PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING OF
AUGUST 13, 2019
Dr. Arthur Friedman
Barry Moore, BOS Liaison
Amanda Fuller, PE, Township Engineer
Craig Bryson, PLA, Township Planner
Mike Solomon, Director of Planning and Zoning
Mr. Gannon called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM and led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was also a moment of silence for those in our armed forces.
A motion (Ingle/Shapiro) was made to approve the minutes from the following meetings: March 12, 2019, April 9, 2019, and June 11, 2019.
Approved - 6-0 (Saddlemire absent)
Consideration of Preliminary/Final Plan of Land Development, 59 Almshouse Restaurant, SLD 19-1, 59 Almshouse Road
Rob Cunningham, PE was present on behalf of the applicant. Mr. Cunningham noted that the subject property is the existing 59 Almshouse Restaurant. Recently, the owner purchased the adjoining property at 67 Almshouse Road. He noted that two years ago, a variance was granted for the patio at the restaurant. There has been shared parking with the adjoining orthodontist, but that arrangement does not yield enough spaces hence the current application.
Mr. Cunningham noted that the subject land development will integrate the two parking lots and gain 23 additional spaces. He added that the current entrances will remain the same. An impervious surface variance was recently granted as well. Overall, he noted that the plan is straightforward with an objective to gain as many spaces as possible. He noted that there are currently several waivers that are being requested.
Mr. Bryson inquired if there is any objection to the current review letters. There was discussion about the current drive aisles in addition to the landscaping requirements of the ordinance. After some discussion, it was recommended that the applicant request a waiver from the street tree requirement in order to promote the visibility of the existing outdoor patio at the restaurant. There was also discussion about the relocation of the trash area at the site, which will be located to the fenced area behind the restaurant. Mr. Bryson requested that a note be added to the plan.
Mr. Gannon inquired about trash pickup at the 67 Almshouse Road location and it was clarified. Mr. Bryson added that the front sidewalk should be examined as part of this project to ensure that it is adequate.
Ms. Fuller noted that her review involves minor lighting comments, including spillover lighting. Mr. Cunningham noted that he will comply. There was also discussion about the Iron Works Creek and it was recommended by Ms. Fuller that DEP provide, in writing, whether a permit is required. Ms. Fuller added that she met with the applicant and the current plan set is significantly cleaned up from the initial submission.
Mr. Cunningham noted that the current plan is in accordance with the comprehensive plan in an effort to show joint and shared parking. Mr. Bryson added that there has been discussion about connecting with the shopping center that abuts the subject property. This matter will be explored.
Dr. Friedman addressed the circulation of the subject plan. Mr. Bryson added that there is concern with two full accesses to both subject properties. He added that one way circulation between the lots would be desirable with an internal loop so that traffic does not have to exit onto Almshouse Road to reenter the site.
At this point, the requested waivers were identified. Specifically, the waivers include the following: providing curbing along the entrance drives and within the parking areas; a waiver from providing curbing along the access drive and parking areas for the site; a waiver to permit off-street parking areas within 15 feet of the property lines; a waiver from providing a minimum of 10% of any parking lot facility being devoted to landscaping, inclusive of required trees; a partial waiver from showing facilities within 400 feet of the site; a partial waiver from providing a survey showing the grades of the stream, top of bank location relative to the site, and existing vegetation; and a waiver to permit a minimum driveway width of less than 25 feet for two-way traffic movement for a commercial use.
In response to Mr. McGuigan, Mr. Cunningham noted that there is currently an agreement with Dr. George for shared parking, but additional spaces are necessary.
Mr. Moore note that an "Entrance Only" at the existing 59 Almshouse access and "Exit Only" at the 67 Almshouse location is desirable. He noted that internal circulation within the parking lot is recommended as well. Mr. Gannon noted that a pedestrian connection should be considered between both properties.
At this point, there was considerable discussion regarding traffic circulation. It was noted that the entrance at the existing 59 Almshouse Restaurant is desirable for accessibility and visibility for the restaurant.
At this point, Mr. Bryson reiterated the waivers as identified in the August 12, 2019 correspondence from Holmes Cunningham. In addition, he added that a waiver should be requested relative to the street trees.
There being no comment from the public, the following motion was made:
I move that we recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the 59 Almshouse Land Development, SLD 19-1, subject to compliance with the Township Engineer’s review letter dated August 13, 2019, the Township Planner's review letter dated August 12, 2019, and the Township Traffic Engineer’s review letter dated August 13, 2019. It is also recommended that the requested waivers be granted, including the waiver for street trees, and the approval is subject to the following conditions:
- Requirement for a shared parking/cross easement agreement subject to the satisfaction of the Township Solicitor;
- Approval of an "Entrance Only" at the existing 59 Almshouse access and "Exit Only" at the 67 Almshouse location;
- Coordination with Schoolhouse Shopping Center for potential access to the signalized intersection if the shopping center owner is amendable;
- Relocation of the trash collection area;
- An internal circulation route between the two properties should be established.
Approved - 6-0
Motion - Friedman Second - Ingle
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Michael T. Solomon
Director of Planning and Zoning