SWAN Newsletter #13
May 8, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP (7:50 -10:30 PM)
Attended by Mark Levine, Watson Fisher & Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
The discussion of the Larry Conjar property at 6500 Union Deposit Road became a question of the definition of open space as applied to the open space overlay of the presently zoned AR property. The Supervisors sent Mr. Conjar mixed signals concerning the open space definition in my estimation. Actually, the property has to be rezoned from the present AR to AR with an open space overlay before details of the plan can be provided.
The review of the preliminary subdivision plan for Stray Winds Farms was primarily to address comments from Jim Snyder (HRG) concerning the widening of McIntosh Road and the bridge over Paxton Creek. This became a question of where to spend the money for roadway improvements. Widening McIntosh Road would involve cutting back steep banks and removing existing trees. This plus the bridge replacement would involve significant dollars for negligible traffic safety improvement. The originally planned improvements at Colonial Road/McIntosh Road and McIntosh Road/Crums Mill Road should stand.
The remainder of the SWF discussion centered on their proposal for a recreation area to replace most of the $2300/unit pay in lieu of recreational area. The proposal presented included game courts, a pavilion, picnic area, an 8500 ft. lighted waling trail that is 8 ft. wide, a gazebo, and paved parking area. The estimated costs for these extras including 5% overhead charges and 5% contingency charges + a $165/unit pay in lieu of fee would amount to more than the $2300/unit fee presently required. The Supervisors requested a second estimate for the above from HRG.
The proposed solution to the sight distance problem at the intersection of Deere Lane & Red Top Road was to install a stop sign West bound on Red Top Road at this intersection. HRG will run live tests of this proposal before a final decision is made.
The preliminary plan for the public parking lot on the property of the Linglestown Life United Methodist Church was discussed. The 60 space lot is expected to be in operation in July.
The proposal to establish an annual Township sponsored firefighter award for each of the 3 companies was referred to the Public Safety Committee.
The request for the name change from Asylum Run to Recovery run by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names was unanimously opposed.
George Wolfe reported that the Key indicator Report for the first quarter of 2007 was essentially on target. David Blain reported that the internal control study of the earned income tax collection agency would take 7 to 9 months.
May 9, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
JOHN NULL,5817 & 5819 LINGLESTOWN ROAD – Rezoning Request At the April Planning Commission Meeting Mr. Null requested that this business property in Linglestown be rezoned from R-1 to CG Commercial General. The board denied that request because it would result in spot zoning but agreed that the property should be rezoned and suggested that the property should be rezoned CN Commercial Neighborhood. Accordingly the request to rezone the property to CN was formally resubmitted at this meeting. The commission recommended approval of the request and that it be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors.
GENERAL COMMUNITY OSTEOPATHIC HOSPITAL – MRI CENTER – Preliminary/Final Development Plan #07-09 This project is a new 5470 square foot MRI facility with new equipment for the hospital replacing the existing facility located nearby on Arlington Avenue. The new one story building will be located at the back of the hospital on the east side of the campus. All comments from staff, county, and HRG have been received and accepted by the applicant. The commission recommended approval of this plan.
STRAY WINDS FARM, PHASE 1 – Final Subdivision Plan #07-09 Phase 1 involves 30.84 acres of land in Lower Paxton Township east of Crums Mill Road and on both sides of McIntosh Road. It proposes 90 dwelling units including 32 single family detached lots, 47 single family detached condominiums, and 11 single family attached townhouses. Eleven waiver requests were submitted with the preliminary plan and all but the one regarding sidewalks and curbs were considered acceptable. The commission recommended vertical curbs be required at intersections and slant curbs elsewhere. The plan will be submitted to the supervisors later this month.
Promised improvements to Crums Mill Road will be done in Phase 1. The off site road improvement at McIntosh Road and Colonial Road may also be started in Phase 1 depending on when PennDot schedules work on the Colonial Road bridge over Route 81 which they want to coincide with traffic interruptions at the McIntosh Road intersection. This could push TCC’s road work back to SWF Phase 2 or possibly later.
The commission recommended approval of this plan including the waivers and comments and subject to the resolution of the ongoing legal matter.
CHRISTINA KEPP, 1154 LOOP ROAD – Special Exception #07-02 This request is to operate a beauty shop in a home by enclosing a carport. The request needs to be properly advertised and to be submitted to the Zoning Hearing Board with a Site Plan sketch. The commission stated that the concept did not appear to be objectionable.
At the April meeting of the Planning Commission the commissioners received copies of the draft of the Walnut Street Corridor Study for their review. Zoning Officer Lori Wissler reported that the supervisors had generated a letter with their comments on the draft document. At the same meeting there had been a discussion about the possibility of creating a Business Improvement District or districts in the township and as a first step they wanted to invite the director of the downtown Harrisburg district to meet with them prior to this month’s meeting. Unfortunately the director was unavailable but the commissioners intend to begin brainstorming how to get the investigation process underway.
MAY 10, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
(7:00 – 8:15 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.
Under old business the annual Public Safety Committee picnic was discussed. Plans are being finalized for the June 14th date. Mr. Ken Hoke of the Lower Paxton Lions Club was asking if his organization could cooperate with the Township in honoring members of the police, fire and EMS departments. Information from this meeting will be carried back to the Lions Club. It appears this will become a reality next year.
Under the open forum, the Colonial park Fire Chief indicated little or no movement in three areas:
1.) The Township fire study plan; 2.) The fire suppression plan; 3.) The lack of manpower. After much discussion, Director Dan Bair suggested a workshop session with the Board of Supervisors to discuss the above three items exclusively. He will talk to George Wolfe to try to arrange such a workshop.
MAY 14, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 – 9:00 PM)
Attended & Reported by Ted Robertson.
Under old business the roadway improvement agreement between the Township and TCC concerning the Stray Winds Farms subdivision plan was approved 5-0. This includes all the major items previously agreed to. TCC’s plan does include vertical curbing at the intersections of McIntosh and Crums Mill (realigned) and the intersection of McIntosh and Colonial.
The settlement agreement between the Township and TCC concerning a decision by the Zoning Hearing Board dated May 27, 2006 was approved 5-0. This apparently was a result of TCC not receiving the variance decision in the specified time frame. Mr. Stine was not in attendance because of the change of the Board’s meeting date to Monday. The specific terms of the above agreements were not revealed.
Under new business, Resolution 07-23, minor changes in the investment objectives for the Township’s police and non uniformed employee pension funds was approved 5-0.
Resolution 07-25 indicating support for the urban and community forestry programs operated by the USDA was approved 5-0.
An agreement between the Township and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office concerning a child abduction response team was approved 5-0. The County will apparently provide the training.
Six bids were received for the construction of a pavilion and an in-line hockey court and rest room facilities at George Park. The low bidder, Premier construction Corp was awarded the contract for $313,849.00. This was a carry-over from last year when only one bid was received for approximately $450,000.00, which was rejected.
The preliminary subdivision plan for Stray Winds Farm was approved 5-0. There were eleven waivers, eleven general conditions, and one site specific condition. The site specific condition included buffers around the Baltimore Tar Co. property requested by Mr. Pleasants, the owner, who was present at the meeting. Details of this buffer will be worked out between TCC and Mr. Pleasants.
The final subdivision plan for Four Seasons Home Owners Association was approved 5-0.
The preliminary/final subdivision and land development plan for the Crosspoint United Methodist Church was approved. Of significant benefit to the township will be the re-alignment of Valley Road with Winfield Street.
Resolution 07-24, the planning module for Stray Winds Farms was approved 5-0.
MAY 24, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
(7:00 -8:30 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.
There were four items on the agenda originally, but Docket No. 1228, the application of Hartman Motorcars of 6060 Allentown Blvd. was continued to a later date. No reason given.
Docket No. 1230, the application of Margaret Ann Criss to allow the property at 3942 Elmerton Ave to become a three unit property in a R-1 district was denied 5-0. There was no compelling evidence that the property was ever legally considered more than a single family home.
Docket No. 1231, an application on behalf of Paul & Marilyn Maurer at 4443 Augusta Drive for a variance on the 30 foot rear yard setback requirement was approved 3-2. Mr.Maurer apparently has some physical disabilities and has asked that the enclosed patio be extended 10 feet reducing the setback to 20 feet.
Special Exception 07-02, the application of Christine Kepp to establish a beauty salon in the property at 1164 Loop Drive was approved 4-1. This would be a limited service beauty salon, by appointment only, with existing clients.
May 29, 2007
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS / PARKS & RECREATION BOARD JOINT MEETING
Attended by Eric Epstein, Eileen Hurley, and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.
The purpose of the joint meeting was to discuss the proposed community park and nature trail for the Stray Winds Farm Housing Development. On May 2, 2007, the Parks and Rec Board at their regular meeting reviewed Triple Crown Corporation’s proposal for building a community park along McIntosh Road to satisfy in most part the township’s requirement for recreational facilities as part of the large proposed development. The Parks and Rec Board felt that they could not recommend approval of the proposal on the basis that it did not satisfy the intent of the ordinance and they forwarded that decision to the Board of Supervisors. The Planning Commission previously approved the preliminary plan for the entire development and on May 9, 2007 they approved the final plan for Phase 1 of the development which does not include the area proposed for the community park.
Following the Parks and Rec Board meeting on May 2 SWAN’s chairman Eric Epstein met on several occasions with representatives of Triple Crown to review plans for the community park in an effort to arrive at a plan for the park that might be agreeable as a compromise to the various boards and groups and to the developer. In preparation for this joint meeting he wrote a detailed letter to the Parks and Rec Board and the Board of Supervisors outlining the work that had been done at the informal meetings and SWAN’s suggestions for the details of the proposed park that came out of those meetings.
Parks and Rec Board Chairman Tom George opened the meeting by stating that his board had always advocated seeking as much acreage as possible for recreation and felt more acreage was needed in the northwestern part of the township. He said that Triple Crown’s Peter Leone had made a good presentation of their plan for the SWF Community Park to his board and that after lengthy discussion his board was not able to recommend the plan to the supervisors since it did not meet the requirements of the ordinance for acreage and because there were safety concerns since the plan showed the park space divided by McIntosh Road, a major roadway through the development.
Mr. Leone reported that after the Parks and Rec Board’s rejection of the plan and after meetings with SWAN the plan was being revised by Triple Crown to provide a single park area of approximately 10 acres on the south side of McIntosh Road. Unfortunately they had no revised plan available at the meeting showing this and it was requested that as soon as the plan was prepared copies should be sent to Brian Luetchford for the Parks and Rec Board to review. Mr. George said the board would then meet quickly to review the plan but that the supervisors of course would have the final say if less than the 22.39 acre ordinance requirement would be acceptable.
In summary it was stated that there were essentially three options available to meet the ordinance requirement. One was to develop the 22.39 acres required by the ordinance. Second was to pay the fee-in-lieu as allowed by the ordinance. Third was to arrive at a satisfactory combination of acreage and fee-in-lieu that would be an acceptable compromise to meet the spirit of the ordinance recognizing the special conditions of this development. Specifics of such a compromise were detailed in Mr Epstein’s letter on behalf of SWAN and will be shown on the plan of the park being revised by Triple Crown. Mr Mark DiSanto of Triple Crown stated to the boards that the option of providing the full 22.39 acres is not financially feasible at this time from his company’s standpoint.
Mr. Epstein explained that his efforts for SWAN were to work to expedite a reasonable solution to the park problem. He stated that his citizens’ group had worked long and hard to effect productive improvements to various aspects of the overall plan, some of which, such as highway improvements, would benefit more than just this development, and that he felt the developer should be recognized for his willingness to go beyond the basic requirements for the betterment of the larger community. He also stated that the park as presently planned including the nature trail met the basic goals of providing an adequately sized recreational facility for the development and he urged that the proposed compromise plan be considered favorably by both boards.
MAY 29, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY BOARD MEETING (5:30 – 7:20 PM)
Attended by Shelly Kunkel, Eric Bucher, Watson Fisher, Eric Epstein and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
This meeting involved a lot of engineering technical data. I will try to summarize the five alternatives presented by the engineer. This is difficult because the engineer kept going back and forth between alternatives with various costs involved.
The first alternative would involve LP Twp. alone and would require three 200 foot diameter open? tanks at a cost of 19.4 million dollars, plus 7.4 million dollars for future development for a total of 26.8 million dollars.
The second alternative would be in conjunction with Susquehanna Township, and would involve five 250 foot diameter tanks. LP Twp. total cost share would be 25.7 million dollars.
The third alternative would involve a complete upgrade of the Harrisburg treatment facility and would involve a total LP Twp. cost of 28.4 million dollars.
The fourth alternative would involve sending everything to the Harrisburg facility with no interim treatment or storage facilities. The total cost for LP Twp would be 33.4 million dollars.
The fifth alternative would be to replace all of the asbestos concrete pipe in the LP Twp. basin over a period of 10 years? Hopefully this would eliminate the major infiltration problems and make the other alternatives moot. The cost would be 55.2 million dollars. This pipe is being replaced piecemeal now, and will have to be totally replaced eventually. I was surprised to learn that approximately 40% of the pipe in our basin was asbestos concrete pipe, (ACP).
On June 12, 2007 at 5:00 PM, an engineer will give the Board of Supervisors a brief summary of all these alternatives, addressing the pros and cons, so they may better be able to make a decision.
I asked Mr. Weaver after the meeting about the “open” tanks mentioned in the first alternative. He stated that he did not believe that was correct.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
Attended by Eric Epstein, Mark Levine, and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.
Under public comments, Charles Barto, president of the Koons Pool board of directors, advised the board that the well pump needed to supply the pool with water for bathrooms and other uses around the pool had failed and without funds in their tight budget to replace it the pool would not be able to open. Arrangements had been made to have a new pump installed but $7500 was needed to deal with this last minute emergency. The board approved the necessary funds.
Three new police officers were sworn in bringing the force up to its authorized compliment of 61 officers.
Lawrence Conjar requested the rezoning of the 19.08 acre property at 6500 Union Deposit Road from Agricultural Residential to Open Space. His plan for the property is to build 18 single family houses and provide 7.63 acres of open space. This request was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission at their March 14 meeting and reviewed at the previous Supervisors workshop meeting. The rezoning request was approved.
A resolution was submitted to establish a policy to protect against the disclosure of certain public utility records. It was stated that this resolution needed to be adopted to comply with Act 156 making the public utilities responsible to determine what records needed to be kept confidential to protect against possible terrorist treats. The resolution was approved.
Bids were received for the installation of emergency pre-emption equipment at select traffic signals along the Route 22 corridor. This equipment allows police and emergency personnel to change traffic signals at intersections in response to an emergency situation. This equipment will be in addition to some signals along Route 22 which are already so controlled. The low bid in the amount of $22,244 was submitted by PA Percs Inc. and the contract was awarded to them in that amount.
A Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan was submitted for the addition of a 5470 square foot MRI facility to the Community General Osteopathic Hospital. The project was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission at their May 9 meeting. The plan was approved.
Nine improvement guarantees were approved. Payment of the township and the township authority bills was approved.