TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - AUGUST 26, 2002

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on August 26, 2002.  Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Albert Roeper, Chairman

                                                Ron Tofel, Vice Chairman

                                                John Pazdera, Member

                                                Michael Shavel, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Secretary

 

 

ZONING HEARING BOARD APPEAL #02-1160 RECOMMENDATION OF SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR CAROLYN SUNDSTROM

 

Ms. Carolyn Sundstrom was present with Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney.  Mr. Murphy

stated they are proposing a Class 4 Home Occupation for Ms. Sundstrom as a licensed

professional counselor.  The property is in the R-1 District.  Mr. Murphy noted the Plan

that accompanied the Application.  The matter is scheduled to be heard by the Zoning

Hearing Board on September 17, 2002. 

 

Ms. Sundstrom stated she does career counseling which can include other issues such as

grief counseling or matters related to divorce.  She is licensed by the State of Pennsylvania

under Marriage and Family Counseling.  Mr. Koopman suggested she bring a copy of her

License when she is before the Zoning Hearing Board.  Ms. Sundstrom stated she would

see an individual once a week for a fifty-minute session.  She only sees one person at a

time except in rare cases when she may meet with a couple. 

 

Mr. Murphy noted on the Plan the slate porch where there is a separate entrance into the

area of the home where she proposes to have her practice.  The three parking spaces shown

are already in existence and these are in addition to the two-car garage.  No additions are

proposed to the property. 

 

Ms. Sundstrom stated she is the owner of the property which she purchased in June.

 

Mr. Tofel stated it appears that the only change to the property would be a sign, and

Mr. Murphy stated they are proposing a sign and they will comply with the Ordinance

requirements.

 

There was no public comment.

 

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

the Zoning Hearing Board favorable consideration of the Special Excepiton of Appeal

#02-1160 for use of the property by a licensed professional counselor as outlined in the

Zoning Hearing Board Appeal.

 

 

#531 - METZ TRACT PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, Mr. Bill Briegel, engineer, and Mr. Rick Mast, engineer,

were present.  Mr. Murphy stated the Planning Commission saw this Plan in mid-January

with a plan for thirty-one new building lots and the retention of the existing house.  After

that time, they met with the Board of Supervisors a number of times and at the Board’s

request and with the input of neighbors and others, the Plan was changed.  The Plan now

shows twenty-one new building lots.  The farmhouse will still be retained but the lot size

has been increased and will now be 4.3 acres.  The intent is to preserve the view of the

farmhouse from Dolington Road.  They are also preserving the large trees that front on

Dolington Road.  Mr. Murphy noted on the Plan the fifty foot wide strip which they intend

to convey to each of the four existing property owners so that the driveway will become a

private drive with emergency only access for the benefit of the Township.  It will be able to

support the weight of emergency vehicles.  Mr. Murphy also noted the eight acres of

ground to the north of the site that includes a stream corridor and heavy woods abutting to

the west the top portion of the Fiori property.  Previously lots were proposed to be built in

this area, but this will now be preserved under the new Plan.  This will be preserved

through a Conservation Easement and the Township will have the option as to who will

own it.  There is access from the interior street if the Township chooses to own this

ground.  The two detention basins were noted on the Plan.

 

Mr. Tofel asked if there is any historic value to the buildings they are proposing to remove,

and Mr. Briegel stated there is not.  Mr. Murphy noted on the Plan the one stone

outbuilding they will preserve along with the farmhouse. 

 

Mr. Shavel asked who will own the farmhouse, and Mr. Murphy stated it will be sold to a

private individual subject to a Conservation Easement.  He added that the apartments on the

property will be removed.

 

Mr. Roeper stated he had heard about the possibility of adding Lot #17, the flag lot, to the

farmhouse lot for use as a doctor’s office or a Bed & Breakfast.  While no one was familiar

with this Plan, Mr. Stainthorpe stated there are some individuals who would like to see the

lot have a minimum of five acres so that it could be used as a museum.  The Township is

not involved in this, and this would be a separate group.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the

Township is not interested in owning the lot.  Mr. Murphy stated he was contacted by an

individual who expressed interest in purchasing the farmhouse and the lot behind it so there

would be one large lot.

 

Mr. Shavel asked about the length of Road A.  Mr. Murphy stated it is longer than

permitted by Ordinance and will require a Waiver.

 

The 8/20/02 PCS letter was noted.  Mr. Murphy noted Page #2 outlines the Waivers which

are required, and the Board of Supervisors has indicated they are aware that these would be

required in order to proceed with the Plan as it is now presented.    Mr. Murphy stated they

will comply with Items #3, #4, and #5.  With regard to Item #6 on Page #3, Mr. Murphy

stated the Army Corps has been out to the site and verbally approved the wetlands as

shown on the Plan; and the written confirmation should be received shortly.  They will

comply with Items #7, and #8.  Item #9 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated this relates to

the reduced cartway width and should be included as one of the Waivers.  This will not

compromise the ability of emergency vehicles to turn around.  Mr. Roeper stated he would

like a letter from the Fire Department on this.  Mr. Murphy noted that Item #10 is also a

Waiver request.   He stated no improvements are proposed to Dolington Road and such a

Waiver has been granted by the Township previously.  They will improve the Road at the

entrance.  They will comply with Item #11.  Page #4 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated

they will comply with all items on this Page.  Page #5 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated

they will comply with Items #23 through #29.  Items #30 and #31 under Stormwater

Management were noted.  Mr. Murphy stated this is similar to the situation with the

D’Amato Tract.  He stated this same treatment was done at the Valley Day School property

as well.  They are suggesting that in the design of the stormwater management calculations,

that they do not need to include the undisturbed portions of the site.  They will comply with

Items #32 through #34.

 

Mr. Murphy noted the letter from Mr. Yates dated 7/30/02 relating to the turning radius

wherein he asked that this be reviewed by PCS.  Mr. Majewski stated they feel what has

been proposed is suitable for turn around of emergency vehicles.  He stated they could

install “No Parking” signs around the cul-de-sac if the Township feels it is necessary.

Mr. Shavel stated he did not feel this was practical.  Mr. Roeper stated if the Fire Company

signs off on this, the Planning Commission will not have a problem with it.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they have received the 8/5/02 CKS letter and they have on issues with

it.

 

Mr. Roeper stated it was his understanding that there was some kind of agreement with the

Fiori family regarding access through the Metz tract.  Mr. Murphy stated there is a 1974

Agreement that attempted to describe where the access from the Metz property to the Fiori

property would go, but this is not where it is located today.  He stated this has been the

topic of discussions between the developer, and the Fioris and he feels this is a private

matter and does not involve the Township.   Mr. Roeper asked about a sewer easement.  

Mr. Briegel stated the Fiori property does have considerable frontage on Dolington Road. 

Mr. Murphy stated they will cooperate with CKS.

 

Mr. Roeper noted the Bucks County Planning Commission letter which was received

today.  Mr. Murphy stated many of these comments are the same as those already made by

other consultants.  Mr. Murphy stated they are not proposing a traffic study since they are

not proposing improvements to Dolington Road.  They are proposing Fee-In-Lieu of

Recreation.  Mr. Pazdera stated he would like them to consider extending the sidewalks as

suggested by the Bucks County Planning Commission in their letter.

 

Ms. Natalie Cruol noted the elevations on the site and her concern with the water going

down to her property.  She also asked the extent of the buffer, the lot sizes proposed and

the proposed selling price of the homes to be built.    Mr. Roeper stated after construction

there should actually be less water going onto her property because of the way it is

designed and the installation of detention basins.  Mr. Briegel noted the swales and storm

sewers that will take the water to the basin. The outlet structure takes the water out to

Dolington Road flowing easterly to Twining Road in an existing piping system.   No

buffers are required since it is two residential properties abutting each other.  Pricing has

not yet been set.  The minimum lot size required is 16,000 square feet and they are

proposing 18,000 minimum with an average of 22,000.  This equals lots of one-third to

one-half acre.  A number of lots are 3/4 to 1 acre in size.

 

Ms. Christine Palmer, Taylorsville Road, asked about the drainage and this was again

reviewed and noted on the Plan by Mr. Briegel.

 

Mr. Bill Hilton, Yardley Borough, stated he is present representing the Orchard Hill

Development.  He stated they are concerned that this water is going to eventually go to their

detention basin which the Orchard Hill homeowners are required to maintain.  Mr. Briegel

stated they are tying into an existing pipe that goes along the frontage.  He stated nothing is

being taken across the road where Orchard Hill is located.  Mr. Mast stated they have taken

the storm sewer system and diverted it into the new basins so it provides an additional level

of control.  He noted Lower Makefield requires that they reduce the stormwater on their site

50% from what it is currently.  Mr. Roeper asked what happens at the end of Dolington

Road when it meets Main Street.  Mr. Mast stated Dolington Road storm sewer system is a

PennDOT system which does cross and goes into that recharge system.  Mr. Koopman

noted the water is currently going in this direction.  Mr. Briegel stated the Township

requires that the developer reduce the run off by 50% and they will capture their run off in

the new basins.  There will therefore be less run off post development than there is

currently.  Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Hilton if Orchard Hill has an Agreement with PennDOT,

and Mr. Hilton stated they do not.  Mr. Murphy agreed to look into this matter further.

 

Ms. Pam Skinner, 233 Taylorsville Road, asked where the basin in the north is draining to.

Mr. Briegel stated it is to the natural stream corridor which currently exists and flows in an

easterly direction to the Canal.

 

Mr. Mike Chase, Dolington Road, expressed concern with the impact on the wildlife

currently living on this tract.

 

Mr. Bill Hilton asked if the northern basin is in the 100 year floodplain, and Mr. Briegel stated it is not.  After it is discharged it will sheet flow through the wetlands which is according to Best Management Practices as outlined by the DEP.

 

Mr. Warren Haas, Highland Drive, asked about the woods adjacent to his property, and

Mr. Murphy stated this is the eight acre tract which will not be disturbed and is the subject

of the Conservation Easement.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will revise the Plans to address the comments and come back

before the Planning Commission.

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN UPDATE

 

Mr. Roeper stated the questionnaires went out on Thursday, and he has been advised that

they were received by residents today.  He stated Ms. Bush was supposed to have had to

the Planning Commission by the middle of August a draft of the Agendas for the public

meetings to be held.  He has sent her a letter about this but has heard nothing.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Roeper reviewed the details of the approval by the Board of Supervisors of the Golf

Course.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.

 

                                                                       

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

                                                                        Albert Roeper, Chairman