Township of Northampton
55 Township Road
Richboro, PA 18954
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF
OCTOBER 9, 2018
Dr. Arthur Friedman
Barry Moore, BOS Liaison
Amanda Fuller, PE, Township Engineer
Craig Bryson, PLA, Township Planner
Mike Solomon, Director of Planning and Zoning
Mr. Ingle called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM and led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was also a moment of silence for those in our armed forces. He noted that there was no meeting in September.
A motion (Shapiro/Friedman) was made to approve the minutes from the August 14, 2018 meeting.
Approved - 6-0 (Saddlemire absent)
Consideration of Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development, Spring Mill Country Club, SLD 18-7, 80 Jacksonville Road
Ed Murphy, Esq. and Mike Schurr were present on behalf of the applicant. They provided an overview of the plan, which included dialogue with the neighbors regarding development of a 30-acre portion of the 185-acre tract at Spring Mill Country Club. Mr. Murphy noted that there is a pending zoning ordinance amendment, which will not be considered by the Board of Supervisors until they evaluate a fully engineered plan. He noted that the plans have been reviewed by the consultants and revised as a result of those reviews.
Mr. Murphy noted that there are review letters from Gilmore Associates dated September 28th, Pennoni Associates dated September 27th, and McMahon Associates dated October 3rd. He stated that he has no issues with the review letters and the applicant will comply.
Ms. Fuller noted that she has had extended conversations regarding stormwater design with the applicant. She added that the basin is now proposed to be a wetland design and that she has a comfort level with this layout. She stated that she has no further comments.
Mr. Bryson stated that he is comfortable with outstanding items to be resolved.
Mr. Moore inquired about the conservation easement. Mr. Murphy stated that a draft will be submitted prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting. In response to Mr. Moore, it was noted that the general public cannot walk on the golf course property. It was confirmed that there is no fencing around the driving range and buffering was discussed.
Mr. Ingle inquired about the start date. Mr. Schurr stated that water and sewer approvals, highway occupancy permit, and NPDES permits are required. They are currently in progress and the developer would anticipate construction in the spring. In response to Mr. McGuigan, it was noted that there is currently capacity and that discussions are ongoing.
Dr. Friedman discussed the street layout. It was stated that there is an easement agreement with the club for overflow parking. Entrance location was discussed as well. Mr. Jensen stated that the traffic study was completed and it was noted that a signal is not warranted. It is also not necessary to add turn lanes, but the developer has agreed to a left access turn lane. Mr. McGuigan noted truck traffic due to the industrial park across the street.
In response to Mr. Bryson, Mr. Murphy noted that the driveway is now realigned with the access across the street. Mr. Gannon inquired about the roads. It was noted that they will be maintained by the homeowner’s association and it will not be a gated community.
Mr. Schurr noted that the units will have two garages. In response to Mr. Ingle, he added that the starting price range will be in the low $400,000s for these units.
Mr. Ron Zemnick of 424 Fox Croft Drive stated that this process has been ongoing. He added that it is a choice of development in the current scenario or development of the whole country club as an R-1 development. He appreciated the cooperation of the developer in this process.
Mr. Bob Peifer of 16 Whitman Court discussed the access within the club. He also raised concerns regarding tree removal and wanted additional buffering on the south side of the project. He added that he would like to see a speed bump along the access drive. At this point, there was extensive discussion regarding the roadway, alignment, and the proposed buffer. There was also discussion regarding traffic circulation within the proposed development and to the country club. It was agreed by the developer that additional buffering would be supplied in the vicinity of the Peifer property on the southern side of the project.
Mr. John Kelly of 12 Whitman Court raised concerns about potential traffic jams with parking on the streets. It was noted that parking is restricted except on one side of one street within the development. Mr. Schurr noted that it is preferred that the construction entrance be on the north side.
There being no comment from the public, the following motion was made:
I move that we recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Spring Mill Country Club Subdivision and Land Development, SLD 18-7, including the zoning ordinance amendment, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated September 28, 2018, the Township Planner's review letter dated September 27, 2018, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter dated October 3rd. It is also recommended that the requested waivers be granted. It is also recommended as follows:
1. A conservation easement shall be approved preserving the golf course in perpetuity.
2. Additional buffer plantings shall be planted on the southern side of the project.
Approved - 6-0
Motion – Friedman Second - Gannon
Consideration of Preliminary/Final Land Development, Rolling Hills Elementary School, SLD 18-8, 340 Middle Holland Road
Mike Carr, Esq. and Terry DeGroot, PE were present on behalf of the Council Rock School District. It was noted that this project was previously presented in order to construct 1,800 and 14,000-square foot additions.
Mr. Carr noted that the review letters have been received, including the Pennoni Associates review letter of September 27th, the Gilmore Associates review letter of October 3rd, and the McMahon Associates review letter of October 4th. Mr. Carr noted that the project currently has sewer capacity. He noted that it is likely that zoning hearing board approval will be required for signage and possibly lighting.
At this point, Mr. Carr discussed proposed waivers for the project regarding showing the extent of improvements near the site, the need for a transportation impact assessment, road improvements, widening, curbs, and general administrative waivers. These relate to curb radius, street trees, street species, pipe diameters, and the location of plantings in proximity to the infiltration system.
Mr. Carr noted that the school district will comply with the other items outlined in the review letters. Mr. Ingle stated that he has concerns with the tree species and does not want to see white ash proposed. The applicant agreed.
Ms. Fuller noted that she is comfortable with the plan and the requested waivers regarding stormwater management. She added that she has had extensive discussions with the applicant during the course of the project.
Mr. Bryson discussed the issues of buffering, lighting, and the parking area landscaping. It was noted that these items were clarified and adequate. There was discussion about the loop for the buses as well and this was explained in greater detail. It was noted that there is currently a lighting ordinance in process which will be an update to the current requirements.
In response to Mr. Ingle, it was noted that the intent is to start construction in early 2019. Mr. Ingle also discussed the signage, including the LED sign ordinance amendment that is currently pending.
Mr. Gannon noted the bus loop and his opinion that it is unnecessary. Mr. DeGroot explained the location of the bus loop, its need, and the existing play areas.
Mr. Moore stated that the Township is happy that the school will remain open and that funding is being put into it. Mr. McGuigan noted the history of the school and hopes that it is maintained.
There being no comment from the public, the following motion was made:
I move that we recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Rolling Hills Elementary School Land Development, SLD 18-8, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated October 3, 2018, the Township Planner's review letter dated September 27, 2018, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter October 4, 2018. It is also recommended that the requested waivers be granted.
Approved - 6-0
Motion – Shapiro Second - Friedman
Under other business, Mr. Ingle noted that the LED sign ordinance amendment will be on next month’s agenda and requested the commission review the draft that has been provided to them.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Michael T. Solomon
Director of Planning and Zoning