SWAN Newsletter #66
March 5, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Ordinance #12-04 This ordinance is to approve the issuing of municipal bonds identified as General Obligation Bonds, Series 2012. The board as part of their budget deliberations during 2011 had authorized the issuing of new low interest bonds to provide for the refunding of some slightly higher interest rate debt and for financing certain selected new capital projects. These projects primarily relate to repairs to the township’s sewer systems.
The township’s financial advisor and bond council presented detailed information on the refunding of four existing bond issues and the issuing of approximately $3,500,000.00 of new bonds. These actions would slightly lower the township’s annual debt service. They stated that the township maintains its Moody AA2 rating which allows it to issue new bonds at favorable rates and to accomplish bond refunding and purchasing in a relatively short period of time. The board voted to approve the bond refunding and the issuing of new bonds.
March 7, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Koons Pool The ongoing problem at the pool with the backwash water issue that had caused DEP to issue a violation notice is being successfully resolved. The township sewer authority has located where the connection to the existing sewer line can be made and is in the process of installing the lateral from the pool to that line at almost no cost to the pool. This will allow the pool to open as planned.
Brightbill Park At last month’s meeting the board approved the baseball organization’s request to be allowed to construct a double wood frame batting cage replacing the single one supported by metal pipes that was dismantled. That work is underway and should be completed in time for the April 21st start of the season. They are exploring the possible use of Astroturf in the cage.
The baseball organization has asked the board for permission to build a shed at the field to provide needed storage space. The board continues to try to control the appearance of structures in the parks and is concerned that sheds after a few years can start to be in disrepair. It was agreed that they could erect a temporary shed but after two years it would need to be replaced by a permanent concrete block structure.
In connection with some sewer work being done along Carolyn Drive on the north side of the park the township plans to improve the stream bed running along the street and the western edge of the park by removing the exposed pipe and creating a proper stream bed. This will improve the water way and help to reduce erosion. Some of the area is along the rear of residential lots and the homeowners will be contacted to see if they would be willing to help improve the stream bed by planting trees, etc.
Dog Park Representatives from the group that built the dog park at Kohl Park gave the board an update on the success of the facility in terms of usage and maintenance. They said the group would like to consider building a similar facility in the northeastern section of the township and requested that the board keep that in mind as they do their park planning. They ideally need about two acres but it doesn’t have to be level land.
Recreation Planning The board discussed how best to proceed with updating their planning for future park development. The P&R Department has gotten state approval of a matching grant for $80,000.00 for a comprehensive Master Site Development Plan for the development of Wolfersberger Park and the redevelopment of Koons Park but without the matching dollars available from the township this cannot proceed. Dauphin County has approved a study for a multisport complex that would be funded in part from gaming revenue and the Wolfersberger Park property could be a possible location. The board felt it needed to be proactive with the township planning for the property and asked P&R Department Director Brian Luetchford to retrieve the preliminary plans he had prepared some time ago as a starting point.
They decided that the planning effort was too important to try to squeeze into a regular meeting so they scheduled a special meeting for that purpose. They noted that it will be important to review the applicable portions of the township’s Comprehensive Plan and its Recreation and Park Plan in preparation for that meeting which is scheduled for Saturday, March 31st.
March 13, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:00 PM – 8:05 PM)
Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Brian Hudson, Executive Director of the PHFA, gave a presentation regarding first time home buyers/workforce housing. This organization essentially provides subsidized housing, both rental and individually owned. This organization replaces the old “Section 8” housing authority. In Pennsylvania the PHFA has a 28 million dollar Federal funding stream available for 10 years. This organization has several projects in operation in the immediate area.
Representatives from Swatara Township and the Swatara Waste Water Treatment Plant reviewed the change orders for the upgrade of the Treatment Plant. In summary, the Supervisors felt Swatara Township did all they could do to contain the costs. Some of Lower Paxton Township’s portion of these costs should be reimbursed by FEMA.
Dr. Dumaresq gave a presentation on behalf of the Lower Paxton Happy Tails Association. In essence they are looking for property in the northern section of the Township for a second dog park. The Supervisors took this request under consideration.
The Supervisors were generally in favor of an amendment to Ordinance 95-07 which sets the time period to initiate construction upon issuance of a building permit. This amendment would increase the time from 60 to 180 days.
The Supervisors generally agreed to a proposal from HRG, Inc., to conduct a drainage basin study of storm sewers in the area of Winfield Street in the amount of $14,500.00.
Under “Otta Know”, Mr. Wolfe noted that refunding of the bonds at year end could result in a significant on time saving for the Township.
March 14, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Reorganization Meeting The board reelected Fredrick Lighty, Chairman; Ernest Gingrich, Vice-Chairman; and Dennis Guise Secretary for the calendar year.
Meadows Miniature Golf – Preliminary/Final Subdivison and Land Development Plan #12-01 This project is the development of a miniature golf course and baseball batting cage complex on the rear portion of the property at 4636 Jonestown Road behind the Meadows Frozen Custard shop and extending to the west to Care Street. The L shaped property totals 2.05 acres and is in the CG Commercial Zone. At their February meeting the Zoning Hearing Board approved two setback variances and imposed several conditions needed to address concerns related to the adjacent residences. At this meeting the commission voted to recommend approval of the plan.
2521 Patton Road – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #12-03 This application is to subdivide a 3.56 acre parcel into five residential lots for single family homes. The property is zoned R-1 Low Density Residential. There are potential storm water issues which the developer will address. The board voted to recommend approval of the plan with three waivers related to controlling storm water.
Sheetz, Inc. – Application for Conditional Use #12-01 The company will be building a store on a 1.39 acre lot on the southwest corner of Union Deposit Road and Briarsdale Road adjacent to the Union Square Mall. The property is zoned CG Commercial-General. The company wants to include gas pumps which are not allowed by right in that zone so they are requesting a Conditional Use to include them. The board felt that this was a reasonable request and voted to recommend approval of the application.
Sheetz, Inc. – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan & Land Development Plan #12-05 This application followed the Conditional Use request and is for the construction of a Sheetz store on the above noted lot. There are a number of unresolved matters including the approval of waivers for the driveways and the submission of a final lighting plan. It was agreed that the plan would be resubmitted for approval at the commission’s April meeting. The board voted to table the plan.
Ordinance #1202 – Dedication of Recreation Land & Fee Requirements This ordinance would revise the requirements for developers to dedicate land or at the township’s discretion pay a fee in lieu of land when building residential housing units. The revised requirements were developed by the Parks & Recreation Department director and the Township Manager and are in conformance with the Municipal Planning Code. The commissioners concurred with the recommended ordinance.
Ordinance #1203 – Amending Article V, Section 504 of the Zoning Ordinance & Zoning Map, and Deleting the Flood Plain District This ordinance includes the elimination of the Flood Plain zoning district and the flood plain map from the ordinance. New FEMA flood plain maps will be adopted later in the year. SWAN’s letter to the supervisors in favor of the ordinance was noted. Also SWAN’s comments recommending the need to get information out to the public about flood insurance through the newsletter and other means were strongly supported. The commissioners recommended approval of the ordinance.
Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance At the commission’s direction the township engineer has been developing some suggested changes to the ordinance for consideration and he presented several recommendations. One regarded increasing the required width of aisles and turning radii in shopping center parking lots. Another was to require the Greenway Committee’s review of proposed projects that are located in areas addressed in the township’s Greenway Plan. A third was to require certain development site plans to extend beyond the limits of the development itself to show at small scale adjacent streets, highways or more in order to evaluate potential traffic problems impacting the development. The commissioners agreed with the recommendations and directed the engineer to prepare a formal proposal for possible inclusion in an ordinance.
Shadebrook It was reported that the proposed TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay District) project south of the Vo Tech school that has been in the planning stage for some years has been abandoned. The first phase of construction was expected to begin in the near future. The reason given was that the Department of Environmental Protection is requiring extensive storm water detention facilities not anticipated and is limiting planned development around the feature lake at the center of the neighborhood.
March 15, 2012
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Village District Zoning Ordinance At their February meeting the committee said they would discuss at their March meeting the details of the ordinance regulations that are unique to the village and are of particular interest. The two members most closely involved with this matter were not in attendance at this meeting so the item was tabled until the April meeting.
Entrance Signs The committee had suggested that road signs be erected marking the entrances to Linglestown at each end of the village on Linglestown Road and on Mountain Road. It was discussed that volunteers could be involved and that this could be an Eagle Scout project. A scoutmaster from a local troop attended the meeting to discuss the requirements for such a project. The result was that it appeared unlikely that this project would fit the scout requirements. Another possibility mentioned for the scouts was the construction of concrete pads under the new heavy benches around the square which are now on grass.
Linglestown Merchants Association The committee member from the Merchants Association reported that they are planning a spring event on Saturday, May 5th in conjunction with the newly formed Linglestown Area Community Association (LACA) . They are working on quite a number of different activities for that day.
Linglestown Area Civic Association A representative from this organization gave a report on their many planned activities during the year including a street fair, beautification efforts and the Memorial Day Parade. He said the association now has five active committees. It was noted that the various organizations in the village need to be sure that they are coordinating their efforts with each other.