SWAN Newsletter #4

August 1, 2006

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended by Ted Robertson, Watson Fisher & Eric Epstein. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Of prime importance to SWAN was Ordinance 06-04, the tract of land near the southeast corner of Colonial Road and Earl Drive. The request to change zoning from R-0 to R-1 was moot since the new zoning ordinance has zoned the parcel R-1. The only remaining item of business on this was the approval of the residential cluster overlay. Micki Molinari and Barbara Greenberg are proposing 33 units. Since their property consists of 19.4 acres, they would have been entitled to 39 or 40 units under R-1.

Several residents from the immediate Earl Drive area objected to the development for the following reasons:
1.Storm water runoff (an existing problem).
2.Increased traffic particularly at the intersection of Colonial Road & Earl Drive.
3.The residential cluster overlay.

The supervisors did a good job of explaining the cluster overlay, in that it did not mean more units could be added to the number of units allowed under R-1. In this case, the developers are actually proposing fewer units than would have been allowed on R-1. The Supervisors also explained the benefit of open spaces in this case in excess of 40% of the total property area. The Supervisors also explained that storm water runoff in excess of existing quantities of storm water would not be permitted. They also explained the on going traffic studies and proposed road improvements for Colonial Road.

Eric Epstein spoke in favor of the development, as a personal observation. He could not speak for SWAN, since SWAN has not yet met with the developers as a group. That meeting should take place later this month.

August 8, 2006

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP MEETING

(7:30 PM – 10:40 PM)

Attended & reported by Ted Robertson.

There were many issues discussed in this meeting, none of which directly concerned SWAN’s goals and objectives.
1.A 65’ WIFI tower is to be installed at the closed landfill site. Action will be taken at the Aug. 15 Board of Supervisors Meeting.
2.Craig Eshenhour asked why his property zoning was changed from commercial to agricultural in the new comprehensive plan. His property is located at 6771 Linglestown Road. Five other small business property owners, including Sasha’s, also wanted to know why. The Supervisors stated that they didn’t want Route 39 looking like Route 22. Bill Hornung suggested that a more appropriate zoning would be neighborhood commercial. The Supervisors also agreed to provide those concerned with the new zoning classifications. Action is scheduled to be taken on this issue at the Sept 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.
3.Discussion of the Colonial Park Fire Department’s loan restructuring was put off until next month.
4.Bob Wagner, President of the LP Soccer Association, proposed a plan for a centralized soccer complex on the Wolfersberger tract (Wenrich Street property, approximately 90 acres). The plan would call for 8 to 10 soccer fields to be constructed over a period of years, which would occupy 30-40 acres. This would eventually free up fields at Ranger, Cole, Lingle and George Parks. After much discussion, it was agreed to provide the Supervisors with a development plan before any action is taken. The Supervisors agreed with the general idea.
5.A proposal for the skateboard facility at George Park came in at $500,000, well over the $210,00 budgeted. It was suggested that the project be referred back to Parks & Recreation for additional input and/or alternative suggestions. It was also suggested that the other planned facilities for George Park be completed, in order to have an accurate picture of capital expenditures.
6.It was noted by George Wolfe that the LP building codes, pertaining to fire protection are more restrictive than the 1996 BOCA State codes and the Federal Uniform Construction Codes (UCC). A proposal will be forwarded to the Public Safety Commission to standardize these codes.
7.The 2006 LP Twp. Budget is on track. The general fund is showing a negative balance because of funs being transferred to the Township’s capital fund.
8.FEMA has required that public safety officers and local leadership officials take and pass a 4 hour training course aimed at better communications between all levels of government in emergencies. This is being done.

August 9, 2006

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
1.Astoria Knoll – Preliminary/final subdivision plan for 23+ acre parcel at the northwest corner of the intersection of Lyters Lane and Page Road, zoned R-1 into 39 single family home lots. After discussion of staff and county comments, the applicant requested that the submission be tabled to allow for the plans to be revised.
2.Russell Klick – Preliminary/final subdivision plan for 18+ acres parcel at the southwest corner of Crums Mill Road & Commerce Drive, in the Commerce Park Business Center, zoned Office. The submission involves no improvements, just the subdivision of the parcel into four lots. The subdivision including several waivers was approved.
3.Colonial Village – Preliminary/final land development plan for the 28+ acres tract zoned R-R on the west side of Colonial Road south of I-81 and behind the Epiphany Lutheran Church. Previously, the traffic study had not been presented, but the results were now available. The entire discussion involved traffic related concerns, primarily the exiting of traffic from the site onto Colonial Road. The traffic study indicated that to have adequate sight distances, exiting the site onto Colonial Road with traffic traveling at 50 mph, the embankment and landscaping to the north would need to be removed. The intent is to have two exit lanes, one right and one left, to reduce the waiting time, but it is possible PENNDOT may recommend a single lane. The traffic engineer thought neither option would result in significant queuing at the exit. The Commissioners felt that there was a significant possible danger at the exit especially with the older drivers living in the 55+ community.

The traffic study based the number of trips on the future construction of a 6600 sq. ft. medical office on lot #1. This building is not being built at this time and there was concern that a different use for this lot could increase trips. The note on the plan states that if a larger building is contemplated in the future, an updated traffic study would be done. The Commission felt this was not adequate and that a deed restriction for that lot was needed. The applicant’s engineer felt the owner probably would not agree to that and a more strongly worded note could be agreed on. The township’s engineer felt this could be done.

The applicant stated that the previously mentioned emergency traffic easement through the adjacent church parking lot had been removed from the plan. No reason was given and there was no discussion on this item.

The Commission again raised the question on how the minimum 80%, age 55+, age requirements would be enforced since the traffic count is based on fewer trips from this age group. There was no resolution to this. (This, of course, will be a concern with the Stray Winds Farm Development.)

Staff comments were reviewed and resolved. The county representative said there were no new comments and all of the county comments had been resolved.

The Commission unanimously approved the preliminary/final land development plan with the understanding that the note regarding the use of Lot #1, be revised to both party’s satisfaction and with continued concern for any added traffic in the future from a larger building being proposed for Lot #1.

All the other agenda items were tabled.

August 15, 2006

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

There were no controversial issues covered at this meeting, which lasted only 45 minutes.

1.) Resolution 06-30; Implementing the National Incident Management System was covered in detail at the last workshop session. This was approved and will be implemented by September 30, 2006.

2.) Resolution 06-31; Authorizing schoffstall.net to install a WiFi tower and antenna at the closed municipal landfill, was also approved. This was discussed in detail at the last workshop session.

3.) Resolution 06-20; it appears that the area at the northwest corner of Allentown Blvd. and Mountain Rd is finally going to be developed into a two-story retail and restaurant building, which has been an eyesore for some time.