MINUTES- JUNE 14, 2004
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Mr. Ronald Seagrave, 2000 Trowbridge, stated there is a
traffic problem on
Road, and they are proposing two more driveways coming onto
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
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
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
June 14, 2004 Planning Commission – page 6 of 7
DISCUSSION ON PLACING
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
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
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.
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
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.
Karen Friedman, Secretary