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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
11/1/2017 7:30 PM

Buckingham Township Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Buckingham Township Planning Commission was held November 1, 2017 in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.


Present:        Andrea Mehling                      Chairperson

                        Dr. Marc Sandberg                 Member

                        Louis Spadafora                      Member

                        John Ives                                  Bucks County Planning Commission

                        Dan Gray                                  Township Engineer


Not Present:    Patrick Fowles                        Vice Chairperson

                           Tom Baldwin                          Member

                            Rebecca Fink                          Member



Mrs. Mehling called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Consideration of approving Draft Planning Commission Minutes of the October 4, 2017 Meeting.


Mr. Spadafora made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Mehling to approve, as most recently presented, the draft Planning Commission Minutes of the October 4, 2017 Meeting. The motion carried unanimously.


Consideration of recommending Approval of the “Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless” Conditional Use Application, Township File CU 2017-02, TMP# 6-12-81-1, 4597 Sands Way, .22 acres, Zoned VR-1 Village Residential District / Communications Overlay District 2. The initial 60-day review period expires December 9, 2017.


Mr. Nicholas Cuce, Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco, Kenneth Farrall, Project Engineer, Andrew Petersohn, dBm Engineering. and Susan Manchel, Wireless Access Technologies, were present to discuss the proposed telecommunications facility.


Mr. Cuce explained there is a need for additional service and capacity in the area of the proposed facility, so Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless entered into discussions and now have a fully executed lease with the township to rent space on the existing water tower located at 4597 Sands Way. Mr. Cuce said the parcel is very small, containing one water tank with property designated adjacent to it for another water tank to possibly be installed in the future. He said they propose to use the existing tower, and install equipment at the base within the fenced compound. Mr. Cuce explained the parcel is located within the Buckingham Township zoning telecommunications overlay district.


Mr. Farrall displayed a drawing showing the proposed site. He said they are requesting the Conditional Use approval, along with variances from the Zoning Hearing Board for setbacks.

Mr. Cuce confirmed they are scheduled for this meeting, followed by the Board of Supervisors, and finally the Zoning Hearing Board. He said all attorneys had agreed on the order of processing the application, with the understanding any approval the Board of Supervisors may provide would be contingent on the applicant receiving the requested variances from the Zoning Hearing board.


Mr. Farrall also showed an aerial photograph of the site, explaining due to the placement of the site it will not be seen. Ms. Manicone, Landscape Review Consultant, said that most of the vegetation is deciduous, so the site will be seen at certain seasons of the year. Mr. Gray agreed, however said this is a co-location on a structure with minimal impact visually. Mr. Ives asked if there would be lighting installed, and Mr. Farrell said no.


Mr. Farrall stated they have requested to install 3 sectors, each containing 4 antennas, adding this would be the maximum installation and may not include this many.


Mr. Spadafora asked how often the site will be accessed for maintenance. Mr. Farrell explained this is an unmanned facility on a concrete pad that may be visited by a cellular technician in a SUV every 4-6 weeks.


Mr. Spadafora asked about noise, and Mr. Farrell said there will be an emergency generator that will be exercised bi-weekly, fueled by diesel.


Mr. Gray confirmed the applicant has an agreement with the Homeowners Association of Apple Hill so they are aware of the proposal and have agreed to it.


Mr. Gray reminded the applicant they will be required to apply for the proper township permits, prior to the installation of the facility.


Mr. Gray asked about the surface of the installation. Mr. Farrell said it’s already there. Mr. Gray suggested they correct their plans to show they are not increasing impervious surface.


Mr. Petersohn said he is a radio frequency engineer, and showed a capacity and coverage map of the immediate area.  He explained the facility will add a great deal of capacity and add significant coverage to the area. Mr. Petersohn did say this will not address all of the coverage areas, as there are gaps created by aggressive terrain that cuts the energy.


Dr. Sandberg questioned the limit of size for the antenna. Mr. Petersohn said the biggest antenna package is 8’ in length, and they would propose no taller than that. He said the industry standard is 10’ between mounting points, with the antenna’s being 1 foot wide by 1 foot deep, and a variable length of 4’, 6’, or 8’.


Dr. Sandberg asked about the ambient energy at ground level, and Mr. Petersohn said he had not prepared an electromagnetic emissions analysis yet for this site, however it would be less than 1% at ground level, adding that is considered by the Federal Communications Commission to be safe for human exposure and is very insignificant. He said they will be compliant per safety standards and will have proof of that for the public hearing.


Dr. Sandberg asked if equipment is 4G or 5F; and Mr. Petersohn stated it is 4G LTE equipment (as the standard for 5F isn’t available until mid-2018, to be deployed widely by 2020 or 2021). Dr. Sandberg asked at that time would they take down the antennas to install new ones? Mr. Petersohn said not necessarily, as they normally would only need to upgrade the equipment at the base.


Dr. Sandberg asked if this was radio frequency or microwave, and Mr. Petersohn replied “microwave”.


Mrs. Mehling asked if this lease agreement only applies to this particular tower. Mr. Cuce said yes, only to what is being proposed at this time.


Mr. Spadafora made a motion, seconded by Dr. Sandberg, to recommend Approval of the “Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless” Conditional Use Application, Township File CU 2017-02, TMP# 6-12-81-1, 4597 Sands Way, .22 acres, Zoned VR-1 Village Residential District / Communications Overlay District 2,subject to:


1.         Applicant being granted relief for the required variances as requested of the Zoning Hearing Board.


2.         Applicant meeting all requirements of Conditional Use within the Buckingham Township Zoning Ordinance.


The motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Mehling made a motion, seconded by Mr. Spadafora, to adjourn the Planning Commission meeting at 8:25 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.


Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.

View Meeting Minutes prior to June 23, 2009