TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD
MINUTES - NOVEMBER 12, 2001
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 12, 2001. Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. He announced that late this afternoon the Township received a request for extension for the Valley Day School Site Preliminary Plan so that matter will not be considered this evening. He stated it may be on the next Agenda and the adjoining residents will be notified. The extension is until 2/28/02.
Albert Roeper, Chairman
Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
#335-M - OCTAGON CENTER (a/k/a MATRIX) FINAL PLAN DISCUSSION
Mr. Marc Brookman, attorney, Mr. Robert Rodgers, Orth-Rodgers, Mr. Chris Burkett, and Mr. Russell Tepper representing Matrix, were present. Mr. Roeper stated in the PCS letter there was a note that the Plans as prepared by Orth/Rodgers were not included in the Plans that they reviewed. The report on those issues has not yet been received from PennDOT nor has it been reviewed by the Township engineer. There is therefore the possibility that some additional comments may be coming on this.
Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with all items in the CKS letter dated 11/8/01.
The PCS letter dated 11/9/01 was noted. Mr. Roeper stated Item #1 is a waiver request which the Planning Commission will recommend. Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with Items #2, #3, and #4.
Under Sheet #4, Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with all items.
With regard to the comment on Sheet #6 regarding the Record Plan, Mr. Brookman stated they will make those adjustments to the Plan.
With regard to Sheet #9, Item #1, Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission will recommend the wavier as requested. Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with Items #2 through #4.
With regard to Sheet #15, Landscaping and Lighting Plan, Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with Items #1 and #2. Mr. Tofel thanked the applicant for the additional work they did on the lighting and landscaping.
Sheet #17 was noted, and Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with all three items.
Sheet #25 was noted, and Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with all three items.
Regarding Stormwater Management, Mr. Brookman stated the information has been provided to the Bucks County Conservation District and they have been approved. They will provide this information to the Township. This relates to Items #1 and #2. They will also comply with Items #3 and #4.
Under the General Comments and the PennDOT review, Mr. Rodgers stated they expect comments from PennDOT this week. Mr. Doherty stated one sheet did come back with comments and the Applicant re-submitted, and they are now waiting for these additional comments.
With regard to the Police Chief’s comments, Mr. Brookman stated they will comply with all items with one exception which they will discuss. Mr. Brookman stated the signal at Oxford Valley Road and Tall Pines will go in during the first phase of construction. He noted this is subject to PennDOT approval and sufficient warrants. Mr. Brookman stated it was suggested in the Police Chief’s report that they fully improve Tall Pines Road.
Mr. Brookman stated this will be a private road, and it is not their intention to have this as an access to the retail area. They will finish to the point beyond the proposed office building at Oxford Valley and Tall Pines. From there to Big Oak Road, they will install base materials so that it is accessible for emergency vehicles. It will also serve a construction road for access to the site. They do not want to encourage people to use this road for the retail portion.
Mr. Roeper stated the Police Department is concerned that when they finish the project and open the office area, unauthorized vehicles will be going past the barrier and cutting over to Big Oak Road. They are also concerned that this could become a dumping ground.
Mr. Burkett stated beyond the intersection they did plan to bring the road to subgrade and place 6" of crushed aggregate and compact it with a roller. This would be suitable for construction traffic and low volume emergency access. They feel a lot of cut will happen on the south side of Big Oak Road which will be stockpiled for future phases. There will be a lot of truck hauling in this area. They do not want to put asphalt down which would get destroyed. When the construction process is done, they can blade and roll it which will make it suitable for emergency vehicles.
Mr. Roeper asked if there is an interval between Phase I and the start of additional construction, what will be done to keep the road from erupting in weeds and people driving by a barrier and dumping in this area. Mr. Burkett stated a maintenance bond could be posted to insure that if the Applicant does not keep the road in sufficient fashion, the Bond money could be used to correct the situation.
Mr. Roeper asked if they would consider a cul-de-sac, and Mr. Burkett stated he felt the Police wanted access through there. Mr. Roeper stated he would like to know what kind of barrier they propose to keep people from using this - both at this end and the Big Oak Road end. Mr. Tofel stated the cul-de-sac would provide an area for emergency vehicles or people who get lost to turn around and come back out. He stated the cul-de-sac could be removed in the future as they continue the development. Mr. Doherty asked if Mr. Tofel is requesting a full bulb as he does not feel they need this. Mr. Tepper stated they would be willing to install the cul-de-sac and rip it out in the future.
Ms. Gould asked why it is not a good idea to use the road as an alternative to get to the retail portion if the public desires to do so even though this would be a longer drive.
Ms. Gould stated she also wants to make sure that the new light will be synchronized.
Mr. Rodgers stated the lights will be coordinated. He also stated that Tall Pines is not needed for access to the retail portion. Ms. Gould noted people from the northern section will be trying to access off of one turning lane. Mr. Rodgers stated there is a separate right-turn lane. He stated the right-turn lane has been designed to more than adequately handle the volumes proposed. Ms. Gould asked how many cars will stack up at the peak hour (8:30 a.m.), and Mr. Rodgers stated at the current time there are seventeen vehicles turning right from Oxford Valley Road to Big Oak Road. Mr. Rodgers stated there will also be another light in the future. Ms. Gould stated she feels that they should give the drivers the option to make the longer drive down Tall Pines Road.
Mr. Pazdera stated his only concern is whether there is a sufficient barrier, and he would agree with the installation of a cul-de-sac or a wider right-of-way.
A majority of the Planning Commission indicated they would like to see the road paved.
Mr. Roeper stated this does not have to be done during the construction but prior to the opening of the Center, this road should be paved. He stated he recognizes that they will have to install a traffic light at Big Oak Road and Tall Pines. Mr. Tepper stated this light is being installed as part of the first phase of improvements. He added they would like to discourage traffic that does not belong there. He stated they recognize the need for access by construction and emergency vehicles. He stated that portion of Tall Pines Road beyond the cul-de-sac will be utilized by construction vehicles. He stated they do not want people to trespass or travel on the private road. They also do not want to encourage dumping.
They feel a diversion such as a cul-de-sac will prevent people from doing this.
Ms. Gould stated she does not feel they should indicate that this is access to the retail area but feels those who are aware of this road, should be allowed to use it even though it is a longer drive. Mr. Tepper stated this is a private road, and the intention was that it be used primarily for the office development. Ms. Gould stated she feels the office traffic and retail traffic will occur at different times of the day. Mr. Tepper stated he would prefer to install the cul-de-sac as a compromise. Mr. Roeper asked that they indicate on their plans the type of barrier they intend to erect if they choose to proceed in this way. He stated they should check with the Police Department on this as well to make sure they are satisfied with the barrier proposed.
The Bucks County Planning Commission letter dated 11/8/01 was noted. Mr. Rodgers noted Page #3 of the letter with four points raised. He stated Parsons-Brinckerhoff added an additional 100,000 of retail not shown on the Plan to show a worst case scenario. He stated Parsons-Brinckerhoff also recommended three additional improvements, and they will comply with those three improvements. This information has been re-submitted to PennDOT, and they are expecting a new comment letter from PennDOT shortly.
Mr. Tofel asked why the traffic counts were not done during a week in July, August, or December. He stated he is concerned that the traffic study was done in February and April.
Mr. Rodgers stated one of the counts was done in the summer. He stated they do not do counts for retail in December since they do not design for Christmas traffic. Mr. Rodgers noted that in a letter dated 7/31/01 from Parsons-Brinckerhoff to Mr. John Allen, representing Matrix, on this same question, where they indicated that while Saturday may be a peak hour for other uses, the peak hours for the Office portion would be during a weekday peak. It was also noted that the vast amount of Sesame Place traffic is regional, and will be destined for Route 1/I-95 and will not impact on the Octagon Center.
Mr. Tofel stated he still has concerns with when the traffic counts were done and how they were directed to be done at those times.
Ms. Gould stated she understands why they do not want to design for Christmas traffic, but she does not understand why they consider weekday traffic being the high point. She stated she feels homeowners will go to the facilities such as Lowe’s on the weekend.
Mr. Rodgers stated the highest volumes will be during the weekday in the P.M. for this complex, and this was confirmed by the Township’s traffic consultant. Mr. Doherty stated he did discuss this with Mr. Yeager who indicated in his report that he was satisfied with what they submitted. He did make some recommendations which the developer did agree to make as has already been noted. Mr. Tepper stated the afternoon peak during the week generates more traffic when you take into consideration the existing and future conditions.
He stated the primary reason for this is because on Saturday none of the office buildings are occupied for the most part. This was the basis to determine the scope of improvements that have been recommend and confirmed by Parsons-Brinckerhoff.
Ms. Gould asked how many cars will be stacked during the weekday P.M. peak.
Mr. Rodgers stated during the weekday P.M. peak, the Phase I trip generation shows 633 vehicles turning left from Oxford Valley Road to Big Oak Road. This will be designed for a double left turn lane and the storage limits of the left turn lane will be re-designed and the amount of time for the left turn arrow will be increased. Mr. Tofel estimated that 33 cars could make the left turn assuming the light changes every three minutes. Mr. Rodgers estimated the cycle would be one and a half minutes; and with two lanes, he would feel 30 per cycle could turn. He will confirm this in writing tomorrow.
Mr. Rodgers stated at the intersection of Big Oak Road and Oxford Valley Road during the late afternoon peak they show Level of Service F for the left turn from Oxford Valley Road to Big Oak Road as well as for the corresponding right turn from Big Oak Road to Oxford Valley Road at the current time. He reviewed Levels of Service and how much you are delayed at each Level of Service. Overall Level of Service at the existing peak is Level of Service E for the entire intersection. At Phase I with the development and improvements installed, they are showing left turn movements from Oxford Valley Road to Big Oak Road will be Level of Service D with an average delay of 29 seconds. This is with a substantial increase in volume making this movement. From Big Oak Road back to Oxford Valley Road, they will be at Level of Service B after construction because they will provide a double right-turn lane at the recommendation of Parsons-Brinckerhoff. Overall Level of Service for the intersection will be Level of Service C. Mr. Rodgers stated they also did a Phase II (plus ten years) study which goes to 2015. For the P.M. peak, they show a Level of Service E for the double left onto Big Oak Road from Oxford Valley Road which is a 58 second delay and Level of Service B for the right turn from Big Oak Road to Oxford Valley Road. Overall the intersection will be at Level of Service will be D with an average delay of 27 seconds. Mr. Rodgers stated the seconds of delay is really more meaningful than the Letter Grade.
Mr. Tofel asked if they have taken into consideration other development in the surrounding area, and Mr. Rodgers stated they have not taken this into consideration with regard to specific projects, but they do use a level of growth rate and also added that amount of growth added by Parsons-Brinckerhoff. Mr. Tepper stated the growth rate does take into account future development.
Mr. Pazdera asked what improvements would need to be done to bring the Level of Service back to a C rather than a Level of Service D in ten years. Mr. Rodgers stated he feels they have already added what they can add, and he cannot envision any meaningful changes.
Ms. Gould asked what will happen when the traffic flow from this development goes into Middletown trying to get to I-95. Mr. Rodgers stated they have done an analysis crossing the bridge, and this was submitted to the Township traffic consultant. This will be controlled by the traffic lights which exist and the additional light to be installed.
There was discussion on the improvements to be made in Middletown, and Mr. Brookman stated these improvements are subject to approval from Middletown Township. They would not be authorized to do these improvements without Middletown’s approval. There was discussion on the location of the Township line on Big Oak Road near the railroad, and Mr. Doherty noted this location on the map. Mr. Brookman stated in the Amended Master Plan Agreement, it does indicate that they will make application for improvements to Middletown Township. He stated they met with Middletown recently regarding traffic improvements. He noted a new Board is coming on in Middletown, and they have requested waiting until that Board is seated in January.
Mr. Pazdera noted Page 28 of the Light Detail where they are still showing a 35’ height and asked if they have agreed to a 25’ height. Mr. Tepper stated they have agreed to 25’ and they will change this detail.
Mr. Pazdera asked about the pedestrian crossing they put in. Mr. Burkett stated they provided 5’ wide walkways at 180’ intervals across the parking lot. These would be at the same elevation as the asphalt. They will be striped in a fashion so that they are discernible as pedestrian crossings. They have not provided wheel stops as these present a barrier to carts and can become tripping hazards. They have provided three in front of the proposed Lowe’s and three in front of the proposed Sears. Mr. Doherty stated they will have some landscaped islands.
Mr. Pazdera noted an area in front of Retail 1 where the front entrance bumps out and there is a jog in the road. He stated in Retail 2, they have tapered this. Mr. Burkett stated in Retail 2 there is no other intersection traffic. To the east of Retail 1, there is a point where you can enter to the left for Customer Service Pick Up and to taper it may not create a safe condition. Mr. Burkett stated they could pull the taper further to the east somewhat so that it is not as abrupt, and this was acceptable to Mr. Pazdera.
Mr. Roeper stated he assumes they will be back before the Planning Commission at its second meeting in November so that they can go before the Board of Supervisors on December 3. Mr. Roeper stated if they feel this will be too tight, they could request an extension.
Ms. Gould asked if they have talked to the Historic Commission about the possibility of recovering the Octagonal School House site. Mr. Brookman stated approximately eighteen months ago they attempted to acquire the site so that they could refurbish the School House. They were not successful in obtaining it, and the Estate is unwilling to sell it at a reasonable cost. They have an impact fee that is applicable to the project that the Township could decide to use if they so desire to pursue the acquisition of this parcel. He stated the Master Plan Agreement does stipulate how the fees are to be paid and that the Township has the right to determine how these fees are to be spent. Mrs. Gould asked if the Applicant could designate that these funds should specifically go for the acquisition of the Octagonal School House site, and Mr. Tepper stated the Applicant does not have the authority to tell the Township how these funds should be spent.
Mr. Larry Borda, 508 Heritage Oak Drive, provided written comments to the Planning Commission this evening. Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission already received these comments in their packets and have read them. Mr. Borda stated many of the residents feel this action is illegal and are waiting for a decision from Judge Rubenstein whether this matter is in accordance with the MPC. They do anticipate subsequent legal action is possible if approval is given for this development. Mr. Borda stated they are also concerned with the eight acres of wetlands which seem to have disappeared since submission of prior plans. They also ask that the Planning Commission ask for an Environmental Impact Study to determine the impact on the environment from this project.
Mr. Borda stated they also have concerns about the traffic studies that have been conducted and the fact that in an area which is known for facilities such as Sesame Place and a large number of retail projects, they are not aware of any counts having been done during the high traffic season.
Mr. Borda asked that the information he provided this evening be made part of the record of this evenings proceedings. He stated it contains a summary of Mr. Allen’s comments after his review of the Parsons-Brinckerhoff study. He noted Mr. Allen did not receive the technical appendices, and they would like to have copies of that information provided to them. Mr. Allen has also not seen what Orth-Rodgers added to the Plans as a result of the Parsons-Brinckerhoff study. The letter dated 8/16/01 from John Allen to the Planning Commission requested a meeting with the Planning Commission, Orth-Rodgers, and Parsons-Brinckerhoff and others, but to date no such meeting has been conducted.
Mr. Allen has questions that are currently unanswered, and they feel these questions need to be answered in order for the residents to be comfortable.
Mr. Borda read portions of the information already submitted to the Township written by Mr. Allen.
Mr. Borda stated they are not suggesting that the Board of Supervisors do an "about face," but are suggesting that they give the opponents’ concerns some recognition. Mr. Borda suggested that traffic counts be taken during the weekend following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mr. Roeper stated with respect to the wetlands, they have been advised that despite the Master Plan Agreement, Federal and State regulations probably supersede the 1988 Ordinance so that if Matrix gets the approval of the EPA and Army Corps, they would have to accept that as an indication of the accuracy of the wetlands. They have done this and Skelly & Loy, the Township’s consultant, has agreed with this. With regard to the Court Order, Mr. Roeper stated he is not sure that the Planning Commission can take that into consideration as it is not part of their task. He is sure that it will influence whatever the Board of Supervisors does.
Mr. Pazdera stated he would be willing to meet with everyone regarding the traffic so that they are all comfortable. Ms. Gould stated she would like such a meeting to occur prior to the Thanksgiving weekend so that they would have the opportunity to ask that traffic counts be done during that weekend. Mr. Roeper stated if the Planning Commission meets as a body, it would have to be an advertised public meeting. He stated if only two members of the Planning Commission met, they would not have to advertise.
Mr. Koopman stated if they were considering a Special Meeting, they are required to advertise at least three days prior to the meeting.
Mr. Pazdera moved and Mr. Tofel seconded to hold a Special Meeting on 11/20/01 at 7:30 p.m. to meet with representatives from Parsons-Brinckerhoff, Orth-Rodgers, the Bucks County Planning Commission, and Mr. John Allen.
Mr. Borda stated he is not sure that Mr. Allen would be available and asked if there would be any other time that they could meet. Mr. Roeper stated there would not be any other time since they would like to have the meeting prior to the Thanksgiving weekend and they need to advertise.
Mr. Borda stated they are also very concerned with the loss of eight acres of wetlands and the impact this development will have on the surrounding environment. Mr. Roeper expressed concern with the question of determining what was a wetlands in 1988 as opposed to what is a wetlands today. He stated he feels the restrictions are more rigid today than they were in 1988. Ms. Gould stated she was satisfied with the answers given with regard to the loss of wetlands although she is concerned with how the total site will impact the environment and would like to see an Environment Study done. She stated she feels the Board of Supervisors would also be interested in this. Mr. Roeper asked if a majority of the Planning Commission feels they should recommend submission of an Environmental Impact Study. Mr. Tofel stated he feels one should be submitted.
Mr. Doherty stated he feels a Study of this magnitude could take a year. Ms. Gould stated she does not feel they can request a study that would take a year to complete. Mr. Roeper stated if the study is just of the wetlands, it would be much more manageable than if they required one for the entire area. Mr. Borda stated when you are talking about a project of this magnitude and on property which is environmentally sensitive, it is important to do it right and to consider the health and welfare of all the residents. Mr. Roeper asked that Mr. Doherty come up with a recommendation on the kind of study which they should request, and they can then discuss this on 11/20 and possibly formulate the type of recommendation they would make to the Board of Supervisors on November 26. He stated the Planning Commission can only make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and the Supervisors make the final decision.
Mr. Borda stated he understands that Planning Commissions can prepare and present to the Board of Supervisors an Environmental Study. He noted MPC Section 209.1.
Mr. Koopman stated this Section does not specifically deal with an Environmental Study.
Mr. Koopman stated the Master Plan Approval and the Amendment provide that Matrix is entitled to develop the site in accordance with the Ordinances as they stood in 1988 and those Ordinances did not have any environmental impact requirements. Mr. Koopman stated with respect to the wetlands issue, Matrix has submitted documentation to the DEP and Army Corps and this may constitute an Impact Statement.
Mr. Gary Cruzan stated there is a clash between Contract Law and Zoning Law and if Contract Law prevails, there is no Zoning. For this reasons, he feels they must go all the way through the Court. He stated he does not believe that the Master Plan Amendment means what the Township feels it does. He stated if the initial Appeal is squashed, that does not mean that this is the end, because they will file additional suits.
Mr. Koopman stated the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have certain time constraints within which they must make a recommendation unless Matrix is willing to grant an extension of time. Mr. Roeper stated he is concerned with Mr. Cruzan’s threats of lawsuits when they are trying to work with the residents. Mr. Borda stated he recognizes the position of the Planning Commission and their responsibility is to make a recommendation. He stated he feels Mr. Roeper has been very fair and deliberate. He stated Mr. Cruzan’s point was that from an overall legal standpoint, they perceive this to be bumping into the 1988 criteria versus 2001 criteria. Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission is required to make a recommendation and they will do so to the very best of their ability. It appears that they will have to do this by November 26.
Mr. Pazdera moved to amend the Motion that they include discussion of an Environmental Study be included at the Special Meeting. Mr. Tofel seconded the Amendment, and the Motion as Amended carried unanimously.
Mr. Tofel asked why they could not get an extension since there were two previous delays - one requested by the Applicant and then one requested by RAM. Mr. Brookman stated this Application has been before the Township for about one and a half years and while they are sympathetic to the Planning Commission concerns and have worked with them, there have already been six to seven public meetings over ten months. He stated they have provided extensions before and will probably provide one again, but they do not want to be accused of doing anything behind closed doors since there were many public meetings.
#511 - MISKIEL/DARRAH PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION FOR DENIAL
Mr. James McMaster was present and stated he and his engineer met with the Township
solicitor and Township engineer to discuss a number of alternatives regarding the parcel they wish to subdivide. There was discussion on access to Schuyler Drive from the large parcel. They contacted the Bucks County Heritage Conservancy to see if they would permit them to have an access and have found out that the Bucks County Conservancy is in discussions with the Township about deeding over this property to Lower Makefield.
Mr. Fazzalore stated the Board of Supervisors has not agreed to do this at this time.
Mr. Fazzalore stated they want them to take over this property because someone has built a dirt bike tract on the property and has destroyed it. Mr. McMaster stated their position was they did not want to grant any easements because they were in discussions with the Township at that time.
Mr. McMaster stated they have this evening different options to show how they could put a house on Parcels #1 and #2. They have prepared the Plans on the basis of the entire site being woodlands. They are showing a modification of the existing Subdivision Plan and an Alternative Subdivision Plan. They recognize that any issues of whether the Township or the Conservancy would allow them to cross the property have to be determined in the future. Mr. McMaster distributed the Plans this evening. He noted the house on Parcel #2 and another house on Sandy Run Road in the immediate vicinity.
Mr. McMaster stated Skelly & Loy made an observation in their August, 2001 letter that they questioned the width of the wetlands setback. Mr. McMaster stated they only looked at the wetlands line from the property line and determined on that basis that that portion that was along the property line was a slope greater than 10% and that they would need a 33’ buffer. Mr. McMaster stated they have assessed the entire wetlands and determined it is less than the 10% so they only need 25’. Based on that, and the allowance for steep slope, the houses on Parcel #1 and Parcel #2 meet all of the requirements and they feel they are buildable houses. They feel that the Plan of Minor Subdivision is therefore a Plan that fully complies with the Ordinances even if all of the property is woodlands. This Plan also shows direct access to Sandy Run Road.
Mr. Doherty stated even if they stay at 25’ there is still an adjustment that needs to be made.
He asked if they made the steep slope adjustment, and Mr. McMaster stated this was done.
Mr. Koopman stated the concern was the Township did not want to subdivide a property where they were creating lots which could not be built upon without getting Variances from the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. McMaster stated the second Plan shows on Parcel #1 rather than a building site fronting on Sandy Run Road, a building site fronting on Schuyler and this is where there is an area with a 25’ right-of-way for a driveway. This involved the strip of land that is in discussion with the Township and the Bucks County Heritage Conservancy. The Heritage Conservancy indicated that if it were their property, they would be willing to work something out; but they did not want to discuss it because they were anxious to get it deeded over to the Township. Mr. McMaster stated this is a viable alternative site to build a house on Parcel #1 and may be preferable, but it is only viable if they are granted the easement for the access. Mr. McMaster stated the Township would have to approve this whether it is their property or the Heritage Conservancy’s. Mr. Koopman asked if the Township has an easement over this now, and Mr. McMaster stated they do and it is for general Municipal purposes.
Mr. Doherty asked the slope of the driveway. Mr. McMaster stated there are no steep slopes in the area close to the road. Where the house is shown, it is not steep slopes.
Mr. Doherty stated it appears that the driveway would not be that steep in the area although it does go down after you get past the house site.
Mr. McMaster stated they do not really care which alternative the Township chooses, since his Applicant’s interest is in Parcel #2.
Mr. Koopman stated he feels it may make more sense to have the house on Schuyler Road but absent the easements, they cannot do this. Mr. McMaster has now indicated that he can get a house that fronts on Sandy Run Road if they cannot get the easement.
Mr. McMaster stated the Darrahs will own Parcel #2, and Dr. Miskiel will own Parcel #1.
It is up to Dr. Miskiel what he wants to do with Parcel #1. Mr. McMaster stated there is a Court Order ordering the conveyance of Parcel #2 to the Darrahs. They are required now to show that if the Subdivision is granted, they could build a house on Parcel #1 and a house on Parcel #2.
Mr. Koopman stated Dr. Miskiel’s options are to build a house as shown on the one Plan (Option #1) or as shown on Option #2 if he obtains the easement.
Ms. Frick noted Section 200-64 regarding access and stated she would interpret this that they would need a Variance in order to access Schuyler Road.
Mr. Fazzalore asked if they could erect more that one home on Parcel #1, and Mr. McMaster stated it appears that they could have two provided they obtained the easements and Variances required for two driveways or a shared driveway. Mr. Koopman stated as a practical matter he is not sure he could get the second house on Parcel #1 taking access off Schuyler. Mr. McMaster stated the total site is 9.6 acres.
Mr. Koopman stated the developer has conceded that the tract is woodlands, and there will be a note on the Plan that indicates woodlands are protected and cannot be disturbed.
Mr. Roeper stated the Applicant has determined that at least one home can be put on the tract although it will have a relatively small building envelope if it fronts on Sandy Run Road. Mr. Roeper stated he feels they should submit a Plan with the house fronting on Sandy Run Road since the other option requires Variances and is contingent on events over which they have no control at this time.
Mr. Roeper stated they can now proceed with the discussion of the Subdivision from the standpoint of Lot #2. He asked if they would be willing to grant an Extension since the Plans expire 11/22/01. Mr. McMaster stated they hoped to get approval of the Subdivision this evening contingent upon what was discussed this evening. Mr. Roeper stated they would have to go back to the 6/5 PCS letter. Mr. McMaster stated in this letter the only Item they had not satisfactorily addressed was Item #8 with regard to the woodlands, and he feels they have now addressed this. Mr. Roeper stated he personally would prefer a clean letter from PCS based on the Plan presented this evening. Mr. Doherty stated he would need to have the Revised Plan in order to review it. Mr. McMaster stated they have been submitting Plans to the Township and it has taken weeks to get a response. He stated they submitted these in August and only got a response last week. Ms Frick stated this information was not submitted through her office. Mr. McMaster stated he submitted it to Mr. Koopman. Ms. Frick stated this was done in October and she did receive it after the fact. Mr. McMaster stated he does not have authority to grant an Extension for ninety days and only had the authority to grant a thirty day Extension in order to get this on the Board of Supervisors’ Agenda. Mr. McMaster stated he had hoped he could get a recommendation from the Planning Commission this evening based on his discussions with Mr. Koopman. Mr. Roeper stated with an expiration date of 11/22/01, the Planning Commission has no alternative but to recommend denial of the Plan.
Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors denial of the Minor Subdivision Plan for Miskiel/Darrah, Sheet 1 of 2 dated 10/14/98 and last revised 4/30/01 and Sheet 2 of 2 dated 5/23/00, last revised 10/26/00 for failure to comply with the PCS letter dated 6/5/01 and with the CKS letter dated 5/15/01 with the proviso that if the Applicant provides a ninety day extension before close of business on Wednesday, November 14, 2001, that the denial will be withdrawn.
#522 - DONALD W. MC FADDEN - PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION FOR DENIAL
Mr. Henry VanBlunk was present. He stated their engineer submitted a Revised Plan to incorporate the PCS comments from their letter dated 9/20/01. He also noted the letter from Hank Hoffmeister advising that a sewer connection was possible for this parcel and the letter from Pennsylvania American Water advising that public water is accessible.
Mr. VanBlunk stated they are not proposing any development at this time. He stated they understand the Township was concerned that they not create a lot that could not be served by public water and sewer, and they now feel they have addressed this concern.
The CKS letter of 11/1/01 was noted and Mr. VanBlunk stated they are not proposing any site development at this time but do have the letter indicating that there are sewer lines they could connect to at such time that development was proposed. With regard to the Planning Modules, they do not feel they are necessary since they are not proposing any development and are only proposing Subdivision at this time. Mr. Roeper stated they are indicating that while they recognize these will not be installed at this time, they are still asking that these be shown on the Plans. Mr. VanBlunk stated they are not connecting at this time. He stated they have obtained letters indicating that services are available.
Ms. Gould asked about the plans for this property. Mr. VanBlunk stated Mr. McFadden has an Agreement of Sale to sell the property, and the proposed owner would like to request a change of zoning to commercial. If the buyer cannot obtain this change of zoning, they are going to put houses on the property. Mr. Fazzalore stated the client should be advised that the last commercial development that came before the Board of Supervisors for this property was turned down. Mr. VanBlunk stated they are aware of this. He stated the purchaser will be in with Land Development within sixty days of closing; and if a change of zoning is denied, a Plan for a housing development will then be submitted at some later time.
Mr. Koopman noted the PCS letter which indicates a number of items which have not been complied with, and he stated this could be the basis for a denial. He stated in addition there is no proposal on the Plan to do any road frontage improvements on Stony Hill or Heacock Roads as required in Section 178-40-C. He stated this is the only section on Heacock Road that is not improved; and if they do not request them now, he is not sure when they will get them if only one house goes in. The staff is suggesting that they request the improvements at this time.
Mr. Doherty stated he was provided a Plan last week but did not have time to review it prior to this evening’s meeting. Mr. VanBlunk stated the Ordinance states that they can submit fifteen days prior to a meeting according to Section 178-27.
Mr. Koopman asked if street trees were placed on the Revised Plans, and Mr. VanBlunk stated they are requesting a waiver for street trees.
Mr. VanBlunk stated he was advised that this matter was being placed on the Board of Supervisors’ Agenda for the purpose of denial. Ms. Frick stated she did not indicate this but indicated that he had to be on the Planning Commission Agenda this evening since their time was expiring. She stated she did not indicate that it would be for denial.
Ms. Gould moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors denial of the McFadden Preliminary/Final Plans last revised 7/12/01 based on failure to comply with the PCS letter dated 9/20/01 and the CKS letters dated 8/6/01 and 11/1/01 and with added failure to provide for boundary road improvements in accordance with Section 178-40-C.
There being no further business, Mr. Tofel moved, Mr. Koch seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 p.m.