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Buckingham Township

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

Phone : (215) 794-8834
Fax : (215) 794-8837
contact@buckinghampa.org

Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 AM-4:00 PM

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Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 AM-4:00 PM

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Meeting Minutes And Agendas

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Board of Supervisors
12/19/2018 7:30 PM

The regular meeting of the Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors was held December 19, 2018 in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

 

Present:           Maggie Rash                           Chairman

                        Paul Calderaio                        Vice-Chairman

                        Jon Forest                               Member

                        Dana S. Cozza                        Township Manager

                        Daniel Gray                            Township Engineer

                        Tom Kelso                             Township Water/Wastewater Consultant

                        Craig A. Smith, Esquire         Township Solicitor

 

Not Present:    John Ives                                 Bucks County Planning Commission

 

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

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Ruckman Way/ Church School Estates

The following individuals addressed the Board about their concern that a property in their neighborhood recently purchased by Ruckman Realty PA, LLC is apparently being used as a group home or sober living facility.

 

Robert A. Woodruff, 4044 Mechanicsville Road.

Darrell L. Jennings, 4085 Ruckman Way

Sean R. Blake and Mary E. Blake, 4055 Ruckman Way

Andrew J. Smithson, 4025 Ruckman Way

 

Mr. Woodruff stated that the property located at 4065 Ruckman Way and owned by Ruckman Realty PA, LLC is not being used as a single-family residential dwelling, but instead the owner is engaged in a commercial use, housing what are apparently recovering substance abusers. He stated this use degrades neighboring property values and the tax base of the Township. Mr. Woodruff indicated the neighbors had hired Mike Carr, Esq. of Eastburn and Gray to represent their interests vis-à-vis the use of 4065 Ruckman Way. He stated he is asking for the Township’s help in shutting down this use and asked that the Township enforce its zoning.

 

Mary Elizabeth Blake advised that she lives at 4045 Ruckman Way and has small children. She stated that a large black commercial van is driving up and down a driveway that she shares several times a day and that this presents a safety issue as they drive by her children. Ms. Blake further inquired how is she to know whether any of the residents at 4065 are registered sex offenders.

 

Sean Blake stated that he has lived in Buckingham for ten years and he chose his house because he wanted to live in a residential area. He said 4065 Ruckman Way is a “flag lot” and consequently the black van drives within twenty-five to thirty feet of his children’s swing set many times a day. He said that the LLC is a commercial operator for profit. He indicated that as a consequence his property is depreciating and he expects the Township to look out for his interests.

 

Darrell Jennings spoke indicating he lives at 4085 Ruckman Way and that the offending property is directly behind him. He said he launched a furniture business in his garage and was promptly visited by Township officials and told he had to shut down his business. He asked why is the business at 4065 Ruckman Way any different?

 

Andrew Smithson told the Board he was a new resident of one year and was a Judge for 27 years in New Jersey. He indicated he was the judge in the Timmendequas case and that he sentenced Jesse Timmendequas to death for the murder of Megan Kanka and that gave rise to Megan's law. Mr. Smithson said this matter deserves serious attention and something more than an exchange of letters. He further said that while he is not an expert in zoning and land use law, he believed reasonable accommodation goes both ways; both th the sober living facility, but also to existing residents.

 

Mr. Smith, the Township Solicitor was asked by the Board to explain the law applicable to this situation. Mr. Smith explained the rights of recovering substance abusers to live in supportive housing in residential areas is protected by the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. If the residents qualify as "handicapped" or "disabled" and the premised qualifies as a "dwelling" under the Fair Housing Act, then these individuals are offered protections from local zoning laws. The Township may not treat these people disparately from other residents and the Township must make a reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such a person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. Accordingly, Mr. Smith said he has advised the Township that it must make reasonable accommodation from its zoning laws for this use. Mr. Smith went on to explain that to not do so could expose the Township to significant liability claims. Mr. Smith further explained that the federal courts have held that if the average length of stay is fifteen days or more, they are not deemed transients as this is longer than a typical hotel stay. Mr. Smith said the Township has inquired as to the nature of the facility and a description of the proposed use so that the Township may be assured the occupants of the home meet the definitions of "handicap" and that the accommodation provides direct relief from the disability's effect. Inquiry has been made as to whether this is a licensed facility and if so, seeking a copy of the license. The Township has also advised the owner of the applicability of building code rules and is seeking to assure they are met. Finally, inquiry is being made to assure the septic system is adequate for the number of persons staying at the house. 

 

Mr. Forest addressed Ms. Blake's concern about sex offenders stating that they would have to register under Megan's law as living there. While it was conceded an offender may not register as required, it was noted there are penalties enforced if an offender fails to do so. Mr. Smith further offered that the Township would ask for an ongoing list of residents at the facility.

 



Mrs. Rash thanked the neighbors for coming and directed Mr. Smith to keep in touch with Mike Carr and provide any supporting legal authority that Mr. Carr may request concerning the federal law requirement that the Township make reasonable accommodation for the use.

 

Anderson Road Property

 

Ms. Karen Fenner and Ms. Lauren Schoeler, residents of Stover Trail, requested information on permitted uses of the two parcels listed for sale along Anderson Road, one 49 acres and the other 22 acres, as they had been told the land was wetlands and would never be built on. Mr. Gray said the lands are in the AG2 Zoning District and that under the B-1 use, single family dwellings on 5 acres would be permitted by right. Alternatively, a Living Community development could be constructed with a mix of twins, townhomes and single family homes clustered around 50% Open Space Area. However, the properties were known to have many natural resources, such as floodplain, wetlands, and limestone, which could make them challenging to develop because of the Township’s natural resource protection standards. Mrs. Rash suggested if the properties were permanently preserved by the property owners, the development would be limited.

 

BOARD’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Mrs. Rash made the following announcements:

The Buckingham Township Administrative Offices will be closed December 24th and December 25th. The offices will also be closed on December 31st and January 1st, 2019.

The December 26, 2018 Board of Supervisor’s meetings are cancelled.

The Annual Board of Supervisors Reorganization and Regular Business Meeting and Work Session (if needed), will be held Monday, January 7, 2019.

The Annual Board of Auditors Reorganization Meeting will be held Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

 

            REQUESTS FOR PAYMENT, PAYROLL and BILL LIST

 

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 5, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Fieldstone Spray Field Upgrades – Electrical Contract BT-17-02, in the amount of $3,600.00.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 5, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Fieldstone Spray Field Upgrades – Electrical Contract BT-17-02, in the amount of $3,600.00. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 8, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Pump Station & Generators and Upgrades PH2 – General Contract BT-17-03, in the amount of $30,150.00.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 8, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Pump Station & Generators and Upgrades PH2 – General Contract BT-17-03, in the amount of $30,150.00. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 3, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Pump Station Generators and Upgrades, Pump Station 1 - Contract BT-18-01, in the amount of $29,700.00.   

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 3, to GS Developers, for work completed on the Pump Station Generators and Upgrades, Pump Station 1 - Contract BT-18-01, in the amount of $29,700.00. The motion carried unanimously.

           

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 3, to BSI Electrical Contractors for work completed on the Buckingham Village WWTP Plant 2017 Upgrades – Electrical Contract BT-17-05, in the amount of $142,075.00.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 3, to BSI Electrical Contractors for work completed on the Buckingham Village WWTP Plant 2017 Upgrades – Electrical Contract BT-17-05, in the amount of $142,075.00. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 3, to Derstine Company, LLC, for work completed on the Buckingham Village WWTP 2017 Plant Upgrades – General Contract BT-17-04, in the amount of $37,800.00.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 3, to Derstine Company, LLC, for work completed on the Buckingham Village WWTP 2017 Plant Upgrades – General Contract BT-17-04, in the amount of $37,800.00. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payment Request No. 10, to Eastern Environmental Contractors, Inc. for work completed on the Fieldstone Spray Field Upgrades – General Contract BT-17-01, in the amount of $83,430.00.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment Request No. 10, to Eastern Environmental Contractors, Inc. for work completed on the Fieldstone Spray Field Upgrades – General Contract BT-17-01, in the amount of $83,430.00. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payroll for the weeks ending November 25, 2018 and December 9, 2018, and the Bill List for the meeting of December 19, 2018.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payroll for the weeks ending November 25, 2018 and December 9, 2018, and the Bill List for the meeting of December 19, 2018 in the total amount of $1,158,602.23. The motion carried unanimously.

 

MINUTES

 

Consideration of approving the draft Supervisors’ Minutes of the November 14, 2018 Work Session and November 14, 2018 Regular Business Meeting.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forestto approve, as most recently presented, the draft Supervisors’ Minutes of the November 14, 2018 Work Session and November 14, 2018 Regular Business Meeting. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of accepting various Departmental Minutes and Advisory Body Minutes.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to accept the following Departmental Minutes and Advisory Body Minutes:

- Safety Committee – October 2018

- Board of Auditors – May 23, 2018

- Planning Commission – November 7, 2018

- Code Enforcement Monthly Statistical Report – November 2018

The motion carried unanimously.

 

BUSINESS

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2370, A Resolution of the Township of Buckingham, County of Bucks, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Fixing the Earned Income Tax Rate, Local Services Tax Rate, and the Realty Transfer Tax Rate for the Fiscal Year 2019.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2370, A Resolution of the Township of Buckingham, County of Bucks, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Fixing the Earned Income Tax Rate, Local Services Tax Rate, and the Realty Transfer Tax Rate for the Fiscal Year 2019. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2371, Fixing the Real Estate Tax Rate for the Fiscal Year 2019. 

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2371, Fixing the Real Estate Tax Rate for the Fiscal Year 2019. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2372, Authorizing the Establishment of Checking, Savings and Investment Accounts and Designating Various Institutions to Serve as Depositories for the Funds of the Township in 2019.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2372, Authorizing the Establishment of Checking, Savings and Investment Accounts and Designating Various Institutions to Serve as Depositories for the Funds of the Township in 2019. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2373, Township Secretary’s Certification of the 2019 Budget Preparation & Publication.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2373, Township Secretary’s Certification of the 2019 Budget Preparation & Publication. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2374, Appropriating Specific Sums Estimated to be Required for the Specific Purposes of the Municipal Government, Hereinafter Set Forth, During the Year 2019 and Adopting the Annual Budget Reflecting These Amounts.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2374, Appropriating Specific Sums Estimated to be Required for the Specific Purposes of the Municipal Government, Hereinafter Set Forth, During the Year 2019 and Adopting the Annual Budget Reflecting These Amounts. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2375 for the purpose of Amending the 2018 Budget.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Resolution No. 2375 for the purpose of Amending the 2018 Budget. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Resolution No. 2376, A Resolution of the Township of Buckingham, County of Bucks, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Electing to Reduce the Member Contributions to the Police Pension Plan Administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS) to Three Percent from the PMRS Police Pension Plan Five Percent Until Such Time as the Collective Bargaining Agreement Between Buckingham Township and Buckingham Township Police Benevolent Association is Executed for the Year 2019.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve 2376, A Resolution of the Township of Buckingham, County of Bucks, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Electing to Reduce the Member Contributions to the Police Pension Plan Administered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS) to Three Percent from the PMRS Police Pension Plan Five Percent Until Such Time as the Collective Bargaining Agreement Between Buckingham Township and Buckingham Township Police Benevolent Association is Executed for the Year 2019. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of accepting the Request for Extension of the time to complete the Improvements as set forth in the Land Development Contract to January 14, 2020, covering “Bucks County Airport Authority, PH1”, Township File LD 2001-03A.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to accept the Request for Extension of the time to complete the Improvements as set forth in the Land Development Contract to January 14, 2020, covering “Bucks County Airport Authority, PH1”, Township File LD 2001-03A. The motion carried unanimously.

ADDITIONAL BUSINESS / MANAGER’S ITEMS

 

Consideration of approving the First Amendment to the Pump and Haul Agreement for Fenton’s Corner, Township File SA 2013-03.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve the First Amendment to the Pump and Haul Agreement for Fenton’s Corner, Township File SA 2013-03. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving Payment of Outstanding Invoices owed by “Stoneymead”, Township File SA 98-05, in the amount of $27,886.89 to Buckingham Township.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to approve Payment of Outstanding Invoices owed by “Stoneymead”, Township File SA 98-05, in the amount of $27,886.89 to Buckingham Township. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of authorizing Township Solicitor to execute an agreement with Wellsford Lane LLC for fee in lieu of tree replacement in the “Stoneymead” subdivision.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to authorize the Township Solicitor to execute an agreement with Wellsford Lane LLC for fee in lieu of tree replacement in the “Stoneymead” subdivision. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of approving the Request for Extension of the Plan Approval Vesting Date from December 27, 2018 through December 27, 2019 for the “Knipe Tract”, Township File SA 2002-07A.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to deny the Request for Extension of the Plan Approval Vesting Date from December 27, 2018 through December 27, 2019 for the “Knipe Tract”, Township File SA 2002-07A. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Consideration of authorizing the Township Manager to execute an agreement with National Water Specialties Company to provide Cross-Connection Control Administrative Services.

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to authorize the Township Manager to execute an agreement with National Water Specialties Company to provide Cross-Connection Control Administrative Services. The motion carried unanimously.

 

 

Mrs. Rash made a motion, seconded by Mr. Forest to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

Approved by the Board of Supervisors on the 7th day of January, 2019.

 

Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors

Jon Forest, Chairman

Maggie Rash, Vice-Chairman

Paul Calderaio, Member

 

Attest:

Dana S. Cozza, Secretary

 

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.

View Meeting Minutes prior to June 23, 2009