TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
PLANNING COMMISSION
MINUTES - JUNE 11, 2001

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on June 11, 2001. Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m.

Those present:

Planning Commission:

Albert Roeper, Chairman
Deborah Gould, Vice Chairman
Ron Tofel, Secretary

Others:

Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison

Absent:

Edward Koch, Planning Commission
John Pazdera, Planning Commission

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Ms. Gould moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of April 23, 2001 as written.

Ms. Gould moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 14, 2001 as corrected.

#438 - FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEWTOWN PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

Mr. Keith Brown, Mr. Jack Leapson, and Mr. David Lewis were present. The PCS letter dated 6/6/01 was noted.

Mr. Brown stated they had been requested to obtain photos of the line subdividing the property from the adjacent property in Newtown Township. He stated they have been asked to provide a twenty-five foot buffer on the westernmost border by the Township engineer. Mr. Brown stated the adjacent property is being used as a Church. He asked if the requirement will still apply if the next neighboring property is not being used for residential purposes. Mr. Brown added that there are some existing trees in the area.

Ms. Gould asked if they would be willing to put the funds that would have been spent for the buffer toward landscaping elsewhere on the property, and Mr. Brown stated they would be willing to do this. Mr. Doherty stated he assumes they will need a waiver for this although they will have to check on this with the Township solicitor. Photographs of the area were shown. Mr. Tofel asked the distance from this property line to the Church building being constructed in Newtown Township, but this was not known. Mr. Roeper stated it appears some work will need to be done on the existing vegetation with regard to clearing undergrowth and removal of dead limbs. Mr. Roeper stated they will consider this matter further to determine if they will grant a waiver.

Mr. Brown asked if the Township has a copy of the Army Corps of Engineers letter.

Ms. Frick stated they did not receive this, and a copy was provided to Ms. Frick this evening. Mr. Brown asked if Skelly & Loy or PCS will make the decision on the wetland buffer requirement, and Mr. Doherty stated Skelly & Loy will make this decision.

The applicant agreed to provide Ms. Frick with the information she needs to submit to Skelly & Loy.

Mr. Fazzalore stated Newtown Township will be redoing Stoopville Road, and he asked if that construction will have any impact on this project. Mr. Doherty stated sufficient ground will be taken from the applicant.

Mr. Brown stated the engineers will be meeting on the stormwater management issues which are outstanding.

Mr. Leapson stated they did receive a second approval from the Conservation District.

Mr. Fazzalore noted the Bucks County Planning Commission letter references an accessory building proposed to be constructed on the property. Mr. Fazzalore suggested that they incorporate the storage into the main building rather than have a shed. Mr. Leapson stated this shed will be for the storage of lawn equipment and is proposed to be built in the existing woodlands. It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that this should not be a problem.

#511 - MISKIEL/DARRAH PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

Mr. James McMaster and Mr. James Ceglia were present. Mr. McMaster noted the CKS letter dated 5/15/01 and stated they will comply with all items.

The PCS letter dated 6/5/01 was noted. Mr. McMaster noted Item #1 and stated they will not have a garage so there are no garage floor elevations to show. Ms. Frick stated there should be a note on the Plan that no garage will be permitted. Mr. McMaster stated they plan to sell the lot to someone else and that individual may come in and request a garage.

It was agreed by the applicant that they will put a note on the Plan that there will be no garage.

Item #2 was noted, and Mr. McMaster stated they will request Fee-In-Lieu.

Item #3 was noted and Mr. McMaster stated they are requesting a wavier from the street tree requirement.

Item #4 was noted and Mr. McMaster stated they are requesting that no frontage improvements be required until such time as a building plan is submitted. Ms. Frick stated they will have to have a note on the Plan to this effect. Mr. McMaster stated Note #22 on the Plan relates to this.

Mr. McMaster stated they will comply with Item #5.

Item #6 was noted and Mr. McMaster stated no jurisdictional determination has been obtained and they do not feel any is required. He stated there is nothing in the Ordinance that required a Corps of Engineers determination. Mr. Doherty stated Skelly & Loy will then have to go out and make the determination. Mr. McMaster stated the applicant has made the determination. Mr. Doherty stated Skelly & Loy will then have to go out and verify this. Mr. McMaster agreed that they should do so. Mr. McMaster stated this also relates to Item #7.

Item #8 was noted, and Mr. McMaster stated they have gone back and counted all the trees and based on the Township definition, they do not feel there are any woodlands on Parcel #2. Mr. Roeper stated the Township engineer feels the entire parcel is woodlands.

Mr. McMaster stated he does not feel by the Ordinance definition that this tract is woodlands. Mr. Doherty stated he rode passed the site this evening and he feels it is a woods. Mr. McMaster stated while it is a wooded lot, the trees do not meet the woodlands requirement. Mr. Doherty stated since the Township legal counsel is not present this evening, he feels this matter should be tabled. Mr. Roeper stated they will have to have Mr. Koopman consider this matter.

Mr. Fazzalore asked about sewers for Lot #2. Mr. McMaster stated they are showing where sanitary sewers could go on Lot #2 but they are not putting in the line at this time.

They are requesting that this not be required to be installed until someone comes in for a building permit.

DETENTION BASIN DISCUSSION REGARDING SECTION 178.94

Mr. Roeper stated at the last Board of Supervisorsí meeting, while the Afton Chase Plan was approved, there was discussion on the detention basin. The Supervisors were surprised to learn that there is no Ordinance requirement that a developer must dedicate the detention basin to the Township. Mr. Roeper stated he was directed by the Chairman to find out why the Ordinance does not require dedication. Mr. Roeper read from the Ordinance section which relates to detention basins. He stated this seems to relate to the fees for accepting dedication. Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels the Ordinance should read that the Township has the right to request dedication of detention basins. He stated he feels the Afton Chase developer will go to the Zoning Hearing Board to get relief and then dedicate the basin to the Township. Because of the net lot area requirements, they needed the detention basin area . Mr. Doherty stated there will have to be revised Plans.

Ms. Gould asked what precludes other developers from doing this as well. Mr. Doherty stated he feels this is why the Board of Supervisors wants this to be the option of the Board of Supervisors not the developer.

Mr. Roeper asked if the Township will support the request for a waiver from the Zoning Hearing Board in this instance, and Mr. Fazzalore stated they will not contest it.

Ms. Gould stated if it had been designed properly, they would have lost a lot.

Mr. Roeper stated he will write a letter to Mr. Koopman on this matter.

Mr. Fazzalore stated even if the detention basin is not owned by the Township, it still needs Township approval.

 OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Roeper noted the letter from Ann Langtry on the Community Preservation Awards.

Mr. Roeper stated on Friday he attended a seminar in Doylestown which was presented from the viewpoint of the landowner and the developer when their rights are being taken away by Townships. He noted he has the information from the seminar which is available for the Planning Commission members for their review.

There being no further business, Ms. Gould moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 p.m.