SWAN NEWSLETTER #80

February 26, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Annual Reorganization The authority board elected William Seeds as Chairman, Gary Crissman as Vice Chairman, William Hornung as Secretary, William Hawk as Assistant Secretary, David Blain as Treasurer, Steven Stine as Solicitor, and GHD (formerly CET) as sewer engineer for the year 2013.

Condemnation Resolutions Sewer Department director William Weaver reported that all but five of the property owners affected by the BC6A/B/C mini-basin project have settled easement agreements. The authority passed resolutions authorizing condemnation proceedings to settle with those five property owners.

Sewer Bills The authority approved the merchant application and agreement submitted by MuniciPAY for that company to take over the billing and collecting of some of the sewer bills in the township. Mr. Weaver also reported that the firm of Modern Recovery that had recently been engaged for the collection of delinquent sewer bills has been extremely successful to date.

Authority Records The authority approved Resolution #13-04 regarding the destruction of specific authority records as allowed by state law.

Status Report Mr. Weaver gave the authority a report on the second consent decree mini-basin construction projects. They have completed work on 44 of the homes in the lower section of the Forest Hills development that were on the list. At several locations they have experienced problems with the lining of existing sewer pipe and have had to resort to replacing the pipes.

Draft Agreement Mr. Weaver and the engineers reported that they have reviewed a draft of the Swatara Inter-Municipal Agreement between the several municipalities engaged in upgrading the jointly used treatment plant located in Swatara Township. The state is also involved in the agreement. He reported that the draft agreement appeared to be favorable to the township.

Grinder Pumps The Township had installed grinder pumps in the basement of seven properties where there had been sewer backups and the township has been servicing the pumps. They are in the process of reviewing whether or not it is now safe to remove any of them. Consideration may be given to allow the property owners to make that decision.

February 28, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Sheetz, Inc. – Docket #1331 This request for a variance involves exterior signs at the new store at 4001 Union Deposit Road in the CG Commercial General Zoning District. The property is most recently the location of Your Place Restaurant. The request is for a freestanding sign slightly larger than allowed, two canopy signs where three are permitted but the signs would be slightly larger than allowed, five wall signs where only four are permitted, and five instructional signs where only four are permitted. The request was considered reasonable and is consistent with similar variances recently approved for another Sheetz store in the township. Several conditions were agreed to before the board voted to approve the request.

Jason and Tammy Burkhart – Docket #1330 This variance request involves the rear yard setback requirement at their residence at 4098 McIntosh Road in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. A small portion of the planned addition to their house would extend 6 feet into the required 10 foot setback. The addition is not near any neighboring houses. The board voted to approve the variance request.

Union Deposit Properties – Docket #1332 This company proposes to demolish the existing restaurant building and construct a medical office building on the 2.6 acre lot at 4200 Union Deposit Road in the CG Commercial-General zoning district. The variance request is to allow one corner of the new building to encroach 2 feet into the required setback and for relief from the requirement to plant 26 new trees along the adjacent streets. The board voted to approve the request with the understanding that they would replace the 8 existing trees along Old Union Deposit Road with new trees located outside the required clear sight triangle.

Richard and Christine Moyer – Docket #1333 This variance request is for relief from the maximum area allowed for an accessory building at the location of their home at 509 Blue Bell Avenue in the R-2 Medium Density Residential District. The proposed free standing garage is 1280 square feet and the maximum area allowed is 1000 square feet. The residence is on a lot of slightly over an acre and the garage would not be near any neighboring home. The board voted to approve the request.

March 5, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Bond Refunding The Township’s financial advisors reported that the 9.7 million dollar bond sale refunding the 2006 bond issue and providing an additional 3 million dollars for committed sewer work and 1 million dollars for planned maintenance work at the Friendship Center had been finalized on this date. They reported that normally such refinancing is expected to save municipalities about 3% over the life of the issue but due to the extremely low current interest rates this refinancing will save the township approximately 15% over the next thirteen or so years. Final settlement for the bond sale is scheduled for April 4. Township Ordinance #13-01 officially authorizing this bond sale was approved by the board.

Public Works PA Act 127 of 2012 includes new requirements in construction contracts concerning the hiring of employees by companies bidding on public works projects in the township. The board approved Resolution #13-08 to include those requirements in the township’s bidding documents.

Municipal Records The board approved Resolution #13-09 authorizing the destruction of certain municipal records. These included records from the police department and the administration offices.

Autumn Oaks The final subdivision plan for Phase II of this large residential development located at the northern end of Patton Road was submitted for approval. This phase consists of 24 single family dwellings and 42 townhomes. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the plan at their February meeting. The board gave final approval to this plan.

March 6, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

There was not a quorum present at this meeting so no official action could be taken.

Park Planning Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford reviewed for the committee the latest work on the ongoing planning for the future development of Wolfersberger Park and the redo of Koons Park. The work is being done by the planning firm of Simone Collins. He presented updated concept plans for both parks as the long term planning is getting into the final phase. He indicated that walking paths and trails are being incorporated in the plans. He noted that the last public meeting where citizens can contribute input to the planning effort will be on April 4 at 6:00 PM at the Municipal Building.

Super Block Related to the current park planning effort, the committee suggested that in-house planning could be started to look at the future development of the larger areas around the two parks which they gave the title “super block.” They want to consider pedestrian access to the parks, traffic, adjacent new residential developments, etc. The planning would also incorporate related items of the existing Greenway Plan. Consideration will be given to a possible meeting with the major landowners in the area involved sometime this summer. The township’s Comprehensive Plan will undergo an update in a couple years and the committee felt that it would be well to include in the long range planning more than just the two park properties.

Trail Mapping Township engineers HRG submitted a proposal for mapping and related engineering services in conjunction with the planned trail along Nyes Run from Union Deposit Road south to Conway Road. Unfortunately money is not available to fund the work at this time even if a matching grant application would be successful. Consideration could be given for this project if the township wide coordinated parks fundraising effort is successful.

An Eagle Scout candidate attended the meeting to discuss a project he is planning to do to survey and map an area on the top of Blue Mountain along the old Darlington Trail. Mr. Luetchford will provide him with aerial photos and available information on property owners along the trail.

Fundraising The newly formed Community Engagement Committee was created to organize fundraising for parks and recreation related projects. They are working with the list to identify which projects are most needed. The Greenway Committee stated that they probably would put the development of the Nyes Run trail on the top of their list.

March 6, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

CASA At their February meeting the board heard the request from representatives of the Capital Area Soccer Association to make additional improvements to the two large soccer fields at Ranger Park that they had rebuilt and that included a complete sprinkler system. CASA had proposed finishing the improvements with the installation of a fence along the east side of the eastern field, shot blockers behind all four goals and bollards to keep vehicles off the fields. At this meeting the board voted to approve CASA’s request. The board still needs to clarify with CASA the issue regarding the coordination of the use of the fields.

Heroes Grove The board had approved the draft of the “Construction and Operation Policies and Procedures” agreement between the township and the Heroes Grove Committee and sent it to the supervisors for their consideration. It is on the agenda to be reviewed at the board’s workshop session on March 12th.

Fundraising The Community Engagement Committee was created recently to do coordinated fundraising for township parks and recreation projects. The board recognizes that there are many projects that can use additional funding and that they need to review the list and identify which ones should be helped first when any funds become available. This item will be on the agenda for their next meeting. Their first choice will probably be to begin preliminary site preparation work at the Wolfersberger Park site.

Action Plan The board reviewed the proposed 2013 Action Plan that was prepared by staff identifying an extensive list of tasks that they should work on during the year. The board reviewed the list and agreed that these would be addressed during the year.

Interviews Vacancies exist on both the Arts Council and the Greenway Committee boards. Initial interviews of interested individuals were held at this meeting.

Softball Field The replacement project for the backstop and dugouts at the field at Koons Park has been underway for some time. The association has now indicated that the work will be restarted and should be finished later this spring.

March 6, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Copperstone Estates – Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan #12-28 This project will consist of subdividing this 13 acre property on the northwest corner of Union Deposit Road and Copperstone Road into 6 building lots for single family homes. The property is zoned AR-Agricultural Residential and the homes will be serviced by private water and sewer. The applicant requested a waiver to the requirement to provide curbs and sidewalks since there are none in this rural area. He also requested relief from the requirement to post a bond for storm water improvements since each property will have its own collection pond.

The commissioners were unable to determine whether or not the township would be satisfactorily protected financially without the required bond and decided that the supervisors would need to rule on that matter. The commissioners voted to recommend approval of the plan as presented but without addressing the financial security matter.

Hornung’s Family Home Center – Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan #13-05 Action on this project was tabled pending resolution of some site issues.

Shadebrook This proposed project is a residential development with a small commercial center. It would be located south of the Dauphin County Vo-tech School and north of Union Deposit Road surrounding the intersection of Fairmont Drive and Cider Press Road. The property is in the TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development Overlay District) zoning district.

A few years ago a larger project based on the combined residential and commercial concept was proposed for this location but it was not started mainly because of problems with the state regarding wetlands and storm water control issues. Now a smaller version of the same development is being planned for the site which would consist of only 259 residential units and a small central commercial area. This presentation of the new plan to the commissioners was for information purposes only and no action was taken.

March 12, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Heroes Grove The Heroes Grove Committee is raising funds and working on the design of a proposed outdoor amphitheater that is planned to be built in Brightbill Park. The township Parks & Recreation Department and this committee prepared a suggested agreement between the township and the committee covering procedures and responsibilities for the construction and operation of the project.

The supervisors reviewed the document and raised a major concern regarding parking for events at the amphitheater. Some parking could be available at the adjacent shopping center but their management had previously only agreed to allow access through their lot during the construction of the amphitheater. If an agreement cannot be reached allowing people coming to the facility to use the center’s parking area near the amphitheater, additional parking space on the park site will probably need to be created. Representatives from the township and the committee will meet with the center’s management to address the parking situation.

Tax Collection Act 32 involves amendments to the bylaws of the Dauphin County Tax Collection Committee whereby county collection will be under one entity. All municipalities are required to review the amendments but a no-comment response is all that is required.

Friendship Center The supervisors continued to discuss the many operational and financial issues affecting the future of the center. Facilities such as this one typically operate with some amount of annual financial support from their municipality. The Friendship Center operated without the need for outside support for its first years but since then it has gotten help from the township in the amount of about $100,000.00 yearly. The center is old enough now that it needs additional funds yearly for ongoing maintenance of the building and the equipment. The supervisors have been discussing what changes could be made to increase revenue and how best to keep this important community facility operating. They decided against considering the possibility of closing the center.

They identified 6 options for keeping the facility open. 1) Keep it as is and contribute more township funds each year to make up the shortfall, 2) Sell it to a private firm that would run it, 3) Sell it to a non-profit organization such as the YMCA, 4) Contract with a management firm that would take over the operation, 5) Transfer the management of the center to a township municipal authority, and 6) Somehow revamp the center’s financial operation to make it viable, with possibly the help of an outside consultant. After a lengthy discussion covering existing facilities, programs, memberships, maintenance, etc., and comparisons with for profit fitness operations and other nonprofits, it was generally agreed that option 6 was the best approach with options 3 and 4 as possible fallbacks. Staff will begin to make contacts with consulting firms to determine what information they would need from the township to begin a professional study if the board decided to engage outside help.

Storm water Management New more stringent storm water management requirements from the state are now in place. The township is required to adopt these by making revisions to the ordinance. The changes relate to new buildings and additions and involve new requirements for impervious coverage, infiltration, stream quality, erosion control, etc. Storm water management plans will probably now be required even for new additions of impervious coverage as small as 1,000 square feet on a residential lot. Unfortunately the information from the state needed for the township to correctly modify their ordinance is not clear, the definitions are confusing, and there appears to be no way for the township to get clarification on this from the state. Township staff is working on language to change the ordinance, on new forms needed for proper processing and on a checklist for applicants and staff to ensure proper compliance.

March 19, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

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

New Business:

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 13-11 amending the Township’s Procurement Procedure to comply with PA Act 3 of 2008 and to include P-Card purchases.

The Supervisors unanimously approved a Letter of Agreement between the Township and the Heroes Grove Committee.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of Redrock Construction in the amount of $69,745.00 for repair and maintenance of Township bridges. There were five (5) bids for this project.

SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT:

The Supervisors unanimously approved the final subdivision plan for Kendale Oaks Phase IV (12-24). This consists of 42 single family building lots on 32 acres. This development is located along Nyes and Conway Roads in the southeastern part of the Township.

March 21, 2013

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Joanne Ripple – Docket #1334 This request is for a variance from the minimum side yard setback requirement in connection with the addition of an open carport at the house at 5024 Utah Avenue in the R-2 Medium Density Residential District. A 5 foot side yard setback is required. The roof of the carport would extend to within a foot of the property line. High mature bushes would remain as a visual screen along the property line. Similar conditions of garages and carports closer than 5 feet from the property lines exist in the neighborhood. The board voted to approve the variance request.

Timothy Manning – Docket #1335 This homeowner wishes to build a one car garage connected to his existing two car garage at their home at 6504 Birmingham Place in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. The proposed new garage would encroach into the required 10 foot side yard setback requirement and the applicant requested a variance to be allowed to build the garage as designed. The lots in this cul-de-sac are pie shaped so the side yard property line is not parallel to the side wall of the house. As a result only 5 feet of the length of the side wall of the proposed new garage would encroach a short distance into the 10 foot setback. The lots in this development are fairly large and the distance between this house and the adjacent house is generous. The board voted to approve this variance request.