TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES – SEPTEMBER 12, 2005

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on September 12, 2005.  Chairman Friedman called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:   Karen Friedman, Chairman

                                                William Taylor, Secretary

                                                John Pazdera, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection, & Planning

                                                Jennifer McGrath, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Frank Fazzalore, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Cynthia Harrison, Planning Commission Vice Chair

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Taylor moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of July 11, 2005 as corrected.

 

 

#419-A – CONGREGATION BETH EL – AMENDED FINAL PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Mr. Mike Cretzky, and Mr. Al

Demerich, engineer.  Mr. Murphy stated when the project was approved a number of

years ago, it was approved contemplating several phases.  Phase I was constructed and is

in operation.  Phase II as approved is what is the subject of this evening’s discussion.  He

stated that the Congregation as it has occupied Phase I has found that the approved

Phase II Plan (expansion of the facility) would not be as functional as they had felt it

would be. 

 

They are proposing a modification to the approved Phase II Plans which alters the

configuration of the structure to make it more comfortable for the Congregation. 

A Plan was shown and Mr. Murphy noted what is existing, what was approved as part of

Phase II, and what they are now proposing to be constructed as part of Phase II.  He noted

that the new Phase II will pull the building closer to the existing driveway than had

previously been proposed and further away from the rear of the site.  Mr. Murphy noted

the PCS letter dated 8/10/05 and noted they have no issues with items included in the letter.

September 12, 2005                                                     Planning Commission – page 2 of  9

 

 

Ms. Frick asked the proposed use of Phase II, and Mr. Cretzky stated it will give them

expansion of the meeting space and space which can be portioned off for meetings. 

Ms. Frick asked how many more seats will be added, and Mr. Demerich noted the new

addition does not have permanent seating.  It is designed as an open area to allow for

flexibility to suit the needs for small groups or larger groups depending on the use. 

The parking calculations are based on square footage since there is no permanent seating. 

Mr. Murphy stated this is addressed in the PCS review letter under Comment #1 and they

will provide the information requested to verify the parking needs.  Mr. Pazdera asked the

approximate attendance during High Holidays, and Mr. Cretzky stated during the High

Holidays they could have four hundred people.  Mr. Pazdera asked the number of

vehicles this would involve, and Mr. Cretzky approximated it to be one hundred fifty

vehicles.  Mr. Murphy asked if the Congregation has grown beyond the projections which

were previously provided, and Mr. Cretzky stated they have approximately the same

amount of people they had when they received their first approvals which is

approximately 240 members.  They hope that this will increase somewhat with the new

building. 

 

Mr. Murphy noted Item #2 of the PCS letter which notes a letter from the Township

Solicitor regarding frontage improvements which will be constructed as part of Phase II. 

 

Mr. Murphy noted they will comply with Items #3, #4, and #5.

 

Mr. Murphy noted Item #6 regarding a concern with the proposed driveway in front of

the building and whether there is adequate space for the anticipated number of vehicles

during a common drop-off time.  Mr. Cretzky stated normally the only time there would

be such a situation would be during Hebrew School on Sunday when there might be a

stacking of cars.  He stated generally this would be at the other entrance of the building

and not this drop-off.  He stated the parents know that they have to come in one way and

loop through. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #7, #8, and #9.

 

Ms. Friedman asked if there are any problems with impervious surface with the

additional parking, and Mr. Majewski stated they are within the requirements.

She asked if there are future plans for additional expansion, and Mr. Cretzky stated there

are currently no other plans.  Mr. Majewski stated they did get approval for Phase III for

an additional 1,600 square feet of building, but at this time no plans have been submitted.

 

Mr. Taylor noted the 7/25/05 CKS letter, particularly the punch list reference.

Mr. Cretzky stated they will comply with those requests.

 

Ms. Friedman noted the 7/30/05 letter from Mr. Yates, and Mr. Murphy stated they have

not received this.  Ms. Frick stated this was sent to Michael Cretzky at 375 Stony Hill

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 3 of 9

 

 

Road on 8/11/05.  A copy was provided to the Applicant this evening; and after review,  

they indicated they would comply. 

 

Mr. William Goldman, 405 Stony Hill Road, stated he owns the property next door to the

facility and stated water currently lies in the area, and he is concerned about this

increasing as result of this additional construction.  He noted their facility is above his

property.  Mr. Demerich noted the Grading Plan, and noted the location where they are

proposing a swale to the existing inlet so any impervious surface they are creating would

not go toward Mr. Goldman’s property.  Mr. Goldman stated he is concerned because this

area is clay, and the water will sit there.  Mr. Demerich stated it will not sit there as there

will be a slope so that it will flow away by gravity.  Ms. Friedman asked if the additional

landscaping will help, and Mr. Majewski stated they are proposing thirteen additional

trees which should help soak up some of the water.  Mr. Goldman stated he does not feel

that this will occur.  Mr. Majewski stated it is the swale which will really help the

situation.  Mr. Goldman stated he is not convinced that the swale will correct the

problem.  Mr. Majewski stated they could look at the property to see if something else

could be done to help the situation.

 

Mr. Jim Barrett, 366 Tall Meadow Lane, stated he also has water run off concerns.

He stated he gets large puddles at his tree line and is concerned that this will increase. 

Mr. Majewski stated the proposed addition will not increase the water going in this

direction.  He stated a good portion of the area which Mr. Barrett lives in is a wetlands,

and there is nothing that will be done to that area.  The wetlands will remain as is as they

are regulated not only by the Township to remain undisturbed, but also regulated by the

Army Corps of Engineers and the PA Department of Environmental Protection.  If they

wanted to go in and take away Mr. Barrett’s drainage problem, they would not be

permitted to do so as they could not obtain permits.  Mr. Barrett noted the exit shown on

Cinnabar Lane, and asked if this will open up as a street.  Mr. Majewski stated it will not

because this is also a wetlands area and would require numerous permits.  He feels the

Township would most likely oppose this.  Mr. Barrett asked why he was notified of this

meeting, when others in his section were not.  Ms. Frick stated the Ordinance reads “any

adjacent properties should be notified.”  She stated the Township individual who sent out

the notice sent it to all adjacent properties and they also went to the original list of those

notified for the original plan of Congregation Beth El ten years ago and made sure all

those individuals were notified as well.  They sent the notices out to “Resident” in case

the owners had changed.  Mr. Barrett asked if they anticipate any impact on his property,

and Mr. Majewski stated they do not. 

 

Ms. Laura Kaysar, 380 N. Flint Court, stated she also has a water problem and is

concerned that the additional parking will create more run off.  Mr. Majewski stated they

will grade it so that the water from the parking lot will be channeled into a storm drainage

system and then piped into the detention basin on the property.  Ms. Kaysar asked how

many more cars could be added to the parking area adjacent to her home, and

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 4 of 9

 

 

Mr. Murphy stated it would be seventy-seven.  Ms. Kaysar stated they already see lights

from their home.  Mr. Majewski stated the way they have the parking lot laid out, the

spaces for the last row of parking on the south side will face the other way.  Ms. Kaysar

stated she has an existing problem with the car lights.  She asked if additional

landscaping could be added to help with this problem.  She also asked if they will have

more parking lot lights, and Mr. Majewski stated they will have additional lights on the

south side facing into the parking lot.  Mr. Murphy stated this is the same parking lot

which was already approved.  Mr. Demerich noted there is a wooded area between

Ms. Kaysar’s home and the parking lot.  Ms. Kaysar stated it is not densely wooded and

she can see Beth El from the first and second floors of her home.  Mr. Demerich stated

the lights in the parking lot are facing toward the building and not Ms. Kaysar’s home. 

Mr. Murphy stated they can meet with Mr. Majewski to see if he feels there is room in

the wooded area to plant additional shrubs and if these would help obscure headlights. 

Mr. Majewski noted an area where a row of evergreen trees may be helpful. 

 

Mr. Edward Sites, 381 Fieldstone Court, stated he also has a major water problem. 

He also stated he has contacted Congregation Beth El about dead trees on their property

and they have not addressed this.  Mr. Majewski stated he could look at this area, but

noted it is a wetland area.  Mr. Cretzky stated there are no dead trees on their property. 

It was noted that these trees may be in the woods which are wetlands. 

 

Mr. Rich Marcella, 394 Twig Lane, stated he is also concerned about the water problems. 

Mr. Murphy stated the stormwater from the area will be collected in a piping system and

go to a detention basin.  Mr. Majewski noted the location of the new swale which will be

constructed and how the additional water will flow.  Mr. Demerich stated the parking lot

is graded to the southeast and will not flow to Mr. Marcella’s property.  Mr. Marcella

asked about the grade, and Mr. Majewski stated it is graded at a 1% grade through the

parking area to head into the storm drainage system, and this is considered adequate for

this surface which is pavement.  He stated in areas of grass 1% is adequate although 2%

is preferred.   

 

Ms. Friedman asked if there are any low-impact development measures that could be

suggested to offset some of the concerns.  Mr. Majewski stated additional shrubs could

help soak up water.  He stated what the Applicant has done is replicate the Plan that was

approved ten years ago.  They are not required to comply with the new Ordinance

requirements.  He stated the area does have poor soils so the storm drain would be the

best option.

 

Mr. Marcella asked that the grade be made 2% on the portion of the parking lot.

Mr. Murphy stated the parking lot they are proposing was proposed and approved by the

Township ten years ago.  The basin that was constructed was designed to accommodate

the larger parking area that is being shown tonight.  Mr. Goldman stated it appears that it

is not working.   Mr. Marcella noted there are also more homes in the area than there

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 5 of 9

 

 

were ten years ago and the Township should consider that the whole landscape has

changed since the Plan was approved ten years ago.  Mr. Murphy stated the site itself has

not changed and this is what they are designing the project for.  The Township engineer

will advise whether the storm sewer system they have designed is adequate, and he feels

he has indicated that it is adequate.  He stated if there is something they can do to help the

situation, they have agreed to look at it with the Township engineer’s assistance.

 

Mr. Sites asked if any other Plans have been approved that they do not know about.

Mr. Majewski stated there is a Phase III which was approved ten years ago, but at this

point they are only proposing Phase II which is actually 1,346 square feet less than was

previously approved.  They have do have a Final Approval for Phase III but are not

proceeding with this at this time.  He stated if they come in at some point to amend

Phase III, they would have to go through the same process they are tonight with Phase II. 

Ms. Frick noted Phase III was approved as part of the original plan ten years ago. 

Mr. Goldman asked if it could be revised.  Mr. Majewski stated they could build Phase

III tomorrow as approved.  He stated it could only be revisited if they proposed to change

it.  He noted the detention basin was designed to handle all the stormwater from all three

phases of the project.   Mr. Sites stated he is getting flooded already, and Mr. Majewski

stated this is why he has agreed to look at it; however, he noted Mr. Sites is adjacent to a

wetlands area which has been wet for many years and these areas often have drainage

problems.  He stated these soils do have difficulty absorbing water.

 

Mr. Daryl Galinski, 308 Cinnabar Lane, asked if any of the wetlands area can be

changed, and it was noted that they could not since they are protected.

 

Mr. Barrett asked the engineer to show the wetlands on the Plan, and the wetlands were

shown by Mr. Demerich.

 

Mr. Marsella asked about the light poles in the new parking area.  Mr. Majewski stated

these lights are a maximum of fifteen feet in height where the lights are mounted.  The

Ordinance permits them to be 20’.  The lights have a forward throw distribution which

means it will shine the light down toward the front of the light and does not spill as much

toward the back.  The location of the new lights were shown on the Plan. 

 

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

to the Board approval of the Amended Final Plans, Plans dated 11/8/04, last revised

6/14/05 subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 8/10/05, the CKS letter dated

7/25/05, and the letter from Jim Yates dated 7/30/05.  Further that the Applicant will

meet with the Township engineer to review the issues of stormwater and light being

emitted from the parking area and to come to an understanding to resolve these issues as

best they can.

 

 

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 6 of 9

 

 

#532-A – FLOWERS-MADANY TRACT FINAL PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, and Mr. Bill Briegel were present.  Mr. Murphy stated the

Township has already granted Preliminary Plan Approval. The Plans before the Planning

Commission are Final Plans but they were mislabeled as Preliminary.  Ms. Frick stated

the Board of Supervisors did approve Phase I on May 2, so this is Phase I – Final Plan.

Mr. Murphy stated since the Planning Commission last saw this Plan, the project was

owned by the Elliot Group and it is now owned by Orleans.

 

Mr. Fazzalore asked if the Gaucks Lane situation been resolved, and Mr. Briegel stated

they have taken Phase II to Newtown Township and received approval from their

Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  They are revising the plans to address

Newtown’s wishes with regard to Gaucks Lane, and they will then submit the Revised

Plans and submit a Preliminary Plan to Lower Makefield for Phase II within the next two

weeks.  Mr. Murphy noted that Mr. Tom Ames, 61 Gaucks Lane, Newtown Township,

was present and stated he has been following this project in Newtown as well. 

 

The PCS review letter dated 7/18/05 was noted.   Mr. Murphy stated Item #1 identifies

the Waivers.  They will comply with Items #2 through #9.

 

Mr. Murphy stated there was a letter from Mr. Yates dated 6/30/05 and there is nothing in

this letter that presents any problems.

 

Ms. Frick stated because the Plans came in as Preliminary and not Final, they did not get

sent to Bucks County Conservation District or Bucks County Planning Commission, but

she does not feel this should be an issue since any Approval would be contingent upon

obtaining approval from any agency having jurisdiction.  She stated the Plans will be sent

to those agencies. 

 

Mr. Pazdera noted the letter dated 6/20/05 from the Police Department which is

requesting that the stop sign be installed before the new road is finished so that the

construction traffic will stop.  Mr. Murphy stated they did not receive a copy of this

letter.  Ms. Frick noted this would have been sent to Mr. Shafkowitz (the prior owner),

and she agreed to send Mr. Murphy a copy.  Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with

this request.  Mr. Briegel stated he feels that there plan is to bring the construction traffic

in off 532 and they will not be going through the neighborhood.

 

Mr. Pazdera noted the letter from the Historic Commission dated 6/21/05 regarding an

old well on Lot #2.  Ms. Frick stated this was also sent to the prior owner, and she agreed

to provide Mr. Murphy a copy of this as well.

 

The CKS letter dated 6/29/05 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they will comply.

 

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 7 of 9

 

 

Mr. Don Nowill, 616 Washington Crossing Road, stated they were previously going to

allow for water and sewer hook up when Elliot owned the property.  Mr. Briegel stated

they will provide stubs to the property lines along with an easement. 

 

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

to the Board of Supervisors approval of Phase I Final Plan, Plans dated 2/27/03, last

revised 6/2/05 subject to compliance with the PCS letter of 7/18/05 and the CKS letter of

6/29/05.

 

 

#565 – TROILO TRACT PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL

 

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Briegel were present.  Mr. Murphy stated for years he worked on

this Plan with the Bucks Central Church but he was advised that they lost their financing

and have now sold the property.  The property is now proposed to be a five-lot

Subdivision.  Orleans has purchased it along with the parcel to the rear which they

purchased from the Elliott group.  This will provide a method to get public sewage which

was previously going to be difficult.  He feels the Plan is now much more straight

forward.  He stated they elected not to appear before the Planning Commission when the

Plans were first submitted and they revised the first set of Plans to reflect the comments

of the Township engineer.  Mr. Murphy noted the letter from Mr. Yates dated 8/31/05

with which they have no issues. 

 

The 8/23/05 PCS letter was noted.  Item #1 was noted which is correct as stated and

indicates a Variance is required in order to permit the property to be served by public

sewer.  He stated this has been submitted and they are scheduled to appear before the

Zoning Hearing Board on October 4, 2005.  The Township engineer supports the

requested relief.  They do not feel that they will have a problem obtaining relief.

 

Item #2 was noted which lists the Waivers, and these have been reviewed by the

Township engineer.  Mr. Majewski stated he does not have any problems with the

requests.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #3, #4, and #5. 

 

Item #6 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they will agree to the road name as requested

by the Township.  Mr. Pazdera stated the Historic Commission has recommended Georgian Court.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Item #7.

 

 

 

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 8 of 9

 

 

With regard to Item #8, Mr. Murphy stated this will be determined by the Board of

Supervisors as to what frontage improvements are to be required on the property frontage

on Route #532.  This is also the case with Item #9 with regard to sidewalks. 

Mr. Fazzalore stated he feels sidewalks should be considered as this would allow people

to walk to the Village Market.

 

Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #10 and #11.

 

Mr. Murphy noted the CKS letter dated 8/18/05 with which they will comply.

 

The Police Department letter dated 8/8/05 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they will

comply.

 

Mr. Pazdera asked if the Planning Commission can recommend approval of the Plans

without getting the Zoning Hearing Board Variance first, and Mr. Murphy stated they

would not be able to get Final Approval from the Board of Supervisors without obtaining

the Variance.  Ms. McGrath stated they could make the Approval subject to obtaining the

Variance.

 

There was no public comment.

 

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

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Preliminary Plan dated 4/13/05, last revised

6/7/05 subject to compliance with the PCS letter dated 8/23/05, the CKS letter dated

8/18/05, the Police Department letter dated 8/8/05, and the Jim Yates letter dated 8/31/05.

 

 

#541 – CHANTICLEER – SEWER PLANNING MODULES APPROVAL

 

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Briegel were present.  Ms. Frick noted the memo from

Mr. Hoffmeister.  She noted she did ask Mr. Hoffmeister to attend this evening to provide

some background, and he asked that Ms. Frick ask the Planning Commission to sign this

as it was a matter of formality.   

 

Mr. Murphy stated Chanticleer has been approved for some time but had not proceeded

because of the sewer embargo which has now been raised.  He stated Orleans has

purchased the project from Realen.  He noted that when Realen was sold to Orleans, this

project was included.  Mr. Briegel stated they have been through the public comment

period which was required because there will be a pump station on site.  Both CKS and

Mr. Hoffmeister have reviewed the Planning Modules and recommended that they move

forward.  Once the Planning Commission signs their component, they will go before the

Board of Supervisors to have them sign off on their component.  Mr. Briegel stated he

feels this will actually be a temporary pumping station as it is the Township’s goal to do a

September 12, 2005                                                       Planning Commission – page 9 of 9

 

 

regional pump station in this area.  He stated the lines will be in place when this takes

place.  Mr. Murphy stated this proposal is not consistent with the Act 537 Plan which did

call for the line to go across the Golf Course, but the Township would not permit them to

do so. 

 

Mr. Fazzalore noted Delaware Rim and Sunnyside do have water problems and the Golf

Course is having an impact on the wells.  He stated the Township had signed an

Agreement with the adjacent property owners and is now spending money to fix those

impacted wells.   He stated the ultimate answer is to bring in public water.

 

Mr. Murphy stated CKS has looked at extending the sewer line from Chanticleer up

through this area and there is a new plan showing less disturbance of the natural

resources.  He feels they will do this at some point in the future.  Mr. Murphy stated he

does not feel the long-term goal of the Township is to have multiple pumping stations. 

 

Mr. Briegel stated they are proposing a below-ground system, and there will be very little

visible above ground.  The more regional system proposed will be on a larger lot which

they will dedicate to Lower Makefield, and this will allow them to proceed with their

long-term plans.

 

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

recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Chanticleer Sewer Planning

Modules.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Ms. Friedman stated she received letters from two residents in the Harvest Drive area

regarding the fence issue they previously discussed about changes to the Ordinance.

Ms. Friedman made these letters available to the Planning Commission members for their

review this evening.  After review of the letters, Mr. Taylor stated his opinion on this

matter has not changed.  Ms. Friedman stated she will advise the residents that the

Planning Commission is not recommending any changes at this time.  Ms. Friedman

agreed to respond to the residents and to work with Ms. Frick on this response.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Taylor moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        William Taylor, Secretary