TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - JULY 8, 2002

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on July 8, 2002.  Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Albert Roeper, Chairman

                                                Ron Tofel, Vice Chairman

                                                Deborah Gould, Secretary

                                                John Pazdera, Member

                                                Michael Shavel, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                Timothy Duffy, Township Solicitor

                                                Mario Canales, Township Engineer

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of 4/22/02 as corrected.

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of May 13, 2002 as written.

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Tofel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of June 24, 2002 as corrected.

 

 

APPROVAL OF D’AMATO TRACT FINAL PLAN

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Ms. Beverly Curtain.  Mr. Murphy stated

they met in early May with the Board of Supervisors who gave them Preliminary Plan

Approval.  A decision was made on the access so that there will be a full interconnection

with Long Meadow Lane and two cul-de-sacs with the provision that there be an

emergency access.  The Final Plans have been revised to show that decision made by the

Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Murphy stated the one issue that is left to be made is whether or not the open space area will be owned by the Township.

 

Mr. Murphy noted the CKS letter dated June 12, 2002 and the PCS letter dated June 18,

2002 and stated they do not have any issues with the items listed in these memos.  Item #2

of the PCS letter was noted and it was noted that the property will be conveyed to the two

abutting property owners.  They will prepare legal descriptions to this effect.  The

homeowners are satisfied with this decision. 

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2002                                                                     Planning Commission - page 2 of 5

 

 

There was discussion on the maintenance of the emergency access lane.  Mr. Murphy

stated there will be a Homeowners’ Association.  The other open space areas were shown

on the Plan, and Mr. Murphy stated he does not feel that the Township will want to take

ownership of these areas and these would then be the responsibility of the Homeowners’

Association.

 

Item #9 of the PCS letter was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated this matter was resolved at the

Board of Supervisors’ meeting when the Preliminary Plan was approved.

 

Mr. Roeper noted Captain Roche’s memo with regard to the street signs proposed to be

made out of wood, and stated that these should instead be the regulation street signs. 

Ms. Curtain agreed to make this change.

 

Item #10 was noted with regard to Mr. Yates’ letter, and it was noted they have complied.

 

Mr. Roeper noted the recommendation from the Bucks County Planning Commission with

respect to the street tree schedule which indicated that they should change one of the trees to

a seedless green ash.  Ms. Curtain stated they do have this on the Plan.

 

The June 12, 2002 letter from CKS was noted.  Item #4 was noted and Mr. Murphy stated

they are now being asked to extend the easement from the edge of the cul-de-sac to the edge

of the emergency access road so that laterals could go either left or right to serve properties

that do not currently have public sewer.  Mr. Murphy stated the easement is reflected on the Plans, but the extension is not shown.  They will comply with this item.  They will comply with all other items and these will be reviewed by Mr. Canales before they go before the Board of Supervisors.

 

Mr. Tofel asked if the cul-de-sacs can accommodate emergency vehicles and school buses,

and Mr. Murphy stated they can.  Mr. Tofel asked if the existing residents are satisfied with

the changes which were made, and Mr. Murphy stated they were present at the Board of

Supervisors’ meeting and provided input. 

 

Mr. John Sullivan, Stony Hill Road, asked about public sewer and water.   He also asked

about the emergency access road.  Mr. Roeper reviewed how the emergency access road

will be constructed and noted it will not be a paved road.  Mr. Sullivan asked how he could

hook up to water and sewer, and Mr. Murphy reviewed on the Plan where the extension

will be located.  It was suggested that Mr. Sullivan discuss the matter with

Ms. Curtain.

 

Mrs. Brown, 1242 Landmark Road, asked if the grading will impact her property.  She

noted she has a large hill on her property. Her property was shown on the Plan, and it was

noted that the woods will remain so her property should not be impacted.

 

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

the Board of Supervisors approval of the Final Plans dated 12/6/01, last revised 5/24/02

subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 6/18/02 and the CKS letter dated 6/12/02.

 

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2002                                                                     Planning Commission - page 3 of 5

 

 

APPROVAL OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEWTOWN FINAL PLAN

 

Mr. Keith Brown, attorney, was present and noted the PCS letter dated 6/1/8/02.  There are

no outstanding issues.  Mr. Brown stated since that last meeting with the Township they

did one further revision which may not be reflected in the PCS letter and the latest Plans are

dated 5/20/02.

 

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

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Final Plan for First Baptist Church of

Newtown in accordance with the Plans dated 9/17/99, last revised 5/20/02 subject to the

PCS letter dated 6/18/02.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL LIAISON POSITION

 

Mr. Roeper noted that Ms. Gould had previously indicated that she was no longer able to

serve as the Planning Commission liaison to the Environmental Advisory Council.  He

stated he would agree to serve as the Planning Commission representative if someone on

the Planning Commission would be willing to take over chairing the Master Plan Update. 

Ms. Frick expressed concern with Mr. Roeper not working on the Master Plan Update. 

It was suggested that each Planning Commission member take a turn attending a meeting. 

Mr. Duffy stated they would have to check the Ordinance to see if this would comply.

Ms. Frick was asked to put this matter back on the Agenda for the first meeting in

September and the attorney agreed to check the Ordinance before that time.

 

 

MASTER PLAN UPDATE DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors approved the questionnaire and they were also in favor of holding public meetings as well.  Mr. Roeper asked permission of the Planning

Commission to set the response date on the questionnaire.  It was suggested that those

receiving the questionnaire be given two to three weeks to complete the questionnaire. 

The most likely final return date would be the first week in September.  Mr. Roeper stated

he feels the dates for the public meetings will be set after the return date for the

questionnaires.  Approximately 3,000 questionnaires will be mailed.  They expect about

750 will be returned.  The Board of Supervisors indicated that copies of the questionnaire

should not be made available for completion by the general public at the Township

Building.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated they wanted this to be a statistical snapshot; and if they

allowed people to come in and pick them up at the Township Building, it could distort the

statistical reliability.  There will still be meetings for public comment. 

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Bucks County Planning Commission will collate the data.

Mr. Shavel stated this will be difficult for those areas where they have provided space for

comments.  Mr. Shavel stated he feels the Planning Commission should have the

opportunity to sample the questionnaires which are received.  Mr. Roeper stated they could

set aside a meeting to review them before they are sent to Doylestown. 

 

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2002                                                                     Planning Commission - page 4 of 5

 

 

EDGEWOOD ROAD DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors is discussing taking over Edgewood/Black

Rock Road from the River to Yardley-Langhorne Road.  They discussed the possibility of

PennDOT upgrading the bridges at the Canal and Silver Lake and the one on the other side

of the Railroad. He stated the Board wants to take over the Road from PennDOT so that they can control the speed since at the present time PennDOT will not let them lower the speed to 25 miles per hour.  The State would pay the Township a one-time payment for the Road; however, after that time it would be the Township’s responsibility to take care of the Road.  He stated, from a long-term financial standpoint, he does not feel this makes sense. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated because of the School and the recreation areas on this Road, the

Township would like to take ownership.  He added they will be given a certain dollar amount per mile for annual maintenance.  Mr. Roeper stated he is concerned that people will not proceed any slower even if the speed is lowered. Mr. Stainthorpe stated they will still have to maintain enforcement and that fines are higher if the speed being exceeded over the speed limit is higher.  Mr. Shavel stated he also feels the local Police will eventually be able to use radar.  He stated he, too, would like to see the speed reduced on this Road. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated this idea was brought to the Board of Supervisors by a concerned citizen.  Mr. Roeper stated he still feels the long-range cost to the Township will be substantial.

 

 

MATRIX DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated there has been some concern expressed about the meeting held in

Mr. Steil’s office with Matrix representatives.  He stated while this was not a “secret”

meeting, he does feel there are times when a private meeting is appropriate.  He stated in

the future, while he is the liaison to the Planning Commission, if this occurs again, he will

notify the Planning Commission and advise them of the discussions that take place.  He

stated the Board discussed this matter for a short period of time at an Executive Session.

The Supervisors indicated that they felt the same as Mr. Fegley and Mr. Stainthorpe who had indicated to the representatives at Mr. Steil’s office that if Matrix wants to do something other than that which is reflected o the current Plan, they would have to present it through normal channels.  He stated Matrix has indicated they plan to go ahead with the Plans as approved by the Township.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated a RAM representative was also present at the meeting with Mr. Steil as was Ms. Bush from the Bucks County Planning Commission.  He stated this information was not indicated in the first Bucks County Courier Times article. 

 

Mr. Duffy stated if they wanted to change the Plan, they would have to come back with

Revised Plans which would have to be approved by the Township. 

 

Mr. Tofel stated he was always in favor of more office space as opposed to the commercial

space.

 

Mr. Roeper stated he would be in favor of something other than big box stores, but feels

anything else would require a Zoning change.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated this was Mr. Steil’s effort to get all the parties together to see if they

could come to some resolution. 

 

July 8, 2002                                                                     Planning Commission - page 5 of 5

 

 

Mr. Tofel stated he is concerned that none of the Planning Commission members were

present at the meeting.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated in the future he will not go to any meeting

without notifying the other Supervisors and it will be considered whether a Planning Commission member should be present as well.

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Deborah Gould, Secretary