TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PLANNING COMMISSION
MINUTES - NOVEMBER 27, 2000

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 27, 2000. Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

John Pazdera, Chairman
Deborah Gould, Secretary
Edward Koch, Member
Albert Roeper, Member
Ron Tofel, 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 October 23, 2000 as corrected.

#438 - FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEWTOWN - PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

Mr. Keith Brown, attorney, Mr. Jack Leapson, engineer, Mr. Warren Mann, architect, and Mr. David Lewis were present.

Mr. Brown stated the basic footprint of the building has not changed since the last presentation. He stated one part of the classroom circle has been pushed into Phase II rather than being built at the same time as the main building. Mr. Mann showed this portion of the project on the Plan. Mr. Brown stated this will not be built until Phase II due to economic reasons. He noted everything in red on the Plan being shown will be part of the Phase I construction. They are requesting approval of the entire Project, but will build it in phases. Mr. Brown stated they have obtained relief from the impervious surface requirements and what they are showing is what they are permitted to have. Road improvements at the corner have already been done by the Township and PennDOT.

Mr. Koopman asked about the first phase of construction. Mr. Mann noted they will build the administrative area, main entrance with a multi-purpose room intended for fellowship and worship, a small stage, and a kitchen. Six classrooms will also be built in Phase I. A future wing was noted on the plan which consists of other classrooms which will be used for Sunday School. Mr. Koopman asked if they will have a weekly preschool, and Mr. Brown stated this is not proposed and that the classrooms proposed are intended for Sunday School and Nursery during Church services.

Mr. Tofel asked if revisions have been made to accommodate trash removal. Mr. Mann stated they did have a meeting with the Township engineer on this and it will be revised.

Mr. Roeper asked if any of the improvements being discussed on Stoopville Road will impact this property, and Mr. Doherty stated what is being discussed in Newtown Township now would impact the entire frontage of this tract.

Mr. Pazdera asked about the shed being shown on the Plan, and Mr. Leapson stated this is for lawn equipment and was included in the impervious surface calculations.

Mr. Leapson noted they are requesting several waivers. He noted a Type I Buffer is required along Stoopville Road and they would like to reconfirm that the Township would support a waiver on this requirement. Mr. Pazdera agreed that this was previously discussed and agreed to by the Planning Commission. Mr. Mann stated they propose Canadian hemlock hedge which will screen the parking. Mr. Leapson stated 200 plants are being proposed in this area.

Mr. Leapson stated they are also requesting a waiver from the requirement that they provide a separation every 15 in the parking area. He stated they were looking for a waiver in this regard to help them cut down on the impervious surface and feel they have proposed adequate screening.

Mr. Tofel noted the wavier request regarding bikepaths, and asked if bikepaths would not be used by the residents in this area. Mr. Leapson stated the Township Line is on their property, and it was indicated that this is a highly used intersection and would not be a safe place to bike. Mr. Tofel asked if the adjacent properties have bikepaths, and Mr. Doherty stated he does not feel the Township Bikepath Master Plan goes beyond Lindenhurst Road and Route 532.

Mr. Koch asked the applicant about their timetable. Mr. Mann stated if they are given approval within the next sixty days, they would like to start construction in March.

Mr. Leapson stated currently the adjoining property in Newtown Township is bordered by woods which is a natural tree line. Mr. Leapson stated there is also a natural swale along the property line. He asked if they could use something other than a Type I Buffer in this location. He noted this area is adjacent to a proposed grass baseball field. Ms. Gould stated she would be in favor of maintaining the existing hedgerow and add to it if possible. She suggested installation of a fence inside the tree line so that debris would not go onto the adjoining property. Mr. Allan stated he did not feel this particular use would generate a significant amount of debris. Mr. Leapson stated he did not want to have to install the berm next to the natural buffer, since he is concerned that it may damage the natural buffer. Mr. Pazdera suggested that they infill the existing buffer. Mr. Leapson agreed they would supplement it with conifers. Ms. Gould stated this should be done as an informal planting, as opposed to rigid.

Mr. Koch asked if anyone will be living on the property, and Mr. Brown stated there will not be since there is no parsonage on the property.

Mr. Roeper asked if the building will be visible from the road, and Mr. Mann stated he does feel it will be fairly visible. Mr. Roeper stated he is concerned about the police being able to view the property. Mr. Brown stated he does feel a police car would have to drive through rather than just drive by the property.

Mr. Allan asked about the proposed lighting and stated that he would not want it to negatively impact the surrounding neighbors. Mr. Brown stated the closest neighbor is behind the hedgerow and the other neighbor would be a Church to be built across the street.

Mr. Brown noted the PCS letter dated 11/14/00. He noted Page 1, Item #1 and the Township engineer has recommended approval of this waiver so that they would not have to show all existing features within 200 feet of the site.

Page #2, Item #2 was noted for which they are requesting a waiver. Mr. Pazdera stated he would be in favor of payment of Fee-In-Lieu.

Page #2, Item #3 was noted which is a waiver request. The Planning Commission was in favor of this waiver provided that they install the screening hedge as shown. Ms. Gould stated they should make sure that any proposed hedge does not grow too high. She suggested that any hedge be kept at "headlight height."

Item #4 was noted regarding core samples and the Township engineer has indicated he would be in support of this waiver.

Item #9 was noted on Page #3 regarding the requirement for a 10 foot wide parking separation and their request for a waiver. Mr. Mann noted the largest stretch of parking is the area around the outer rim which accommodates 60 cars. This is adjacent to the hedgerow. Mr. Tofel asked if they could provide at least one green space in this area. Mr. Mann noted a location on the Plan where such an island could be provided, and this was acceptable to the Planning Commission.

Item #14 was noted on Page 4 which is a waiver request for a decrease in the parking stall size, and this was acceptable to the Township engineer and the Planning Commission.

Item #3 on Page #5 was noted with regard to grading of the softball field. The Township engineer and the Planning Commission were in support of this waiver.

Item #25 on Page #7 was noted and this waiver request was acceptable to the Planning Commission.

Page #9, Item #3 was noted regarding the Type I Buffer. It was agreed that this would be waived subject to including additional plantings as discussed this evening.

Mr. Allan suggested that when the Applicant comes before the Board of Supervisors that they bring pictures of the adjacent properties so that the Board of Supervisors will be able to see what is being screened.

There being no further business, Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meting at 8:20 p.m.