SWAN Newsletter #57

April 5, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(7:30 PM – 7:50 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Gary Crissman

The Authority approved an easement (2011-04) for section PCIC by a vote of 4 – 0.

The Authority approved the Sheesley/Kessler sewer easement settlement by a vote of
4 – 0.

The authority approved an agreement with Donco Construction with respect to the Oakhurst interceptor. This is for joint use with Susquehanna Township. The Authority will pay $89,000.00 for the easement and $55,000.00 for the pipe used in this project. The vote was 3 – 0 with David Blain abstaining.

April 5, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:50 PM – 9:25 PM)

Attended by Eric Epstein, Tara Meade, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson.
Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Gary Crissman

UNDER OLD BUSINESS: The Supervisors approved the acceptance of Dauphin County Local Share Grant Agreements by a vote of 4 – 0 for the following:

11-08 for improvements to Page and Spring Creek Roads in the amount of $250,000.00. This brings the grant total to $500,000.00 for the project in connection with the construction of the new Bishop McDevitt High School.

11-09 in the amount of $149,000.00 for improvements to the building at Linglestown Fire Company No. l.

11-10 in the amount of $46,000.00 for improvements at the Colonial Park Fire Company.

The Supervisors approved the sale of the 1982 Pierce Fire Engine to the Newtown Fire Company for $3,000.00.

The Supervisors heard comments only for Ordinance 11-01, a new Township Noise Ordinance. Approximately 18 people attended to oppose the ordinance. Tara Meade presented positive points favoring the ordinance. Eric Epstein also spoke of the time and effort involved in developing this ordinance, and offered SWAN’s assistance in further discussions of this ordinance. He committed to hold a meeting on behalf of SWAN to discuss the issue, with the possibility for a compromise solution.

The concerns from folks who are willing to dialogue include: prima facia violations (125-16) and the ability of two neighbors to “gang up” on another neighbor; proximity or bias based on the size of a lot; natural v. amplified noise and mechanical noise or the option of keeping the text
of current Ordinance place (55.)6 which provides an exemption for; unamplified noise; and severity of the maximum penalties. The Supervisors handled this portion of the meeting very well.

April 12, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:00 PM – 8:45 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Ken Parmer and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Public Comment, Ken Parmer had some suggestions concerning the proposed noise ordinance including having a decibel meter at the next meeting. He also stated that he had difficulties getting to the old ordinance in the Township’s web site.

Triple Crown presented the minor changes in the proposed text amendment; going from 245 to 200 acres, and listing the zoning as RC. The Supervisors response was neither positive nor negative.

After discussing a request to remove the curb and sidewalk from the conditionally approved Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for the Colonial Park Animal Clinic on the south side of Route 22, it appeared that the Supervisors agreed that installing the curb and sidewalk would create more of a problem than the existing condition.

There was further discussion regarding the proposed sanitary sewer improvements along Catherine Street in the PC-2C mini basin. There were two residents present. They reluctantly agreed to sewer replacement rather than re-lining in the area through the wetland area. The Authority will try to have the contractor do the work during the late summer/fall dry season to minimize damage.

In response to a proposed memorandum of understanding between the Township and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the Supervisors requested a presentation from a representative of TCRPC in the near future.

Mr. Wolfe reviewed the 2010 fourth quarter Key Indicator Report. There was no change from the 2010 year end report presented at a prior meeting and reported previously.

Mr. Wolfe introduced the PA Infrastructure Bank as a potential source of funding for Public Works capital projects. This is a PENNDOT entity which provides low interest loans. The Supervisors expressed interest in this offering.

Mr. Wolf reviewed the proposed Township Floodplain Ordinance which complies with the National Flood Insurance Program and the PA Flood Plain Management Act. This ordinance will be sent to FEMA for approval.

Under “Otta Know”, Mr. Stine reviewed a PA court case which involved a public official’s negotiations with a developer for “off-site improvements.” A question was asked concerning some of the Township’s current developments. Mr. Stine gave assurance that this court ruling did not apply to the Townships developments.

April 13, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Roadway Re-Paving List Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford has asked the township for their priority list of the locations where roadway repair and repaving will be done. The committee has been identifying places where relatively short sections of new sidewalks could connect locations where there are gaps in what could be continuous walking opportunities or where the creation of bikeways could be possible. If any of these happen to be where road repair work is planned there might be an opportunity to combine the sidewalk or bikeway work with the road repair work.

Pleasant Meadows Development This development is on the north side of Locust Lane and west of Fairmont Drive. The committee has been working to acquire a trail easement along the streambed and sewer line which are on the north boundary of the property and extend west from Fairmont Drive. The developer has agreed to provide a 50 foot wide trail easement and the legal documents will be drawn up. There also may be some private property owners that need to be contacted regarding this potential trail.

Nyes Run Greenway The proposed trail along Nyes Run will of necessity encounter wetlands. Mr. Luetchford contacted DEP for guidance and was told that they would not oppose the development of the trail but they do require creation of new wetlands to replace any that are lost in the construction of the trail. Depending on the plan it might be necessary for the trail to cross the stream in which case a bridge would be needed. It was recognized that an environmental engineer would be needed to plan the trail and it was suggested that township might be able to engage their engineer HRG to do that.

Montrail Development A portion of a proposed trail through this property located to the east of the Central Dauphin East Middle School already exists including a foot bridge constructed by committee member Jim Seidler. The property is owned by S&A home builders and they are trying to sell it but without success to date. Mr. Seidler will continue to make contacts with S&A regarding the status of this property.

Sidewalk Tour The committee will take a tour on May 7th of the locations in the township that they have identified where the short sections of new sidewalks could connect adjacent developments or where important destinations such as shopping centers, schools and parks are not accessible to walkers because of the lack of sidewalks. The tour will help the committee members prioritize the list of locations.

April 13, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Reported by Watson Fisher.

Koons Park Softball Field At last month’s meeting Sam Hartley presented a proposal to have the Softball Association of Linglestown make improvements to the softball field at Koons Park. At the board’s May 4th meeting, which will be held at Koons Park, Mr. Hartley will have a drawing and will show the board members what improvements the association has in mind. The problem of sharing field #4 with the baseball association will also be discussed.

2010 Annual Report The Annual Report from the Parks & Recreation Department was presented to the board by director Brian Luetchford. The report includes information about all the department’s programs, facilities and personnel.

Heroes Grove Mr. Luetchford reported that there is a new person in charge of the project to build an outdoor amphitheater in Brightbill Park and that the group is still looking for volunteer help from an engineer who would supervise construction. Also the group is exploring ways to reduce the expected cost of the project.

Board Goals and Objectives The board has been working on identifying and prioritizing their proposed future efforts. This will be discussed in detail at the next meeting.

Greenway Committee This group reported to the board on their progress in planning possible trails in the Pleasant Meadows development, in the Montrail development and along Nyes Run. They also discussed their ongoing efforts to identify road locations that are currently scheduled for repair and repaving work where the addition of connecting sections of sidewalks the committee had identified might be constructed at the same time.

Arts Council There is currently a vacancy on the Arts Council which will be advertised to the township and people on the list of those who have previously indicated an interest in serving will be contacted. When a list of those interested in this position is completed the P&R Board will the conduct interviews.

April 13, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended by many active SWAN members. Reported by Watson Fisher

Autumn Oaks, Phase 1, Revised Silver Maple Drive Lots – Final Subdivision Plan #11-02 This request is to reconfigure the lot layout in Phase 1 of the development which is in the RC zoning district. The McNaughton Company’s approved plan for Phase 1 shows 23 townhouse lots which they wish to replace with 12 single family home lots due to the perceived change in the local housing market. There are no other changes involved. The commissioners voted to recommend approval of the revised plan.

Text Amendment: Density Bonus Construction Triple Crown Corporation represented by company president, John DiSanto, presented a text amendment to the township zoning ordinance that would allow a density increase for a project of at least 200 acres in the R-C Residential Cluster zone. The project would need to include a percentage of age restricted units and 45% of the property would need to be maintained as open space. The commission tabled the request at last month’s meeting due primarily to local citizens’ expressed concerns that the additional number of housing units would create increased traffic problems in the area.

Mr. DiSanto stated that the previous traffic study by engineers HRG was based on a larger number of units than was now being proposed and that township solicitor Steven Stine had reviewed the text amendment. The attorney and her community planning consultant representing two local citizens who were opposed to the text amendment stated that the text amendment fell under the definition of “special legislation” and “spot zoning” and that it was not consistent with good community planning practices. Eric Epstein and Shelly Kunkel from SWAN spoke in favor of the text amendment and several neighbors spoke in opposition to it.

The commissioners indicated that they were in support of the content of the amendment but felt that it should be dealt with somewhat differently. They voted to recommend approval of the request for a density increase but by a Special Exception Process or a Conditional Use Process. They also made the approval dependent on the updating of the existing traffic study and on the township solicitor’s determination that the ordinance is legally acceptable.

Business Improvement District The township staff is working to finalize the list of the properties to be assessed in the Colonial Corridor Improvement District Preliminary Plan before it is ready for distribution. The process will then move forward with the scheduling of the required public hearings.

Alternative Energy Subcommittee This subcommittee was formed to consider possible township legislation that might be required regarding construction of primarily wind and solar energy systems. At the present time these are not pressing issues and the subcommittee may consider having informal meetings if they are deemed to be necessary.

April 19, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY BOARD MEETING
(7:30 PM – 7:40 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hawk

The Authority approved Resolution 11-05 authorizing the submission of a cost sharing request with PENNDOT to raise the manhole covers on Nyes Road.
April 19, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:40 PM – 9:00 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hawk

Under Public Comment: Two residents of the Paxtonia area complained about serious storm water flooding during the storm on Saturday, April 16, 2011. This apparently has been an ongoing problem. Mr. Wolfe will contact Public Works to see what can be done about resolving this problem.

Under Old Business: The Supervisors approved the agreement between the Lower Paxton Township Police Department and the Township.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the Settlement Agreement in the condemnation of a storm water easement through the property owned by Kevin Longchamp.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 11-06 authorizing the submission of a Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank loan to PENNDOT requesting a $750,000.00 loan.

Under New Business: The Supervisors unanimously approved the bid of Clean Net USA for cleaning services for municipal buildings in the amount of $46,055.00.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the Stipulation and Joint Motion for agreed upon order in the real estate tax assessment appeal by K-Mart for tax parcel 35-043-041. The County and School District have previously agreed to this motion.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the Stipulation and Joint Motion for agreed upon order in the real estate tax assessment appeal by Tyco for tax parcel 35-034-041. The County and School District have previously agreed to this Motion.

Under Subdivision and Land Development: The Supervisors approved the request to amend the final subdivision and land development plan for the Colonial Park Animal Clinic by a vote of 3 – 1. This waives the requirement for sidewalk and curb on Route 22 and Byron Street.
The preliminary/final land development plan for the Lower Paxton Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Inc. (South Central EMS located next to the Paxtonia Fire Department) was tabled. There were 22 comments, some of which had not been resolved with the Township Codes office as of this date.

The final subdivision plan for the Central PA Food Bank was approved unanimously. This was simply a consolidation of plots for possible future expansion.

April 28, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Christina L. Benner – Docket #1298 This application was a request for a variance from the side yard setback requirements in connection with the construction of an accessary structure in the rear yard of the residential property at 6026 Linglestown Road. The house is in Linglestown in the Village District. The structure would replace a small existing shed and would house a vehicle and provide work and storage space. The lot is 17 feet wide at the location where the new structure would be built and there is an existing sidewalk along the eastern side of the lot running from Blackberry Lane at the rear of the property to the back of the house.

The proposal is to build a 12 foot wide new garage/shed between the existing sidewalk and the existing wood fence on the western property line. The result would be that the new structure would be 1 foot from the western property line and 4 feet from the eastern property line instead of 5 feet from both property lines as required by the ordinance. The board voted to approve the request as presented with the understanding that the structure would be no more than 32 feet long.

April 28, 2011
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Construction work on the Linglestown Road replacement project has resumed and in spite of the bad weather steady progress is being made. Representatives from Arora and Associates the design engineer and Leon Wintermyer the contractor were present to provide updates on the project. During the first week in May, concrete work will begin on the two roundabouts and paving work will start again. The contractor is working to speed up the change to two way traffic which should occur to the east of the square during the second week in May to the west by the end of May. All the trees have been planted along Linglestown Road and along the parkway. Grass areas will be repaired where needed and planting completed. Some property owners may want something other than grass between the sidewalk and the street but during the contract period the contractor is obligated by the contract to plant grass everywhere as shown on the plan.

Sewer work on Mountain Road beside the Eagle Hotel was complicated by the need to remove an old buried gasoline storage tank. One was also found near Lio’s Pizza Shop and environmental investigations were made at both locations. It is expected that others may also exist in the area from old gas stations.

A representative from the Merchants’ Association stated that the merchants were generally pleased that the highway signs were again in place stating that the businesses were open. He mentioned that they were developing a web site and that they had begun planning a grand opening ceremony when the construction project is completed. It was suggested that this committee be included in the planning, and township manager, George Wolfe,commented that since a flagpole was part of the project, a flag raising could be part of the ceremony.

Finally, a concern was raised that because of the grading at the entrance to the fire hall, one of the big trucks has been scrapping the roadway. This will be addressed. Also, it was noted that any traffic problems on Pennsylvania Avenue noted in the recent the anonymous letter have nothing to do with the construction project.

May 3, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:35 PM – 9:15 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Ceremony was held for the 19 graduates of the 10th class of the Citizens Police Academy. This is a 10 week course for private citizens to be exposed to all aspects of police work in the Township and the County. Diplomas were given to all graduates by Officer Stoner of the Lower Paxton Township Police.

Patrick Doyle was presented his Eagle Scout Award pin by Gary Crissman.

Under Public Comment: Four (4) citizens made the Supervisors aware of serious flooding problems during the last two heavy rain storms. Public Works will determine what, if anything can be done to resolve these problems.

Under Old Business: Ordinance 11-05, amending Ordinance 09-13, was passed unanimously. This provides for the change of purposes for the Series D General Obligation Bonds. This was made necessary by the inability of Lower Paxton Township and South Hanover Township to agree on the construction of the Beaver Creek Wet Weather Treatment Plant originally included in the 2nd revision of the waste treatment plan approved by DEP. Additional work will be included in the Beaver Creek basin and mini basin schedules will be revised.

Under New Business: Chairman Hawk proclaimed May 4th, 2011 as Arbor Day with Proclamation 11-01.

Resolution 11-07 approving the destruction of specific records was approved by a vote of 5 – 0.

Under Subdivision and Land Development: The Final Subdivision Plan for Autumn Oaks, Phase 1, was revised to substitute 12 single family residences for 23 town houses on Silver Maple Drive. The Supervisors unanimously approved this change.

May 4, 2011 LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Ken Beard Mr. Beard who was a long time board member died a week ago and was very fondly remembered for his many years of continuous service. A replacement for him will be sought.

Heros Grove A full report on the status of this project will be presented to the board at their June meeting by the new project director Sheri Collins.

Arts Council Stan Smith, long time council chairman, and new chairman Dave Russell gave the board an update on their current projects in the township and a long list of suggested projects for the future. Last year, among other things, they had an art exhibit at the Chocolate Café, they decorated trash cans in many of the township parks and the Variety Band held a number of concerts. This summer the band has already scheduled ten concerts. The council is working to schedule monthly art and craft exhibits, poetry readings, theater productions, and other events for local artists to exhibit their work. They are contacting local high schools to see if segments of their musical performances could be combined into a concert. They are working to mobilize more local artists to become involved in their efforts. The board commended them for their continuing efforts to promote the arts in the township.

Softball Field Sam Hartley representing the Linglestown Softball Association presented drawings showing the improvements he proposes to make at Field #1 at Koons Park. He wants to remove the existing dugout roofs, the small wood storage building, and the backstop and fencing and construct new concrete block dugouts and a storage building and a new backstop and fencing. He will do all the work himself, except for the masonry which he will contract out. He will prepare the necessary drawings for the building inspector’s approval after which Mr. Luetchford will review the project with the township manager. All costs associated with the project will come from the association. The board feels this is a very worthwhile improvement project in the park.

Mr. Hartley noted that Field #4 which is used by several groups for baseball and softball is in bad condition and should be repaired when possible.

Greenway Committee Board member Jim Seidler, who is also on the Greenway Committee, gave the board an update on the continuing efforts regarding the proposed Nyes Run Greenway. A meeting will be held with representatives from the state concerning permits and a possible grant.

Paxtonia Baseball Several improvement projects are being considered involving the dugouts, the pitchers’ mound and the outfield fence. The field is on school district property and the township is not involved in the projects

May 4, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Nyes Run Greenway The committee has been working on the planning for a possible trail along Nyes Run on the west side of Nyes Road from Union Deposit Road south to the Swatara Township line. At the last meeting the committee recognized that for the planning process to continue, help was needed from an environmental engineer. They contacted the township’s engineer, HRG, and they prepared a presentation for this committee meeting outlining the steps that would be required in the planning process and showing a preliminary plan of the trail. The plan indicates a trail about 1.4 miles long, with access points at each end and several stream crossings. About one half of the trail length would be on property owned by the township.

The process will involve mapping of the trail, meetings with the private property owners, delineation of the wetlands, land surveying, filing of grant applications, easements, right-of-way acquisitions, and permitting. The permit required would likely be a joint permit with the Departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources. (DEP and DCNR)

Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford recently received a call from the state indicating that their two departments were aware of this project and were interested in possibly using it as a pilot project to help develop the joint permitting procedure. A meeting was set up with them for May 17 to begin the process and to explore the possibility that a matching funds grant might be available. HRG indicated that from their experience with state grants this initial move by the state agencies to be involved would seem to be very positive for the possible future success of a grant for the project.

Sidewalk Tour The committee has identified locations in the township where the addition of short sections of sidewalks could connect two areas that already have sidewalks to create a continuous walkway. The township has a list of locations where they will do paving work this year and it was hoped that a few of these might overlap so consideration could be given to adding sidewalks when the paving was being done. Unfortunately a review of the township’s paving list indicates that that is not the case.