May 18, 2004
OF PREVIOUS MEETING (5/18/04):
Mr.Fidler moved to approve the
minutes of the 5/18/04 meeting. The
motion was seconded by Mr.Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.
The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, May 18, 2004, in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Allen Fidler, Jay Sensibaugh, Bob Dieterle, Beth Sanderlin, Sue Beasley, and Vince Lombardi. Also in attendance were: Supervisor Skip Goodnoe, Solicitor Dave Sander, Engineers Chris Walker and Phil Wursta, Planner Judy Goldstein, and Public Works Director Tom Harwood.
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Shawn Ward called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING (5/4/04): Mr. Fidler moved to approve the minutes of the 5/4/04 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.
CONDITIONAL USE KWIK COPY 121 FRIENDS LANE SUITE 200 TMP# 29-10-92-01B: Susan Van Wert was present to discuss her request for approval of 5,000 SF of G-5 Printing Use in the LI District. The 5/12/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed.
Ms. Van Wert said the unit is subdivided now, but she intends to use all 5,000 SF for the Printing Use. She said that approximately three times a year she will receive a delivery by tractor trailer; all other deliveries will be by UPS-type van. She agreed to change her application to indicate the hours will be from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday with occasional weekend hours.
Ms Van Wert said her business requires that she store and use some hazardous materials, such as isopropyl alcohol, a cleaning solvent, and ink. She is currently operating in an office building and there are no problems with these materials. At Mr. Sanders request she agreed to have the Fire Marshal review her MSD sheets on the materials.
Mr. Harwood said his office is keeping a running total on parking spaces used, and the required 11 spaces are available.
Ms. Goldstein noted that her point 11 b. concerns an existing non-conformity; the property does not front on a principal arterial street.
Mr. Fidler moved to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve this request, subject to the following conditions:
- Nearly all deliveries will be by UPS-type vans, with a tractor-trailer delivery approximately three times a year
- There will be an average of four and a maximum of six employees on site
- The hours of operation will be 8:00 AM to 8:pm Monday through Friday, with occasional weekends
- There will be some hazardous materials stored on site, and the applicant will have them reviewed by the Fire Marshal and follow his recommendations
- Eleven parking spaces will be provided
- There will be no noxious environmental effects.
The motion was seconded by Mrs. Beasley and passed unanimously.
SKETCH PLAN VERIZON OFFICE EXPANSION 369 WASHINGTON CROSSING ROAD TMP# 29-10-13-3: Thomas Caserta of Verizon, attorney Brian Heun, and landscape architect Adam Binosky were present to discuss their proposal for a 3,600 SF addition to the north side of an existing 9,429.4 SF building on a four acre site in the R-1 District. No improvements are proposed for these lots at this time. The 4/23/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed and the following points were discussed:
- A 2 a Special Exception Mr. Heun said Verizon obtained a special exception in 1975 to allow F-1 Utility Operating Facility Use on this site. In 2002 the building was expanded and the Township affirmed at that time that the special exception was still in force; Mr. Heun stated he believes it continues to be valid. Mr. Sander reviewed a copy of the Zoning Hearing Board decision and said that apart from some out-of-date terminology, the special exception is valid.
- A 2 b Site Area Mr. Caserta said his understanding is that parking and driveway areas are not considered facilities for the purposes of this ordinance section. Mr. Sander confirmed this statement.
- A 4 & 5 Curbs and Sidewalks Mr. Caserta said he will probably seek waivers of these requirements. He noted that many trees would have to be cut down to install a sidewalk.
- A 7 Mr. Heun said the applicant met with the Park and Recreation Board, which favored a fee in lieu of park and recreation improvements.
Mr. Caserta said the generator was added two years ago, and the proposed addition will house switching equipment.
FINAL PLAN FOR MAJOR SUBDIVISION TWINING 178 DURHAM ROAD TMP# 29-4-37-1: Anne and Edward Twining and engineer Nick Rose were present to discuss their plan to subdivide a 2.5 acre parcel in the R-1 District into two lots, with lot 2 being a flag lot. The 3/29/04 Boucher and James letter was reviewed and the applicant agreed to comply with all points except those for which a waiver is requested. The following points were discussed:
- B 1 Commission members supported the waivers listed under a through e, and determined that item f is not applicable to this plan. Mr. Ward asked if the two lots will share access to Route 413. Mr. Twining said the Zoning Hearing Board encouraged them to have two driveways to minimize disputes, but several Commission members said they prefer to see only one driveway. Mr. Rose said that when improvements are planned the applicant will coordinate plans for the driveway with the Township Engineer.
- B 4 a Mr. Rose said that the applicant will leave the present driveway as it is, but will comply with the ordinance when a new driveway is built.
- B 10 Mr. Walker said there is no park and recreation improvement requirement for a two-lot subdivision.
The 4/13/04 Pennoni Associates letter was reviewed. The applicant agreed to comply with all points except those for which waivers are requested. The following points were discussed:
- II Site Description Mr. Harwood said there is a court order requiring that the property be cleaned up, as described in this section. He said substantial progress has been made, but there is still more to be done. He displayed some photographs of the items on the property about which he is concerned. Mr. Twining said he intends to comply with the court order and will work with Mr. Harwood.
- III A 2 Accessory building - Mr. Walker said the accessory building noted here is a chicken coop.
- III C 19 Traffic impact fees - Mr. Rose asked if the Commission would support a waiver of the traffic impact fees. There was general agreement with this request.
Mr. Lombardi moved to recommend approval of the plan, subject to the following conditions:
- Compliance with the 3/29/04 Boucher and James letter and the 4/13/04 Pennoni Associates letter
- There will be one driveway to serve both lots, provided that Township sight distance requirements are met
- The applicant will continue to clean up the property to the satisfaction of the Public Works Director
The Commission further recommends that the following waivers be granted:
- Section 404.1.A to allow a plan scale of 1 = 30
- Section 504.B relief from the requirement to widen Route 413
- Section 516 and 517 relief from the requirement to install curbs and sidewalks on Route 413
- Section 521 relief from the requirement for stormwater management, to require that seepage pits be installed and a note added to the plan to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer
- Relief from the requirement to pay traffic impact fees
- Section 508.5 to allow frontage on a principal arterial road
The motion was seconded by Mr. Sensibaugh and passed unanimously.
ZONING HEARING BOARD APPLICATIONS: The Commission reviewed the following applications scheduled for the 6/3/04 Zoning Hearing Board meeting and had no comments on them:
- Haberkern 438 Durham Road
- Gerstenbacher 320 E. Hanover Street
- Rentz 176 Durham Road
- Marotto 3 Harmony Way
- Krynski 67 Cloverlee Lane
- Whatley 547 Linton Hill Road
- Reading 13 Millstone Drive
- Pereira 3 Daffodil Place
- Kraft 810 Linton Hill Road
SUBCOMMITTEE AND LIAISON REPORTS
a. Board of Supervisors: Mr. Goodnoe reported on the 5/12/04 meeting, at which the week of 5/17/04 was proclaimed Public Works Week, the Stroupe plan was approved, Mr. Goodnoe and Mr. Weaver were appointed to a regional traffic committee, and an ordinance was adopted that set a 35 MPH speed limit on South Eagle Road.
b. Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission: Mr. Sensibaugh said the Commission will meet on 5/20/04.
c. Joint Zoning Council: Mr. Ward said the meeting was cancelled.
d. Sycamore Street Committee: Mr. Lombardi reported on the most recent meeting. The Committee is changing its meeting location to Chandler Hall this summer. The sidewalk contractor has asked to work during daylight hours.
e. HARB: No report.
f. Park and Recreation Board: Mr. Fidler said the Board met on 5/5/04 and discussed Arbor Day celebrations, Pickering Field, Roberts Ridge Park, and the Woll Tract access. Mr. Wert reported on revenues and participation in recreation programs. Mrs. Beasley questioned if the parking provided for the Roberts Ridge playground might be excessive.
g. Plan Expirations: Mr. Sander said there are no plan expirations needing to be addressed.
4/27/04 LETTER FROM DON MARSHALL RE: AGRICULTURAL USES The Commission received a copy of a 4/27/04 letter from attorney Don Marshall to the Newtown Area Regional Planning Commission concerning the proposed JMZO amendments regarding agricultural and contracting uses. Ms. Goldstein noted that the Wrightstown Township Planning Commission also had comments on the draft ordinance.
Several members said they supported Mr. Marshalls suggestion that a regional committee consider these ordinance provisions. Mr. Fidler said such a group should include farmers as well as agricultural service businesses. Mr. Lombardi said the committee could be the Regional Planning Commission or the Joint Zoning Council, with additional participants from farming and other agricultural businesses.
Mr. Fidler asked Bill Sterling, a Township resident who was present, to comment on what kinds of accessory uses would be helpful to his farming business. Mr. Sterling said he is not sure of what might help him, but he noted that the proliferation of regulations is a statewide problem for farmers.
Mr. Ward said that when a revised version of the ordinance is received the Township will give Mr. Sterling a copy and invite him to discuss it with the Commission. He asked Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Sensibaugh to take the Commissions concerns to the Regional Planning Commission meeting on 5/20/04 and encourage a regional discussion of these issues.
DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION DRAFT 2005 TIP: The Commission received a 5/7/04 memo from the Manager which included a notice about hearings on the draft TIP and excerpts concerning the two projects which affect the Township, intersection improvements at Newtown-Yardley Road and Penns Trail, and Swamp Road corridor improvements. The memo asked for comments that Mr. Pellegrino can include in his written comments or public testimony.
Several Commission members said they might be able to attend one of the public hearings. They agreed to ask Mr. Pellegrino for an advance copy of his comments so that Commission members can support them. Mr. Ward said he will contact Mr. Pellegrino on 5/19/04.
JMZO 2004-4 CONDITIONAL USE AND SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS: Mr. Lombardi said he understood that the impetus for this ordinance came from the Upper Makefield Zoning Hearing Board. He proposed that the Commission table consideration of this draft, which is not substantially different from the draft previously reviewed, and ask the Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board for their comments. Mr. Lombardi also said that consideration of this ordinance would be more appropriate as part of the review of the Comprehensive Plan which the Jointure currently is undertaking.
Mr. Lombardi moved to ask the Zoning Hearing Board for their comments on JMZO 2004-4 regarding Conditional Use and Special Exceptions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dieterle and passed unanimously.
NEW BUSINESS: None.
ADJOURNMENT: With no objections, the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 PM.
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary