The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the
Planning Commission: John Pazdera, Chairman
Dean Dickson, Vice Chairman
Tony Bush, Secretary
Richard Cylinder, Member
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
John Donaghy, Township Solicitor
Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor
Christopher Fazio, Township Engineer
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison
Absent: Karen Friedman, Planning Commission Member
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Bush moved and Mr. Cylinder seconded to approve the
Mr. Bush moved and Mr. Cylinder seconded to approve the
Mr. Mark Brookman, attorney, Mr. Russell Tepper, and Mr. Chris Burkett, engineer,
were present. Mr. Brookman stated they have received letters from a number of
reviewing agencies, and there are only a few outstanding issues they need to discuss this
evening. He noted Mr.
Fazio’s review letter dated
with all those comments. He stated there was also a letter from Mr. Farrell on behalf of
the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority, and he stated many of those items are
already on the Plan. He stated there was a suggestion included in the letter that the
Applicant be responsible for whatever problems may exist within the interceptor to which
the developer will ultimately connect; and the Applicant does not feel that it is their
obligation to correct something that is owned by the Authority. He stated they will pay
the tap-in fees, and their purchasers will be paying user fees, so the Applicant is not
agreeing to contribute to that repair. Mr. Brookman stated the Fire Company and Police
Department submitted letters, and they will comply with those items.
Mr. Brookman stated they also received a letter from the Township’s traffic consultant.
He stated previously they noted that the improvements were approved as part of the
over-designed because the original improvements contemplated traffic volumes which
are dramatically greater than that which the new proposed Plan will generate.
Mr. Brookman stated they have added to the Plans the comments suggested by TPD.
The Plans have been reviewed and submitted to PennDOT, and they do have PennDOT
approval for the design so the suggestion that was made with respect to the PennDOT
design letter in Item #4 requesting consideration of possibly improving upon the design
will not be agreed to by the Applicant. He stated the design is compliant as far as
PennDOT is concerned, and they do not propose to make any modifications as PennDOT
has already given approval.
Mr. Brookman stated they previously indicated in response to Mr. Bush’s concern with
the historical artifacts on the site that they have entered into an easement with the
Heritage Conservancy, and a copy of that Agreement was provided. Mr. Brookman
stated they are prepared to indicate to the Township that if the Heritage Conservancy no
longer wants to fulfill its obligation under the Easement, the Applicant would allow the
Township to step in. They would also not be opposed to a contemporaneous Agreement
to the Township, if this is permissible, provided it is not in violation of their Agreement
with the Heritage Conservancy.
Mr. Garton stated they also agreed to lot out the open space which had been a request of
the Planning Commission, and Mr. Brookman stated they have agreed to this.
Mr. Bush stated Mr. Brookman indicated with respect to the letters from the Township
traffic engineer, that they were in compliance with those requests. Mr. Bush noted there
are two letters dated
#45 through #52 and asked if they will comply with those as well, and Mr. Brookman
stated they will.
Mr. Bush asked the status of the study on the need for a traffic light at Tall Pines and
process, they will be submitting to PennDOT an Application to determine whether the
Warrants are sufficient for the traffic signal. They have agreed as part of the Settlement
Agreement to install the improvements and make Application to PennDOT to determine
whether it is necessary for a signal to be at that location. He stated there seem to be
conflicting views within the Township whether or not the signal should be installed but ultimately PennDOT will make the decision.
Mr. Bush stated currently the parcel of land on the corner
Road is for sale, and he asked if the Applicant is making efforts to acquire it and
incorporate it into this project. Mr. Tepper stated they are aware that it has been on the
market for a number of months. He stated those attempting to sell the property have had
their broker contact them, and he has offered his opinion to their broker as to their
interest in the property and is awaiting their feedback. Mr. Cylinder asked what is
currently on the site, and Mr. Bush stated there is a house. This is not the location of the
Octagonal School House.
Mr. Dickson asked if there have been any meetings with
portion, and Mr. Tepper stated there have not since their last meeting with Lower
Makefield’s Planning Commission. He stated there is a meeting summary of their last
review a set of Plans for the
Mr. Bush asked the status of discussions between the Bucks County Water and Sewer
Authority and the Township regarding sewer hook ups and the impact on Matrix.
Mr. Burkett stated there have been approvals for approximately 120,000 gallons a day for
this project. They have been trying to get a revised commitment letter from the Bucks
County Sewer Water Authority and the Township’s Sewer Authority for their lessened
flows. They have received a letter from the Township’s Sewer Administration
acknowledging that there is sufficient capacity for treatment and conveyance. They have
received a similar acknowledgement from the Bucks County Sewer and Water Authority,
and are presently trying to get a letter from the Northeast Treatment Facility in
Mr. Bush stated since they were last before the Planning Commission, the Applicant
appeared before the EAC. He asked the status of that presentation. Mr. Tepper stated
they have not gone before the EAC since the last Planning Commission meeting. There
is nothing further scheduled with them at this time. Mr. Pazdera stated he felt that the
EAC had some concerns about some delineations. Mr. Fazio stated when they went
before the EAC, the EAC had asked the Applicant to address several items, and the
Applicant did provide a response letter. He stated the EAC does have a few issues that
are subsequent to that letter, and the Applicant is reviewing these and has made an
attempt in some regards to address them. Mr. Fazio stated he feels there are items which
the EAC and the Applicant will not be able to agree on.
Mr. Tepper stated there are a few items they are of aware of that the EAC believes should
be changed about the Plans or should be incorporated in such a manner that would
require the Plans to be changed, and the developer disagrees. He stated he believes the
Township professionals are not in support of the EAC’s views. He stated the developer
has incorporated the vast majority of everyone’s’ recommendations as to how the Plans
should be revised. He stated they have incorporated a number of low-impact
development designs, and they feel their design is more than adequate at this point.
Mr. Cylinder asked who he is referring to as the Township professionals, and
Mr. Tepper stated this would be the Township engineers and attorneys who are the
consultants to the Township. The engineers include Schoor DePalma and Remington
Vernick. Mr. Cylinder asked if the engineers have landscape architects, but Mr. Tepper
stated he could not speak to this.
Mr. Pazdera asked what issues the EAC still has since the Planning Commission has not
seen a report from the EAC. Mr. Bray stated they still have several concerns which they
feel have not been adequately addressed by Matrix. He stated he does not have the list
available this evening. He stated he does not feel it is a fair statement that the Township
professionals do not agree with the EAC, and he feels that they think the EAC’s concerns
are valid. He stated one of their concerns was with regard to the rain gardens, but the
Applicant has now agreed to dig deeper and allow it to infiltrate as best they can. He also
feels they are willing to pipe the gardens which would make them biofiltration systems.
He stated the EAC has a problem with splitting the watershed between Brock Creek and
Mill Creek. He stated approximately twenty acres of the Brock Creek watershed will be
diverted to the Mill Creek watershed post-development. He stated he understands the
Matrix engineers have stipulated that the post-development flows will be less than pre-
development flows; however, the EAC’s interpretation of 173 South and 167 indicates
that they cannot upset the existing hydrology, and they feel the Plan will do that.
Mr. Bray stated the EAC is mainly concerned with several water courses which are on the
property which the EAC believes are protected under
Mr. Bray stated they also have another list of technical items, some of which have been
Mr. Pazdera asked when the EAC will next meet, and Mr. Bray stated they will not meet
until November 8. He stated he has a call into the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors
as to the timing of the EAC’s response. He stated they could possibly have a special
meeting prior to 11/8 although this does create problems with schedules. They are trying
to have members closely look at the responses Matrix has given and possibly
write up some comments that will be distributed at the meeting and discussed at their
meeting on 11/8.
Mr. Cylinder asked if the Township engineer is aware of the EAC’s concerns about the
water courses not being properly delineated. Mr. Fazio stated they are aware of the
EAC’s concerns, and they did meet with them last week to get a better understanding of
their concerns. He stated the EAC had conducted a site visit and walked the entire
terrain. Mr. Fazio
stated the way
always been written is if there is a puddle on the ground, it is a protected water course.
He understands that the way the Township has interpreted and enforced the Ordinance is
that there must be a significant water-carrying device which would be a well-defined
swale of some significance. Mr. Fazio stated based on his review, he did not find the
same significance that Mr. Bray has.
Mr. Garton stated usually when these matters got to the Solicitor, those decisions had
been already made with regard to the engineering aspects.
Mr. Fazio stated the problem is that if the Code is interpreted strictly, you could not
develop the site at all since there are numerous manmade ditches, etc.
Mr. Cylinder asked if the vegetation on the site is the kind that grows in wetlands, and
Mr. Bray stated he did not know. He stated when they walked the site, they did see some
jewelweed which is a wetland-type plant, but he does not know if there has been a formal
delineation of those kinds of plants on the site. Mr. Bray stated he disagrees with
Mr. Fazio’s interpretation and stated there are a number of issues going on currently in
the Township, one of which he is personally involved in with a developer, which depend
on the definition of a water course. He stated they did have a site visit with respect to
protected under the Township Ordinances. He stated as to what happened in the past, he
cannot speak, but when you read the Code, it is quite clear; and he does not feel the Code
is subject to interpretation. He stated it is broad coverage, and he feels the Township
recognizes that there is a need to have significant buffers since they result in better water
quality and less flooding. He does not feel it has been loosely interpreted although it may
have been overlooked.
Mr. Cylinder asked if there are buildings, parking, or other structures proposed for the
areas which Mr. Bray believes are subject to flooding, and Mr. Bray stated he feels a
significant number of buildings could still be built on the site and the buffers still be
protected. This would require a change to the Plans unless they sought and received
Variances and Waivers which they feel are required. Mr. Cylinder asked if the EAC has
presented an alternative proposal to move those buildings, and Mr. Bray stated they have
not since they do not have an accurate delineation of the water courses.
Mr. Dickson asked the EAC’s position as to the re-direction of the water flow from Brock
Creek to Mill Creek. Mr. Bray stated they feel changing the watershed would be against
the hydrologic regime to split a watershed in this method. He stated they recognize that
there is not significant acreage involved, but according to Act 167 and Act 173, it is not
permitted by Ordinance.
He stated he feels
regarding this as there has been some flooding of Mill Creek.
Mr. Pazdera stated he is concerned that they are opening themselves up to a problem on
the issue of a definition of water course and whether they should be delineated and
protected or not. Mr. Garton stated there are differences of opinion as to the impact of
the project. He noted they must also consider the Settlement Agreement. He stated the
EAC will send a letter to the Board of Supervisors, and the Planning Commission could
comment in any recommendation they make to the Board of Supervisors that this issue
remains. He stated as far as the transition of watersheds is concerned, he feels the
Township engineer is satisfied that this will have a deminimus impact, and the language
suggests that there would have to be a significant impact before it would be prohibited.
Mr. Garton reviewed possible Conditions of approval if a recommendation were to be
made to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Bush asked when the Board of Supervisors plans to review this, and Mr. Garton
stated originally they were planning to review this on November 1. Mr. Smith did not
know when this would be on the Agenda. He stated possibly they should poll the
Planning Commissions to find out their concerns.
Mr. Cylinder stated this project is one of the largest ever proposed for the Township.
He stated the Settlement Agreement between the developer and the Township refers to
a Concept Plan that, in his opinion, has not been presented to the Planning
Commission and contained little information needed for evaluation. He stated the developer has failed to present
to the Planning Commission any rationale for this weak proposal. He stated the Planning Commission has not had
any official impact on the Plan. He
stated a copy of the first official submission in the form of a
Preliminary/Final Plan was handed to each Planning Commission member after
adjournment of the
occasional questions. Mr. Cylinder stated he reviewed the documents received on 7/24
which he felt were relevant to an early stage planning review. He documented his review
and presented it at the August 28 meeting where he also stated that the basic foundation
of the developer’s plan was so flawed that an item by item critique would not be useful.
He also presented a sample alternate plan and the thought process beyond it and
compared the alternate plan to the developer’s submission. Mr. Cylinder stated the
developer and their consultants presented no defense of their proposal other than that the
Settlement Agreement with the Township allowed them to submit a combined
Preliminary/Final Plan based on the Concept Plan that had been submitted previously to
the Township. He stated they offered no comment either on his review of their
submission or his sample alternate plan. Mr. Cylinder stated he does not feel the
Planning Commission had the opportunity to study, confer
Planning Commission, or conduct a Public Hearing to consider revision of the
Township’s Comprehensive Plan or the planning implications of the Settlement
Agreement. Mr. Cylinder stated this left the Planning Commission with little basis to
make recommendations other than to add to a large number of comments submitted by
engineers, attorneys, and others on Plan details. Mr. Cylinder stated details should be
considered only after a basic approach to a Plan is reviewed and accepted. He stated the
Planning Commission is obligated to recommend approval or denial of a Plan based on
Township Planning Policy and its likely overall effect on the quality of life in the
community. Mr. Cylinder stated he cannot support the Plan which will only add to urban
sprawl. He stated there is no meaning to the Plan, no relation to surrounding uses,
and it does not recognize the importance of the site.
Mr. Bush stated while he does have reservations, he disagrees with Mr. Cylinder about
the process that has brought them to this point. He stated the community needs to
recognize that years of litigation, settlement discussions, and public input resulted in the
Concept Plan which led to the Plan now being presented to the Planning Commission.
He stated the Plan versus the original Plan has eliminated the Big Box retail. He stated
many members of RAM are present this evening, and they played leading roles in the
elimination of Big Box on this site. He stated there will be a significant reduction in
traffic, crime, and pollution from the original Plan. He stated the project being presented
is revenue neutral versus the original Plan and will not be a burden to the School system.
Mr. Bush stated he does have concerns, but feels the Planning Commission is not in a
position to make a decision on some of those this evening. He feels they should make
known their concerns to the Board of Supervisors; and if they make a recommendation in
favor of approval, they should make it subject to the Conditions Mr. Garton identified.
Mr. Pazdera stated he feels this Plan is superior to what was originally proposed,
although he does have reservations as to some of the design issues and the process.
He does however feel it is best for the Township to approve this Plan.
Mr. Dickson stated he feels the original Plan would have been an environmental and
economic disaster for the Township. He stated Mr. Santarsiero had indicated that this
was the “best worst use of the land.” Mr. Dickson stated he does feel it will affect the
hydrology of the watershed, and they could be looking at potential future flooding. He
feels there is a concern with the time constraints and SALDO. He stated his major
concern is that they still do not know what
with Mr. Pazdera and would reluctantly support this Plan.
Mr. Dickson stated Ms. Friedman could not be present this evening and she requested
that her letter be read (attached to the Minutes) which he did this evening. He stated that
she also asked that her comments be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Dickson moved and Mr. Bush seconded to recommend to the
Board of Supervisors approval of the Preliminary/Final Plan dated
1) Compliance with the review letters from Remington, Vernick & Beach
Yerkes Interceptor Line;
Compliance with the Remington, Vernick & Beach letter dated
3) Compliance, to the extent required, with the Historic Commission’s
Compliance with the comments from Jim Yates dated
Compliance with Police Department memo dated
Compliance with the two letters from TPD dated
relating to the
7) Receipt of all permits and approvals;
8) Compliance with the Settlement Agreement;
9) Open space to be lotted out and conveyed to the Township;
10) If the Heritage Conservancy has no objection, then the Township
is to receive an easement over that portion of the site containing the
archeological and artifactual remains;
11) That the comments of the EAC, related to the water courses and
the issue of the conversion of water from one watershed to the other,
be noted for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration after receiving
the EAC recommendation.
Mr. Zachary Rubin,
He stated a review of the history of the Plan would show that RAM agreed to this
Concept Plan. He stated RAM represents 2000 residents in the Township. He stated for
two years a Republican-controlled Board of Supervisors negotiating team had a number
of meetings and came to this Concept Plan. He stated the Democratically-controlled
Board of Supervisors also bought into this Concept Plan. He feels this is a bi-Partisan,
populace Plan that has been agreed to by tremendous areas of the Township. He stated
there are a number of concerns with the EAC proposals about Brock Creek and Mill
Creek, and he feels this should go through the Zoning Hearing Board who will then make
an interpretation of the Ordinances and a decision will be made on exceptions and
Variances. He stated he feels Matrix has negotiated in good faith a settlement that is
supported by both Political Parties as well as the grass-roots organization. He urged the
Planning Commission to ratify the Motion.
Motion carried with Mr. Cylinder opposed.
Mr. Edward Murphy, Mr. Joe McElwee, and Mr. Robert Jordon, engineer, were present.
Mr. Murphy stated the Planning Commission last saw the Plan many months ago. He
stated an Application was submitted in the summer of 2004 to the Zoning Hearing Board
seeking a Special Exception for development of the site for an Assisted-Living facility.
In that context, the Application was reviewed by the Planning Commission at that time
but only in the context of the Zoning Hearing Board Application. Mr. Murphy stated at
the Zoning Hearing Board there was a contested Application that involved a series of
Hearings before the Zoning Hearing Board ultimately granted certain relief which was
appealed by both the Township and certain abutting property owners to the Court of
Common Pleas. Mr. Murphy stated that litigation was recently resolved with the entry of
a Court Order earlier this month which approved a certain Stipulation Plan and
established certain procedural guidelines for the review and approval of the Plan which
was attached to the Stipulation as an Exhibit. Mr. Murphy stated the Plan before the
Planning Commission is that Plan. He stated there are certain timelines for the review
and approval of the Plan which they are well within.
Mr. Murphy stated they have received a series of review letters from the various
Township staff and consultants including the sewer consultant, Fire Safety reviewer, and
Mr. Majewski to go over his review. He stated they will need some input from the
Planning Commission on some items. He stated the overwhelming items are “will
comply.” He stated the Plan shown this evening which was distributed to the Planning
Commission this evening is already largely revised to address most of Mr. Majewski’s
comments in the
Mr. Murphy noted Item #4. He stated Mr. Majewski recommended, subject to Planning
Commission approval, that the parking stalls be reduced from 10’ x 20’ to 9’ by 18’ in
certain areas of the site which would reduce impervious surface and add some additional
parking stalls. He stated the Plan shown this evening reflects this revision. The parking
spaces involved are on the easterly side of the property. This will reduce the impervious
surface by 1000 square feet.
Mr. Cylinder noted an area of the Plan going around the building, and Mr. Jordon stated
this is the emergency access. Mr. Cylinder asked if there is a sidewalk around the
periphery of the property along the street. Mr. Murphy stated there is not, and this was an
item noted by Mr. Majewski in the review letter; and they were going to ask the Planning
Commission to comment on this. Mr. Cylinder asked about the basin. Mr. Jordon stated
it is a biofiltration basin within which will be planted warm weather grasses. When it is
wet, it will be three feet deep. Mr. Cylinder asked if the residents will be ambulatory.
Mr. McElwee stated their typical resident is a frail 82-year old who needs help with
activities of daily living. He stated they are not bedridden. He stated they would not be
able to live on their own. Mr. Cylinder asked if they could drive or walk around.
Mr. McElwee stated
Mr. Cylinder asked who would use the parking spaces, and Mr. McElwee stated they
would be the workers and visitors.
Mr. Cylinder stated several years ago he did a Plan for a similar-type facility. He stated
he researched this and found that there is a need for a significant amount of parking a few
days a year such as Mother’s Day. He noted the potential use of stabilized turf which
would be suitable to park on during these times of the year. He asked if they have
considered this. Mr. Murphy stated there was discussion on this previously, and the
Planning Commission did endorse that concept; however, because of issues associated
with the limitation in this District for on-site impervious, this was an issue as it would
have required even more impervious surface. He stated he believes it was the general
feeling that they would see how the facility operated once constructed, and they could
consider this in the future if necessary. Mr. Murphy stated while Mr. Cylinder’s
comments about large numbers of visitors coming to the facility on certain days may be
true in theory, it is not the general practice. Mr. McElwee stated he has personally
developed fifty of these communities for
He stated the parking calculations provided to the Township
are consistent with all the other
Mr. Cylinder asked what they would do if there was some need for additional parking,
and asked if they would object to laying out an informal parking area which could be
installed if needed at some point in the future. Mr. McElwee stated most of their sites are
only three acres, and this site is nine acres so there should be plenty of room on the site
for future parking; however, they have an impervious coverage ratio within which they
are bound to stay. Mr. Cylinder asked how pervious would pervious parking be, and
Mr. Majewski stated you can design pervious parking that is pourous so that water can
flow through. He stated there are several types of pourous paving which can be used
which would not count against the impervious surface calculations. Mr. Cylinder asked
if there is a way to attach something to the Plan so that they would be required to install
parking in the future if necessary. Mr. Donaghy stated this could be noted as a Condition
provided it was agreeable to the Applicant. He stated if it is not acceptable to the
Applicant, it would open up the possibility of Appeal of the Action.
Mr. Cylinder stated he has been involved with curved parking lots similar to that which is
shown, and the complaint is that they are difficult to back out of. Mr. McElwee stated
what is being shown is a
they look institutional; and they have not had any problems.
Item #5 was noted regarding the requirement for two loading berths. Mr. Murphy noted
the location of the one loading berth proposed which he feels is sufficient. He stated at
the front entrance there is an area where most deliveries such as UPS would come to.
He stated he feels they meet the spirit and intent of the Ordinance. He stated this is not
an industrial facility which would need loading berths. Mr. Majewski agreed that what
has been proposed would be sufficient.
Item #13 was noted which indicates all information within 200’ is required to be shown
on the Plan. Mr. Murphy stated they are close to that 200’; and to the extent that the
information they have supplied does not technically meet the requirement, they would
ask for a partial Waiver. Mr. Murphy stated he feels Mr. Majewski is comfortable with
the level of information that has been supplied.
Item #15 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated they have received a jurisdictional
determination from the Army Corps of Engineers which was done as part of the Zoning
Hearing Board process.
Item #20 was noted. Mr. Murphy stated given the fact that the abutting boundary roads –
Heacock and Stony Hill – are both PennDOT roads and
has been not to undertake core samples. He stated this does not mean that they will not
improve the roads; and in fact, there is a meeting tomorrow at PennDOT to discuss the
extent of improvements to the abutting boundary roads. He stated this also relates to Item
#26. He stated during the course of negotiations giving rise to the Stipulation, the
Township made its position clear as to what levels of improvements would be expected,
and they take no issue with those.
Mr. Murphy stated Items #28 and #29 are related. He stated the Plan does not show
sidewalks along the frontage of either Heacock or Stony Hill. Mr. Jordon stated they do
have internal sidewalks. They did bring out a sidewalk along the access drive with a
crosswalk that would access at
walkway system to the intersection. Mr. Murphy stated they felt it made the most sense
to cross at the existing intersection. Mr. Majewski stated he noted it may be better to run
the sidewalk directly from the facility to the intersection so people could cross at the
traffic light rather than what they have shown on the Plan. Mr. Majewski stated the
Applicant does not anticipate that the residents will be walking across the street, and they
will have a shuttle to take the residents across the street. Mr. McElwee stated this is not
an independent living facility.
Mr. Cylinder asked what attracted the Applicant to the site, and Mr. McElwee stated the
Zoning was in place and it is at a major intersection. He stated 45% of their customers
come from drive-by traffic, and they like to be on roads that are driven by those making
the decision as to where they would like their parents to reside. Mr. Cylinder asked the
advantage of this site to the people living at the facility. Mr. McElwee stated it is a nine
acre site with a lot of walking areas, and wooded areas surrounding it. He stated those
who are placing their parents at their facilities, generally reside within a five mile radius
of the facility.
Mr. Bush asked if the residents who previously objected to this facility have had an
opportunity to review and comment on the Revised Plan. Mr. McElwee stated he does not feel there has been a noticeable change to their Plans from what was submitted to the
Township. Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Larry Borda was a Party to the proceedings, and he
has had an opportunity to review the Plans as he was a part of the negotiations.
Mr. Borda also represents one or two other neighbors. Mr. Murphy stated they have had
regular conversations with other neighbors who were generally in support of the Plan.
Mr. Bush stated they indicated that they could have buses at an off-site location to bring
people to the grand opening, and asked if there are other occasions when they envision
this would be necessary.
Mr. McElwee stated this may occur during
generally it would be the grand opening and possibly one annual event. He stated if they
do have such an event they would use valet parking to some agreed upon off-site
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 13 of 21
Mr. Bush asked if the Plan will be presented to the EAC, and Mr. Murphy stated he and
Mr. Bray have exchanged messages and most recently Mr. Bray advised Mr. Murphy that
there had been a site walk by the EAC, and he indicated that there were some concerns
although he did not advise him what they were. Mr. Murphy stated he did hear Mr. Bray
state during the prior Application discussion, that
Mr. Murphy stated he is prepared to speak about this.
Mr. Bush noted the location of the biofiltration site, and asked what mechanism is in
place to prevent water from going toward the existing structure to the right of the facility
during a large storm. Mr. Majewski stated in the stormwater detention facility, an
emergency spillway is provided. He stated the berm that surrounds the basin will have a
low area; and when it gets to a point that the basin can no longer handle it, it will flow
over the emergency spillway and be directed into an area where they want he water to go.
In this case, it will be directed toward the woods and the existing water course.
Mr. Murphy noted the existing wooded area on the Plan and stated it has been agreed that
they will try to minimize intrusion as much as they can. There had been discussion about
moving the detention facility more toward the road to get it away from the woods.
Mr. Murphy stated there is a swale in the area where the water would go in an emergency
Mr. Cylinder asked if they have a landscape plan, and Mr. Jordon stated this was already
submitted to the Township.
Item #35 was noted, and Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Majewski has noted that there should be
a 20’ separation between the building and the parking area. Mr. Murphy stated they were
able to revise the Plan, and they have made improvements and will only need a waiver of
¾ of a foot.
Item #52B was noted regarding Mr. Majewski’s recommendation to eliminate curbing on
the east side of the parking area so as not to impede stormwater flow getting to the
detention basin. Mr. Murphy stated they will do this provided it is acceptable to the
Planning Commission. Mr. Majewski stated it will require a Waiver if they are going to
Mr. Murphy stated they will comply with all other items, and they are prepared to submit
the Revised Plan within one week. He stated they will also comply with the 9/5 letter
from Mr. Yates and the 9/18 Remington Vernick letter. The TPD letter was noted, and
Mr. Jordon stated after they meet with PennDOT, they will have better direction as to
how to proceed with the Plans.
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 14 of 21
Mr. Cylinder stated they put the entrance across from an existing street making a four-
way intersection and asked who decided this. Mr. Murphy stated this was requested by the Township. He stated a lot of the design elements were discussed during the Zoning
Hearing Board process, and the recommendation for the location of the entrance was a
recommendation from Traffic Planning & Design.
Mr. Larry Borda,
to be responsive and upfront in his discussions with them. He stated he has not had an
opportunity to review the changes in detail. He asked if a right-hand turn from Heacock
install a sidewalk on
stated they did discuss this tonight, and it will ultimately be a Planning Commission
recommendation to the Board as to whether this would be appropriate. Mr. Borda stated
from his development it is very difficult to get across Heacock; and if there was a way for
them to get to the intersection on a sidewalk, it would be very helpful. He noted the
emergency spillway and asked if there is a reason why the stormwater runoff is only
directed to the wooded area, and asked if there is any way they could direct some of it
toward Stony Hill. Mr. Jordon stated the reason the spillway is there is so it will direct
the water in a downward manner since the site falls from
water course. There will be a berm that will be four feet above grade. They will not be
able to get it back to
Mr. Pazdera stated he agreed that it would be a good idea to continue the sidewalk on
not affect their impervious coverage, so he would not have a problem with this.
Mr. Majewski stated this would tie in with his comment about getting people out to the
intersection as opposed to bringing them out across from
stated he was primarily considering workers at the facility who may want to go out for
lunch and cross at the signalized intersection.
Mr. Cylinder asked if there is any overhead lighting at the intersection, and an individual
from the audience indicated there is.
Mr. Zachary Rubin,
Road. Mr. Jordon stated based on the meeting they had with Mr. Majewski and other
Township officials, it was determined that they should run an eight foot widened shoulder
along Stony Hill and
Mr. Majewski stated at
in the area so that by re-striping, you could have a straight-through lane through the
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 15 of 21
Mr. Tom Kurowsky,
terminates at his property and water goes back to the creek bed through the wooded area.
He stated he feels his property will be surrounded with water if they run the swale to the
Mr. Smith stated since they are suggesting a sidewalk on
should be a walkway from the facility to the sidewalk, and Mr. Pazdera stated he agrees
that there should be some kind of a path. Mr. Murphy stated he feels they may be able to
do this and still meet their impervious surface requirements. .
Mr. Cylinder asked about installing additional trees if they are installing a sidewalk.
Mr. Jordon stated there are street trees proposed along both roads as required by
Ordinance. Mr. Majewski stated there is sufficient room to install the sidewalk so that it
is a safe distance from the road. He stated he feels the planting strip would be 25’. The
sidewalk would be within the right-of-way. Mr. Majewski stated they can coordinate the
tree location with the sidewalk so that it makes sense. The street trees will be outside the
Mr. Dickson asked who would use the new sidewalks on Heacock and Stony Hill Roads,
and Mr. Murphy stated it seems that the people in the other neighborhoods would use it
as well as the facility employees. Mr. Murphy stated none of the
use the sidewalk unattended. Mr. Smith stated he feels the suggestion for a sidewalk on
get to the intersection.
Mr. Borda stated he assumes the basin will be dry 90% of the time, and Mr. Jordon
agreed. Mr. Borda asked
monitored. Mr. Majewski stated as part of the Stormwater Management Ordinance, the
Township requires that the developer come up with an Operation and Maintenance
Agreement whereby the Township has the right to inspect the facility, although it is the
owner’s obligation to maintain the facility. If they do not maintain it, the Township has
the right to do so.
It was noted that it is anticipated that the matter will be back on the Planning
Commission’s Agenda on November 27, 2006.
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 16 of 21
Mr. Cylinder stated there was discussion by residents at the last Board of Supervisors
meeting over their concern about train noise. He stated he has been working on an
asked to see it. Mr. Cylinder stated he provided this to the Board Chairman and felt he
should make this information available to the Planning Commission members as well.
He stated this is part of a larger study he is working on which involves improvements
along Black Rock and
he would like to see addressed. He noted one of the problems is where it enters from
River Road, and
parking near the Canal is on the wrong side of the road. He noted a number of site
distance problems in the area as well. He also commented on the lack of overhead
lighting at the School on
with the fact that the Township operations are on one side of the road and recreation
facilities are on the opposite side and there are people crossing back and forth. He stated
at the railroad crossing the emergency services are on one side of the crossing and the
need for emergency services could occur on the other side. He stated there is also an
increasing number of trains and longer trains using these tracks. Mr. Cylinder discussed
a number of issues related to possible train proposals being considered which could
increase use of the tracks in the Township. He noted the commuter and bus traffic also
crossing the tracks. Mr. Cylinder stated this relates to the resident complaints about the
noise. He stated if there is a grade separation, they would not need to blow the train
whistle at this location.
Mr. Cylinder stated he has proposed a scheme, which was included in the packet he
provided, which would allow the Township to utilize the lands it has in better form if
they could disregard the presence of the at-grade intersection and install an overpass. He
would recommend that the Township authorize the Township engineer to review his Plan, and he would be willing to work with the Township engineer on this.
Mr. Smith asked for an estimated cost of an overpass, but Mr. Cylinder did not know.
He noted the length of time it takes for this type of project to be completed. He stated he
also does not know how much of the cost could be borne by the Township, State, or the
railroad itself. He stated the Township does already own a portion of the land.
Mr. Smith stated it appears that the residents in the area where the crossing are located
would want something done more quickly than an overpass could be built. Mr. Cylinder
stated while he agrees, he feels that they should still look into his proposal and feels they
could consider both. Mr. Smith asked if he has considered what his suggestion would do
to the increase of speed in the area, noting that the trains do slow down the traffic.
Mr. Cylinder stated at-grade crossing do not slow traffic down unless there is a train
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 17 of 21
Mr. Cylinder stated the biggest problem is not the railroad
He stated he has proposed a by-pass around the Village which he also presented to the
Planning Commission this evening. He stated if they could agree to a By-Pass for this
area prior to development of the site, he feels this would be preferable. He stated he feels
they must look beyond only historic preservation and they should also consider those
who are trying to get to work or who want to go shopping.
Mr. Smith stated Mr. Cylinder has expressed his concerns in
the past with the
Village Plan’s viability, and Mr. Cylinder stated he does feel it is viable if they agree to
put in the improvements necessary. Mr. Smith suggested that they wait until they see the
they will have the same problems they had with Matrix. He stated he feels the Township
engineer should review his Plan first, and then they can have it reviewed by
Mr. VanDyke. Mr.
Smith stated there was a special meeting in January where
Village was discussed, and he asked if Mr. Cylinder expressed any of these concerns at
that public meeting. Mr. Cylinder stated he did not although he did discuss them with
Mr. VanDyke. Mr. Smith stated there will also be more meetings to come on the
resident rather than a Planning Commission member. Mr. Cylinder stated he would not
be in favor of this because he feels the people should come to the Planning Commission
first. Mr. Cylinder stated he did make comments about Matrix as a resident before he
was a Planning Commission member, and no one would listen to him. Mr. Smith stated
since he has not done this task as part of the Planning Commission, he feels he should
present it as a resident and not a member of the Planning Commission. Mr. Cylinder
stated he does not want to do this. Mr. Cylinder stated he feels he has prepared
professional plans, and he would like the Township engineer to review what he has
prepared, come up with his own thoughts, and then go to Mr. VanDyke to discuss this.
Mr. Majewski asked if he is now discussing the plan for
for the Railroad. Mr. Cylinder stated he was considering the Edgewood Village Plan
because that is the Plan Mr. VanDyke is involved with, but would also like Mr. Majewski
to review everything he has presented. Mr. Majewski stated Traffic Planning & Design is
the traffic engineer and has been working with Mr. VanDyke and PennDOT.
Mr. Cylinder asked that TPD then review his plans.
Mr. Dickson asked if Mr. Majewski were to review Mr. Cylinder’s plans and the
Township were to retain Mr. Majewski for this time, would this present a problem since
it would involve working on something that did not come from the Supervisors.
Mr. Smith agreed that this is a good point. He stated there is a designated traffic engineer; and he would suggest that when they have next Citizens Traffic Committee,
Mr. Cylinder attend that meeting as a member of the public with these Plans.
Mr. Cylinder stated he would not agree to do this. He stated if the Planning Commission
feels this is important enough to pursue, the Planning Commission should pass a Motion;
and he will do whatever the Planning Commission wants. He stated he did not ask to be
on the Planning Commission so that he could go to meetings as a private citizen.
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 18 of 21
Mr. Donaghy stated the Planning Commission could look at issues of this sort, but they
do not have the authority to direct the Township engineer to do this work as it would
have to come from the Board of Superiors. Mr. Cylinder stated the Planning Commission
could ask the Supervisors to allow the engineer to discuss this. Mr. Cylinder stated he
wants to work within the Planning Commission and not as a private citizen. Ms. Frick
stated she felt they were going to have Carter VanDyke come to a Planning Commission
meeting. Mr. Bush stated the Historic Commission also wants to meet with the Planning
Commission as they are proposing some changes to the Ordinance. Mr. Cylinder stated
he would be willing to take his Plan to the Historic Commission if the Planning
Commission asks him to do this. Mr. Bush stated if Mr. VanDyke, the Historic
Commission and other interested land holders are interested in meeting with the Planning
Commission, he feels this should all be done at the same time. Mr. Bush stated he felt
they were considering having this meeting the first meeting in December. Ms. Frick
asked if they want to discuss this with Mr. VanDyke first before having the meeting with
the other parties. Mr. Cylinder stated he would be willing to meet with Mr. VanDyke
provided another Planning Commission is with him. Ms. Frick stated she was discussing
having Mr. VanDyke come to the Planning Commission first. Mr. Bush stated he feels
all interested parties should be present at the meeting.
Mr. Dickson asked if they are discussing this corridor that Mr. Cylinder is discussing as it
pertains to the
over the Railroad. Mr. Cylinder stated it is all part of the same road. Mr. Dickson stated
while this is correct, these are two different issues. Ms. Frick stated Mr. VanDyke would
have nothing to do with an overpass over the Railroad. Mr.
Dickson stated Mr. Cylinder needs to consider these as two separate
issues. Mr. Cylinder stated when Mr. VanDyke
is present he would like to advise him that the proposal for the
Ms. Frick stated it is her understanding that the Planning Commission would like to have
present Mr. VanDyke and the surrounding residents. Mr. Cylinder stated when he was
interviewed for the Planning Commission they asked him how they were going to
integrate this whole area, and Mr. Cylinder stated he has shown a connection not only
be included in the meeting as well. It was noted that this was going to be done anyway.
Ms. Frick asked if they also want the Historic Commission present, and this was
agreeable to everyone. Mr. Cylinder stated he also feels the traffic engineer should be
present, but Ms. Frick and other Planning Commission members did not feel they could
do this at this time. Mr. Cylinder stated he feels they should then ask the Supervisors if
the traffic engineer could be present. Mr. Donaghy stated the Planning Commission
members would have to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to permit
this expenditure, and Mr. Cylinder suggested that they do this right now. Mr. Donaghy
stated that when they have the proposed meeting and are discussing Mr. Cylinder’s
proposal, it must be noted that this is Mr. Cylinder’s proposal and not a proposal that the
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 19 of 21
Planning Commission has recommended to the Board of Supervisors, although individual
members can express their opinions in the course of the meeting.
Ms. Frick asked if they want the property owners to receive information in advance of the
meeting or only be sent a letter inviting them to the meeting. Mr. Bush stated it would
depend on the subject of the meeting – whether it is Mr. Cylinder’s entire proposal or the
proposed changes to the Ordinance being recommended by the Historic Commission.
Ms. Frick asked if possibly the owners should not be invited to the initial meeting and
only have Mr. VanDyke and the Historic Commission present so that they can decide in
what direction they are going.
Mr. Dickson stated he has been attending meetings such as this since the early 1970’s,
and he cannot recall any incident when a member of a Planning Commission or Zoning
Hearing Board came up with a proposal on their own. Mr. Dickson stated Mr. Smith
originally proposed that Mr. Cylinder present this as a private citizen, and Mr. Cylinder
objected to this. Now he is hearing that this is being presented by a Planning
Commission member and not the entire Planning Commission, and he is concerned that
property owners are going to be confused. Mr. Donaghy stated he felt that in an attempt
to get some cohesiveness on
are submitted for various people to come in and generally discuss the issues. He stated
while the Board of Supervisors has already done this, it seems the Planning Commission
would now like to do this again. He stated as part of this, he does not feel it is the
position of the Planning Commission at this point to say Mr. Cylinder’s proposal is the
Planning Commission’s proposal; but if any member of the Planning Commission wants
to ask questions or present ideas, he does not feel this would be a problem.
Mr. Smith stated if they were to have this group meeting, he feels it would be highly
improper to have the diagram made by Mr. Cylinder presented by Mr. Cylinder to those
present as a member of the Planning Commission as opposed to a private citizen.
Mr. Cylinder agreed. Mr. Smith stated doing so would remove his impartiality toward
whatever Plan is presented to the Planning Commission. He stated he does not feel the
proper avenue to present the Plan he has designed would be at the Planning meeting, but
feels there is nothing wrong with Mr. Cylinderpresenting this Plan as a private citizen at
any public meeting. Mr. Smith stated numerous people have presented issues at public
meetings as private citizens. He stated by only allowing its use to be done as
Mr. Cylinder has suggested, which he does not feel can be done since he does not have
the authority to ask the Township engineer to review the Plan, he feels Mr. Cylinder is
limiting the use of his ideas if it is never known in the proper forum.
Mr. Cylinder stated his problem has been that no one listened to him before he became a
member of the Planning Commission. He stated the only other alternative would be that
he serve as a consultant to the Planning Commission, and he would be willing to do this
for free. In this case, he would resign from the Planning Commission. Mr. Cylinder
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 20 of 21
stated if the Planning Commission had no objection, he would be willing to show his Plan
to Mr. VanDyke, provided there was someone else with him. Mr. Smith stated as a
member of the Planning Commission he has certain rights and obligations as well as
certain limitations. He stated as a private citizen he can do what he wants within the
bounds of the law. He stated he can do this provided he does not speak on behalf of the
Planning Commission. Mr. Donaghy stated he does not feel there should be a private
contact by a Planning Commission member. He stated they can ask questions or present
something at a Township meeting if they have considered certain items without making it
mandatory that they do it. Mr. Smith agreed. Mr. Smith stated if Mr. Cylinder is going
to take the position that this Plan he is presenting has to be done or he will not vote in
favor of it, at some point in time, he may have to recuse himself from whatever is
presented. Mr. Cylinder stated he has no personal interest in this whatsoever. He stated
although he voted against Matrix, the project will not hurt him; and it is the same for this
Mr. Pazdera stated he would still like to have a meeting so they can discuss this before a
Plan is presented. Ms. Frick asked how the letter to those being invited should be
worded, and Mr. Cylinder suggested that they indicate they would like there to be an
exchange of views. Mr. Majewski suggested that they advise that they are discussing
proposed planning considerations for
scheduled for the meeting of December 11, 2006 which will be the only Planning
Commission meeting held in December.
Ms. Frick noted the information provided from
Application scheduled to be heard by them this Wednesday. This is the Dolington
Estates/Toll Bros. Development. Mr. Majewski stated although Toll Bros. is also
pursuing the Cemetery, they have also submitted a Condition Use Plan for 218 homes on
the Dolington Tract, and this would include the area for the Cemetery. He stated they
also have pending the Cemetery Overlay Ordinance and a potential Subdivision for that
as well as a 99-lot Subdivision for single-family homes all going concurrently.
Mr. Bush asked if they know what the feelings are of the
on this Plan. Mr. Majewski stated this Plan has just been submitted, and the letter
indicates that there is no Subdivision Sketch Plan or a Land Development Approval being
requested for this submission. He stated they are just seeking approval for 218 lots. He
stated he feels this came out of the previous denial for the previous Conditional Use as
one of the suggestions was that if they scaled back the proposal from 280 to a more
is a minimum three-acre Zoning in
October 23, 2006 Planning Commission – page 21 of 21
you can go down to one-acre lots by clustering and preserving certain percentage of open
space. Once the use is approved, they would then go through the Subdivision and Land
Development approval process.
Mr. Bush asked if this site includes part of the site for the Cemetery, and
Mr. Majewski stated this is correct; and there would be no Cemetery if this Plan were
approved. He stated they are running four different Plans concurrently for this site.
Mr. Majewski stated
that you cannot concurrently run separate Land Development Approval Applications on a
property. He stated currently Fieldstone is keeping two Applications running in Lower
Mr. Majewski stated on a previous Application for this site, the Planning Commission did
send comments to
and stormwater. It was noted that since there was no Plan attached to the Upper
Makefield information, it is difficult to make comments. No position was taken by the
There being no further business, Mr. Dickson moved, Mr. Bush seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:35 p.m.
Tony Bush, Secretary