Hilltown Township

Hilltown Township, Bucks County, PA
Hilltown Township

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Meeting Minutes


Planning Commission
Monday, October 16 2017




The regular scheduled meeting of the Hilltown Township Planning Commission was called to order by Chairman David Christ at 7:30 PM and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Planning Commission members Eric Nogami, Kirk Hansen, Terry Carnes, and Jon Apple, along with Township Engineer, C. Robert Wynn.

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 18, 2017 - Motion was made by Mr. Carnes, seconded by Mr. Nogami and carried unanimously to approve the minutes of September 18, 2017 as written. There was no public comment.



a) Bean Property Subdivision – Richard Carroll – Upper Stump Road/Callowhill Road – Minor Subdivision – Mr. Richard Carroll, Hallmark Homes, along with Robert Cunningham, P.E., Holmes Cunningham LLC, were in attendance to present the Bean Property Minor Subdivision located on 7.57 acres at 740 Upper Stump Road and Callowhill Road. The applicant is proposing to subdivide off 4.97 acres (Lot 2) for the construction of a new dwelling and driveway access along Upper Stump Road. The existing farmhouse on Lot 1 will remain. Mr. Cunningham reviewed Mr. Wynn’s review letter dated September 7, 2017 highlighting the following:

1. Subdivision plan approval will need to be received from New Britain Township.

2. Waivers discussed:

SLDO Sections 140-16.D (6) & (7) which require minor subdivision plans to identify proposed improvements, and soil erosion/sedimentation control plan for the proposed building lot.

SLDO Section 140-38 (compliance with Stormwater Management Ordinance requirements),

SLDO Section 140-40 (receipt of erosion/sediment control plan approval from Bucks County Conservation District), and requirements of the Stormwater Management Ordinance (Sections 134-4, 134-11, and 134-24).

SLDO Section 140-25.C which prohibits proposed lot lines from crossing Township boundaries.

SLDO Section 140-27.B(11) which requires residential lot depth to width ratio to be between one and three.

SLDO Sections 140-29.P, 140-29.D(1), F & G, 140-36.A which requires cartway reconstruction/overlay, drainage improvements, cartway widening, curb, and sidewalk along existing roadways with the frontage of the site. It was noted the applicant will proved a fee-in-lieu

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for lot 2 for the waived road improvements. It was also noted the applicant will comply with the design to incorporate the extension of storm water within the right-of-way of Upper Stump Road to collect stormwater runoff within the existing roadside swale prior to discharge across the driveway on Lot 2.

SLDO Section 140-37.A(1) requiring street trees will be removed since the proposed development is classified as a minor subdivision.

3. Mr. Cunningham noted the applicant will comply with the schematic design of the proposed driveway on Lot 2.

4. The applicant will comply with the offer of the ultimate right-of-way area of Callowhill Road and Upper Stump Road for dedication to the Township.

5. The location of the well will be provided on the revised plan as well as the previously tested septic locations.

6. The Sewage Facilities Planning Module will be submitted to PADEP in the near future.

7. All monumentation will be installed.

8. The applicant agrees to provide a fee-in-lieu of recreation land dedication.

9. The applicant will comply with the engineering/drafting detail items.

Motion was made by Mr. Hansen, seconded by Mr. Apple and carried unanimously to recommend preliminary/final plan approval for the Bean Property Subdivision contingent upon all items contained in Mr. Wynn’s review letter dated September 7, 2017 including the waivers A - D. There was no public comment.

b) Arbors at Hilltown Subdivision – Preliminary Plan – Richard Carroll – Orchard Road – 15 Lots – Mr. Richard Carroll, Hallmark Building Group, along with Robert Cunningham, P.E., Holmes Cunningham LLC, were in attendance to present the Arbors at Hilltown preliminary plan located on 23 acres at 711 Orchard Road. The applicant is proposing to subdivide the property into fifteen single family homes with twelve lots on the cul-de-sac and three lots fronting Orchard Road. Mr. Wynn’s engineering letter dated October 2, 2017 was discussed in detail. Mr. Wynn noted many revisions are needed with the plan. Mr. Carnes questioned if the rest of the property is unbuildable. Mr. Cunningham stated there is a stream in the northern portion of the property along with woodlands and a farm field. As the review letter was lengthy, the following items were noted:

1. A wetland report will be submitted to Mr. Wynn.

2. The plan will be revised to designate the open space.

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3. The applicant would like to use the existing plants and trees to delineate the open space boundary.

4. The applicant is amenable to provide a fee-in-lieu of waived improvements after further discussion with Mr. Wynn’s office.

5. SLDO Section 140-37.C.1 which requires street trees to be planted within the public right-of-way of all roadways will be removed.

6. The applicant would like the Township to accept a capital contribution in-lieu-of replacement tree installation.

7. An additional waiver for SLDO Section 140-27.B(4) for the orientation of lot lines between Lots 4/5 and 5/6 containing nonperpendicular/radial bends from the front to the rear of the lots will be requested.

8. An additional waiver for SLDO 140-27.B(11) for depth to width ratio of less than one for lots 1 and 14 will be requested.

9. It was noted that a thru street is not feasible hence the reason for the cul-de-sac street.

10. Mr. Cunningham stated all of the remaining items in Mr. Wynn’s review letter along with the engineering/drafting detail review items will be complied with or will be discussed with Mr. Wynn’s office to get clarification.

Mr. Nogami questioned the long term plan for the fields and whether plantings could be added to the open space area to deter the incursion of invasive species. Mr. Cunningham stated they will be allowed to continue to grow and not mowed or maintained. Mr. Wynn stated there will have to be a plan to eradicate the invasive trees, etc.

Mr. Cunningham stated the woodlands on the south west side of the development will not be maintained or disturbed and kept in its natural state.

There was not any public comment on the project. Mr. Cunningham stated they will clean up the plan and come back to the Planning Commission.


b) Thompson Property Subdivision – Route 113/Telegraph Road – Minor Subdivision – Mr. John Thompson, the applicant, and Mr. Patrick Cavanaugh, PLS, was in attendance to present the minor subdivision of the Thompson property consisting of 19.6 acres located at 710 Telegraph Road. The applicant would like to subdivide 4.8 acres (Lot 1) containing an existing single family detached dwelling from Lot 2 containing 14.7 acres which is proposed to remain in agricultural use and not developed. Mr. Cavanaugh reviewed Mr. Wynn’s engineering review letter dated October 4, 2017 and stated the majority of the waiver requests pertain to the fact that

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no construction activity is being proposed on Lot 2. Mr. Cavanaugh stated the applicant will comply with the easement showing the existing overhead electric facilities that cross through the proposed Lot 2 to serve the existing dwelling on Lot 1. Mr. Cavanaugh stated they complied with the nonperpendicular bends in the proposed lot line in order to maximize the amount of area to be used for agricultural purposes within Lot 2 along with adding the plan note stating the ultimate right-of way of Route 113 is offered for dedication to the Township. Mr. Cavanaugh stated all other items in the review letter along with the plan notes will be complied with. Mr. Carnes asked if the plan includes a deed restriction that Lot 2 will never be developed. Mr. Thompson stated they have not done that and their main focus is to get the house subdivided off of the main property with their intention that the main property is to never be developed. Mr. Wynn stated if the applicant would want to subdivide the property in the future, they would have to come back to the Planning Commission. Mr. Carnes questioned Mr. Wynn’s responses on the SLDO requests. Mr. Wynn stated if they agree with the concept that the lot will be established as a farmland lot, then all of the other information doesn’t make any sense. If the lot is not being developed then the detail is not needed that the ordinance normally requires.

Public Comment: Brian Ricca, 50 Paige Trail, asked if an easement could be put along the front of the farmland on Route 113 so it can’t be farmed because of the many accidents due from visibility. Mrs. Thompson stated the accidents weren’t caused from the visibility and stated the corn field has been cut back at the intersection since then. Mr. Thompson stated there is not a time line to officially dedicate the property and it does not make a difference because that is why they brought the property; so it wouldn’t be built on. He continued to state his daughter is all about farming and works for Heritage Conservancy. Motion was made by Mr. Nogami, seconded by Mr. Carnes and carried unanimously to recommend preliminary/final plan approval for the Thompson Property Subdivision contingent upon all items contained in Mr. Wynn’s review letter dated October 4, 2017 including the waivers. There was no additional public comment.





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10. PUBLIC COMMENT: Mr. Shawn Velez, 34 Paige Trail, on behalf of Hilltown Chase Homeowner’s Association, stated he has made some inquires with the Township and Mr. Wynn over the last couple months trying to get clarity or status on a couple of items. He continued to state there are a number of trees that have died over the last couple of years that they asked in early February to be replaced and they still have not been replaced. Mr. Wynn stated he will check on the trees and continued to state these items are Supervisor items and not Planning Commission items. Mr. Valez continued to question the dedication of two parcels within the association that never got dedicated to the Township when they were supposed to. The parcels had not been mowed so the association had to pay for the maintenance of the parcels. He continued to state he spoke with the Recorder of Deeds and they stated nobody there is working on the issue. Mr. Wynn stated he thought the Township was doing the mowing and the dedication was executed by the developer in 2006. Mr. Wynn suggested to call the Township to get on the next Board of Supervisor’s agenda.



13. ADJOURNMENT: Upon motion by Mr. Carnes, seconded by Mr. Hansen and carried unanimously, the October 16, 2017 Hilltown Township Planning Commission meeting was adjourned at 8:32 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Lorraine E. Leslie

Township Manager

(*NOTE: These minutes were transcribed from notes and recordings and should not be considered official until approved by the Planning Commission at a public meeting).

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2014, Hilltown Township, PA. All rights reserved.

Hilltown Township
13 West Creamery Road, P.O. Box 260, Hilltown, PA 18927

Phone: 215-453-6000
Fax: 215-453-1024
Email: info@hilltown.org

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