SWAN Newsletter #16

July 26, 2007

Lower Paxton Township Zoning Hearing Board Meeting (7:00 – 8:30 PM)

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

Docket No. 1235, an application for a variance from the maximum height and area of a free standing sign, in this case a football game scoreboard, was granted 4-0. The Holy Nome of Jesus Football Program was in dire need of a new scoreboard. The new remotely operated scoreboard will replace the electrically operated scoreboard, and will not be a distraction for traffic on Route 22.

Docket No. 1236, an application on behalf of Drs. Keith and Dana Fetterolf for a variance from creek and wetland setback regulations, was denied 4-0. This involved the property at the southwest corner of Colonial and Linglestown Roads. It was suggested that the building footprint be modified to eliminate the request for a variance.

Docket SE 07-03, a request for a special exception to create a parking lot within the 100 year flood plain on the same property, was tabled to give to applicants time to decide their course of action.

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August 1, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Brenden McCarthy, a high school sophomore, has completed a successful project collecting used youth soccer uniforms and shoes from local teams to send to local troops stationed in Iraq for distribution to youth teams in Iraq. He now has a fund raising campaign underway to pay for the shipping. He was honored by the township with a plaque for his efforts.

The P.H.R. Baseball Association, which conducts baseball programs for 150 boys and girls aged 6-12 years at Brightbill Park, presented a request to the township for financial help for a list of improvement projects to the 4 fields at the township park. The estimated cost of these improvements was approximately $7,000. The request suggested that the association would be responsible for raising funds to cover approximately half the cost and asked the township to help with the rest. Brian Luetchford, Director of the Parks and Rec Department, explained that usually the township would make any permanent improvements, such as the new storage shed and the outfield fence requested, and items falling under the heading of field maintenance would be the responsibility of the association. The request will be reviewed.

A large proposed project involving lighting of the major baseball field at the park to extend the hours the field could be used was discussed. Nearby homeowners were contacted and they felt the lights would not be a problem for them. The estimated cost of this project was $90,000. It was stated that before such a project was even considered the township would first need to determine if it felt lighting of this field was appropriate.

TND, the new Traditional Neighborhood Development zoning district, was explained briefly by Brian Luetchford. Preliminary plans for the large Shadebrook development proposed in the new TND district were recently presented to the township and he felt it was important for the board to be familiar with the new regulations before they reviewed the submission. The project will be located on an 86.8 acre parcel between Union Deposit Road and Locust Lane adjacent to the Dauphin County Vo-Tech School. The district allows for a mixture of housing types around a commercial core and encourages the preservation of open space and the development of walking and biking through the village-like development. The board questioned how the township’s recreation requirements will be met for this large development since paying a fee-in-lieu of providing the required recreation requirements is not allowed in this district. Because all of the board members were not present it was decided to wait until the September meeting to discuss the details of this large project.
Wolfersberger Park, the 93 acre parcel on Wenrich Road east of Linglestown being bought by the township, was an item of discussion. The township had sent a letter to CASA, the Capital Area Soccer Association, offering to sell 50 acres of the parcel to them for construction of a soccer complex with a number of specific conditions. The association had expressed great interest in the possibility of buying the land but there has apparently been no formal response to the township’s letter as of now. It was noted that the township has not yet actually finalized their purchase of the 93 acre tract. The question was raised as to who would pay for the subdivision of the tract.

Koons Park Pool has been in operation since early June when the township made an emergency contribution of $7500 for the purchase of a new well pump. The pool currently has only 100 members which could indicate that there could be a possible problem in the future.

George Park construction work is continuing. The foundations for the pavilion including bathrooms is under construction, the inline hockey rink has been started, and the walking trail will be paved this fall. Work on the entrance to the park has been delayed because the engineer had not gotten the required Highway Occupancy Permit. Work on the skate park is on hold pending the successful completion of the on going fund raising effort.

Greenway Plan has been presented to the supervisors and the final plan will be available from the consultants in September. The intent is to have it formally adopted as part of the comprehensive plan after the county has reviewed it. The Greenway Committee would like to continue in operation in order to be involved in the plan’s implementation over the coming years. It was noted that the north south trail along Paxton Creek through Stray Winds Farm probably should not be shown since SWAN’s Eric Epstein and the developer made it very clear that an easement for this trail would not be forthcoming. There was disappointment expressed with the way the plan was presented to the supervisors by the landscape architect, Bill Collins, and it was felt that any future presentation should be made by the township’s Chris Johnson who is much more familiar with the local situation.

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August 7, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:30 – 10:40 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Old Business, the request by the Parmer Trust to rezone the tract of land near the northwest corner of Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive from Residential Cluster (RC) to Institutional was denied 5-0. Over 100 Lower Paxton residents attended this meeting. Approximately 90% of those attending were opposed to the rezoning. Of those who spoke at the meeting, possibly 3 or 4 had done their homework and presented valid reasons for opposing the zoning change. There were many emotional presentations, and even some open threats of political retaliation aimed at the Supervisors. The major concern was traffic congestion with respect to Locust Lane, Fairmount Drive and Nyes Road. Since this project was 80% age restricted, a question was asked about the remaining 20% of the residents which was left unanswered. Since this is a private trust fund, the question of the durability/longevity of the fund was also left unanswered. The fear of adjacent property devaluation was also raised.

The Supervisors did mention SWAN’s involvement with the development of Stray Winds Farms as a possible direction for the people to take with this development.

Resolution 07-33 was approved 5-0 for a contract with Kodak & Pemblem for procedures and a fee schedule for collection of delinquent sanitary sewer accounts. The new contract has a lower service rate for the Township.

Under New Business, the preliminary/final land development plan for the Dauphin County Volunteers of America Living Center was approved 5-0. This involves 15 dwelling units and one common unit on North Blue Ribbon Avenue.

Resolution 07-32 the Planning Module for Daniel Schiavone Condominiums, was approved 5-0.

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August 8, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Harrisburg Foot and Ankle Allan/Annette Grossman – Preliminary/Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan #07-15 This project involves the construction of a new one story medical office building on the southeast corner of the intersection of Linglestown Road and Crums Mill Road. The subdivision request is to consolidate four lots into two lots, one for the new building and the other for the existing houses that will remain and for a possible future second office building. Because of the small stream crossing the northwest corner of the property and the topography of the site parking will be in front of the building with vehicular access from both Linglestown Road and Crums Mill Road. The commission recommended approval of this plan.

LenMaur – 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 June meeting and tabled to await completion of the traffic impact study. That study is now available and has been reviewed by HRG. Some minor problems with the study were noted, some additional clarification is required from the applicant, and comments from PennDot have not yet been received. The applicant stated that all traffic comments can be addressed. The commission recommended approval of this plan subject to the comments and the resolution of all traffic study issues.

Deaven Road – Rezoning Request This request is to rezone a 35.7 acre tract located on the east side of Deaven Road and north of Devonshire Heights Road bordering Beaver Creek and the West Hanover Township line, zoned AR Agricultural Residential. The plan is for the development of 35 single family homes keeping 14.4 acres or 40% of the tract in open space. In order to preserve this amount of open space and still have a reasonable number of lots in the development it is necessary to add an Open Space Development Overlay District to the underlying AR District reducing the minimum lot size requirement from 1½ acres to ½ acre. This is the zoning change that was requested. The development will be served by public water and sewer. The county planning office approved the rezoning. The commission recommended approval of the request to add the OSD to the current zoning of the tract .

Shadebrook – Preliminary Subdivision Plan #07-14 This project is a Traditional Neighborhood Development on an 86.8 acre parcel on the north side of Union Deposit Road, west of Nyes Road, south of the Springford Village development which fronts on Locust Lane to the north, and adjacent on the northwest to the Dauphin County Vo-Tech School.
The preliminary plan for this very large project have been submitted to the township for review. Because of its size and because it is the first project in the township proposed in the new TND zoning district a somewhat lengthy review process of this unique project will be required. A new township “TND Subcommittee” has been created consisting of two members of the Board of Supervisors and two members of the Planning Commission to review the submission in detail. The committee has determined that more information on the proposed plan is required and some changes to it made before the Planning Commission can formally review it. The developer has been working with the township to accomplish this and it is expected that a revised plan can be considered at the October commission meeting. The commission therefore tabled the plan.

Lots 75 & 76 Old Iron Estates, Phase III – Preliminary/Final Re-Subdivison Plan #07-17 The two adjacent affected lots in this development are located south of McCormick Lane and north of Red Top Road. The subdivision involves the relocation of the property line between these two lots to adjust for an existing condition. The commission recommended approval of this plan.

Liberty Place – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #07-18 This project is located at 2120 Colonial Road on the west side of Colonial Road and south of Linglestown Road. The property consists of three lots, one of which includes the building which previously housed Harriet Too Interior Design which is zoned CN Commercial Neighborhood, and the other two adjacent lots which are zoned Residential. The proposal includes consolidating the 3 lots into 1 and subdividing that resulting tract into 2 lots.

The new owner plans to remodel the building to house a restaurant and some small boutiques. These uses will require the addition of some number of parking spaces to those in the existing parking areas. The required additional parking spaces and the required setbacks cannot be accommodated to the south of the existing building without an extension of the lot necessitating the adjusting of the lot lines. The resulting lot will have a small portion at the south end in the residential zone and it was suggested that this small area should eventually be rezoned CN to avoid split zoning of the lot. The commission recommended approval of this plan.

6101 Blue Valley Road – Special Exception #07-04 This property is a single family residence in Linglestown. A complaint was filed by a neighbor. The homeowner operates a tree service business which is considered a home occupation since the house is his business address. He stores logs from the business on his property but outdoor storage is not allowed under the regulations for a home occupation. He was advised that he could continue to operate his business out of his home without a Special Exception if he removed the logs from his property. He agreed to do this.

2120 Colonial Road – Sketch Plan This sketch plan was presented for the Liberty Place project described above which involves no exterior changes to the existing building and just the expansion of the parking area. It was reviewed by the commissioners and they found no problems with the plan.

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August 14, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING (5:30 – 7:20 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

This meeting was an attempt to get final resolution to draft amendments to the zoning ordinance and SALDO. Most of the meeting was concerned with allowing adjacent tracts to average percentages of age restricted residences to some point below the 80% now permitted. The lower percentage would also carry a lower density permitted on the combined tracts. Mr. Zwally presented this change for the large tracts of land behind Blue Ridge Country Club, bordering Susquehanna Township.

Jim Snyder presented two items for consideration for addition to the zoning ordinance and SALDO. One was concerning the use of traffic calming devices. A PennDOT handbook of various traffic calming devices and requirements for installing the devices was presented to the group. The second was a change in the ordinance concerning mandatory recreation space or fee in lieu of same. There is a concern about the legality of the wording in this ordinance.

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August 14, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

(7:35 – 9:25 PM)

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

Item 4 was a request by Linglestown Fire Company to use the state Co-Stars Program for the purchase of the tanker (part of the approved Phase III Fire Equipment Capital Plan). Using Co-Stars not only saves the Township money, but also gets a rebate from the manufacturer. The Supervisors approved this action. The tanker will be delivered in February of 2008.

Item 5 involved a question concerning the 5% of funds raised by Inspired Recreation to be set aside for the maintenance of Possibility Place. With new officers being installed at Inspired Recreation by the end of the month, the Supervisors asked that the new officers meet with Township staff and resolve the maintenance issue.

Under Item 6, Joel McNaughton presented the master development plan for Autumn Oaks. This is a 313 acre tract north of the present development, which is north of Linglestown Road, bounded on the west by Colonial Road (extended), extending part way up the mountain to an access at Parkway West, at the northeast corner of the property, and accessed by Patton Road. The water company will install a 2 million gallon retention tank near the northeast corner of the property. At present, the McNaughton Company is seeking very few variances. The plan will involve 8 phases over 15 years.

Item 7, GOOD NEWS: The DEP has tentatively accepted the revised 2007 Paxton Creek sanitary sewer system improvement plan. This is essentially alternate 2A, which calls for replacement of all the asbestos concrete pipe in the system and continuing work on the under-slab I & I problems over a 20 year period. Not such good news: Colonial Crest is one of the first such basins to be redone. Staff is readying the final plan for presentation to DEP.

Item 9. There is a federal grant program titled “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response” aimed in part at obtaining and retaining volunteer fire fighters. The details are rather sketchy. The Fire Chiefs and staff will get together to write the grant, which has to be submitted by August 31, 2007.