The regular meeting of the Buckingham Township Planning Commission was held April 5, 2017in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.
Present: Andrea Mehling Chairperson
Tom Baldwin Member
Rebecca Fink Member
Glynnis Stone Tihansky Member
John Ives Bucks County Planning Commission
Dan Gray Township Engineer
Not Present: Patrick Fowles Vice Chairperson
Dr. Marc Sandberg Member
Louis Spadafora Member
Mrs. Mehling called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Consideration of approving Draft Planning Commission Minutes of the February 1, 2017 Meeting.
This item was tabled.
Consideration of recommending Preliminary Approval of the “PA Biotechnology Center” plan dated March 2, 2017, Township File LD 2017-02, T.P. 6-4-10-1, 3805 Old Easton Road, 9.76 Acres, located in the PI Zoning District. The initial 90-day review period expires July 4, 2017.
Mr. Ed Murphy, Attorney, Mr. Greg Glitzer, Engineer and Konrad Kroszner of the PA Biotechnology Center were present to discuss the proposed plan, along with others who contributed towards plan preparation.
Mr. Murphy explained the project began with a sketch plan to the Board of Supervisors almost a year ago to expand the Biotechnology Center, followed by a submission to the Zoning Hearing Board in October with engineered plans included, seeking relief from impervious surface and building coverages. He said both Boards provided favorable feedback and the Zoning Hearing Board decision was issued in December.
Mr. Glitzer described the plan is to construct a new two story building joining two of the existing structures already in use. He said the new building will have a partial basement of 13,100 square feet, plus two floors totaling almost 34,000 square feet.
Mr. Glitzer explained the Zoning Hearing Board granted relief for impervious surface and building coverage percentages, parking requirements to apply only to the new building addition (adding 175 to existing 159 striped spaces for a total of 334 parking spaces) relief for the existing nonconformities to a rear yard (they marked a “build to” line on the plan in place of normally required setbacks), buffer requirements (flexibility with the airport height requirements in mind), and steep slopes (bearing in mind the entire sight has transitional fill slopes or cut slopes already in place).
Mr. Glitzer said this plan brings the entire site into compliance with stormwater management by use of several extraordinary techniques, including retrofitting of an existing detention pond, planted islands, enlarging the stormdrain in the rear to accommodate a rain garden, underground storage and infiltration. Mr. Glitzer noted the entire roof of the addition will be a green roof.
Mr. Glitzer said the site currently has several wells on it for water, with a storage tank in the rear, however they intend to hook into the Doylestown Municipal Authority water system now that there is a public line in Old Easton Road with connection stubs. He said the wastewater is already connected to sanitary sewer.
Mr. Murphy said all items in Bucks County Planning Commission letter of March 27, 2017 and Landscape Review Consultants letter of March 15, 2017 are “will comply”. He also said the Zoning Officer’s comments were addressed by the Zoning Hearing Board decision of December 20, 2016, and the Police Chief and Fire Marshal had no comments at this time.
Mr. Glitzer discussed the following items from Knight Engineering’s March 31, 2017 review letter:
1.2 SALDO § 9.24.A.3Mr. Glitzer explained according to the ordinance, stormwater management should be located in easements, not in the center of the building. He said they will discuss with Mr. Gray, and most likely add a waiver request for section 9.24.A.3 relating to the easement around the stormpipe.
1.3 SALDO § 9.23.T.1.bMr. Gray said the above comment also applies to this one. Mr. Gray said their main concern is that there are no illicit discharges to the pipes underneath the building. Mr. Gray said he would support this waiver request as long as he receives assurance on this matter. Mr. Kroszner explained all chemical waste is collected in a small waste generator kept in a separate collection zone, trucked off and disposed of properly. He said the sinks in the labs have a neutralizing tank which releases into the standard sanitary system. Mr. Glitzer indicated that they would provide video of the piping and will close off any unacceptable connections.
2.3 SALDO § 9.2.D Glitzer said due to the site, excavations and the inability to redistribute material onsite is negligible. Mr. Gray said they are supportive of the cut and fill subject to how much dirt is leaving the site. Mr. Glitzer would provide a cut and fill analysis in order to document the amount of material and Mr. Gray would provide a recommendation to the Supervisors regarding the posting of escrow for future repairs to Old Easton Road caused by the trucks hauling material off-site.
2.5 SALDO § 9.16.BIt was agreed that the middle drive of the three existing access drives will be revised to be an entrance only.
2.6 and 2.10 SALDO § 9.16.F.3 and SALDO § 9.17.A.6.bThe steep entrance on the south side of the site near building 3, and the grades near the new parking facility were discussed as Knight Engineering does not support these related waiver requests. Mr. Ives asked if trucks had issues with the drive, and Mr. Kroszner said only when the asphalt was a problem as it was loose gravel, but that has been corrected. Mr. Gray said these items could be discussed between the engineers.
2.12 SALDO §§ 9.18.B and 9.18.CConstruction of sidewalks and bicycle/pedestrian paths along existing streets. Mr. Glitzer explained with the steep slopes a retaining wall would be required in order to install a sidewalk. Mr. Ives said the Bucks County Planning Commission is working on developing the Cross Keys area and would like interconnecting sidewalks throughout the properties. Mr. Gray said they would discuss this with the engineer.
2.13 and 2.14 SALDO §§§ 9.2.D.1 and 9.20.D.3 and 9.20.D.2.dLandscaping buffer areas. Ms. Manicone said she will meet with the landscape architect onsite to review modification of the buffers. Mr. Gray said he defers to the Landscape Review Consultants on these matters.
2.16 SALDO § 9.23.IStormwater management facilities must provide runoff pollution controls. Mr. Gray suggested that the engineer calculate the runoff pollution from the proposed improvement areas, rather than the entire site, and revise the waiver letter to request relief from providing runoff control for the existing improved areas that were not being impacted by this Land Development.
2.17 SALDO § 9.23.K.1.nParking bay and retaining wall. Considering the limited areas available for parking and stormwater facilities, Mr. Gray would support the use of retaining walls (as they were currently proposed) adjacent to detention basin areas if the technical comments in his letter were addressed.
2.18 SALDO § 9.23.O.4Stormwater management facility calculations based upon predevelopment flow rate and volume as determined by considering the lands as “meadow” in good condition. Mr. Glitzer felt certain they have an appropriate stormwater management plan, however requested that the “existing condition” not be categorized as “meadow”. Mr. Gray requested that additional calculations be provided to document the pre-development release rates in order for his office to provide a recommendation to the Board concerning this waiver request.
2.19 SALDO § 9.23.O.9Soil characteristics. Mr. Glitzer said the soil is compacted, especially the transitional slopes, and is urban soil type. Mr. Gray said if it is urban soil type, they will support this waiver request. Mrs. Tihansky asked if they receive any dispensation for having a green roof, and Mr. Gray said no, other than the reduction in required stormwater management controls due to the roof area not being considered impervious.
2.22 SALDO § 9.37Transportation impact study. Mr. Gray said the County is working on regional matters, so this request applies to internal transportation; and seeing if left turn lanes from Old Easton would improve the traffic flow.
Mrs. Mehling asked if there would be a significant increase in the number of persons working at the site. Mr. Kroszner said the building will have 40 offices, with many of them being laboratories, and house approximately 100 persons. Mrs. Mehling asked if the hours were 24/7, and Mr. Kroszner said yes, however there is no “shift” work, rather specific scientific things that must be done at certain times. He said most operations are between 8am and 8pm.
15.0 Sheet 15 of 24 - Lighting Plan. Mr. Glitzer said the plan is to use LED lights in the new fixtures, and replace some of the lighting in the front parking lot; saying it is not an overly aggressive lighting plan. He said they will observe the elevation of Easton Road by adding shielding on those lights from below.
19.2 SALDO §§ 9.18.A.2 and 9.18.A.5Belgian Block curbing requirement. Mr. Gray said they support this waiver for the curbing to be concrete for consistency throughout the site, rather than have a mix of Belgian Block and concrete curbs.
2.10 SALDO § 9.23.K.1.wIrrigation system in the green roof design. Mr. Glitzer explained the plant material will not require a formal irrigation system and will be limited to hose connections on the roof and sprinklers. Mr. Gray would support a waiver of this requirement with the condition that a formal irrigation system would not be included in the “green roof” design.
Mr. Glitzer discussed concerns raised in the Landscape Review Consultants March 15, 2017 review letter specific to trees in the airport height zone. Ms. Manicone said it appears that trees in the rear of the site are mostly “volunteer” trees that have grown tall, and are in questionable health, as well as Ash trees that must be checked for ash bore. She suggested if they need to be removed, she would suggest a low-level dogwood, redbud or such small scale flowering trees for replacements. Mr. Glitzer said the trees along the road frontage were installed with the previous development, and need looked at during the site walk.
Mr. Murphy said all items in Bucks County Planning Commission letter of March 27, 2017 and Landscape Review Consultants letter of March 15, 2017 are “will comply”.
Mrs. Mehling asked if any audience members had comments.
Ms. Susan Goff, Old Easton Road, shared concerns about existing stormwater and future stormwater as she lives downstream from the facility. Mr. Glitzer explained all of the features to control stormwater from leaving the site, and assured Ms. Goff that in accordance with the ordinance, the stormwater that leaves the site will be less than what it is currently. Mr. Glitzer did mention that they cannot control stormwater that may flow from other sites.
Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling, to recommend Preliminary/Final Approval of the “PA Biotechnology Center” plan dated March 2, 2017, Township File LD 2017-02, T.P. 6-4-10-1, 3805 Old Easton Road, 9.76 Acres, located in the PI Zoning District, subject to:
a. Compliance with the Knight Engineering, Inc. review letter of January 30, 2017, with the following specific items noted:
1.2 will add waiver request relating to easement around the existing storm sewer pipes located beneath the buildings.
1.3 Knight Engineering, Inc. to support this waiver request upon receiving proper assurance that there are no illicit discharges to the pipe underneath the building.
2.3 Knight Engineering is supportive of the cut and fill waiver subject to the quantity of dirt leaving the site being calculated in order to determine if additional road improvements are necessary.
2.5 Center drive of the three existing access drives will be made an “entrance only”.
2.6 and 2.10 Steep grades of entrance on south side of site near building 3 to be resolved to the Township Engineer’s satisfaction.
2.12 Sidewalks and bicycle/pedestrian paths along streets – Planning Commission requested sidewalks from the driveway to Building No.3 to the property boundary with TMP 6-4-10-2 with the details to be resolved to the Township Engineer’s satisfaction.
2.13 and 2.14 Landscape buffer areas – to be resolved to the satisfaction of the Landscape Review Consultants.
2.16 Waiver request to be revised to apply only to proposed improvements, rather than entire existing site.
2.17 Parking bay and retaining wall – to be resolved to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer.
2.18 Stormwater management facility calculations based on “meadow” condition – Additional calculations shall be provided to the Township Engineer and he will provide a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.
2.19 Soil characteristics – if urban soil type, Knight Engineering Inc. supports this waiver request.
2.22 Transportation impact study – regards internal circulation and minor access improvements along Old Easton Road. This shall be discussed between engineers.
15.0 Lighting plan. Additional analysis of the lighting is required with shielding to be added to lights for the lights along Old Easton Road.
19.a.2 Waiver requested to allow concrete curbing to be consistent throughout the site
2.10 Irrigation in roof to be limited to hose connections.
b. Compliance with the Landscape Review Committee letter of March 15, 2017. Landscape Review Consultants will meet onsite with landscape architect to review large caliber trees that may need to be removed due to airport height restrictions.
c. Compliance with the Bucks County Planning Commission letter of March 27, 2017. Partial waiver may be requested for western most sidewalk area.
The motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Mehling made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Fink, to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting at 8:55 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.