TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES- JUNE 14, 2004

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on June 14, 2004.  Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   John Pazdera, Chairman

                                                Andrew Strauss, Vice Chairman

                                                Karen Friedman, Secretary (joined meeting in progress)

                                                Fred Allan, Member

                                                Cynthia Harrison, Member (joined meeting in progress)

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                Douglas Maloney, Township Solicitor

                                                Drew Wagner, Township Engineer

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Strauss seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of March 22, 2004 as corrected.

 

Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Strauss seconded and it was unanimously carried to table the Minutes of May 24, 2004 due to lack of a quorum able to vote on the Minutes

(Minutes were subsequently approved once a quorum arrived – See end of meeting)

 

 

#541 – CHANTICLEER – FINAL PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Mr. Mike Stadulis.  Mr. Murphy stated

Final Plans have been submitted.  He noted the 6/7/04 PCS review letter.  He stated Item

#1 lists the Waivers granted by the Board of Supervisors at the time of Preliminary Plan

approval last December.  He stated Item #2 required obtaining a Variance from the

Zoning Hearing Board, and this was obtained.  Item #3 was reviewed by the Board as one

of the Conditions of Preliminary Plan.  They will comply with all other items in the PCS

review letter.

 

Mr. Murphy noted the CKS letter dated 6/2/04 and stated they were given direction from

the Township as to how they wanted the sewers to be handled, and they are in the process

of addressing this.

 

June 14, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 2 of 7

 

 

Mr. Murphy noted the letter from Jim Yates regarding driveway widths, and Mr. Stadulis

stated this is acceptable. 

 

Ms. Friedman joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with the Township’s request regarding street names

once they are advised of these. 

 

Ms. Harrison joined the meeting at this time.

 

Mr. Strauss stated there was a wetlands buffer required along the drainage ditch, and it

appears the road encroaches on this buffer.  Mr. Murphy stated they received relief for

this from the Zoning Hearing Board.  Mr. Stadulis stated the Army Corps does not get

involved with this type of encroachment since it is not an encroachment into the actual

ditch – it is only the Township’s riparian buffer. 

 

Mr. Allan noted Lots #18 and #16 which back up to Thistlewood Drive.  He asked how

this development will impact the three properties on the left side with regard to drainage.

Mr. Stadulis stated those properties drain onto the developer's property.  Mr. Allan asked

what they will do for the new homeowners.  Mr. Stadulis stated swales are shown on the

Plan to direct the water.  Mr. Allan stated he does not want the Township Office to be

getting calls about water problems on these lots.  Mr. Stadulis stated Lot #18 drains

toward the house immediately to the north and flows along the driveway out to Road A. 

The lower portion of #18 drains out along the driveway that goes to Lot #16 which is

swaled out to Road A as well.  Mr. Allan asked if the storm drains will be large enough to

handle this, and Mr. Wagner stated they will.  Mr. Stadulis noted Sheet 6 showing the

inlets.  Mr. Allan asked if there are any inlets that take the water so it does not have to go

down the driveway, and Mr. Stadulis stated here are not.  He stated there are recharge

trenches for these houses, and the lots are not extremely large.  Mr. Wagner stated he felt

comfortable with the Plan as proposed.  Ms. Frick noted swales work well until the

homeowners start installing trees, sheds, etc. on their properties.

 

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

recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Final Plan dated 2/27/04, last

revised 5/7/04 subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 6/7/04, the CKS letter

dated 6/2/04, the Lower Makefield Township Police Department letter dated 5/18/04, and

Counsel’s affirmation as to Item #1 in the letter from Jim Yates dated 5/24/04 regarding

access.

 

 

 

 

 

June 14, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 3 of 7

 

 

#543 – MINEHART SUBDIVISION – PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. John VanLuvanee, attorney, Mr. Mark Buchvalt, P.E., engineer, and

Mr. Chris McGinn, builder, were present.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated in late March they

submitted an Application to the Zoning Hearing Board; and they asked to have this

continued because based on the PCS review letter, it appears there may be the need for at

least one additional Variance.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated the property is located on the

northeast corner of the intersection of Lindenhurst and Woodside Roads and is over thirty

acres.  They are proposing eight new homes, each of which is a large lot.  A ninth lot will

be added to the Minehart property located on the corner.  There are wetlands on the

property as well as an existing sanitary easement, a storm sewer easement, and an

easement to the adjacent property on the back side.  They have designed the Subdivision

to accommodate these items on the site.

 

Mr. VanLuvanee noted the 4/5/04 PCS review letter.  He noted they will comply with

Item #1.  They have already provided the information noted in Items #2 and #3.  They

will comply with Item #4.  Item #5 was noted which the engineer has indicated will

require a Variance.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated they have identified four areas where there

are minor encroachments into the wetlands or the wetland buffers.  He stated the reason

for the shared driveways proposed for Lots #5, #6, and #7 is for the purpose of

minimizing the encroachment.  They have obtained the General Permit from the DEP for

the crossings.  He stated both Lots #5 and #6 have the required frontage on Woodside

Road, but to take access onto the road would have required a significant encroachment. 

 

Mr. Strauss asked why the Applicant was not able to fit the entire Subdivision on one

sheet and scale it.  He stated the way it has been presented makes it very difficult to

follow.  Mr. Buchvalt stated they could to it on one sheet but it would be difficult to

follow because of all the lines on the Plan.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated they could provide

one composite and the blow-ups as well.  Mr. Buchvalt provided a sheet this evening for

the members to share and will provide additional information at the next submission.

Ms. Frick stated normally they do not have this many easements, wetlands, etc. on one

site.

 

Mr. VanLuvanee stated there was some question about Lots #5, #6, #7, and #8 regarding

measurement from the setbacks, and Mr. Buchvalt did discuss this with Mr. Majewski. 

Ms. Frick noted the disturbance on the individual lots, and Mr. Buchvalt stated they

calculated the disturbance percentage on the entire site.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated they did

not want to clear more trees than necessary.  They measured the yard setback from the

limit of disturbance rather then from the area actually to be disturbed on the lot.  Their

intent was to make less disturbance rather than to go up to the 30% permitted. 

Mr. McGinn feels he can do the grading he needs to accommodate the lots without

disturbing all that they are permitted.

 

June 14, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 4 of 7

 

 

Mr. VanLuvanee stated there are two sections in the Ordinance one for site capacity and

another on limit of disturbance on the site which have different numbers.  He stated they

are not disturbing more than permitted for the entire site.  Mr. Wagner stated they have

not taken into account overlapping resources, and Mr. VanLuvanee stated this is a legal

interpretation.  Ms. Frick stated if you have wetlands and you have woodlands, they are

exclusive.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated he disagrees with this interpretation.  He stated it

affects this Plan because it would impact the number you can start with.  Ms. Frick stated

this site does have a lot of natural resources.

 

Mr. Maloney asked if they are requesting an interpretation from the Zoning Hearing Board on this matter, and Mr. VanLuvanee stated if they feel it is necessary, they will file for an interpretation on this.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated Mr. McGinn is very sensitive to the

environment and is an award-winning, custom builder. 

 

There was further discussion on the lots with the shared driveway.  Mr. Wagner stated

this requires another interpretation from the Zoning Hearing Board as the Ordinance

requires a cleared open space.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated the Township also asked for this

Variance for their Park.  Ms. Frick stated this was only for the wetlands buffer where they

were encroaching five feet and was not an encroachment into the wetlands.

 

Mr. Allan stated he feels they should take these issues to the Zoning Hearing Board and

get the Waivers necessary and then come back to the Planning Commission to discuss the

Plan. 

 

Mr. VanLuvanee noted the Ordinance provision requiring public water if you are within

one thousand feet.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated while they can do this, in order to extend it

across the frontage, they need to again encroach on the wetlands and wetlands buffer and

this would require another Variance.  Ms. Frick stated the requirement to connect to

public water is a Subdivision Ordinance item.  She asked if they have to disturb this for

sewers, and Mr. McGinn stated they do not because the sewers currently run down the

site.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated they were proposing to do on-lot water rather than cutting

through the wetlands.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he would prefer that they connect to public

water.  Mr. Allan stated they would have to put the wetlands back the way they were. 

 

Ms. Friedman stated she is opposed to the shared driveway because of problems with

repairs, snow removal, etc.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated this would be subject to an

agreement among the homeowners and would be a private driveway arrangement. 

Mr. Pazdera stated the Fire Department will want the driveway to be fifteen feet wide. 

Mr. VanLuvanee stated they can accommodate this.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated they will put

in covenants.  He will also stipulate who has the right to decide when it should be

repaired, etc.  He stated normally there is one individual who is responsible, and the

others only have to pay their share.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated he has done these all over the

County.  Ms. Frick stated she is concerned that she is going to get calls about problems

June 14, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 5 of 7

 

 

with this in the future.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated if the documents are done correctly, you

eliminate the problems.  He stated the Township Solicitor’s office will review the

documents.  He stated they include information that if an individual does not pay their

share, they have the ability to sue and the individual who will not pay also has to pay for

the attorney fees.  Mr. Strauss stated they could also have the developer provide a bond

for required maintenance, etc.  Mr. VanLuvanee stated this is a public policy question as

to how much the Township wants to get involved.  Ms. Frick stated she would like to see

something on the Plan that the Township has no responsibility for this.

 

Mr. VanLuvanee agreed  not to request Preliminary Plan approval without the Variances

in place.

 

Mr. Strauss stated he is not opposed to the shared driveway provided there are covenants

that make it a private matter and precludes any involvement by the Township. 

 

Mr. Maloney asked if they intend to extent the review period, and Mr. VanLuvanee

stated they will and have already done so several times.

 

Ms. Harrison asked the average square footage of the proposed homes, and Mr. McGinn

stated they will be between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet. 

 

Ms. Frick asked if they will have notes on the Plan about limits of disturbance, and

Mr. McGinn stated they will.  She suggested that they have these on the Plan and on the

deeds. 

 

Mr. Ronald Seagrave, 2000 Trowbridge, stated there is a traffic problem on Lindenhurst

Road, and they are proposing two more driveways coming onto Lindenhurst Road.  He

stated one of these driveways is across the street from where the school bus stops.

 

Mr. Mansur Radman, 2001 Trowbridge, stated he too is concerned with adding traffic in

this area and the location of the School bus stop.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he has been

discussing the bus stop situation with the School District and asking them to have the

buses go into Trowbridge.  He stated there is a tree in the area on the curve which would

have to come down.  Mr. Radman stated he would prefer that there be less traffic on the

road rather than taking down trees.  Mr. Santarsiero reviewed discussions that are

ongoing with regard to traffic in this area and the fact that Swamp Road will be opened

up to truck traffic after the culverts are repaired and this should help spread out the traffic.   Mr. Radman stated he would prefer that there not be two more driveways opened up onto Lindenhurst Road.

 

 

 

 

June 14, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 6 of 7

 

DISCUSSION ON PLACING EDGEWOOD VILLAGE ON PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA FOR 6/28/04

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated he will be meeting tomorrow morning with the Historic

Commission. Mr. Pazdera stated he would prefer to have the Historic Commission meet

with them on the regular meeting night for the Planning Commission.  Ms. Friedman

suggested that if they cannot meet on 6/28, they come in at the next meeting to be held on

7/12.  Ms. Frick stated she would prefer they meet on 6/28 since it seems it will be a light

Agenda.

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated at the last Board of Supervisors meeting the people from Univest

were present.  He advised them that the proposal was “putting the cart before the horse”

because they should first deal with the Zoning issues that have to do with the Village

Plan.  The Board indicated they were not opposed to the concept of having a bank, but it

would have to conform to the historic nature of Edgewood Village. This is the reason

why it is important to move on this issue because more and more developers will be

coming in to develop this area.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES – 5/24/04

 

Mr. Allan moved and Ms. Harrison seconded to approve the Minutes of 5/24/04 as

written.  Motion carried with Mr. Pazdera and Mr. Strauss abstaining.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Ms. Harrison stated she attended the recent Environmental Advisory Council meeting

where they discussed Canal day to be held on Saturday, July 10.  There is a request for

additional boats for the Parade and monitors to help along the Canal during the Parade. 

Those interested in helping should contact Sue Taylor at Yardley Borough.  The Lower

Makefield EAC will have a booth in the Non-Profit/Community area and will distribute

literature including statistics on the recent, successful Hazardous Waste Collection held

in Lower Makefield.  Ms. Harrison reported that the EAC will have now have one of their

members act as a liaison working with the Yardley Borough EAC.  There was also

discussion on the Brock Creek corridor project with final plans still to be determined.

 

Mr. Allan invited the Planning Commission members to attend the Art Coleman

Memorial Softball Tournament to be held this weekend.  Seventy-six teams will be in

attendance with more than 100 colleges represented for scholarship consideration.

 

There was discussion on the need for additional 90’ baseball fields in the Township.

Mr. Allan stated the 60’ fields are in excellent condition and the Township did a great job this year.

June 11, 2004                                                                Planning Commission – page 7 of 7

 

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted

 

 

                                   

                                                                        Karen Friedman, Secretary