TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES – DECEMBER 11, 2006

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 11, 2006.  Vice Chairman Dickson called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

 

Those present: 

 

Planning Commission:               John Pazdera, Chairman (joined meeting in progress)

                                                Dean Dickson, Vice Chairman

                                                Tony Bush, Secretary

                                                Richard Cylinder, Member

                                                Karen Friedman, Member

 

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

                                                John Donaghy, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Ms. Friedman moved, Mr. Cylinder seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of November 13, 2006 as corrected.

 

 

 

#559 – SUNRISE OF LOWER MAKEFIELD PRELIMINARY/FINAL LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN RECOMMENDATION

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, and Mr. Robert Jordon were present.  Mr. Murphy stated

they were before the Planning Commission in October to present the Plan that followed

the entry of the Court Order and Stipulation resolving outstanding litigation surrounding

the project.  Plans were re-submitted in mid-November addressing review comments, and

they now have new review comments.  Mr.  Murphy stated they have no issues with the

Schoor DePalma letter of 12/5.  He stated PennDOT plans will be submitted this week.

 

Mr. Bush stated in October he asked if they had gone before the Environmental Advisory

Council, and Mr. Murphy indicated he had not; but that he had discussions with

Mr. Bray.  Mr. Murphy stated he did talk to Mr. Bray after the meeting in October, and Mr. Bray indicated he would be sending formal comments; but Mr. Murphy stated he has not received anything official from the EAC.   Mr. Majewski stated he did receive comments from the EAC, and he forwarded them to the Sunrise consultant who included most of those comments in the revised Plans. 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 2 of 14

 

 

Mr. Bush stated he drove past the property Saturday; and although it had not rained for

ten days, there was water visible along Heacock Road toward the back of the property. 

Mr. Bush stated he feels they envisioned that water would be going toward the detention

basin on the other side of Stony Hill Road.  Mr. Jordon agreed that the majority of that

water would be going to the basin via a storm sewer collection system.  They do not

anticipate standing water after build out.

 

Ms. Friedman noted documentation which refers to an un-named tributary to Brock

Creek on the property.  Mr. Majewski stated the tributary is within the existing wooded

area, and they have been asked not to touch the woodlands adjacent to that stream.  

They have pulled the detention basin outside of the woodlands, and there should be no

impact on the stream.

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there is any provision to insure that the parcel which contains the

woodlands will not be further subdivided.  Mr. Murphy stated they have no intention of

subdividing this.  Mr. Cylinder stated they need this land for drainage, and there should

be a Condition placed that there can be no further subdivision of the property. 

Mr. Murphy stated this would be acceptable, and a Note could be added to the Plan to

this effect.

 

Ms. Virginia Torbert, representing the Citizens Traffic Committee, asked what road

improvements are contemplated.  Mr. Majewski stated going north on Heacock Road

there will be a right-turn lane heading east on Stony Hill Road with a traffic island in the

middle.  Heading east on Stony Hill Road, it is proposed to put in a left-hand turn lane on

Stony Hill Road to turn onto Heacock Road, and this will involve re-striping of the lanes

and modification of the traffic signal permit.  They are also proposing shoulder

improvements along Heacock Road and Stony Hill Road with widening on the entrance

at Stony Hill Road to accommodate vehicles entering the property.

 

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

to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Sunrise of Lower Makefield

Preliminary/Final Plan dated 5/30/06, last revised 11/10/06 subject to compliance with

the Schoor DePalma review letter dated 12/5/06, approval of Waivers as outlined in the

Schoor DePalma letter dated 12/5/06, subject to compliance with the Remington Vernick

review letter dated 11/28/06, subject to compliance with the comments in the Fire

Marshall’s letter dated 11/21/06, and subject to a Note being added to the Plan that there

will be no further subdivision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 3 of 14

 

 

APPEAL #06-1405 – LIBERTY PROPERTY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP RECOMMENDATION ON APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL EXCEPTION (MEDICAL OFFICE) AT 777 TOWNSHIP LINE ROAD

 

John Fenningham, attorney, was present with Mr. Tony Nichols, Director of Leasing for

Liberty Property, and Mr. John Hunt, engineer.  Mr. Fenningham stated the Final Plan for

this site was approved in July, 2004.  It is a three-story building comprised of 116,000

square feet.  The Application filed 11/6/06 was to seek a Special Exception for limited

medical office occupancy up to 30,000 square feet.    The property is zoned O/R, and a

medical use is permitted by Special Exception.  The University of Pennsylvania

approached Liberty Property with a proposal to occupy up to 30,000 square feet with two

long-existing practices – Yardley Family Medicine and Bucks County Internal Medicine.

 

Ms. Friedman asked how many floors they will take over, and Mr. Nichols stated they are

looking at 8,000 square feet on the first floor and 16,000 square feet on the second floor. 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated the reason for the limitation of 30,000 is because they are

complying with the parking requirements.  They have 550 existing parking spaces. 

They propose a drop-off driveway that will be installed subject to approval of

the Building Permit Application, and this will eliminate six spaces which will leave 544

spaces.  For the 86,000 square feet of General Office use, they require 344 parking

spaces.  The limited medical office use of 30,000 square feet will require 200 parking

spaces so the combined requirements would be 544 which is what they will provide. 

 

Mr. Cylinder stated a Special Exception requires that certain provisions be met, and he

asked if they meet all of these provisions.  Mr. Donaghy stated the use is permitted

provided they meet certain Conditions, and the Applicant must prove to the Zoning

Hearing Board that they meet these Conditions.  Under the Ordinance, prior to going to

the Zoning Hearing Board, the matter is to come to the Planning Commission for review

on planning aspects such as the location of the building, parking, access, etc. 

Mr. Cylinder stated he feels the Planning Commission should be reviewing the

Conditions that are outlined in the Ordinance; and Mr. Donaghy stated while the Planning

Commission can ask about these, it is not ultimately the role of the Planning Commission

as it is the role of the Zoning Hearing Board to make that decision. 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated this property was reviewed by the Planning Commission in 2004. 

Mr. Donaghy stated while this is correct, that Application did not include a request for

Medical Office use so there could be other comments the Planning Commission might

want to make in this regard.  Mr. Fenningham stated questions were asked at that time

about occupants, and medical use was discussed; and it was indicated on the record that

while it was not contemplated at that time, the Applicant would look to the future for

full occupancy of the building.  Ms. Friedman noted some of those currently on the

Planning Commission were not on the Planning Commission in 2004. 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 4 of 14

 

 

Ms. Friedman asked about the changes proposed and how this will impact the traffic flow

as there was significant discussion about this when the property was originally approved. 

Mr. Fenningham stated they did provide in the package submitted how the traffic would

flow.  He also noted the building as constructed is less square footage than what was on

the approved Plan.    Mr. Hunt showed a Plan of how the traffic will flow noting the area

of the drop-off location proposed which results in the elimination of six parking spaces.  

He stated this will be the only change to the traffic patterns. 

 

Mr. Majewski asked the nature of the medical offices.  Mr. Nichols stated they are two

primary care physician groups.  There would not be special need for ambulances, etc. 

Mr. Cylinder asked if it is wheel-chair accessible, and Mr. Nichols stated it must be. 

There will be an internal elevator.  Mr. Majewski stated if the primary entrance is on the

side of the building as shown, they would need to relocate some of the handicap spaces to

that location, and the Applicant agreed.  Mr. Majewski stated since they are changing the

approved parking and traffic patterns, they would need to get an Amended Land

Development Plan. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked if the proposed changes will also result in additional impervious

surface.  Ms. Frick stated it would appear so, but they do not have any information on this

at this time.   She stated before the Planning Commission this evening is only the Special

Exception.  They will have to file an Amended Land Development Plan and come back to

the Planning Commission. 

 

Ms. Friedman stated what is now being considered will result in a different kind of traffic

flow than that which was originally discussed when the Plan was approved.  She stated at

that time there was going to be an influx of traffic in the morning and an outflux in the

early evening.   She stated with a medical office, there will now be a lot of in and out

traffic.  Mr. Majewski stated since the use will not coincide as much with the peak hours

and there will instead be a metered use, he feels overall the impact on Township Line

Road will be a slight improvement.  He stated internally there may be an issue with

directing people to the facility, and they will have to install signs to direct people where

the medical offices are and that they need to go around to the side of the building.

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he feels it is a confusing parking arrangement.  Mr. Fenningham

stated it will be a one-way flow.  Ms. Friedman stated she is concerned with the way the

parking is laid out as it seems there are a number of areas which seem difficult to

navigate, and they will have to discuss this further at the Land Development stage. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked about the office hours anticipated and asked if this will conflict with

times the rest of the building is open.  She stated with the general office use it was

anticipated that it would be quiet after 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Mr. Nichols stated they do

anticipate that there will be some night hours and possibly weekend hours.  He stated the

way they are setting up their space is that they will have their own entrance so they will

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 5 of 14

 

 

not impact the other tenants in the building.  Mr. Majewski stated he is also concerned

that they insure that the lighting plan is appropriate for the use.

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he does not want the Zoning Hearing Board to feel they have to

approve this and they should recognize that this specific design is not acceptable as far as

he is concerned; and that if they approve it, they should approve it conditioned upon a

satisfactory re-design of the access to the building and the parking area.  He does not feel

that simply installing signs or improving the lighting is sufficient.  He does not feel what

they have proposed is good design.  He stated they have proposed a significant amount of

parking, and he does not feel it will be easy to change the Plan. 

 

Mr. Nichols stated the intent of the drop-off area is that it clearly denotes where the

medical use is.  He stated the building is ideal for this user as they are not coming into a

property which has multiple buildings.  Mr. Cylinder stated the semi-circular drive comes

off a parking area, and there is not a clear access to the street.  He stated they would be

coming out to a maze.  Mr. Bush asked about the percentage of use they anticipate for the

drop-off area.  Mr. Patrick Doris, representing the Health System, stated the people who

would need to be dropped off would be those who are wheelchair bound, elderly, or have

difficulty walking; and he would anticipate this would be less than 1% to 2% of the total

patient population they service.  He feels this will be an enhancement for their patients

over the situations which are existing for these practices which have awkward accesses. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked if the drop-off area could be turned so that it is a direct line from the

street to the drop-off area without crossing through parking spaces and weaving their way

to the side of the building.  Mr. Fenningham stated possibly they could come off the main

access to the side of the building.  Mr. Cylinder stated he feels the reason this was not

done was that they would lose parking spaces.  Mr. Fenningham stated they will look into

this further.  Mr. Cylinder stated he would like to see a re-design so that you would come

in off the main road and drive up to the drop-off without a lot of confusion and turning.

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they receive the Special Exception for medical use, could it not be

used for any type of medical office including specialists, and Mr. Fenningham stated it

would be in accordance with the defined term “medical office” in the Ordinance. 

Mr. Donaghy stated this could then be used for other type of medical uses so it would be

possible that those arriving by wheelchair or ambulance could be substantially higher

than what was indicated this evening for the projected current users.  Mr. Fenningham

stated they could not speculate what would be done in the future.  Mr. Donaghy stated

once they get an approval for medical office use, it would not be limited to the proposed

medical offices; and Mr. Fenningham agreed.  Mr. Friedman stated they would be limited

to 30,000 square feet as requested, and Mr. Donaghy agreed.    He noted it would not be

limited to that specific part of the building unless that were a Condition of the grant of the

Special Exception.  It would be a maximum of 30,000 square feet in the building. 

 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 6 of 14

 

 

Mr. Dickson asked since this was approved in 2004, would they now be subject to LID

requirements, and Mr. Majewski stated they would not since it is an Amended approval.

He stated the building does have LEED certification as they designed the building to have

a lot of “green technology.”  Mr. Nichols stated there are in line to get a Silver

Certificate.

 

Ms. Friedman moved, Mr. Bush seconded and it was unanimously carried to recommend to the Zoning Hearing Board approval of the Special Exception subject to the following:

 

1)  The Planning Commission has concerns with traffic flow in the parking lot;

2)  The Drop-off area should be re-configured and/or shifted;

3)  Lighting and safety issues should be addressed for evening and weekend use;

4)  The 30,000 square feet stay in the location of the building for which it is being

                  requested.

 

Mr. Pazdera joined the meeting at this time.  Mr. Pazdera took over as Chairman.

 

 

DISCUSSION OF EDGEWOOD VILLAGE HISTORIC DISTRICT – PROPOSED ZONING OVERLAY DISTRICT

 

Mr. Carter VanDyke and Ms. Michelle Stambaugh were present.  Ms. Stambaugh stated

they are presenting the Revised Zoning Ordinances and an overall presentation on their

accomplishments and goals.  Ms. Stambaugh stated they did an inventory of the Historic

District in 1981, updated their CLG Status, have diligently tried to maintain the National

Historic Landmark District by preserving the historic properties within the Village,

updated the March Associates report, and created the Design Guidelines in 2003 which

are available to the public.  She stated in 2004 they presented the Master Plan and began

working on the amendments to the Zoning Ordinances, and completed the Street Design

Guidelines in 2005.  A map of the Village was shown. 

 

The Plan developed by March Associates was shown.  Mr. VanDyke stated this became

the guideline for their planning.  He stated they are working with the Pennsylvania

Historic Museum Commission, and they directed them to initiate some Zoning

Amendments to implement the March Associates proposals and provided a Grant to do

so.  There are Zoning Ordinance changes, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance

changes, and Amendments to the Historic District Guidelines.  They also developed a

new series of Applications for people coming in for Building Permits for properties in the

Historic Village. 

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 7 of 14

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he and some other members of the Planning Commission are new,

and he would like to get an understanding of what the Plan is all about.  He asked about

their objectives, where the Village is located, what buildings are part of the Village and

which are not, what is the reason for protecting the buildings, will they leave them in

their current condition, restore them, or move them.  He also asked how they will handle

traffic.  Mr. Smith stated he feels those present this evening should be permitted to make

their presentation first, and they could then consider some of Mr. Cylinder’s specific

questions.    Ms. Stambaugh stated they do have working sessions where some of these

more detailed questions could be discussed.  Mr. VanDyke stated this evening they would

like to first provide a background as what the Historic Commission has been doing since

1981 for the preservation of historic Edgewood, and he feels they can address a number

of the questions Mr. Cylinder raised.  They feel this will provide an overview; and they

will then have to get input from HARB, the Historic Commission, and the Planning

Commission before they have a Plan to present to the Board of Supervisors.  He stated

what is being presented this evening was presented to the Board of Supervisors in

January, 2006 and is a public document which is currently on the Township’s Website.

 

Mr. VanDyke stated in 2003 they prepared Design Guidelines.  He stated they are

working with the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission because this is a National

Historic site, and they do receive funds from them.  They have also worked closely with

HARB and other historic consultants the Township has hired including Mr. Jeffrey

Marshall of the Heritage Conservancy.  Street Design Guidelines were also prepared. 

Goals of the Commission were noted including historic preservation, develop standards

for appropriate infill, provide for a mixed-use development, develop standards for

streetscape improvements, and initiate traffic calming making it a walkable community

and a Village destination.  The benefits will be increased property values, funding from

public grants and private developments, provide employment opportunities, availability

of public sewer and water, availability of a regional stormwater management system, and

develop ratables for the Township.

 

Mr. VanDyke showed pictures of Edgewood Village as it currently exists.  He noted a

photograph of one building which was demolished due to neglect and will be replicated. 

They will also develop gateway signs and tentative locations for these signs were shown. 

They are also looking into traffic calming in the corridor.  At the gateways they are considering traffic calming islands and this ties in with the street tree enhancement.

 

A picture was shown noting the Messick property, bank/commercial area, and the Troilo/

Flowers Tract.   At the Flowers tract location they are looking for mixed use with infill development.    Examples of replicated structures were shown which are located in other Townships.  A graphic of the Flowers Tract was shown listing some of the ideas that are being considered.  Mr. VanDyke noted the location of the existing historic structures. 

He noted office buildings are proposed along I-95 and mixed-residential use for the center of the Tract.  Along the front of Yardley-Langhorne Road would be small

 

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 8 of 14

 

 

commercial buildings.  They are also considering the relocation of some of the historic

structures to a different location on the tract since they did not have the potential for  

adaptive use as commercial structures at their current location. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated they are proposing on-street parking which will help maintain the

character and scale of the Village.  He stated the Township traffic engineer has reviewed

the parking standards as part of the review process. 

 

Some photos of existing commercial buildings in other areas were shown.  He stated they

did work with people from Peddler’s Village who suggested that on the second floors of

the commercial structures, they should consider apartments or hotel rooms.

 

Mr. VanDyke stated future steps include the need to apply to the Pennsylvania Historic

Museum Commission for additional Grants, continue to encourage private/public

partnerships, and clarify the Ordinances.  He stated what is proposed is an Overlay

District which would allow the existing Zoning to be in place but also allows for an

Overlay if the developer meets specific criteria for the District.  They also need to address

the regional stormwater and sewage management, develop gateways for the community,

and apply for traffic calming and street improvement Grants. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated they have provided to the Planning Commission a draft Ordinance.

Members of the Planning Commission indicated they did not have this.  Mr. VanDyke

stated they forwarded copies of it directly to the Planning Commission along with maps

rather than going through Ms. Frick.  He stated they then recognized they did not go

through proper protocol so they did send this information to Ms. Frick.  Mr. Bush stated

they did get drawings of the Overlay District on October 13.  The Planning Commission

indicated they did not get the draft Ordinance.  Mr. VanDyke stated they will provide

this.  He stated he agrees with Ms. Stambaugh that they may need to have a work session

to review all of this material.

 

Mr. VanDyke stated the first Section is looking at new definitions.  The second section

addresses the new Overlay District within the Ordinance.  The third section of the

Ordinance deals with amendments to the Zoning Map.  He stated there have been a

number of public meetings with the Board of Supervisors, and during those meetings the

public asked that they consider expanding the Historic District to include the opposite

side of Yardley-Langhorne Road and some other areas.  He stated Section 3 addresses

those Tax Parcels which came from that public participation. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated the next Section deals with the intention of the Overlay District

which is to provide for a traditional neighborhood, for the diversity of uses, block sizes,

and drawing unit types, encourage new development which emulates the character found

in places such as Edgewood Village and Newtown Borough, promotes a streetscape

quality to neighborhoods, to identify the Village of Edgewood as a destination within the

December 11, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 9 of 14

 

 

Township, to encourage the combination of businesses and residential uses in the

Historic/Commercial District which enables jobs and employment, to create economic

incentives that will further the preservation and renovation of historic structures within

the existing Edgewood Village, and to develop design standards which will encourage

infill development that will not be detrimental to the Historic District. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated they discuss permitted uses which allow for the types of residential

uses such as single-family, twins, townhouses, and manor houses as well as provide for

Inns and Taverns, Civic Buildings, and home occupations.   They will also have an

Overlay for sign standards for the Historic District.  He stated they also allow for some

Conditional Uses and list some prohibited uses.  He stated they also developed some

specific area criteria for commercial and residential uses.  They also have Supplemental

Regulations. He stated since this is an Overlay District and is not mandatory, they are

able to include Supplemental Regulations that you would not typically have in a Zoning

Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Van Dyke stated they want to preserve the character of the historic buildings there

now.  They are still working on language for this.  He stated they have also provided

detailed design guidelines.  He stated they are trying to hide the parking as much as

possible.  Street trees and landscaping have also been discussed.  Mr. VanDyke stated

this will be the first mixed-use development in the Township.  Guidelines for the HARB

have also been included. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated he feels it may be worthwhile to go over this eighteen-page

Ordinance in detail with a Sub-Committee.  Mr. Pazdera asked about the timeframe, and

Mr. VanDyke stated this would be dictated by the Commission.  He stated they have

been working on this since January, 2006. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked how many homes have historic value, and Mr. VanDyke stated there

are thirty-six.  Ms. Friedman asked how many they are planning to re-locate. 

Mr. VanDyke stated one was demolished and will be replicated.  They are looking at

three buildings on Stony Hill Road that would be re-located to another portion of the

Flowers Tract.  Ms. Friedman stated she is envisioning this as a smaller version of

Williamsburg and Ms. Stambaugh agreed they are trying to capture the essence of that in

a small way, but it would be more of a livable community.  Ms. Friedman asked how they

would address deliveries to the different commercial areas such as UPS or eighteen-

wheelers given the narrowness, alleys, etc.  Mr. VanDyke stated they do mention this in

the Ordinance.  He stated the buildings have to be small, so there would not be the need

for large trucks and they would most likely have UPS-type trucks and they will need to

accommodate these.

 

 

 

December 11, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 10 of 14

 

 

Mr. Smith stated at the Historic Commission meeting there was discussion about the

potential for losing the designation if they re-located structures within the District. 

Mr. VanDyke stated a representative from the Pennsylvania Historic Museum

Commission was present at one of their meetings, and he indicated the best situation

would be not to relocate structures, but noted the Pennsylvania Historic Museum

Commission has been more flexible.  The representative indicated they could re-locate a

building, restore the exterior to the standards of the National Park Service, and still get

tax credits for doing so.  He stated if you do a restoration of a commercial/rental property,

you can get tax credits for this restoration so this does provide tax incentives for people to

help preserve these historic properties.

 

Mr. Bush asked how many non-historic structures are in the District, and Ms. Helen

Heinz stated there are seventeen out of a total of thirty-six structures.   Mr. Cylinder asked what constitutes a historic building, and Ms. Heinz stated it would be a structure from 1765 to 1900 and is of the style that would be a cross-roads Village in Bucks County.  Mr. Bush asked what efforts are being taken to prevent further demolition by neglect.  Ms. Stambaugh stated the Historic Commission has presented to the Board of Supervisors information on tightening up the Demolition Ordinances particularly for historic structures.  She stated some of the wording was a bit “gray” so they are in the process of reviewing this.

 

Mr. Bush asked if the Historic Commission has given consideration to use of the

Township-owned parcel of land in the Overlay Zone where there was previously a soccer

field.   Ms. Heinz noted that parcel is not currently in the Historic District.  Mr. VanDyke

stated while he agrees, it is their intention to have that within the District and

Ms. Stambaugh stated the goal is to re-outline.  She feels this would continue to be green

space.

 

Mr. Cylinder stated his concerns are much broader.  He stated there are a number of

people living in the area who use the roads to go to Route I and I-95, and they have to

travel through the intersection which is currently very difficult.  He stated the buildings at

the intersection are some of the best buildings in the District but are very close to the

road.  He stated the ability of traffic to go through the area today is probably good

compared to what might happen in the future if the area is developed to high intensity. 

He stated most Villages he is aware of that have a lot of traffic going through them, do

not survive.  Mr. Cylinder stated he feels there will be problems with improving it to the

degree they wish to and still satisfy the needs of those living in the area.  He stated he

does not know of any way they could do much to restore the character of the Village

without getting traffic out of it.  He stated there was discussion about having parking on

Yardley-Langhorne Road and Stony Hill Road as well as commercial development along

those frontages of a scale which is compatible with the scale of the existing buildings. 

He stated attempts have been made to do this in Newtown, but he feels those buildings

look insignificant because they do not match the road which is not a major road.  He

December 11, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 11 of 14

 

 

asked how they will address this and how they can still meet the needs of the people who

live in the area.  He stated the Planning Commission is responsible for taking into

consideration the needs of the entire Township, and he asked how they would justify

inconveniencing people who live in the Township in order to restore a Village in the

manner in which they are discussing.

 

Mr. VanDyke stated his firm has developed new design guidelines for traffic calming

based on the European style.  He stated a new handout has come out from PennDOT on

traffic calming, and they are re-visiting how traffic is moved through corridors such as

Edgewood Village.  He stated his firm is also involved in the creation of round-abouts. 

He stated much of what they are doing is based on European techniques, and the traffic is

always moving although it moves at a slower speed through the community.  He stated

they have found that it does not negatively impact the capacity.  He stated the on-street

parking slows down the traffic and also helps maintain the commercial development

along the street.  He stated if there is on-street parking, it also makes the community more

walkable as there will be a car parked between the pedestrians and the traffic.   He stated

they have been working in concert with the Township’s traffic engineer. 

 

Mr. Dickson asked if there are any other buildings that no longer exist in the Village

which will be replicated.  Ms. Stambaugh noted the Heacock Tenant House which was

demolished and will be replicated.  She stated over the years several historic properties

through wear and tear have come down.  Their goal is to not have any more demolition

by neglect on any other property. 

 

Ms. Helen Heinz stated several buildings have come down, and they do have pictures of

many of them; but they are owned by private property owners.   Mr. Dickson stated if

they adopt the Zoning and an individual wants to put a structure on a property, he

assumes their Plan would have to correspond with the Historic District and perhaps they

could make an effort to have them replicate a former building.  Ms. Stambaugh agreed

that this is something they are looking to encourage.  Ms. Stambaugh added this is one of

only a few historic crossroads left in Pennsylvania.

 

Ms. Susanne Curran stated in the 2005 Design Guidelines they very specifically

discussed not only renovation of existing buildings but also infill of new buildings with

very detailed illustrations and guidelines; and this information is on the Township

Website.

 

Mr. Smith stated he has heard that they may want to have a working group with different

Commissions and asked how they would suggest getting together a joint working group

of members of the different Boards such as HARB, Historic Commission, and the

Planning Commission.  Mr. Pazdera stated he feels they should consider having a Sub-

Committee after the first of the year.  He stated they have done this in the past pulling

together people from different Committees.  Mr. VanDyke stated he also feels they may

December 11, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 12 of 14

 

 

want to invite someone from the Environmental Advisory Council as well since

stormwater management will be important.  He also suggested someone from the Traffic

Commission.  Mr. Stambaugh stated the main goal is to create the Village as a whole

even though it may be built in phases.  Mr. VanDyke stated he feels they should set some

goals to get this matter resolved as there are a number of buildings waiting for the

Zoning.  He stated the Board of Supervisors are interested in this as well so if they set up

a process working together as a group, they can then present it back to the Planning

Commission and then the Board of Supervisors.

 

Mr. Smith stated the Board saw the initial presentation in January, and he wants to make

sure that the structures do not fall into further disrepair while they are still considering an

Overlay Ordinance a year from now.  He stated he would like them to get the study group

together as quickly as possible so that they can eventually present something to the Board

of Supervisors. 

 

Mr. Dave Broadway stated before they ask homeowners in the area to do any repairs to

their buildings, the Township needs to come up with a clear and comprehensive Plan of

what they want done.  He stated he has been hearing discussions on this for twenty-five

years. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated a significant amount of work has been done since January including

the development of this Draft Ordinance which is a key component.  They have also been

working with some of the major developers in the area as well as with the Pennsylvania

Historic Museum Commission. 

 

Mr. David Miller stated he and his family have lived in the Village for thirty-six years.  

He stated the planning for this has been going on since 1981, and he echoes

Mr. Broadway’s comments.  He asked what is the timeframe and who is in charge. 

He stated they have seen numerous presentations and numerous volunteers trying to come

up with a Plan for Edgewood Village, but no one has been in charge.  He stated they have

to have someone who is on the Board of Supervisors who will set the timeframe and

insure that this is done within a realistic timeframe.

 

Mr. Smith stated there was a conversation several months ago about what was happening

with Edgewood Village.  He stated he suggested that it was best to bring all the

Commissions on board so that they were not moving in different directions.  He asked if

the Planning Commission would like to invite the Historic Commission to come before

them to advise what they were doing.  He stated now the Planning Commission has some

background, and a suggestion has been made that there be a joint group with members

from the various Township Commissions so that they will move together as a group,

report back to their various Boards, and eventually come before the Board of Supervisors

with the input from all the groups.  He stated much of this will be driven by the

developers who are waiting for the Ordinance.  Mr. VanDyke stated the developers are

December 11, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 13 of 14

 

 

ready to proceed.  He stated it does have to go before the Pennsylvania Historic Museum

Commission and the Park Commission.  He stated a lot of work is being done behind the

scenes including working with the Township engineer with regard to the drainage issues

as well.  He stated the Historic Commission  has been driving the project to this point and

now they are turning it over to the Planning Commission.  He stated the Planning

Commission through the Municipalities Planning Code must review it , hold a Public

Hearing, and present it to the Supervisors.  He stated he understands that the goal of the

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is to have it no later than January.  Mr. VanDyke

stated he feels they could have two meetings of the Sub-Committee and then bring it back

to the Planning Commission and ultimately to the Board of Supervisors. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there has been any discussion as to how the public parts of the

project would be financed.  Mr. VanDyke stated they are seeking Grants for the gateways

which would consist of the signs and creating traffic calming islands at the entrances. 

There are four gateways.  The streetscape enhancements including road widening,

historic streetlights, brick sidewalks, etc. would be funded by the private developers. 

Mr. Cylinder asked if the developers have been informed of this, and Mr. VanDyke stated

they have and they are in agreement with this. 

 

Mr. Bush stated before they proceed with formation of a Sub-Committee with the

Planning Commission, EAC and HARB, he feels they should be provided a copy of the

proposed Ordinance and they could all provide their comments and this may circumvent

having to form another Sub-Committee as there are already a lot of Sub-Committees. 

He stated he is concerned formation of a Sub-Committee may slow down the process. 

Mr. Smith asked that the draft Ordinance also be sent to the Citizens Traffic Commission

as well.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the Solicitor’s office has seen this, and Mr. VanDyke

stated they have. 

 

Mr. VanDyke stated he would be willing to continue to take the comments and put them

into final form.

 

Ms. Friedman stated she feels it needs to be considered by the Planning Commission as a

group and they can then e-mail final comments from the Planning Commission as a

Board to Mr. VanDyke.  Mr. Pazdera suggested that this matter be put on as an Agenda

item in January.  Mr. VanDyke agreed to provide everyone his e-mail address if

individual Planning Commission members have questions.  Ms. Stambaugh agreed to

provide a copy of the Ordinance to Ms. Frick by Thursday afternoon to distribute to the

Planning Commission. 

 

Ms. Curran stated a source for this Ordinance was Lantern Hill in Doylestown if anyone

would like to look at that traditional neighborhood development

 

 

December 11, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 14 of 14

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Pazdera stated he and Mr. Bush are on the Ordinance Review Task Force.  He stated

if anyone has any specific ideas on what they feel needs to be changed in any of the

Ordinances, they should let them know.

 

 

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

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        Tony Bush, Secretary