering of the Sketch Plan. He stated they would like to

develop two acres of the ten acre site. To the south is Big Oak Road and to the west is

Derbyshire Road. They propose a 10,000 square foot, one-story building. He also

showed a rendering of the proposed building. Parking and access to the site are located off

Derbyshire Road. They propose an ingress only from Derbyshire Road with a one way

system going in front of the building and exiting further to the north with parking provided

for forty-seven vehicles. Around the perimeter of the building are three play areas, one on

the left, one on the right, and an area in the rear all of which will be fenced areas proposed

for use by different age groups at the Center. A detention basin is proposed on the

northerly side of the site and buffering from the adjacent single family residences is

proposed. Mr. Atkins noted there is a stream on the property in the northwest corner going

southeast and the stream does have wetlands associated with it. The project will stay clear

of the wetlands with the exception of one small area of wetlands buffer in the easterly

portion of the proposed development site.

Mr. Edward Mack stated Kinder Care was founded in 1969. Currently there are 45 Centers in the State of Pennsylvania and 1170 Centers Nationally. They plan to add ten Centers a year in the area for the next five years. They propose to provide education to children from six weeks of age through twelve years of age. They did extensive demographic studies and determined that there is a need for such a facility in Lower Makefield Township. He stated they work on social and motor skills and have a computer program. For older children they offer sports activities and day trips in the summer. They offer thirty minutes of computer instruction a day for children from the age of three and up. The facility is designed to blend into the community.

Mr. Mack stated the parents drop off their children in the morning and pick them up in the

evening. They do not have bus service to pick up children at their home unless the local

School District provides bus service to their facility.

Mr. Koch noted it appears that the bulk of the property will not be touched, and

Mr. Goldstein stated this is correct. He added that as part of the approval process they are

certain the owner would be willing to give to the Township whatever conservation

easement would be appropriate. It is not their intention to develop the rest of the property.

Mr. Fazzalore stated since the property is wetlands, they could not develop it anyway.

Mr. Gunkel stated it appears they are developing as much as they can of this property.

Mr. Goldstein stated Mr. Hartstein has tried to come up with a plan as to how to use the

property.

Mr. Gunkel asked how many children will be on the site. Mr. Mack stated the facility is

proposed to have 182 children and of those approximately 85% would be age five or

younger. Mr. Mack stated they are licensed by the State for Day Care and they have

certified teachers for Kindergarten. For the older children they offer a Before and After

School Program. Mr. Mack stated they do have vans and can take the older children to

school in the morning and pick them up from their school in the afternoon and bring them

back to the Center. Mr. Mack stated they are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Mack stated it typically takes a parent approximately six to ten minutes to drop off their

child. The peak time would be between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. They would have a

traffic engineer provide specific numbers to the Township. Peak pick-up time is between

4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Mr. Gunkel asked the number of staff, and Mr. Mack stated they would have a staff of

seventeen teachers. The ratio is four to one for infants, and fifteen to one for Kindergarten.

They also have one cook, an Assistant Director, a Program Director, and a Center Director.

Mr. Gunkel asked about the notation on the plan regarding a soccer field, and Mr. Mack

stated it is a very small field or they may work out an arrangement with the neighboring

school to use their field.

Mr. Koch expressed concern with the number of cars coming to the site. Mr. Mack stated

a number of the staff may have their children at the Center. Also some families bring more

than one child and some parents may carpool. Mr. Atkins stated the peak is only minimally

larger than the traffic on either side of the peak hour. They feel the peak hour may have

seventy cars. Mr. Fazzalore stated those cars will be in competition with the traffic already

going to the other three schools in the area. Mr. Koch noted this will also be a difficult

intersection.

Mr. Gunkel noted this area is not zoned for this type of operation.

Mr. Fazzalore noted the area is also prone to flooding. Mr. Roeper stated the stream that is

going through the site is the one that flooded out Boehm School.

Mr. Gunkel noted there are also additional cars in the area during rainstorms since parents

often drive their children to school in inclement weather. He noted the Township has

already received complaints about bus traffic on Derbyshire Road. Mr. Roeper stated any

traffic study will have to take into consideration all the traffic in the area.

Mr. Roeper stated he does feel it is an interesting use for the property since it ties into what

is already in the area. Mr. Gunkel stated he feels this use will bring additional problems to

the area. Mr. Roeper asked about the number of homes which could be built on the site,

and Mr. Gunkel stated he feels at most they could get ten homes.

Mr. Goldstein stated there is a need for this use in the community. He does recognize that

they will have to satisfy the Township concerns about the traffic.

Mr. Roeper stated they should also look into the run off. He stated he feels the detention

basin will have to be oversized to satisfy the concerns of the Township because of existing

problems in the area.

Mr. Koch asked if they could have less parking since they only have twenty-one people on

staff. It was noted they also need the parking for parents dropping off their children.

Mr. Goldstein stated the Ordinance actually required them to have eighty-six parking

spaces, but they have proposed having only forty-seven spaces. Mr. Doherty stated they

are only providing twenty-six additional spaces beyond what they need for their staff.

Mr. Mack stated all twenty-one employees are not on the site at the same time. Mr. Atkins

stated the drop off time would be approximately six minutes and should not cause parking problems.

Mr. Koch noted Big Oak Road where it intersects with Makefield is a very busy

intersection, and this use will bring in additional traffic at that location as well.

Mr. Goldstein stated they recognize that they will have to have a study done by the traffic

engineer. He stated it is possible that some people who will be coming to the Center are

people who are already on these roads. He stated they will have to look into the pick-up

and drop off times for the other schools in the area.

Mr. Koch stated if the applicant proceeds with this plan, he would like to have the Police

Department involved in the planning as it relates to traffic.

Mr. Roeper asked about the distance between the intersection of Big Oak and Derbyshire

Roads and the entrance to the School. It was noted that they have not provided much

stacking space. Mr. Gunkel stated if they find they do not have sufficient parking area,

they would have no place to add parking on the site. Mr. Goldstein stated he feels they

know how many spaces they will need, since they would not put themselves in a situation

where they would not have enough parking.

Mr. Koch stated this is an R-2 zoned area which does not permit this use proposed.

Mr. Garton stated they would need a Use Variance or a change of Zoning. Mr. Goldstein

stated since it is a Learning Center, it may be a permitted use. Mr. Goldstein stated he does not feel there should be a Zoning change, and if necessary, they will request a Use Variance.

Mr. Fazzalore stated he is most concerned about the water problems since the area is

already prone to flooding.

Mr. Gunkel stated this use will put more traffic in the area than would the permitted use

under the current Ordinance. This traffic will also coincide with the peaks already in the

area.

Mr. Goldstein stated they would like to proceed with engineering studies to address the

traffic and water concerns.

Mr. Fazzalore suggested they advise the Township who the traffic engineer will be before

they proceed. Mr. Atkins stated they use McDonogh Ray in New Jersey. Mr. Goldstein

stated they will advice Mr. Doherty of the engineer before they proceed.

 

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

Respectfully Submitted,

Edward Koch, Vice Chairman