MINUTES - JULY 10, 2000

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 10, 2000. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those Present:

Planning Commission:

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


Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspections & Planning
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Fred Allan, Supervisor Liaison

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Gunkel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of April 24, 2000 as corrected.

Mr. Roeper moved, and Mr. Koch seconded to approve the Minutes of May 8, 2000 as amended. Motion carried with Mr. Gunkel abstaining.

Ms. Minnes stated their engineer is working on the matter and she feels that they will have the Plans ready within a month. Ms. Frick noted they have received an extension. Mr. Gunkel stated that if there have been changes to the Ordinance since last year which would impact their Plan, they would be applicable to their submission.

Ms. Tina Makoulian representing AT & T Wireless stated they are requesting a recommendation for Conditional Use approval as well as a waiver of Land Development in connection with the attachment of nine antennas to the existing Nextel Communication Tower off Woodside Road. They also proposed an equipment shelter o the ground. The site is located within the Radio and Telecommunications Overlay District which provides for these uses by Conditional Use. She stated that there are a number of providers as well as the County antenna system currently using the tower.
Mr. Koch noted the PCS letter dated 7/10/00. Ms. Makoulian stated they will comply with Item #1 and will post sufficient security to remove whatever they installed. With regard to Item #2, Ms. Makoulian stated they have already ordered the Tower Analysis and expect to receive it some time this week.
Item #3 was noted and Ms. Makoulian stated according to their engineer there is no paved area within the compound location. She is not sure whether the Township engineer actually went out to the site or was simply looking at a prior plan that showed a paved area. They will have their engineer contact the Township engineer on this but they do not feel there is a paved area and do not feel their equipment shelter is located within a turn-around area. She added that she has been told that any vehicle visiting the site for maintenance do not enter the compound but instead park I front of the gate which stops at the end of the access drive which is a paved area. The workers then walk into the compound. Mr. Doherty stated it is on the Plan but is not sure whether it is actually paved on the site. Mr. Pazdera stated it is paved up to it, but he does not recall anything inside.
Ms. Makoulian stated their planner, who has done photo simulations to show what this will look like, and the radio frequency engineer are both present to discuss the need for this location. The planer showed various photos from different locations of the tower located on the North side of I-95. Photo simulations were also shown to show how the tower will look with the additional antennas.
Overlay maps were presented showing other cell sites I the area that will be operational in conjunction with this tower. Mr. Gunkel noted they are not showing the antennas on the telegraph poles ant the AT & T representative stated they are not being shown since they will be dismantled once the new antennas are installed. He stated they would be happy to keep those locations and not construct this new facility, but the Board of Supervisors requested the removal of equipment from the telephone poles. Mr. Gunkel asked if he tried to use their service now from the Township Building would he be able to do so, and the representative stated they could not guarantee reliable service at this time. He stated they have received customer complaints specifically in Lower Makefield. He stated a number of other carriers also have a difficult time serving this area.
Mr. Gunkel noted an area on the map where it appears they still do not have service, and the representative stated they do have an application in Falls Township where they are attempting to work with another carrier. Another area in the North was noted and the representative stated this area is still in the preliminary design phase and they have not yet found a site to serve this area.
Mr. Pazdera asked how many available spots are left on the tower under discussion. Mr. Doherty stated this relates to Item #2 of their letter as they felt it was limited to five antennas. The representative stated their understanding is that it is limited to five carriers and each carrier has their own set of antennas. They are proposing nine antennas.
Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Conditional Use Application of AT & T Wireless Project 514-A with the understanding that they complete, the satisfaction of the Township engineer, all items contained in the PCS letter of 7/10/00. It is also recommended that the Board approve a waiver of Land Development.

Mr. Roeper stated he asked Ms. Frick to include in the Planning Commission's packet a copy of a letter he wrote to the Board of Supervisors regarding the situation at South Drive. He does not feel this requires any action on the part of the Planning Commission, but he wanted the Planning Commission to be aware of the fact that if the Board approved this they are creating a dichotomy since in the new developments they are insisting that the roads be connected and in the old developments, they are closing them up. He stated this could pose a planning situation down the road. Mr. Allan stated the Board of Supervisors temporarily approved the road closure. Mr. Gunkel asked how they will measure the effect of this. Mr. Allan stated they want to see what effect it will have on the traffic in the development. Mr. Gunkel asked if someone will be taking traffic counts, and Mr. Allan stated they will not. Mr. Gunkel questioned how they will then determine the actual impact. Mr. Allan stated they are working on other steps as well to try to alleviate problems in the neighborhoods. Mr. Allan stated they are concerned because this particular road is only nineteen feet wide and is fifteen feet narrower than what is required in most new developments. Mr. Gunkel stated he feels they should also do a study on the impact on the other roads in the area once this road is closed. Mr. Doherty noted this is a temporary closure since other steps must be taken if the road is to be closed permanently. He understands it will be closed for sixty days. Mr. Allan stated he feels it will be opened again in time for the school buses so they do not have to change their routes. Mr. Gunkel asked if the trash haulers have been advised that they cannot use this road, and Mr. Allan stated he feels they will have to read the paper to learn of this as he does not feel it is the Township's responsibility to contact them.
Mr. Roeper stated he is more concerned about the impact this will have on emergency services. Mr. Allan stated emergency services are aware of the road closure.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.