TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES – MARCH 14, 2005

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on March 14, 2005.  Chairman Friedman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Karen Friedman, Chairman

                                                William Taylor, Secretary

                                                Fred Allan, Member

                                                John Pazdera, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                Jennifer McGrath, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Drew Wagner, Township Engineer

                                               

Absent:                         Cynthia Harrison, Planning Commission Vice Chair

                                                Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Taylor moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of February 14, 2005 as written.

 

 

#563 – RAWLINS, RAYMOND & LINDA – APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY/FINAL PLAN

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present and stated this is a Lot Line Change for

Mr. and Mrs. Rawlins who are present this evening.  Mr. Murphy stated they have owned

two lots at the corner of West Ferry and N. Pennsylvania Avenue for eighteen years. 

They currently reside on Lot #2.  The property is slightly over three acres.  They are

proposing to relocate the westerly most lot line on Lot #2 which currently sits

approximately 19 feet from the edge of the corner of the Rollins’ home.  The lot line is

proposed to be moved 65 feet to the west which increases the lot size somewhat and will

decrease the lot size on Lot #1.  This will bring the lots more closely to the same size and

provide a greater side yard for Lot #2.  There are a number of mature trees that they

would like to preserve on Lot #2.  As part of the proposal, the driveway that extends out

to the intersection of West Ferry and N. Pennsylvania will be eliminated.  They are not

creating any new lots.

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 2 of 7

 

 

Mr. Murphy noted the PCS review letter dated 3/9/05.  They will comply with Items #1

and #2.  Item #3 relates to the easements, and to the best of their knowledge there are

none.  Item #4 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated he feels all the trees have been

identified.  Mr. Majewski stated SALDO requires that they indicate the species of the

trees.   Mr. Murphy stated they would request a Waiver on the species issue because of

the time of the year.  Mr. Majewski asked if they will save the trees on Lot #1, and

Mr. Murphy stated they would address this as part of the Building Permit review in the

future if a Building Permit is ever submitted.  They would ask that this be deferred and

would agree to having such a Note on the Plan.  They will comply with Item #5.  Item #6

was noted which talks about the access to the street of the lowest hierarchy dealing with

Lot #1.  He stated the exact location of the driveway for Lot #1 would be determined

once a Building Permit is submitted and will be subject to Township review at that time. 

Item #7 was noted and Mr. Murphy stated they do not propose any curbing or widening. 

A Waiver is requested.  Item #8 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated he does not feel

anything would be appropriate at this time as it is only a lot line change.  He stated

sidewalks already exist on West Ferry but none exist on N. Pennsylvania Avenue. 

He does not feel a Waiver is required.  They will comply with Item #9. With regard to  

Items #10, #11, and #12, to the extent that anything is applicable, they would comply. 

He stated he does not feel Item #12 applies since no new lots are being requested.

Mr. Allan noted the number of trees on the corner, and Mr. Murphy showed these on the

existing features plan.

 

Ms. Frick stated much of this will come up again if they come in for a Building Permit

for Lot #1.

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to

the Board of Supervisors approval of the Lot Line change as submitted subject to the PCS

letter dated 3/9/05 as discussed this evening.

 

 

#549 – FIELDSTONE AT LOWER MAKEFIELD PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Michael Stadulis, Mr. Michael Macaninch, attorney, and Mr. John Hako, engineer

were present.  Mr. Macaninch stated they received the PCS review letter dated 3/2/05. 

He stated that in the interim Mr. Hako and Mr. Stadulis have met with the Township

engineer.  There are a few items they would like to discuss this evening to get feedback

from the Planning Commission.  

 

 

 

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 3 of 7

 

 

A Plan was shown showing minimum improvements to Edgewood Road including a 75’

pavement taper.   Mr. Hako stated they met with Mr. Majewski and discussed some

modifications to the access site.  They were able to create a 40’ decel lane to get a car off

the road.  He stated there are no drainage problems in the area, and they are reducing

stormwater run off to the roadway.  Mr. Hako stated they are not widening the entire

length because of the existing bridge 500’ east of the site entrances.  They feel by not

widening it will have the effect of providing traffic calming.  He stated their access drive

will be pulled off somewhat from the roadway.  They did move the access over by one lot

for sight distance reasons.   Mr. Majewski stated this is now at the high point of the road. 

Mr. Allan asked if this is where the fruit stand was previously located, and a

representative of the Harris family stated it was in this location and showed this on the

Plan.  Mr. Allan stated he agrees that this is the best place to put the entrance. 

 

Mr. Allan stated he feels the turning lane needs to be brought up more toward the left and

the Applicant agreed to do this.  Mr. Allan stated he would lengthen it on the other side

and well, and the Applicant agreed.  Mr. Hako noted the existing telephone pole but

stated they could still lengthen this somewhat without impacting the telephone pole. 

Mr. Hako stated this could be approximately 60’ and then taper it back to the telephone

pole.

 

Mr. Macaninch stated they also need to discuss Long Acre Lane.  He stated there was

discussion about narrowing it as you go to the culvert to help reduce speed.  Mr. Allan

noted the possibility of speed humps on the road.  Mr. Stadulis stated they have heard that

this could impact liquid fuels but they would agree to look into this.  Mr. Majewski stated

there are guidelines on this.  He stated he will check, into this with PennDOT. 

Mr. Stadulis stated possibly they could do this at the time of the final pavement. 

Ms. Friedman asked how this would impact snow removal.  Mr. Majewski stated this is a

concern and it would have to be signed on either side that there is a speed hump. 

Mr. Taylor asked the speed limit on this road, and Mr. Macaninch stated it would be 25

miles per hour. 

 

Mr. Stadulis stated they have to proceed with the Application through DEP and one of the

things they will be piggybacking on that discussion is what type of culvert they will have

and how wide it will be.  They would like to know if they can go to the Board of

Supervisors to get this issue resolved.  Mr. Hako stated the proposed cartway is 36’ and

they were showing narrowing to 26’ with a 5 foot taper on either side.  Mr. Stadulis

stated there are no lots on either side in this area and no parking.   Mr. Allan stated he

would like them to narrow the road and install a speed hump.  Mr. Allan stated he would

like to have the Fire Department comment on narrowing the road to 26’.  Mr. Stadulis

stated he would agree to do this.  He stated the Plan was shown at 36’ wide and at the

direction of the consultant they are trying to show traffic calming measures.

 

 

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 4 of 7

 

 

Ms. Friedman stated she would agree that the Planning Commission feels it would be

advisable to narrow the road to provide traffic calming subject to approval by the Fire

Department to determine the appropriate width.  This will help preserve more of the

stream line and result in a smaller culvert.  They should also investigate the installation of

a speed hump.  Mr. Wagner stated he feels the outrigger would be the only piece of fire

equipment that could present a problem and since there are no houses in this area, he does

not feel this should be a problem.

 

Mr. Macaninch noted the stormwater management issue, noting that Mr. Majewski

recommended installation of additional inlets as shown on the plan by Mr. Hako. 

Mr. Hako stated they feel the design on the Plan does meet the Ordinance requirements.

Mr. Macaninch stated they would agree to put the additional inlets in but when the

Ordinance nets out easements for lot areas, they do not want to lose lot area so that it

impacts lot yield.  Mr. Majewski stated this is a Zoning requirement.  Mr. Stadulis stated

historically this is never something that the Ordinance has required.  He stated it was

specifically to net out large utilities, etc.  He noted specifically the Farmview and Loberg

plans and stated area was never netted out for storm or sewer inlets.  Mr. Majewski stated

it does state “excluding areas for pipelines.”  Mr. Hako stated this will involve nine lots.

Mr. Taylor asked how the stormwater gets to the basin, and Mr. Hako showed on the plan

how it is collected and than piped to the basin.  Mr. Stadulis stated they feel the Plan is

consistent with the drainage guidelines.  Mr. Hako stated this will be an 18” pipe at the

minimum depth approximately four feet below surface.  The possibility of a Waiver was

discussed.  Ms. Friedman stated she would not want to compromise the usability of the

back yard and this would make it drier.  Ms. Frick stated in the alternative, it would also

limit the property owner’s use of the rear yard because there would be an easement in

those locations. 

 

Mr. Allan asked the kind of inlets they are using, and Mr. Stadulis stated they would be

the large metal ones.  He stated he would like to have the flexibility of working with the

Township engineer on this.  Mr. Hako stated they would have to put three in the yards

and one in the street to make the connection.  This would take ten feet minimum off the

back of the yards because they are using 18” pipe.  Mr. Hako stated the cross slopes in

the yards are approximately 4%.  Mr. Stadulis stated the area of the farmhouse is not flat

going out to the stream.  Mr. Hako stated they could swale it without the inlets. 

Mr. Stadulis stated they would have to make sure that the swale is not obstructed so that

it would work properly.

 

Mr. Allan noted what they are doing in Edgewood Village which is a more natural

approach.  Mr. Wagner noted they are doing seepage pits, etc., but there is a maintenance

issue, and these would be on private property.  Mr. Wagner stated he feels it is better not

to have to correct drainage problems in the future, although he does recognize the

problems Ms. Frick will have with people not being able to place anything in the

easement.  Mr. Hako stated typically when there are problems with wet rear yards it is

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 5 of 7

 

 

because there is a minimum slope and they here they have a sufficient slope to provide

positive drainage.  He noted an area where they will have swales to take the water to the

road.  Mr. Majewski stated possibly they could move the high point behind the house

further toward the property line and further away from the house before it starts breaking

around.    Mr. Hako stated they could go to a 6 ½% driveway. 

 

Ms. Friedman stated where the rear property line is they could possibly have a 4’ natural

planted area.  Mr. Majewski stated they could put up a slight berm so that the water can

soak in before it goes to the lower lots.  Mr. Allan stated he feels the best solution is to

install the inlets and the residents will have to live with smaller back yards.  Mr. Stadulis

stated they would agree to work this out with Mr. Majewski.  He asked if the easement in

the definition includes storm sewer easements which will have to be netted out. 

Mr. Macaninch stated if they get to 20’, they would only need a Waiver.  Mr. Majewski

stated he feels 20’ is sufficient room to work in this area for this depth of pipe.  Ms. Frick

stated they need to put a Note on the Plan that indicates that nothing can be placed in

the easement.

 

Mr. Macaninch noted the comment in the PCS letter regarding the timing of the clean up. 

Mr. Stadulis stated the cover letter indicates that the clean up of the landfill will occur

before approval is granted, and this is not what is proposed.  Mr. Stadulis stated they

would like to get approval for the Plan, and the clean up would happen just like anything

else on the site as far as earth moving, etc.  The first thing would be the landfill

remediation work.  He stated they should not be expected to do the clean up without

having approval of the Plan and vesting on what they can do on the site.  Mr. Allan stated

they do not want any construction until the site is cleaned up.  Ms. Friedman stated there

should be no construction until the site passes inspection.  Ms. Stadulis agreed.

 

This matter will go before the Board of Supervisors for their input before the Applicant

comes back to the Planning Commission with revised plans.  Mr. Macaninch asked if

they could come back for Preliminary/Final Approval, and Ms. Frick stated they do not

do this on Major Subdivisions.  Mr. Macaninch agreed to go through the process.

 

 

#532A – FLOWERS-MADANY TRACT PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. David Shafkowitz and Mr. Chuck France, engineer, were present.  Mr. Shafkowitz

stated they were asked to obtain the Zoning Hearing Board relief needed, and this was

obtained.  They were also to look into the access to Gaucks Lane.  Mr. Shafkowitz stated

they previously discussed access alternatives, and the Planning Commission had

recommended one of the alternatives but asked that they go to Newtown Township for

their input.  Mr. Shafkowitz stated they did go to Newtown Township and their Planning

Commission asked that they meet with the neighbors and resolve this issue with them. 

They did meet with the neighbors in the area, some of whom are present this evening. 

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 6 of 7

 

 

Most of these are Newtown Township residents.  The consensus plan was shown which

proposes a relocation of Gaucks Lane at the intersection of Washington Crossing Road to

a new location.  Parcel D was noted which will be conveyed to Mr. and Mrs. Majewski. 

They will have their driveway extended to take access  to the new road.  They will also

extend water and sewer to that property.  They were also able to retain the tree buffer

along the frontage and create a new lot in Newtown Township.  They had discussions

with Ms. English and they will provide a sewer lateral to her property as well as

additional landscaping along the property of the new homes. 

 

Mr. Shafkowitz stated Newtown Township requires a 70’ ultimate right-of-way and a 36’

cartway.  They are trying to narrow this down as they get to the curve as a traffic calming

measure and to blend it back to the rural character of the road.  They went back to the

Newtown Township Planning Commission and they indicated that they were in favor of

their plans.  They have to engineer it and go back for approval. 

 

Mr. Shafkowitz noted Parcel E which is open space proposed to be maintained by the

Homeowners’ Association.  He stated it is in a natural state and should not be difficult to

maintain. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked about road maintenance, snow removal, etc. and Mr. Shafkowitz

stated this will need an Inter-Municipal Agreement. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated they will need Zoning relief from Newtown Township for one lot.

 

Mr. Shafkowitz stated they would like to pursue a phased project.  They are asking the

Planning Commission to consider Preliminary approval for the entire Subdivision and

Final approval for Section I based on the issues in the PCS review letter.  They would

then proceed to prepare a record plan showing the twenty-two lots in Lower Makefield

Township.  He stated they can draw a line at the boundary of the cul-de-sac. He added

that Mr. Majewski suggested that they put the open space and the basin in Phase I.  Once

they get approval from Newtown Township, they would then ask Lower Makefield for

approval of Phase 2 and proceed with that. 

 

Ms. Frick stated she understood that they were going to ask for phasing and then come

back with a Preliminary Plan showing it in this way.  She stated she does not have any

Preliminary Plan to act on showing what they are now proposing.  Mr. Majewski stated

he felt they were going to re-submit a new set of plans showing a future Phase 2.

Ms. Friedman stated she is not comfortable approving the entire Plan with the one section

not well developed from an engineering standpoint as there may be changes which will

occur.  She noted they do not have a problem with Phasing.  Ms. Frick stated they never

approve a Preliminary Plan without having a fully-engineered set of Plans.

Mr. Shafkowitz stated the only difference is the sheet they are showing the Planning

 

March 14, 2005                                                             Planning Commission – page 7 of 7

 

 

Commission this evening.  Mr. Allan suggested that they get that sheet done

and come back in two weeks.  Mr. Majewski stated they should have a Plan with a

section line drawn, and Mr. Shafkowitz agreed.  Mr. Majewski stated if they want Plan

approval for Section I and Section II they do have to have the new proposal shown on the

Plan.  Ms. Friedman stated she feels they will only be able to give Preliminary approval

for Section I since there are still outstanding issues on Section II.

 

There was no public comment.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Ms. Friedman stated the EAC heard a presentation from Mr. Majewski on low impact

stormwater management.  The EAC is also having a seminar regarding stormwater

management on April 20 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. and she stated she hopes the

Planning Commission members will attend.  She stated there will be a speaker coming

from Maryland and they will serve refreshments.  Ms. Friedman stated the Chair of the

EAC, Byron Roth,  has been called to serve in Iraq for eighteen months and Christine

Neely will be the Acting Chair during his absence.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m.

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        William Taylor, Secretary