TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES - OCTOBER 14, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on October 14, 2003.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Ron Smith, Vice Chairman

                                                John Kuebler, Secretary

                                                Patricia Bunn, Member

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

                                                Donna Liney, Recreation Director

 

Absent:                         Henry Carpenter,  Park & Recreation Board Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Park & Recreation Board Member

                                                Wes Hackman, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Kuebler seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of September 9, 2003 as written.

 

 

DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION OF MEMORIAL PARK DEVELOPMENT PLAN

 

Mr. Mark Eisold and Mr. Francis Chan of Boucher & James, Inc. were present.

 

Mr. Fritchey noted the new Plan for Memorial Park which has been designated as Plan D. 

This Plan is the third of the three Plans that were attached to the letter dated October 6,

2003 which was sent out to adjacent neighbors.   He stated this Plan has been drafted as a

result of comments made at the last meeting. 

 

Mr. Eisold stated following the last Park & Recreation Board meeting, they revised the

Plan.  They then had a working meeting with Mr. Fritchey,  Mr. Fedorchak, and other

Township representatives, and made further revisions.  They met on September 29 to

review the final proposal.  They have tried to minimize the development in the chimney

area.  They also changed the access drive to a single lane but kept the circular drive in front

of the Memorial.  They have also moved some of the fields.  Mr. Eisold stated he feels this

Plan does minimize activities on the outer edge of the parcel so that they should have

minimal impact on the adjoining residents.  They have added a small maintenance garage

per Ms. Liney’s request, the location of which was shown on the Plan.

 

Mr. Phil Bartholomew, Brookfield Road Development, stated his only concern is with

regard to the drainage from the site.  He noted the creek in the area which goes under

Woodside Road and goes into his development.  He stated because of increased

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development, the creek is getting larger; and he is concerned with the impact of this

additional development.  Mr. Eisold stated they propose four detention areas which should

take care of any additional flow.  Ms. Ellen Saracini asked if the drainage areas will drain

into the wetlands.  Mr. Eisold stated the stream is the low point, but the basins are put in

locations so that they can collect the water from the impervious surface and then take it to

the stream. He stated they cannot disturb the wetlands or the wetland buffers.  He stated the

basins will be designed to meet the Township Ordinance requirements which require that

there be less water coming off the site after development than there was prior to

development.  Mr. Fedorchak stated the Ordinance requires that the post-development run

off must be down 50% from pre-development so the flows should be reduced from what

they are currently.

 

Ms. Sue Herman stated it appears the only active area which was take out on this Plan was

one of the playing areas.   She stated she had indicated at the last meeting that she felt the

Plan looked “frenzied” because they had the same amount of active areas they had on the

original Plan and had then added the Memorial.  She felt they should reduce the amount of

playing areas.  She asked if it will take more land to reduce the water flow than what they

have available. Mr. Eisold stated they will make it work and show this on the engineered

Plan.  Mr. Fritchey stated they have eliminated one multi-purpose field.  He stated the

Park & Recreation Board feels strongly that they need to have a mix of venues at this

location.  They see the Memorial as being a logical addition to the original Concept Plan as

the Park was always going to have a Memorial-type function and the 9-11 Memorial is an

addition to this aspect.  Ms. Herman thanked the Park & Recreation Board for the mailing

which was sent out to the residents. Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the entire process was

helped by the participation of the residents, and they hope to do the best they can to meet all

the concerns.

 

Mr. Rich Vile, 1901 Park, stated when he purchased his home in Dolington Estates he

purchased it with the understanding that the original Plan agreed to by the Township was

the final Plan.  He stated he would like a 65’ to 70’ treed buffer between the activities in the

Park and his property.  He stated he does not feel the residents of his development were

afforded the same courtesies as those living in Kimbles Field.  Mr. Fritchey stated many

people from Dolington Estates were involved in the prior discussions.  Mr. Vile stated the

original Plan did have a buffer but the new Plan does not show this.   Mr. Eisold stated

there will be trees planted where there are not existing trees according to the Township

Ordinance.  Mr. Vile stated he is concerned that if they install a parking lot in this area and

the stub road for the emergency access, people will park in his development and use the

stub road to walk into the Park rather than drive into the main entrance and through the

Park to the rear of the tract.  He is also concerned about now being able to see the activities

which had previously been tucked into the trees on the original Plan.  He feels the field

should be moved into the area where the tennis courts and volleyball courts are located. 

Mr. Steve Ross, Brookfield Road, asked how long ago Mr. Vile purchased his home.

Mr. Vile stated he purchased it in December, 2000.  Mr. Ross stated people have been

coming to meetings for years before Mr. Vile moved into the Township, and he does not

feel they should now move the field as proposed by Mr. Vile.  Ms. Bunn noted the area

Mr. Vile has suggested the field be moved to is a wetlands area.  Mr. Fedorchak noted the

original Plan did show the parking lot, ballfield, and stub road that is shown on the revised

Plan.  He stated the difference is the original Plan showed more of the trees which will be

planted.  He stated the revised Plan is basically the same as the original.  It was noted the

stub road is not an entrance which could be accessed by regular vehicles. 

 

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Mr. Paul Kozmorsky stated he resides near Mr. Vile and asked if there can be a restriction

on parking in their neighborhood when games are taking place.  Mr. Fritchey stated this

was a similar concern in Macclesfield Park and it has not proven to be a problem. 

Mr. Kozmorsky stated he is generally in favor of the Park. Mr. Kuebler stated there have

been discussions about the chimney area in the past.  There will not be outfield fences

installed.

 

Mr. Joe Gagliardi, Powderhorn Drive, asked why they should have any parking at all in

this upper area.  Mr. Fritchey stated they feel if they do not provide parking in this area it

will encourage people to park in the adjacent development instead.  He stated most of the

use of this field will be for spontaneous activities - pick-up games, family picnics, etc.

Mr. Gagliardi asked if these fields will be permitted out, and Mr. Fritchey stated these

would be permitted only as a last resort.  Ms. Bunn stated she felt they agreed with the

residents that these would not be permitted out.  Ms. Herman asked if the Township has

agreed that these will not be permitted out.  Mr. Fritchey stated they hope that these will not

have to be permitted out because they do have Snipes, etc.  Mr. Kuebler stated there have

been discussions about these fields being used by younger children with portable

backstops, etc.  There will be no lights and no fences.  Mr. Fritchey stated the purpose of

the Park is not as an athletic complex, and they do hope to keep things open; but he does

not feel they ever agreed that there would never be use by organized sports at any time.

Ms. Bunn stated she feels they did agree that there would be no lights and no permits.

She stated the Board of Supervisors agreed that there would be no lights.  Mr. Fritchey

stated this is a different issue. He does not feel there will be lights, but he does not feel

there was an agreement that there would never be permits for these fields.  Mr. Fedorchak

stated if there is a team from PAA for whatever reasons who needs to use the fields for

practice, he does not feel this should be a problem.

 

Mr. Pat Thompson, Fairfield, stated he knows how difficult it is to get field time for his

Senior Babe Team.  He also has a friend who plays softball and is aware of the large

Tournaments which take place in the Township.  He feels there is a lot of parking being

proposed for this Park and is concerned these fields will be used if there is a lack of fields

available elsewhere in the Township.  Mr. Kuebler stated any teams past T-Ball need

fences and fences are not proposed for this Park.  They have discussed the use of moveable

back stops, etc.  He stated there has never been any discussion about 90’ fields at this

location.

 

Ms. Tara Bane stated at the last meeting when they discussed the history of the Park, they

noted it was to be 50% active and 50% passive.  She stated the Park shown could be used

by those coming to it for active or passive activities.  She stated she does not feel there

should be any concern with six to seven year olds coming to this location to play a game. 

 

Ms. Bunn stated she feels once they start permitting these fields, they will have a hard time

stopping it.  She stated this Park was not to be for the use of the athletic organizations, but

rather to be for the residents to have a place to go and not have to wait for the organized

groups.  Mr. Fedorchak stated he feels it is ridiculous not to allow five to six year old

children to play on fields if they are vacant. 

 

Ms. Friedman stated she would like to compliment everyone for the new rendition which

she feels adheres closely to the Concept Plan.  Ms. Friedman noted the location of the top

softball field and asked if it would be possible to rotate the field so that it is away from the

residences.  Ms. Saracini stated the position it was placed in on the first Plan was not

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conducive to play because of its relation to the sun.  Mr. Eisold stated while the position

shown is the optimal location, it may be possible to rotate it somewhat if necessary. 

Ms. Friedman stated she is concerned with the circular driveway as she feels these

configurations are confusing to drivers. She noted the problem with such configurations in

New Jersey.  She is concerned about the potential for accidents.  Ms. Saracini stated if

there is a circle, you have the opportunity to move to different areas of the Park. 

Ms. Friedman suggested a “Y” shape which would lead to the parking lot and to the

Memorial.  Ms. Bane suggested the use of stop signs to help with the safety concerns. 

Mr. Fritchey stated he feels the Board of Supervisors will have to decide how they want to

handle this portion of the Plan.

 

Mr. Charles Brown, Leedoms Drive, stated he feels the only outstanding concern is with

the upper portion of the tract.  He stated they need to know the distances from the active

areas to the adjacent properties and the amount of buffer which will be provided.  He stated

he does recall that there were discussions that these fields could be used for younger

players.  He commended the engineers for orienting the fields properly.

 

Mr. Kozmorsky asked about the areas where walking paths and bikepaths cross the

road/parking lot.  Mr. Eisold noted there are some crossings but this will not be a

thoroughfare. 

 

Mrs. Kozmorsky asked if the Park will be closed at dusk and gated so that people will not

be in the Park at night. She stayed she has heard that there will be lights on the Memorial

and people may be coming there to see it at night.  Mr. Fritchey stated while there are gates,

he would not want anyone to feel that this will prohibit anyone from accessing the Park. 

Mr. Kozmorsky stated they are concerned that teenagers will be coming into the Park at

night and drinking.  Mr. Kuebler stated the Police Department would make a decision on

how this should be handled but noted in the past they have preferred that any gates be left

unlocked so that they can access and patrol the Parks at night.  Mr. Fritchey stated while

there are not going to be any field lights, there have been discussions about lights on the

Memorial.  Ms. Saracini stated she felt that the Park would not be open after dark.  She

stated the Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on this.  She stated there was

discussion about  lighting the flagpole and lights at the fountain. 

 

Mr. Mitch Friedman asked for an update on the timing of the project.  Mr. Fritchey stated

the Park & Recreation Board is only an advisory Board to the Board of Supervisors. 

Mr. Friedman asked if the Park will be built all at one time, and Mr. Fritchey stated it will

most likely be built in phases as it would cost a significant amount of money to develop the

entire Park and typically this is not done.

 

Ms. Sue Herman stated she feels if they open the door for the fields being permitted if

needed, the spontaneity will go away.  She noted the people who reside adjacent to

Macclesfield Park put signs out in their neighborhood during Tournaments that cars will be

towed if they park in that area.  Mr. Fritchey stated he assumes the same thing would

happen here although he is not convinced that this will be a problem in this area.  He stated

at Macclesfield Park there was usually only a problem one or two times a year. 

Mr. Kuebler stated the residents adjacent to Macclesfield Park were in agreement with

fields being lit after construction of the Park as they recognized the benefits of the Park. 

He stated they did have additional buffers installed.   Mr. Kuebler stated the Park &

Recreation Board has not heard any further complaints from the residents adjacent to

Macclesfield Park.

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Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Jutkiewicz second to recommend approval of the Memorial Park

Development Plan as submitted.  Ms. Bunn asked that this be amended to include the

notation that this is Plan D.  Mr. Smith accepted the amendment.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated it appears the baseball field location in the chimney portion is

approximately 100’ from the property line.  Mr. Eisold stated they will have buffers as

required by Ordinance that have not been shown on this Plan.

 

Motion as amended carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated this will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.  The Board of

Supervisors could discuss this at their meeting this coming Monday.  Mr. Fedorchak stated

he feels it will be on the Agenda for their meeting Monday night.  He stated they will send

out a notice to the residents if it is on the Agenda.  The Agenda will also be posted on the

Website by Friday afternoon.  Mr. Fedorchak stated this is only the first step as this is a

Concept Plan.  Once approved by the Board of Supervisors, the next step is the Land

Development process and this is when the detailed engineering will be done including the

number of parking spaces, buffering, detention basins, etc.  This will go before the

Planning Commission first and the people will be invited to that meeting as well.  It will

then go before the Board of Supervisors and they will again receive notification. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated the contractor completed the final minor grading revisions to Fields B and

C at the Lower Makefield softball complex on Roelofs Road last week.  She stated PAA

held games this weekend and all the fields were dragged and are looking good as far as

drainage.  The PAA Girls Travel Director called to thank the Township for the work the

Township did on the fields.

 

Ms. Liney made note of the successful Columbus Day Soccer Tournament held this past

weekend.  This event involved 3,300 boys participating plus an additional 3,000 friends,

families and viewers resulting in upwards of 6,000 people enjoying the use of Township

facilities.  The weekend sun encouraged a number of participants to extend their stay at the

Park and the Township will continue to work with YMS on overflow parking issues.  She

noted his Tournament would not have been possible without outstanding coordination from

the Yardley Makefield Soccer Club.  She also thanked the Police for guiding the traffic

through Macclesfield with very little problems.

 

Ms. Liney stated the Preliminary Operating Budgets for Park and Recreation and the Pool

were submitted on schedule and at this point are awaiting the review of the Board of

Supervisors.

 

 

LEAGUE LIAISON REPORTS

 

Mr. Jutkiewicz noted Lower Bucks Lacrosse will have their first registration the beginning

of November, a second in December, and a final registration in January.

 

 

 

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Mr. Kuebler reported that Pop Warner Football will have their Annual Family Day the last

Saturday in October and extended an invitation to all present.  He noted the program is

running smoothly.

 

Mr. Smith stated the YMS Tournament this weekend was very successful.  He thanked the

Township for their cooperation and looks forward to continuing this working relationship.

 

The next meting of the Park & Recreation Board will be held on Wednesday, November

12.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

 

                                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                    John Kuebler, Secretary