The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on January 28, 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


Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
Douglas Maloney, Township Solicitor
Duke Doherty, Township Engineer
Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison


Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Secretary


Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of November 26, 2001 as corrected.

Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of December 10, 2001 as corrected.


Mr. Edward Murphy was present and stated he was asked to grant an additional extension of time as well as an update on the Plan. He stated the latest review from the Township engineer is slightly more than one year old. After that review, a meeting was held among the consultants to go over the review letter; and in March all of the consultants met with Mr. Doherty to go over the review letter in detail. Mr. Doherty had recommended that an off-site storm sewer easement should be obtained from an adjoining property owner. The Applicant considered whether they should acquire just the easement or acquire the entire five acre site. The Church has been actively involved in trying to obtain either the entire parcel or the easement. He stated the property is owned by two different organizations which has made the acquisition difficult. He stated the property on the north side of the Churchís property, which is the remnant of the Robert Flowers property has now been put under Agreement of Sale with the Elliott Group; and he has been told that the Elliott Group is also trying to obtain the same piece of property that the Church has been trying to acquire.

Mr. Roeper asked if there was anything the Planning Commission could do to help this situation, and Mr. Murphy stated he did not believe so. Mr. Murphy stated the developer has expressed interest in purchasing the Churchís property as well, but they are not interested in selling.

Ms. Frick stated they have received an Extension until May 5, 2002.


Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, Mr. Mark Elser, and Mr. John Hako were present.

Mr. Murphy noted the PCS review letter dated 1/22/02. Mr. Murphy stated the site is almost 21 acres and is zoned R-2. It has frontage on both Stony Hill and Oxford Valley Roads. They are proposing 17 single family lots, with 12 acres of open space along Oxford Valley Road. All lots will have public sewer and water. Since the Plans were submitted they have seen the normal review letter. He stated they feel there are only a few items that require input from the Planning Commission in the PCS letter. Most are standard technical items or "will comply." They are also requesting several waivers.

Mr. Murphy noted Item #6 on Page 2 of the PCS letter which is a waiver request which is supported by PCS. This would permit access to the stormwater detention basin to be through a sanitary sewer easement that is 30í wide. Mr. Murphy stated they would therefore not have to disturb additional trees. Mr. Murphy stated the sewer engineer did not specifically object to this, and Mr. Doherty stated he did not feel this would be a problem as it has been done in the past. Mr. Murphy stated it is the proper width.

Mr. Murphy noted Item #9 on Page 2. He stated their Plan shows a sidewalk along the Stony Hill Road frontage. The Master Plan calls for a bikepath. Mr. Murphy stated he assumes they will be asked to substitute a bikepath for the sidewalk they are now showing.

Mr. Doherty stated there is nothing in this area at the current time on Stony Hill Road, and he would therefore suggest that the Township accept Fee-In-Lieu. Mr. Murphy stated they will provide a Note on the Plan that Fee-In-Lieu will be provided. Mr. Murphy stated there is sufficient line of sight for the bikepath shown on the Plan.

Item #10 was noted regarding improvements along Oxford Valley Road. Mr. Murphy asked what improvements they would like to see on Oxford Valley Road. He noted the site frontage is heavily wooded, and they are not showing any improvements. They recognize that if they did not do any of the improvements, they would still be required to contribute the cost savings to the Township. Mr. Doherty stated the bikepath is at Hidden Oaks and does extend to this property. He stated they could take it to Mill Run or extend it the entire length of the property. He did discuss this with Mr. Coyne who indicated he would like to see the road widened. He did not get specific details on this from Mr. Coyne. Mr. Pazdera stated he feels they should take the bikepath to Hearthstone and the widening and installation of curbs all the way down.

With regard to the Natural Resource Plan Item #1, it was noted they should pay Fee-In-Lieu of recreation.

Item #5 under Grading and Utility Plan was noted which is a waiver request for discharge of the detention basin. It was noted PCS would support the waiver and this was acceptable to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Murphy stated there are some technical items, and the engineers will meet to discuss these items.

Mr. Pazdera noted the building envelopes on some of these lots will most likely result in the need for the homeowners to obtain Variances if they want to do anything to the rear of their homes. Mr. Roeper stated possibly a Note could be placed on the Plans alerting potential homeowners that they will need to obtain Variances if they want to put any additions onto their properties, and Mr. Murphy stated this has been done in the past.

Mr. Joe Timlan, 1209 Longmeadow asked the average square footage of the homes to be built. and Mr. Elser stated they will be approximately 3,000 square feet and will be similar to the other homes in the area.

Mr. John Torbert, 1396 Oxford Valley Road, stated he understands road improvements will be needed on the other side of the street. Mr. Murphy stated the improvements will be on the developerís side of the street. Mr. Torbert stated he has had an ongoing problem since the road widening was stopped adjacent to his property, and has caused his driveway to wash out. He stated he has received no help from the Township in this matter. He stated he lives next to Mill Run Estates. Mr. Roeper stated since the development under discussion this evening is on the opposite side of the street from Mr. Torbertís property, he does not feel this developer can be required to put curbing or widening in front of Mr. Torbertís property. Mr. Roeper stated he feels only the Board of Supervisors can correct Mr. Torbertís problem. Mr. Doherty stated there was an inlet installed above Mr. Torbertís property by the Township to help this situation.

Mr. Warren Marr, 1203 Longmeadow Lane, stated when he purchased his home from Realen he asked Realen what would be going in on the other side of the cul-de-sac and Realen advised that twelve to fourteen homes would be built. He specifically asked if there would be a tie in to Stony Hill Road and Oxford Valley Road and was advised that the Zoning was not approved for a tie in. He is now concerned about a cut through on a road that was not built to accommodate this. He stated Realen lied to him. Mr. Roeper stated he does not feel Realen had any right to state this.

Mr. Mike Mondolari, 1207 Long Meadow Lane, stated there is already speeding going on in this area, and people will now be cutting through. He asked if the road has to be cut through for only seventeen homes. Mr. Roeper stated the Police and emergency personnel do not like long cul-de-sacs which would be the result if they did not open that entrance into Longmeadow. Mr. Tofel stated there is an Ordinance requirement that the connections be made.

Mr. John Sullivan, Stony Hill Road, stated he is concerned about the traffic on Stony Hill Road and the increase of traffic this development will bring in. He is also concerned about an additional access onto Stony Hill Road. He is concerned about water run off since he already has a problem coming from Hidden Oaks. He is concerned that he will now be between these two developments. Mr. Sullivan stated he does not have public water and sewer and would be interested in tying into the public systems. Mr. Roeper suggested Mr. Sullivan may be able to work out an arrangement with the developer to get public water and sewer. This would also require Township approval. Mr. Doherty stated there is a recommendation from CKS about servicing Mr. Sullivanís property. Mr. Murphy stated they are willing to look into this. Mr. Roeper stated Mr. Sullivan should be aware that eventually Stony Hill Road will be widened. Mr. Murphy stated PennDOT will review their Application when the Permit is submitted. Mr. Roeper suggested Mr. Sullivan look at the grading plans to see how the slope will impact his property. Mr. Sullivan stated he would also like to request that a privacy fence be installed along the property line.

Mr. Mitch Goldberg, 534 S. Ridge Circle, stated Mr. Roeper at a previous meeting stated "the Stony Hill Road entrance is precarious because of the curves and sight distances."

Mr. Murphy stated the Plan is essentially the same as the Plan which was shown last August. The other option was to look at an access on Oxford Valley Road but there were other issues involved with that option. He stated they have met with PennDOT and believe the Stony Hill access point is satisfactory and meets all PennDOT requirements. He stated

the number of lots has been reduced, but the access point remains the same as was previously shown. Mr. Roeper stated the alternative was less acceptable so they therefore are proceeding with this access. Mr. Doherty stated on a State Road, PennDOT will not deny access if they can meet their criteria, and the Township does not have a say in this.

Ms. Melanie Cantwell asked if they are curving the road to the right or straight to the cul-de-sac. Mr. Doherty stated the bulb of the cul-de-sac will be removed. There will be a slight curve at the property line, and the curb line will line up with the existing curb. It will be beyond Ms. Cantwellís property before it turns to the right. Mr. Tofel showed

Ms. Cantwell her property on the Plan, and it was noted this will result in an increased front yard for Ms. Cantwell. Ms. Cantwell asked when this will occur, and Mr. Murphy stated the earliest would be late this year, or early the following year. Ms. Cantwell asked how much of a buffer will remain between her property and the two lots that will back up to her. Mr. Hako stated they are going to send a field crew out and identify which trees will be removed. One gentleman asked why trees are being taken out, and Mr. Hako stated they need to clear out trees to meet lot size. Ms. Cantwell asked what could be done so that the cul-de-sac could remain, and Mr. Murphy stated the Township would have to approve a Waiver to permit the cul-de-sac that exceeds the permitted length.

Mr. Mondolari asked if they could have one access to the development from Longmeadow since this would result in the same situation they have on Longmeadow at the current time.

Mr. Doherty stated he feels the Police Department would need to be consulted on this. It was noted it is 870 feet from the intersection of Longmeadow Lane to the intersection of Stony Hill Road.

Ms. Marianne Kuzma, 442 Stony Hill Road, noted problems with people making left turns onto Stony Hill Road which will cause backs ups.

Mr. Marr noted there are a number of other developments which have long cul-de-sacs. He noted in particular the Quaker Development which was recently built. He also noted there could be an emergency only access at Longmeadow Lane.

Mr. Sullivan asked how far back the first home will be from Stony Hill Road, and Mr. Hako stated the center of Lot #1 would be 155í feet from the center of the road.

Mr. Mike Spielberger, 1213 Longmeadow Lane, stated they have known that something would be constructed in this area and he has actually spoken to the developer and their solicitor. He stated the residents also asked the Township to keep them informed and nothing happened. He stated they just received a letter Friday indicating that the meeting was this evening, and they would have liked to discussed the matter with the builder before the Plans were submitted. He stated they feel the Township should have advised them how they could get involved in this process. Mr. Spielberger stated one of their concerns was with the total buildable area since it was a wooded lot. They had heard that there were only 3.9 buildable acres. Mr. Roeper stated this is the first time the Planning Commission has met to discuss the Preliminary Plan in public. The prior discussions have all been with Sketch Plans. Mr. Murphy stated he is the solicitor for the applicant and the residents never spoke to him. He stated he received a copy of the PCS review letter Wednesday, and Ms. Frick asked at that time if there were items which they felt needed to be discussed with the Planning Commission. Ms. Frick then put the notices out to the residents which they received on Friday. Ms. Frick stated the Plan is available at the Township office for public review during office hours. Mr. Hako stated there are thirteen acres of woods on the site, and the site capacity allows for disturbance of 30% of the wooded acres. Mr. Spielberger stated he feels more of the tract is wooded than they have indicated.

Mr. Tim Higgins, 538 S. Ridge Circle, asked about the detention basin. He asked how far away from the current development will the detention basin be located. Mr. Hako estimated it to be approximately 150í from the property line. They will have to clear the vegetation the width of the easement to connect to the sewer line. He noted they have not identified individual trees on the site yet to know which trees, if any, need to be removed.

Mr. Doherty stated they may be able to go under the trees. Mr. Hako stated the detention basin will be built according to Township specs and will be planted in wetland vegetation.

Mr. Murphy stated when they re-submit the Plans, they will provide more details on this.

Mr. Russ McConnell, 1200 Longmeadow, asked if the Planning Commission will make a decision this evening, and Mr. Roeper stated this is only a review and the Applicant needs to make a number of changes before the Planning Commission will consider taking action.

Mr. McConnell asked if the residents will be notified of future meetings, and Mr. Roeper stated they will again receive notice of the meeting.

Mr. Tofel asked if it would be possible to make a conceptual drawing of what it would look like to tie into Oxford Valley Road and put the cul-de-sac at the top of Stony Hill Road, eliminating the road that ties to Longmeadow. Mr. Tofel stated he would prefer the traffic to go out onto Oxford Valley Road where the vision lines are better than they are on Stony Hill Road. Mr. Doherty stated he feels they looked at the sight distances of Oxford Valley Road and the Stony Hill Road sight distances were more favorable. Mr. Hako stated there are also some steep slopes in the area. Mr. Murphy agreed to show the Planning Commission the sketches.

Mr. Murphy stated they would be willing to have an emergency-only access to Longmeadow if this is what the Township desires. He noted, however, he is not sure how the emergency service people would feel about this. Mr. Murphy agreed to discuss this with them. Mr. Doherty stated this would force everyone to go out to Stony Hill Road.


Mr. Roeper stated he had discussions with the representative from the Bucks County Planning Commission, and they will have a draft of the questionnaire that is to be distributed to key people to put in the Planning Commission packet on February 7 or 8.

The questionnaire for the residents should be available February 21 or 22. Between now and February 8, Mr. Roeper will be trying to get the names and address of all the key people to whom the questionnaire should be sent.


Mr. Roeper stated he has information regarding Home Rule available for Planning Commission review if anyone is interested. He noted there was some discussion about the Township going to Home Rule.

Mr. Roeper read into the record a letter dated 1/16/02 from Edward Koch submitting his resignation from the Planning Commission effective immediately. Mr. Roeper stated he is forwarding this to the Board of Supervisors along with a memorandum which he read to the Planning Commission members. In it he has suggested that the Board of Supervisors acknowledge Mr. Kochís service to the Township in some appropriate fashion for his twenty-six years of service to the Township. The Planning Commission accepted Mr. Kochís letter of resignation and provided the letter to Ms. Frick. Mr. Roeper also read into the record a letter he has written on behalf of the Planning Commission that he will send to Mr. Koch.

There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.