The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
Planning Commission: Cynthia Harrison, Chairman
William Taylor, Vice Chairman
Dean Dickson, Secretary
Karen Friedman, Member
John Pazdera, Member
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
John Donaghy, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Pazdera moved, Ms. Friedman seconded and it was
unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of
Mr. Pazdera moved and Ms. Friedman seconded to approve the
#560 – FERRI TRACT – PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL
Mr. Edward Murphy, Mr. Bill Briegel, and Mr. Greg Glitzer were present. Mr. Murphy
stated the Planning Commission saw this Plan as a Sketch Plan, and it has been revised
two times. In the interim they appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board and received
relief that the Township supported in terms of encroachment into the wetlands so the
wetlands would continue to be fed and expanded. The Plan has not changed in essence
since the Planning Commission saw it at the Sketch Plan stage. He stated it still
identifies a single point of access
homes and retention of the existing home.
The PCS review letter dated
being requested are shown as well as the Variance which was received. With regard to
2.b regarding the length of the cul-de-sac, Mr. Blitzer stated in order to address this issue,
they have two proposed points of emergency access which he noted on the Plan. The one
following the route of the sewer line, they would have a stabilized paver access.
Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Majewski later in the letter asks
on the emergency access. Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Majewski is also the Township
engineer in Falls, and he would suggest that he take the Plan to them for their review; and
Mr. Majewski agreed to do so. Mr. Murphy noted the access to
an emergency-only access. Mr. Taylor asked what would prevent people from using the
access through to Falls, and Mr. Glitzer stated they are proposing a sleeved bollard.
The connection to Hilltop would be paved. The secondary access out to
would be a checkerblock concrete with grass growing between the gaps in the block. The
paved area on Hilltop will look similar to a driveway and will be 15’ wide. Mr. Glitzer
stated they could use the grass pavers in this location as well. Mr. Majewski stated there
is room off the edge of the cul-de-sac to plow the snow in toward the open space.
Mr. Murphy noted the Waiver identified as 2.c with regard to sidewalks being required
on both sides of the street. Mr. Murphy stated since there are homes only on one side,
they are proposing sidewalks only on that side of the street.
Mr. Murphy noted Waivers 2.e, f, and g which relate to the stormwater management plan
and more specifically the design, construction and maintenance of the basins which are
intended to be naturalized basins with various types of wetlands plantings in the bottom
to encourage groundwater recharge and infiltration. He stated the Ordinance has not yet
caught up to DEP requirements, and these Waivers are becoming more typically seen
now as they move toward implementing the DEP requirements. He stated the Township
has supported these in the past to encourage compliance with the DEP standards.
Item #3 was noted regarding Lot #2 which meets the gross area required for lot size, but
does not meet the net lot area because they have chosen not to remove a significant
amount of woodlands. He stated they would prefer not to remove the woodlands; and if
they do not, they are not in compliance with the Ordinance. Mr. Majewski stated if they
move the property line over by one foot, they could meet the correct lot area required.
Mr. Murphy stated they would be willing to make this adjustment. Mr. Murphy stated
the proposal is that all the basins and open space will be owned by the Homeowners
Association and not the Township. Ms. Harrison stated she is concerned with the HOA
being responsible for this. Mr. Majewski stated the basins are naturalized and are not to
be cut every three to four weeks during the growing season. He stated in the past Public
Works wanted a less steep basin side so it could be mowed more easily; however, since it
will not be mowed, it is not an issue.
Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #4, #5, #7, #8, and #9.
Item #6 was noted regarding the existing home to be retained. Mr. Murphy stated the
existing barn is structurally unsound and will not be retained. They would be willing to
part it out if there are timbers which were worthy of salvaging. Mr. Majewski stated
there is also a small spring house, and Mr. Briegel stated this will be saved. Ms. Harrison
asked if there was not prior discussion about changing the lot around the existing house
to include the barn, and Mr. Murphy stated this was not discussed to his knowledge. He
stated the location of the barn is where their road is proposed. He stated they cannot
create a non-conformity on
location of the roadway.
Item #10 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated PennDOT will decide what improvements
are necessary to
Item #11 was noted and there was discussion on the bikepath which is proposed to be on
the development side. There is 600’ of the bikepath existing currently on their frontage.
Mr. Murphy stated the area where it would have to be extended across the rest of their
frontage is in wetlands, and he does not feel they would be able to get a permit for this.
Ms. Harrison asked about the safety of the children due to the School across the street
versus the wetlands concern. Mr. Majewski stated currently the bikepath goes to service
the School and there is a crossing and School flasher lights where they have proposed
their entrance into the site which the developer will have to relocate. He stated extending
the bikepath further down will not serve any purpose.
Item #12 was noted regarding the emergency access which has already been discussed.
Mr. Murphy stated they will solicit comments from Falls. He stated they would also
welcome comments on the materials to be used and they will comply with those requests.
Mr. Majewski stated he feels the emergency services people should make this
determination. He stated they also have a proposed sidewalk
Township, and they could possibly incorporate this into their emergency access rather
than having it side by side. Ms. Harrison stated if it is the same as the road surface,
people may want to use it. Mr. Majewski stated typically they put up bollards or have
some other way to address this so that this does not occur.
Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #13, 14, #15, and #16.
Item #17 was noted, and Mr. Murphy asked if the Township would like something less
than the Ordinance required 36’ cartway width. He stated the developer would make a
contribution for the difference in cost if the cartway width is reduced. Mr. Majewski
stated he would prefer a lesser cartway width particularly because there will be homes
only on one side. If they permitted a 30’ width, it would save 2/10ths of an acre of
paving which would not have to be installed and would put less stress on stormwater
management. This would also have a speed-calming effect.
Mr. Murphy noted all other items in the PCS letter are “will comply.”
Ms. Veronica Bittner stated she resides on
School. She stated she attended the Zoning Hearing Board meeting in January and was
told to attend this meeting as well. She stated she is requesting that she be connected to
the public sewers. Mr. Murphy stated they are familiar with this situation and have
discussed it with Mr. Hoffmeister. Mr. Briegel stated they are working with
Mr. Hoffmeister to try to accommodate this request. He stated Ms. Bittner’s property is
lower than theirs so she will have to have a grinder pump. Mr. Murphy stated the
Township will have to make the decision on this matter. Ms. Bittner stated there are also
two other properties impacted as well. Mr. Briegel stated they will create a low pressure
force main and would agree to
install this and bring it across
and the homeowner would then be required to tie in from their side of the street. The
homeowners will be responsible for the cost from the stub to their home.
Mr. Norm Sutton,
property and a number of branches have come down nearly missing his car and home.
Mr. Majewski stated it would be the developer’s responsibility to remove the tree.
Mr. Murphy stated it would be their responsibility to do so once they own the property as
they do not currently own it.
Mr. John Bossman,
there is an existing aquifer in the area and the water runs down Hilltop after it rains. He
is concerned with the additional impervious surface and the impact on the existing
homes. Mr. Blitzer stated they will cut off a portion of this run off and take it forward
with an underdrain system. He feels there will be an improvement after this tract is
developed. Mr. Murphy stated the Township engineer has reviewed their Plans.
Mr. Bossman stated he understands from talking to
favor or the emergency access connection. Mr. Bossman asked about buffer plantings,
and Mr. Blitzer stated they can provide some buffer plantings. They would like to leave
the existing trees as much as possible and will also provide an understory and buffer
plantings even though it is not currently shown on the Plans at this time. Mr. Murphy
stated that if
this will be communicated to
asked them to show this; and until they are told otherwise, they need to show it on their
Mr. Wes Plaitstead,
denser than they are; and they are concerned with the cars coming through and shining
their lights into their homes. He stated they need additional plantings. He stated he is
also concerned about the water as they currently have a water problem. Mr. Murphy
stated they are planning to include an understory. Ms. Harrison stated she feels the
developer should go to
as well. Mr. Murphy suggested that they ask Mr. Majewski to make these comments
Mr. Taylor moved, Mr. Dickson seconded and it was
unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of
Preliminary Plans dated
1) Compliance with
PCS letter dated
in the PCS letter;
2) Subject to installation of supplemental plantings in the buffer to the satisfaction
of the Township engineer for the portion that abuts
3) Subject to
roadway; Planning Commission recommends their preference is concrete
checkerblock to be maintained by the HOA;
4) Recommend reduction of cartway width from 36’ to 30’;
5) Subject to review and approval of the emergency access easement through the
Sanford and Krugloff property to a roadway;
6) Planning Commission recommends approval of the Waivers requested as
outlined in the PCS letter;
7) Planning Commission recommends that the bikepath not be extended;
8) With regard to Item #3, the developer is to move the lot line approximately 1’
which would make the lot compliant with the woodlands regulations;
9) Recommend Fee-In-Lieu of sidewalks on the opposite side of the road from the
10) Planning Commission recommends that the Board of Supervisors request more
information on the status of the barn and how it relates to the historic value of the
11) “No further development of
#532-A-FLOWERS-MADANY TRACT PHASE II - PRELIMINARY PLAN APPROVAL
Mr. Murphy and Mr. Briegel were present. Mr. Murphy stated Phase I was approved by
the Board of Supervisors last fall. He stated he and his client did not get involved with
this Plan until after Phase I was approved. He noted this Plan is for Phase II. This is an
eight lot cul-de-sac with one lot
The PCS letter dated
Mr. Murphy stated the Township was not in favor of a through street which is why they
are requesting a Waiver. The length of the cul-de-sac is noted in Item 1.B. With regard
to Item 1.C., they are requesting that sidewalks be installed only on one side of the street
because there are only homes on one side of the street. They would be willing to pay
Fee-In-Lieu of installing the sidewalks on the other side.
Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with Items #2 through #9, and Items #11 and #12.
Item #10 was noted regarding reduction in cartway width. Mr. Majewski has
recommended a reduction to 30’ to
make it consistent with the road in
They will comply with Item #13.
Item #14 was noted regarding the combination concrete
gutter/curb which is a
specification. Mr. Murphy stated they would prefer to do Belgian block curb in Lower
Makefield and ask
Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with the balance of the comments.
Ms. Linda Majewski, Gaucks Lane, stated she wanted to make sure that her property is one of the properties that is to get water and sewer coming from Lower Makefield; and
Mr. Majewski stated this is one of the issues in their review letter, and they are required
to obtain all necessary approvals between the two jurisdictions.
Mr. Don Knoll,
boarded up off
be taken down. Mr. Majewski stated once they start construction of Phase I, they will
need to remove this structure.
Mr. James English,
He stated they are also concerned about the existing trees. Mr. Briegel stated they are
required to provide an easement and a stub to the property line but there is no guarantee
of sewage. He stated the property owner will have the opportunity to tie into the
easement. The developer is not obligated to get it to the home. With regard to the trees,
the existing tree line will remain and will be supplemented with additional plantings on
Mr. English’s property as this was required by the Elliot proposal.
Ms. Friedman moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was
unanimously carried to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the
Preliminary Plans for Phase II dated
1) Compliance with
the PCS letter dated
2) Compliance with
all Conditions of approval from
3) Approval of Waivers outlined in Paragraph #1;
4) Reduction in cartway width from 36’ to 30’ with the provision that the developer
pay the Township the cost savings;
5) Installation of sidewalks on only one side with the provision that the developer
pay the Township the cost savings;
6) Installation of Belgian block curbing throughout the project.
#555-FIORELLO GROVE – PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION
Mr. Henry VanBlunk, attorney, Mr. Rich Butkus, engineer, and Mr. Joe Marrazzo were
present. Mr. VanBlunk stated at the prior meeting, they discussed stormwater
management issues including non-compliance with the two-year storm and their proposal
to install detention basins on each lot which would have limited what the homeowners
could build in their rear yard. He stated based on those comments, they have moved to
a one-basin system so that each homeowner will have a functional back yard. They were
also then able to comply with all stormwater management issues.
Mr. VanBlunk stated the Plans were re-submitted and they received the PCS review letter
they do need to discuss some of them with the Township.
Mr. VanBlunk noted Item #4 regarding frontage improvements. He stated there is a
sidewalk in place on
widened at some point in the
past. There is no sidewalk on
the sidewalk now, they could then extend it at some future time down to Charles Boehm.
It was the consensus of the Planning Commission that the sidewalks should be installed at
Mr. VanBlunk stated they will comply with Items #5 through #11.
Item #12 was noted, and Mr. VanBlunk stated they will comply. He stated it should have
shown a silt fence for the erosion and sedimentation control, and Ms. Frick stated they
will have to show this on the Plan before it goes to the other reviewing Agencies.
Mr. Butkus stated the sequence has to be revised. Mr. Majewski stated what the
comment states is that the basin in
the back of
during construction, but in the sequence of construction there is nothing that says that
after everything is done, the basin will be converted back to a normal basin and will be
desilted if necessary, and restored to its proposed condition. Mr. Butkus stated they do
not intend to use it as a sedimentation and erosion control device. Mr. Majewski stated
they will have to satisfy the Conservation District that a sediment basin is not needed.
Mr. Butkus stated they will use silt fencing, and Mr.
Majewski stated the
Conservation District will have to approve this. Ms. Frick asked what Note refers to this
situation, and Mr. Majewski stated it is the Erosion/Sediment Control Notes on Page #6,
and is Note #17. Mr. VanBlunk stated this Note will be removed. Ms. Frick asked if
additional notes need to be added, and Mr. Majewski stated they do not since they will
not convert the basin.
Item #13 was noted, and Mr. VanBlunk stated they will comply. Mr. Majewski agreed to
supply additional information on this.
Item #14 was noted. Mr. VanBlunk stated with regard to the open space parcel, under
Ordinance 307e, they do not have to show compliance with the open space, because the
area is not going to be disturbed. Mr. Majewski stated they will still need to request a
Waiver from this provision of the Ordinance. He stated the main point of Comment #14
is for Lots #1, #2, and #3, it appears that they are voluntarily restricting the amount of
impervious area allowed for each lot through the amount of stormwater management
that they are able to handle; but based on his calculations, this leaves no room for future
homeowners to add anything onto their house such as additions, patios, pools, sheds, etc.
He stated it appears they only have an additional 100 square feet of area available for the
homeowners. Ms. Frick stated normally they have the developer set aside at least 3%.
She added they did discuss this at the last meeting. Ms. Friedman also noted the
requirement for distance from the resource protection line, and Ms. Frick stated they
discussed this as well at the last meeting and that the homes will have no usable rear yard.
Mr. Majewski stated they are meeting the usable rear yard area in that they have the
resource protected land, the limit of where they are clearing the trees, and they do take
their setback from that. He stated they have a minimum of 40’ clear of anything on
which they can install a pool, patio, shed and this is the minimum required by the
Township. Mr. Majewski stated while this does allow some use of the property, it is only
40’. Mr. Majewski stated this is locking the homeowner into having to go to the Zoning
Hearing Board for any relief. He stated the developer could provide them with some
extra room up front so that the homeowner could expand it reasonably in the future.
Ms. Frick stated with only 100’ square feet for the homeowner, she is very concerned that
the homeowners will not have any options. She stated the developer could provide them
with some extra room up front so that the homeowner could expand it reasonably in the
Mr. VanBlunk stated because they have to meet the stormwater requirements, it is a
challenging site. Ms. Frick asked about constructing two lots rather than three.
Ms. Harrison stated the Planning Commission feels that they should reduce the
Subdivision to two lots. Mr. Majewski stated they would have to expand their
stormwater management in order to allow some flexibility for the future homeowners.
Mr. Marrazzo asked if there is a certain percentage they are looking at.
Mr. Majewski stated the Ordinance states they must provide for the maximum anticipated
peak discharge and that would be what the Zoning allows for maximum impervious
surface. He stated since the parcel is primarily wooded and they cannot build out to that
area, he feels something that would allow a homeowner reasonable use of the property
within the resource protection land restrictions that are on the Plan would be considered
reasonable. Ms. Frick stated as the Plans exist, the homeowner could not even put a shed
on the property. Mr. Marrazzo asked if there is a percentage that they would find
Ms. Frick asked if they are proposing three-car garages noting that the driveway does not
go back to the third bay on any of the houses. Mr. Marrazzo stated they will have front-
entry garages. Ms. Frick stated they are showing side entrance on the Plan.
Mr. Marrazzo stated they have not gotten this far yet and were going with the worst case
scenario as it relates to impervious surface. Mr. Majewski stated if they are proposing a
front-entry garage for the houses, they would want to see an area for turn-around so that
people do not have to back out onto
basements, and Mr. Marrazzo stated all three homes will have basements.
Ms. Harrison stated the Planning Commission feels that they should limit it to two
buildings as opposed to three because of the limitations of the property. Mr. VanBlunk
stated they are in compliance with the Ordinance even though it may limit what future
property owners may not be able to do. Mr. Majewski stated they are not in compliance
since the anticipated peak discharge would be what the property ultimately can be built
to, and ultimately it is a lot more than the storm report indicates. He stated the
stormwater report indicates it is 3
˝% impervious for
anywhere from 15 ˝% to 8 ˝% below what people could in theory build; and they would
have to request a Waiver to have less than this. What the Plan shows now falls far short
of what is reasonably considered a hardship for this property.
Ms. Friedman asked if the developer is obligated to offer the availability of 3% for the
homeowners. Mr. Majewski stated the Ordinance allows 16% for the developer with an
additional 3% for the homeowner. Ms. Frick stated even if the developer is installing an
addition for the homeowner, the homeowner has to sign off that they are aware that the
developer is using a portion of their 3%.
Mr. Majewski stated based on the developer’s Stormwater Management Report their
impervious surface calculations
show that for
of impervious, for
3,651 square feet of impervious surface. They are currently showing approximately 3500
square feet of impervious on each of the lots so they are basically allowing approximately
an additional 100 square feet of impervious. Mr. Butkus asked if their stormwater
management report is showing less than what is allowed, and Ms. Frick stated they are
designing it for less that what it should be. Mr. Butkus stated their report is in error
because it does take into account the maximum impervious surface area. Ms. Frick asked
if they are going to resubmit this for review, and Mr. Butkus stated they will. He stated it
is designed to handle a maximum impervious surface of 19%. Mr. VanBlunk stated they
will resubmit the report.
Mr. VanBlunk stated they will comply with Items #15, #16, #17, and #18.
Mr. VanBlunk stated after development, they feel there will be an improvement with
regard to storm water run off.
Ms. Harrison stated at the Environmental Advisory Council meeting they discussed
working with Birdsall Engineering. They are also discussing having the EAC as a
Review Board and not just an Advisory Board. They want to be able to comment on
developments. They are also discussing changing from a five member Board to a seven
member Board with their own members acting as Liaisons to the other Township Boards
rather than the Planning Commission and the Park & Recreation Board sending liaisons
to the EAC meeting. She stated there was also discussion about the deer problem at the
Five Mile Woods and John Heilferty, the Naturalist, discussed the negative impact the
deer are having on the vegetation. Ms. Friedman stated several options are being looked
at but no decision has yet been made. The Canal Clean Up will take place on Saturday,
April 8 at
and they have asked that any volunteers meet at
There being no further business, Ms. Friedman moved, Mr. Dickson seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at
Dean Dickson, Secretary