TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PLANNING COMMISSION

MINUTES – SEPTEMBER 25, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Planning Commission of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on September 25, 2006.  Chairman Pazdera called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Planning Commission:               John Pazdera, Chairman

                                                Dean Dickson, Vice Chairman

                                                Tony Bush, Secretary

                                                Richard Cylinder, Member

                                                Karen Friedman, Member

 

Others:                                     Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning

                                                John Donaghy, Township Solicitor

                                                Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor

                                                Christopher Fazio, Township Engineer

                                                James Majewski, Township Solicitor

                                                Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

#335 – OCTAGON CENTER – PRELIMINARY PLAN DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Brookman, attorney, was present with Mr. Chris Burkett, engineer, and

Mr. Russell Tepper.  Mr. Brookman stated they appeared before the Environmental

Advisory Council (EAC) and responded to a number of issues raised during that meeting. 

He stated the EAC did request that there be a site visit, and two members of the EAC,

who are present this evening, visited the site with Chris Burkett to look at the physical

conditions of the land.

 

Mr. Brookman stated they received on Friday the Township’s comments with respect to

the Plans that were submitted.  They then sent a letter to the Township in response to the

EAC comments.  Mr. Brookman stated that they feel from a preliminary review of the

comments received from the Township’s engineer, Fire Chief, Police Chief, and TPD that

they can comply with the comments that have been provided to the developer. 

Mr. Brookman stated the developer is now working to correct the deficiencies and errors

in the Plans and will submit them to the Township shortly. 

 

Mr. Brookman stated this evening they would like Mr. Burkett to address one of the

issues that came up during the EAC meeting with regard to taking some of the

stormwater that now sheets off the property to the Brock Creek Watershed and diverting it to the Mill Creek Watershed.  Mr. Brookman stated what they propose is legally

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 2 of 16

 

conforming with respect to all applicable Township, County, State, and Federal laws; and

they feel it will be the decision of the Township’s consultants that the increase of

stormwater flowing to Mill Creek will be deminimus, and the rate of discharge after

development will be better than the rate of discharge is currently.   

 

Mr. Burkett stated the issue of the watersheds between Brook and Mill Creek is an

important issue to the EAC.  He stated he did try to use some of the information prepared

in the Act 167 Study done for the site originally.  He noted the location of the site on a

map and noted the location of Brock Creek, Mill Creek, and the tributaries.  He noted the

boundary between the Brock Creek Watershed and the Mill Creek Watershed on their

site.  He stated this is an area which has been noted by the EAC.  He stated the project is

in the upper headwaters of Brock Creek.  He stated the Brock Creek Watershed is very

large, goes through the center of Yardley, and frequently floods.  He stated Mill Creek

runs to the south and discharges to the Delaware River south of Bristol.  It is a much

larger watershed than Brock Creek and also takes in a lot more industrial and urbanized

areas.    Mr. Burkett stated the site’s current discharge pattern has twenty acres of the site

going into the Brock Creek Watershed; and due to the way the project was being

constructed and graded, this was going to be reduced to approximately seven acres.  He

stated these would be more urbanized areas as opposed to the existing farm fields. 

 

Mr. Burkett stated the area to the north of the site is bounded by Dobry Road.  He noted

the area in question on the Plan and stated this is the swath of land which drains

approximately twenty acres pre-development onto the Dobry Road side of the

development.  He stated the area along the back of the property line has a swale line that

has been developed after years of being plowed.  He stated the sheet flow does not go

through the tract evenly.  He stated it hits the swale line and runs westerly, and in some

areas gets channelized to a ditch system on the south side of Dobry Road.  He stated they

want to avoid having these smaller flows being turned into larger discharges, and they

therefore took the site so that it all drains down toward Mill Creek.  This would take away some of what goes into the Brock Creek Watershed and adds it to what goes into the Mill Creek Watershed.  He stated for a one hundred year storm, pre-development, they have 70 cubic feet per second going into the Brock Creek Watershed, and after development it will only be 35.  It therefore cuts the peak rate of flow into the Brock Creek Watershed by about one half and sends that flow to Mill Creek. 

 

Mr. Burkett stated he walked the site with a number of the EAC members, and they

looked at the collection system in Dobry Road and there are not a lot of stormwater

management improvements and it is basically handled by a ditch system that goes to

pipes and then into the headwaters of the stream.  He stated it is not a type of collection

system that is conducive to handling additional flows.  He stated they then looked at the

Mill Creek Watershed, and there is a large pond across the street that discharges to the

stream system and the headwaters in this area are larger and they are much more suitable

to handling additional flows than is the system associated with Brock Creek.

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 3 of 16

 

 

Mr. Burkett noted the detention facilities they propose on site including catch ponds, rain

gardens, wet ponds, etc. which will catch, detain, and treat the water before it goes to

Mill Creek.  He stated they have met all the requirements for volume controls and

peak reductions according to the Township Ordinance.  He stated there are approximately

twelve more acres of Brock Creek Watershed that will go to Mill Creek, but they feel this

will be a much better proposal. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked how water will flow from the Middletown portion.  Mr. Burkett

stated it will flow to the Mill Creek Watershed as well.  He stated anything done in

Middletown Township would have to meet stormwater management controls as well.

Ms. Friedman asked if these elevated volumes will compromise the Mill Creek

Watershed.  Mr. Fazio stated in reviewing the stormwater management calculations, they

are showing there is a net reduction in the amount of stormwater the site will generate,

and they are employing several different stormwater management tactics to manage this. 

The stormwater generated after development will be less than what flows into the creeks

today.  He stated there are items they need to discuss further in terms of the calculations,

and they would like to continue to work with them on this.  He stated the volume and

quickness of the water that gets from Point A to point B will be less.  He stated they are

using a number of techniques to control it including infiltration, basins, water gardens,

etc.  He stated he is going to continue to work with them on these to make them more

effective.

 

Mr. Burkett stated they have found that most stream bank erosion occurs in the one and

two year storms, and the DEP is directing them to improve conditions for these storms

and this is what they designed for.  He stated they must also follow the Act 167

requirements.

 

Mr. Cylinder noted a portion of the tract in the northwest corner which goes to the

Railroad.  Mr. Burkett noted this location on the map, and he stated that tract of land is

impacted by archeological resources.  He also noted another area on the map which has

an archeological easement.  He stated early on when they did the site assessment, they

were directed to limit disturbance in these areas and so no development alternatives have

been proposed.  It will not be used for anything.

 

Mr. Cylinder noted the northwest side along the I-95 border which is 15’ below the level

of the highway and asked how this is affected in terms of drainage and the development

of the site.  Mr. Burkett stated there is a vegetative buffer that runs along I-95 and it will

be retained for the most part.  No man-made sound barriers are proposed.    He stated the

drainage that leaves the highway at that location is limited, and there is not a lot of run

off from the highway coming onto the site.

 

 

 

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 4 of 16

 

 

Mr. Bush noted the archeological easement which runs to the Heritage Conservancy and

provides for a mechanism by which the easement can be terminated.  He stated he feels

there was a reference made at some point that there was nothing of historical or

archeological significance on the site, and he asked if they could terminate the easement.  

Mr. Tepper stated they have no desire to evoke the easement as it was entered into with

the idea that it would remain there indefinitely.  Mr. Cylinder asked if there has been any

discussion of extending the road to Dobry Road, and Mr. Tepper stated there has not. 

 

Mr. Bush stated the developer indicated that they were meeting with Middletown

Township Planning Commission and the Advisory Board on September 14, and he asked

the result of that meeting.  Mr. Tepper stated not all members of the Advisory Board were

in attendance at that meeting when they met with some members of the Planning

Commission.  They submitted to the Middletown Planning Commission the findings of

the Advisory Board and the Advisory Board’s recommendation for additional age-

qualified residential to be developed in the Middletown portion.  The members of the

Planning Commission had a number of concerns relative to that use, but were unwilling

to make any decision as to that use or other complimentary uses until additional

information was provided with regard to woodlands, size of the property, drainage, etc. 

The developer is in the process of studying this further and will go back again to the

Middletown Township Planning Commission.  He stated they would require a zoning

change to provide for the residential use as the land is currently zoned for industrial uses,

a mobile home park, and various adult-type uses. 

 

Mr. Bush asked if there is a timeframe or are additional meetings scheduled, and

Mr. Tepper stated no meetings are scheduled with the Advisory Board as the idea is 

continue to have meetings with the Planning Commission and Advisory Board at the

same time although no specific date has been set. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if they would develop age-restricted in Middletown as an integrated

part of the Lower Makefield project or would it be separate.  Mr. Tepper stated they have

always looked at the land in Middletown Township as part of one larger community

which is why they have continued to try to develop it in a manner with uses that would fit

in with their proposal for Lower Makefield Township. 

 

Mr. Pazdera stated there are a number of items in the Township engineer’s review letter

that are being deferred to Final Plan, and he stated he would like to know when the

Planning Commission will see all the pieces and how it will impact the timeframe of the

approval.  Mr. Brookman stated these are both Preliminary and Final Plans so after this

submission has been reviewed all information will be on the next set of Plans.  He stated

they intend to have both the traffic consultant and their engineer meet with the

Township’s counterparts within the next forty-eight hours to go over the list of items.

Mr. Burkett stated they feel it will take approximately two weeks to clean up the Plans. 

Prior to resubmitting the Plans, they will meet with the Township engineer and go

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 5 of 16

 

 

through their comments to make sure they know what they have to do to resolve the

remaining issues.    He stated some of the items go beyond what the Township Ordinance

requires, but they have approached this with the idea that they will try to provide as much

as they can even if it is beyond what the Ordinance requires.  He noted particularly the

water quality issues which are not part of the Ordinance, and they do want to try to meet

this.  He stated if the issues do not require significant changes to the Plans and do not

have a great deal of expense associated with them, they do want to try to accommodate

these requests.  

 

Mr. Brookman stated he assumes the next meeting of the Planning Commission will be

October 9.  Mr. Pazdera stated this is a Holiday.  Mr. Brookman stated they are currently

scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors on October 18.  They would like the

Planning Commission to have an opportunity to review the Plans before October 18 and

they were assuming it would be on October 9.  If for some reason, the engineers cannot

complete their reviews by then, possibly there could be a special meeting of the Planning

Commission on October 16 so that they could meet with them before they go to the

Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Pazdera stated he is concerned with this timeframe and

allowing for adequate review.  Mr. Fazio stated they had one week to review the last set

of Plans, and he had to have people work late into the evening to be able to complete the

review.  He stated this was actually a three-week review compressed into one week.  He

stated he needs time to meet with the Applicant to insure that everything is adequately

addressed, and he also wants to carefully review the Plans.  Mr. Pazdera stated it is not realistic to expect that this will be completed by the October 18 Board of Supervisors meeting and still give the Planning Commission the time to review the complete Plans. 

 

Mr. Brookman stated they do appreciate the efforts the Township professionals have put

into getting the Plans reviewed.  He stated when the consultants meet in the next forty-

eight hours, they will have a better idea as to how they can meet the timeline; and they

will discuss this with the Township solicitor.  Mr. Fazio stated the review letter is fairly

extensive, and while 80% of these items are minor, he does want to carefully review the

remaining 20%. 

 

Mr. Smith asked if a member of the Planning Commission could work along with the

Township engineer to act as Liaison.  Members of the Planning Commission felt it would

be difficult to accommodate this request because of their work schedules, individual ideas on the Plans, and inconsistent with protocol.

 

Mr. Fazio stated the fundamental design they are presenting this evening is not going to

change.   He stated what they will work on will be clarification and helping to make the

Plans work as they should.  Mr. Pazdera asked Mr. Fazio to review those items he is most

concerned with, and Mr. Fazio stated they want to carefully look at the stormwater

management plan. He stated they are making the developer do more than is required with

water quality, and they have been cooperative in this regard.

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 6 of 16

 

 

Mr. Pazdera stated the Planning Commission has not yet seen the developer’s response to

the EAC questions, and Ms. Frick stated they did not come in until 4:28 p.m. on Friday. 

Mr. Fazio stated he has not looked at it yet either, and he wants to review these as well.

Mr. Jim Bray stated he and three other members of the EAC went on a site visit, and

Mr. Burkett did answer all of their questions.  He did ask that Mr. Burkett respond to

their questions in writing, and he has not seen this yet. He stated he will get this from the

Township tomorrow and will go over it as soon as possible and decide what the EAC

may still be concerned about.  He stated the site visit did open up some other areas of

concern, but it would be premature to comment on these at this time.  He stated after they

see the Matrix response, they will be able to come up with the EAC’s written response. 

He stated the next scheduled meeting of the EAC is October 11.  Mr. Bray stated they are

also having a problem with the review process which seems to be too streamlined.

 

Mr. Dickson stated they are dealing with a neighboring Municipality which to date has

still not come to a decision on what they see as an appropriate use for their property. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there have been any Township to Township meetings with

Middletown, and Mr. Smith stated this would  only be through the Southeastern Bucks

League of Municipalities.  Mr. Cylinder asked if the Lower Makefield Township

Planning Commission could meet with the Middletown Planning Commission. 

Mr. Bush stated Middletown did send representatives to some of the Board of

Supervisors’ meeting concerning the project.   Ms. Frick stated she also notifies Middletown Township in writing of the Planning Commission meetings.

 

Mr. Brookman stated they have been attempting over the life of the project to get the

attention of Middletown Township; and Middletown Township, under its former

leadership, took the view that until there was a resolution in Lower Makefield, it was

premature for Matrix to meet with them.  Approximately one year ago when Matrix was

feeling positive about the opportunity for a settlement with Lower Makefield, the

developer went back before the Middletown Board of Supervisors and summarized for

them what was taking place in Lower Makefield.  Mr. Santarsiero was present along with

representatives of RAM and those representatives also attended most, if not all, of the

Advisory Committee meetings.  Mr. Brookman stated they have gone through a series of

alternatives that would be compatible and complimentary to the proposed Lower

Makefield development; and to date, Matrix has not received from Middletown Township

a positive recommendation except that the Advisory Committee recommended to the

Middletown Board of Supervisors that what they felt would be most compatible activity

on the Middletown land would be other forms of age-qualified housing.  It was then

suggested that here be a joint meeting of the Advisory Committee and the Planning

Commission before there was a formal submission of a petition to have the land re-zoned. 

Two representatives from Middletown Township were also present at the last Lower

Makefield Planning Commission meeting when Matrix was discussed.  He stated at the

joint meeting, Matrix received a very mixed message from the Middletown Planning

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 7 of 16

 

 

Commission members; and when the issue was put to a vote, they decided to wait to

make any decision.  He is not hopeful that anything will be resolved with Middletown

Township this year. 

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he feels it would be a good idea to have the Lower Makefield

Planning Commission meet with the Middletown Township Planning Commission as he

feels one side does not seem to know what the other side is doing.  Mr. Brookman stated

the Middletown Township Planning Commission and Advisory Committee were given a

complete review of the Concept and Preliminary/Final Plans for Lower Makefield.  He

stated Middletown is very aware of what is happening in Lower Makefield; and what

they are indecisive about is what they would like to see happen in Middletown. 

Mr. Brookman stated it is not Matrix’s decision because the land is not zoned for the

residential use Matrix would propose.  He stated they have been trying to convince

Middletown that there is higher and better uses for the land in Middletown; and while he

feels they will eventually be successful in this, he does not feel it will happen in the next

few months.

 

Mr. Dickson stated it is possible that Middletown could come up with an adult

entertainment complex, and Mr. Brookman stated Matrix is not going to propose this. 

He stated in order to proceed with that use, they would have to go through a Conditional

Use Hearing.  Mr. Garton stated there is also a Contractual Settlement Agreement with Matrix that requires any uses in Middletown to be compatible to uses in Lower Makefield, and Mr. Brookman agreed. 

 

Mr. Cylinder stated their only access except for what would be installed by Matrix would

be off Big Oak Road.  He stated there is now an opportunity to do something, and he

feels they should not assume that Middletown Township does not want to talk to Lower

Makefield.  He feels this is the responsibility of the Township to pursue this and not the

developer. 

 

Ms. Marilyn Lebovitz asked if the Middletown Township development does not go

forward, does this mean that the Lower Makefield Township portion would be negated,

and Mr. Garton stated this is not correct.  He stated the Lower Makefield Township

portion of the project has a contractual obligation to proceed at a certain pace despite

Middletown Township.  He stated it must be approved by 12/31/06.  She asked by when

they would have to develop the project, and Mr. Garton stated there is no contractual

obligation when they have to start construction, although they do have obligations to sign

Agreements, etc.  He stated he assumes that if they were able to get something approved

by October 18 or the end of December, that they would want to start construction in the

spring, and Mr. Tepper stated this is their goal.  Mr. Brookman stated as part of the

Settlement Agreement the road improvements on Oxford Valley and Big Oak Roads go

in immediately irrespective of the number of dwelling units. 

 

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 8 of 16

 

Ms. Friedman stated there is a wetland delineation report but there was no documentation

of updated woodlands delineations.  She stated the Bucks County Planning Commission

also questioned if the way the developer was calculating the woodlands was from the

original mapping or if it has been updated.  Mr. Burkett stated it has been updated.  He

stated Bucks County Planning Commission was referring to the title page on the lower

left corner where there was a line which related to a prior Township criteria from a

previous approval.  Bucks County Planning Commission asked that this be removed if it

was not a pertinent line, and they are going to do so.  He stated the woodlands

delineations being shown is based on the current requirements.  He stated all natural

resource plans show this.  He stated on the survey plan it states that the woodlands lines

on the Plans are reflective of what they were in April of 2006. 

 

Ms. Friedman noted the Traffic Planning Design Report requesting traffic templates for

large emergency vehicles.  She noted particular concern with the area on the north side

where the only access is off  Oxford Valley Road and how the residents can be served

with regard to emergency services.  She feels there should be at least an emergency

vehicle entrance in that corner to cut down on the time of response.  Mr. Burkett noted

the location of the right-in/right-out access and also noted the location of the light-

controlled intersection at Tall Pines Road.  Mr. Cylinder stated he is also concerned with

the emergency vehicles once they get into the development. 

 

Mr. Bush stated Matrix previously indicated that the decision to install a light at Tall Pines Road was not finalized, and they were waiting for approval from PennDOT.  He stated there was a report from the Police Department indicating they felt there must be a traffic light at this location.  Mr. Tepper stated the Warrant Analysis is being done to determine if they meet Warrants.  He stated when the intersection was first designed, it was based on a different use than that which is currently proposed so there is some question if sufficient traffic will be generated to meet the Warrants.  Mr. Bush stated notwithstanding what PennDOT recommends, the Lower Makefield Police Department indicated it is needed based on the current Plans being submitted.  He asked if they will put it in irrespective of what PennDOT states, and Mr. Tepper stated they cannot put in a signal without PennDOT approval.  Mr. Garton stated Matrix always wanted the traffic light at this location, but RAM was concerned with the proliferation of traffic lights; and so the Agreement states that if they meet PennDOT Warrants, the light will be installed. 

 

Mr. Dickson stated he understands that there will be a Homeowners Association which

will contract to have the streets plowed during the winter.  He stated he is concerned that

these are older people and there may be a 9-1-1 call during a snow storm, and the

emergency services will be unable to access a cul-de-sac which has not been plowed. 

He feels there should be an outlet in the northern part.  Mr. Tepper stated they are not

permitted to excavate in that area because of the archeological items.    Mr. Pazdera

stated there is also a 10’ to 12’ grade drop.  Mr. Tepper stated there are two means of

ingress/egress out of that portion of the property over which Ms. Friedman has concerns. 

He stated there are multiple points of access for all areas of their property.

September 25, 2006                                                     Planning Commission – page 9 of 16

 

 

Mr. Fazio stated the Applicant will have to provide a template of the emergency vehicles

to show that they can make the turns, show the routes, etc. 

 

Ms. Friedman noted the report from Traffic Planning & Design about the restriction of

trucks and buses on Big Oak Road.  Ms. Pam Conti of Orth-Rodgers stated when they

started this Plan years ago, there were truck restrictions on Big Oak Road and she was not

sure if they wanted to continue this.  She stated if the Township wants them to, they

could remove those signs and the notes on the Plan.  Mr. Fazio stated this would be a

philosophical question as there is no engineering reason not to have trucks or buses on

the Road.  Mr. Tepper stated he feels this was related to the condition of the road, and the

road will be improved.  Ms. Conti stated they would agree not to restrict trucks and

buses.

 

Ms. Friedman noted the letter from PennDOT regarding the need for a traffic impact

study.  She asked why this was not being done.  Ms. Conti stated a Traffic Impact Study

was required for the work that was being done on Big Oak and Oxford Valley Roads. 

This was submitted to PennDOT and was improved previously.  She stated they

modified their traffic numbers and have put together a minor report, but they have not

been requested to submit it.  Mr. Tepper stated the Plans were sent to PennDOT without

PennDOT realizing that they had already issued the Highway Occupancy Permits for the

road improvements.  They discussed this with the PennDOT representatives after the

letter Ms. Friedman is referring to came out, and PennDOT acknowledged in writing to

Matrix that a further review is not necessary because the Highway Occupancy Permits

have already been issued.

 

Mr. Bush stated at the last meeting he asked about the easement on the five acre Park and

Recreation parcel and had asked that they consider conveying that land to the Township

as opposed to granting an easement.  Mr. Tepper stated they have agreed to that request. 

 

Mr. Pazdera asked if the current list of Waivers will be the same, and Mr. Tepper stated

he does not feel the list will change, but they will be more certain of this after the review

with the Township consultants. 

 

Ms. Friedman asked how public transportation will be handled.  Mr. Tepper stated the

Bucks County Planning Commission did request a bus shelter, and Matrix indicated in

the original plan they felt it would be logical to anticipate there be some opportunity for

this to occur on Big Oak Road since it will be improved and there will be shoulders. 

They feel access to mass transportation is a good thing, and he feels SEPTA may want to

locate a shelter on Big Oak Road and they would work with them to do this. He stated

they do not know if SEPTA is still interested in doing this.  SEPTA was interested in this

when they were considering the original plan. 

 

 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 10 of 16

 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if they are considering any internal transportation such as a jitney,

and Mr. Tepper stated he has no idea at this time as the Homeowners Association has not

been formed yet. 

 

Ms. Friedman noted the Office/Retail section where it indicated that the land will be

cleared.  She asked if they will clear this prior to approval or will this be coming in

separately.  Mr. Tepper stated there will be a separate Application as to how those two

parcels are developed.  He does not feel that they will be completely cleared as part of

their development.  He stated they must make sure for the entire tract that they adhere to

woodland requirements and stormwater management.  They have no plans to do anything

with those parcels at this time.  He stated the improvements to Old Oxford Valley Road

will occur.  Mr. Burkett stated the clearings shown were only place holders. 

Ms. Friedman asked if the percentage of impervious surface includes this area, and

Mr. Burkett stated they are at 40% for the residential component.  The office area may be

2% relative to the whole site.  The maximum they would be permitted would be 40,000

for office and 15,000 for retail.  He stated both tracts will take care of their own

stormwater management.

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there will be any commercial facility in the area that will be

designated condo in the residential section that they are now considering.  Mr. Tepper

stated the only commercial are the two areas noted by Ms. Friedman.  Mr. Cylinder asked

about the Community Center, and Mr. Tepper stated this will be a private facility for the

residents of the community and will be owned by the Community Association who will

own it and manage it.  Mr. Cylinder asked if those who purchase a unit in the

condominiums will have a stake in the Community Building as well, and Mr. Brookman

stated they are obligated to pay an assessment and are members of the Community

Association.  Mr. Cylinder asked if any commercial use such as a bank or convenience

store be put in the Community Center, and Mr. Brookman stated it would not be

permitted without the Township’s approval. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there are any provisions for pedestrian traffic to a commercial

facility that may be installed.  Mr. Brookman stated the Plans do provide for walking and

bicycle paths that would connect to the commercial and retail.  Mr. Pazdera asked if there

is a connection to the existing shopping centers in the area, and Mr. Brookman stated this

would depend on Township improvements once you leave the developer’s site. 

 

Mr. Pazdera asked if anything is included in the road improvements, and Ms. Conti stated

she does feel there are crosswalks.

 

Mr. Bush stated Mr. Fazio asked in writing for a sketch of the entire tract for the residential development, office/retail, and Middletown, and asked if the sketch they would be submitting would  be any different than what has been submitted.

Mr. Brookman stated it will not because they do not know what will be coming in.

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 11 of 16

 

 

He stated they have provided this information previously to the Township, and it would be a guess as to what may occur.  Mr. Garton stated they could provide a copy of the Concept Plan that shows the location of the uses.  Mr. Cylinder asked if they could include a text describing what is in the future, and Mr. Tepper agreed to do this.

 

Ms. Friedman noted the north section where there is to be 20’ between homes with an

infiltration bed.  She is concerned with anticipated difficulties with sediment and

potential for this to clog.  She stated there was a notation that approximately every two

years they would need to clean this up.  Mr. Burkett stated this is incorrect.  He stated he

had indicated that the only time there would be a problem with siltation after the area was

stabilized would be if someone disturbed something or there was a utility blow-out.  He

stated in that instance, it would have to be fixed.  He stated they do not anticipate any

other problems for an extended period of time.  Mr. Fazio stated they are requiring them

to provide a long-term maintenance schedule.  He stated generally the HOAs, when they

get established, are like their own “Township.”  Mr. Fazio stated it is not uncommon for

maintenance to be handled in this way. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if there is a Condominium involved or is this strictly a Homeowners

Association, and Mr. Brookman stated there will be both.  He stated the whole site will

be subject to a Declaration of Planned Community, and within this Planned Community,

there will be a Condominium Association.  He stated everyone who lives in the

community will be under the Declaration for the community and will be members of the

Association with full rights and privileges.  Mr. Cylinder asked if the one-story units will

be part of the condominium, and Mr. Bookman stated they will not although they will be

part of the Community Association.    Mr. Cylinder asked who owns the land under the

individual houses, and Mr. Brookman stated it will be conveyed to the owners along with

limited common facilities that gives them exclusive right to use a limited area around

their unit.  Those living in the three-story units could have a balcony, but their ownership

is generally within the plane of the building – within the foundation walls. 

 

Mr. Cylinder asked if any of the units will have basements, and Mr. Brookman stated

currently they are not contemplating basements.  Mr. Tepper stated the Plans that have

been submitted do not contemplate basements for any of the residential units.  He stated

if this changes, they will seek the appropriate approvals to do so.  Mr. Cylinder stated

there are consequences for this with regard to fill and infiltration. 

 

Mr. Cylinder noted the detached units, and asked if there will be common open space

between the detached buildings; and Mr. Brookman stated there will be an area that will

be a common facility limited to the unit owner, but the land itself would be conveyed to

the Community Association and maintained by the Community Association.  The

drainage areas would all be in common areas.  The utilities are owned by the respective

utility companies to the extent that they are considered private by the utility companies.

 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 12 of 16

 

 

They would be owned by the Community Association and maintained by the Community Association for the benefit of the unit owners.  To the extent that any of those utilities

need repair as a result of activities of a unit owner, they would be assessed back.  He

stated he has not had discussions with the utility companies yet as to where they want

their ownership line to end and the Community Associations’ responsibility to begin. 

He stated they must abide by the decision of the utility company.

 

Ms. Lebovitz stated she represents approximately fifteen families, and they were under

the impression that 40% of the single-family homes would have basements.  She stated if

none of them will have basements, this will eliminate fifteen families from purchasing

these units.  Mr. Tepper stated the Plans submitted do not anticipate basements, but as

they go through the process if they propose changes, they will have to analyze this and go

through the approval process to accommodate this.  Ms. Lebovitz asked if they are

indicating there will be no basements because of costs or because of water conditions. 

Mr. Tepper stated there are certain areas which are more conducive to basements because

of the water table.  He stated they must also consider what users want as far as amenities.

 

Ms. Friedman noted the engineer’s report dated 9/14/06 regarding water and sewer to

adjoining properties.  Mr. Burkett stated there are some locations where water and sewer

could be facilitated to certain sites, and he noted these locations on the Plans.  He noted a

location where a future user could locate a pump station.  He stated they cannot provide a

gravity system in certain locations.   He noted a location near Dobry Road where

connections have been recommended, but there is a problem with elevation and the

grading.  He noted they also cannot impact the archeological site.  He stated if they can

run a line that would be reasonable, they would agree to do so where possible. 

Mr. Pazdera stated he would like Mr. Fazio to review this.

 

Mr. Bush asked if they plan to use any EPA green construction practices, and Mr. Tepper

stated he is not familiar with these.  Mr. Bush stated these would require reduction of

noise and use of diesel during the construction process.  He agreed that Township does

not have any Ordinance at this point that would require this.

 

Mr. Pazdera stated he is most concerned with the stormwater and LID matters and they

are counting on them to work with the Township engineer and the EAC.  He stated he

also wants to make sure that the Township and Planning Commission are given the time

to give this a proper review. 

 

Mr. Geoffrey Goll asked how many units they propose in Middletown, and Mr. Tepper

stated they do not know at this time.  He stated they have done Plans that ranged from

100 to 200 units.  Mr. Goll asked what they will do if Middletown Township decides not

to allow them to do age-qualified housing.  Mr. Tepper stated they have agreed to

develop the land in Middletown in a complimentary fashion as noted in the Settlement

Agreement.  He stated they could not construct a manufacturing facility or a Cosco. 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 13 of 16

 

He stated there are other complimentary uses such as assisted-living.  Mr. Goll asked about the capacity of the roads, and Mr. Tepper stated the road improvements to be installed were based on a much larger development so whatever is built in Middletown Township would be accommodated by the traffic improvements.

 

Mr. George Shenard stated he lives on Dobry Road adjacent to the Matrix property. 

He noted the location of a hedgerow which is a good buffer zone and asked if this will be

maintained.  Mr. Tepper stated they would not remove any wooded area that is not on

their property. Some of it will be removed from the developer’s property.  Mr. Pazdera

state there is also a substantial amount of grading to be done in this area.  Mr. Tepper

stated they do have to do a landscape buffer on Oxford Valley Road.  He stated they will

also do landscape improvements along their property as well which will support what

exists on Mr. Shenard’s property.  Mr. Burkett stated from the back of the Shenard's

property they propose that there will be no houses closer than 50’ to the back line, the

vegetation runs along there as well,  and there is a graded slope.  There will not be a

retaining wall.

 

Mr. Bill Mayer, representing Yardley Corners, stated they have 148 homes and 250 voters in Yardley Corners.  He stated he was on the Yardley Corners Board for ten years and when the original Plan was presented,  the developer made a commitment at that time for a six foot high berm along Oxford Valley Road and to have a light at Mt Pleasant along with restrictions on turning movements.     Mr. Tepper stated they have maintained the buffer along Oxford Valley Road.  The cross traffic will prevent traffic from going

between the developments, and this is incorporated into the Plans.  He stated as

previously discussed this evening, there is PennDOT Warrant analysis needed to insure

that PennDOT will give approval for the signal.  PennDOT will have the final decision on

this.  Mr. Mayer stated they are mostly concerned that people not use Mt. Pleasant as a cut through.  Mr. Mayer stated since Middletown and Lower Makefield have not been

talking, he asked if Lower Makefield has ever considered taking over the Middletown

property, and Mr. Garton stated they would have to have voter approval of both

communities in order to do this.  Mr. Mayer stated he does not understand why Lower

Makefield and Middletown have not been talking after all these years. 

 

Ms. Frick asked if they propose to have a special meeting on October 16, when would the

Planning Commission need to have the Plans.  Mr. Fazio stated he would like to have two

weeks to review the Plans.  Ms. Frick stated they would need Revised Plans by the end of

this week in order to meet on October 16th.  Mr. Bookman stated he feels they will have a better sense about whether to have a special meeting once the meeting takes place between the engineers.  Mr. Smith suggested that they plan to have a special meting on October 16th.  Mr. Brookman stated he feels in terms of the overall design, what has been submitted will be the basis for the design.  He stated they do hope to have a review letter that is much less than the current review letter so the Planning Commission would then

be left with whether they do or do not want to recommend the Waivers and also consider a  limited number of items still outstanding. 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 14 of 16

 

 

Mr. Goll stated the EAC meeting is also not until October 11. 

 

Mr. Garton stated the Planning Commission would need to get the Township engineer’s

review letter the Thursday before the meeting.  If it takes longer, the Supervisors will

have to make an adjustment as there is an obligation to get a Plan that has as many of the

issues resolved as possible before it gets to the Board of Supervisors.    Ms. Frick stated

they also notify the public, and a Special Meeting would have to be advertised.  She

stated they would not want to advertise a Special Meeting if it is not a realistic date. 

It was agreed that the developer and Township engineers will meet, and a decision will

then be made how to proceed.

 

 

RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE LID SALDO AND ZONING ORDINANCES

 

Mr. Majewski and Mr. Donaghy were present on behalf of the Township.

 

Mr. Bray was present and stated the LID Task Force has been charged with the

responsibility of coming up with an LID Ordinance.  He stated they received a response

from the Bucks County Planning Commission dated 9/6/06.  They made a series of

recommendations, most of which had to do with text revisions and some wording

inconsistencies.  He stated two items did have substance – the first dealing with the

clustering, and they changed the Section to read “specified principle use” rather than

“conditional  use.”  He stated this will not be a specified use open to any builder.  He

stated the second item they changed was with respect to a soil protection Ordinance.  He

stated this was a suggestion made by the Board of Supervisors, and they included this in

the Ordinance.  He stated this states that you are restricted from removing topsoil from a

building site which they feel makes sense. 

 

Mr. Bray stated they also had a flood control expert from the Sierra Club review this, and

they were very pleased with the Ordinance and asked if they could excerpt portions of it

for an  upcoming article.  This was acceptable to the Solicitor provided they indicated it

was a Draft Ordinance.  He stated the Sierra Club noted they kept referring to the 1989

Flood Control Manual, when in fact it is the 1987 Manual; and this has been corrected. 

He stated they also noted a few minor inconsistencies which have been addressed.

 

Mr. Smith asked who else in Bucks County has enacted anything similar to what the Township is proposing, and Mr. Majewski stated there are a number of Townships heading in this direction, but Lower Makefield Township has gone one step further. 

 

Ms. Frick stated the Planning Commission already recommended approval of the

Ordinance in July with some additions.

 

 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 15 of 16

 

 

Mr. Bush moved and Mr. Dickson seconded to supplement the 7/25/06 recommendation

to the Board of Supervisors concerning the SALDO with changes as modified and

submitted this evening.

 

Mr. Smith stated he feels they have done an excellent job.  He recommended that the

EAC and Planning Commission members be present at the October 4 Board of

Supervisors meeting to make comments.

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Bush moved, Mr. Dickson seconded and it was unanimously carried to supplement

the 7/25/06 recommendation to the Board of Supervisors concerning the Zoning

Ordinance with changes as modified and submitted this evening.

 

Mr. Bray thanked everyone on the Planning Commission and stated this Ordinance has

been made much better due to the input they received.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he commented to the Board of Supervisors that he had not seen a

presentation on Edgewood Village before the Planning Commission.  Mr. Pazdera stated

a presentation was made but only two of the current Planning Commission members had

seen that presentation as it was some time ago.  Mr. Cylinder stated  it was suggested by

Mr. Smith that an invitation be made to the developers and he should contact the Planning Commission Chairman about this, and he did send a memo on this.  He asked if they want to have the developers meet with them and present where they are now and where they are heading.  Mr. Smith stated he felt his recommendation was to get the Historic Commission to meet with the Planning Commission on this in the same way the EAC met with the Planning Commission on the LID Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Bush stated he understands the Historic Commission has been working on this for

years.  He stated there was a Board of Supervisors meeting in January, and the Planning

Commission was invited.  The Historic Commission was present with a number of developers with very preliminary plans.  He stated he would be concerned that someone would come in to the Planning Commission who is a landowner who has no concept as to what they want to develop.  Mr. Bush stated recently someone came before the Planning Commission with Sketch Plans and Mr. Cylinder was not in favor of bringing that type of Plan before the Planning Commission noting they were coming in without hard data.  He stated if the Edgewood Village stakeholders came in now on Edgewood Village, it would not be much different from that at this point. 

 

September 25, 2006                                                   Planning Commission – page 16 of 16

 

 

Mr. Cylinder stated he does not feel it would be a problem dealing with them in a

personal or professional basis.  He stated when he was interviewed to be on the Planning

Commission, he indicated that Edgewood Village would be a difficult project which will

be much more difficult than Matrix.  He noted the Plan he prepared for Matrix took him

only a short period of time to develop as to how they could address something in the very

early stages.  He stated he would like the Planning Commission to have the opportunity

to provide their input in the Edgewood Village Plan before it is solidified.

 

Ms. Friedman asked if it would help if they submitted something written so they could

see what is in order and the Planning Commission  could then decide when they want

them to come before them.  Mr. Cylinder stated it does not have to be detailed engineering,  and there could just be a discussion on ideas.

 

Mr. Smith asked if they could proceed on a dual track.  He stated currently the Historic

Commission has this under their umbrella, and they are looking to protect  it from a

historic standpoint.  He stated a number of people have considered traffic issues as well. 

He feels Carter VanDyke should also get the Planning Commission’s perspective. 

Mr. Smith noted this matter will probably be back before the Board of Supervisors in

November.  He suggested that they ask Mr. VanDyke, Mr. Messick and Mr. Troilo to

come in to a Planning Commission meeting before the end of the year.  He also suggested

that the Historic Commission come in as well.  It was agreed that they be invited in

before the end of the calendar year.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Dickson moved, Mr. Friedman seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:15 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Tony Bush, Secretary