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Buckingham Township

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4613 Hughesian Drive
P.O. Box 413
Buckingham, PA 18912

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Meeting Minutes And Agendas

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Planning Commission
5/3/2017 7:30 PM

Buckingham Township Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Buckingham Township Planning Commission was held May 3, 2017 in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.


Present:        Andrea Mehling                      Chairperson

                        Patrick Fowles                        Vice Chairperson

                        Rebecca Fink                          Member

                       Dr. Marc Sandberg                 Member

                       Louis Spadafora                      Member

                       Glynnis Stone Tihansky       Member

                        John Ives                                 Bucks County Planning Commission

                        Dan Gray                                 Township Engineer


Not Present:    Tom Baldwin                          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.


Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling to approve, as most recently presented, the draft Planning Commission Minutes of the February 1, 2017 Meeting. The motion carried unanimously.


Consideration of approving Draft Planning Commission Minutes of the April 5, 2017 Meeting.


Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling to approve, as most recently presented, the draft Planning Commission Minutes of the April 5, 2017 Meeting. The motion carried unanimously with Mr. Fowles, Dr. Sandberg and Mr. Spadafora abstaining from the vote.


Consideration of recommending Approval of Ordinance No. 2017-02, An Ordinance of Buckingham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Being an Omnibus Amendment of the Buckingham Township Zoning Ordinance, to Create an Enterprise Overlay District, a Mill Creek Overlay District, Communications Overlay District 4, a Hotel/Motel/Inn Use, Establishing Medical Marijuana Distribution and Manufacturing Uses, Revising the Forestry Use, Amending the Wireless Communication Use to Accommodate Wireless Small Cell Towers, Revising Noise Restrictions, Lighting Restrictions and Sign Restrictions, Imposing Restrictions on Blasting Near Occupied Structures, and Making Miscellaneous Other Disseminated Revisions.


The Planning Commission discussed the following items of interest, however did not recommend a change or have issue with them:



Section 201 Definitions

- Definition: Impervious Surface. Mr. Gray explained pervious versus impervious surface examples specific to decks and swimming pools.


ARTICLE 4 USE REGULATIONS; Section 405 Use Regulations

A. Agricultural Uses

-A4 Forestry; E. Forest Practices. #8. Mr. Gray said this was clarified to be specific to the height of the tallest tree rather than a set 100 feet from the property line.


B. Residential Uses

- B7 Rooming or Boarding House. Mr. Gray provided clarification on this use.

- B9 Accessory Home Occupations; B. Home Occupation, Class II – Traditional Home Business. #4 Signage was discussed.

- B9 Accessory Home Occupations; E. Accessory In-Law Dwellings

#5. An Accessory In-Law Dwelling shall only be occupied by a family member of the occupants of the principal residence.

- B10 Residential Accessory Building, Structure, or Use; C. Fences and Walls (specifically  regarding Sports Courts) Although not a new item in the zoning ordinance, the definition of “Sports Courts” was discussed.  Also, Article 30 General Regulations Applicable to All Districts and Uses; Section 3010 Special Setbacks, D. Sports Courts – Mr. Spadafora asked the rational for 75’ and Mr. Gray said this is a standard setback within the zoning ordinance.


E. Commercial and Consumer Service Uses

- E4 Medical Marijuana Dispensary and G4. Industrial Uses. G4 Medical Marijuana Grower/Processor.

The location of allowed facilities was discussed.



- Section 502 Area and Dimensional Requirements - #6 Mill Creek Overlay District.  Mr. Gray said this was previously removed and is now being re-inserted in accordance with the wording on the plan as the development was built.



- Section 3029 Blasting and Detonation Requirements. Mr. Gray noted these requirements are typically included in development agreements, and by including them in the zoning ordinance this covers requirements for consistency.



- Section 3201 Definitions. B. Sign Types: #9. Temporary Off Premises Advertising Sign. Mrs. Tihansky questioned the meaning, and Mr. Gray clarified this applies to off-premises signs; not temporary signs posted on the property itself.


General Matters of Concern:


- Mrs. Tihansky will forward a list of typographical errors to Mr. Gray for corrections.

- Parking Structure / Garage. The Planning Commission members supported the addition of specifications regarding parking structures / parking garages to be allowed in the Cross Keys area.


- Dr. Sandberg had various additional items he thought should be included in the zoning ordinance, and Mr. Gray reminded the Planning Commission the Zoning Ordinance is a living document, and is updated regularly.


Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling, to recommend the Board of Supervisors consider the following revisions/clarifications to the draft zoning ordinance and note their comments and concerns accordingly:



Section 405 Use Regulations


B. Residential Uses

- B10 Residential Accessory Building, Structure, or Use; G. Non-Commercial Swimming Pool


Mrs. Tihansky requested clarification of “appurtenances”.


E. Commercial and Consumer Service Uses

- E21 Hotel. G.

Specifically, “G2 Research”. Although not a new item in the zoning ordinance, Mrs. Tihansky questioned this use specification. Mr. Gray said this use expands a variety of services that may be accommodated in the PI zoning district, however agreed it needs to be more specific as to its placement under “Hotel” use.


H. General Accessory Uses and Structures

- H11 Personal Wireless Facilities. G. Personal Wireless Facilities Hierarchy – Procedures.

The Planning Commission recommended the township consider the impacts of restricting the ability for providers to install new poles in residential communities. Dr. Sandberg recommended seeking advice from someone in the field of providing the wireless facilities as to the requirements for current and future services prior to determining the limitation of facilities placement.



- Section 3013 Parking Area Design Requirements. Planning Commission recommended clarification that the requirements are specifically applicable to “required” parking spaces under the terms of the zoning ordinance.


- Section 3016 Lighting. B. Definitions. Mrs. Tihansky asked that the definition of Repairs and Replacement Lighting be clarified as it is redundant.


Mr. Gray noted the definition of luminaire replacement versus components operating the light needs to be clarified.


Lighting in General:  Dr. Sandberg asked if the township is regulating the color temperature of the light, as the  as the wavelength of lights above 3000K  are known to disrupt sleep patterns. Dr. Sandberg noted you can have high color rendering with low temperature lighting.


- Section 3022 Fence Permits Required.

a) Mr. Fowles asked for clarification if a fence permit is required for the replacement or repair of fences; the Planning Commission agreed it should not be required.

b) The Planning Commission requested an exemption for deer fencing.

c) Mrs. Mehling asked if a fence permit is required for a residential lot using a portion of the property for agriculture purposes (gardening); what deems property “agricultural use”.


- Section 3028 Increase in Impervious Surface Coverage for Residential Uses.


This is unacceptable primarily because of the importance of ground water recharge, and the difficulty of regulating mitigation, and the precedent it sets in encouraging developers to build out lot areas. The limit we have established with science and engineering needs to remain a line in the sand. 



- Section 3202 Sign Regulations Applicable to All Districts. H.

The Planning Commission agreed this section does not make sense as written, and requested clarification.



- Section 4303 Area and Dimensional Requirements. D.

Mrs. Tihansky requested clarification regarding “Access to roads shall be at least one hundred fifty feet from the intersection of any streets”. Mr. Gray agreed to suggest clarification regarding the type of access, either a driveway or a new roadway, saying it is meant for a new roadway.


The motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Tihansky made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling, to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting at 9:36 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.


Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.

View Meeting Minutes prior to June 23, 2009