MINUTES - JULY 24, 2000

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 24, 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


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

Mr. William Benner representing Sprint Spectrum stated this is a Conditional Use Application to mount a communication antenna on the SBA Tower at the Municipal Complex. The Plans shows the antenna will be mounted at 185 feet. He noted the Township's requirement for financial security to provide for removal of the equipment and stated the Township records show that SBA has already filed this and Sprint does not believe that this section of the Ordinance is applicable to their application. Mr. Gunkel asked about the possibility of a need to remove the Sprint Spectrum personal antennas and the ground structure. Mr. Benner stated they have entered into an agreement with SBA that contractually obligates Sprint to remove the facilities at the termination of the lease and they are under the SBA lease with the Township. He stated SBA would responsible for the removal of all of the equipment and there is financial security which has been posted by SBA. He stated he feels the request to post additional security for the removal of their antenna is not within the letter of spirit of the Ordinance. Mr. Roeper asked about past practice of the Township in this regard on already existing towers. Mr. Doherty stated he felt that the Township has required financial security in these instances in the past.

Mr. Koopman stated while he was not sure what had been done in the past, they have had co-locations in the past ad he would assume what was done in the past would apply in this situation as well. Mr. Benner stated in the past Sprint did provide a removal bond on their other tower but feels it was not correct at that time wither and is inappropriate in this case as well. He stated the Ordinance does require a removal bond for the tower and since there already is a removal bond in place for this tower, he does not feel imposing another removal bond advances the Township's purpose and only increases expenses to the applicants. Mr. Gunkel asked if SBA has agreed in writing to remove the Sprint towers if there is a need for them to come down. Mr. Benner stated SBA has a removal bond to remove the facilities. Ms. Gould asked who would remove Sprint Spectrum's antenna if Sprint Spectrum decided to discontinue use of the tower. Mr. Benner stated Sprint has a contractual obligation with SBA to remove the antennas and the equipment. Ms. Gould stated the Planning Commission is trying to ensure that should Sprint renege on that obligation, there are funds available for the Township to remove them. Mr. Koopman stated it appears that the Supervisors have already set the precedent and have required a bond for co-locators. Mr. Koopman stated if the applicant has an issue with this they should take it up with the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Benner agreed and asked that the record note that Sprint does not feel there is a need for a bond. He stated while they do not agree with this condition in all probability they will not appeal this condition.

Mr. Benner noted Comment #2 of the PCS letter discusses the need for documentation concerning an access easement, and he stated the Township records will show the Lease between SBA and the Township which covers this. Mr. Benner provided to Mr. Koopman documentation that shows that SBA has given Sprint access to the site. Mr. Koopman stated they will review the documentation to see that it is in order. Mr. Pazdera stated he would like the drawings to be accurate before they go to the Board of Supervisors. He noted the site plan provided indicates, on page Z1, that they are installing a new 190 foot monopole. He noted some additional notes which appear to indicate items which are new that apparently are existing. Mr. Benner agreed to review these items.

Mr. Gunkel asked about buffering. Mr. Doherty stated the buffering is to be doe by SBA.

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 Sprint Spectrum subject to compliance with the comments in the PCS letter dated 7/6/00 particularly with regard to the question as to whether or not additional financial security is required if SBA has posted a satisfactory bond for the entire antenna system and area ad with the understanding that the Agreement between SBA and Sprit will meet the requirements of Paragraph 2. It is further understood that Sprint will bring drawings accompanying the application into compliance with the actual installation and situation.

Mr. Ed Wild was present with Mr. Pete Anderson, engineer, to discuss the property at 135 Old Oxford Valley Road, Tax Parcel #20-32-2, a five acre site, zoned C-3. He stated it is presently improved with a 133 foot tower owned by SBA with some antennas at the top used by AT & T. He noted the PCS letter dated 7/19/00. Mr. Wild noted Item #1 discusses that matter of posting of a Bond which was discussed by the previous applicant and they would agree to comply with the decision of the Board of Supervisors with regard to this matter.

Mr. Wild noted Item #2 discussed the documentation for the site and he noted the Lessor Consent Agreement between the property owner and SBA where paragraph 9 permits subleases.

Mr. Wild noted Item #3 which notes the revisions to the Plans that are required and these have been done by Mr. Anderson and will be submitted. He stated the architectural style of the building will match what Nextel has used in the Township in the past.

Mr. Wild stated they will comply with Items #4, #5, and #6.

Mr. Wild noted with regard to Item #7 the property size is pre-existing and if the request is simply to change the tract area size on the drawing, they would be willing to do so. Mr. Gunkel asked the size of the plot of land when they put up the tract, and Mr. Anderson stated the lease shows 50 x 50.

Mr. Gunkel moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carries to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that they grant Conditional Use for Nextel Communications at Old Oxford Valley Road site upon compliance with the PCS letter of 7/19/00 with the stipulation that the Township engineer approve the revised drawings before they go to the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. William Benner was present with Mr. Greg Jones. The PCS letter was noted, and Mr. Benner stated he would reiterate his previous comments with regard to access.

Mr. Roeper asked if this is high enough to require a flashing red light because of the airport. Mr. Doherty stated they have to comply with the FAA requirements.

Mr. Koch moved, Mr. Gunkel seconded ad it was unanimously carries to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Ominpoint Communications installation on the tower behind the Township Building as per the PCS letter of 7/19/00.

Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated the Planning commission saw the Plan last in March at the Sketch Plan stage. They have now prepared the Preliminary Plans and not only received the PCS letter but also met with the Township engineer to review those comments. While they do not take issue with most of the comments, they do need some direction from the Township on some of the items.

Mr. Murphy noted Page #2, Item #1 with regard to the parking stall size and noted that in the past the Township had no objection to the 9 x 18 parking stall size. This was acceptable to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Murphy noted Item #2 and stated since there was always a question about the loading berths versus loading areas, they provided a blow up of type of loading area they are considering which meets the dimensional requirements of the Ordinance. It is a 12 x 40 space alongside the main drive where a semi could pull in, make a delivery and pull back out. The loading areas are located near the front and back entrances of each of the buildings. Mr. Gunkel asked if they have docks to accommodate heavy equipment, and it was noted that based on the uses of the buildings, they do not feel this type of delivery would be made. Mr. Murphy stated PCS was concerned whether or not this area was properly signed and they have added signage required indicating that this is a loading/unloading zone. A sample of the signage was shown.

Mr. Murphy noted Page #2, Item #3 and stated PCS originally suggested they might need a fifty foot landscape buffer along I-95, and he believes they have reached a consensus that the Ordinances do not require this when it abuts I-95. He stated they are still providing landscaping along the rear of the site but it is not fifty feet wide.

Mr. Murphy noted Page #3, Item #6 where it was agreed they could eliminate some of the concrete islands between the parking spaces in the parking lot. He noted this was agreed to at the Sketch Plan stage and is similar to how they handled it at other office projects. Mr. Murphy stated they are therefore requesting a waiver from the Subdivision Ordinance. Mr. Allan stated he feels the islands break up the parking lot somewhat. Mr. Murphy stated they did discuss this felt it results in pushing the parking further out toward Floral Vale. Mr. Gunkel noted this will not be seen from the road anyway. Mr. Gunkel stated the engineer has also recommended a painted pedestrian crosswalk and stop signs any place there is a handicap access or a walkway.

Mr. Koch asked how the number of parking spaces ties in with the amount of square footage in the buildings, and it was noted they are approximately seventy over the requirement. Mr., Gunkel stated there is a note that they may need to recount the parking spaced shown.

Mr. Murphy stated they have shown a potential point of connection with Floral Vale. They have also contacted Goodwin-Lacey at the request of the Township and have agreed to provide an interconnection between this parking lot and Goodwin-Lacey. Goodwin-Lacey thanked them for this effort but stated they were not interested in eliminating their entrance. Mr. Allan stated he does not want to take the Goodwin-Lacey entrance away but does feel there should be an interconnection. Mr. Roeper stated since this developer is willing to do this, he feels the Township should now discuss the matter with Goodwin-Lacey.

Mr. Koopman asked if they are going to construct the interconnection between Floral Vale and this property, ad Mr. Murphy stated they will if the Township requests it and have left sufficient ground to do so. Mr. Pazdera stated it was felt that this would be a good idea for deliveries, etc. so that people would not have to go back out to Township Line Road. Mr. Murphy stated they will have to get approval from Floral Vale Enterprises which they do not feel will be a problem.

Mr. Murphy noted Page #9, Paragraph #4 where there is a comment about street trees and noted they have agreed that they would add additional trees ad foundation plantings along the wall since there is not sufficient room to add additional street trees. None of the detention basins will be offered for dedication.

Mr. Koch asked if they intend to build all buildings at one time, and Mr. Murphy stated the project will be phased.

Mr. Murphy noted Page #12, Items #2, #3, and #5 which will require waivers relating to the detention pond on the site. They will comply with the comments regarding the need for fencing along the basin at three areas noted on the Plan by Mr. Murphy. Mr. Doherty stated they are going to re-visit some of the stormwater management issues. Mr. Murphy stated they will still be asking for the same waivers but are going to work with Mr. Doherty on these matters.

Mr. Koch noted Page #13, Item #1 with regard to a Traffic Impact Study. Mr. Murphy stated they did the Traffic Impact Study at the time Floral Vale was developed. He added they not only designed, but also built Township Line Road out to the By-Pass ad another study will not change the result of that since it was presumed in the original study that this portion of the tract would eventually be built. Mr. Allan stated he would still like to see a Traffic Study. Mr. Koopman stated they could update the other study.

Ms. Gould noted Page #13 under the General Comments includes the request from the Historic Commission. Mr. Murphy stated they have never seen this letter. He stated if they are asking for design review and approval of the buildings, he does not feel the applicants would agree to this. It was noted the architecturals have not been completed as of today. Mr. Allan noted this area is not in the historic overlay.

Mr. Koch noted Item #5 under General Comments, and Mr. Murphy stated they were not sure what was being requested. He noted they have already paid for everything from Floral Vale out to the By-Pass. Mr. Gunkel stated they would have the Traffic Impact Fee. Mr. Murphy stated he feels they are "to the good" on this since they already owned this land when they built Township Line Road. He stated the value of those improvements exceeded the value of the Traffic Impact Fee. He noted this information is all included in the original Floral Vale Development Agreement. Mr. Roeper asked if Goodwin-Lacey is going to pay the Township for the improvements which were already done in front of their property, and Mr. Allan stated this matter has already been resolved.

Mr. Pazdera stated they will need an extension which Mr. Murphy agreed to provide.

Mr. Murphy stated if the Planning Commission is going to meet on August 14, they feel they could have the Plans revised and into PCS by that time.

Mr. Koopman noted they received an extension on this matter today.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.