MINUTES – MAY 9, 2005
The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
Planning Commission: Karen Friedman, Chairman
Cynthia Harrison, Vice Chairman
William Taylor, Secretary
Fred Allan, Member (left meeting in progress)
John Pazdera, Member
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison
APPROVAL OF MINTUES
Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of April 11, 2005 as corrected.
DISCUSSION AND TABLING OF FENCE ISSUE
The memo from Mr. Fedorchak dated 3/19/05 regarding fences was noted. Mr. Koopman
stated the issue has to do with corner lots. The Zoning Ordinance states that fences in the
front yard are limited to three feet in height. Traditionally with regard to corner lots, the
Township has considered one frontage a front yard and the other street frontage a side
yard. Therefore, if you were going to install a fence on a corner lot the fence in the front
yard could only be three feet high, but on the side yard they have permitted them to have
six foot high fences. An issue came before the Zoning Hearing Board which involved a
corner lot with frontage on
install a six foot high fence on
side yard. The Township issued the Permit and the neighbors were upset about this and
felt the Zoning Ordinance should be interpreted such that a six foot high fence should not
be in any yard that fronts on a street. They felt that a corner lot should be considered to
have two front yards. The neighbors appealed the Permit which was issued to erect the
fence. The Zoning Hearing Board dismissed the Appeal because of a timeliness issue but
noted that their interpretation would have been that a six foot high fence would be
permitted in the side yard under the Ordinance. They did however state that while they
May 9, 2005 Planning Commission – page 2 of 4
interpreted the Ordinance this way, they felt the Township should look into amending
this. The Board of Supervisors then decided to look at this and has therefore sent it to the
Planning Commission for a recommendation.
Ms. Frick provided information from
Mr. Koopman stated at this point they are only asking for a conceptual idea of what the
Planning Commission feels on the matter. Ms. Frick, Mr. Majewski, and Mr. Koopman
will then work on an actual amendment to the Ordinance which would be brought back
for review if it is determined a change should be made.
Mr. Taylor asked about the conflict between this Ordinance and the regulations for pool
fencing. Ms. Frick stated pools are permitted to be erected in rear and side yards and a
fence is required. She stated if they are going to permit a pool in the side yard and not a
fence that is at least five feet high, this would result in a conflict. She stated lots on the
corner often have small rear yards. Ms. Frick stated this is the first time she ever
received a complaint about this issue in her years with the Township. She stated in this
instance there was a separate pool security fence but the owners also wanted a fence to
protect their small children from the street on the side. Ms. Frick stated the pool fence
must be at lest five feet high.
Mr. Allan stated he would also have a problem with limiting fences on a side yard if the
side yard is on a major artery.
Ms. Friedman asked about landscaping that would be twelve feet high. Mr. Koopman
stated this is not restricted in
Township Ordinance and they do not permit there to be a hedgerow. He stated in Lower
have tall landscaping.
Mr. Taylor stated he feels they should leave the Ordinance in its current form.
Mr. Fazzalore stated if this is the first complaint that Ms. Frick has received on this issue,
he does not feel it is a problem. Ms. Frick stated she gets more complaints about the
inconsistency between the developments as different developments have different
setbacks and easements.
Ms. Friedman asked if there are other corner lots where this could be a problem if new
people come in and want to install fences, and it was noted that this is possible although it
is not known exactly how many.
May 9, 2005 Planning Commission – page 3 of 4
Mr. Koopman stated the Planning Commission can go look at the area where the problem
started to see that situation and look at other areas of the Township and then come back
and discuss it further. Mr. Taylor stated looking at that one situation may not help with
the next instance that occurs. Ms. Frick stated the Township has been interpreting the
Ordinance this way for about forty-five years. She suggested that they also look at Upper
Makefield to see how they interpret this issue as they have larger lots more comparable to
Ms. Friedman stated if they make the requirement that they can only have three foot high
fences in the side yard on corner lots, this would restrict most corner lots from having a
pool since many corner lots have a small rear yard. It was noted if it were a requirement
that the fence be no more than three feet high, they could go to the Zoning Hearing Board
to request relief. Mr. Koopman stated they could also consider a compromise that would
permit a five foot high chain link fence.
Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Allan seconded and it was unanimously carried to table.
MOTION REGARDING AGRICULTURAL SECURITY AREA
The Memo from Mr. Fedorchak dated 5/3/05 regarding Tax Parcel #20-17-47
(Clearview) was noted.
Mr. Allan moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to
the Board of Supervisors that they include Tax Parcel No. 20-17-47 in the Agricultural
REVIEW OF DOLINGTON LAND GROUP PRELIMINARY SUBDIVISION PLAN
Mr. Majewski stated they are proposing ninety-one new lots for this 300 acre property in
Upper Makefield on the border of
originally 1200 townhouse were proposed. This Plan was denied. They then came in
with a 300 lot Plan which was the subject of a Conditional Use Application which is still
ongoing. They have now come in with a Plan for 91 homes which complies with the
Ordinances and this is the Plan now being show tonight.
Ms. Frick stated she assumes the Planning Commission may want to consider the traffic
included in the traffic study prepared for the developer, Toll Bros., which includes a
May 9, 2005 Planning Commission – page 4 of 4
traffic signal at the intersection of 532 and Stoopville with a separate left turn lane onto
532, a traffic signal at the intersection of
for left turns onto
hand turn lane onto
room for this because there are homes in this area. He stated the Village in the area is on
the National Register which does limit what can be done. They have also recommended
a traffic signal at the intersection of 532 and
added on 532 eastbound for turns.
Mr. Allan left the meeting at this time.
Mr. Majewski stated they are proposing wells. Mr. Koopman stated public water will be
brought up to the area of Lavender Hall. Ms. Harrison stated she is concerned that they
will be able to get more density if there is public water, but she is also concerned about
individual wells on this property.
It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that they would recommend to the
Board of Supervisors that they should have them investigate public water and address
traffic concerns in a critical manner.
Road Tour Discussion – Mr. Pazdera noted the Road Tour will be held on Saturday,
June 4 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Mr. Fazzalore stated if there is anything the Planning
Commission feels they should look at on the Road Tour, they should contact Jim Coyne.
Those interested in attending the Road Tour should advise Mr. Coyne.
There being no further business, Ms. Harrison moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
William Taylor, Secretary