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Planning Commission
1/8/2019 7:30 PM

PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF

JANUARY 8, 2019

MINUTES

 

Members Present

Edward Ingle

Dr. Arthur Friedman

Patrick McGuigan

Michelle Druding

Andrew Gannon

Steve Saddlemire

 

Excused

Mark Shapiro

 

Others Present

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.

 

Reorganization

 

A motion (McGuigan/Druding) was made to elect the following as officers for 2019:  Steve Saddlemire - Chair; Andrew Gannon – Vice Chair; and Dr. Arthur Friedman - Secretary.

 

Approved - 6-0 (Shapiro absent)

 

Dr. Friedman and the Commission members thanked Mr. Ingle for an excellent job as Chairman in 2018.

 

Minutes

 

A motion (Friedman/Ingle) was made to approve the minutes from the November 13, 2018 meeting.

 

Approved - 6-0 (Shapiro absent)

 

Consideration of Plan - Strobinski Subdivision

 

Mr. Saddlemire gave an overview of the project, which is located at the southwest corner of East Holland Road and Amsterdam Avenue.  The proposal is to subdivide 3.327 acres (gross) into four single-family dwelling lots, ranging from 21,645 square feet to 44,627 square feet. The existing single-family detached dwelling and garage will remain on Lot 1. 

 

Mr. Thomas Hecker, Esq. and Vince Fiorvanti, PE were present on behalf of the applicant.  Mr. Hecker noted that they were before the Commission twice previously with the subject application.  Mr. Hecker also provided an overview of the project and stated that several reviews have been completed. 

 

Mr. Fiorvanti noted that the original plan contained a flag lot, which has been removed.  He noted additional minor changes are specifically related to engineering.  He added that during the course of several reviews, there were issues with sight distance.  McMahon, the Township's traffic engineer, noted in their review that a sight distance easement should be noted on the plan and the applicant will comply.  Mr. Fiorvanti also stated that grinder pumps have been added to the project.  Overall, he noted that the revisions are essentially a cleaned up version of the previous plan.

 

With respect to waivers, it was noted that there are eight (8) waivers for the project relating to road widening, curbing, sidewalks, tree inventory, spillway information related to the stormwater design, berm width, distance from water surfaces related to the basin, and storm sewer pipe diameter.  Overall, the Planning Commission had no objection to the waivers with the exception of the request for the tree inventory.  It was the consensus of the Commission that this waiver should not be granted and the plan should be prepared by a registered landscape architect.  It was further noted that the applicant will pay a fee-in-lieu of road widening, curbing, and sidewalks on both sides of the street.  Mr. Hecker added that the applicant will comply with all of the other items noted in the review letters.

 

Mr. Hecker stated that the applicant will also pay the park and recreation impact fee.  Ms. Fuller noted the garage on the plan, which would require a variance.  Mr. Solomon stated that this should be removed and handled as a separate variance and building permit if approved. 

 

Mr. Saddlemire inquired with the applicant regarding the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance comments that were raised.  The applicant noted that they will comply.

 

In response to Mr. Saddlemire, there was discussion about a potential fence around the stream.  Mr. Fiorvanti noted that it would be unusual given the location.  Mr. Saddlemire noted that a disclosure regarding the stream should be a requirement for all potential buyers. 

 

The applicant also stated that they will comply with all Water and Sewer Authority requirements in addition to the requirements related to the Neshaminy Creek Watershed.  It was further noted that the applicant will comply with all comments raised in the review letters of the traffic engineer.

 

Dr. Friedman inquired about lighting along the street.  Mr. Ingle added that street lighting should be considered.  Mr. Fiorvanti noted that lighting could be added to existing utility poles.  Mr. Bryson noted that lighting should primarily be evaluated at the corners of the development. 

 

In response to the Bucks County Planning Commission review letter, it was noted that there should be full disclosure to the potential buyers regarding the potential Rails-to-Trails project.

 

At this time, the meeting was open to Public Comment.

 

Dave Patterson of 19 Amsterdam Avenue raised concern about lighting not shining in homes.  Dr. Friedman added that existing poles should not be the only option for lighting locations.  Mr. Bryson noted that cutoff fixtures could be utilized.

 

Joe Johnston of 41 Grant Drive inquired about lighting and noted that perhaps it could be placed on the opposite of the street.  Regarding the stream, he inquired whether it was a riparian buffer and Mr. Fiorvanti noted that it was an easement.  Mr. Johnson opposed the waivers from the sidewalks and stated that it should be explored.  Mr. Johnson also noted that the Rails-to-Trails project was voted down previously.  Mr. Ingle stated that the Planning Commission spent a significant amount of time discussing the sidewalk matter.  He added that it potentially impacts stormwater management, curbing, and erosion.

 

Barbara Ambrose of 67 East Holland Road raised concerns regarding accidents at the intersection.  Mr. Fiorvanti explained the project and the driveway locations.  He added that there will be more visibility at the intersection.  Mr. Saddlemire noted that two traffic consultants and our Police Department looked at the proposed project from a traffic perspective.

 

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 Strobinski Subdivision, SLD 18-2, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated December 20, 2018, the Township Planner’s review letter dated November 30, 2018, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter dated November 28, 2018. In addition, it is recommended that the requested waivers be granted except the waiver related to the tree inventory.  It is further noted as follows:

 

  1. A fee-in-lieu of sidewalks, road widening, curbing, and open space is recommended.
  2. The proposed garage should be removed from the plan.
  3. Disclosure should be made to buyers regarding the stream easement and the potential Rails-to-Trails.
  4. Street lighting should be explored to the satisfaction of the Township engineer.
  5. A sight distance easement should be noted on the plan per the recommendation of the traffic engineer.

 

Approved - 5-1

Motion - Friedman    Second - Ingle

(Gannon Opposed/Shapiro absent) 

 

Other Business

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

Michael T. Solomon

Director of Planning and Zoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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