MINUTES – DECEMBER 13, 2004
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
Planning Commission: Karen Friedman, Secretary
Fred Allan, Member
Cynthia Harrison, Member
William Taylor, Member
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Drew Wagner, Township Engineer
Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison (joined meeting in
Absent: John Pazdera, Planning Commission Chairman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Ms. Harrison moved and Mr. Allan seconded to approve the Minutes of November 8, 2004 as written. Motion carried with Mr. Taylor abstained.
#557 – CHANTICLEER – APPROVAL OF REVISED PRELIMINARY/FINAL PLAN
Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Mr. William Briegel, engineer.
Mr. Murphy showed the Plan which was approved as a Final Plan in the summer. He
noted the highlighted section of the Plan that has been changed since Approval as Realen
subsequently purchased the Miller property of two and a half acres. A Revised Sketch
Plan was shown and the road has been shifted farther to the east and further away from
the Waters of the Commonwealth. They eliminated the flag lot #12. The lot count has
gone up by two and they are further away from the pipeline. Everything else on the Plan
is the same as was approved.
The 12/7/04 PCS review letter was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they have no issues
with this letter. The Waivers previously requested are still required. Mr. Murphy stated
they did submit this as an Amended Final Plan, but Ms. Frick stated because the new
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 2 of 9
parcel was not part of the original Final Plan, they had to re-submit. Mr. Murphy stated
they submitted it as a Preliminary Plan, but would request that it be treated as a
Preliminary/Final. Mr. Murphy stated there are no issues with the CKS letter. The
sewers will still go the way previously discussed, and they are still waiting for the issue
of the moratorium to be resolved. No additional Waivers are being requested.
Mr. Allan asked if the two new lots meet all requirements, and Mr. Murphy stated they
Mr. Taylor asked about the contours along the Golf Course, and Mr. Briegel showed this
on the Plan and stated everything sheets down off the Golf Course toward Dyers Creek.
He stated the water will go down the swale which will be redefined. The location of the
detention basin was shown. Mr. Majewski noted an area where they may need a storm
inlet, and they will discuss this further. This comment is included in the PCS review
Mr. Jeff Fogel asked when the Plans will be available to the Public, and Ms. Frick stated
the Plans have been available for approximately two months.
Mr. Allan moved, Ms. Harrison seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend
to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Preliminary/Final Plan dated 2/27/03, last
revised 10/8/04 subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 12/7/04 and the CKS
letter dated 11/4/04.
#543 – MINEHART SUBDIVISION PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION
Mr. John VanLuvanee, attorney, Mr. Chris McGinn, and Mr. Ken Bissinger, Schoor
DePalma, engineer, were present. Mr. VanLuvanee stated they were last present in June
of 2004. Mr. VanLuvanee stated the number of lots has been reduced by one from the
Plan presented in June. This was due to concerns over stormwater management issues.
He stated they have filed a revised Application to the Zoning Hearing Board. Tonight
they would like to discuss the issue of the shared driveway that had been previously
discussed. Previously this was a three-lot shared driveway, and they have reduced this
to two. The Zoning Hearing Board Application has been filed in the alternative. A
shared driveway will eliminate the need for a Variance from the encroachment into the
wetlands and reduce it to a wetland buffer encroachment only. He stated he feels there
was some difference of opinion on the Planning Commission over the shared driveway.
They feel they have resolved the resource protection issue. Mr. VanLuvanee stated they
also need Variance for utility lines.
Mr. VanLuvanee noted the PCS review letter dated 12/8/04, specifically Items #19, #20
and #21. He stated he feels with regard to Item #19 they do account for the maximum
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 3 of 9
impervious coverage allowed. He stated they are not seeking a Variance from resource
protection. He stated they would prefer not to have to cut more trees down.
Mr. Majewski stated there is room on all these lots to install additions, etc.
Mr. VanLuvanee stated he feels they can accommodate this. Mr. Majewski stated they
would like for them to add into the building envelope how much impervious could be put
in and make sure that they account for it in the stormwater calculations. Mr. VanLuvanee
stated they can do this. Mr. Koopman stated a lot of this tract is not able to be developed
because it is natural resources. Mr. VanLuvanee stated he feels as part of any Variance
Application, the individual homeowner requesting the Variances would have to provide
for the stormwater increase.
Ms. Harrison noted
Mr. Santarsiero joined the meeting at this time.
Ms. Frick asked if they should put a note on the Plan that the purchasers cannot exceed a
certain amount of impervious surface, and Mr. VanLuvanee stated this is one way they
could do this. Mr. Koopman stated he feels they should look into this further to see how
they want to do this. Mr. VanLuvanee stated they could do it lot by lot or for the entire
development. Mr. Koopman stated he and Mr. Majewski will look into this further.
Ms. Frick stated she feels it should be lot by lot which is easier to calculate if someone
comes in for a Variance. Mr. Koopman stated the amount that is allowed will have to
work with the stormwater management. Mr. McGinn stated a large area of the coverage
would be with the driveway. He asked if they could consider having pervious paving in
the Township, and Ms. Frick stated the Ordinance does not permit this. Mr. VanLuvanee
stated he feels the best way is to do it lot by lot. He stated any other way would become an enforcement issue. Ms. Frick stated it is difficult to keep track of and not always fair.
She stated she feels it will be difficult to determine how they will calculate this if they do
not yet know the amount of the first floor. Mr. Majewski stated he feels Mr. McGinn
needs to let them know what size house they intend to construct and to advise the
homeowners that there are limits on the size of the home.
Mr. Allan stated he feels there should be a letter from the developer signed by the
purchaser indicating that they understand that this is all the impervious surface they can
have. Ms. Frick stated they do have the 190. Mr. Allan stated for this he feels they
need a separate document that indicates that they know how much impervious surface
they can have on the lot.
Mr. VanLuvanee agreed to make this proposal on a lot by lot basis and review it with
Mr. Majewski. Mr. VanLuvanee stated this will not impact the Variance since they are
not requesting any Variances to natural resource protection. Mr. Koopman stated they
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 4 of 9
are looking for a Variance from the buffers which are natural resource protection areas,
and Mr. VanLuvanee agreed.
Item #20 was noted regarding the peak discharge rate. Mr. VanLuvanee stated with
respect to the area that is being disturbed, they are meeting the 50% pre-development
ratio. They are not meeting it with respect to the areas not being disturbed. He stated the
Ordinance refers to the site as a whole. He stated if they were to retain more, they would
have to take down more trees and have more of an encroachment. He stated this is
similar to the reasons noted in Item #19. He stated this is why they are requesting a
Waiver. He stated this is a site specific situation because of this particular tract.
Mr. McGinn stated they did test for perc on the upper portion of the property, and it did
work. He stated it did not work for the lower portion of the tract. Mr. VanLuvanee
stated they have done a lot of work on the stormwater issue.
Mr. Majewski stated the Ordinance was rewritten to try to control flooding. He stated
they are still releasing less water. Mr. Koopman noted there were similar issues with
Chanticleer, and he asked if they have treated the Application the same as they treated
that development. Mr. Majewski stated this Application will need a Wavier.
Mr. Koopman stated they will also still need Variances, and Mr. VanLuvanee
acknowledged this and stated they have a Hearing date of January 18, 2005 with the
Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. VanLuvanee noted Item #21. He stated originally they had individual on-lot
detention basins on some of the lots. It had been suggested that they consider
underground seepage beds, and Mr. Majewski has indicated there may be a water table
impact. He stated if there is a concern with the seepage beds, they could go back to the
basins. He asked if they would like to have them work with this with the engineers.
Mr. Majewski stated they had considered putting a detention basin between Lots #5 and
#6. Mr. Koopman suggested that they continue to work with Mr. Majewski, but feels the
Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will have to look at this conceptually
before they make a final decision. Mr. Koopman stated he does not feel they have had
many instances where they addressed this on a lot by lot basis in the past in the
Mr. Bissinger stated the lots that are a problem are in the area which is heavily wooded,
and they wanted to minimize the impact on tree disturbance. They are trying to find a
creative way to handle this rather than the typical solution of building a basin. He noted
the creek on the tract which bisects the property.
Mr. Majewski stated the Township is going to have to start considering on-lot handling of
water as required by the new standards. This promotes ground water recharge and
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 5 of 9
infiltration as a first line of stormwater management before you get to detention basins. He stated some areas on this site are fine for perc, but the remainder is marginal. There is also a high water table.
Mr. VanLuvanee stated they will agree to continue to work with Mr. Majewski.
Mr. VanLuvanee asked about the 50% rate of run off requirement because of the
difference between how things are handled now and how they may be handled in the
future. Mr. Majewski stated this has come up on a number of projects; and they do
recognize that for areas that are off site or areas that are undisturbed, they would not
make them reduce it to 50%. Waivers have been given for this in the past.
There was further discussion on the shared driveway. Mr. VanLuvanee stated they have
now reduced it from three lots to two lots sharing the driveway and eliminated the need
for a wetlands encroachment Variance. It would be only a buffer issue. He asked if the
Planning Commission would now look more favorably on this. He stated from reviewing
the comments when this was discussed in June, he felt a majority of the Board was in
favor of the shared driveway if it meant less disturbance to the wetlands.
Mr. Taylor stated he feels a shared driveway creates major neighbor issues.
Ms. Friedman agreed. Ms. Frick stated the Township is currently involved in one of
these situations. Mr. VanLuvanee stated if they do it correctly up front with the proper
documents, it is usually not a problem. Mr. Allan stated he would prefer that they
disturb the wetlands a little more as opposed to having a shared driveway.
Mr. VanLuvanee stated he did file in the alternative with the Zoning Hearing Board to
cover this. Ms. Friedman stated she would not be in favor of a shared driveway and
would like to see them develop this in such a way that they have the minimal amount of
disturbance. Mr. VanLuvanee stated they did file a Plan with the Zoning Hearing Board
showing ten feet of separation. Mr. Majewski stated possibly they could have it five feet
in this area to minimize the disturbance. Mr. Allan stated he would be in favor of this
since it would take the Township out of the mix. Ms. Frick stated the Variances they will
receive from the Zoning Hearing Board must be on the Plan, and the Plans must be very
clear. She stated it is impossible for the average person to interpret the Plans with all of
the setbacks and notes on the Plans. Mr. VanLuvanee agreed. He asked that she set out
what she would like disclosed and they would agree to accommodate her concerns.
Mr. Allan asked Mr. Hackman how the water run off impacts him. Mr. Hackman stated
it floods routinely at Woodside and Lindenhurst Roads. He stated the water level comes
up to the point where it comes up to his garage. Ms. Friedman stated she feels the
disturbed areas are going to impact the undisturbed areas and this is why she is concerned
about their inability to meet the 50% requirement on the undisturbed areas.
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 6 of 9
Mr. VanLuvanee stated this development is downstream from Mr. Hackmna’s property.
He stated if they hold the water back it will slow down the ability to get the water off
quickly and may then back up. Mr. Allan stated the Township must be on top of this
Mr. Hackman stated the Township has gone to great lengths to protect the natural
resources, and he did not hear any discussion about the Variance they are asking for.
He asked if the Planning Commission gives input to the Zoning Hearing Board on these
matters. He would hope that they would try to maintain the Ordinances. Mr. Hackman
coming out onto
Mr. Minehart’s driveway previously went out to
expressed at the prior meeting. Mr. Hackman stated his concern is that they are taking
this Plan to the Zoning Hearing Board as if the Planning Commission has approved it,
and the Variances will dictate how the Plan will be done. Mr. VanLuvanee stated this is
not accurate. He stated they are not taking it to the Zoning Hearing Board with approval
from the Planning Commission. He stated three of the four Variances relate to utilities.
The fourth Variance relates to the driveway which they have now discussed with the
Planning Commission. He stated they are not reporting to the Zoning Hearing Board that
the Planning Commission has made a recommendation.
Ms. Friedman stated they did discuss the
Mr. VanLuvanee stated they do not really have any alternative. He stated they can meet
the sight distance requirements, and they will have to get a PennDOT permit for the
driveways. Mr. Allan asked that they show the sight lines on the Plans.
Mr. Ron Seagrave,
where there is a bus stop. He stated this has been noted as an area where there have been
some near misses. He stated the Board of Supervisors is considering traffic calming
measures at this location and to add two driveways seems to be exacerbating the
situation Mr. Santarsiero stated they are also considering a turn in-area at this location
so the bus can pull off the road.
Mr. Allan stated he feels they will need to make the driveways large enough so that the
vehicles can be turned around in the driveway so they do not
back out onto
Road. Ms. Frick stated
they did this on a Subdivision on
required to have turn-arounds so that vehicles would not
back out onto
Mr. VanLuvanee stated Mr. Majewski did comment on this as well, and they will
comply. They do not need relief as there is room to provide for this.
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 7 of 9
Mr. Hackman asked if they have considered an access road off
those lots so that they do not have to go out onto
they cannot get there. Mr. VanLuvanee noted the Trans-Continental pipeline across the
middle. Mr. Hackman stated across the street they run over the pipeline numerous times.
Mr. VanLuvanee stated there would also be a resource protection issue and they would
have to cut down several acres of trees. The road would also be longer than permitted by
Ordinance. Mr. Hackman suggested that if they are going to allow the driveways on
discuss this issue along with other issues which need to be resolved with the Township
Mr. Majewski asked what they would feel about a shared
where it is more of a safety issue. It was agreed that the Planning Commission would
still prefer them to have separate driveways, although they could be close together.
#532-A – FLOWERS-MADANY TRACT PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION
Mr. David Shafkowitz and Mr. Brian Focht were present. Mr. Shafkowitz stated they
have now named the tract Brookshire Estates. He stated they were asked to do several
things at their last meeting with the Planning Commission, and they had indicated at that
time that they may be wiling to consider this a Preliminary/Final Plan. He stated this is a
twenty-nine lot Subdivision on sixty-seven acres partially
partially in Lower Makefield Township. They have worked on the lot configuration in
terms of addressing some of the Planning Commission’s concerns. The lots range in size
from 34,000 to 70,000 square feet. They had been asked to obtain Zoning Hearing Board
relief; and the Zoning Hearing Board, after some deliberation, did grant the Variances
needed. They were also
asked to obtain guidance from
access out to
received reviews. He provided tonight information related to this. He stated one lot is
the Subdivision Plan, they will have to pick who will be the taxing authority for that
particular lot. In
this instance they will assign it to
no split taxing obligation.
All services for that lot would come from
He stated they did have this conversation with
grants Preliminary/Final, the lay out would be fixed and
able to look at the issues which relate to what is in their Township.
Mr. Shafkowitz stated they will comply with the items in the PCS review letter dated
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 8 of 9
Mr. Allan stated even though
living on that street will be
propose that this be a private street and it would be the responsibility of the lots that take
access on it to take responsibility for it. He stated
a public road. Ms. Friedman asked if this has ever been done, and Ms. Frick stated while
it was done in
because the residents complained that they were not getting Township services.
Mr. Hackman stated he believes the Zoning Ordinance says every road should front on a
public street. Ms. Frick stated it says a public street or a road that meets Township
standards. Mr. Allan stated
he feels they should discuss with
Friedman stated the
will have to travel about one mile from the last place they plow to get to this location.
Mr. Shafkowitz noted the information he provided this evening and stated some of the
Plans show taking access from
Mr. Koopman asked if they discussed this with
stated they did go to a Planning Commission meeting and are scheduled to go back in
January. They have not gone to the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Harrison stated she feels Scheme 2 makes the most sense because it stays more in
Lower Makefield and adds the least amount of impervious. This is also the shortest
distance to the main road. Mr. Allan agreed that he would prefer Scheme 2. He
suggested they talk to
take care of the maintenance of the road if
each year. Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels there is probably precedent for this, and
Ms. Frick stated she feels this may have come up in Orchard Hill with Yardley Borough.
Ms. Frick stated they did advise
Mr. Santarsiero agreed to put this issue on the next Agenda of the Southeastern League of
Mr. Shafkowitz stated he feels if they advise
would prefer Scheme 2, they can then have the Township work out a Municipal
Agreement. He stated if the developer has to endow the problem at least initially, he
feels they would be willing to do so.
Ms. Frick stated they will need an extension this evening, and Mr. Shafkowitz agreed to
Mr. Allan thanked them for making the changes which had been requested.
Mr. Shafkowitz asked if he could come back on this Plan once
this issue is resolved once they go through
December 13, 2004 Planning Commission – page 9 of 9
Ms. Friedman welcomed William Taylor as the new Planning Commission member
Ms. Frick stated this morning she received an e-mail dated Saturday evening from the
Morrisville Borough Manager inviting them to attend their Draft Comprehensive Master
Plan meeting this evening. She stated there will be another meeting in January, and she
will advise the Planning Commission of the date.
Mr. Taylor noted the memo they received regarding the Board of Supervisors engaging the Heritage Conservancy to work on the Township’s historic properties.
Mr. Allan stated the Planning Commission is going to have to address stormwater
management issues in the Township. Mr. Koopman stated the Township needs to address
Ordinance changes regarding stormwater management which may be fairly
comprehensive. He feels these items will be before the Planning Commission early next
year. Ms. Friedman stated she has been working with the EAC and she did invite an
individual to come speak to the Township who deals with stormwater management. She
would like that individual to conduct a seminar on on-site stormwater management.
Ms. Harrison stated possibly they could invite the other Townships in the area as well
since this is a regional issue. Ms. Friedman stated the individual’s name is Neil
Weinstein. She stated it will cost $1,00 to $2,000 to have him do a two to four hour
seminar. Mr. Santarsiero asked that Ms. Friedman provide him with the information so
that he can bring this up. He stated if the other Townships are interested, possibly they
could split the cost. Mr. Allan stated he feels the Lower Makefield Township Planning
Commission is going to have problems with future subdivision with respect to ground
water. Mr. Majewski stated there are model Ordinances that have been proposed by the
DEP and the Ordinances do have to be enacted by the Township.
There being no further businesses, Mr. Allan moved, Ms. Harrison seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m.
Karen Friedman, Secretary