The regular meeting of the Buckingham Township Planning Commission was held February 1, 2017in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.
Present: Andrea Mehling Chairperson
Patrick Fowles Vice Chairperson
Tom Baldwin Member
Rebecca Fink Member
Dr. Marc Sandberg Member
Louis Spadafora Member
Glynnis Stone Tihansky Member
John Ives Bucks County Planning Commission
Dan Gray Township Engineer
Mrs. Mehling called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Consideration of approving Draft Planning Commission Minutes of the January 4, 2017 Meeting.
Mr. Baldwin made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Fink to approve, as most recently presented, the draft Planning Commission Minutes of the January 4, 2017 Meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
Consideration of recommending approval of the “1st Baptist of Wycombe Church – Site Improvements” Revised Preliminary Plan (plan dated Rev. 12/1/16), Township File LD 2015-01, T.P. 6-24-7, 6-24-8 and 6-24-11, Township Line Road, 2.85 Acres, located in the VC-1 Zoning District. The extended 90-day review period expires May 31, 2017.
Mr. Mark Hintenlang, Engineer, was present to discuss the revised preliminary plan; explaining it involves increasing the parking area from 19 to 66 spaces (with most on grass pavers), and stormwater management. Mr. Hintenlang said this project was before the planning commission a year ago, and since then they have been working through technical, stormwater, buffer and landscaping issues with the consultants.
Mr. Hintenlang said there were several waivers requested, and Mrs. Mehling directed him to discuss only the waiversnotsupported within the Knight Engineering, Inc. January 30, 2017 review letter:
- Item 2.5 SALDO §§ 5.2.B.13 and 9.6.D – property and easement monumentation. Will comply.
- Item 2.8 SALDO §§ 5.2.N.1 and 9.29.B – isolation distance of water wells and sanitary sewer facilities. Mr. Hintenlang said they will request a letter of support from the neighbor for this waiver.
- Item 2.9 SALDO § 6.3.C.7 – tree inventory. Does not apply to this project.
- Item 2.10 SALDO § 6.3.F – landscape plan showing required plantings. Does not apply to this project.
- Item 2.13 SALDO § 9.7.B.1 – dedication of ultimate right-of-way. Will comply.
- Item 2.20 SALDO § 9.20.A – landscape plan. Mr. Hintenlang said they met with Ms. Manicone who supported the waiver request.
- Item 2.22 SALDO § 9.20.C – planting of street trees. Mr. Hintenlang said they agree to replace one tree per Ms. Manicone’s recommendation, but felt adding more trees would block the view of the church from the roadway.
- Item 2.24 SALDO § 9.20.D.3 – buffer plantings. Mr. Hintenlang said they met with the neighbors and agreed upon buffer plantings, adding he will put a note on the plan to that effect. Mrs. Tihansky requested a letter from the neighbors, and Mr. Gray said the one neighbor affected was present in the audience. Ms. Jerilyn Balent, 4148 Township Line Road, said she was under the impression they would see a revised plan showing what was discussed during their meeting, and has not approved anything, yet. Mr. Hintenlang said he would meet with the neighbors and ask them for letters of agreement. Mr. Gray recommended they coordinate the meeting to include Ms. Manicone. Mr. Mike Walton, 4188 Township Line Road, said Mrs. Slack’s daughter should be included as she lives at 4180 Township Line Road now. Mr. Walton said he is concerned about the aesthetics; Ms. Balent said landscaping is not her issue. Mr. Gray suggested they meet and come to an agreement on the matter.
- Item 2.26 SALDO § 9.20.E.4 – parking lot islands of 10’ wide between each parking row with specified plantings. Mr. Gray said he may recommend support of this waiver after the stormwater design is complete.
- Item 2.30 SALDO § 9.23.B.6 (incorrectly cited as SALDO § 9.23.B.1 on the waiver request letter) – stormwater runoff. Mr. Hintenlang said this will be a “will comply” following further stormwater analyzation.
- Item 2.32 SALDO § 9.24 – general requirements for storm and surface drainage system. Mr. Hintenlang said this will be a “will comply” following further stormwater analyzation.
Mr. Hintenlang said since the previous meeting they have redesigned the stormwater system, and located the retention mostly up on the hill, compensating for flows at the lower part of the site. He said they have taken additional water off the rooftop and are re-directing the sump pump discharge from the basement towards the upper stormwater facility, where it will perc into the ground. He said it will also divert a portion of the water that currently drains down the hill.
Mr. Tom Baldwin, 4140 Township Line Road (and also a member of the Planning Commission), and Ms. Balent had several concerns, comments and questions regarding the stormwater management both current and proposed. Mrs. Mehling reminded everyone that the stormwater is not allowed to be worse than it was prior to the new development. Mr. Baldwin asked why the church had not advanced the extension of the 4” pipe from the church to the railroad as discussed during the field meeting. Mr. Gray noted that the extension of this pipe would not necessarily need to be included in the land development plan review and suggested the residents discuss this between themselves and the church, if they so wish.
Mr. Fowles confirmed that all items in the December 16, 2016 waiver request letter have been addressed, and Mr. Gray said “yes”. Mr. Hintenlang confirmed that all of the technical items are “will comply”.
Mr. Hintenlang said they received a review letter from the Landscape Review Consultants dated January 17, 2017, reviewed the items with Ms. Manicone, and agreed that any of the items that are not discussed within Knight Engineering’s January 30, 2017 review letter are “will comply”.
Mr. John Ives, Bucks County Planning Commission, had no issues as the plan was not submitted to their office for review; noting parking lots are not generally reviewed by their office.
Mr. Hintenlang requested approval of this plan as “preliminary/final”.
Mr. Baldwin excused himself from voting on this matter due to personal involvement as a neighboring property.
Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mr. Fowles, recommend preliminary/final approval of the “1st Baptist of Wycombe Church – Site Improvements” Revised Preliminary Plan (plan dated Rev. 12/1/16), Township File LD 2015-01, T.P. 6-24-7, 6-24-8 and 6-24-11, Township Line Road, 2.85 Acres, located in the VC-1 Zoning District, subject to:
a. compliance with the Knight Engineering, Inc. review letter of January 30, 2017, with the following specific items noted:
2.5 will comply
2.8 will provide letter of agreement from neighbors
2.9 not applicable and will be removed
2.10 not applicable and will be removed
2.13 will comply
2.20 will meet with Landscape Review Consultant
2.22 will replace one tree and request approval from Landscape Review Consultant
2.24 will review with neighbors and Landscape Review Consultant – buffer plantings or lack thereof
2.26 technical issues to be worked out with Knight Engineering, Inc.
2.30 technical issues to be worked out with Knight Engineering, Inc.
2.32 technical issues to be worked out with Knight Engineering, Inc.
Will comply with all technical matters.
b. compliance with the Landscape Review Committee letter of January 17, 2017.
Mrs. Mehling asked if there were any comments. Mr. Philip Johnson said he was present as a representative of the church, but not an employee of the church. He made a statement that they will comply with the regulations of Buckingham Township and do not anticipate or want to add more water onto the neighboring properties that is not already flowing onto them, but he does not know and cannot guarantee that they will be able to reduce the rate lower than it current is right now. Mr. Hintenlang corrected Mr. Johnson and noted that the stormwater facilities will be designed to reduce the rate and volume of runoff leaving the site in accordance with the Township’ SALDO and County’s Act 167 stormwater requirements.
The motion carried unanimously, with Mr. Baldwin abstaining from the vote.
Consideration of recommending approval of “Barley Sheaf Farm”, Preliminary/Final Plan dated 9/30/16, Township File LD 2017-01, T.P. 6-14-85, 5281 Old York Road, 30.19 Acres, located in the AG-1 Zoning District. The 90-day review period expires May 2, 2017.
Ms. Kellie McGowan, Esq. and Mr. Mark Frank, owner, were present to discuss the proposed plan.
Ms. McGowan described the proposed plan, saying the parcel is approximately 30 acres in size, with the improvements on the property in a concentrated area, including an existing barn with suites, an office, and a dining facility area that resembles a conference space for events. She said the dining facility area is the space proposed to be increased by this application, along with the addition of an elevated deck area, and the necessary stormwater improvement facilities.
Ms. McGowan explained this meeting is a culmination of a settled stipulation agreement, in response to noise and frequency of event concerns raised by the neighbors. She said the property is a nonconforming use, historically used for weddings and banquets, and this stipulation agreement limits the number of outdoor events, while providing the additional area inside the facility to accommodate additional events.
Ms. McGowan said the stipulated settlement agreement includes a list of waivers, with a majority of them governing what was required to be shown on the plan. Mr. Gray said they are not technical waivers as they have already been processed and approved by the stipulation, however there is one new waiver for the Planning Commission to consider, and it regards stormwater requirements. Mr. Gray said the township ordinance does not provide for small improvements such as proposed by the Applicant, so the waiver is technical in nature, but appropriate for this site.
Ms. McGowan noted the plan indicates a 1600 square foot addition to the banquet room, and said it may be increased by a few hundred square feet as the plan is engineered in more detail. Mr. Gray said this typically happens on Land Development plans, as adjustments are sometimes necessary for ADA requirements and such. Ms. McGowan said the 1200 square foot elevated deck will remain at that size.
Mrs. Mehling asked the neighbors who were present about the noise issue. Mr. John Craft, 2432 Holicong Road, Mr. Scott Lesher, 2480 Holicong Road, and Ms. Mary Ann Snyder, 2394 Holicong Road, were present and said the Goodwin’s and the Foresman’s were unable to attend, but had asked them to represent them and speak on their behalf. Mr. Craft said the noise from the outside events has been intolerable for years, including bands, dj’s and music. Mr. Lesher said the distorted amplification is offensive as they hear toasts and drunken karaoke during the events that occur outside. Ms. Snyder said the bass from the music rattled her house, shaking items off the tables and shelves.
Ms. McGowan explained the stipulation limits the outdoor events to 5 total in a calendar year, with only 2 of those remaining on the Holicong Road side, and the other 3 on the far eastern side. She said the stipulation also limits what types of amplified music is permitted, and when.
Mr. Gray asked the neighbors if they had any concerns with the Land Development project being proposed. Ms. Snyder was concerned that the proposed additions may elevate the noise, however she now feels that Mr. Frank understands their concerns.
Mr. Lesher asked if there would be soundproofing or sound barriers installed, as even with the sound coming from the opposite site of the facility, it will still travel. Ms. McGowan replies those matters are not a part of the land development process. Mr. Lesher requested that during the architectural design landscaping or a type of soundproofing could be considered. Mr. Gray said the township would review those types of improvements as part of the building permit application.
Discussion continued with the ongoing noise concerns voiced by the neighbors. Ms. Mehling thanked the neighbors for attending and explaining their concerns, and asked that attention be returned to review of the land development plan.
Ms. McGowan referred to item 6.2 within the Knight Engineering, Inc. January 30, 2017 review letter, saying it will be satisfied between the engineers, noting this refers to stormwater management facilities.
Ms. Manicone said she had visited the site after a professional arborist reviewed specific plantings per Mr. Frank’s request, and identified six trees that are recommended for removal due to death or presenting hazardous conditions. She said this includes a 60” Catalpa tree that, while picturesque, presents a hazard as it could potentially fall and also has roots in the excavation area. Mr. Gray said it is up to Mr. Frank to do with as he will.
Mr. Fowles made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling, to recommend preliminary/final approval of “Barley Sheaf Farm”, Preliminary/Final Plan dated 9/30/16, Township File LD 2017-01, T.P. 6-14-85, 5281 Old York Road, 30.19 Acres, located in the AG-1 Zoning District, subject to:
a. compliance with all items regulated within the Court approved Stipulation and
Settlement Agreement as of January 31, 2017;
b. compliance with the Knight Engineering, Inc. review letter of January 30, 2017,
specifically recommending approval of item 6.2 regarding the design of stormwater
management facilities per SALDO §§ 9.23.K.1.d and 9.23.K.1.f;
c. compliance with the Landscape Review Committee letters of January 19, 2017 and
January 26, 2017; noting the 60” Catalpa tree in poor health may be removed or not by
the applicant without a replacement requirement as it does not fall under the usual tree
Mrs. Mehling asked if there were any comments. Ms. Snyder expressed that the stipulation appears to cover the neighbor’s issues; adding while they may not be agreement, they will work their way through it. Mrs. Mehling said this plan will proceed to the Board of Supervisors for review, and was sure the neighbors would stay abreast of the process.
The motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Fink made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling, to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting at 9:15 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.