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
REORGANIZATION: ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The meeting was turned over to Mr. Donaghy who called for nominations for Chairman of the Planning Commission for 2006.
Ms. Friedman moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded the nomination of Cynthia Harrison as Chairman. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.
The meeting was turned over to Ms. Harrison who called for nominations for Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission for 2006.
Mr. Pazdera moved and Ms. Friedman seconded the nomination of William Taylor as Vice Chairman. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Harrison called for nominations for Secretary of the Planning Commission for 2006. Ms. Friedman moved and Mr. Taylor seconded the nomination of Dean Dickson as Secretary. There were no further nominations, and the Motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Harrison thanked Ms. Friedman for her hard work during 2005 as Chairman of the Planning Commission noting she did an outstanding job.
APPROVAL OF MINTUES
Mr. Pazdera moved, Mr. Taylor seconded and it was
unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of
SNIPES SOCCER COMPLEX SKETCH PLAN DISCUSSION AND MOTION
Mr. Majewski stated the proposed Snipes Soccer Complex is located at the northwest
corner of the intersection of
I-95, on the east by
Quarry Road with
residential properties and I-95. The property contains approximately thirty acres of land,
and the Township purchased it several years ago for the purpose of open space and
recreation. For the last several years, the Park & Recreation Board has been looking at
the site to utilize it as a soccer complex and organized a Sub-Committee two years ago to
look into what could be done with the property. Part of the Sub-Committee included
representatives from Yardley-Makefield Soccer, the Elm Lowne Committee, Police
Department, Park & Recreation Board and staff, and the Township engineer’s office.
They developed several concepts which were reviewed by the Park & Recreation Board
and neighbors. The Park & Recreation Board recommended to the Board of Supervisors,
the Concept Plan which was shown this evening to the Planning Commission.
Mr. Majewski stated they plan the site to be primarily a soccer complex with nine fields –
two large fields, two mid-size fields, and five smaller fields. They are showing a loop
road around the site with the fields in the center of the site. They show one entrance off
Quarry Road opposite the exit from the front parking lot of the Quarry Hill Elementary
School and another entrance/exit off
Lowne. They propose 348 parking spaces. According to the needs for soccer fields they
recommend 30 spaces per field, and they are providing some additional spaces as there is
a small playground and small skate park proposed. The skate park is shown near I-95.
The Plan also shows two possible locations for restrooms/concession stand - one near the
location is on the western end of the property in the inner loop near the last soccer field.
The location would depend on the input received and feasibility of getting sewer and
water to the facility. If the Fire Station is constructed in the near future, sewer and water
will be extended up from
would from there be a short run to the concession stand. If the Fire Station is not built, it
would be a significant expense and significant run of pipe to get the sewer and water
alternative to go to the other location and tie into the
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 3 of 10
Mr. Majewski stated they have also come up with an alternative lay out shown this
evening based on some comments made at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting as one
Supervisor felt that the lay-out approved by the Park & Recreation Board was dangerous
in that people would have to cross the parking lot to get to the fields. In the alternative
Plan they have proposed a loop road separated from the parking areas and this would
carry traffic all the way around the Park without having to interfere with any of the
parking spaces. He stated people would still have to cross the parking lot area/driveway
to get to the fields. While this may be safer, it involves significantly more pavement,
would require more stormwater management to take care of the impervious surface, and
would increase the expense of the Park. They have also shown a small drop-off area near
the entrance to
possibility as well as a walkway system through the middle of the fields. He stated there
are some disadvantages to this walkway system as it reduces the flexibility the soccer
organization has when they want to rotate the fields, move goal mouths, etc.
Mr. Majewski stated based on input from the public, they tried to keep the road as far
away as possible from the houses on
the road that goes around the Park to the house that is located at the intersection of
Quarry Road Court and
existing Christmas trees as possible.
Ms. Friedman asked why only soccer fields are being proposed, and Mr. Majewski stated
this location. By moving some of the soccer fields up to this complex, it should free up
space for some of the other organizations such as football and lacrosse so they can stay in
Ms. Harrison asked if all the fields at
soccer and moved to this location, and Mr. Majewski stated they will not. These new
fields will only help alleviate the overuse of the fields at
fields can be switched over to lacrosse and/or football, and this will be determined by the
Park & Recreation Board. Ms. Harrison stated she has heard concern by other sports
indicating they need more fields, and she would be hesitant to limit this new complex
only for soccer and feels they should turn the soccer fields at Macclesfield into something
else. Mr. Majewski stated while they will do this to some degree, they cannot take nine
fields away from soccer at
overcrowding for soccer which has the largest user group of any of the sports in the
Township. Ms. Harrison asked about baseball, and Mr. Majewski stated while they have
an overcrowding problem as well, the Board of Supervisors has approved the lighting of
Field H at Macclesfield which will allow for more playing time.
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 4 of 10
Ms. Harrison asked if there is lighting proposed for the new complex; and
Mr. Majewski stated while this is not currently proposed, it has not been ruled out.
Ms. Friedman asked how many soccer fields are proposed for Memorial Park, and
Mr. Majewski stated two fields have been constructed; however, that Park is supposed to
be for non-permitted use to allow for those not involved in a League to have use of a
field. He added that this does not preclude the organizations from using those fields for
practice, etc. but it is not something that will be regularly-scheduled. Memorial Park will
ultimately have four soccer fields and two softball fields.
Ms. Friedman asked why they have not proposed at least one softball or baseball field at
Snipes, and Mr. Majewski stated Snipes was not felt large enough to accommodate this
and the organizations felt it was better to have all their activities in one spot. He stated
PAA has been looking at the Samost Tract, and they hope to have a baseball field put at
that location which is closer to their other activities. No Master Plan has been created for
Samost at this time although it has been discussed by the Park & Recreation Board.
Mr. Taylor stated he feels parking lots are very dangerous, and he would prefer to have
the loop road away from the parking. The rest of the Planning Commission members
concurred. Mr. Pazdera asked the impact on the stormwater management plan if they
construct the alternate plan with the loop road, and Mr.
management facilities will have to be expanded quite a bit in order to accommodate the
run off generated by the additional impervious surface. He stated a soil survey will be
done on the site to determine whether the ground is permeable and water can be put back
into the ground and to determine if there is a problem with groundwater and if there is
bedrock which may impact the grading. He stated the site is large enough to
accommodate a detention basin. Currently a detention basin is proposed for the future
Fire Station, and they could expand on that and tie it together if the Fire Station is built in
the future. The soils are considered to be C soils which means permeability is marginal.
Part of the site does have bedrock near the surface. In some cases where there is bedrock,
the water cannot percolate through; but in others if the bedrock is fractured, they can get
excellent infiltration. They will test for this as well.
Mr. Taylor asked if there will be permanent fields marked out, and Mr. Majewski stated
they will have to have a lay out that is two-tiered with the five fields in the upper tier
graded out as one large graded area, and the lower four fields would be separately graded
due to the change in topography. He stated there is a 6’ drop in elevation going from one
end of the lower fields to the bottom end of the lower fields, and they will have to do
contouring to achieve a fairly level surface with surface drainage off to the side. They
will also put a drainage system in between the upper set of fields and the lower set of
fields and this will be determined after the testing is done.
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 5 of 10
Ms. Harrison asked how many soccer fields there are in the Township, as well as the
number of basketball, tennis, softball, football, and lacrosse fields. Mr. Majewski stated
there are two football fields at
Memorial Park. There
are four tennis courts on Schuyler, three off
courts at Memorial Park to be constructed during Phase II, and four tennis courts at the
Pool. He stated the Tennis organization would like to have some tennis courts at the
Samost Tract if that is developed in the future. Mr. Majewski stated for softball there are
three fields at the Roelofs Road Complex, and when Memorial Park is completed there
will be two additional softball fields. For baseball fields, there are three fields for Little
League at the Edgewood Road Complex, two 90’ fields and one 60’ field at Macclesfield
Park, and two of the
months. There are also two softball fields at the Pool, one of which has lights. There is
also a baseball field.
Two of the fields are
additional fields at
which are all 60’ fields. Mr. Taylor asked about access to the School fields, and
Mr. Majewski stated PAA has to rent them from the
stated Lacrosse has at least two fields which they can use and possibly more.
Ms. Harrison asked how many people are involved in lacrosse, but Mr. Majewski stated
he did not have these numbers. Ms. Friedman asked if there were any requests from the
lacrosse group for more fields, and Mr. Majewski stated all the organizations have asked
for more fields, and this is why the Plan being discussed this evening has been forwarded
to the Planning Commission as they felt the sooner the fields are installed, the sooner
they can take pressure off all the organizations.
they take an equal amount of fields away from them at another location. She feels they
need at least one more 90’ baseball field and they need to address all the concerns and not
just soccer. She would prefer that the upper portion of the Snipes Tract be for soccer and
the lower part divided into other uses. Mr. Majewski stated the Park & Recreation Board
did discuss this; and based on the information from all the user groups, they felt it would
be best to make this a soccer complex with some of the fields at Macclesfield being freed
up for other uses.
Ms. Friedman stated she is concerned that unless the fields at Macclesfield are stipulated
as being for football or lacrosse, as YMS continues to grow, YMS will stay on the fields
and it will be difficult for the other organizations to use the fields. Mr. Majewski stated
the Park & Recreation Board discusses this on a yearly basis and each organization
comes in with how many members they have, what percentage are Township residents,
and the fields are then allocated. He stated YMS has the highest number of users which
he feels is over 2000 members, and 87% of them are Township residents. He stated some
of the other organizations have a lower percentage of Township residents and much
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 6 of 10
lower numbers in the organization. Ms. Harrison asked about the request for more
baseball fields and asked the number in that organization; however, there were no PAA
representatives present. Mr. Smith stated PAA also has significant numbers but they
wanted their additional baseball fields adjacent to what they already have which was
previously noted by Mr. Majewski.
Mr. Pazdera and Mr. Taylor stated they felt it made sense to have Snipes as a soccer
complex. Ms. Harrison asked if they should not take fields from another area and give
them to another sport. Mr. Taylor stated Ms. Liney takes care of field allocation working
with the users and the Park & Recreation Board and a lot of analysis goes into this
Ms. Friedman asked the timeline for development of the Samost Tract, and Mr. Majewski
stated it has been discussed that a Master Plan should be developed; but currently they
are involved with Memorial Park and now Snipes. Ms. Friedman asked what other land
might be available for a 90’ baseball field. Mr. Majewski stated it is anticipated that
Samost or a large portion of Samost will be used for recreation.
Ms. Harrison asked if any of the soccer fields at
a 90’ baseball field if they moved soccer to Snipes. Mr. Majewski stated while this is
possible, they would have to cut out a baseball field and reconstruct what is currently
there. He stated PAA was primarily concerned with lighting Field H, and this was
approved. They then asked for a 90’ field at Samost when that tract is developed. They
are not looking into taking over a part of
stated the fields at
maintain the grass in a satisfactory condition because of overuse. They hope that by
moving some of the soccer to Snipes, it will help alleviate the heavy usage at
Park, it will free up some usage for football and lacrosse.
Mr. Taylor asked the estimated cost to develop the Snipes Tract, and Mr. Majewski stated
it would be $2 million to $2.5 million depending on the layout. Mr. Taylor asked from
where funds would be coming, and Mr. Majewski stated this has not been determined.
He stated the Board of Supervisors authorized that they begin the design process and
ultimately the project will have to be budgeted in order to be built. The lead time to get
sites such as this designed and approved would take several months. Mr. Taylor stated it
appears that the target would be 2007 and realistically 2008, and Mr. Majewski agreed.
Mr. Pazdera noted the skate park location, and stated they are showing it back by I-95 on
the original plan. He
expressed concern with its location away from the road. He feels the Police should be able to see
this area from the road as it may be a location where young people may
congregate. He stated in the alternate
scheme, it is located closer to
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 7 of 10
Mr. Pazdera stated he would be in favor of the revised lay-out for the Park shown.
Mr. Taylor stated he does not see the necessity for the drop-off area; but is in favor of the
loop road. Ms. Harrison stated she too is in favor of the revised concept, but feels
strongly that if they approve this, they should also take some of the fields away from
soccer-only facility. Mr. Taylor stated there are professional people already deeply
involved in field allocation, and he feels they should leave this to them and it should not
be dictated by the Planning Commission.
Ms. Harrison asked how many soccer fields are located at
Mr. Mike Dimaio, representing YMS, stated they have twelve soccer fields at
them to other activities if they are giving them all of this space at Snipes.
Mr. Roger Deininger, President of YMS, stated this process was started in June 0f 2004
because YMS has
continued to grow. Currently they use
large number of their participants cannot use
therefore have to pay fees to
accommodate the younger children at
younger children are
800 of their participants playing outside of
is concern about the wear and tear on the fields at Macclesfield. He stated the new
complex is not proposed to have lights and will only be used during daylight hours.
He stated currently they are maxed out for fields at
smaller children play on smaller fields and the older children play on the larger fields.
They have provided a number of smaller fields at Snipes to
help with the
Mr. Mike Dimaio, Facilities Director for YMS, stated it is an exhausting job trying to fit
all the fields at Macclesfield which should really hold nine fields. This year they put in
twelve fields and filled in any space with an “academy” field which is a small field. He
stated they work with Ms. Liney each year on permitting who will get the fields. He
stated they also work with lacrosse and football. He noted Ms. Liney permits according
to how many people are in the organization and how many players are Township
residents. Mr. Dimaio stated there are currently two football fields at Macclesfield and
they will be able to take over the third field which is adjacent to them once Snipes is
open. In the spring lacrosse takes over those two fields. He stated originally lacrosse had
two fields, then three, and now they are up to five. He stated whenever they take a field,
YMS gives one up. By moving soccer to Snipes, it will allow them to get five fields. He
stated he feels they are four years too late on Snipes already, and it will take two to three
years before they get the fields at Snipes.
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 8 of 10
Ms. Friedman stated the job of the Planning Commission is to make sure there is
available space for everyone. She stated at some point she feels there is a cap as to how
many can play and at some point, they may need to turn people away. Mr. Dimaio stated
they do have a waiting list for registration. He stated they have gone outside the
Township to use other fields and have been doing this for some time.
Mr. Robert Hill stated he is a coach and they never make it onto a field at Macclesfield as
they practice between the gully and the outside goal post as their players are smaller. He
stated they also use the back left hand section of the Park but this area slopes off on both
Ms. Harrison asked the Planning Commission members which plan they preferred, and it
was the consensus of the Planning Commission that they were in favor of the alternate
plan. Ms. Harrison asked if they want to make this all soccer or do they wish to make a
comment about this to the Board. Mr. Taylor stated he feels it should be designated as a
soccer area and leave the allocation of the fields to the professionals. Mr. Pazdera
agreed. Ms. Harrison asked if all the organizations have had the same ability to be
represented as they have only heard this evening from one organization. Mr. Majewski
stated this has been discussed at three to four Park & Recreation Board meetings.
Mr. Smith stated he is the liaison between the Board of Supervisors and the Planning
Commission and was previously a member of the Park & Recreation Board for almost ten
years. He stated all the organizations have participated in the discussions at length for
several years with regard to the facilities. The Park & Recreation Board has unanimously
approved this concept. It then went to the Board of Supervisors for approval and it was
felt it should go to the Planning Commission for their review. He stated it was not a
question as to whether it should be baseball, basketball, etc. as this has already been
approved and this will be a soccer-only tract. He understands that the Board of
Supervisors wanted them to review it as this was the next logical step before it can go to
the next stage of being budgeted and developed. He stated he does not feel it is within
the Planning Commission’s jurisdiction to decide the use and it has already been decided
that it will be a soccer-only complex with a few additional uses such as the skate park and
the playground. He stated he understands their concerns. He stated the need for fields is
tremendous for all the sports. He stated it is unfortunate that one Board does not know
what the other Boards are doing and it would have been beneficial for the Planning
Commission to get some type of history before it came before them. He stated years
have gone into this discussion by the Park & Recreation Board before it came to the stage
of approval by the Supervisors. He feels it was agreed in concept by the former Board of
Supervisors but they wanted the Planning Commission to look at it to see which of the
two plans was more preferable based on the concerns by one Supervisor.
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 9 of 10
Ms. Harrison stated the Planning Commission knows that they do not make decisions and
are only a recommending body. She questioned why they did not state initially that it
was already approved as a soccer-only complex. She stated she would have liked to see a
representative of the Park & Recreation Board present as opposed to only soccer
representatives. She stated they wanted to make sure they were being fair to everyone.
Ms. Friedman stated she wishes they would have been advised of this earlier in the
Ms. Harrison stated she would like to make sure that the Park & Recreation Board has
discussed the fairness of other sports in relation to this field.
Mr. Taylor moved and Mr. Pazdera seconded to recommend to the Board of Supervisors
that the Revised Concept Plan C dated 12/2/05 be adopted with the loop road and without
the drop off.
Ms. Harrison stated she would like to add the comment that they should make sure the
Recreation Board has gone over this with the other organizations to discuss the
additional needs for the other sports in this Plan.
Mr. Pazdera stated he feels this is their task anyway and he feels they have already done
this. Ms. Harrison stated if there are any other recommendations in the future, she would
like to see the Recreation Board represented at the Planning Commission meeting in
addition to the individual sport.
The Motion as originally stated was approved unanimously.
Ms. Harrison stated they need to appoint a liaison to the Environmental Advisory
Council. It was not known what night they meet and so the matter was tabled.
Mr. Dickson stated he would be willing to be appointed to this position depending on the
night of their meetings.
Ms. Friedman distributed information received from Mr. Hoffmeister on the sewers.
Ms. Friedman stated she also received a request from the Historic Commission that they
be provided with the Planning Commission Minutes for items having to do with historic
properties. Ms. Frick advised that the Minutes are on-line once approved, and they could
get them from there. Ms. Friedman stated she will advise them of this.
January 9, 2006 Planning Commission – page 10 of 10
Ms. Friedman stated at the last Board of Supervisors meeting it was discussed that there
will be a joint meeting regarding
She urged all Planning Commission members to attend. She noted the public is going to
be invited as well. She stated they also discussed repealing the Age-Qualified Ordinance.
Mr. Smith stated at this point they have only approved advertising repeal of the
Ordinance. It was noted this is scheduled to be heard by the Board of Supervisors at their
meeting of February 15. This matter will be placed on the Planning Commission Agenda
prior to that time.
There being no further business, Mr. Taylor moved, Mr. Pazdera seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m.
Dean Dickson, Secretary