SWAN NEWSLETTER #96
May 22, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Carol Kershner – Docket #SE 14-03 This request for a Special Exception is for the applicant to be permitted to operate a beauty salon from her home at 1204 Springfield Street located in the R-1 Low Density Zoning District. The house is on a good sized lot and is the last dwelling at the end of a dead end street. An existing workshop space in the rear section of the house would be finished to become a one chair salon and adequate on-site parking adjacent to the rear door exists. Twelve neighbors supported her request. Her request for a Special Exception was approved.
Five Below, Inc. – Docket #1356 This chain store is located in the Colonial Commons Shopping Center and it plans to relocate to a space twice the size on the opposite side of the mall. Associated with the enlarged store is a request to install a sign on the building larger than that allowed by code, two small illuminated signs inside the store windows and a small projecting sign above the sidewalk. The board felt that they could possibly approve a store sign that was somewhat larger than allowed by code but not as large as that proposed. They also felt that the projecting sign was not needed. The applicant agreed to resubmit the request and would present some options showing somewhat smaller signs. The board agreed to continue the hearing at the next meeting.
Classic Communities – Docket #1357 The applicant was seeking a variance from front and side yard setback requirements and minimum lot width requirements for Lot 103 on Laura Lane in the Quail Hollow development in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. A previous identical request was made and approved in February 2012 by this board but construction was not started and the approval expired. The identical request by the new homeowner was approved.
Shogun Asian Fusion Hibachi & Sushi –Docket #1352 At their February 27, 2014 meeting the board approved a request for the applicant to install a second outdoor sign identifying his restaurant in the Paxton Towne Centre shopping center. At this meeting he asked to be able to make a minor revision to the wording on the sign and the board approved his request.
June 3, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Bond Sale The sale of the township authority’s 2014 General Obligation Bond issue for upcoming sewer projects was completed a few weeks ago. The bond agent reported that they picked the right time to sell and the sale went well. However, as expected, they weren’t able to increase the township’s rating from its current good level. Fortunately for the issue interest rates remain low.
Sewer Projects – Resolution #14-06 This action makes a minor change to a previous resolution authorizing the reimbursement to property owners who paid for private sewer replacement work in selected mini-basins. Only a fairly small number of properties are affected by this action. The authority voted to approve the resolution.
Appeal At their May 19th meeting at the township solicitor’s recommendation the supervisors agreed to appeal a county court decision requiring them to disclose the names of people with certain delinquent accounts. Since the authority is also involved they were formally advised of this decision.
Second Consent Decree The sewer department gave the authority a status report on mini-basin sewer replacement projects. Of the six on-going sanitary sewer projects two are being finished after which the other four will be started.
Engineer’s Report Authority engineer GHD’s representative gave a detailed report on the current and planned sewer projects. A major one will involve the large Shadebrook residential and commercial project which is expected to begin soon. He also discussed long range planning that could involve creating storage facilities in the township and/or possibly in Susquehanna Township. He mentioned that possible good locations in the township would be on the Stray Winds Farm property or on the adjacent Kunkel property. It was noted that any such long range planning would need to be part of a master plan coordinated with Susquehanna Township and the City of Harrisburg.
June 3, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Friendship Center Bids were received for the re-plastering of the lap pool at the center. Of the two bids the low bid came from Poolside Plastering, Inc. in the amount of $53,780.00. The township estimated the cost at $45,000.00 but had not included the fact that the labor cost still needed to be based on the prevailing wage requirement for non-highway government projects. The total cost is included in the 2013 General Obligation Bonds issue and the board voted to approve the project.
Grant The township police department is receiving a Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $10,942.00 for “ongoing activities not otherwise funded.” The supervisors approved an Interlocal Agreement to accept the grant.
Township Events On Saturday July 5th at 11:15 a.m. the groundbreaking ceremony for the Heroes Grove amphitheatre will be held at Brightbill Park. At dusk the same day the Linglestown Fire Company 4th of July fireworks event will be held at Koons Park. On Tuesday August 5th the annual Night Out for Public Safety will be held at George Park.
June 4, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
Harrisburg Pigeon Club Frank Zulli, president of the club, met with the committee to discuss the possible use of the club’s property and building on Union Deposit Road at Nyes Road as a trail head for a planned future trail along Nyes Run. The Arts Council also expressed interest in possibly using the building for some of their activities. The parking area could be used for hikers walking the future trail. It is an old schoolhouse in poor repair and is only used by the club several times a year when their birds are flying. Arrangements will be made for township representatives to tour the property sometime in the future.
Committee Projects The committee had generated a list of projects they want to undertake in 2014 and prioritized them. The Parks & Recreation Board at their last meeting reviewed the listing and approved it.
Mateer Field The caretaker of the field who met with the committee previously showed them the few documents he could find regarding the ownership of the property. The owner of record is an association which appears to no longer exist. The township is interested in possibly acquiring the fields for the park system. The committee proposed that if approved by the supervisors the township solicitor could investigate what can be done to make this change in ownership legally possible.
Oak Park Trail Further efforts are being made toward the future development of a trail from Oak Park Circle to the Osteopathic Hospital. The trail would cross Locust Lane and the question was raised regarding what is involved in providing a legally safe trail crossing of the busy road. Committee members will investigate this potential problem with the authorities.
Shadebrook Construction will begin soon on this large residential and commercial project south of the VoTech school and the committee reviewed the approved site plan. The township decided to receive a fee in-lieu payment instead of accepting dedicated recreation space. The plan does provide sizable open space and includes some walkways.
Township Greenways Recently the township made the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study personnel aware of the extent of the greenways in the township and they plan to also advise PennDOT. It is important that those agencies have current information for their long term highway construction planning.
Trail Walks Committee members have held a series of scheduled trail walks at some of township parks and they will be working to continue with these and advertize them better. They would be planning them mostly for spring and fall weekends.
June 4, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING Reported by Watson Fisher
PHR Baseball Association Jeff Wrabel from the baseball association reported on the projects they have underway and the new ones that are being considered at the fields in Brightbill Park. They are finishing the work on their new storage building. Planned projects at the baseball field are a flag pole, possibly lighted, at the center field fence, and a permanent dugout on the visitors’ side. They wish to beautify the area between the tennis courts and the Pony Field behind the Dick’s store with trees, a garden and a seating area. The association would supply the trees and do the work on all the projects. All of these new projects would need to be formally approved by the Park Board. The board indicated their preliminary approval.
Heroes Grove Designer Christine Hunter presented final detailed construction plans for the project and answered questions. The amphitheater will be located on the western edge of Brightbill Park. The estimated project cost is $760,000 and the amphitheater is designed to seat 250 people. There will be one general contractor and the project is scheduled to go out for bids this September. The only statement made about additional available parking spaces was that the existing inline hockey areas would become a new parking area.
General fundraising will be ongoing with significant funds already committed from county and state agencies. The township engineers will review the storm water planning. The township will be responsible for funneling the funds during construction. The facility will become part of the township park system and the township will be responsible for its electricity and its ongoing maintenance. Fundraising will continue after the construction is complete to help pay for long term maintenance. Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held on July 5, 2014.
Hodges Heights Park This small park is located at the southern end of the township. It consists of a tennis court, a basketball court, some play equipment and a small pavilion. All are in some degree of disrepair partly because the park was built on fill which has now settled. It was suggested that the supervisors tour the park and consider what should be done with it in the future.
and they will be working to continue with these and advertize them better. They would be planning them mostly for spring and fall weekends.
June 4, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING Reported by Bill Bostic
Preliminary/Final Subdivision for James & Mary Jane Spangler and Bethany Church of the Nazarene, #13-15 The applicants want to break off two 10-acre lots from the church property located in the Linglestown area on Parkway West next to Stauffers of Kissel Hill. The lots were sized to keep the two 10-acre parcels eligible for Clean and Green. No new construction is proposed.
The plan was tabled because the applicant wasn’t prepared to discuss waivers and needs to revise the plan map.
Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan for Parkway Farms, Inc., #14-06 The plan was tabled.
Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for the Townes at Galway, #14-08 This is a 17-unit townhouse community proposed for a 2.5 acre lot located south of Union Deposit Road along Newside Road at Summerwood Drive (map: http://goo.gl/maps/5fDD7). Similar housing units are located adjacent to the proposed community.
The engineer representing the plan reviewed waiver requests with the commissioners and discussed a tentative plan for connecting the development to the township’s sanitary sewage system.
The plan was tabled until the July meeting so the applicant could address township staff comments.
Retirement announced The commission announced that township staff member Dianne Moran will retire in the near future.
June 10, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION
Reported by Watson Fisher
Heroes Grove The designer of the outdoor amphitheater to be built in Brightbill Park gave the supervisors the same presentation on the project that she had given to the Parks & Recreation Board the previous week. Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled for July 5. The project is scheduled to go out for bid in September. The supervisors asked her the important question regarding their use of some adjacent parking spaces at the mall during scheduled events. This has been an ongoing concern during the planning process and she said no agreement has been signed yet but one is expected soon.
Hodges Heights Park Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford gave the supervisors an update on the condition of this small park along Conway Road. Because the tennis and basketball courts were built in 1970 on a landfill area, they have deteriorated, soil has washed away around them, paved areas have cracked, and the small pavilion and some of the light standards have shifted. These conditions create a safety concern. Mr. Luetchford recommended that the paved areas be removed and the other safety concerns be addressed. The board directed him to develop a plan and estimated costs for this to be done.
Friendship Center Survey Mr. Luetchford reported on the results of the very extensive survey the Parks & Recreation Department conducted recently to gauge the programs and facilities the department is offering at the Friendship Center. There were about 700 responses to the survey questions which asked their opinions on the facilities provided, programs offered, membership options and costs, classes, hours of operation, etc. The results generally supported the current programs but with many valuable comments and suggestions. The Operating Board has already recommended making some changes based on the survey results.
Meadowview Village Two representatives from this development’s homeowners’ association presented a request to amend the land development plan. The development is located at the intersection of Union Deposit Road and Newside Road. Over the years there have been two developers and a number of builders involved with the unfinished development and the paving for off-street parking has been unfinished since 2008. A planned retaining wall has not been built and the project engineer and the township’s engineer disagree on whether or not the wall should be installed. The representatives feel the wall is unnecessary. No action will be taken until the engineers again review the situation.
Parking Ordinance The supervisors have considered a new ordinance prohibiting parking of vehicles on unpaved surfaces. They suggested an amendment prohibiting vehicle parking in front yards in R-1, R-2 and R-3 residential zoning districts. They also considered several other conditions and clarifications. Violations would be a civil matter, not a criminal one, and would be initiated on a complaint basis. Final wording will be developed for future action.
Stormwater Management Permit Possible changes to the permitting process were discussed. Current regulations require a property owner to obtain a permit if he is increasing the impervious area on his property by 50 square feet which could include a pad for a small shed or playhouse. It was suggested that the figure be raised to at least 80 square feet. Constructing larger impervious areas such as pools, patios or building additions now by state law require a complete stormwater management plan. Any change to the current requirements for small projects that are the township’s responsibilities will be resolved at a future meeting.
Linglestown Clock Lower Paxton Township Manager George Wolfe reported on the status of the fundraising effort for a memorial clock to be erected by the Rotary Club in the town square as part of next year’s large anniversary celebration. The township will maintain the clock using funds raised by local organizations. Memorial pavers will be sold. Township engineers HRG will donate their services.
Executive Summary Mr. Wolfe presented his very detailed annual report for the 2013 year. This included financial information and outlined township government activities including paid staff in the many departments and the volunteer boards. The financial report indicated the township ended the year with an improved fund balance over the previous year.