MINUTES - MAY 13, 2002



The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on May 13, 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

                                                Peter Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison





Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Bill Winslade and John Bayane, Engineer.  Mr. Murphy noted the discussions which have occurred over the past few years regarding the Dolington Road Sub Station.  At the end of the last year the Applicant talked to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors about the location on Dolington Road being shown on the Plan which is slightly south of where Dolington Road crosses over I-95.  They have looked at the site to ascertain where the best location would be relative to the future re-location of Dolington Road.  They have now submitted the Preliminary Land Development Plans with a color rendering of the proposed location.  This

does show the future re-location of Dolington Road and setbacks for the building have been

taken from the future re-location in the event this re-location ever occurs.  The site is south of the original two acre site that the Township set aside four years ago which was the originally suggested location.  This currently proposed location is more directly across from Elm Lowne.  The closest they will be to any home is 550’ and they have staked the four corners of the building for more effective perspective.


Mr. Murphy stated they have reviewed the PCS review letter and discussed the letter with

Mr. Canales.  Mr. Murphy stated they will revise the Plans and come back to the Planning

Commission at their second meeting in June to request a recommendation.  Mr. Murphy

stated there were continuing concerns about sight distances at the original location as well

as accessing utilities for this parcel and for Elm Lowne.  They were most concerned with sight distances and maneuverability.


The PCS letter dated 4/26/02 was noted.  Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Item

#1.  With regard to Item #2, Mr. Murphy showed on the Plan where they propose to install

the buffer.  Mr. Roeper stated it appears that some of the parking is within the 80’ future

buffer.  He asked if the building could be moved back, and Mr. Bayane stated this could be

done by moving back the building, but that action would result in additional impervious surface.  Mr. Tofel stated impervious would not be an issue unless this parcel is broken out from the rest of the tract.    Mr. Bayane noted the detention basin is large already because of

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the long driveway.  Mr. Roeper stated if they consider the proposed line, they would have to get an exception for the basin and a few of the parking spaces.  He stated since the road is only on paper, he is not sure that they can insist that they obtain this approval.

Mr. Murphy stated he feels this is correct but from a practical standpoint, they could push it back if they wanted to do this.  Mr. Bayane stated they could push the basin back if necessary.   He stated they could cut back on the parking since they are above what is necessary.   Mr. Winslade stated they included extra parking since those responding to fire calls often do not park between the lines. He noted there are two designated officer spaces which are close to the building.  The Planning Commission recommended that they move the detention basin back and this was acceptable to the Applicant.


Mr. Murphy noted Item #4 on Page #2 and stated it is correct that a portion of the existing

cartway for Dolington Road is outside of the right-of-way.


Item #8 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they are requesting a Waiver from the

requirement for installation of curbs because of the likely re-location of Dolington Road.

This was acceptable to the Planning Commission


Item #9 was noted regarding the bikepath and Mr. Murphy stated they are not sure at this

time what is required.  It was suggested that they check with Ms. Liney on this matter. 

Mr. Murphy stated they do not feel that it would be appropriate to have the bikepath on

their side of the road.


Item #10 was noted, and the Planning Commission indicated they would be in favor of this


Item #14 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they are no longer requesting this Waiver and

they will comply.


Mr. Murphy noted Item #15 which was previously discussed, and they will address this.


Mr. Tofel noted Item #16 and asked how they pull up the trucks.  Mr. Winslade reviewed

on the Plan how they will handle the trucks.  He stated the turning radius they need has

been provided.


Item #18 is a Waiver request, and the Planning Commission had no objection to this.


Item #21 was noted which is a Waiver request, and the Planning Commission was in favor

of this.


Item #22 was noted.  Mr. Murphy stated there is an Agreement with Mr. Snipes regarding

the harvesting of trees, and he stated they will have to look into this further.


Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #23 through #28.  He noted the Waiver

request listed under Item #25 is for the scale only, and the Township Engineer is in favor

of this as was the Planning Commission.


Item #30 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated this is a scale Waiver request as well and this

was acceptable to the Planning Commission.



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Item #53 was noted, and the Township engineer supports this Waiver as did the Planning



Mr. Murphy noted Items #61 and #62 which are Waiver requests and are supported by the

Township engineer.  These were also acceptable to the Planning Commission.


Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with all other items. 


Mr. Murphy stated they have seen the Police Department letter as well as the letter from

Mr. Yates and the letter from CKS. 


Mr. Murphy stated this Application has two parts - one is the use which requires a

Conditional Use Application, and he only submitted this approximately ten days ago.  Part

of the reason for scheduling the next meeting with the Planning Commission for their June

24 meeting is to give everyone an opportunity to review the Conditional Use.  The Bucks

County Planning Commission should have made their comments by that time.


Mr. Richard May, 1270 Creamery Road, asked how far back they will be from Creamery

and Dolington Roads, and Mr. Bayane staed they will be between 700’ and 800’.





Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Ms. Susan Weir, Head of School. 

Mr. Murphy stated they have been before the Planning Commission before on other sites

for their Montessori School operation and for various reasons, the other sites have not been

deemed appropriate.  Mr. Murphy stated they have entered into an Agreement of Sale to

purchase the Heasley property on Oxford Valley Road.  This is a 5.9 acre parcel which has

substantial frontage on Oxford Valley Road.  There is an existing stone home located approximately in the center of the property.  They would like to build a two-story addition to the home that will include a basement to serve as the gym.  They propose a play area and parking.  The entrance would be from Oxford Valley Road in one direction with a one-way exit out to Oxford Valley Road.  They would have the required storm water management to be located in the back corner of the tract.  Mr. Murphy noted the site is significantly wooded in the rear and the side and is adjacent to Township open space.  They propose to provide the buffers required.  The site in terms of gross acres is 5.9 acres, and in terms of “good acres” it is 4.926 acres.  For this reason, they will still be required to obtain a Variance from the Zoning Hearing Board.  They also need to obtain a Special Exception for a private school.  In terms of impervious surface, they are permitted 17% by Ordinance, and the Plan as shown is 17.7%; however this presumes that the parking spaces shown are all 10’ x 20’.  He understands that  in the past, the Township has approved a reduction in parking spaces to 9’ x 18’.  This does not take into account, however, that there may be other areas of sidewalks that will need to be discussed when they get into Land Development leaving the site slightly over the permitted impervious surface.  The Plan shows the play area to the rear of the addition accommodating forty children at any one time.  They have shown on the Plan all of the trees which must remain by Ordinance.


Mr. Tofel asked if the play area would be pervious or impervious, and Ms. Weir stated it is

intended to be pervious.



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Mr. Roeper asked if the existing home is on the Historic Register, and Ms. Gould stated

she feels it has been identified for a long time as a historic resource. Mr. Murphy stated

their intention is to preserve the home.


Mr. Murphy stated the Plan that is shown is not something that will be built immediately as

they do need to do fundraising.  What would occur would be the addition of a modular unit

directly behind the house which will not be seen from Oxford Valley Road.  This would be

part of Phase I and would be part of the Land Development Plan.  Mr. Tofel asked if all

parking will be done at the beginning, and Mr. Murphy stated a decision has not been made

on this, but they will submit the entire project at one time. 


Mr. Roeper stated he feels they should consider going before the Zoning Hearing Board on

the impervious surface at the same time that they go for the Special Exception and the

acreage.   It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that they would support the

9’ by 18’ parking stall size.  This is not a Waiver request that the Zoning Hearing Board

approves but would be approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he

would be in support of this as well.   Mr. Roeper suggested that they give themselves some

leeway in the impervious surface.


Ms. Gould stated she will not be voting on this Plan as she is a neighbor and the parent of

children who once attended the School. 


Mr. Pazdera stated he feels they should concentrate on landscaping in the front and the

design and scale of the building.


Ms. Frick asked about the barn, and Mr. Murphy stated they intend to remove the barn as it

is in poor condition.  Ms. Weir stated they do intend to keep the stone from the barn and

use it in some fashion.


There was no public comment on the Plans


Mr. Tofel asked what grades will be at the School, and Ms. Weir stated it is Preschool

through 6th Grade.





Mr. Lawrence Lahr, Zoning Coordinator, was present from Voicestream.  He stated they

have submitted a Conditional Use Application to locate on the SBA/Callahan tower.  They

will be the third carrier but the fourth set of antenna on the tower.  The tower was built for

co-location and they have submitted a letter to the engineer from the structural engineer that

prepared the drawings certifying the integrity of the tower to carry their antenna. 

Mr. Lahr noted the PCS letter dated 4/1/8/02 and stated they will comply with all items.


Mr. Roeper asked if they should make a recommendation with this many open items. 

Mr. Canales stated some of the items are items which the Board of Supervisors needs to

make a decision on and the rest are relatively minor.  He did note Item #1, and Mr. Lahr

stated they did sent a letter relating to this to Mr. Williams at PCS. 


Mr. Lahr stated the purpose of the request is to fill a gap in their coverage.  He stated they

do not need a large cabinet and their cabinet will only be 2’ wide and 5’ high.  SBA has

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space available for the cabinet in their compound.  Their lease with SBA will provide that

they will remove the antenna from the tower if they cease to use it.


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

the Board of Supervisors approve of the Voicestream Conditional Use Application subject

to compliance with the PCS letter dated 4/8/02.





Ms. Gould noted she has been unable to attend the Environmental Advisory Council

meetings and asked that someone else consider being the Planning Commission

representative.  Mr. Roeper stated they will consider this matter at the next Planning

Commission meeting.


Ms. Frick noted that the next Planning Commission meeting will not be held until June due

to the Memorial Day holiday.


Mr. Reice Altomare, 357 Twig Lane, stated he understood that the Planning Commission

was to discuss a private school to be built adjacent to his home on Twig Lane.  Mr. Roeper

noted that this matter was discussed prior to Mr. Altomare’s arrival this evening, and the

Planning Commission felt that the Plans had merit.  They did discuss some minor

modifications.  Mr. Roeper stated they will refine their proposal and bring it back before

the Planning Commission sometime in the future    Mr. Roeper stated there is an Agreement

of Sale for purchase of the property.  Mr. Altomare asked if their Plan would be contingent

on the purchase.  Mr. Duffy stated they did not discuss this as this was only an informal

discussion.  Mr. Roeper stated they have to obtain a Special Exception for a school at this

location.    Ms. Frick stated that once they make a formal submission, the residents will

again be notified.  Mr. Altomare asked if they could call the Township for an update, and

Ms. Frick stated he should contact her office.



There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,





                                                                        Deborah Gould, Secretary