TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - JULY 22, 2002

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 22, 2002.  Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:            Albert Roeper, Chairman

                                                John Pazdera, Member

                                                Michael Shavel, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                Mario Canales, Township Engineer

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Secretary

                                                Ron Tofel, Planning Commission Member

 

 

#534 - LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP GOLF COURSE PRELIMINARY/

FINAL PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. William Taylor, Mr. Wes Hackman, and Mr. Scott Arterburn were present. 

Mr. Taylor stated they have received an Easement permitting them to cross the Williams

Gas Pipe Line and this will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at their next meeting.

Mr. Roeper noted the letter in this regard dated 6/10/02 and asked if all of these items have

been included in the Plans.  Mr. Taylor stated they have requested PCS to survey where the

pipelines are located based on that letter and the survey date has been scheduled.

 

Mr. Roeper noted the letter from Mr. Yates dated 6/25/02 wherein he suggested a sprinkler

system be installed in the Club house.  Mr. Arterburn stated a sprinkler system will be

installed for the entire building.

 

Mr. Arterburn stated they are working with the Conservation District and expect their

comments soon.

 

Mr. Roeper noted the letter from the Bucks County Planning Commission dated 7/17/02.

Mr. Arterburn stated they will correct the Plans with regard to Item #1. 

 

With regard to Item #2, Mr. Arterburn stated they can provide a summary on the drawing. 

He stated they have received the requested Variances in this regard.

 

Item #3 regarding screening was noted and Mr. Arterburn stated they will discuss this with

the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels they should show something on the

Plans for the Planning Commission to review. Mr. Arterburn stated there is landscaping

around the building and he will match this up with the Ordinance to see where the Bucks

County Planning commission feels they are delinquent. He stated they have existing trees

and also plan berming and other landscaping.

 

July 22, 2002                                                                   Planning Commission - page 2 of 6

 

 

Item #4 was noted, and Mr. Arterburn stated, per the Township requirements, they only

need thirty-six spaces for golfers and twenty for employees.  They are showing 190 spaces

on their Plans. He feels the Bucks County Planning Commission is looking for a summary

of what is being provided and they can address this.

 

Item #5 was noted and Mr. Arterburn stated they will review the distance. They do have the

proper number of parking spaces. 

 

Item #6 was noted and Mr. Arterburn stated they did discuss the requirements for the

parking islands in their previous presentation.  Mr. Canales stated early on they indicated

they would meet the requirements of the Ordinance that an island would be provided every

twenty parking spaces.  He stated there are some areas where they do not meet this

requirement.  Mr. Arterburn stated they can meet this requirement; and while this will

decrease the number of  parking spaces, they have an excess of what is required so they

will still be able to meet the parking requirements if they provide all the required islands.

 

Item #7 was noted regarding sidewalk/bikepath, and Mr. Roeper stated the Board of

Supervisors will make this decision.

 

Item #8 regarding Lighting was noted.  Mr. Arterburn stated they will be installing wall

packs on the maintenance building and they can advise the Bucks County Planning

Commission how these will be installed and will show them on the building plans. 

Mr. Arterburn stated while the Bucks County Planning Commission is recommending

additional lighting, they also need to be sensitive to the requests made by the surrounding

residents with regard to lighting.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels they should provide security

lighting which is shielded in such a way that it will not be a problem for the neighbors. 

Mr. Arterburn stated the wall packs will be facing to the north and the closest resident is

hundreds of feet away.

 

Item #9 regarding grading was previously addressed.

 

Item #10 was noted, and Mr. Arterburn stated they are retaining the structures which can be

retained.

 

Item #11 regarding water withdrawal was noted, and Mr. Arterburn stated they are well

into this process.  The forty-eight hour pump test will start tomorrow.  An application will

be made to the DRBC for the withdrawal and DelVal has done a good deal of work on this

already.  Mr. Arterburn stated there are parameters they must comply with regarding the

amount  of water that can be taken out.  He also noted a well monitoring system has been

set up for the pump test.  During the initial test, one well did show a four foot draw down

and they will monitor this well particularly during the forty-eight hour test.  There is an

Agreement that will be signed by the Township and the neighbors with regard to the wells. 

They will know after the test who will be impacted by the withdrawal.  Mr. Taylor

reviewed the three levels of monitoring which will be done.  Mr. Shavel asked what will

happen in a drought condition.  Mr. Arterburn stated the DRBC regulates how much water

you can take so that when there is a drought, the amount permitted would most likely be

changed.  This is done on a continual basis.  Mr. Arterburn stated reports must be

submitted to the DRBC.  He stated they cannot exceed 7 million gallons per month

according to the DRBC.  Mr. Taylor stated the wells will be used to fill the ponds.

 

 

July 22, 2002                                                                   Planning Commission - page 3 of 6

 

 

Item #12 regarding planting is a listing of the Bucks County Planning Commission’s

preferences.

 

Item #13 was noted with regard to course safety wherein the Bucks County Planning

Commission has cited a recommendation on minimum distance between the centerlines of

the proposed fairways recommended by the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

Mr. Arterburn stated Mr. Jacobsen sits on the Board of the Society and is not aware of any such recommendation being made.  He is comfortable with the design and disagrees with the Bucks County Planning Commission.  Mr. Roeper asked that they discuss this with the

Bucks County Planning Commission.  Mr. Shavel noted the comments in the letter

regarding drives greater than 230 yards, and Mr. Arterburn agreed to look into this but

noted the property that would be impacted would be the Christmas tree farm.

 

Item #14 was noted regarding the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Programs, and

Mr. Arterburn stated this is done as a matter of course and is included in the contract.     

Mr. Arterburn noted the comment regarding the Audubon Society’s Signature Program,

and stated they do plan to bring the Audubon Society into this and they usually begin this at

the time they start growing the golf course in.

 

Item #15 regarding stormwater management was noted.  With regarding to the emergency

spillway comment (Item a), Mr. Canales stated where this is shown on the plan is the

natural low point and it cannot be moved to any other location. Only when there are storms

that exceed the 25 year storm, will water come out of the spillway and they feel comfortable

with the current design.  Mr. Roeper asked if the parcel that would be impacted, while

currently vacant, could be built upon.  Mr. Canales stated this would be difficult to say

since that parcel does have woodlands and wetlands.  He stated water currently does go

in that direction and they have substantially reduced the flow. 

 

Item b. regarding the existing pond was noted and Mr. Canales stated they have looked at

this and are satisfied with the plan.

 

Item c. regarding the drainage/depression areas was noted, and Mr. Canales stated they

have reviewed this and are satisfied with the plan.

 

With regard to Item d., which relates to the safety ledge, Mr. Roeper asked if there is a

normal design for this.  Mr. Arterburn stated the water level in the pond will fluctuate.  He

stated RBA has designed the shelf at 2’ rather than one foot as recommended by the Bucks

County Planning Commission for aesthetic reasons.  Mr. Roeper asked that they discuss

this again with the Planning Commission but he feels 2’ seems reasonable in light of the

fluctuation of depth.  Mr. Shavel asked what will be done to keep children away from this

area in the winter. Mr. Arterburn stated there will be full-time employees at the facility all

year.  Mr. Shavel asked about signage, and Mr. Arterburn stated they could do this.

 

Item e. with regard to sediment forebay and water quality inlets was noted.  Mr. Arterburn

stated they received the comments from Bucks County Soil Erosion Control who are the

experts, and they did not have any of the concerns that Bucks County Planning 

Commission is noting.  Mr. Roeper stated he felt that they were concerned about on-going

sediment, not necessarily that which occurs during construction. Mr. Arterburn stated the

course will be heavily turfed once it is grown in, and he does not feel there is a need for a

 

 

July 22, 2002                                                                 Planning Commission - page 4 of 6

 

 

forebay. Mr. Canales stated he agrees with Mr. Arterburn that once the course is

established, there should not be a problem.  Detention Basin #3 has the parking lot run off

and this will be a dry basin.  Mr. Roeper suggested that they review this again with the

Bucks County Planning Commission.

 

Item f. was noted regarding the basin plantings.  Mr. Arterburn stated Basin #3 is a feature

on the Golf course and they did receive a waiver on this from the Planning Commission.

Mr. Arterburn suggested that the Bucks County Planning Commission be provided a copy

of the 4/22/02 letter where the Waivers which were granted are outlined as well as the

Variances which were received. 

 

Item #15 refers to the gas line easement which was discussed previously this evening.

Mr. Arterburn noted that there was a list of items included in the Williams letter and he

would recommend that rather than do most of this work, they sign the Responsibility

Agreement instead which they have indicated they will be forwarding to the Township. 

 

Item #17 regarding sewage facilities was noted, and Mr. Arterburn noted this issue has

been resolved.

 

Mr. Taylor stated there was some discussion about the Type I Landscape Buffer

requirements, and the Zoning Hearing Board is allowing them to discuss this with the

individual homeowners.  If no agreement can be reached, they will install the Type I

Buffer.  Mr. Arterburn stated they have already had discussions with four adjacent

residents about the tee locations, and the drawings have been revised in this regard. 

 

Mr. Arterburn stated the only outstanding item is the letter to be received from the Bucks

County Conservation District which they expect to receive shortly.  Mr. Hackman stated

they are trying to move the Golf Course along as quickly as possibly and have been in the

review process for five months. He asked that the Planning Commission consider granting

approval with the provision that they satisfy the few outstanding items so that they can

proceed to the Board of Supervisors. He stated the Township Planning Commission has

done this in the past routinely.  Mr. Hackman stated the Bucks County Planning

Commission comments are advisory and he feels that they have already addressed all of the

Lower Makefield Township Planning Commission concerns.  Mr. Roeper stated until they

can satisfy the Planning Commission with respect to the water and course safety issues,

they will not recommend approval.  Mr. Hackman stated it was indicated this evening that

the Golf Course architect is involved with the Society cited by the Bucks County Planning

Commission and he knows of no such standards.  Mr. Arterburn stated he is not sure what

they can do to satisfy the Planning Commission’s concerns other than to have

Mr. Jacobsen put something down on paper indicating he feels this lay out is appropriate

from a safety standpoint. 

 

Mr. Roeper suggested that the Golf Course be scheduled for review at the next Planning

Commission meeting to be held on August 12, 2002.

 

 

#511 - MISKIEL/DARRAH - PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. James McMaster was present and stated he feels they have met all issues that have been

raised. He noted the CKS letter and stated they will comply with all items. 

 

July 22, 2002                                                                   Planning Commission - page 5 of 6

 

 

The PCS letter dated 6/6/02 was noted.  Item #1 was noted, and Mr. McMaster stated they

are requesting Fee-In-Lieu. 

 

Item #2 was noted and Mr. McMaster stated they are requesting a Waiver.

 

Item #3 was noted, and Mr. McMaster stated they are requesting that any frontage

improvements be deferred until building permits are applied for.

 

They will comply with Item #4 which relates to the CKS letter.

 

Mr. McMaster stated Items #5 and #6 relate to the wetlands.  He stated he disagrees with

Skelly & Loy.  He provided a copy of the Ordinance section which relates to this matter. 

They feel the proposed dwelling as shown is a buildable lot based on the houses in Lower

Makefield.  They feel they comply with the Ordinance.  Mr. Roeper stated from a planning

standpoint, the lot does not look very attractive.  He stated in the past they discussed the

possibility of a lot being carved out in the upper left hand corner of the property so they 

have access to Schuyler and asked why this was not considered.   Mr. McMaster stated

there is a small strip of land that is not part of this property which is owned by the Bucks

County Conservancy. Mr. Koopman stated the Township has now taken title to this land. 

Mr. McMaster stated if the Township would allow access across this strip, this would

make Mr. Roeper’s suggestion viable.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels the Board of

Supervisors may consider an easement for a driveway across this and that location would

seem to be far better than what they are currently showing.  Mr. McMaster stated they

would also like to see any house that is built on Parcel 1 to be as far away from Parcel #2

as possible.  Mr. Roeper asked if they would be willing to discuss this with the Board of

Supervisors, and Mr. McMaster stated he has already discussed this with Mr. Garton who

indicated they could discuss it with the Board when they go before them with their Plan.

 

Mr. Roeper moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Revised Minor Subdivision Plan for

Miskiel/Darrah in accordance with the Plans dated 10/14/98, last revised 5/7/02, sheet 2 of

2 dated 5/23/00, last reviewed 10/26/00 subject to the PCS letter dated 6/6/02 with the

exception that the Planning Commission recommends the location of a proposed dwelling

on Lot #1 be moved to the southwest corner of the property adjacent to Schuyler Road and

that the Board of Supervisors favorably consider granting an easement across the 10’

easement owned by the Township so as to permit the proposed residence access to

Schuyler Road opposite the Hudson Drive area.

 

 

MASTER PLAN UPDATE

 

Mr. Roeper stated he sent a letter to the Bucks County Planning Commission regarding the

mailing of the citizen questionnaire.  It will be mailed 8/21 or 8/22/02 with a return deadline

of 9/6/02.  The printer will need the camera-ready copy by August 7.  Mr. Roeper reviewed

the printing and mailing costs and it is anticipated that these costs will be approximately

$310 more than was budgeted because of increases in postage and printing charges.  The

Planning Commission will hold a work session on September 9 following the regular

meeting in order to review the questionnaires received by the Township before they are sent

to the Bucks County Planning Commission.  Mr. Roeper noted eight out of seventeen

questionnaires have been received from the Department Heads and other Boards and

Commissions.  He is expecting to receive three more this week and he will follow up with

July 22, 2002                                                                   Planning Commission - page 6 of 6

 

those who do not respond.  He asked that the Bucks County Planning Commission prepare

draft news releases,  information for the Township Website, and a draft Agenda for the

public meetings to be held in September and that these drafts be received in August for

review.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Roeper noted the letter in the packet from Mr. Fedorchak regarding the Rosebank Winery and asked that this item be put on the Agenda for the next Planning Commission meeting. 

 

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

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        Albert Roeper, Chairman