TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - AUGUST 11, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on August 11, 2003.  Vice Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.  He introduced Karen Friedman, the newest member of the Planning Commission,  who was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the position previously held by Deborah Gould.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   John Pazdera, Vice Chairman

                                                Michael Shavel, Secretary

                                                Karen Friedman, Member

                                                Andrew Strauss, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                Jennifer McGrath, Township Solicitor

                                                Drew Wagner, Township Engineer

 

Absent:                         Albert Roeper, Chairman Planning Commission

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Strauss moved and Mr. Shavel seconded to approve the Minutes of May 12, 2003 as written.  Motion carried with Ms. Friedman abstained.

 

Mr. Strauss moved and Mr. Shavel seconded to approve the Minutes of May 28, 2003 as written.  Motion carried with Ms. Friedman abstained.

 

Mr. Strauss moved, Mr. Shavel seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of June 23, 2003 due to lack of a quorum able to vote on the Minutes. 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING POLITICAL SIGNS

 

Ms. McGrath noted the memorandum regarding the proposed amendments to the Zoning

Ordinance regarding political signs.  She stated the goal is to make sure the Sign Ordinance

is Constitutional in light of recent litigation in nearby Townships with regard to political

signs.  She stated the Township currently requires obtaining a permit and payment of

escrow which is done to insure that the signs are taken down after the election.  This is

now considered unconstitutional.  She has worked with Ms. Frick and the Zoning

Department on this draft.

 

Ms. Friedman stated during the last election, there was concern with the number of

repetitive signs on certain corners and asked if it is possible to limit the number of signs

permitted at each location.  Ms. Frick stated she did bring this up, and Ms. McGrath stated

this was discussed and they found that it may put the Township at risk.  She stated they

could bring this up in their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. 

 

August 11, 2003                                                               Planning Commission - page 2 of 2

 

 

Mr. Shavel asked about removal of the signs after the election, and Ms. Frick stated this is

not normally a problem and the signs are taken down within five days. 

 

It was noted that in the draft Ordinance they are prohibiting political signs on Township

property or in the right-of-way adjacent to Township property except for the day of the

election. 

 

Mr. Shavel noted a certain intersection where there were so many signs you could not see

around the corner.  Ms. McGrath stated there is a provision that states no sign is to be

placed in such a manner so that it obscures the view.

 

Mr. Strauss noted Section 3 where they define election/political signs and asked if this

excludes referenda type questions.  Ms. McGrath agreed to work on language to broaden

this section.

 

Mr. Strauss moved, Ms. Friedman seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance

as outlined in the 7/30/03 memo from Begley, Carlin subject to inclusion of language

governing public questions or referenda.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING LETTER FROM SUSAN HERMAN - RESIDENTS FOR REGIONAL TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS, INC.

 

Ms. Sue Herman was present and her letter dated July 23, 2003 was noted.  Mr. Wagner

stated at the Board of Supervisors meeting it was brought up that the Street Hierarchy Map

was not included in the update of the Comprehensive Master Plan and it was indicated that

this was an either oversight by PCS and the Bucks County Planning Commission or they

felt it was not necessary since there had not been any changes.  Mr. Wager stated they do

not see a problem including it in the Master Plan.  Mr. Pazdera stated he feels it was an

oversight but feels the Bucks County Planning Commission probably felt it was not

necessary since it was covered in the Zoning Ordinance.  He does not have a problem with

including it in the Master Plan.

 

Mr. Shavel moved, Mr. Strauss seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to

the Board of Supervisors that the Street Hierarchy Map #6 be included in the

Comprehensive Master Plan Update for 2003.

 

Ms. Herman thanked the Planning Commission for their action.

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Michael Shavel, Secretary