MINUTES - APRIL 23, 2001

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 23, 2001. Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

Albert Roeper, Chairman
Deborah Gould, Vice Chairman
Ron Tofel, Secretary
Edward Koch, Member
John Pazdera, Member


Nancy Frick, Director, Zoning, Inspection, and Planning
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer


Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison


Mr. Anthony Belfield, Co-President of Children’s House of Bucks County was present and stated they are currently using leased space in Falls Township and would like to obtain permanent space for their school. He stated there are currently 150 children enrolled from pre-school to Third Grade. They anticipate that ultimately they will have 200 children at the facility they would like to build. The property they are looking at is located at 2 McKinley Avenue. Mr. Fenton Brown, Vice President of the Board and a member of the Site Selection Committee, was also present.

Mr. Brown stated they have completed a Phase I study and did a wetlands study and there are no wetlands on the site. With regard to woodlands, they would not have to cut the 30% permitted by Ordinance. They also looked into availability of water and sewer and both are available. He stated the site is flat and they can meet the setback requirements. The soil is well drained. He stated there is sufficient area to provide for water retention. There is a pre-existing building on the site and for financial reasons, they would like to maintain it and use is for some capacity but it would be used as an accessory building to the main building.

Mr. Kurt Remper, engineer who prepared the plans, was also present.

Mr. Roeper noted the low area of the site adjacent to Taylorsville Road and McKinley is rather low and questioned whether this was not a wetlands. Mr. Brown stated this area was not identified as a wetlands. He stated Mellon Biological did identify a drainage area but stated this still did not qualify as a wetlands.

Mr. Roeper stated they must consider whether they want exits and entrances on Taylorsville Road versus McKinley.

Mr. Doherty asked how much of the area is free of woods, and Mr. Remper stated the percentage of the site that is resource protected is 66%. About three quarters of the site is wooded. Mr. Doherty stated they can only disturb 30% of the woods and the setbacks must be taken from the line established as the limit of disturbance. He stated once this is established, he feels they will eliminate much of the site. He stated the net lot area must be five acres and free of natural resource protection land.

Mr. Doherty stated Chief Ronaldo had always wanted a traffic light at this intersection which is in Yardley Borough, but Yardley would not provide it.

Ms. Frick noted the Township engineer was not asked by the applicant to review these Plans so his comments are being made without a complete review of the Plans.

Mr. Roeper noted if they moved the building back into the woods, they would need a variance for the setback requirements and asked if this would be possible to obtain from the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Belfield stated the property owner who would be impacted by this reduced setback is present this evening.

Mr. Doherty stated there is some question whether these soils would require 50% or 100% protection. Mr. Brown stated the wetlands study was submitted to the Township by Mellon Biological. Ms. Frick stated the Township never received this study.

Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission is concerned about both entrances and exits on both Taylorsville and McKinley. He stated the first option they are showing is too close to the intersection. He stated they should consider having an entrance or exit on Taylorsville and the other on McKinley with each one to be as far away from the intersection as possible.

Mr. Doherty stated they do not have to physically clear the site, but they must show that if they took 30% of the site, they can still meet the requirements. Mr. Roeper stated this is why he suggested using the tree-free area provided they can meet the setbacks or obtain a Variance.

Mr. Brown stated they will most likely build a small building and then expand it with the maximum size being to accommodate 200 children.

Mr. Pazdera stated he is concerned with the access road as shown which is too close to the intersection. He stated this, however, is a minor problem compared to the other major issues they need to address with regard to this site.


Sister Fahey, Principal, and Tom Kitrick were present with Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney.

Mr. Roeper noted this is a proposal for an expansion.

Mr. Murphy noted the Letter of 4/11/01 outlining the Land Development Waiver request and what comprises the addition they are proposing. The addition will house a Challenge or Special Projects Room, an Art Room, Music Room and a Religious Studies Room. An existing walkway will be removed. They are requesting a Land Development Waiver. The impervious surface they are creating will result in a net increase of slightly less than 4,000 square feet, and when added to the existing impervious surface will be 6 1/2% in a District where they are permitted to have 17%. They are not creating any more staff needs and they will not have any additional parking requirements. He also does not feel what they are proposing will have an adverse impact on the surrounding property with regard to water run off. They would like to construct the addition this summer so that it can be used in the fall.

Mr. Roeper asked about parking requirements, and Mr. Murphy reviewed the parking calculations for the existing and proposed uses on the site.

Mr. Doherty stated he and Mr. Coyne went to the site to discuss the proposed right-of-way they want to acquire on Quarry Road, and Mr. Kitrick discussed their plans for the project at that time. Mr. Doherty stated he does not feel there will be any stormwater run off problems created by this addition.

Mr. Koch asked if the building plans are available, and Mr. Murphy stated they are designed, and they would like to apply for a Building Permit.

Mr. Koopman stated he did not feel there were any problems related to waiving Land Development for this Application.

Mr. Murphy stated this is a ninety acre site.

Mr. Koch moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the addition to the School be approved and that Land Development not be required.


Ms. Chris Haddad, Mr. Vincent Fiorvanti, engineer, and Mr. Richard Osterhaut, attorney, were present.

Mr. Fiorvanti reviewed the changes made to the Plans since the last meeting with the Planning Commission and in response to the review letters they received.

The PCS letter dated 4/18/01 was noted. They will comply with Items #1 and #2 on Page 1.

They will comply with Item #3 on Page #2.

With regard to Item #4, they would request Fee-in-Lieu of Recreation.

They will comply with Item #5.

Item #6 with regard to frontage improvements was noted. Mr. Fiorvanti stated they are requesting a waiver of road improvements on the site. It was noted the adjacent properties do not have improvements.

Items #7, #8, and #9 on Page #2 and Item #1 on Page #3 regarding the Existing Features Plan are Waiver requests, and the Township engineer is in support of these Waivers.

The Grading and Drainage Plan Item #1 on Page #3 was noted and they will comply with this item.

Item #2 was noted and Mr. Fiorvanti stated they did relocate the seepage bed and they feel they are now in compliance with the Ordinance. He stated they do have to have an easement or deed restriction from Lot #1 to insure that the seepage beds are not filled in.

Mr. Doherty stated the easement should be shown on the Plans. Mr. Koopman stated they will also want a separate recorded easement so it shows up on the chain of title.

Mr. Fiorvanti stated they will comply with Item #3 as well as Item #4 on Page #4.

With regard to the Landscaping Plan they will comply with Items #1 and #2 shown on Page #4.

Under the Erosion Control Plan, they will comply with Items #1 and #2. With regard to Item #1 Mr. Fiorvanti stated they did receive the erosion control approval in December but when they revised the Plans they had to re-submit.

Page #5, Item #1 under Erosion Control Notes was discussed, and Mr. Fiorvanti stated they will comply with this request and change the detail.

They will comply with Item #1 under the Details Sheet.

Under General Comments, Mr. Fiorvanti stated they will address the items with regard to sewer and water.

Mr. Roeper stated when the Plans are revised and PCS provides a clean letter, the Planning Commission will then make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. Ms. Frick stated they will need an extension since the expiration date is May 8. The applicant agreed to provide an extension.

Mr. Roeper stated if they are planning to request Preliminary/Final Plan Approval, they should change this request from Preliminary to Preliminary/Final. Ms. Frick stated they will still have to pay the fees for Final.

It was noted there will only be one meeting the Planning Commission in May because of the Memorial Day Holiday.


Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors approved the request for proposal from the Bucks County Planning Commission for the update to the Master Plan, and tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. the Bucks County Planning Commission will be at the Township to make a presentation. The Planning Commission members are welcome to sit in.

Mr. Koch noted the date of the Road Tour is Friday, May 4. Mr. Roeper asked if there is anything they should add to the Road Tour, and he suggested that the McKinley site for the Children’s House of Bucks County be added. Mr. Tofel asked about the possibility of installation of a traffic light, and Mr. Doherty stated it is needed and the Township did obtain funds from Orchard Hill, but Yardley Borough would not match it. He noted they could request funds from this applicant for a traffic light since it is on-site.

Mr. Doherty stated there is a meeting on Wednesday with PennDOT to discuss the realignment of Yardley-Morrisville Road at Marrazzo's.

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