SWAN NEWSLETTER #132
May 23, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Board Members Comments Sewer Department manager William Weaver was asked about the status of the department’s current work on sewer lines in the township. He reported that the department is far ahead of schedule on repairing existing lines and installing lines in new developments. He also reported on the staff’s continuing work and the consultant’s work on collecting delinquent sewer bills.
CRW Mr. Weaver presented this firm’s 4th quarter bill to the township authority for sewer work in the amount of $619,000.00. The board voted to pay the bill.
Commerce Park The township has been working to finalize an offer to purchase two lots in this development as a location for a future sewer storage tank. The property consists of 9.7 acres and a realtor has appraised the value of the properties. The owners have submitted a counter offer and the negotiations will continue.
Michels Corporation This company, in doing sewer work along the Nyes Road interceptor, caused damage to existing sewer lines. After negotiations, the township agreed to a settlement with the company paying the authority $35,000.00 to repair the lines. The authority voted to approve the settlement.
Standard Construction and Material Specifications – Resolution #17-03 Mr. Weaver presented a draft resolution on these specifications regarding requirements for contractors working on township sewers. They include changes made since the 2011 standard specifications were adopted. They also include the engineers’ requirements regarding sewer work on private property. The board approved that the department require the contractors’ work to conform to these requirements. The resolution also covers the engineers’ recommendations on refilling sewer line excavations for repairs and new lines. The board approved the resolution.
Private Sewer Easements – Resolutions #17-04-01 and #17-04-02 Sewer repair work is being done in the PC-2A project and two property owners have not been willing yet to sign the resolution allowing the township to work on their properties. Township solicitor Steven Stine directed the board that they can sign the resolutions allowing the township to do the work and the township will pay for it. The authority members voted to approve the resolutions.
Modern Recovery The authority has retained Harry Albert, Jr. from the firm of Modern Recovery Solutions to work on the collections of delinquent sewer bills. His firm will greatly help the authority in sending property owners bills, following up with notifying those owners who have unpaid bills, and initiating action against owners with extensive unpaid bills. Beyond that, they can help initiate sheriff’s sales of the properties as the last resort. No further action by the authority on this matter was required.
Swatara Township Township engineers and staff met with Swatara’s engineers to review two letters that needed to be sent to the state. They were the Swatara Joint Use Interceptor Capacity Letter and the Wet Weather Storage Facility Letter. Swatara’s engineers approved the letter and, at this meeting, the Lower Paxton Township Authority approved sending the letter to the state. The authority then discussed with its engineers what they will probably need to do about an agreement with Swatara Township sometime around the year 2028 about building a storage tank. It seemed obvious, that by that time, DEP will require the two townships to build a tank.
Sewer Construction Projects Sewer Department manager William Weaver gave the authority an update on Mini-Basin Construction Projects BC-4A/B/C, PC-4/E and PC-4A. The first one will be completed before the end of May, the second one should be done in June, and the third one is scheduled to be completed by October.
May 25, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Dennis White – Docket #1396 The applicant, Mr. White, lives at 6 Garden Circle in the township. He was requesting approval of a special exception to the township ordinance that would allow him to continue to use his free standing garage, which is adjacent to his house, to work on and do legal inspections for motorcycles.
He stated that he has a full time job and that last year he decided to start a second business working on and inspecting motorcycles. He had the garage built and in last December he received a permit to build the garage. He then went to the VoTech school and received his motorcycle inspection license and he then purchased a non-electric tire charger. He said that PennDOT requires motorcycle inspection stations to have certain tools, which he then purchased. The problem before the board was that he has a sign on the garage that says “White’s Cycle Shop LLC” and his phone number and “By Appointment Only.” The size of the sign does not comply with the township sign ordinance.
Under public comment a number of neighbors stated that they object to having a business on their street, which is in an area zoned residential. Mr. White responded that there already is a day care business on the street. The neighbors also objected to the noise from the motorcycles. Mr. White responded that without the business, he would still be free to drive his motorcycle through the neighborhood streets.
Several board members said that the sign was not as big a problem as having this kind of business in a residential neighborhood. After a lengthy discussion, and in an effort to resolve the matter, the board chairman made a motion to approve Mr. White’s request. There was no second to the motion so with the failure for a second his request was denied.
June 6, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Public Comment A citizen who lives adjacent to the Public Works building on Locust Lane asked about the status of the building addition project and the county District Justice office project. The board responded that a report on the Public Works building will be discussed later during the meeting and the work by the county on the District Justice office is well underway.
Board Members Comments Supervisor Bill Hawk reported on his meeting in Washington with township leaders to discuss ongoing problems and concerns with a large group of officials. He also mentioned that the township contributed to South Central Emergency Services, purchasing a new ambulance and reported on the status of the road and sewer project underway in the area around Mountain Road and Jonestown Road.
Vendor Fees – Resolution #17-19 This resolution was presented to amend Resolution #17-06 which had established vendor fees for the Lower Paxton Township 250th Anniversary event. It was agreed that the fees should be lower and the resolution was approved. The event is scheduled for October 14 of this year.
2017 Roadway Paving Project The board reviewed Change Order #1 to the contract with Glen O. Hawbaker, Inc. The change order involves repaving work on Springcreek Road and work on the driveway at the Public Works Building. The total change order in the amount of $130,658.00 was approved.
Lecce Electric, Inc. The company submitted two final change orders to their contract for work at the Public Safety Building. Change Order #3 in the amount of $5,399.00 was for additional wiring and Change Order #4 in the amount of $43,144.00 was for additional insulation and exterior work. The costs were for additional work needed over and above that called for in the original contract. The change orders were approved.
ECI Construction Work by this company on the Public Safety Building project has been completed. They submitted two change orders. Change Order #7 was in the amount of $12,019.00 for extra work and Change Order #8 was a credit of $20,000.00 for a unit price item that was not needed. The board approved the change orders.
2016 Annual Report Township Manager George Wolfe reviewed the report’s Executive Summary with the board. The sixteen page extensive report is a requirement under the township ordinance. He covered the highlights and said that the report is available on the township’s web site.
Lot Numbers – Resolution #17-20 This resolution amends Resolution #17-17 which established lot numbers for lots in the Kendale Oaks housing development. Lot numbers 3A, 3B and 3C would change to lot numbers 3A, 4A and 5A. The supervisors voted to approve the change.
Meadow View Village Representatives from the homeowners’ association of this housing development said they wished to file a claim against the developer’s financial security. The development is located on the south side of Union Deposit Road just west of the intersection with Rutherford Road. The representatives reported that final work on the development has not been completed including some street paving and the construction of a retaining wall on the steep slope on the west side of the development.
Township Solicitor Steven Stine reviewed the situation where the developer, Gem Craft, has been out of business now for some time. He agreed with the homeowners that they should probably file a claim against the developer’s security deposit. He also said that they could start action against the developer by beginning a complaint through the township’s Zoning Hearing Board.
June 7, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Parks & Recreation Ordinances and Fees The board continued their discussion on changes to the township ordinance regulating use of the parks. As a result of work at many previous meetings, a presentation to the Board of Supervisors, and input from Township Manager George Wolfe, this board, led by P&R Department Manager Terry Bauknight, voted to recommend the revised ordinance they had prepared. Mr. Wolfe recommended that the document be presented to the supervisors at their July workshop meeting.
Porta John Ms. Bauknight reminded the board that the baseball teams that will be using the field at Koons Park will be paying to have a porta john rented from the Walters Company to be located adjacent to the field, at no expense to the township.
Park Updates She reported to the board on a number of items. They are working on getting a final estimate on replacing the flooring at Possibility Place in George Park. A local Rotary Club will be working on the shuffle board at Koons Park and the construction of a large pavilion there is finished.
Greenway Committee Committee Chairman Jim Seidler reported that work on refurbishing the trails at Kohl Park by committee members and volunteers is well under way.
Freindship Center Work on the indoor climbing wall is underway. No one as yet has come forward to offer to make a significant donation to get the naming rights to the wall, but several banks have shown interest. The summer day camp is underway. The center’s staff will be getting new software.
Terry Bauknight Ms. Bauknight reported on some of the plans for the township’s upcoming 250th year celebration. Local sports organizations will be involved and a number of special events are planned. She said they will need to make plans to deal with the parking problem at George Park.
June 7, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING Reported by Bill Bostic
Preliminary/Final Land Development plan for CR Automotive Detailing The plan is for the property in the Linglestown square currently being operated as Murphy’s Automotive. The new owners want to construct a small addition to the garage and remove the canopy. New landscaping would be put in place along the western property line. The applicant must seek a special exemption from the Zoning Hearing Board to redevelop the one-half acre tract – a hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2017. Planning Commission members recommended that the Zoning Hearing Board approve the special exemption.
Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for Devonshire Church Community Center
The Planning Commission previously had recommended approval for the planned community center next to the church located at the intersection of Devonshire and Devonshire Heights Roads. Subsequently, a zoning amendment was approved by the supervisors that required the church to seek a special exemption from the Zoning Hearing Board, and the church recently received the special exemption. Commission members once again recommended approval of this plan.
Revised Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Wynchase The plan was tabled.
Proposed Ordinance 17-07 The ordinance would allow a private heliport in the Business Campus zoning district (currently heliports are only allowed in the Commercial-General zoning district.) The applicant for the zoning amendment is located in the Commerce Park business campus located off of Crums Mill Road. The commission recommended approval of the ordinance text amendment.
Comprehensive Plan Update The next workshop meeting with the consultant, Charlie Schmehl of Urban Research & Development Corporation (URDC) of Bethlehem, is scheduled for June 27 at 6 pm at the municipal center.
June 12, 2017
BLUE RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB TOWN HALL MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
An open meeting was held on this date in Linglestown, organized and chaired by Bill Bostic. Mr.Bostic is a free lance journalist who has been reporting on the township’s Planning Commission meetings for SWAN. He has been paying close attention to the planning by Triple Crown Corporation for their proposed housing development on the Blue Ridge Country Club property on the north side of Linglestown Road.
This meeting was well attended by interested citizens. Mr. Bostic opened the meeting by reviewing the extensive planning Triple Crown has done and the numerous presentations they have made at township board meetings to present their proposed plans. The most recent one was in May when they presented, at the supervisors meeting, a request for an ordinance change for the property from the current AR Agricultural Residential to IN Institutional. At that meeting, the supervisors voted 3 to 2 not to approve the change. Mr. Bostic reminded the audience that at the next evening’s supervisors’ Workshop Session the board will again be discussing possible changes to the Zoning Ordinance.
At this town hall meeting Mark DiSanto, CEO of Triple Crown which owns the club property, presented the latest plan. Explaining issues and answering questions from the audience were representatives from the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and from HRG, the township’s engineers’ office. Traffic along Linglestown Road was a major concern. Mr. DiSanto said his company would pay for the traffic signals at the intersection with Crums Mill Road. It was noted that a comprehensive traffic study will be done for Route 39 starting at the river and going east to well beyond the township line.
Mr. DiSanto answered questions from the audience. He said he planned to keep the trees along Linglestown Road as much as possible. He showed on the plan where the grocery store and the pharmacy would be and said that the present club house would be a meeting and recreation facility. He said the ground floors of the four multistory apartment buildings would have parking for the tenants and the buildings would have recreation and entertainment areas on the lower floors. He restated that the plan is centered around the residents being able to age in place and that there would be facilities for assisted living when residents would need that kind of help. He added that he will have to coordinate aspects of the project with PennDOT. He said he hoped to have zoning approval this summer and be able to start the project in 2019.
June 13, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION Reported by Watson Fisher
Devonshire Road The discussion on the installation of sidewalks on this road from the Devon Manor Swim Club was postponed until the July supervisors meeting.
Blue Ridge Country Club Triple Crown Corporation, owners of the Blue Ridge Country Club property located on the north side of Linglestown Road, has made a number of presentations to the supervisors with plans to develop the land into a mixed use development.
Board chairman William Hornung reviewed for the audience the extensive procedure the developer is going through to work with the township to develop a plan that can be approved. He stated that the developer has the right to develop the land, but the township has the responsibility within legal limits, to control what will be developed. Part of that would be to approve the developer’s request to change the zoning designation of the land, which is now zoned AR Agricultural Residential, to one of the four exclusively residential zoning districts. He said the developer would need to get a highway occupancy permit and he would need to get approval from the township’s Planning Commission before the supervisors could act on the plan.
The developer reviewed details of the plan which include single family homes, town homes, apartment buildings, a grocery store, a pharmacy, an assisted living facility, a meeting and recreation building and a thirty acre park. The development would have sidewalks on both sides of all streets and a sidewalk or paved walkway the length of the property along Linglestown Road. The supervisors will be discussing the project again in upcoming meetings.
Parks and Recreation The P & R Board has been working with the supervisors to finalize the wording of a revised ordinance regarding the sponsorship of facilities and events at the township’s parks and at the Friendship Center. The supervisors discussed this and agreed to some changes to the ordinance. Township manager George Wolfe said he will revise the wording and have the final document ready for action by the supervisors at their June 20th meeting.
Friendship Center The supervisors discussed the proposed ordinance change regarding the sale of naming rights for several parts of the Friendship Center. They agreed to move ahead with allowing some naming rights and directed that the item be put on the agenda for the next supervisors’ business meeting when they can formally act on it.
Personal Policy Manual The board reviewed a proposed policy for benefits for non-uniformed employees. They discussed the draft document, considered some changes, and made a resolution to put the matter on the agenda for their next workshop session.
Stormwater Program Mr. Wolfe presented a proposal for the supervisors to consider undertaking a feasibility study regarding options and methods for funding future capital and operating storm water programs costs. He suggested that they consider retaining a consultant who has worked for some neighboring municipalities. They agreed and asked him to retain that consultant. The Department of Environmental Protection is requiring that the township undertake the storm water work and the township is preparing a response to DEP.
Act 537 Plan Mr. Wolfe reviewed comments DEP made regarding amendments that were proposed to this plan. The state wants an overall plan for the extensive work that they are requiring be done including the pumping of onsite septic systems in the Blue Mountain Parkway area and extensions to the existing sanitary sewer system. The state will provide a portion of the cost of the projects. The state is requiring a response from the township by July 15th.
June 20, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Awards Ceremony David Spotts, the township’s Chief of Police and Public Safety Director, presided over the Lower Paxton Township Police Department awards ceremony. The awards are given to the many police officers who have given exemplary service to the township, up to and including this past year.
Officer Kevin Rowland was recognized as Officer of the Year. Others who were recognized included Gerry Flice for dealing with drug dealers, Moses Vargas for rescuing individuals from a burning building, Jeffery Riddle for evacuating citizens from a house fire, and a number of others. He also commended the officers for scoring high on their physical fitness exams. The supervisors in turn commended the chief and all the officers for their dedication to the citizens of the township and stated that they felt that Lower Paxton Township had the best police department in the county.
Public Comment Tim Murphy asked the supervisors how the individuals, including prisoners, who have to appear at the District Justice Office adjacent to his neighborhood are handled. He was assured that the neighborhood was safe. Another citizen, who lives in the neighborhood of Wyoming Avenue and Nevada Avenue, complained again about the children on these streets who run unsupervised and do damage in the neighborhood. The supervisors said that the police cannot patrol any neighborhood constantly and that parents need to be responsible for controlling their children. The supervisors said that the township does not have the legal right to get involved with the control of people’s children, unless it is a criminal matter, and they suggested that the resident contact the county’s department that is charged with dealing with such problems.
Naming Rights – Resolution #17-20 This resolution was in regard to authorizing the adoption of a policy on advertising, sponsorship’s and naming rights for township properties and facilities. They discussed that at their last workshop meeting and they then agreed on a policy and at this meeting they voted to approve the policy.
Friendship Center At their workshop session on June 13th the supervisors discussed a proposed ordinance regarding the sale of naming rights for several parts of the Friendship Center. At that meeting, they agreed to act on the item at their next business meeting, and at this meeting they voted to approve it. They also authorized the issuance of a request for proposals from entities interested in naming rights opportunities at the center. They agreed that they would not consider making any change to the name of the center itself.
At this meeting the board also presented an award to Sandra Prahl for her service to the center. She was part of the group of citizens who were responsible for originally having the center built and was one of the first members of the Friendship Center’s operating board.
Recreational Vehicles – Ordinance #17-09 The issue of parking these large vehicles on residential streets was discussed at a number of previous meetings. An initial ordinance was passed covering limitations on the size of the vehicles and how long they could remain parked on the residential streets, with the understanding that the ordinance could be amended in the future. At this meeting, the supervisors made one change to the ordinance, conducted a public hearing for anyone to be heard on the matter, and then voted to approve the ordinance.
Noxious Weeds – Ordinance #17-10 At the May 9th workshop meeting the board heard a request from a citizen to consider an amendment to the property maintenance code making it illegal to plant or grow bamboo plants in the township. She said that the plants spread quickly underground into neighbors’ yards and are almost impossible to kill. At this meeting a public hearing was held, with no response from the public, after which the supervisors voted to approve the ordinance.
Oak Park Circle The board considered an agreement of sale from Chris Chianos to the township for property from Oak Park Circle south to the Pinnacle Health hospital property. The supervisors voted to approve the acquiring of the property.
Friendship Center Edwin L. Heim Company electrical contractors are finishing work as part of the extensive remodeling project at the center. The center staff recommended what remodeling work should be done, but the supervisors had the final say. The project was not bid and the contractor was paid by submitting change orders for the work. The contractor submitted change orders numbered 2 through 10 in the total amount of $12,351.00. The supervisors approved the change orders.
100 Koch Lane – Resolution #17-07-07 The board was asked to authorize acquisition of temporary and permanent storm water easements from property identified as 100 Koch Lane. The street is located several blocks south of Old Jonestown Road and east of Nyes Road. Work on the property is part of the township’s storm water project in the area. The supervisors voted to approve the resolution.
Heatherfield Community Association – Resolution #17-07-08 This resolution would authorize the association to acquire temporary and permanent storm water easements from property owned by the association. The housing development is located along Nyes Road, south of Old Jonestown Road. The resolution would allow the association to resolve the storm water problems they have been dealing with. The board approved the resolution.
Colonial Road – Resolution #17-21 Township manager George Wolfe presented to the board an Automated Red Light Enforcement grant application to PennDOT for a signalization traffic project on Colonial Road. The project is estimated to cost approximately $70,000.00 and the township’s share would be about 20% of that. The supervisors voted to approve submitting the application.
Devonshire Church Community Center – Resolution #17-14 At previous meetings of the Zoning Hearing Board, civil engineer Tim Mellott presented plans for a proposed new recreation building on the church property on Devonshire Road. The 3.27 acre property is in the R-1 Low Density Residential zoning district. The plan will involve removing two homes on the properties that the church bought. The Zoning Hearing Board approved the final plan and agreed that the best way to present the plan to the supervisors was to request them to approve a Special Exception. At this meeting Mr. Mellott presented the plan to the supervisors. Mr. Wolfe stated that township engineers HRG agreed that the plan met the requirements, including dealing with the potential storm water problems at the site. The supervisors voted to approve the plan.
June 29, 2017
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Tanya Ritter – Docket #SE 17-04 Mrs. Ritter lives at 5875 Avis Lane. She made an application for a special exception from the township ordinance to be allowed to conduct a pet grooming business from her home which is in the R-1 Low Density Residential Zoning District. Avis Lane is a narrow one lane private road, not a township street. The residents who live on that road do the work to maintain it. The road is one block south of Linglestown Road and runs west from Mountain Road.
The applicant said she would work three or four week days from 9 to 5 and that she would direct clients to drive to her house south from Linglestown Road, instead of the longer direction through the neighborhood from Mountain Road. She would do the work from her shed and would have a one foot square sign on the shed. The board, by a narrow margin, voted to approve the special exception.
Andrew and Aleesha Lauger – Docket #SE 17-05 and 1397 This couple live in the house at 905 North Blue Ribbon Avenue. They said that they have been repairing cars in the evenings for their friends and neighbors for almost five years. They requested the board’s approval of a special exception to be allowed to start a major home occupation repairing cars in their garage. The business would operate week days 9 to 5.
The property is zoned R-2 Medium Density Residential. Several neighbors spoke in support of the Laugers’ plans and several were concerned with noise in this quiet residential neighborhood. Board members felt that such a business was not appropriate here and they voted to deny the request.
Baptist Fellowship Church – Docket #SE 17-06 The five acre property for this proposed church building is at 830 Page Road, on the west side of the road. The property is in the southern most part of the township and just north of the Bishop McDevitt school property, which is on the north side of Spring Creek Road. A special exception would be required to allow a church to be built in an R-1 Low Density Residential Zoning District.
The planned one story building would have a 300 seat sanctuary and a large fellowship hall. There would be a road to the building from Page Road and there would be an 85 car parking lot in front of the church. A well will be dug to supply water for the building. The only suggestion from the board was to somehow provide a second way for fire trucks to get to the building from Page Road in case of a fire emergency. That could be done with a narrow road from Page Road to the south end of the parking lot. The board voted to approve the special exception.
Murphy Automotive – Docket # SE 17-07 This existing automotive repair company building is located at 5967 Linglestown Road on the roundabout square in Linglestown in the Village Zoning District. The new owner of the property is CJS 2017, LLC. They plan to remove the fuel island and the large canopy in front of the building, since they will be mainly detailing vehicles and not selling fuel or doing repair work. The garage presently has four bays and they plan to add a fifth one. They would build two small additions to the building, one on the front for a waiting area for customers, and one on the rear for the new work bay. There were no public objections to the plan. The board generally felt that the changes improved the external appearance of the building and voted to approve the special exception.