TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PLANNING COMMISSION
MINUTES - FEBRUARY 28, 2000

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 28, 2000. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

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

Others:

Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Fred Allan, Supervisor Liaison

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of January 24, 2000 as written.

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Gunkel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of January 10, 2000 as written.

#486 - HIDDEN POND ESTATES - REQUEST TO INSTALL BELGIAN BLOCK CURBING

No one was present to discuss this matter, therefore no action was taken.

#492 - LOBERG TRACT - PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

Mr. Mike Stadulis, developer, was present with Mr. John Genovesi, engineer. Mr. Stadulis stated they did receive the PCS and CKS review letters and were able to meet with the Township engineer this afternoon to discuss the PCS review letter. He noted they will comply with most of the comments in the review letters.

Mr. Stadulis stated they would like to get closure on the road issue. Mr. Gunkel stated he did not feel there was an outstanding issue with regard to the road since the Board of Supervisors asked that the road be constructed as currently shown on their plan. Mr. Stadulis stated he understood the Planning Commission would not recommend approval of this plan. Mr. Pazdera stated while this is correct, the Planning Commission does not make the final decision. Mr. Stadulis stated they cannot make some of the corrections requested in the review letter until they get a final decision on the road.

Mr. Pazdera stated the Planning Commission has already given their opinion on the road, and if the Board of Supervisors is directing them to proceed in the fashion shown on the plan, the only thing the developer can do is resolve the issues in the review letter. He noted while the developer may not get a recommendation of approval from the Planning Commission on the plan as shown, they may get one from the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Stadulis stated they would like to get the Planning Commissionís feeling as to a suggestion they are making with regard to the detention basin that would allow them to retain some of the trees that are on the Gatefield property line. The basin is currently designed to wrap around the existing garden pond. They would ask that they be permitted to go before the Zoning Hearing Board and ask to put the detention basin berm through the area shown as the garden pond which would then permit them to have a more regularly-shaped basin and save the trees satisfying the desire of the Gatefield residents. Mr. Stadulis stated the pond is mapped as "Waters of the Commonwealth" and therefore cannot be disturbed, and to do so, they would need to seek relief from the Zoning Hearing Board. He noted this pond is lined with concrete and was used as a cattle trough. Mr. Gunkel noted they meet the Ordinance with the detention basin as shown. Mr. Stadulis stated while this is correct, they have been trying to work with the residents of Gatefield to retain the trees along the common line. Mr. Koopman noted they will also need DEP approval for this. Mr. Gunkel asked if they are still within their 70% disturbance if they remove the trees, and Mr. Stadulis stated they are. Mr. Stadulis noted the pond is only about two feet deep and when it gets to a certain level, it overflows. He noted it also dries out occasionally. Mr. Stadulis stated they could save 256 trees in this area if they were permitted to re-design the basin. The Planning Commission did not have any objection to the proposal.

Mr. Gunkel asked if this detention basin will be dedicated to the Township or privately maintained. Mr. Stadulis stated this detention basin, along with the open space along the stream corridor, would be dedicated to the Township.

Mr. Gunkel noted Lot #8 upon which there is a small detention basin. Mr. Stadulis stated they cannot net out this detention basin from the lot and still meet the net lot area of one acre. Mr. Genovesi stated if they were to go to a cul-de-sac, they would not need this detention basin. Mr. Gunkel asked who will be responsible for the maintenance of this detention basin, and Mr. Stadulis stated the property owner who owns the lot would maintain it. Mr. Stadulis stated they have done this in the past in other Townships. He stated if they netted it out of the lot, they would lose the lot and they cannot afford to do so. Mr. Gunkel stated since the people cannot utilize this land, he does not feel they can use it as part of their net lot area. Mr. Stadulis stated he feels the Ordinance is silent with respect to whether or not a lot can have a stormwater basin on it. Mrs. Gould stated she is concerned that the lot owner will direct responsibility to the Township if there is ever a problem with this basin. Mr. Stadulis stated the lot owner would be their efforts to reconfigure the detention basin. Mr. Pazdera stated they have already given a recommendation in favor of the cul-de-sac and have indicated this evening that they would be in favor of the changes to the detention basin.

Mr. Roeper stated they could deny the plans because of the road lay out and the number of outstanding issues in the review letters. Mr. Koopman stated the Planning Commission could recommend denial, but also indicated they are in favor of encroaching into the cement-lined pond in order to save the trees along the common boundary. This would then move the matter forward to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Genovesi stated he did not feel they would be happy with a denial from the Planning Commission.

Mr. Pazdera asked how else they could get them to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Koopman stated they could table the matter and the applicant could write a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking them to listen to their presentation and determine if they would reconsider the cul-de-sac issue. He stated if the Board of Supervisorsí position remains the same, they would then have a number of issues to be considered with the existing plan. Mrs. Gould stated they do not need a recommendation from the Planning Commission in order to do this. Mr. Doherty stated he does feel the Board will look to the Planning Commission for some direction on some of the issues particularly the item with regard to the Waters of the Commonwealth. Mr. Gunkel noted the Planning Commission already made a recommendation in favor of the cul-de-sac and the developer could write a letter to the Board of Supervisors indicating that this was the desire of the Planning Commission and they would like to discuss this with the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Stanley Tilton stated he feels the Planning Commission should take a vote re-affirming the cul-de-sac and moving the detention basin. The developer could then take this to the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Gould stated the Planning Commission can only act on the plan which is before them and the plan currently before this Board is the plan with the through street. Mr. Koopman noted the Board of Supervisors does get the Minutes of the Planning Commission meetings, and the Planning Commission originally made a recommendation in favor of the cul-de-sac.

No action was taken by the Planning Commission this evening on this matter.

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Gunkel noted the letter from Falls Township regarding a plan for a hotel in their Township and asked if the Planning Commission needs to comment on this. It was noted this was for informational purposes only, and no action was taken.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.