TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – DECEMBER 7, 2004

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 7, 2004.  Vice Chairman Mayrhofer called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:  Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman

                                                David Malinowski, Secretary

                                                Paul Bamburak, Member

                                                Darwin Dobson, Member

                                                Greg Caiola, Alternate (not participating)

                                                Paul Kim, Alternate

 

Others:                                     Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Drew Wagner, Township Engineer

                                                Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                         Barbara Kirk, Zoning Hearing Board Chair

 

 

APPEAL #04-1282 – MIKE AND BARB GRAFELD, ETAL

 

Mr. Toadvine stated he received a letter from the attorney for the Applicants for Appeal

#04-1282 dated 11/24/04 which he asked be marked as Exhibit B-1.  He stated

Mr. Goldstein has requested that this matter be continued until the second meeting in

2005 which would be January 18, 2005.  He is requesting a Waiver of the time limits

pursuant to the Municipalities Planning Code.  Mr. Toadvine stated he contacted the

other attorney involved for the property owners who had no objection to the continuance. 

 

Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Kim seconded and it was unanimously carried to continue

the matter until January 18, 2005.

 

 

APPEAL OF DR. AND MRS. GERALD SNEED

 

Mr. Toadvine stated even though it is not on the Agenda an Application has been filed by

Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Sneed.  It was going to appear on the Board’s calendar for the

second meeting in December.  Mr. Toadvine stated he received a letter dated 12/2/04

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from the Applicant’s attorney, William J. Bolla, which he asked be marked as

Exhibit B-1 requesting that the matter be continued until January 18, 2005.  He is also

waiving the time limits pursuant to the Municipalities Planning Code.

 

Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Kim seconded, and it was unanimously carried to continue

this matter until January 18, 2005.

 

 

APPEAL #04-1288 – MARIO AND MYRNA ABAD

 

Mr. and Mrs. Abad were sworn in.  The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1 and the

drawing attached to it noted as Homes of Chestnut Woods/Realen Homes dated 7/30/92,

last revised 11/18/92 was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Abad stated they are requesting a Variance to the setback under Section 200-22 for

the rear setback.  They are requesting 37’ instead of the required 50’.  He stated they are

planning to extend their family room and make a 15’ by 18’ addition.  He stated they

need more space to accommodate their growing family.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked if there are any impervious surface issues, and Mr. Habgood stated

they do not have a problem with impervious surface including the addition.

 

Mr. Abad stated they have not heard of any concerns from their neighbors.

 

Mr. Koopman stated the Township is taking no position on this matter.

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Dobson moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to

approve the Variance to Section 200-22 to allow a rear yard setback of 37’.

 

 

APPEAL #04-1289 – LINDA OBERKOFLER

 

Ms. Linda Oberkofler and Mr. Keith Gibson, architect, were sworn in.  Mr. Gibson stated

he is a registered architect and practices in Jenkintown.

 

Mr. Toadvine stated the Application should be marked as Exhibit A-1.  The Plan

prepared by Gibson Associates dated 11/2/04 with no revisions entitled Oberkofler

residence at 587 Saxony Lane, Yardley, PA  was marked as Exhibit A-2. 

 

Ms. Oberkofler stated she would like to construct a front porch which will encroach on

the 40’ front yard setback.  She stated at the current time they only have a stoop, and they

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 20

 

 

would like to take advantage of the shade at this location.  She has had discussions with

her neighbors, and they had no opposition.

 

Mr. Gibson stated anything they would add to the front that would be in keeping with the

existing architecture would encroach on the setback.  They did try to design something

that would not encroach, but it would have looked contemporary and not balance with the

look of the house.   They are infringing on the front yard by 3’8”.  This is only for a

portion of the front yard.  A sketch of the plan was shown, and Mr. Gibson showed the

area of the encroachment on the sketch.

 

Mr. Habgood stated there are no impervious surface problems with this.

 

Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this matter.

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Dobson moved, Mr. Kim seconded, and it was unanimously carried to grant a

Variance to Section 200-22 to allow a front yard setback of 36’4”.

 

 

APPEAL #40-1274 – SUNRISE DEVELOPMENT, INC.

 

Mr. Murphy was present and stated at the time they concluded testimony on 11/3/04, they

had concluded the testimony of the traffic consultant and were going to pick up with the

Township and Board asking questions of that consultant.  Mr. Murphy stated he would

like to then present the testimony of the planner and have the project engineer testify

again to address questions raised by the Township and the Zoning Hearing Board and

have Mr. McElwee address some questions raised as well.  This would then conclude

their case.  Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Koopman has indicated he does not plan to present

any case tonight on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and would like to report back to

the Board of Supervisors.  If there are neighbors present, they may wish to comment

tonight.  Mr. Koopman agreed and stated he would like to hear the comments from the

residents present this evening so that he can take those comments back to the Board of

Supervisors as well.

 

Mr. Murphy stated since the last Hearing, he drafted a letter to Mr. Toadvine and

Mr. Koopman identifying various locations in the area where two-story and three-story

buildings constructed by Sunrise would be available for review and inspection.  This

letter was marked as Exhibit A-9.  This is a letter from Mr. Murphy dated 11/15/04

addressed to Mr. Koopman with a copy provided to the Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor.

 

Mr. David Shropshire of Shropshire Associates was present and sworn in.  It was noted

that Mr. Shropshire was not the gentleman who had testified at the previous Hearing. 

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 20

 

 

Mr. Shropshire stated the study discussed was done under his supervision and he has

attended some of the earlier meetings.  He is familiar with what is in the study and helped

in its preparation.  Mr. Koopman stated Mr. Shropshire was not present when

Mr. Feranda testified at the previous hearing.  Mr. Shropshire stated he did review

Mr. Feranda’a notes.  Mr. Koopman asked if he saw the Minutes from the last meeting,

and Mr. Shropshire stated he did not. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated Mr. Feranda had testified to traffic counts which were done in

August and had stated additional counts were done when School was in session. 

Mr. Koopman asked when the counts were taken in September, and Mr. Shropshire stated

they were taken Tuesday, September 14.  They did counts during the A.M. and P.M.

Mr. Koopman asked if the counts were done at Heacock/Stony Road only, and

Mr. Shropshire agreed.  Mr. Koopman stated they did not study Cardinal and Stony Hill

Road, and Mr. Shropshire stated this is correct.  Mr. Koopman asked why this was the

case, and Mr. Shropshire stated the closest unsignalized intersection was Chestnut Woods

Drive and so they analyzed that and the signalized intersection at the other end of the

project.  The reason they did not go beyond the signalized intersection is because the

traffic is so low from this site and it basically goes down from there so they did not go

beyond the signalized intersection. 

 

Mr. Koopman noted the trip generation numbers and stated they were taken from the

Institute of Transportation Engineers, and Mr. Shropshire agreed.  Mr. Koopman asked if

they have a separate number for a personal care facility as opposed to a nursing home

facility, and Mr. Shropshire stated they have separate numbers for assisted living which is

what this facility is defined as.  They did not use numbers for a nursing home.

 

Mr. Koopman asked if they did a Level of Service count at the proposed entrance on

Stony Hill Road, and Mr. Shropshire stated they did an evaluation with the access

directly aligned with Chestnut Woods which would be the worst case scenario.  If they

analyzed the actual access proposed, it would be better and would result in slightly better

Level of Service.  The Level of Service they are showing for the driveway entrance into

the facility is shown on Page 19 of the report showing the site access up to Chestnut

Woods with a Level of Service C during the A.M. and P.M. for the shared through, right,  

and left turn movement coming out of the site access.  This would be the worst case. 

 

Mr. Koopman asked if they did a sight distance analysis for the access shown on the

proposed plan.  Mr. Shropshire stated they did not do a hard measurement.  He would

observe it is fairly straight within the level of sight distance required by PennDOT.  They

will show this on the permitted Plan for PennDOT, but this has not been included in their

report at this time.

 

 

 

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 20

 

 

Mr. Koopman asked if the report recommends any improvements to the roadways or

intersections, and Mr. Shropshire stated from a capacity standpoint they do not need any

improvements.  He stated they understand that through the process with PennDOT they

may require certain improvements, and they would agree to do these. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated Ms. Kirk had asked for a comparison of the traffic from this facility

compared to a single-family development of 24 single-family homes, and he asked where

this number came from.  Mr. Shropshire stated this is comparable to the traffic intensity

for an Assisted Living Facility, and they did not do a study on the actual homes that could

be accommodated on this site under the R3-M Zoning.  Mr. Koopman asked if it could be

significantly less than 24 homes, and Mr. Shropshire agreed.  Mr. Koopman stated it is

possible that the property could accommodate only twelve to thirteen single-family

homes and the traffic would then be approximately half of the traffic estimated for the

Sunrise facility.  Mr. Shropshire stated this is approximately correct but overall it is

inconsequential in terms of the overall traffic in the area.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer stated McCaffrey’s is presently being rebuilt and should open up early

next year.  He asked if this would change their parameters.  Mr. Shropshire stated he does

not feel it would change the results of the traffic slightly although it may slightly increase

the background traffic.  The impact from the Assisted Living Facility would still be less

than 1% at the signalized intersection.  In fact, the impact may be less in terms of

percentage although the Levels of Service may result in slightly more of a delay.  He

stated he feels they are currently at Level B or better during the post 2006 evaluation so

the intersection does have significant capacity left.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked if there is any

problem when people make a left hand turn from the facility, and Mr. Shropshire stated it

would be a Level of Service C and there are no problems with sight lines under the

requirements of PennDOT.

 

Mr. Joe Huegler, a Party to the Appeal, asked if the traffic study factors in future growth. 

Mr. Shropshire stated they did assume the background growth  rate given to them from

Bucks County.  It was at 3% annual growth. 

 

Mr. Kim noted the studies done and asked if they averaged out the two days when counts

were taken to get the Levels of Service.  Mr. Shropshire stated they took the worst case

which was September.  Mr. Kim asked if a one-day count is sufficient to judge this.

Mr. Shropshire stated this is a normal procedure; and in fact, this situation was slightly

abnormal since they went back out in September.  They went back out to insure that it

was based on an average day.  Mr. Kim asked about the Levels of Service, and

Mr. Shropshire stated their project should not result in any significant delay that would

bring down the Level of Service for the signalized intersection.  Mr. Kim asked what

improvements they could make to get the traffic flows better.  Mr. Shropshire stated they

could look at the timing of the traffic light at the intersection.  This type of improvement

is recommended in 90% of the traffic studies they do where they need to make

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 20

 

 

improvements.  Mr. Shropshire stated they would then look at construction of turning

lanes.  He stated if there was an unsignalized intersection, they could consider

signalization.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked that the testimony be moved along as the study

indicated what is involved, and he would rather not consider hypothetical issues. 

 

Mr. Joseph Zadlo, Architect, was called and sworn in.  He stated he is a licensed architect

and planner who has been involved in the field for thirty years.  Exhibit A-10 was marked

which is the Curriculum Vitae of  Mr. Zadlo.  Mr. Zadlo summarized his background and

experience. 

 

Mr. Koopman asked if he has previously done planning or architectural work for Sunrise,

and Mr. Zadlo stated he has worked on numerous Sunrise facilities.  He stated he picks

up with the Zoning, Land Development, and Subdivision work.  Mr. Zadlo stated he is

familiar with the property and has been on the site numerous times.  He was also present

on November 3 when the initial testimony was presented and has heard the testimony this

evening.  He stated this particular site can accommodate many of the Sunrise prototypes

because it is a very large site. 

 

Mr. Murphy noted the two-story prototype which they are proposing which results in the

need for a Variance from the impervious surface provisions, and asked why it would be

the most appropriate building for this site.  Mr. Zadlo stated they do not like to have

anything in their buildings that their residents would not expect to see in the homes they

have left.  He stated the two-story building is the most similar to the type of building they

may have left as opposed to a three-story building.  He stated the other advantage of the

design is that from grade level at most points of view, you will only see half the building

which diminishes the look of the size of the building which they feel is less traumatic for

their residents. 

 

A-4 (the two-story building) and A-5 (the three-story building) were noted, and

Mr. Murphy stated at the last meeting they asked what the other building elevations

would look like from various locations.  Mr. Zadlo stated all elevations are the same

other than the front has the door.  Details, trim, etc. are all the same around the building. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated there was a prior question regarding deliveries, and he asked

Mr. Zadlo to describe the deliveries.  Mr. Zadlo stated deliveries occur predominantly in

vans and trucks and rarely in a tractor/trailer.  They have a pull up for deliveries as

opposed to a loading dock.  They are scheduled by the kitchen managers at off-peak

times.  They will have a tractor/trailer when the facility is first opened and furniture, etc.

is brought in.  Mr. Murphy asked if a Condition were placed that deliveries could not

occur before 6:00 A.M. or after 11:00 P.M., would Sunrise have a problem with agreeing

to this restriction so that the neighbors would not be inconvenienced. Mr. Zadlo stated

 

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 20

 

 

they would not have any problem with this condition.  He stated they would not want

noise generated for their residents either.  He stated the trucks would be coming in

between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. or 4:00 P.M.  This would be the same with trash

pick-up, etc. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked if Mr. Zadlo has looked at the Lower Makefield Township Zoning

Code to identify in what other Zoning Districts a facility such as this would be permitted,

and Mr. Zadlo stated he has.  He agreed that a Nursing Home is a use permitted by either

Conditional Use or by right in every District.  Mr. Murphy asked if the maximum

allowed impervious surface would be the same in the Commercial and Industrial Zones

as it is in Residential, and Mr. Zadlo stated the non-Residential Districts would permit

30% and 65% impervious surface and is significantly higher in those Districts. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked about sprinklers, and Mr. Zadlo stated every one of their facilities are

sprinklered, and they meet with the Township Fire Marshall to go over all of their

systems in the building and the access to the building.

 

Mr. Kim asked how they provide the water pressure.  Mr. Zadlo stated in one case where

there was not adequate water pressure, they did install a pump and an emergency

generator.  Mr. Kim asked if they feel they will need to install a  holding tank, and

Mr. Zadlo stated none of the facilities he has worked on have required this.

 

Mr. Murphy noted Section #228 B-3 identifying nursing home use as a Special Exception

in the R-3M Zoning District in which this property is located, and Mr. Zadlo stated this is

correct.   Mr. Murphy  stated Section #268-26 of the Zoning Ordinance identifies specific

criteria they need to meet, and Mr. Zadlo agreed.  Mr. Zadlo stated they meet the

requirements for lot size, minimum lot width, and yard requirements.  Mr. Murphy stated

he will defer the issue of off-street parking to Mr. Woodrow.  Mr. Zadlo stated regardless

of the parking stall size, they can meet the parking requirements of the Ordinance. 

He stated they have actually submitted an Application that would exceed the

requirements.  He stated the Planning Commission has suggested that they provide more

parking than required, and they are willing to discuss this further.  Mr. Murphy noted

Section 298 of the Zoning Ordinance which identifies criteria required to be applied to

the Special Exception, and Mr. Zadlo agreed.  Mr. Murphy noted Section 298-A3

identifying a series of what is identified as General Provisions applicable to all Special

Exceptions.  The first item is whether or not the proposed use is in accordance with the

spirit, purpose, or intent of the Comprehensive Plan, and Mr. Zadlo agreed. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked if Mr. Zadlo has had an opportunity to review the Lower Makefield

Comprehensive Plan, and Mr. Zadlo stated he has reviewed this.  He stated the Plan was

entitled Lower Makefield Township Comprehensive Master Plan update 2003. Mr. Zadlo

stated from his review of this Plan, he feels it is significant in that in the vision for the

future, he noted a Section that asked that they accommodate future growth and support

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 20

 

 

those who will be living in the Township.  He stated they have identified that the largest

growth percentage of population is in the age group that they will accommodate.  He

noted this is on Page 9.  He also noted Page 25 -  Table 4 which shows the change in age

distribution in Lower Makefield Township which presents various age groups; and if you

review the numbers from 1990 to 2000, the two oldest age groups both grew in that ten

year period by more than 60%.  He stated there are other age groups which had negative

growth.

 

Mr. Malinowski asked how many people they can serve at the proposed facility, and

Mr. Zadlo stated they will have ninety-two rooms.

 

Mr. Zadlo stated there are also some well prepared maps.  He noted Map 4 which

identifies developable acreage, and the site under discussion is identified as a developable

parcel in the Township.  Mr. Zadlo noted Page 34 regarding recommendations for use,

and the fist subsection is housing.  He stated the second paragraph discusses senior

housing and indicates that there is no housing in the Township specifically for older

people who wish to live independently and there is a need to plan for age-restricted

housing.  It also indicates housing for older people should be provided near major roads. 

He stated Page 37 indicates the Township has been considering enacting Ordinances for

age-restricted housing.  He stated they feel they can meet some of this need with their

use.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer stated people of a young age who require this type of care could still

move into their facility, and Mr. Zadlo stated this is correct.  He stated normally their

typical resident is an 83-year old female.

 

Mr. Koopman stated Mr. Zadlo referred to a twoX Building, and Mr. Zadlo stated this is

the building they are proposing at this location.  Mr. Koopman stated they have not

submitted an alternative Plan showing a three-story building, and Mr. Zadlo stated this is

correct.  He stated if they submitted a Plan for a three-story building, they would not need

the Variance but they would have to obtain a Special Exception.  Mr. Koopman stated the

nursing home is permitted by right only in certain commercial Districts and requires a

Special Exception for all the Residential Districts, and Mr. Zadlo agreed. 

 

Mr. Koopman asked about the deliveries and stated he had indicated predominantly it

would be vans although occasionally there would be something larger.  He asked what

type of vehicle this would be.  Mr. Zadlo stated he feels these would be a straight box

truck 24’ to 26’.  Mr. Zadlo stated while he cannot state that there would never be any

other type of vehicles, it would be uncommon.

 

Mr. Koopman stated Mr. Zadlo had testified that there was a pump required at their

Abington facility for fire pressure for sprinklers and asked if there was a tank associated

with this.  Mr. Zadlo stated he was not aware of this. 

December 7, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 9 of 20

 

Mr. Koopman stated the Planning Commission recommended that they show additional

parking, and Mr. Zadlo stated this is currently not shown on their Plan. 

 

Mr. Zadlo was asked if he reviewed the Subdivision Ordinance, and Mr. Zadlo stated

while he has, he as not done so with the same detail as he has with the Zoning

Ordinance.

 

Mr. Koopman asked if Mr. Zadlo would agree that when the Comprehensive Plan

discusses senior living, they were not discussing Assisted Living, and Mr. Zadlo agreed.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer stated there was previous discussion on the difference between the two-

story and three-story building, and that the roof line would be different.   Mr. Zadlo stated

the three-story building would house the same number of beds but would involve a

smaller footprint and they would not need the impervious surface Variance.  They would

not be able to slope the roof and it would not look as residential as the two-story building.

 

Mr. Kim asked if each individual will own their unit, and Mr. Zadlo stated they will not –

they are paying room and board.  Mr. Kim asked the cost to the residents, and

Mr. Mayrhofer stated this question is not relevant to this Hearing.

 

Ms. Sandy Nuzzolo, 628 Stony Hill Road, stated she did see a drawing of what a three-

story building would look like and it does look more institutional.  She stated if they do

approve this  use, they would prefer that it be a two-story buildings as it will meet the

residential look of the community. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated Mr. Koopman asked earlier about the Planning Commission’s

recommendation regarding additional parking and he indicated they did not provide

additional parking on this Plan.  He asked if they would be willing to provide this if the

impervious surface ratio were increased above what they are requesting, and Mr. Zadlo

stated they would be willing to do this.  He stated they could also reduce the parking stall

size and consider this in the Land Development process.  They are not averse to

providing additional parking. 

 

Mr. Timothy Woodrow was called and it was noted that he had been sworn in at the

11/3/04 Hearing.  A revised Plan was marked as Exhibit A-11 and copies of A-11 were

distributed to the Zoning Hearing Board this evening.  The Plan is identified as an

existing features plan of Sunrise of Lower Makefield dated 4/12/04 with the last revised

date of 12/2/04.  This is a revision to Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Murphy stated there was a

question raised at the last meeting about whether or not the facility was intended to be

served by public water and sewer and Mr. Woodrow had indicated it was intended to be

so served.  Mr. Woodrow was asked if he had received any written confirmation on

availability, and Mr. Woodrow had indicated at that time that he had not.  Mr. Murphy

marked as Exhibits A-12 and A-13 letters from the servicing authorities confirming that

there is availability for public water and sewers.  A-12 is dated 11/4/043 and is from the

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 10 of 20

 

 

Lower Makefield Township Sewer Administrator confirming that there is adequate sewer

capacity for the project and that since this property is located in the area that is tributary

to the Heacock Pump Station going to Morrisville, it is not subject to the sewer

moratorium.  A-13 dated 11/2/9/04 is from the Pennsylvania American Water Company

confirming that public water will be made available to this project. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated the original plan showed that the parking stalls were 9 ½ ‘wide rather

than 10’.  Mr. Woodrow stated the original drawing showed the parking stall sizes to

be 9 ½’ by 19’.  Mr. Murphy stated they were advised as the last Hearing that this was

not the standard size and would require approval from the Board of Supervisors. 

Mr. Woodrow stated Exhibit A-11 shows the increased size of the parking stalls to 10’ by

20’. He stated the 10’ dimension was taken at the most narrow point of the parking stall,

and they were still able to obtain 40 spaces with each of these being 10’ by 20’ at a

minimum and some in fact are larger.  He stated the minimum number of parking spaces

required under the Ordinance for this particular use is 32. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated they had previously testified about the jurisdictional determination

from the Army Corps, and they had introduced Exhibit A-7 which is the letter from the

Army Corps.  He stated A-7 makes specific reference to a Plan, but the Applicant did not

provide a copy of that Plan at the last Hearing.  Mr. Woodrow stated he has this tonight. 

This document was marked as Exhibit A-14 which is a Plan dated 4/12/04 showing the

last revision date.  Mr. Woodrow stated A-14 differs from A-11 as it is the Existing

Features Plan.  Mr. Toadvine stated they will correct the record and it is noted that A-11

is entitled Zoning Exhibit A.  Mr. Woodrow noted A-11 and noted the channel on the

south side of the property which is an existing drainage channel running form west to east

and has been defined as Waters of the U.S. and is now depicted on A-11 and A-14. 

Mr. Woodrow showed the location of this on the easel Plan.  This is the only area on site

where the Army Corps has identified jurisdiction.  Mr. Woodrow noted this area will not

be developed. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated at the 11/3 Hearing there was discussion on the loading area and

discussion this evening on the deliveries to the facility.   Mr. Woodrow showed on A-11

where these activities would occur.  He stated they have provided for two 12’ by 14’

loading berths as required by the Ordinance.  He showed their location on the easel Plan. 

 

Mr. Woodrow also showed the location where the facility could be accessed by

emergency vehicles on a stabilized earth lane that would provide access to Stony Hill

Road.  It will be pervious surface and is approximately 20’ in width.

 

Mr. Murphy stated previously Mr. Koopman asked about the way they measured the

various yards, and whether or not the prior Plan acknowledged the Township Ordinance

requirements that they be measured from the limit of the natural resources. 

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 11 of 20

 

 

Mr. Woodrow agreed and stated the prior Plan attached to the original Application

neglected to show the Waters of the U.S. as a protected resource and A-11 now does

show the protected area and delineates the maximum building envelope as a limit of the

buffer.  Mr. Murphy asked if this reduced the building envelop, and Mr. Woodrow stated

it did not as the structure was well removed from those limits.

 

Mr. Murphy stated there was discussion on the buffers at the last Hearing.  Mr. Woodrow

stated they show a Type I buffer along the perimeter adjoining the residential properties

including a mix of species.  Berming and planting beds are also shown.  He stated he did

prepare a statement describing in specific detail what the plant coverage will be, and this

was marked as Exhibit A-15. Mr. Toadvine stated A-15 is a two-page document from

Woodrow & Associates which describes the Type I Buffer and includes a summary

describing the type of plants.  Mr. Woodrow stated he prepared this himself and it

memorializes their obligations of meeting the Type I buffer in detail.  Mr. Woodrow

noted on the easel where these plantings would be installed.  He stated A-11 shows the

buffer on the eastern side of the property for the full width and on the south side from the

woodland out to Heacock.  It is a minimum of 25’ wide.  Mr. Murphy asked about the

property frontage along Heacock and Stony Hill, and Mr. Woodrow stated they would

have street trees and plants. It would not be a Type I buffer, but they will comply with the

Township Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked about lighting.  Mr. Zadlo stated all the Sunrise facilities are lit with

8’ high residential-type fixtures.  They will not have any 20’ high standards.  They will

put shields on the sides of any lights that would be offensive.  There are no spotlights or

wallpacks on the building. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated they testified that there are now forty parking spaces, and he asked

how many were shown on A-11.  Mr. Woodrow stated it was always forty spaces. 

Mr. Koopman asked if the impervious surface changed, and Mr. Woodrow stated it has. 

He stated based on parking stalls of 10’ by 20’, they are now at 19.75% impervious

surface.  Mr. Koopman stated this was the original request as well, and Mr. Murphy

stated they had included some leeway in the original calculations to allow for this. 

Mr. Koopman stated they are now at the maximum.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked about the previous testimony with regard to the fact that there could

be greater impervious surface than in the Residential area.  Mr. Woodrow stated

Mr. Zadlo testified that there are other Zoning Districts in Lower Makefield where the

nursing home use is permitted, and in those Districts they would be permitted to have a

higher impervious ratio than the amount permitted in the Residential Districts.

 

Mr. Huegler asked about the stormwater retention basin and asked when it would cause

run off into the channel.  Mr. Woodrow stated the intent is to capture the run off from this

property. They intend to control the rate at which it leaves the site and allow for

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 12 of 20

 

 

groundwater recharge and also help water quality to filter out pollutants that may come

off the parking lot.  Mr. Huegler asked if they are making a provision for erosion. 

Mr. Woodrow stated when they prepare specs for the Township engineer, they will show

an armoring of the slopes and submit calculations on the energy of the water leaving the

site.  Mr. Huegler stated the neighbors on that side are concerned about the water from

this property.

 

Mr. Kim asked if they will need a General Stormwater Permit from the DEP, and

Mr. Woodrow stated they will need a NPDES permit.

 

Mr. Huegler stated he would ask that the Township consider the overall fit of the project

into the neighborhood and the impact on the quality of life.  He would like them to

consider safety and noise from air conditions as well as the stormwater run off.  He stated

they should consider the worst case scenario which would be ending up with a three-story

building with an institutional look.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked if he was for or against the

Plan.  Mr. Huegler stated at this point he is undecided and not sure how he feels about the

overall fit.  Mr. Toadvine asked if he would prefer a three-story or two-story building,

and Mr. Huegler stated he would prefer a two-story building.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated at prior meetings there were a large number of people present and

very few are present this evening.  He stated his understanding was that those people did

prefer the two-story building rather than the three-story buildings.

 

Ms. Sandy Nuzzolo stated at the meeting they had with the large group of people present

they did not comment in support of the project but they did feel that if this project went

through, they would prefer the two-story building.

 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Zoning Hearing Board and the Board of Supervisors decision

needs to be made on points of law and not whether they like the project or not, but it does

help to have the views of the neighbors.

 

Mr. Koopman stated the Township is requesting that the matter be continued so that he

can report back to the Board of Supervisors and get direction as to how they would like to

proceed.  There was discussion as to when they should continue this matter based on the

matters currently scheduled.  Mr. Habgood stated they also have two Applications which

have not yet been entered.  The Applicant agreed to a continuance to January 4, 2005.

Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Dobson seconded and it was unanimously carried to continue this matter to 1/4/05.

 

 

 

 

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board - page 13 of 20

 

APPEAL #04-1286 – MAKEFIELD FLOWERS ASSOC., L.P.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer noted this Appeal was continued from 11/3/04.  The Application was

marked as Exhibit A-1.  The drawing entitled Preliminary Subdivision Plan for

Flowers/Madany dated 2/27/03, last revised 9/29/04 was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Donald Williams stated he is representing the Applicant.  He stated they purchased

the development along Washington Crossing Road and Gauks Lane.  They are seeking

Variances for the portion of the property which is located in Lower Makefield Township. 

A portion is also located in Newtown.  The property has a unique shape.  It is a seventy

acre tract, and they propose to build twenty-nine single family dwellings on lots of

approximately one acre.  There are a number of natural resources on the property

including streams, wetlands, and forested areas.  They are seeking relief for three areas

noted on the Plan as Areas A, B, and C in order to cross over existing streams.  It was

noted A, B, and C were not marked on the Plans submitted.  Mr. Williams offered Exhibit

A-3 which is a smaller version of the Plan which is highlighted and depicts the areas of

Zoning relief requested by the Applicant.  

 

Mr. Williams noted Section 200-51B(4)(b).  The second Variance is from Section

200-51B(4)(d).  They want to cross water courses but not wetlands.  Mr. Toadvine stated

they will have to get permission from the Army Corps of Engineers in addition to

approval from the Zoning Hearing Board.   Mr. Williams stated they do need a DEP

crossing and have made Application for this. 

 

Mr. Williams stated the Plan they have submitted is a result of meetings they have had

with the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission. 

 

Ms. Jenny Strelzik was sworn in.  She stated she is employed by Elliott Building Group. 

Madany/Flowers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elliot Building Group where

Ms. Strelzik is Assistant Counsel.  She stated she is familiar with the tract as they went to

settlement on the tract earlier this year.  She was personally involved in this transaction

and served as preparer of the closing documents.   Exhibit A-4 was identified as the Deed

between Flowers and Makefield Flowers Associates.  Exhibit A-5 was marked which was

identified as the Deed between the other seller, Madany, and Makefield Flowers

Associates.  The date of Settlement was 4/30/04.  Ms. Strelzik stated Makefield Flowers

is the current owner of the property.

 

Mr. Brian Focht was sworn in.  Mr. Focht stated he is employed by Van Cleef engineers

where he is the Office Manager for the Berks County Officer. He reviewed his duties and

responsibilities which includes all Subdivisions.  He has been employed there for five

years.  He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Pennsylvania.  He is a

Licensed Civil Engineer.  Exhibit A-6 was marked which is a copy of his resume.  It was

agreed to stipulate that Mr. Focht is a licensed engineer in the Commonwealth of

Pennsylvania. 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 14 of 20

 

 

Mr. Focht stated he is familiar with the property that is the subject of the Application and

has been involved in the design of the Plan for last two years.  Mr. Focht stated he is

familiar with Exhibit A-3 and the handouts which he prepared for the meeting this

evening.  The purpose of preparing the documents was to show the proposed lay out and

the three areas of encroachment for which they  need relief.  He described the property

which is a seventy acre tract, 4 ½ acres of which are in Newtown Township.  The

Property is R-1.  They are proposing twenty-nine single family homes averaging one acre

each. The property is bisected by a stream to Core Creek and an unnamed tributary to

Core Creek.  They have two access points to the site.  There was frontage on Washington

Crossing Road, but there were sight distance issues; and there were concerns with

adjoining residents regarding the potential for cut-through and sight distance concerns. 

He stated they have provided an access at Gauks Lane for eight of the homes.  The

remaining 21 homes are off an existing stub off Dolington Estates.  There is also an

emergency access provided from Washington Crossing Lane.  They did meet with the

Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission and worked with Township staff to

come up wit the lay-out shown.  The previous lay out showed a cut-through starting from

Gauks Lane through to Dolington Estates with a box culvert crossing and a connection

out to Washington Crossing Road.  That proposed lay out showed thirty-two single-

family homes. 

 

Mr. Williams asked about natural areas, and Mr. Focht stated the site is filled with many

natural resources, woodlands, wetlands, Waters of the U.S. floodplains, and buffers. 

They did design the Plan with these features in mind.  The desire of all was to preserve as

many of the natural resources as possible.  Exhibit A-3 reflects the natural resources on

the site.  This information was provided to them by Piedmont Environmental and the

Army Corps.  He stated they are seeking relief from two Sections of the Ordinance that

require 100% protection of the wetland/waters and associated buffers. 

 

Exhibit A-3 was noted, and on Page 2 they show the three areas of encroachment on the

Site.  A is a temporary encroachment for utility crossing of the stream.  There is an 8”

water main and a 2” sanitary sewer main.  Mr. Focht stated they need to cross the stream

to provide public sewer and water to the eight lots that are accessed on Gauks Lane.  The

soils are not suitable for on-lot systems.  This will be restored to its natural condition. 

They will have to clear some trees.  The actual disturbance is 100th of an acre of the

actual waters and 600ths of an acre of the associated buffers. 

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked if they would be willing to restore the vegetation, and Mr. Focht

indicated they would. 

 

Mr. Kim asked if they are planning for any protection in case the system leaks. 

Mr. Focht stated there will be concrete encasement and they will meet DEP requirements. 

There will be an E & S Plan.

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 15 of 20

 

 

Mr. Bamburak asked what happens to the water when it is dammed, and Mr. Focht stated

the environmentalist will discuss this.  He stated on a normal day there is a small flow.

 

Area B was noted, and Mr. Focht stated this is an encroachment on the Waters for a

single family driveway to access Lot #1 and also serves as an emergency access to the

site from Washington Crossing Road.   The disturbance is a 24” pipe and associated

concrete headwalls to minimize the disturbance.  The area of disturbance is 100th of an

acre of the waters and 700ths of an acre of the associated buffer.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked if there would be an easement, and Mr. Focht stated this is correct

and it will be dedicated to the Township.  The design of the culvert will meet

requirements for heavier vehicles.  This was requested by the Township at the Planning

Commission and Board of Supervisors levels. 

 

Area C was noted, and Mr. Focht stated this is a road crossing of the waters and

associated buffer to provide access for four homes.  It is a 30” pipe with its associated

concrete headwall to minimize disturbance in the area.  The amount of disturbance is

400ths of an acre of the waters and 1400ths of an acre of the associated buffers.  They are

willing to work with Mr. Majewski on the disturbances.

 

Mr. Kim stated he feels the 30” pipe is very big, and asked if they need it this large. 

Mr. Focht stated this is the size they need to allow the water to flow without any

disturbance or ponding.  This is designed for a 100 year storm. 

 

Mr. Williams asked about stormwater management on the site, and Mr. Focht stated there

are two detention basins proposed one on each side of the stream; one to capture the eight

lots and the cul-de-sac on Gauks Lane and the other basin to capture the remaining lots. 

They will discharge into Core Creek and they will meet all Township requirements. 

Mr. Focht stated there will not be any adverse impact on the adjoining properties.

 

Mr. Williams asked if the property could be developed reasonably with strict

conformance to the Lower Makefield Township Ordinance, and Mr. Focht stated it could

not be.  He stated the eight homes at Gauks Lane could not be developed without

extensions of the public sewers to those homes. 

 

Mr. Williams asked if the character of the neighborhood will be impacted if the property

is developed, and Mr. Focht stated it will not.  He stated the adjoining subdivision,

Dolington Estates, has lot sizes which are consistent with what they propose at this

location.  He stated it appears that it was proposed for future development as Dolington

Estates did have a stub street at this location.   He stated the requested Variances are the

minimal relief that could be requested.

 

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 16 of 20

 

 

Mr. Malinowski asked if they only received the temporary disturbance so that the eight

homes could be constructed, what would be the effect on the project not getting approval

for the other two areas.  Mr. Focht stated if Area B were not approved, they could not

provide the emergency access to the site and they would lose Lot #1 as well.  If Area C

were not approved, they would not be able to have the four additional homes, although

they would still need relief for the utilities. 

 

Mr. Kim noted Lot #2, and asked if the emergency road could not be provided at that

location.  Mr. Focht stated there is physical space, but the sight distance is not good

because it is at the corner and it is an intersection.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated this

configuration is what the Planning Commission and Supervisors requested.

Mr. Koopman stated if the emergency access came out at Lot #2, the sight distance would

not be good at this location.  Mr. Focht stated they worked with the Township for two

years to come up with this Plan.   Mr. Kim stated in reality, this is only for emergency

access and would not be used under normal circumstances. 

 

Mr. Bill Sterling asked where the outlets are located for the retention basins.  Mr. Focht

stated they are in the center of the site along Core Creek outside of the floodplain and

outside the environmental buffers.  He showed on the plan how the site will flow.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked the Township’s position.  Mr. Koopman stated the Township is not

opposed to the grant of the Variances being requested.  He stated Mr. Majewski’s

position is the extent of the disturbance is in excess of what is necessary to accomplish

the crossings.  They would like a Condition attached to any approval that it be

conditioned upon approval of the Township engineer to insure that it is the minimum

necessary for relief.  He noted specifically Area C.  He has had discussions with the

Applicant’s engineer about this, and they have no objection to this Condition being

placed.  Mr. Focht stated they have taken into account Mr. Majewski’s concerns. 

 

Ms. Linda Solvati Kenny was called and sworn in.  She stated she is employed by

Piedmont Environmental and is a Biologist performing wetland delineations and stream

surveys.  She has been in this position for three years.  Exhibit A-7 was marked which is

her resume.  It was agreed to stipulate Ms. Kenny as an environmental biologist. 

Mr. Kim stated since this is his field, he would ask that she review the exhibit. 

Mr. Mayrhofer stated he would prefer not to have to review this too extensively.

Mr. Kim stated he is not sure what an environmental biologist is.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked

that her attorney examine her and proceed.  Ms. Kenny reviewed her education and

experience.  She stated in her current capacity she has prepared approximately seventy to

one hundred wetland studies.  She works with the DEP and the Army Corps of Engineers

on a regular basis.  She stated she was actively involved in the wetlands study and issues

with regard to the Subdivision at issue.  She was the wetland biologist and performed the

stream survey on the property.  She is currently involved in half acre to 100 acre projects.

She has performed approximate twenty to thirty projects in Bucks County.

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 17 of 20

 

Mr. Kim stated her specialty is waste soil remediation and flow and she is not a specialist

in the biology of the soil.  Ms. Kenny stated she does have a background in plants,

animals, etc.  Mr. Kim stated when one does a real environmental impact study they look

at the whole picture, and Ms. Kenny stated she did perform an environmental impact

study.  She reviewed the courses she has taken.  Mr. Mayrhofer stated they will accept

her as an environmental biologist. 

 

Ms. Kenny stated she performed the wetlands delineation in 2002 with Piedmont

Environmental Group.  She stated Core Creek runs through the property, and there are

associated wetlands, a pond/borrow pit, tributary to the Core Creek,  old nursery stock,

and woodlands on the site.  She is familiar with the fact that the property was used by the

Flowers family as a tree nursery.  She has walked the property approximately six to

twelve times.  She stated there are still several areas where the property owner had rooted

trees in ball fashion, left the area open, and did not back fill.  There are also hundreds of

plastic plant containers throughout the property although Elliott Building Group has

removed some of them.  There is an abandoned house, a garage, and a well on the

property.  There are several bulk debris areas including an abandoned oil tank, old

appliances, and several areas of concrete, stone, and topsoil

 

Ms. Kenny stated she did prepare a wetlands report, and this was marked as Exhibit A-8. 

This was the report requested by the Army Corps of Engineers.  It explains the vegetation

characteristics, the soils, and the hydrology.  The report was dated 8/1/03.  Mr. Kenny referred to A-3 and stated the information in A-8 is consistent with what is shown on

A-3.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked if Mr. Majewski had seen this in advance of the meeting, but

Mr. Majewski stated he was not sure.  Ms. Kenny stated they did submit it to the

Township in advance of this meeting.

 

Ms. Kenny stated she also prepared a stream survey, and this was marked as Exhibit A-9. 

She stated she and another individual went to the site and did a stream survey in the area

of the crossing to determine stream quality in the area and throughout the property.  She

stated this showed that the species found on the property showed warm water

characteristics.  She stated the stream is technically not the best quality.  She stated a

better quality stream would have species that are not on this site.  Mr. Kim asked what a

high quality macro-invertebrate would be, and Ms. Kenny noted the caddis fly.  She

noted the chart they provided which shows the type of species they found.

 

Exhibit A-10 was marked which is the jurisdiction from the Army Corps of Engineers

and they have determined there are regulated waterways on the property. 

 

Exhibit A-11 was marked consisting of five pages indicating that there are no bog turtles

on the site.  She noted a separate company did this survey in May and June of this year

and found no protected species on the property.

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 18 of 20

 

 

Ms. Kenny stated the quality of the stream is poor to average.  Mr. Kim asked the typical

water quality of a wetlands stream.  Ms. Kenny stated she does not feel there is a typical

stream.  Mr. Kim stated wetland water quality are not normally high quality water areas.

He stated this is a typical water quality for that area.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked that the

proceedings be moved along. 

 

Mr. Williams noted Area A, and Ms. Kenny stated A would be a temporary crossing as it

is for a utility line.  Mr. Williams asked if it would be possible to restore the vegetation to

previous conditions, and Ms. Kenny stated they would not be able to plant trees back

over the utility lines.  Area B was noted and Ms. Kenny stated this will be a permanent

crossing, but it has a minimal impact on the environment as it is not piping the entire

stream.  Area C was noted and Ms. Kenny stated this will be a permanent impact because

there is a pipe but it is only for a portion of the stream.  Mr. Williams asked if the

proposed crossing as shown will have a detrimental impact on the wetlands and buffers,

and Ms. Kenny stated she did not feel it would have a detrimental impact.  She stated the

streams are typical quality and are not high quality streams.

 

Mr. Kim asked if Ms. Kenny is really qualified to comment on the detrimental impact to

the streams, ponds, and water courses.  Ms. Kenny sated based on the studies which were

done, she does not feel it will have a detrimental impact.  Mr. Kim stated the base of the

study describe the water quality and not the stream quality.  Ms. Kenny asked for further

clarification.  Mr. Kim stated this portrays the water quality that exists versus if they

piped in and disturbed the flow.  Ms. Kenny stated there will still be flow. 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked if there will be a change in water quality by doing the project, and

Ms. Kenny stated there will not.

 

Mr. Bamburak asked where the water will go when they temporarily dam the streams. 

Ms. Kenny stated the most flow she has seen was this year.  The first time she was on the

property two years ago there was no flow.  The water will stay there unless they reroute

it.  They do have the option to reroute it temporarily.  Mr. Focht stated typically they put

in a temporary pipe for the flow so it will continue to flow. 

 

Mr. Malinowski asked where the stream goes now.  Ms. Kenny stated eventually it goes

to the Delaware River.  Mr. Majewski stated it goes to the Neshaminy Creek and then to

the Delaware River.

 

Mr. Bamburak stated it does not appear they have an environmental impact study on the

what the run off from salt, sand, etc. into the creek will do to the environment. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated they are not supposed to have run off into the stream as they have

curbs and detention basins.  Mr. Kim stated the detention basis is close to the creek area.

Mr. Mayrhofer stated this is not any different from what is done throughout the

community.  Mr. Bamburak stated he is concerned with the salts, etc. 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 19 of 20

 

 

Mr. Majewski stated the water will go through the storm sewer system and into the

detention basins and eventually into the streams.  The detention basins do tend to slow

down the washing of the sediment going into the streams, but it does eventually go into

the streams.  Mr. Koopman stated this is done throughout the Township.  Mr. Toadvine

stated this is not the issue before the Board. 

 

Mr. Malinowski stated the issue before the Board is should they approve the disturbances

to these areas, and he does not feel they have to approve this in this location. 

 

Mr. Kim stated currently there is no environmental impact study on this area, and

Ms. Kenny agreed. 

 

Mr. Koopman stated he has no further comment and the Township has agreed to leave

this matter to the Zoning Hearing Board subject to the Condition that the disturbance be

minimal. 

 

There was no further public comment.

 

Mr. Kim asked if they could add a Stipulation that they have a full environmental impact

study.  Mr. Toadvine stated the Zoning Hearing Board cannot request this.  He stated the

Application does have to go through Land Development Approval and the Board of

Supervisors may want to request this at that stage.  Mr. Kim stated if they wanted to

restore the area and keep it natural, they would want to know the baseline. 

Mr. Mayrhofer stated he feels the Township engineer will make this happen.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer noted the areas to the south and asked will own this green area. 

Ms. Strelzik stated anything not deeded to the Township will be owned by the

Homeowners Association.  Mr. Koopman stated the Township probably has a choice and

assuming they want to take dedication, he assumes the Applicant would allow them to do

this.  He stated this would be considered at Land Development.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer moved and Mr. Dobson seconded to approve the request as presented

conditioned on the Township engineer’s review and approval that all disturbances shall

be the  minimum required to accomplish the crossings and that Area A be restored to it’s

previous condition as approved by the Township Engineer.

 

 

Mr. Kim requested that if they can make a  final approval that at least they ask them to do

an environmental impact study and see what they are really voting on and add the right

limitation for this.  He feels they are voting for the sake of voting without really the

concern of the land.  He stated if they want to be true to the nature of the land, they

should see what it does and then vote.

 

December 7, 2004                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 20 of 20

 

 

Vote was taken and Motion carried with Mr. Bamburak, Mr. Dobson, and Mr. Mayrhofer

in favor and Mr. Kim and Mr. Malinowski opposed.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Dobson moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 p.m.

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                       

                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary