TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES - MARCH 24, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 24, 2003.  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, Member

                                                Andrew Strauss, Member (joined meeting in progress)

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Michael Shavel, Planning Commission Secretary

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN UPDATE WORKING DRAFT DISCUSSION

 

 

Mr. Roeper stated they received a second working draft of the update from the Bucks

County Planning Commission.  This includes the items which were discussed at the last

meeting and the new material that was furnished by the Finance Department.

 

Mr. Majewski noted on page 37, Item #1 should be expanded so that the description is

more clear such as “on Oxford Valley and Big Oak Roads.” 

 

Ms. Gould noted the comment “good design comparable to the community” and questioned the enforcement of this. Mr. Roeper stated while there are no specific Ordinances referring to this, the Township does try to encourage this. 

 

Ms. Gould noted the reference to TND on page 37 and asked where a TND is defined. 

Mr. Majewski stated it is defined in the MPC and allows for various types of uses in a

neighborhood type setting.  Ms. Gould asked if the impervious surface and setbacks are

defined in the Code or does the Township define what would be permitted.  Mr. Majewski

stated the Township would have to set the standards. Mr. Roeper stated the Board of

Supervisors would have to authorize a TND and then the Planning Commission would

have to recommend the details.  The Board of Supervisors would then decide whether or

not to approve it.  Ms. Gould asked if the Township has been approached by any

developers about a TND, and Mr. Roeper stated this came out of the discussions regarding

Edgewood Village.  He stated he personally does not feel Edgewood Village is large

enough to utilize this.

 

Ms. Gould noted page 38 regarding age-restricted housing and asked if they should include

an overlay.  Mr. Roeper stated the word “possible” is used  in this regard, and he stated he feels this is appropriate. 

 

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Page 68 was noted and Mr. Roeper stated he feels the Golf Course intends to have a

practice “facility” and not a practice “course.” 

 

Mr. Strauss joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Koopman stated he feels the Golf Course should be given its own listing under “New

Recreation.”  Mr. Majewski stated they could add that the Course is currently under

construction and include the proposed opening date.

 

Ms. Gould asked that they add the year 2001 when discussing the 9/11 Memorial.

 

Page 83 was noted.  Mr. Roeper stated he does not feel they should put sample Ordinance

language in the Master Plan.  He stated they could discuss use opportunities, but he would

change the heading.  Ms. Gould stated rather than additional use, the term currently used is

adaptive uses or re-adaptive.

 

Mr. Roeper noted Paragraph 2 on Page 81 and asked if the Section on Page 83 should be

included in General Historic Preservation.  Ms. Gould stated she does not feel it should. 

She stated she prefers the Adaptive Use being separate rather than incorporating it into a

historic overlay.  She suggested they include language recognizing the Federal guidelines

established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Mr. Roeper agreed to work

with Ms. Bush on Page 83 to include this language. Mr. Strauss stated he feels the

guidelines for historic preservation are promulgated through the National Park Service.

Mr. Majewski stated he feels Ms. Bush can identify the proper agency.  Ms. Dana Weyrick

stated she feels the way this was written in the 1992 version is clear and easy to read and

they may want to consider that verbiage.

 

Page 71 was noted.  Mr. Roeper noted the middle of the page where it states “$5 million of

the bond funds are left for open space use.”  He stated Mr. Taylor has suggested they

change this to “The voters approved borrowing $7.5 million for open space use.  Of that

amount $1.5 million has been spent to date.”  This was acceptable to the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Roeper asked if it would make sense to include a paragraph listing the Township bond

issues, interest rates, and their maturity dates adding that Mr. Taylor has indicated he could

supply this information if they felt it had merit.  Mr. Stainthorpe and the other Planning

Commission members felt that this should be included since it is a big part of the

Township’s overall financial picture.

 

Mr. Majewski noted Page 98, second paragraph and stated it should read “a portion of

these taxes goes to the County, etc.”  Mr. Stainthorpe stated this portion needs to be

clarified.

 

Mr. Majewski noted Item #1 on Page 108 and suggested they change this to “use

standards” or “uses and standards.”    He noted on Page #110 regarding Water Supply Item

#2 that Lower Makefield Township is in the Delaware River south and Neshaminy Creek

watersheds.  He also noted Page 111, Item #4 and stated the timing should be 2004 for

when regulations have to be enacted.  Mr. Majewski noted Page 115 at the bottom and

stated “Federal Transportation Administration” should be “Federal Highway

Administration.”  Mr. Majewski also noted several typographical errors throughout the

document which were recorded by Mr. Roeper on his copy of the draft.

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Ms. Gould noted Page 105 and asked if the Fire Station should be included.  Mr. Roeper

stated the Fire Department is a separate entity financially.

 

Mr. Roeper stated they need to establish a timetable particularly because of the advance

notice which is needed for public meetings.  He stated he will meet with Ms. Bush

tomorrow and advise her of the changes discussed this evening.  He stated Ms. Frick and

Mr. Koopman will prepare all the necessary notices and have them published at the proper

time.  The timetable proposed by Mr. Roeper shows April 8 as the date when the Bucks

County Planning Commission will deliver copies of only the changed pages to the

Township.  At the April 14 meeting of the Planning Commission, the Commission will

consider approval of the changes  which will then go back to the Bucks County Planning

Commission.  By April 22 he would like the Bucks County Planning Commission to

deliver copies of the Proposed Master Plan to the Township.  These would be distributed to

the various Township Boards and Commissions for their comment and copies would be

made available for review by the public at the Township Building and Library.  Mr. Roeper

stated he would like to receive all comments from the various Township Boards and

Commissions by May 5, and he would anticipate the Public Hearing would be held at the 

May 12 Planning Commission meeting.  By May 21 they would hope to receive the

changed copies from the Bucks County Planning Commission with changes made as a

result of the public comment and comments from the various organizations.  The Planning

Commission would review these at their meeting on May 26 and hopefully approve the

Plan to be sent to the Board of Supervisors.  By June 10 the approved copies would be

received from the Bucks County Planning Commission which would then be sent to the

Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Roeper stated the Board of Supervisors would most likely have

a meeting to discuss this, and he feels they will most likely recommend changes that would

then need to come back to the Planning Commission for comment.  After that time he

assumes the Board of Supervisors will set a date for a public meeting at which time the

public will be invited to again comment on the Plan.  Hopefully the Master Plan will be

approved at that time.  He stated it does not appear that the Plan would be approved by the

Supervisors until August or September. 

 

Ms. Frick noted May 26 is Memorial Day and the Planning Commission would not be meeting on that evening.  Mr. Roeper stated possibly they could meet on a different

evening.

 

Ms. Gould questioned if the various Boards would have time between April 25 and May 5

to send back comments to the Planning Commission. Mr. Roeper stated he has sent

portions to the various organizations already and has given them all advance notice with the

exception of Mr. Taylor who is just getting his section now.  Mr. Roeper asked how many copies would be needed.   After discussion he suggested there be fifty to seventy-five copies so that they would be available for purchase by the public if they so desire.

Ms. Frick stated she will look into how many they had printed the last time.  She noted they could also make copies in the office for purchase.  Mr. Roeper stated he will leave the decision on the fee to be charged for this up to the Township Administration.

 

Mr. Strauss noted Page 116 regarding bicycle/pedestrian access.  He noted Item #5 and

asked if there is a Plan in the Township.  Ms. Frick stated there is a Plan and it available in

the Park & Recreation Department.  Mr. Strauss noted pages 90 and 91 and stated he feels

it appears this Plan is intended to be implemented by Subdivision activities and asked if the

Plan addresses bicycle/pedestrian safety in already-developed neighborhoods where

striping, etc. can be done to make it safer to access.  He asked if they should not consider

March 24, 2003                                                               Planning Commission - page 4 of 4

 

 

this for the already-developed portions of the Township.  Mr. Majewski stated the

Township is looking into this at the present time and are considering how to close some of

the gaps in the bikepath system.    Ms. Frick stated the Park & Recreation Department

handles this part of the Township planning. Mr. Strauss asked if there is a priority list of

acquisitions for the gaps and should the Master Plan show these.  Mr. Majewski stated the

gaps have been identified and the Township is currently looking into what makes the best

sense as to how to proceed.  He stated they are still looking into this and it should come up

at a public meeting in the near future before the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Strauss stated

he feels it is the responsibility of this plan to reference the gaps that need to be considered. 

He noted particularly the Black Rock Road area.  Mr. Roeper stated they could amplify

Item #5 but any action would need to be considered by the Park & Recreation Board and

the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Majewski noted Page 116 does address this issue. 

He stated the Park & Recreation Department has been identifying where there are gaps and this is an ongoing process which eventually will come up before the Board of Supervisors.  As the Budget allows, some of these gaps will be closed.  Mr. Strauss stated he feels the

Planning Commission should endorse a bikepath/pedestrian system that goes throughout

the Township.  Mr. Koopman stated possibly they could add this to the narrative on Page

90 about pedestrian mobility. Mr. Roeper stated they could add “safety” to this. 

Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission can, at any time, make a recommendation to

the Park & Recreation Board or the Board of Supervisors about a certain project.  This can

be done at any time - not only with respect to consideration of the Master Plan. 

 

Mr. Strauss stated he would suggest that they add on Page 91 a paragraph that calls for

them to address safety in developed areas for bikepath and pedestrian mobility. 

Mr. Majewski stated Page 65 goes into additional detail in this area. Mr. Strauss suggested

that they pick up some of this narrative and include it on Page 91 so it is cross-referenced.

 

Ms. Gould stated she feels there should be a separate safety section which addresses all of

these items including pedestrians, bikepaths, traffic calming, etc. Mr. Koopman stated this

is already shown on Page 91.

 

Mr. Roeper asked Mr. Strauss to propose some text about safety he would like included on

Page 116. Mr. Strauss suggested the following:  “process for identifying safe linkages and

acquisition of gap sections throughout the Township.”

 

Mr. Bill Sterling asked if there are any new Zoning Districts proposed.  Mr. Roeper stated

there are not.  Mr. Roeper stated the Planning Commission may make a proposal to the

Board of Supervisors that they look at certain Zones, but there is no specific

recommendation at this time.  Mr. Sterling stated the document mentions a lot of maps and

asked if these are available. Mr. Roeper stated they will be when the public document is

available.  He noted what they are working with now is only a working draft.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Gould seconded and it was

unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m.

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        Albert Roeper, Chairman