TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - JANUARY 13, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on January 13, 2003. Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission: Albert Roeper, Chairman

John Pazdera, Vice Chairman

Michael Shavel, Secretary

Deborah Gould, Member

 

Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

John Koopman, Township Solicitor

James Majewski, Township Engineer

Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

Captain Thomas Roche, Police Department (left meeting

in progress)

 

 

REORGANIZATION: ELECTION OF OFFICERS

 

The meeting was turned over to Mr. Koopman at this time. Mr. Koopman called for nominations for Chairman of the Planning Commission for the year 2003. Mr. Pazdera moved and Ms. Gould seconded the nomination of Albert Roeper as Chairman for the year 2003. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

The meeting was turned over to Mr. Roeper who called for nominations for Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission for the year 2003. Ms. Gould moved and Mr. Shavel seconded the nomination of John Pazdera as Vice Chairman for the year 2003. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Roeper called for nominations for Secretary of the Planning Commission for the

year 2003. Ms. Gould moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded the nomination of Michael Shavel as Secretary for the year 2003. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

#205-D - APPROVAL OF PROPOSED RENOVATIONS FOR THE SUPER FRESH SUPERMARKET

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present and stated last fall A & P, the owner of the

Super Fresh Supermarket chain, submitted a Land Development Plan for the former

location of the Super G in the Oxford Oaks Shopping Center. He noted they are proposing

a second entrance/exit to the store which is shown on the drawing. Associated with this

was the proposed extension of a sidewalk/ramp with a depressed curb. Mr. Murphy stated

they received a number of reviews and submitted a set of revised plans which in turn

generated additional reviews. In the first week of December, they received a review from

the Police Department, and they have tried to address those concerns. Their engineer

prepared sketches which were provided to the Township engineer and Captain Roche, and

January 13, 2003 Planning Commission - page 2 of 6

 

 

this evening they have available what they feel is a plan that will address the concerns of

Captain Roche and the Township engineer. Copies of the plan were provided this evening.

 

Mr. Roeper asked why they want to have two entrances so far apart. Mr. Paul Vendicino

stated it is for customer convenience and product presentation. They feel it will help

increase sales and keep the store viable. He stated they also feel it will take better

advantage of the parking field. Both locations will be ingress and egress.

 

Ms. Gould asked about the hours of operation, and Mr. Murphy stated there are no

changes proposed from what was previously approved. He also noted the space inside will

be utilized the same as it was when it was a Super G although some departments may be in

different locations. He stated a full-service restaurant is not proposed inside the store.

They will meet Ordinance requirements with regard to signage.

 

Mr. Murphy noted the sketch presented this evening shows the addition of an eight foot

wide pedestrian crosswalk, four new handicap spaces, and additional stop bars. He stated

the depressed curb will also be shortened.

 

After review of the drawing, Captain Roche agreed that this proposal does address his

concerns.

 

Ms. Gould noted the addition of a five foot crosswalk. Captain Roche stated this will add

to the convenience for those parking in the handicap spaces. Mr. Pazdera stated this is an

ADA requirement. Mr. Pazdera stated they may have to cut back on the landscaping in

order to see people crossing.

 

Captain Roche noted the designation on the plan showing the existing columns and asked about the distance between the columns. The plans show it is either 25 or 35. Captain Roche asked if they could install bollards or some similar structure in line with the aisles to

prevent cars from coming up into this area. Mr. Murphy agreed to look into this.

 

Mr. Shavel asked if there are existing cart collection areas in the parking lot, and

Mr. Vendicino stated they have a designated employee to pick up carts as well as an area

inside the store where carts are available. He noted for this size store, they would only have to install two cart collection areas in the parking lot which would take up two of the parking spaces.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if the work will be done by the owner of the shopping center, and

Mr. Vendicino stated it will be done by the tenant - Super Fresh. Mr. Roeper stated he

feels there is a safety problem in the shopping center with cars attempting to access the

Sovereign Bank. He showed Mr. Murphy on the plan how people are currently accessing

the Bank. Captain Roche has suggested that a few parking spaces be eliminated and stop

signs installed as well as appropriate stripping at areas shown by Mr. Roeper on the plan.

Mr. Roeper stated a Waiver may be required because of the loss of parking spaces, but

he feels this will result in a safer condition. Mr. Murphy asked that PCS sketch something

out and provide a letter describing what they would like to see, and Mr. Murphy will

contact the owner of the shopping center.

 

 

 

 

January 13, 2003 Planning Commission - page 3 of 6

 

 

Mr. Pazdera moved and Ms. Gould seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors

approval of the Super Fresh Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan, according to the

supplementary sketch received 1/13/03 subject to:

 

1) Compliance with the PCS letter dated 11/27/02.

 

In addition, the Planning Commission recommends installation of bollards or some other

device such as planters at the end of the drive aisles between the existing columns to

prevent vehicles from going into the front of the store. The Planning Commission also

recommends necessary adjustments to the landscaping and berming at the new 8 wide

crosswalk to be created subject to approval by PCS and Captain Roche.

 

There was no public comment, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

Captain Roche left the meeting at this time.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION ON PROPOSED AGE-QUALIFIED ORDINANCE

 

Mr. Roeper stated he met with Ms. Frick and Mr. Majewski to consider recommendations

on the proposed changes to R-2, R-3, and R-3M areas where there are at least one or more

undeveloped tracts of land of at least ten acres. There are no undeveloped tracts of ten

acres or more remaining in the R-4 zone. The worksheet prepared was reviewed by the

Planning Commission this evening with copies provided to interested members of the

audience.

 

Mr. Roeper stated if the Board of Supervisors so decides, they could take the presently-

proposed Ordinance and broaden it to include this additional criteria for the other zones.

 

Mr. Gary Cruzan stated he feels this will accelerate the development of the rest of the

Township. He stated he feels the average person living in the Township would like to see

development of the Township slow down and by making this additional option available to

developers in the other zones, it will do the opposite. He stated he is not against Age-

Qualified housing, but feels they should consider this concern.

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors has presently proposed this option in the R-1

zone only; and the Planning Commission has commented on their proposal including the

comment that if they permit this in R-1, they should also permit it in the other zones.

Whether or not the Ordinance is amended is a decision to be made by the Board of

Supervisors, but Mr. Roeper stated he feels from a planning viewpoint, it is proper to do a

uniform job.

 

Mr. Cruzan stated he feels the Board of Supervisors should consider what they are doing

since they may be accelerating the development of the remaining land in the Township.

 

Mr. Roeper stated in going through the Ordinance, there is a provision which applies to

single-family attached dwellings which could also apply to these smaller lots, calling for a

barrier to provide privacy for the occupants. He stated they may want to consider

something similar to this either as a requirement or a suggestion for an age-qualified

development. Ms. Gould stated while she does see the benefit of this, she is concerned

that the property will already be crowded and the addition of more structures, will make

January 13, 2003 Planning Commission - page 4 of 6

 

 

this situation worse. Mr. Roeper stated most of these will be Condominium Developments

and unless it is made an option in the initial offering, they will be giving the Committee that

oversees the operation of the Condo Association real problems if one homeowner wants to

have a fence and the other does not. Ms. Gould stated she feels this would be a decision

for the developer if he wants to install something and in turn take some space away from

the building. She stated if there were no fences, it would make it appear more open.

Ms. Frick stated if someone comes in and requests a fence, if it is not included in the deeds

or covenants and is not proposed to be placed in an easement, they could be issued a

permit.

 

Ms. Gould asked if they are still only considering single-family dwellings or if duplexes

and quads could be considered in the Age-Qualified developments. It was noted duplexes

are only proposed for the R-3 zone since this is the only zone out of those being discussed

that permits this type of housing. R-4 would permit duplexes, but there are no tracts of

sufficient size left to be developed in R-4. R-1 and R-2 permit only single-family

dwellings. Ms. Gould stated she feels this will rule out a large number of people in Lower

Makefield who may want to live in an Age-Qualified community but because only single-

family homes will be offered, this will result in a higher cost and they will be pricing

Lower Makefield residents out of this type of community. She stated she would be more in

favor of a development such as Flowers Mill.

 

Mr. Shavel stated he feels that the Supervisors are attempting to superimpose Age-Restricted housing on the existing Ordinance rather than looking fully at Age-Restricted Housing at the time they consider the Master Plan in its entirety. He feels that the Supervisors need to take the time to look into this matter and feels what they are now doing is premature.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated the more this matter is discussed, the more he feels they should give

further consideration to the matter.

 

Mr. Cruzan stated he agrees and feels it should be discussed when they consider the Master

Plan.

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert asked why there is a requirement to set aside 50% of the land as open

space. Mr. Koopman stated the 50% requirement originally was suggested by a private

developer. In the existing Agriculture Preservation Development option, there is a

requirement to preserve 50%, and this is probably why the developer came up with the

50% number for the Age-Restricted community. Ms. Torbert stated this is why she feels

they are pricing the homes out of the ability of Lower Makefield residents to pay. She

stated if the developer can only build on 50% of the land, and can build only single-family

homes, the prices of the homes he builds would have to be high due to land prices in

Lower Makefield. She stated unless they let the developer build more units, it will not be

economically feasible for a developer to construct this type of housing. Ms. Frick stated

they will not be required to meet the same setbacks as required in typical R-1 developments. They will therefore be able to get more homes on the same land.

Mr. Koopman stated a greater density is also proposed for an Age-Qualified development than in typical development. Ms. Torbert stated at the Board of Supervisors meeting they indicated the density would be 1.5. Mr. Koopman stated that number was based on gross acreage. The Planning Commission advised that all other densities were based on net buildable and they wanted it to be consistent.

 

January 13, 2003 Planning Commission - page 5 of 6

 

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors previously agreed to table the proposed

Ordinance to permit Age-Qualified housing in R-1 to give the Planning Commission a

chance to make a recommendation. At their meeting on December 9, the Planning

Commission proposed changes to the Ordinance. The Planning Commission also recommended that the Board of Supervisors table the Ordinance until a more comprehensive review by the Planning Commission could be done including a review of all Zoning Districts. The Board of Supervisors gave the Planning Commission permission to do this. Mr. Roeper stated if the Planning Commission does not make a recommendation this evening, he feels the matter will come up for action and the Board of Supervisors may pass it. Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does not feel there is a strong sense of urgency by the Board to pass this, and every time they discuss it, it raises more issues. He feels the Board of Supervisors may feel that they too need more time to consider this.

 

Mr. Shavel moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors

that they table the proposed Age-Restricted Housing Ordinance in R-1 and allow the

Planning Commission adequate time to address it as part of the Master Plan review that is

currently under way. If the Board of Supervisors does not wish to table, they should give consideration to the recommendations contained in the memo of 12/11/02 wherein the Planning Commission proposed changes to the Ordinance currently under consideration. This should be done only if the Board of Supervisors feels it is absolutely necessary that they pass the Ordinance. It is noted that these are the minimum requirements the Planning

Commission has to date.

 

Ms. Dana Weyrick asked if they would recommend that the public be involved, and

Mr. Roeper stated the public is always welcome to attend the Planning Commission and

Board of Supervisors meetings.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

MPC AMENDMENT - HOME BASED BUSINESS DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Roeper noted the information in the packet regarding the change in the MPC dealing

with Home Based Businesses. He stated it seems Lower Makefield Township has already

covered all the bases that the MPC brings up. He stated the existing Lower Makefield

Township Code is actually much more detailed that the MPC amendment. Mr. Koopman

stated he does not feel any changes are required to meet the MPC amendment.

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN UPDATE

 

Mr. Roeper noted the memo from Ms. Bush indicated they are continuing to work on the

Update. He stated at the next meeting of the Planning Commission, the Edgewood Village

planning group and the Historic Commission will be making a presentation with respect to

their new plans for the Village. Ms. Bush or a representative from the Bucks County

Planning Commission will be in attendance at that meeting.

 

Mr. Roeper stated a rough draft of the Master Plan will hopefully be provided by

January 27. Mr. Roeper stated he feels they will be ready for a public meeting at the

second meeting of the Planning Commission in February.

 

January 13, 2003 Planning Commission - page 6 of 6

 

 

DOLINGTON GROUP TRACT CONDITIONAL USE DISCUSSION

 

Ms. Frick noted information on the Dolington Group Tract located in Upper Makefield was

provided to Lower Makefield by the Upper Makefield Code Enforcement Officer. She

noted that PCS is also the Township engineer for Upper Makefield so Mr. Majewski is

familiar with the plans. The Planning Commission was given time to review the plans this

evening. Mr. Majewski stated 308 homes are proposed. He stated his office reviewed the

plans with the Upper Makefield Planning Commission and a number of concerns were

expressed including access routes and impact of traffic on the Village of Dolington historic

homes. Mr. Majewski stated the impact on Lower Makefield would be traffic going onto

Lindenhurst and Dolington Roads. He stated they have a number of traffic improvements

proposed including the installation of three additional traffic lights.

 

Ms. Gould moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors

that when they consider the request from Upper Makefield Township to review the Toll

Bros. plans for the Dolington Group tract, that the Planning Commission recommends the

continuation of Route 532 to by-pass the Old Dolington Road intersections and that they

match the exit for the First Baptist Church across from the development on Stoopville

Road. Mr. Shavel moved to amend the Motion to include the further recommendation that

the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors discuss with the Upper Makefield Supervisors

the impact on Lindenhurst Road which will be exacerbated by the proposed developments.

The amendment was accepted, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Shavel seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 p.m.

 

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

Michael Shavel, Secretary