Newtown Township

Planning Commission 

September 20, 2005


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: The minutes of the previous meeting on 9/20/2005 were presented and reviewed. There were no changes. Mr. Piazza made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Mr. Bowe seconded the motion. The motion passed 3 to 0 with Mr. Sensibaugh, Mr. Lombardi and Mr. Mendicino abstaining. Ms. Sanderlin was not present for the motion.


The Newtown Township Planning Commission met on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 in the lower level Township meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Shawn Ward; members Beth Sanderlin, Shannon Wilson, Allen Fidler, Jim Bowe, Mike Piazza. Absent: Jay Sensibaugh, Frank Mendicino, and Vince Lombardi. Also present: Dave Sander, Solicitor, Judith Stern Goldstein, Planner, Engineer Chris Walker and Public Works Director, Tom Harwood

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Shawn Ward called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Ward welcomed the public and introduced the Planning Commission plus the Solicitor, Public Works Director, Engineer and Recording Secretary.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS (8/2/05 & 8/16/05): Mr. Ward called for any additions or corrections to the minutes of 8/2/05. There were none. Mr. Bowe made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Mr. Fidler seconded the motion. The motion passed 5 to 0 with Mr. Piazza abstaining. Mr. Ward called for any additions or corrections to the minutes of 8/16/05. There were none. Mr. Fidler made a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Mr. Piazza seconded the motion. The motion passed 5 to 0 with Mr. Wilson abstaining.

REVIEWS:

A.     Roberts Ridge Park Handicapped Playground Expansion: Andy Levine, Park and Recreation Board Chairman gave the Planning Commission an update on the progress of the work being done for the expansion. Mr. Levine stated that he was seeking the Planning Commission’s feedback with regard to tree placement and the pavilion. Mr. Ward questioned Mr. Levine as to what kind of time line were they looking at for approval or comment with regard to the plan. Mr. Levine stated that they had received approval from the Township to order the equipment and it would take approximately six weeks for delivery. Mr. Levine stated that any comments from the Planning Commission would be needed by the time the equipment arrived before anything was assembled. Mr. Fidler stated that there is a separate issue of the proposed expansion of the school and the impact on parking in the area. Mr. Fidler suggested that the Planning Commission deferred comment on the separate issue until some direction is given by the Township and the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Ward agreed with Mr. Fidler’s comments. Mr. Sander, solicitor, stated that the Board of Supervisors had moved to send the plan to the Planning Commission for an overall review of the site layout and any comments. Mr. Levine stated that the only critical time element was the pouring of the special surface for the playground. The Planning Commission expressed their pleasure with the plans as presented by Mr. Levine. Mr. Levine stated that the only other comments that he had were with regard to another item on the agenda, Goodnoe Tract, Eagle Road, - sketch plan for major subdivision. Mr. Levine stated that the Park and Rec committee would recommend open space instead of the in lieu of fee requirement.

PRD VARIANCES:

A.     Matt Mount 233 Stanford Place, Country Bend: Mr. Mount was present to seek approval of an amended application changing the size of the proposed 2-story addition to 6/9’ x 38’. The original proposal, which was submitted on June 20, 2005 indicated a size of 10’ x 38’. The addition will exceed the maximum allowable impervious surface ration requirement of Country Bend’s final plan (PRD). The applicant is also seeking a variance for an existing shed, which exceeds the minimum side yard setback requirement of the 1983 Newtown Township Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, as amended. Mr. Mount explained that he was submitting a different plan this evening dated 9/14/2005. Mr. Mount stated that with this new plan submitted this evening that he did not need the setback variance as previously requested. He did still need the variance for impervious surface and for the shed with the side yard. Mr. Sander, solicitor stated that since the new plan was presented tonight it would have to be readvertised but it does not have to comeback to the Planning Commission. Mr. Sander also stated that he anticipated that the Board of Supervisors would require a letter from the other neighbor because Mr. Mount had presented only a letter from the one neighbor and Homeowners Association. Mr. Piazza made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the applicant’s request for a PRD variance to exceed the impervious coverage in Country Bend by 7.96% and to allow a shed in the side yard providing a 2 foot side yard where a 6 foot side yard is required with the condition that Mr. Mount present to the Board of Supervisors letters from both neighbors on each side and the Home Owners Association, updated, so that the township is aware that both neighbors and the association had reviewed the 9/14/2005 plan and not the original plan. Ms. Sanderlin seconded the motion. The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1, with Mr. Bowe voting nay, to approve the motion.

B.     Thomas Coates, 12 Pinetree Court, Brookside: Thomas Coates appeared before the Planning Commission seeking approval for construction of an approximately 20’ x 14’ 1-story addition which will exceed the minimum side and rear yard setback requirements of Brookside’s final plan (PRD). The applicant is also seeking a variance of an existing shed, which exceeds the minimum side and rear yard setback requirements of the 1983 Newtown Township Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, as amended. Mr. Ward questioned Mr. Coates regarding a construction of a deck. Mr. Coates stated that was a separate issue that he had been advised by the Codes department to submit that plan separately. Mr. Coates was questioned as to where he had submitted the letters from the neighbors and the home owners association. Mr. Coates stated that he submitted all letters to the Codes department. Mr. Fidler made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the variance to construct an approximately 20’ x 14’ 1-story addition which will exceed the minimum side and rear yard setback requirements of Brookside’s final plan (PRD). Mr. Bowe seconded the motion. The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 in favored of the motion.

LAND DEVELOPMENT:

A.     Brabazon Minor Subdivision, 14 Eldridge Road – Final Plan for minor subdivision. Don Marshall, representing the applicant, along with Don Rife of Pickering, Corts and Summerson, Inc are seeking approval to subdivide TMP 29-7-23 into two lots. Proposed Lot 1 (2.623 acres) is proposed to contain a single family dwelling unit. Proposed Lot 2 (3.586 acres) is to contain an existing single family dwelling. No improvements are proposed at this time for either lot.Mr. Ward questioned as to where a house would be built on Lot #1 which has wetlands. Mr. Marshall stated in the back and pointed to the area on the plan presented. The Planning Commission and Mr. Marshall reviewed the requirements listed in the Boucher & James, Inc. correspondence dated June 15, 2005. The correspondence from Pennoni Associates, Inc. dated July 21, 2005 was reviewed. Mr. Fidler expressed concern with regard to the flood plain and the extension of flood plain soils to the existing right of way. Mr. Marshall raised an additional issue with regard to Section 1000 of the zoning ordinance that had been mentioned to him by Mr. Walker, Engineer. The ordinance states, according to Mr. Marshall, “that when a minimum lot width is specified under the ordinance …the lot in questioned is 200 feet in the CM district…that where the house is located the lot has to have that width.” Mr. Marshall stated that Lot #1 does not comply with that and what they proposed is to move the Lot #1 line by tapering it 21 ½ feet so that it will be 200 feet wide at the required point. Mr. Piazza made the motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the applicant’s final plan for minor subdivision with the following conditions:

Mr. Ward asked if there was any further discussion from the Planning Commission. At that time, there was none. Mr. Ward asked for any comments from the public.

Mr. Roberts, a neighbor, stated his concern with regard to the existing trees and the use of the roadway, which he believed, had not been used in 55 years. Mr. Roberts expressed concern with regard to storm water runoff. Mr. Roberts presented some photographs to illustrate his concerns.

Mr. Piazza amended his motion to include the following: The Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors that the applicant shall not remove any trees that are 10 inches or greater in caliber measuring 4 feet above grade and that storm water management analysis will occur at the time of building permit application to the satisfaction of the Township engineer. Ms. Sanderlin seconded the amendment.

The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1, with Mr. Bowe voting nay, to approve the motion as amended.

B.     Leck Minor Subdivision, Durham Road n/o Maple Lane – Final Plan for minor subdivision. Mr. Marshall, representing the applicant, Walt Leck, also present along with the engineer, Wayne Johnson presented to the Planning Commission for a recommendation of approval for a propose lot line change for two existing parcels, TMPs 29-3-27-.1 and 29-4-37. The plans propose to combine Parcel A, consisting of 0.32 acres, with TMP 29-3-37.1; to eliminate the minimum lot area nonconformity. The Planning Commission discussed with Mr. Marshall the issue of frontage for Lot #1 and conformity to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Fidler made a motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the final plan for the Leck Minor Subdivision for TMP 29-3-37-.1, zoned CM and 29-4-37, zoned R1 for a lot line change taking 0.32 acres of Lot #2 and move the line so that the 0.32 acres is part of Lot #1 so that Lot #1 has an area of 3 acres with the following conditions:

Mr. Fidler included in the motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board Supervisors that the following waivers be granted to the applicant:

Mr. Fidler included in the motion that the Planning Commission would defer to the Board of Supervisors the issue of frontage for Lot #1 for determination of compliance to the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked if there were any questions or comments from the public. There were none. The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 in favor of the motion.

The Chairman moved agenda items so that the Planning Commission could deal with all applicants being represented by Mr. Marshall, Esq. and progress the agenda more rapidly.

C.     (5 D on the Agenda) Cameron Troilo Inc., 104 Pheasant Run – Preliminary Plan for land development. Mr. Marshall, representing the applicant, is seeking approval for preliminary land development for the proposed D-1 Use, Office; E-4 Use, Financial Establishment; E-5 Use, Eating Place; and E-22 Use, Executive Inn/Conference Center. The discussion centered on the Planning Commission’s recommendation regarding the placement of the café. Mr. Wilson made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the applicant’s preliminary plan for land development for 104 Pheasant Run the proposed D-1 Use, Office; E-4 Use, Financial Establishment; E-5 Use, Eating Place; and E-22 Use, Executive Inn/Conference Center with the following conditions:

The Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors that the storm water management issues be deferred to the final plan approval to allow the calculations to be finalized. The applicant shall seek relief from the storm water management ordinance, if required, to seek that relief by the Township and/or the conservation district. The Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors to require the applicant to relocate the café from its current position on the plan to further east toward the Executive Inn. Mr. Piazza seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked if there were any comments or questions from the public. There were none.

The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 to approve the motion.

D.     (5e on the agenda) Penns Terrace Office Park, 54 Penns Trail – Final plan for land development. Don Marshall, Esq. representing the applicant is seeking approval of a final plan for land development for the proposed D-1 Use, Office. The plan proposes to construct a 20,000 square foot office building on the site. The site is located at the northwest intersection of Friends Lane and Penns Trail. Mr. Marshall discussed with the Planning Commission requirements and conditions that had been issued in correspondence from Boucher & James, Pennoni Associates, Inc., and the Bucks County Planning Commission. Mr. Wilson made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Final Plan for land development of the Penns Terrace Office Park, 54 Penns Trail with the following conditions:

The Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors that the following waivers be granted:

Mr. Bowe seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any questions or comments from the public. There were none.

E.     (5c on the agenda) Foxhall Estates (Yamamoto Tract), 551 Washington Crossing Road – Final Plan for major subdivision. Edward Murphy, Esq. representing the applicant is seeking final plan approval to develop the site for 18 single family houses under the Use B-12 Single Family detached cluster provisions of the Zoning Ordinance. In addition, the applicant is proposing a minor subdivision of TMP#’s 29-16-2-1 and 29-16-4-2, as part of this project, in order to achieve a land area that is large enough to support this proposed project. The Planning Commission discussed with Mr. Murphy all requirements listed in the correspondence of Boucher & James, Inc., Pennoni Associates, Inc., and the Bucks County Planning Commission. Mr. Piazza made a motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the Final Plan for major subdivision of Foxhall Estates (Yamamoto Tract), 551 Washington Crossing Road with the following conditions:

The Planning Commission also recommends to the Board of Supervisors to grant a waiver with regard to SLDO Section 507.5 regarding curb radii, with the result of the waiver, will be allowed to be less than 55 feet at an intersection with a collector road. The Planning Commission also recommends to the Board of Supervisors to require the applicant to provide the proper documentation regarding dedication to the Homeowners Association to the allow the open space in the southern most area and eastern most area of the property to be maintained in its natural state.

The Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors that all the plans be subject to review by the Township Solicitor. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any questions or comments from the public. A neighbor, who did not identify himself, requested that open space be kept on the eastern side of the land. Mr. Ward conferred with the solicitor and planner to confirm that the area in question is included in the Commission’s motion requesting that the area be kept in its natural state.

Mr. Ward called the question. The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 to approve the motion.

CONDITIONAL USES:

A.     Penns Terrace Office Park, 54 Penns Trail – for G-15 use, soil stripping sketch plan. Don Marshall, Esq. representing the applicant is seeking approval for the removal of approximately 1,500 cubic yards of topsoil in associate with a Land Development for the construction of a 20,000 square foot office building. The site is located at the northwest intersection of Friends Lane and Penns Trail. The Planning Commission discussed how the project would be handled with Mr. Marshall. Mr. Wilson made a motion that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the conditional use application for G-15 use, soil stripping sketch plan with the following conditions:

  • The applicant will comply with the requirements listed in the Boucher & James, Inc. correspondence dated September 8, 2005 with regard to conditions set therein: the number of employees, hours of operation, deliveries, potential environmental impacts and etc.
  • The applicant will provide adequate tire cleaning facilities.
  • The applicant offers the top soil to the Township first for its use before removal.
  • The applicant’s trucks use Penns Trail for hauling and not township or borough roads.

Mr. Piazza seconded the motion.

Mr. Ward asked for any questions or comments from the public. There were none.

The Planning Commission voted 6 to 0 to approve the motion.

B.     Goodnoe Tract, Eagle Road – Sketch plan for major subdivision. Edward Murphy, Esq. representing the applicant presented to the Planning Commission a preliminary sketch plan for evaluation for the proposed.

B-14 Use, Performance Subdivision. The plan proposes to construct twenty six (26) new single family dwelling units on the site. There are three (3) existing dwelling unites which will remain for a total of twenty-nine (29) dwelling units. The Planning Commission reviewed 2 different sketch plans that proposed different number of lot sizes and homes. No motion was made. The Planning Commission discussed the different plans with regard to open space and the size of the lots. The Planning Commission expressed a preference to the sketch plan with the smaller lots.

ZONING HEARING BOARD:

The Planning Commission reviewed and issued no comment to the Zoning Hearing Board on the following applications:

SUBCOMMITTEE & LIAISON REPORTS:

The Chairman dispensed with the reports due to the late hour.

CORRESPONDENCE:

No correspondence was discussed.

OLD BUSINESS:

No old business was discussed.

NEW BUSINESS:

No new business was discussed.

GENERAL DISCUSSION:

There was no general discussion.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.

 

NEXT MEETING OCTOBER 4, 2005