SWAN Newsletter #10

February 1, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

(7:00 – 8:00 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

The reorganization meeting took all of five minutes with the board remaining the same.

Item 1223 involved a variance request to change the FEMA wetlands delineations for a development of Crown Realty Trust. Attorney Les Jacobsen and Engineer Hugh Andrus represented the Trust. Their premise was that FEMA’s delineation was incorrect. LP Twp’s engineer agrees with this premise. The present wetlands designation would put 13 units of the 37 units in the flood plain. Efforts to get FEMA to move on a change in the designated wetland area resulted in FEMA’s asserting it would take 18 months before the issue could be addressed. The board agreed to the variance contingent on the continued pursuit of the designation change by FEMA;the clearance from DEP for construction work in the area of the stream bed; and final notification to the board with respect to FEMA’s final judgment.

February 6, 2007

GREENWAY PLAN – LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP

Public meeting No. 2

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Prior to the Greenway Plan’s Public Meeting No. 1, which was held on December 5, 2006, a group of township citizens and representatives from the township staff had been working for some years to explore the possibility of developing a master plan to guide the development of hiking and biking trails in the township. A decision was made to hire the Landscape Architectural Firm of Simone Collins from the Philadelphia area, which has a great deal of experience in designing trails and greenways throughout the state, to develop such a plan for the township. At Public Meeting No. 1 representatives from the consulting firm laid out the procedure they would follow to research and prepare the plan. The first step was the “site reconnaissance” phase, which they said would be essentially complete by early February and would be discussed at the next meeting.

Public Meeting No. 2 was very well attended by interested township residents.The consultants stated that they had pretty well finished with their inventory and analysis work and they would now be doing interviews with some key persons about different aspects of the design. They presented their initial trail plan of the township showing existing traffic corridors, key destination points and recreational facilities including parks and schools, locations of proposed developments, and highlighting potential locations for biking and hiking trails. They also gave a slide presentation with pictures of some of the prime corridors including Nyes Road, Colonial Road, and Linglestown Road. There was discussion about the various types of trails, the interconnection with trails in adjacent municipalities, the need to recognize environmental concerns, the possibilities of incorporating trails along roads when any road improvements are done, concerns about avoiding legal problems with trails on private property, the need to incorporate existing facilities as much as possible, and quite a few other items.

The next step will be to upgrade the initial plan to become a Draft Plan, which they will present at Public Meeting No. 3, which is scheduled for April 3, 2007. At that time the plan will show alternate trail locations and there will be information about possible funding sources and about suggested phasing of the project. After that there will be a 30-day review and comment period before they prepare the Final Plan, which they anticipate will be done by June 19, 2007. They stated that they will be looking for more public input from now on and this can be given at the next meeting or to Brian Styche through the consultant’s web site at www.simonecollins.com.

During the question and answer period SWAN’s Darwin Aurand stated that he had written to the Supervisors asking if there was any way to encourage the incorporation of trails into future developments in the early stages of the design process before the developers’ plans are finalized. The response was that the subdivision and land use ordinance was being revised and that concern might be able to be addressed. A representative from the Harrisburg Bicycle Club stated that they were very interested in the township’s effort to provide biking trails in the area and supported the plan.

February 6, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS MEETING

(7:30 – 8:30 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

The chairman recognized Aaron Zimmerman of BSA Troop 36, who was attending with his father for credit toward his citizenship badge.

Under old business, the Supervisors approved resolution 07-05 requesting clarification of the Capital Tax Collection Bureaus’ distribution of tax monies collected for some 70 entities in the area. The February 7, 2007 Patriot News has a more detailed article on this issue.

Resolution 07-09 was approved for the Dauphin county Heroes Grove Project to be located in LP Twp. This memorial will include civilians, emergency personnel, and military personnel and will be maintained by the county.

Resolution 07-06 concerning the transfer of a liquor license to Hoss’s Steak & Sea House was made necessary by the PLCB because the original resolution, 06-39, did not include the full legal identification of the applicant.

Resolution 07-11 was approved in order to include the Mt. Lou San facility in the Task Activity Plan for 2007 for DEP.

The final subdivisions plan for Montrail, Phase I was approved. This involves 26 lots on 13.3 acres off of Union Deposit Road, east of Dauphin County Vo-Tech.

The final subdivision plan for lots 1 & 2 in Stray Winds Farms was approved. This was merely a formality, as it involved the property in Lower Paxton Twp., which will become a part of St. Margaret Mary’s Parish.

The extensions of both the Huntleigh and Autumn Ridge developments were approve upon clarification of some minor legal issues.

Resolution 07-07 was pulled because of a lack of necessary information.

Resolutions 07-08 and 07-10, acceptance of streets for dedication for Old Iron Estates, Phase IV, and a short stretch of Lancer Street, which had been a private road, were approved.

February 20, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

There were 6 projects on the agenda but on 5 of them no new submissions were received so they were withdrawn. One of the 5 was a rezoning request for a 16 plus acre tract on Union Deposit Road across from the Kings Crossing development, which a group of neighbors came to the meeting to oppose. They were allowed to make their comments but were advised that the request would not be considered until the March 14 meeting. The one agenda item that was considered is described below.

Dauphin County Technical School – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #06-40. This submission was tabled at last month’s meeting. The project is for additions and alterations to the existing school on the 47-acre site at 6001 Locust Lance, zoned institutional. The commissioners’ major concern and the reason for the previous tabling is the expected increased traffic on Locust Lance and especially at the already dangerous Locust Lane/Fairmont Drive intersection which does not currently have a traffic signal. They expected the increase would be at least 100-peak hour trips, which would require a traffic study.

The school’s engineers stated that the original plans for the expansion and upgrading of the school were to house 6 new programs but since then five of the six have been dropped and the existing early childhood program will be discontinued. Therefore there would not be the addition of 100 peak hour trips, which would have required a full-blown traffic study. The 1 new program would increase projected enrollment from 952 students to 977 students but with the closing of the day care program there should be a net decrease in daily traffic. The additions and alterations, which incidentally are estimated to cost $20,000,000, are to provide adequate space for the existing programs, which are now in extremely undersized quarters, and to provide for the 1 new program. The result is that no traffic study is required.

The commissioners expressed amazement that so much money could be spent to house 25 more students but they stated that was not their mission to question. They were concerned that the enrollment projection might not be correct and that there might be many more students generating more traffic in the future with the larger building. The engineers stated that technical school enrollments were not increasing even though overall school enrollments continue to grow. The commissioners appealed to the school board through the engineers to consider contributing to a traffic light at the intersection as a way to take some responsibility for the traffic problem caused in part by the school buses. They noted that the developers of the two proposed adjacent projects, Shadebrook and the Palmer retired housing development, would be pressured by the commissioners to do the same when their projects are submitted in the future.

The engineers stated that, at the request of the commissioners at their last meeting, they are withdrawing their waiver request to eliminate required sidewalks along Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive. Sidewalks will be built and a landscape buffer between the school property and the Shadebrook development to the south will be provided.

The commission recommended approval of this plan.

It was announced that at the March 14, 2007 meeting The Stray Winds Farm project will be submitted for approval. They also stated that at that meeting the chairman of the Greenway Committee would attend to discuss the ongoing development of the township’s master plan for hiking and biking trails.

February 22, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

(7:00 – 7:30 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Only docket #1225 was presented at this meeting. This involved the King’s Pointe Development. The new owner/developer wanted the minimum setback distance between buildings reduced from 40’ to 20’. (The new ordinance requires 20’. However the plan was submitted years ago under the old ordinance.) The new owner inherited existing foundations and utility and right-of way easements. Since their plan calls for slightly larger units, this reduction is necessary. It was noted that the final setback distance would likely be greater than 20’. The time frame for the variance was extended to one year. This was approved unanimously.

Item 1224 involved a variance request for two signs on the part of Blue Mountain Foods represented by Bill Hornung (in partnership with Marty Schoffstall). The first stand-alone sign intruded in the 5 foot set back ordinance by approximately 1 foot. This was difficult to determine accurately in view of the pending roadways construction in Linglestown. This first request was granted, pending LP Twp. Police approving the sight distance on to Linglestown Road. The second sign was buildings mounted sign of approximately 80 sq. ft. Present township ordinances limit this type of sign to 9 sq. ft. The board rejected this request.

Two Comments:

1.) The Township needs a credible independent party to be responsible for designating flood plains accurately.

2.) The appearance of conflict of interest with one elected official presenting a variance request before an appointed board.