TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - OCTOBER 28, 2002

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on October 28, 2002.  Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Albert Roeper, Chairman

                                                John Pazdera, Vice Chairman

                                                Deborah Gould, Secretary

                                                Michael Shavel, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

 

Absent:                         Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Pazdera moved and Mr. Shavel seconded to approve the Minutes of 8/26/02 as written.

Motion carried with Ms. Gould abstained.

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of 9/9/02 as corrected.

 

Ms. Gould moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded to approve the Minutes of 9/23/02 as written.  Motion carried with Mr. Shavel abstained.

 

 

MIGNONI - GRANGE PROPERTY IN EDGEWOOD VILLAGE DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Edward Murphy was present on behalf of the Mignoni family.  He noted his letter dated 10/10/02 to Ms. Frick which was accompanied by a Sketch Plan which shows how some additional on-site parking spaces could be accommodated on the property.  He stated a number of proposals have come before the Township for the property, none of which have been approved.  They are now looking to see how much parking could be added so that they can then identify a tenant who could fit into this property with a specific number of parking spaces.  They are proposing the addition of eight spaces along the rear property line and seven on the easterly side.  The eight in the rear were contemplated some years ago when there were discussions of an agreement between the Township and the Mignoni family although it did not indicate how these spaces would be accomplished.  All additional parking spaces would be located within five feet of the property line of the Presbyterian Church and the Ordinance requires that there be a twenty foot setback so a Variance would be required.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they propose to eliminate some macadam along the frontage of the property to reduce the on-site impervious surface.  They also plan to have roof leaders which would take the water to underground basins.  Mr. Murphy stated they wanted to

obtain Township reaction before they approached the Church.  They do plan to maintain the

access to the Church property.

 

Mr. Roeper asked about a buffer, and Mr. Murphy stated they would agree to a buffer along both areas.  Ms. Gould asked whether the driveway width of twelve feet was sufficient.  Mr. Majewski stated twelve feet is what is required.  Ms. Gould asked where additional handicap spaces could be placed if needed.  Mr. Murphy stated the spaces

already shown would be the maximum required.  Mr. Pazdera stated if they are going for a Variance, he would suggest that they also request a Variance to reduce the parking stall size to nine feet by eighteen feet. 

 

Mr. Roeper stated it appears that generally what they have proposed would be acceptable to

the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, and Mr. Bill Briegel, engineer, were present.  Mr. Murphy stated they have revised the Plans based on comments from the Township.  The 10/17/02 PCS review letter was noted.  Item #1 relates to the Waivers which  have already been considered by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.  Item #2 relates to Fee-In-Lieu for the bikepath and Mr. Murphy stated this was part of the waiver package and he feels the bikepath is on the opposite side of the street.  Items #3 and #4 are also waivers. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated Item #5 is a new item not previously discussed.  Mr. Majewski is recommending that the cul-de-sac for Road A be shortened which will reduce the impervious surface and protect some existing vegetation.  Mr. Murphy stated this would be acceptable to the applicant.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #6 through #23.

 

Item #24 refers to a Bucks County Planning Commission comment about further extending the sidewalks along Dolington Road, and the Township agreed that they did not want this done.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #25 to #35.

 

Item #36 is a waiver request which is supported by the Township engineer.  Mr. Murphy stated this relates to a concern expressed by a homeowner across the street who was concerned about water going to the basin at the corner of Dolington Road and Taylorsville Road.  Mr. Majewski stated a representative from Orchard Hill expressed concern about this.  He stated they have reviewed the plans and the volume and peak flows of water will be reduced as will the amount of sedimentation so there should be no adverse impact on the Orchard Hill detention basins.  Mr. Murphy stated the Plan also depicts off site inlets which will help the situation.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #37 to #44.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they did receive the approval letter from the Bucks County Conservation District.   He also noted there are no problems with the items in the CKS letter.

 

Mr. Roeper asked about the Agreement between the Township and the developer.  Mr. Murphy stated the are putting a Conservation Easement on the back portion of the tract and on the four plus acres around the existing home which fronts on Dolington Road.  The house will be owned by a private individual with the Conservation Easement attached.  The back portion will either be owned by the Township or remain with the Homeowners Association with the Conservation Easement attached.  Mr. Roeper asked if these items should be included on the Plan, and Mr. Murphy stated once an Agreement is reached with the Township, they will include this on the Plan.  Mr. Roeper asked if there has been any resolution to the question of making the front parcel with the existing home larger.  Mr. Murphy stated the Board of Supervisors indicated they were not inclined to do this.  Mr. Roeper stated he felt Mr. Stainthorpe had indicated that the Board wanted this parcel larger than five acres.  Mr. Murphy agreed to look into this.

 

Ms. Nadia Crowel asked about the drainage system.  She stated the developer’s property is at a higher elevation than hers and she is concerned that the water will drain onto her property.  Mr. Majewski stated they will have a detention basin and infiltration trenches which are stone-lined, closed trenches.    Mr. Murphy stated they are also installing a drainage swale along the rear of their property and the water will be conveyed to the storm water inlets and then piped into the detention basin.  Mr. Majewski stated less of an area will be draining toward Ms. Crowel’s property than previous to development because it will be picked up in other areas before reaching this point. Water will not sheet flow to her property as it does today.

 

Mr. Bill Hilton, President of the Orchard Hill Homeowners’ Association, stated DeLuca has had no contact with them since the last meeting about the stormwater and there are no agreements between Orchard Hill and the developer.   He stated the Township engineer did forward plans to the Borough engineer.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels that Mr. Hilton should contact the Yardley Borough engineer about this.  Mr. Hilton stated the Yardley Borough Council did approve their engineer reviewing the Plans but they have not heard anything further at Orchard Hill.  Mr. Koopman stated the water goes in this area now and will do so in the future.  Mr. Murphy stated they also need a permit from PennDOT since it is a PennDOT system through which they must connect.

 

Mr. Victor Fiori noted the rich history of the farm and asked if they have considered the name Prospect Farm for the development.  Mr. Briegel stated they did submit several

names to the Township but they did not include Prospect Farm.  Ms. Gould suggested that the Historic Commission be asked their opinion about recommendations regarding a name and further recommended that Prospect Farm be one of the names considered. 

 

 

AFTON CREST LOT LINE CHANGE PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. Murphy stated this project was approved some time ago and is now fully built out.  Two property owners wanted to make a minor adjustment to their common boundary line. The Plan shows the two properties involved.  The suggested modification has no impact on any Zoning or Subdivision Ordinances.   The PCS letter dated 10/22/02 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with all items.

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Afton Crest Lot Line Change for Tax Parcels #20-22-221 and #20-22-222 subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 10/22/02.

 

 

BOXWOOD FARMS SKETCH PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Murphy stated this property was previously discussed when it was being considered by the Children’s House of Bucks County.  It was determined by the School that the

property was not large enough to accommodate their future expansion needs.  It is now under agreement for a more conventional subdivision and the sketch shows a cul-de-sac running through the site and the addition of seven new lots.  The existing home will be reoriented slightly and maintained on its own lot.

 

Mr. Roeper noted the letter received recommending that the home be left at its present location, and Mr. Murphy stated they did receive this but feel the way they have shown it on the sketch is the best way to preserve it.  Ms. Gould showed on the Plan an area for the home which she felt was more appropriate.  She also noted the barn in its current state is a liability. Mr. Murphy stated the barn has been slated for removal.  Ms. Gould stated the barn could be stabilized.  She also suggested that the open space be added to the existing home’s lot.  Mr. Pazdera stated he does not agree with the developer’s proposal for the relocation of the existing dwelling. Mr. Murphy agreed to look into this matter further.

 

Ms. Gould stated because she lives so close to the property, she will not vote on this matter.

 

Ms. Joy Persicetti stated she is concerned about the location of the driveway in relation to her property. She was shown the location on the Plan and advised that this is only a Sketch and it has not been fully engineered.  Ms. Persicetti stated she is also concerned about the extra traffic on the road.

 

Mr. Joe Raab, Emerald Drive, stated he was under the impression that this was a historic property and could not be changed.  Mr. Murphy stated when the School was being considered, they would have had to obtain a Special Exception but with the new proposal, it is permitted by right.  There are no deed restrictions on this property.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF AGE QUALIFIED COMMUNITIES

 

Mr. Roeper noted the information received from the Board of Supervisors on this matter.  He noted the definition which includes the statement that all age qualified communities would include single family, detached dwellings. Mr. Koopman stated what is proposed are single family, detached dwellings although they could be smaller homes on small lots.  Mr. Koopman stated the Ordinance does not indicate that there would be any type of community building.   Mr. Frick noted the Flowers Mill Development has quad buildings and does include a community building.  Mr. Koopman stated the infrastructure would all be in one area and they would be preserving 50% of the ground as open space. Mr. Roeper stated it appears that there could be two houses ten feet apart which he does not feel is acceptable. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated by the next meeting of the Planning Commission they may also have the review from the Bucks County Planning Commission. He noted what is proposed willbe a major Zoning change in the Township and the Planning Commission needs to make a recommendation on this to the Board of Supervisors.

 

Mr. Roeper asked Ms. Frick to obtain a copy of the Newtown and Middletown Ordinances that would cover these types of developments.  Mr. Pazdera stated he would also like to see a site plan for one of these types of developments.

 

 

ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

 

Mr. Roeper stated in light of Mr. Tofel’s resignation from the Planning Commission, they need to elect a Vice Chairman.  Mr. Shavel moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was

unanimously carried to elect John Pazdera as Vice Chairman.

 

 

MASTER PLAN UPDATE

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Bucks County Planning Commission is still working on the numbers.  He had a discussion with Ms. Froelich and they decided that the meeting

scheduled for November 20 with the members of the Township Boards and Commissions would not be necessary and instead the public meeting proposed for 12/9/02 could include those individuals as well as members of the community.  Mr. Roeper stated he has still not received the questionnaire back from the Farmland Preservation Corporation.  Mr. Roeper stated he hopes that they will have a draft document ready for public discussion in

February, 2003.

 

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

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

Deborah Gould, Secretary