SWAN Newsletter #14
June 6, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Mr. Brian St. John, an engineer with McCormick Taylor, made a brief presentation to the committee regarding an effort underway to study the handling of pedestrian and bicycle traffic associated with the future highway improvements planned for I-83 from I-81 south to the Swatara township line. He said that he would be giving the Planning Commission a briefing on the study at their meeting on June 13, 2007. The concern is to be able to address early in the planning process the need to provide properly for safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic along local roadways that go over or under the interstate. Of particular concern are the Route 22 overpass and the adjacent Colonial Road intersection, the Union Deposit overpass, and the Elmerton Avenue overpass. There will need to be coordination between this effort and the Walnut Street Corridor Study.
Presentation of the final draft of the Greenway Plan will be made to the Supervisors at their meeting on June 19, 2007. The committee members received booklets from the consultants which the consultants will use in their presentation to the Supervisors. After that meeting the consultants will finalize the their work and the final plan will be available in July.
The committee’s initial charge was to develop with the consultants a detailed master plan as a guide for constructing new hiking and biking trails throughout the township. With the completion of the plan the supervisors will decide whether or not to disband the committee. Whatever happens the committee felt there remained items that needed to be addressed. There were the major ongoing questions of obtaining government and corporate funding, how to handle private donations that came with requests for special dedications, dealing with matching fund donations, insuring that costs of trail maintenance were met long term, etc. There will be a need to establish priorities and constantly revise the overall schedule. An immediate priority is to relate to any needed interaction with the Linglestown Square project now getting underway. Another is to interact with the Walnut Street Corridor Study, and another is to recognize any need for possible land acquisition.
Committee members expressed concern that following the presentation and acceptance of the plan there needed to be ways to maintain the momentum that had been created by the effort so far with all the township boards and committees and with the local citizens groups. It will also be necessary to educate the public so the trail plan has a chance of being realized. Mr. Chris Johnston, member of the committee and member of the Parks and Recreation Board, thanked all the members of the committee for all their hard work and dedication and requested that they remain strong advocates of the trail plan in the future.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETING
Attended by Eric Epstein and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.
Mr. Mark DiSanto and Mr. Pietro Leone attended the meeting representing Triple Crown Corporation. They presented their plan for the Stray Winds Farm Community Park which had been revised since the previous meeting. The earlier plan showed recreation areas on both sides of McIntosh Road on a total of 6.39 acres. This plan was not accepted by the board since they felt it was inadequate in size and was unsafe since it was divided in two parts by a busy road. The revised plan showed a total of 10.42 acres located entirely on the south side of McIntosh Road. In response to a question from a board member they stated that of the 10.42 acres now shown for the park 5.2 acres were wetlands and 3.6 acres were on slopes 7% or greater.
Mr. Leone outlined the features of the plan and stated that many of the improvements were a result of the workshop meeting with the board and the supervisors and meetings with SWAN. Eric Epstein of SWAN reaffirmed the advantages of the compromise plan and the work that was done to develop it. Mr. Leone stated that the new Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance will give greater latitude for meeting the recreation requirements and suggested that a request to the supervisors for a waiver from the current ordinance could be considered.
Mr. DiSanto stated that the costs shown for the improvements related to the park were bid prices without any mark up and that they would not change. These costs, which would be credited against the recreation fee-in-lieu, do not include the land which TCC would in effect be donating to the development. He said the park would be open to the public and the homeowners association agreement would specify that the park would be maintained by the association. He said that the age restricted part of the development would have its own recreation facilities including a clubhouse and pool which would be just for their use.
The committee then debated whether or not it should recommend this plan to the supervisors. After a lengthy discussion it was agreed that the plan still was not adequate and that they would instead recommend a “compromise proposal”. That proposal, which they will forward to the supervisors, is to accept the approximately 4 acres of open space where the field and play areas are shown which would be designated for public use, accept the lighted walkway including the pedestrian bridge over Paxton Creek, and accept the parking lot and pavilion, but not accept the improvements for the playground, the tennis/basketball court, the development of the playfield, or the gazebo. They also want it to include a trail easement along Paxton Creek and from the creek to Crums Mill Road and a condition that the township will receive the resultant fee-in-lieu at the beginning of the project instead of in installments. They suggested that that fee be put toward recreation projects already under way such as the on going work at George Park.
In other business, the board approved the installation of a new scoreboard at the midget field at Koons Park. This donated scoreboard will replace the original one which has outlived its usefulness. The Friends of the Playground Committee has volunteered to work on a project to clean up the park area. Bids have been accepted by the supervisors for additional improvements at George Park. Construction should begin in July. The board received copies of the packets that will be used at the Greenway Committee’s final presentation to the supervisors on June 19. They expressed concern that if the committee was disbanded after that it could hinder the continuation of the trail effort in the township.
June 12, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING (5:50 – 7:35 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.
The Authority recognized the receipt of a letter from Dr. & Shelly Kunkel which backed alternative 2A on the enclosed Executive Summary of the alternatives presented to and discussed by the Authority to date.(Refer to attachment.)
After much discussion the Authority appeared to come to a consensus on replacing all 46 miles of asbestos concrete pipe over a period of 10 years or longer. It is hoped that this project plus several on going projects aimed at mitigating under-slab I & I flows will make storage facilities unnecessary.
One project of this type has been completed, and the preliminary flow readings at maximum flows have come in under the 1500 GPD allowed.
A proposal of the above will be presented to DEP.
The people of LP Twp will have to recognize the fact that whichever alternative is finally selected, sewer rates will increase significantly.
June 12, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION
Attended by Eric Epstein, Shelly Kunkel, and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.
Mike Bova of Ferris, Baker, Watts made a presentation regarding a possible way for the township to enhance its handling of a portion of its debt, cash flow, and investments with something called swaps. He and several associates explained how the different types of swaps work and their strong points and risks. They said if the board had an interest in learning more about this they could return and provide additional information. The board will consider this.
The Parks and Recreation Board had been charged by the supervisors to prepare an in-depth plan looking in detail at the existing parks and their use and at the projected future park needs in the township. A draft of the first portion of the plan was presented by the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Brian Luetchford, on behalf of the board. He said they had looked at all the parks, the heavy existing uses of the parks by the citizens, and the growing number of groups, leagues, etc. with existing and new programs asking for access to fields and courts. They compared LP’s park system acreage and facilities with those in neighboring municipalities and found some had more recreation area per resident than LP and some less. As development in LP continues there will be more facilities needed and the continuing search for available land to purchase and the funds to buy and develop park space will be an ongoing endeavor. It was pointed out that projected future budget shortfalls could pose an added problem. It was stated that a goal of having a total of 430 acres of active park space was their recommendation.
The 93 acre Wolfersberger Park tract east of Linglestown that was purchased by the township was discussed. The Capital Area Soccer Association (CASA) is interested in purchasing the property and building a soccer field complex. The township will need to decide whether that tract is best used for only one sport in which case some agreement could be made with CASA for them to make the improvements and buy or use the land or whether it is best used for a variety of sports in which case the township would need to develop it.
The supervisors were pleased with the progress of the plan so far. At the next workshop Parks & Rec will come with the Greenway Plan and there will be further discussion about this long range plan.
On June 6, 2007 the Parks and Recreation Board met with Mr. Mark DiSanto and Mr. Peter Leone of Triple Crown Corporation regarding their plan for the proposed park at the Stray Winds Farm development. The board needed to give their recommendation for this facility to the supervisors for a final determination. Their revised plan was presented and discussed at length and the board decided to recommend a compromise plan accepting portions of the plan and rejecting others. Their memo to the supervisors the next day documented their decision. The bottom line was that from the calculated fee-in-lieu payment of $1,032,700 the cost of the accepted improvements plus contingency and overhead totaling $266,4200 would be subtracted leaving an actual fee-in-lieu payment of $766,280.
At this meeting Mr. DiSanto responded to the Parks and Recreation Board’s compromise saying that he had reviewed the matter with Eric Epstein of SWAN and was in basic agreement with what was proposed except he felt that the play field areas shown should be graded, leveled, and seeded to be usable and that the playground equipment should be included. This would result in an increase of the amount spent on improvements to approximately $445,000.
A legal question was raised by Mr. Stine the solicitor regarding whether the developer could receive this credit for improvements on land that was being transferred to the homeowners association instead of to the township without violating a provision of the Municipal Planning Code. He said he would have to review the code to resolve this legal matter..
The Parks and Recreation Board had requested a 50′ wide easement along the west bank of the Paxton Creek and from the creek west to Crums Mill Road for a future trail. Mr. Epstein stated that such an easement would violate the conditions of the agreement between TCC and SWAN which formed part of the legal basis for the earlier Zoning Hearing Board ruling regarding this development. Mr. DiSanto agreed that denying public access north and south through the center of the development was specifically insisted on by the neighbors, was an agreed to condition from the beginning, was part of the ZHB action, and was not a negotiable issue.
It was agreed that TCC would get back to the Parks and Recreation Board with a firm dollar figure on the improvements that had been discussed and the legal issue mentioned above would be researched and hopefully resolved.
Triple Crown Corporation submitted a request to amend their road improvement agreement regarding the Stray Winds Farm development. TCC originally scheduled the road improvements at the McIntosh Road Colonial Road intersection to be done during Phase 3 of the project but township staff changed the agreement to schedule the work in Phase 1 since houses would be built and traffic increased creating more of an unsafe condition earlier than Phase 3. Mr. DiSanto responded that with the PennDot permitting procedure just under way and with the fact that very few houses will be occupied during most of Phase 1 it is not reasonable to plan to start the road work so early. It was agreed that the agreement would be revised to have the work started in Phase 2 and completed before any Certificate Of Occupancies are issued for houses in Phase 3.
There was discussion about how traffic on McIntosh Road will be handled during road construction. It was felt that one way traffic and detours using existing roads through residential areas that connect Colonial Road and McIntosh Road would be required for a period of time. George Wolfe, township manager, said he would contact Eric Epstein to begin discussion regarding this matter.
Molinari & Ruble Partners LP discussed a sketch plan they had for a 38 acre parcel on Deaven Road that they plan to develop into 35 residential building lots. The tract is zoned AR and they will be applying for an open space overly. This project will be similar to the development at 6500 Union Deposit Road where the same procedure was followed.
Mr. Lawrence Conjar presented a sketch plan for his proposed development at 6500 Union Deposit Road showing an option to set aside a 3800 square foot strip of land adjacent to the park that he would be willing to donate to become part of the park. He had been requested earlier to consider such a move. This strip of land is wooded and sloped and would need to be stripped and leveled to be useful as an addition to the existing play area. It was decided that it would be better to leave the strip of land as it is which creates a buffer between the building lots and the park since it would not become a significant addition to the park and the buffer it will create is a plus for both the park and the development.
June 13, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.
Charlston Riding – Preliminary Subdivision Plan #06-47 This project, previously referred to as Lawrence W. Conjar, is located at 6500 Union Deposit Road. It consists of 17 single family homes on 19.8 acres. Mr. Conjar stated that the supervisors had approved the plan at their workshop session the previous evening that would leave the existing tree line buffer between the houses and the adjacent park in place. The commission recommended approval of this plan with the condition that the developer work with the township regarding any safety measures that might be needed at the existing pond in the open space area of the development that will be maintained by the homeowners association.
TNP Carwash – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #07-02 This project is located on a 2 acre lot at the intersection of Peiffers Lane and Briarsdale Road zoned CG Commercial-General. The plan had been reviewed at the March meeting and tabled until the engineers reviewed it. Proper screening is required from the adjacent residence. The commission recommended approval of this plan.
Len Maur – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #07-05 This project is located on a 9.4 acre lot on the north side of Linglestown Road and east of Colonial Road between the Weis Market and Dunkin Donuts. The lot is zoned CN Commercial-Neighborhood. The project includes a building housing two restaurants, a building housing a Day Spa, and an office building. The project was reviewed at the April meeting and tabled pending resolution of a request to the Zoning Hearing Board to reduce the total parking requirement since some spaces will be used by different groups at different times. As requested, the ZHB approved a special exception allowing for shared parking spaces reducing the total number of required spaces. Vehicular access agreements with both adjacent properties are under way with the attorneys. All items are in order except for the required traffic study which has not yet been done. A 90 day extension of the review period has been applied for. The commission tabled the plan to await completion of the traffic study.
Parmer Family Foundation – Ordinance 07-05; Rezoning Request for Locust Lane Parcel #35-061-032) The non-profit foundation proposes to construct three six story apartment buildings on a 35 acre tract on the north side of Locust Lane west of Fairmont Drive across Locust Lane from the Dauphin County Vo-Tech School. The request is to rezone the tract from R-C Residential Cluster to IN Institutional. The proposed residential retirement development is allowed in the Institutional District but not in the Residential Cluster District. A large number of neighbors spoke to object to the zoning change arguing that most of the surrounding area is low density residential and they expressed concern for additional traffic on Locust Lane. Mr. Parmer described the proposed housing for the elderly which he said meets one of the types of facilities that are suggested in the comprehensive plan. The commission recommended approval of the rezoning. The required public hearing will be held on July 17 and the final decision will be made by the Board of Supervisors at an upcoming meeting.
T4141, 4151, 4153 Linglestown Road – Ordinance 07-04, Rezoning Request The three properties involved are on the south side of Linglestown Road west of the Bumble Hollow Golf Center and include Sports City, Italian Delight, Ritas, and the dry cleaners and carwash. The request is to change the zoning for these three properties from Business Campus to Commercial Neighborhood. They currently are occupied by retail establishments and the Dauphin County Planning Commission supports this request. The commission recommended that the supervisors adopt this ordinance.
Ammendments to the Zoning Ordinance – Ordinance 07-01, Amends Ordinance 06-05 These proposed changes are corrections to the text of the zoning ordinance for clarity and consistency regarding definitions, uses, etc. The proposed text changes were very voluminous and the commission tabled this request in order to review them carefully before taking action.
Brown Farm – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #07-10 This plan involves the subdivision of a 47.08 acre parcel at 6370 Lyters Lane into two lots, one a small lot containing an existing house which someone wants to buy and the other consisting of the remainder of the parcel. All comments have been received and accepted. The only concern was that when the large parcel is developed and required road widening improvements made to Lyters Lane there would be no requirement to improve the road in front of the small lot. The applicant agreed to a legal requirement for the developer to do the necessary road work in front of the small lot if and when work is done in front of the large lot. The commission recommended approval of this plan.
Allentown Boulevard Storage – Revised Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #07-11 This three story building is on an 8.2 acre lot on the south side of Allentown Boulevard east of Blue Ribbon Avenue. There are existing storage buildings on the site and this building will be south of the carwash which is also already on the site. The requirement now is to provide one parking space for every 25 storage units. These can be accommodated on the proposed paved area and will be shown on the plan. The commission recommended approval of this plan.
Patton Place, LLC – Revised Subdivision/Land Development Plan #07-13 This project is on the north side of Linglestown Road behind Dunkin Donuts and west of Patton Road. The plan was revised to show the addition of 23 parking spaces on the west side of the property for tenants of the strip mall type building now under construction. The commission recommended approval of this plan.
June 19, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:40 – 8:25 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.
Mr. Wolfe reported that there will be a three minute siren test for TMI Thursday, June 28 at 12:15 PM.
The non-binding memorandum of understanding between Lower Paxton Township, Susquehanna Township and the City of Harrisburg regarding investigations into certain sewer improvements was approved unanimously.
Resolution 07-27, the adoption of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), was approved unanimously. All Supervisors and top management personnel have been qualified to participate in this system.
Ordinance 07-03, the rezoning of 5817 & 5819 Linglestown Road from R-1 to CN (Commercial-Neighborhood), was approved unanimously. This property was originally purchased by John Knoll as commercial property. It was rezoned under the new ordinance as R-1. The property is located south of Linglestown Road and east of Ranger Road near the Linglestown firehouse.
Ordinance 07-06 stipulating minor amendments to certain 2006 building codes as part of the PA Uniform Construction Code (PAUCC), was approved unanimously.
Ordinance 07-07, the annual allocation of building permits in the Beaver Creek sanitary sewer basin was approved unanimously. Fifty-four permits were issued for the time frame from July 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007. Eighteen will be issued for the quarter beginning January 1, 2008. Any turnbacks will be included through June 30, 2008.
Ordinance 07-10 amending the authorization to the PA Dept. of Revenue to collect the realty transfer tax was approved unanimously. This allows the State to determine delinquent accounts and penalties. This tax provides Lower Paxton Township approximately $1,000,000/year.