The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
Planning commission: John Pazdera, Chairman
Karen Friedman, Secretary
Fred Allan, Member
Cynthia Harrison, Member (joined meeting in progress)
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
Jennifer McGrath, Township Solicitor
Drew Wagner, Township Engineer
Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison
Absent: Andrew Strauss, Planning commission Vice Chairman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Allan moved, Ms. Friedman seconded and it was unanimously
carried to approve the Minutes of
Ms. Harrison joined the meeting at this time.
APPEAL #04-1274 – SUNRISE DEVELOPMENT, INC. – SPECIAL EXCEPTION RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, Mr. Joe McElwee, Senior Vice President,
Mr. Tim Woodrow, and Mr. Joe Zacklo were present. Mr. Murphy stated this
Application is scheduled to go before the Zoning Hearing Board. The site has been the
subject of a number of Applications for re-zoning for different types of commercial uses.
The site is currently zoned R-3M. They are requesting a Special Exception for the
purpose of constructing a nursing home on the 9.25 acre site. It will be a two-story
Mr. McElwee stated
They operate in twenty-five states and in other Countries. They have eleven homes in the
history of the company and described the type of design they construct. They would be
willing to meet with any Architectural Review Board in the Township and work toward
providing the style the Township is trying to create. He stated they want their residents
to be close to the services they need and to feel part of the community. The building is
proposed to be 58,000 square feet with seventy-seven units and capacity for ninety-four
residents. Forty percent of the building is common area. Mr. McElwee reviewed the
interior decorating done in their facilities and discussed the services provided to their
residents. The building is licensed as a personal care home by the Department of
Welfare. Mr. McElwee
reviewed the statistic of people living in the
area which makes this area a good market for their use. They feel
for the community. He stated very little traffic will be added with this use, and they will
have no impact on the
Mr. McElwee stated
dementia community. At the new facility only nineteen would be all-dementia, and the
remainder would be assisted-living.
Mr. Murphy stated in the R-3M District they are required to have a lot minimum of five
acres for a nursing home. They can meet all required setbacks. They do require relief
from the Zoning Ordinance with regard to impervious surface as they are permitted 17%
and they are requesting 19.75%.
Ms. Harrison stated she is concerned with the amount of parking they have provided.
Mr. Wagner stated they do exceed the Zoning requirements for parking. Mr. McElwee
stated they do have significant experience with the number of parking spaces needed for
such a facility. He stated they exceed the Township requirements, and they would prefer
not to install more parking than necessary. They do have sufficient space to provide
additional parking if it is found to be necessary as they have a nine acre site.
Ms. Friedman asked the largest number of staff they would have at any one time, and
Mr. McElwee stated the largest shift would have twenty-seven employees in the building.
Ms. Friedman asked how many family events they would plan in a year. Mr. McElwee
stated he did not feel it was practical to plan parking for special events. He stated they
would have a Grand Opening and probably one other large family event in the year. In
the past at their other facilities, they have contracted with another location in the area for
parking and use their own van to shuttle people if necessary. Ms. Harrison stated if the
residents are permitted to have their own vehicles, she is concerned that there is
insufficient parking proposed. She stated since it is an assisted-living facility rather than
a nursing home some of the residents could have cars. Mr. McElwee stated most of the
residents they attract are frail, and either their family or their physicians have taken their
cars away. They do have a van to shuttle their residents when necessary. They have
never had a problem with parking at their other facilities.
Mr. Woodrow was asked the difference in impervious surface between the 17% permitted
and the 19.5% proposed, and he stated it is approximately 1,200 square feet.
Ms. Harrison asked about the timeframe for construction and the impact construction will
have on surrounding residents. Mr. McElwee stated it usually takes eleven months to
construct, and normally there is some inconvenience to surrounding residents during
construction. Mr. Murphy stated the Township engineer will have control over where the
construction vehicles can enter and exit the site.
Ms. Harrison asked if they would consider an area for overflow parking or show that they
have the ability to install additional parking if needed. Mr. McElwee stated he feels this
would be easy to put on the Plan. Mr. Murphy stated it would have an impact on the
impervious surface if they were required to install additional parking, but they could keep
it green and show where there would be an area where parking could be installed if the
Township deemed necessary.
Mr. Allan stated he has a problem with this use and feels it does not fit in with the area.
He feels they should propose residences and not a 58,000 square foot building. He stated
people will be going in and out of a busy road because of existing traffic on Stony Hill
Road. Mr. McElwee stated their shift changes take place at , , and ;
and he feels they could demonstrate with a traffic study that this use should not create a
problem. Mr. Allan stated they are adding to the volume that is already bad in this area.
Mr. McElwee stated they feel they are adding less than any other use for this location
other than five to six single-family homes. Mr. Allan stated he feels 58,000 square feet is
huge for this property. He asked why they did not propose only one floor, and
Mr. Zacklo stated this would have resulted in a problem with impervious surface.
Ms. Harrison stated she does not feel there will be a problem with traffic with this use.
Mr. Murphy stated they felt
entrance. Mr. Allan stated he is still opposed to this use at this location. Mr. McElwee stated he does not feel single-family residences across from a shopping center and a fire station are appropriate. He stated they have come in with a use that is permitted by Special Exception. He stated he has developed forty-two of these facilities and feels this is the perfect site in the perfect town.
Ms. Frick asked the height of the building, and Mr. McElwee stated it is thirty-four feet
to the ridge. Mr. Zacklo stated they are below the thirty-five foot height requirement.
Mr. Pazdera stated he feels this is a good use for the site especially when it is compared
to other proposals they have seen. He feels there will be some other issues to consider
when they come in with Land Development. He noted particularly the wetlands and the
driveway entrance. He would prefer that the driveway be lined up with Chestnut to get it
further away from the intersection. Mr. Pazdera stated as far as the Special Exception is
concerned, he feels this is a good use.
Mr. Zacklo showed photos of some of their other facilities.
Mr. Wagner stated on previous Applications for this site there has been discussion about
the wetlands, and they are not delineated on this Plan. Mr. Zacklo stated they have done
the wetlands delineation. Mr. Woodrow stated they can present this at the next
Application. Mr. McElwee stated they will submit a Plan that complies with all wetland
and setback requirements.
Ms. Harrison moved and Ms. Friedman seconded to recommend to the Zoning Hearing
Board approval of the Special Exception with the suggestion that they present a proposal
for additional parking if needed in the future.
There was no public comment. Motion carried with Mr. Allan opposed.
Mr. Dave Horton from Boucher & James was present. The PCS letter dated
noted. Mr. Horton was provided this evening a copy of the CKS review letter dated
of recreational fields and facilities.
After discussion, Mr. Allan stated he would like to have the baseball field located in the
“chimney” area to be a 90’ field rather than a 60’ field. This is in the north section of the
Park. Mr. Horton stated he feels the constraint of the setbacks from the existing homes
would still have to be maintained so that home plate will need to be adjusted. Mr. Allan
asked that they move the field as far away from the existing residences as possible
without encroaching on the wetlands. He stated they want the least amount of impact as
possible on the existing residents. Ms. Frick noted the area on the right of this location is
Ms. Friedman stated the walking trail is not shown, and Mr. Horton stated this was also a
comment form PCS, and they will show this on the revised Plans.
Mr. Horton noted Page 2 of the PCS review letter which lists Waivers being requested.
Item 1. C was noted, and Ms. Freidman noted one section where there may be a problem
with water drainage. Mr. Horton reviewed work they will do to contain the water.
Ms. Harrison asked if there will be any stone paths from the parking lots to the different
facilities to meet the needs of the handicapped. Mr. Horton stated there will be handicap
parking places and paths to get to the restrooms, etc. Ms. Harrison stated she feels there
should be a hard-packed path to get to the different recreational facilities as well.
Mr. Horton agreed to show this on the next set of Plans.
The PCS letter with regard to Site Plan comments was reviewed, and Mr. Horton stated
they will comply with all items. They will also comply with all items relating to the
Grading and Utility Plans and the Landscaping Plan. Mr. Allan asked that they make
sure that they choose trees which are fast growing.
Mr. Horton stated they will comply with all items with regard to the Erosion and
Sedimentation Control Plan. They are waiting for a response from the Conservation
District on some of these issues and would like to wait for those comments to come in
that they can revise the Plans once and include all revisions.
Mr. Horton stated they will comply with all items listed for the Detail Plan. They do not
intend to seed on top of the interceptor trenches.
With regard to Stormwater Management Report, Item #23 was noted. Mr. Horton stated
their approach to stormwater is in compliance with all Ordinances, and they have
achieved a 50% release rate. They have proposed some Best Management Practices.
The Township engineer did suggest that they consider some more aggressive approaches
for some areas particularly around the Memorial. There was discussion about the basin at
the back of the property, and it is suggested that now that they are increasing the size of
the ball field, they construct a more environmentally-friendly system. The next
submission will include this along with the required Waiver request. Mr. Wagener stated
there is not much drainage coming from the adjacent development, and there may be
some infiltration system possibilities for this area.
Mr. Horton stated they will comply with all items listed under General Comments.
Mr. Horton reviewed the letter from CKS he received tonight. Item #1 was noted, and
Mr. Horton stated they will complete the Planning Module Request on behalf of the
Township. Ms. Frick suggested that they discuss this with Mr. Hoffmeister. Item #2 was
noted, and Mr. Horton stated they would like to get input on the language the Township
is looking for in this regard. Item #3 was noted, and Mr. Wagener stated he did not see
any problem with this. They will comply with Items #4 through #9.
Mr. Pazdera asked that they make the necessary changes and come back to the Planning
Commission for a recommendation of approval.
Mr. Allan stated they should make sure that there are ample facilities in the restrooms to
accommodate those using the softball and baseball fields in case both of these fields are
being used at the same time.
It was suggested that Mr. Horton take the Plan to the Board of Supervisors to get their
comments as well.
There was no public comment.
Ms. Harrison stated the Environmental Advisory Council participated in the recent Canal
Days. They distributed information regarding Hazardous Waste Collections and other
environmental literature. She stated there was a good turn out for this event, and the
EAC made its presence known to the community and did a good job at public relations.
There being no further business, Ms. Friedman moved, Ms. Harrison seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meting at
Karen Friedman, Secretary