SWAN NEWSLETTER #128
February 1, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING Reported by Bill Bostic
Commissioner Lori Staub was absent.
Blue Ridge Golf Club – Discussion of proposed changes to Residential-Retirement Development Overlay & Sketch Plan A representative of Triple Crown Corporation (TCC) presented a concept plan for a development that would target people age 55 and older. It would provide an “aging in place” option for township residents, he said. The project would include an assisted-living facility with a memory-support unit that would be operated by a third party, apartments, townhomes, single-family homes and commercial development along Linglestown Road. In total, 378 housing units are planned. Also, a 31-acre park would be located on the eastern side of the 132-acre tract with soccer fields and an area designated for passive recreation. The project is expected to require a traffic signal on Linglestown Road at Crums Mill Road due to the addition of an entrance to the development. Also, the property would need to be rezoned because it currently is in the Agricultural Residential zoning district.
The TCC representative briefly went over some of the proposed revisions to the Residential-Retirement Development Option the company would like to put in place. Planning Commission members asked TCC to consider internal traffic flow, visitor parking, the mix of allowed businesses and design requirements for senior housing units. This proposed zoning amendment will be discussed in detail with the Planning Commission most likely in March or April.
Comprehensive Plan The commissioners reviewed the two submissions received from the second request-for-proposal issued for consulting services to assist with revising the township’s comprehensive plan. They voted to recommend that the supervisors award a contract to Urban Research & Development Corporation (URDC) of Bethlehem at a base price of around $57,500. 00. (The township received a $50,000.00 grant from Dauphin County to help fund this planning project.) Charlie Schmehl of URDC previously worked on a revision of the township’s zoning ordinance.
February 7, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Township Authority Meeting – Resolution #2017-1 The township considered purchasing an eight acre tract of land on Union Deposit Road for their future use for a sanitary sewer facility. The purchase price is $300,000.00. The township engineers will do studies to insure that the tract is suitable for their project. A citizen asked if the neighbors will be notified about the purchase and the township responded that no public notice was required. The authority voted to approve the purchase.
Public Works Building Under public comment a citizen living adjacent to the west side of the new addition to the building on Locust Lane complained that the lights inside the building were on all day and all night and the promised panels to cover the windows had not yet been installed. The township responded that the panels will be installed the following week.
Board Appointments The board reported that they had approved appointments of individuals to the Community Engagement Community, the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board. They added that they always need township residents to serve on boards and committees and they encouraged interested individuals to volunteer to help.
Motorized Recreational Vehicles – Ordinance #17-02 At several earlier meetings the supervisors discussed how to develop an ordinance covering restrictions on the parking of large RV’s on residential streets. It proved to be a complicated issue. The board asked township manager George Wolfe to draft a suggested ordinance based on what they had discussed and at this meeting he presented his document. After a further discussion the supervisors voted three to one to approve the suggested ordinance with the understanding that they would be able to amend it in the future if needed.
Beaver Creek Bridge – Resolution #17-04 Township engineers HRG are designing a replacement two lane bridge over Beaver Creek to be built by Lower Paxton Township and West Hanover Township. PennDOT is covering 95% of the cost of the project with the two townships paying for the remainder. At this meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing the acquisition of four temporary rights-of-ways for the contractors to work on private property in Lower Paxton Township. The actual bridge construction work will not start until this fall or early next spring.
Municipal Records – Resolution #17-05 The state allows municipalities to destroy certain financial and administrative records after designated times. The township does that two or three times a year. The board approved this current action.
Vendor Fees – Resolution #17-06 Polly Murphy, chairperson of the township’s 250th anniversary committee, presented a proposed schedule of vendor fees for the celebration. The Parks and Recreation Board recommended a vendor fee of $150.00 and the supervisors voted to approve that. Mrs. Murphy told the board that her committee has planned festivities for the celebration scheduled for October 14th with a parade to George Park and fireworks at the end of the evening. They are working on getting sponsorships for the event and will prepare full information to be included in the township’s newsletter.
Comprehensive Plan The township’s comp plan involves a wide range of items. The present plan was to cover years 2004 to 2014 and is now scheduled for a needed updating. The board considered a proposal from the consulting services firm of Urban Research and Design to help the township’s Planning Commission update the plan. Their fee would be $57,500.00. The supervisors voted to approve the proposal.
Victoria Abbey This housing project, located on the east side of Colonial Road and north of Linglestown Road, is being completed by Classic Homes. They presented a settlement and release agreement with Developers Surety and Indemnity Company regarding the final improvements at the project. The final work was completing construction of the sidewalks. The board approved the agreement.
Memorial Eye Institute The owner requested a waiver of the requirement for the installation of a sidewalk in accordance with the approved land development plan for his building at 4100 Linglestown Road. Consideration of the request was deferred until the February 21st supervisors meeting.
Amber Fields – Resolution #16-33 The final subdivision plan for phases 8B and 8C of this project was submitted for approval. The project involves 22 new family units on 13 acres of land. The submission included the required improvement guarantees, development agreements, plan reaffirmations, etc. The township’s Planning Commission and their engineers HRG approved the plan. The supervisors voted to defer action on the plan until their next workshop meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 14th at 6:00 pm.
February 14, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION
Reported by Watson Fisher
Property Purchase The supervisors announced that the township had purchased property on the south side of Devonshire Heights Road at the intersection with Nyes Road. The land was bought so it would be available for the sewer authority as the possible future location for a needed storage facility. They recognized that continued growth in the township may make it difficult in the future to have land available in that area for such a facility.
Parks and Recreation Previously the supervisors had requested that the P&R board members develop suggested rules and regulations for the use of the township parks. At the supervisors’ August workshop session several P&R board members gave the supervisors a first report on their work toward developing detailed rules for signage and advertising in the parks.
At this meeting the P&R department director and two board members made a further presentation to the supervisors on their work to date. The detailed report included suggested revisions to the township ordinance and changes to the fee structure and to the permit charges. Revisions to the naming rights on fields and scoreboards and several other items will be addressed at a future meeting. Information about these regulations will be included in the next township newsletter.
Patton Road Joel McNaughton representing the McNaughton Company requested a time extension for the improvements to Patton Road that were part of the requirements for Phase 2 of their company’s Autumn Oaks housing project. About half of the houses planned in that phase are now built or under construction. Phase 3 consisting of houses on somewhat smaller lots along an extension of Continental Drive will start soon and Phases 4 and 5 that are planned for future construction will complete the project.
Previously their agreement with the township was for the project to include major improvements to Patton Road which comes into the development from the south. However the main entrance to the development is from Continental Drive, so Patton Road is relatively lightly used and Mr. McNaughton requested that the required improvements to that road be deferred for a year. The supervisors agreed that they would inspect that road while on their upcoming road tour so they could be prepared to act on his request.
SALDO The board considered several proposed modifications to the sewer authority construction specifications regarding materials to be used to backfill trenches excavated in streets for buried pipe lines. The sewer authority director stated that using the earth that was excavated for backfill, even if it is well compacted, can settle over time causing the finished road paving to settle. The better but more expensive procedure is to use stone backfill.
New regulations regarding this could be developed to cover only streets in new developments, they could cover only major streets or all streets, and they could require different levels of testing and supervision. The board directed HRG engineers to prepare suggested modifications or amendments to the present ordinances for them to consider in future meetings.
JOAO Bradley Construction The township has a contract with this company to do a relatively small amount of sanitary sewer replacement work in a street behind Devon Manor. Amendment No. 1 to their contract would cover some additional sewer work which they agreed to do at no additional cost to the township. The board approved the amendment.
Rill Construction This company’s roadway paving work for the BC 3A/B/C sanitary sewer mini-basin project is complete. Change Order #4 to their contract covering the cost of all the paving work in the amount of $1,246,104.00 was approved.
PA Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 Township solicitor Steven Stine reviewed a draft of a zoning ordinance related to the PA Medical Marijuana Act of 2016. If approved by the PA Department of Health that ordinance would allow the dispensing of marijuana by licensed medical professionals in the township’s Light Industrial and General Industrial zoning districts. The ordinance would require that a doctor would always be on site during working hours. He noted that this is a model ordinance, that it is very competitive, and that there are only thirteen counties in the state that are now licensed to do this. No action was required by the board on this issue at this time.
February 21, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Volunteer Service Public Safety Director David Spotts presented an Award of Merit to Robert Campbell for his sixty years of continuous service as a volunteer Fire Police Officer in the township. The board thanked him for his service.
Manager’s Report Township manager George Wolfe said that the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection has continued their draught watch for the county because of the continued lack of adequate rain. Water use restrictions will remain in place.
Zoning Hearing Board The supervisors approved the appointment of Ronald Reader as a new member of the board.
Buckle Up PA Project Mr. Spotts reviewed for the board a proposed agreement with North Central Highway Safety Network, Inc. for a grant to conduct an aggressive driving program. The township will be fully reimbursed for the cost of the program. The board voted to approve the project.
Friendship Center The Edwin L. Heim Company is under contract to do the electrical work needed for the re-lamping of the twenty-four lights in the very high ceiling over the two big swimming pools in the center’s large natatorium. Change Order No. 1 in the amount of $1,561,000.00 to do this work was approved by the supervisors.
Stormwater Improvement Project – Resolutions #17-07-01 through #17-07-06 These resolutions provide for the acquisition of temporary and permanent stormwater easements for work in Forest Hills. This project is expected to continue into 2018. The resolutions were approved.
Jonestown Road Bridge Project – Resolutions #17-08-01 and #17-08-02 These two resolutions are regarding the acquisition of temporary and permanent easements for the contractors to be able to work on the preliminary preparations for this bridge replacement project. PennDOT is providing almost all of the funding for this project with Lower Paxton and West Hanover townships paying the small remainder. The exact cost to the township for these easements has not yet been determined. The supervisors approved the resolutions.
Dump Truck The board considered a three year lease agreement between the township and Community First National Bank for a 2017 Ford 550 dump truck. Several older trucks will be sold. The cost of the new truck will be $87,380.00 which is in the township budget. The board voted to approve the transaction.
Memorial Eye Institute At their February 7th meeting the supervisors heard a request from Dr. Bennett Chotiner to waive the requirement to build a 450 foot long sidewalk along Linglestown Road in front of his building. The board deferred action on his request until this meeting. Four years ago when he was enlarging his building he received an extension of five years before he would be required to install the sidewalk. At this meeting he formally requested the waiver from that requirement. The board was not in favor of granting a waiver and since there was one year left in the extension he withdrew his waiver request.
Victoria Abbey – Resolution #17-09 At their last meeting the board approved a settlement agreement between the developer and the financing company for phase two of this housing project on north Colonial Road. At this meeting the supervisors were told that the project is now complete and the township has accepted the streets. The board voted to give the project their final approval.
February 22, 2017
SPECIAL SWAN MEETING ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BLUE RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB PROPERTY
The meeting was held in the Epiphany Lutheran Church at 1100 Colonial Road to hear a presentation regarding the proposed future plan for the development of the Blue Ridge Country Club property. The presentation was facilitated by Eric Epstein and an attorney from the firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick, Charles Coutney. The golf course will be open for play until November of this year after which a developer plans to begin the project.
The property is on the north side of Linglestown Road. It consists of approximately 132 acres and is zoned AR Agricultural Residential. That zoning district permits only single family homes, some age restricted residential development and golf courses. The developer has made presentations to the township supervisors and the planning commission regarding the project and they are if favor of creating an assisted living facility. They have been concerned that residents as they age and need assisted living would have to move out of the township to find it. The term used is “aging in place.”
The project would cover what is now the entire golf course property. The current plan shows an assisted living and memory care facility and some small commercial buildings along Linglestown Road. Behind that, on the west side, would be an apartment complex of four buildings around a courtyard, each building having garages on the ground floor and four floors of apartments above. There would be a total of 150 luxury apartments. To the east and behind that, would be 107 town homes and 103 single family homes. Along the east side of the property there would be a 31 acre open area which would be dedicated to the township for them to develop a municipal park.
The plan shows two roadways into the development from Linglestown Road. The main one will be across Linglestown Road from Crums Mill Road and it will require a traffic signal at the intersection which the developer would have to pay for. The other one will be across Linglestown Road from Carol Drive. There will be some sort of walkway along the north side of Linglestown Road the length of the development. The present large club house would remain and could be a community center and possibly the location for a restaurant or other small commercial facilities such as a grocery store. The town homes and single family homes would be on mostly small lots requiring minimum upkeep. There would be a variety of plans with most homes designed for first floor living with wider doorways for wheel chairs and larger bathrooms and kitchens.
The project will have to go through a long approval process with the township regarding ordinance revisions, etc., and with other governmental agencies including PennDOT. After they do a traffic study there could be a decision to widen Linglestown Road east from the Progress Road intersection where it goes from five to three lanes. The actual work on the total development would start with constructing the streets and the storm water management projects followed by the building of the assisted living facility and any commercial facility and then the different residential facilities.
February 23, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Vanguard Realty Group – Docket #1392 The president of this company, Eric Kessler, began in September his request to get approval to build three houses for his family on a large farm property he owns at the east end of Linglestown on the north side of Linglestown Road. The property is identified as 6220 Linglestown Road and is in the R-1 Residential – Low Density Zoning District. The ordinance only allows one home to be built on a property in that district so the request was denied.
In January he submitted a proposal to build houses on two lots on the adjacent Blackberry Alley and one house on the farm property. After neighbors expressed concerns about building more houses on the narrow unfinished alley, the board agreed that that was not a workable plan. They suggested that the best solution was probably to reconsider subdividing the farm property. The final plan then was to create three small lots along the existing narrow road coming in from Linglestown Road. If he received approval for that plan, Mr. Kessler agreed to improve the road. The board approved this final plan.
Hotcakes Harrisburg Venture LLC – Docket #1394 This company from Atlanta, Georgia owns and operates the IHOP restaurant in a building at 4000 Union Deposit Road. The building is located adjacent to I-83 to the east and between Hassler Road and Union Deposit Road. The western part of the building houses an AT&T store and a Little Caesars restaurant.
The ordinance limits the number of wall signs to one per tenant and the IHOP restaurant currently has a wall sign facing Union Deposit Road. The restaurant owners indicated that a second simple wall sign facing the interstate highway would greatly help their business. The board voted to approve their request.