TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - FEBRUARY 10, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 10, 2003.  Chairman Roeper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Albert Roeper, Chairman

                                                John Pazdera, Vice Chairman

                                                Michael Shavel, Secretary

                                                Andrew Strauss, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Koopman, Township solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Deborah Gould, Planning Commission Member

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Shavel seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of January 13, 2003 as corrected.

 

 

#541 - FIRST NATIONAL BANK & TRUST COMPANY OF NEWTOWN INFORMAL SKETCH PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Ms. Donna Wengill, attorney, Mr. David Foster from First National Bank & Trust

Company of Newtown, and Mr. Frank Ehrenfeld, President of the Lower Bucks Masonic

Temple, were present.  Ms. Wengill stated the Masonic Hall is located at 1661 Edgewood

Road, and they are proposing to construct a bank facility in the area currently used as

parking for the Masonic Hall.  The property is currently zoned R-2 and part of the Historic

District for the purpose of HARB.  The property is just under four acres.  The Sketch Plan

shows the location of the bank if the zoning were changed to cover this property. They can

meet the Ordinance requirements if the property is changed to Historic/Commercial.  They

are planning for two drive-up teller windows and a drive up ATM.  They would be willing

to draw up plans showing how this building can fit in with the surrounding area. 

 

Ms. Wengill showed some photographs of existing branch styles which they would like to

consider for this location.  They are in the process of constructing a branch on

Newtown-Yardley Road, and the design for that bank was shown.  She also showed a

style they could consider although they have not built a bank similar to this in the past. 

Their intent is to design branch offices that fit the community. 

 

Ms. Wengill stated they would have a long-term Lease Agreement, and the property would

continue to be owned by the Lower Bucks Masonic Temple.  They feel an extension of the

Historic/Commercial Zoning to this tract would be a natural expansion.  She stated the use

would fit in nicely with the other uses currently in existence in the area.  They plan to

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 2 of 11

 

 

remove the shed that is currently in the Masons parking lot.  They would also add

additional landscaping.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if this will require a subdivision of the Masonic property, and

Ms. Wengill stated it will.  Mr. Roeper asked about the driveway distances from

Edgewood Road, and Mr. Majewski stated it is approximately 250 feet and 200 feet is

required as a separation between driveways and the road.  Ms. Wengill stated they did have

a preliminary traffic study done and they were concerned whether the shared access would

create any problems and suggested some minor modifications.  They did not feel it would

impact the health, safety, and welfare.

 

Mr. Shavel asked how the Masonic Temple will be impacted if they take away the parking

to construct the bank.  Mr. Ehrenfeld stated they have approximately 1200 members.  Other

groups also meet at the building on a regular basis.  The building is not utilized during the

day.  Monday through Friday nights there may be between thirty and fifty members at a

typical meeting. They do have some car-pooling because some of their members are

elderly.  Four times a year there are fundraising dinners held and those particular dates

generate crowds of approximately 200 people every other hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

This would only be four Saturdays throughout the year.  There are also some other

Saturday morning affairs held once or twice per year.  Mr. Shavel asked how many

parking spaces will remain.  Currently there are 126 spaces, and after construction of the

bank there will be 46 for the Masonic Hall and 27 for the bank.  They can seat

approximately 200 in the Masonic Hall and one space for every three seats is required so 67

total spaces would be required.  For the bank, based on a 3,000 square foot building, they

would be required to have 27 spaces. 

 

Ms. Wengill stated they will have to go to the Zoning Hearing Board for a Special

Exception to allow for the joint use and they will indicate that the one use would not

interfere with the other. 

 

Ms. Frick asked where the people would park if this proposal is approved when they have

the large fundraising dinners, and Mr. Ehrenfeld stated they would utilize the bank parking

for those events.   Mr. Roeper stated it is already difficult to get a parking space at some of

the fundraising dinners.  He asked the distance from the existing office building. 

Ms. Wengill stated they have provided a twenty-five foot buffer between this site and the

existing office building; and if this is not needed, they may be able to provide some

additional parking.  Ms. Frick asked the size of the parking stalls they are showing, and

Ms. Wengill stated they are 10’ by 20’.  Ms. Frick stated they could go to 9’ by 18’ which

would provide additional spaces. Mr. Roeper stated if additional parking was needed,

possibly they could arrange for use of the parking spaces at the office building and install a

path to that property.

 

Mr. Shavel asked about signage, and Mr. Koopman stated he assumes they would want a

sign along Heacock Road.  Ms. Wengill stated she has not yet reviewed the Sign

Ordinance. Ms. Frick stated they will also have to have their sign approved by HARB.

Mr. Foster stated some of their banks have free-standing signs, and some are mounted on

the building.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if they would lose any of the parking spaces if they turned the building

so that the frontage is on Heacock Road.  Ms. Wengill stated she feels this may make it a

tighter situation and they may lose parking spaces; however, she agreed to have their

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 3 of 11

 

engineer look into this.  Mr. Strauss asked if they could change the lot lines if they went to

a wider building.  After review it was noted that the front of the building does face Heacock

Road.

 

Mr. Strauss asked how many vehicle trips per day would be anticipated for the bank. 

Ms. Wengill stated weekday p.m. peak hours they are looking at 91 new cars - 45 entering

the site and 46 existing. 

 

Mr. Koopman noted the yard requirements would be significantly reduced if the Zone was

changed to Historic/Commercial rather than R-2 as is the current Zoning. 

 

Ms. Wengill stated they have placed the driveway where they felt it would be less obtrusive

to the neighbors

 

Mr. Majewski asked about storm water management, and Ms. Wengill stated they have not

considered this at this time.  The engineer has not done a field survey of the site yet.  They

wanted to get a feeling from the Planning Commission whether or not the Township would

be receptive to this Plan before going much farther.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated Zoning changes

are normally very difficult to get approved by the Board of Supervisors. He feels they

should go to the Board of Supervisors to see if they would consider a Zoning change.

Mr. Pazdera stated it is very difficult to make a left out of the existing office building in the

area, and he feels additional driveways in this area will make the situation worse.  He is

also concerned about parking since he has seen the Masonic Lodge parking lot full when

there is a large event.    Ms. Wengill stated the traffic engineer did recommend changes to

the markings on the road to provide for a left turn into the site.

 

Mr. Ehrenfeld stated they are approached every day by entities expressing interest in their

property. They would like to continue to remain in the Township, and they felt this

proposal would be a good partnership.  This is the first time they felt comfortable with an

organization who approached them. 

 

Mr. Gary Cruzan stated he lives across the street form the Masonic Temple and is opposed

to re-zoning this property noting it is a very dangerous traffic situation currently.

 

Ms. Wengill asked if the Planning Commission would provide input to the Board of

Supervisors as to their feeling on the project.  Mr. Roeper stated he personally is not

enthusiastic about the Plan as he feels it is crowding too much in the area.  He is also

concerned about the remaining parking for the Masonic Lodge, and he does not feel they

will get approval for re-zoning.

 

 

#443-B - LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST - INFORMAL SKETCH PLAN

 

Mr. Bruce Hartlein, Vice President, and Mr. John Hunt, engineer, were present. 

Mr. Hartlein stated Liberty Property Trust is a real estate company based in Malvern and is

the equitable owner of 777 Township road.  The property is across the street from Floral

Vale and the Lower Makefield Corporate Center South.  The property is eleven acres and

has a small industrial building with a large basin on the site.  They propose to redevelop the

site with a three-story office building not dissimilar to what is currently at the Lower

Makefield Campus across the street.  They have reviewed the Ordinances and feel they

have designed their Plan to meet the Ordinance requirements.  The property is zoned O/R. 

They feel there is a good market for this use.

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 4 of 11

 

 

Mr. Hartlein stated the existing building was built in 1997.  At the time they were

producing and bottling water at the site; but a new owner closed the wells at that location,

and they are currently just distributing out of the site.  They no longer need this much space

and would prefer to be in New Jersey.  This is why they put the property up for sale. 

 

Mr. Hartlein stated the entrance shown on the plan is the existing drive.  The Plan of the

existing building was shown.  Mr. Hartlein stated currently the impervious surface is 17%,

and they propose it to go to 53%.  The Ordinance permits 65%.  Mr. Hartlein stated at this

point, they do not feel they will need any Variances although it has not been engineered. 

 

Ms. Frick stated the current property owner did have to go to the Zoning Hearing Board,

and Mr. Koopman stated they may want to review that decision.

 

Mr. Hartlein provided information describing their company and showing some of the

work they have done in the past. The company  has been in existence for thirty years and

was founded by Willard Rouse.  The company did go public and they have sixteen regional

offices, offices in the Midwest, and one office in London.  They have a small building in

Newtown Township, but not the type of building that is proposed for this site.  The closest

site with a similar building is in Horsham. 

 

Mr. Roeper stated if they meet the Ordinances, the Planning Commission would have no

objection.

 

 

PROPOSED AGE-QUALIFIED ORDINANCE UPDATE AND DISCUSSION

 

Ms. Lynn Bush and Ms. Gail Freedman were present. 

 

Mr. Roeper provided a worksheet in an effort to make some decisions on the issue of

Age-Qualified Housing.    He stated Ms. Bush also provided today information on

Age-Qualified Housing including information on Traditional Neighborhood Development. 

Mr. Roeper stated he feels the Traditional Neighborhood Development would only apply to

Edgewood Village.  Mr. Roeper thanked Mr. Majewski for the summary of open spaces. 

 

There was discussion on whether Age-Qualified Housing should be provided in all Zones.

Mr. Strauss stated he is not concerned so much with the Zone as he is with the type,

tenure, and density, and where there are suitable locations in the Township.  Mr. Shavel

stated he feels they should designate specific parcels.  He asked if they are limiting this to

R-1, and Mr. Roeper stated he did not feel they were.  He stated he feels the best

location for this use in the Township is currently zoned C-3. 

 

Mr. Strauss asked if they are considering only an active over fifty-five community or a

rental/condo type facility.  He stated he feels the appropriate type of housing would be

something that is denser than a single family or attached unit and would suggest something

similar to a townhouse which would permit a greater number of units for Seniors. 

Mr. Roeper stated he did not feel the Supervisors ever consider rentals although they could. 

He stated there is no more R-4 land left in Lower Makefield.  If the Board of Supervisors

were to re-zone some of the available property to R-4, they could have this type of senior

housing since it would permit duplexes, multiplexes, single family and rental property. 

Mr. Roeper stated at the present time, he feels the Board of Supervisors is only considering

R-1.  Mr. Strauss stated they must consider what sector of the senior population they are

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 5 of 11

 

 

planning for.  He stated active fifty-five is a segment to target, but there are other projects

in the County which are currently meeting this need.  He stated some of the seniors would

only be in their units for part of the year and the rest of the year they may be in Florida or

elsewhere. 

 

Ms. Freedman stated she does have figures available on the senior population of the

Township.  She stated those fifty-five and over account for 20% of the Lower Makefield

residents.  Breaking it out by income generally the older households have an income that is

lower than the Township median income of $98,000.  30% of all fifty-five plus households

have incomes below $50,000.  Another 30% is between $50,000 and $99,000 and 34%

are over $100,000.  Those aged fifty-five to sixty-four are the highest of the earners in the

over fifty-five category, and income does go down after age sixty-four. 

 

Mr. Shavel stated if the Seniors want to sell their property to move into something with less

maintenance, he does not feel R-1 housing would meet their needs. He stated they may

want to leave their homes to move to a warmer climate and this use being considered would

not therefore be necessary.

 

Mr. Strauss stated he feels they should have asked the older residents the question on the

questionnaire what type of housing would they like to move into.  He stated whatever

project is built will most likely attract older residents from other Townships and it would

meet a regional need rather than a local  need.

 

Mr. Roeper stated it appears they need more direction from the Board of Supervisors

before the Planning Commission makes a recommendation.  He stated he feels what they

are now discussing will require re-zoning.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated initially they discussed

this in R-1 because that was where the most land they had was available.  They were not

trying to over-think the market or the pricing.  The idea of considering additional Zones

came from the public and the Planning Commission. He stated they were only considering

this as an option similar to Farmland Preservation as it could be a use that would preserve

additional open space.  He stated if they do not give this option, then the remaining R-1

land will probably be developed as standard housing which will use up all the land and

bring more children into the Township and the School District.  Ms. Bush stated if the

issue is they do not want R-1 to be developed out as currently zoned, they should look at

R-1 to consider this as another option.

 

Mr. Strauss stated possibly the developers could do an on or off site area and receive

credits for land preservation.  He stated they would have to have a credit receiving area if

they were to proceed in this way.  He stated they still must consider what age group they

are planning for and the density they are looking at.

 

Mr. Roeper stated when they discuss the Master Plan, they must decide if they want to

leave the land north of Route 332 Residential.  He stated he feels there will be strong resistance to doing anything in the R-1 area that would involve smaller houses adjacent to large ones.  Mr. Strauss stated they need to consider what is preserved as a result of the density.

 

Mr. Koopman stated the traditional thinking of the Township was that in the R-1 there was

some willingness to make density compromises if farmland or resource protection land

were preserved but there was not support to have too much of an increase in density.  He

stated they were considering single family detached with some open space protection and

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 6 of 11

 

 

some density bonus.  They did recognize that the houses would most likely be $300,000 or

more.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated there is some concern that builders who may be interested in

developing in this fashion may decide to go elsewhere if this option is not provided in the

Township.  He does feel if the Planning commission so desires, they should still take their

time to do this and do it right.

 

Mr. Roeper stated it appears the consensus is to table this matter and continue to discuss it

as they go through the Master Plan.

 

Mr. Strauss stated he still feels the Planning Commission or staff can help with the analysis

as to sites in the Township that could serve a high density project and should decide where

the sites are located and if the infrastructure is available or coming in the future.  He stated

he would like the staff to advise where the appropriate sites are located.  Mr. Roeper stated

the Planning Commission is the “staff” and suggestions would be appreciated.  He noted

the information provided already on the sites available in the Township.  Ms. Bush stated it

may also be helpful to look at the existing age-restricted housing that has been built in the

County to see if they are in favor of that type of development.  She stated they could also

consider what types they are in favor of for Lower Makefield Township.

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN UPDATE/WORKING DRAFT DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Roeper noted Page 11 and asked if this will remain development policy.  Ms. Bush

stated this relates to the question asked earlier if they want the area north of Route 332 to remain R-1.  It was agreed that this area should remain the same as currently zoned.

 

Mr. Roeper asked how much land is left that could be developed using the Farmland

Preservation Option.  Ms. Bush stated anything in the R-1 is eligible as long as it meets the

criteria.  Mr. Koopman stated there are minimum tract size requirements and they also have

to have suitable farmland soils. He stated they could start with Mr. Majewski’s letter on the

available parcels and they could then look at a soils map. Mr. Majewski stated he would

estimate that there are 400 to 500 acres that are currently farmed so they could have up to

200 acres in Farmland Preservation if you take half of this amount.  It was noted that the

Planning Commission is still in favor of the Farmland Preservation Option.

 

Ms. Bush stated she will bring additional information on a development option that they are

using elsewhere where the developer comes in and looks at a site and advises how they

could preserve certain items.  She stated the State is also looking at riparian buffers. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated Lower Makefield already has a water course buffer requirement in

place at the current time.  He suggested she look at this to see if there is anything additional

the Township should add.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if the Rock Run Dam is still an ongoing project.  Mr. Majewski stated

they are still in discussion with the DEP who is trying to incorporate some of the concerns

that have been expressed as well as provide some alterations to the dam.

 

Mr. Roeper noted Page 36 and stated this is one that ties into tonight’s earlier discussion. 

 

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 7 of 11

 

 

Ms. Dana Weyrick stated she is a member of the public and cannot follow along what the

Planning Commission is doing.  Mr. Roeper stated this is only a working draft and the

document is not being released to the public at this time even though they are discussing it

at a public meeting.  He stated once they have prepared the Master Plan they will hold more

public hearings and copies will then be made available at the Township for review by the

public.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if there is any thought about changing the zoning of Shady Brook Farm. 

He stated he feels they should review the types of development that are permitted in the O/R

Zone.  Ms. Frick stated the property is in the Agricultural Security District.  Mr. Koopman

stated the fact that it is in the Agricultural Security District does not restrict them from an

O/R use.  Being in the Agricultural Security District primarily protects the farmer from

complaints about his farming practices as the surrounding area develops.  Mr. Koopman

stated the part of the Fleming Farm that is currently being developed is being developed

into age-restricted housing. 

 

Mr. Roeper stated the Wright farm is directly across the street from the Fleming Farm and

asked if there is any thought that this parcel be zoned O/R because of its location on

Route 332 adjacent to Newtown.  He stated he does not feel the residents of Lindenhurst Road would be in favor of this.  Mr. Pazdera stated he does not feel the Board of Supervisors would be in favor of this either.  Mr. Roeper stated the climate may have changed because of what has taken place in Newtown.  Mr. Shavel stated he does not feel the existing residents would be in favor of a change in zoning of this tract.  Mr. Roeper asked if they should consider this parcel for age-restricted housing; although if you look at the criteria for age-restricted housing, this would not be a location where it should be put.  Ms. Bush stated she feels this is an area where they should look at the traffic impact before they consider a change to the zoning.  Going from residential to non-residential will probably increase the traffic substantially.  Mr. Strauss stated whatever they do, they will increase traffic in the area.  He stated as a matter of fiscal policy, a commercial development or O/R would be more beneficial to the Township in the long run if the Wright farm is developed.  He stated he recognizes that this may anger certain residents, but because of its location near the Interchange, it may be good fiscal policy to use it for commercial or O/R. 

 

There was discussion on the Torbert property, and Mr. Roeper stated this should be

Farmland Preservation property without question, and traffic there is not as much of a

problem as it is with the Wright Farm.  He stated the one problem is the road plan provides

that Mirror Lake goes straight through to Silver Lake which will leave a triangular parcel.

 

Ms. Bush stated they looked at these parcels because this is an area which is vulnerable to

change.

 

Mr. Roeper stated he would recommend that they suggest that the Wright Farm be zoned

O/R.  Mr. Pazdera and Mr. Strauss stated they would be in favor of this as well. 

 

Mr. Roeper stated this changes the previous discussion that everything north of Route 332 would remain R-1.  With regard to the Torbert property, Mr. Roeper stated he feels it should remain R-1 although he feels they could use it for age-restricted housing. 

 

 

 

 

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 8 of 11

 

Mr. Strauss stated this area is one of the gateways to the Township and for the most part

they are open parcels.  He stated he would like to consider protecting the visual quality and

preserving a large portion of the land for agriculture but also make the property work

fiscally.

 

There was discussion on the potential interest in Traditional Neighborhood Development,

and Mr. Roeper stated he feels something of this nature would be possible for Edgewood

Village.

 

There was discussion on the Farmland Preservation Option, and Ms. Bush stated a change

was made by the Township some time ago that make this a more difficult option.  She

stated Dolington Estates was not developed under Farmland Preservation although it could

have been.  A recommendation could be made that would make the Farmland Preservation

Option more tempting.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Farmland Preservation Option also helps

keep some of the existing farms in operation since those farmers can then farm those

parcels as well as their own.  Mr. Koopman stated Dolington Estates had a number of

wetland pieces and environmental protection sites and it may not have been a good

Farmland Preservation site.  Ms. Frick stated she was not aware of the changes that had

been made to the Farmland Preservation Option.  Ms. Bush stated she will look into this

and feels it was changed in the early 1990’s,  and the requirement was that the property  be

on a major road as well as some other restrictions.  Ms. Bush stated she is hearing from the

Planning Commission that Farmland Preservation is a good development option, and she

feels this should be re-affirmed. 

 

Ms. Bush  stated transferable development rights could have a limited potential in Lower

Makefield, and they should discuss this further.  She agreed to provide additional

information on this. She stated Bucks County has the most successful program in

Pennsylvania. She stated this would be limited because there are only a few large parcels

which could be preserved through a TDR Program.  She stated they would buy off the

development rights and use them somewhere else.  Mr. Koopman stated this has not been a

popular option with the Board of Supervisors in the past since people moving into R-1

bought under the impression that R-1 property would be developed as R-1.  Ms. Bush

agreed to add this as an option, and they will consider this further.

 

Mr. Strauss stated a Township is dynamic and it is up to the governing body whether or

not they want to change the development.

 

Mr. Roeper stated they should consider if they need additional R-3 and R-4 housing and

age-restricted zoning at the same time.  Mr. Roeper stated if they want to discuss age-

restricted housing, they should have more R-4 area.  He noted part of the Matrix property

could be R-4.  He is not sure what the financial trade off would be between C-3 and R-4. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he feels commercial would be top dollar and a change to R-4 would

be an issue with the current owner.  Mr. Koopman stated the problem with the Matrix

property is there is already an approved plan for this tract.  Mr. Roeper stated if the value

was comparable, Matrix may be happy with a portion of this being used for age-restricted

housing.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if Ms. Bush could formulate something that would include a zoning

change to accommodate age-restricted housing. Mr. Koopman stated at the current time, the

Township is not required legally to expand the R-3 or R-4 Zones, but this does not mean

that they could not do so to accommodate age-restricted housing.  Ms. Bush agreed to look

at the idea of age-restricted housing in R-3 and R-4.

February 10, 2003                                                         Planning Commission - page 9 of 11

 

 

Page 14 was noted and Mr. Roeper stated he feels they could include a statement on the

amount of Farmland Preservation land and amount of open space in the Township. 

Mr. Bush stated Lower Makefield Township was the first Township to do Farmland

Preservation and this should be noted.

 

Mr. Roeper stated there is a notation included in the working draft that there are twenty-two

mobile homes in the Township.  Mr. Koopman stated while there may be this number of

mobile homes in the Township, they are not in a mobile home park.  Ms. Bush stated there

are five or six mobile homes on the Fleming Farm and a few on the Wright Farm. 

 

Page 32 was noted and Mr. Roeper stated that it is his understanding that a number of

people come from New Jersey to live in Lower Makefield because the homes here are

considerably less expensive than in the Princeton area  He asked if this statement should be

mentioned, and Ms. Bush agreed.

 

Page 48 was noted regarding the need to comply with NPDES 2 requirements. 

Mr. Majewski stated they have the permit into the Township now for Mr. Fedorchak to

sign.  Ms. Bush stated March 10 is the deadline for Step 1.  Mr. Koopman stated possibly

amendments will need to be made to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances. 

Ms. Bush stated the NPDES 2 requires them to go out and look at all the basins they

currently have,  permit them,  and make sure they meet standards.  Mr. Majewski stated

you have to go throughout the Township to see if during a drought, there is water in the

stream. You must then find out if it is a pollutant that someone is discharging into the

stream.  Mr. Roeper asked that the wording be changed to indicate that they are continuing

to work on this.

 

Page 51 was noted and Mr. Roeper asked the status of Hilltop and other areas with regard

to public sewers. Mr. Koopman stated the Township plans to eventually provide public

sewers throughout the Township. He stated there are some areas that have not yet been put

on the Sewer Authority Five Year Plan.  He stated they have just completed the

Hillside/Spring Lane area, and he feels the next area will be Edgewood Village. 

Mr. Roeper stated since the Master Plan is a Ten Year Plan, he feels they should refer to

other un-sewered areas in the Township.

 

Page 63, paragraph 2 continuing onto Page 64 4.A was noted, and Mr. Roeper stated he

feels this section is confusing.  Ms. Bush agreed to look into this section again.

Mr. Roeper noted Paragraph 5 and stated they should differentiate between Community

Center and Senior Center and not put them together in one category.

 

There was discussion on pocket parks.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels this is more of a local

neighborhood consideration.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated there are a number of these pocket

parks already in the Township.  Ms. Bush asked if they want to continue to encourage

recreation in developments which are not in proximity to existing parks.  It was agreed that

this has been the practice in the past and should continue provided it is practical to do so.

 

Page 66 was noted and Mr. Roeper stated at the top of paragraph 4, they should include the

fact that the Seniors meet in the Township Building and find the space to be inadequate.

 

Page 68 was noted and Mr. Roeper asked that the one sentence comment about the Golf

Course be expanded.

 

February 10, 2003                                                      Planning Commission - Page 10 of 11

 

 

Page 81 at the bottom was noted, and Ms. Bush stated this is in the context of historic

preservation.  She stated some Townships have been successful in preserving certain

predesignated structures by allowing them to be used for other purposes.  She noted Bed

and Breakfast as the classic example.  Ms. Bush stated the other thing that has been

successful in preserving historic buildings is to give encouragement as part of the

development process.  They could write the Ordinance so that houses that are saved are not

used against the total count.  Ms. Bush was asked to add these comments.

 

Page 81 was noted regarding Scudders Falls Bridge.  Mr. Roeper stated they should

mention the severe problem of access from Taylorsville Road. Ms. Bush stated there is a

study on Scudders Falls Bridge by the Bridge Commission, and she will review this.

Mr. Roeper stated he feels the comment about the Scudders Falls Bridge should be

amplified.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if they want to say anything in the Master Plan about the Township

taking over Lindenhurst and Edgewood Roads.  Mr. Shavel stated he feels the Township

taking back roads to control access is a positive role for the Government.  He stated they

can then control speed and make it less desirable for the road to be used as a cross-County

corridor.  Mr. Stainthorpe noted with regard to Lindenhurst Road, that they cannot just

state that no trucks can use the road; and there is a process they must go through.  He stated

they can use traffic calming measures.  Mr. Roeper stated he personally feels it is fiscally

irresponsible to start taking over State roads.  Page 89 regarding traffic calming measures

was noted. Mr. Roeper stated he feels this is associated with Lindenhurst Road. 

Mr. Koopman stated as a practical matter you cannot do much to calm traffic unless you

own the road.  Mr. Shavel stated he feels using speed limits is a viable option. Mr. Roeper

stated this is true only if the Police enforce it.  Mr. Roeper stated speeding is a problem in

every neighborhood in the Township.  Mr. Shavel stated the local Police cannot use radar. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he also feels the roads are too wide. 

 

Mr. Roeper asked if there should be any comment with regard to Cable TV in the

Township and asked if this is a planning consideration.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated while he

would like to see competition, it has not materialized.  Ms. Bush stated they have been

involved in a Cable TV Consortium.  She stated comments could be made about

cooperating with other Townships to get a better deal with Comcast.

 

Mr. Strauss stated he is concerned about the tree trimming done by the utility company

which impacts the beauty of the community and property values.  Ms. Bush stated there are

some Townships which require someone from the Township to go out with the tree

trimmers when the utility companies come in.  Mr. Strauss stated in the future if they come

back, he feels the Township should require them to take a tree expert with them.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if they should include an explanation of the work done by the Farmland

Preservation Corporation and what can be done with Farmland Preservation properties. 

Ms. Bush agreed to include this.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if there should be a listing of the Township open space and Township

Buildings, and Ms. Bush agreed to include this. 

 

Mr. Roeper asked about the section on Township financials.  Ms. Bush stated they had not

finished this, they are continuing to work on it. 

 

February 10, 2003                                                       Planning Commission - page 11 of 11

 

 

Mr. Roeper asked if they should include a recommendation for a complete review of the

Zoning Ordinance and permitted uses.  He stated the Board of Supervisors would most

likely send this back to the Planning Commission.  Ms. Bush stated she feels a

recommendation that would come out of this would be the Board of Supervisors should

look at the uses and the Zoning Districts.  She does not feel they can predict ahead of time

whether this will require a complete overall or will need only minor changes. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he does not feel the rest of the Board of Supervisors would be in

favor of this.  Mr. Koopman stated they have already  identified a few areas they want to

look at, and he suggested that they keep it at that.

 

Page 96 was noted, and Mr. Roeper asked if 2 and 4 should be next to each other. 

Ms. Bush agreed to do this.  Ms. Bush stated a property owner may decide to only develop

a small portion and not the whole tract.  She added she has not seen this happen before in

Lower Makefield.  What Mr. Roeper is proposing is only an organizational change.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if the Act 537 Plan and the Sewer Authority Plan are the same, and

Mr. Koopman stated they are not the same but they are consistent.  He stated the Township

does update its 537 Plan.  From the Master Plan point of view, they are addressing it when

they state that the ultimate goal of the Township is to provide public sewers throughout the

Township.  Mr. Koopman stated the question is whether they want to change the policy

with regard to public sewers throughout the Township.  Mr. Koopman stated the 537 Plan

does provide for public sewers.  Mr. Roeper stated he feels there are too many 2003 timing

dates, and Ms. Bush agreed.

 

Page 101 was noted regarding future needs.  Mr. Roeper asked if the Senior Center should

be mentioned.  Ms. Bush stated they are happy to mention this, but were not sure how real

this was.  Mr. Roeper stated he does feel this will be passed within the next eighteen

months.  Ms. Bush agreed to provide language that this is being considered.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Roeper noted an upcoming seminar on Stormwater Management.  He also reported that the Board of Supervisors did approve the Metz Tract and the Super Fresh project.

 

Mr. Strauss noted he will be unable to attend the next meeting of the Planning Commission.

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

                                                                       

 

 

 

                                                                        Michael Shavel, Secretary