SWAN Newsletter #20

November 20, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

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

Under public comment Mr. Chris Peters asked the Supervisors for assistance with the installation of a new baseball scoreboard at Koon’s Park. Mr. Peters was asked to submit the request in writing for disposition by the Supervisors.

Mr. Wolfe noted that there were several positions open on various committees in the Township. It was also stated that the Red Top Road bridge would be open on Friday, November 23, 2007.

Under old business a public hearing was held on Ordinance 07-01. This was an accumulation of amendments modifying the zoning ordinance adopted in 2006. This amendment passed 4-1 with Mr. Seeds dissenting. Mr. Seeds primary objection was the combining of densities of variously zoned land with the retirement residentially zoned land and averaging the densities to arrive at a variable maximum percentage of retirement units for the combined properties. I agree with Mr. Seeds dissension, and believe that SWAN should object to this zoning modification. (I will try to obtain a copy of the amendments listed under 07-01.)

Resolution 07-50, authorizing the acquisition of right-of-way from Frank, Laura, and Kim Whitcomb from property identified as 122 North Nyes Road was approved unanimously.

Under new business, a public hearing was held on Ordinance 07-14 to amend the zoning designation of land commonly known as Sportsman’s Golf Course. This ordinance would change the existing Institutional, Agricultural-Residential, and Conservation Districts to Institutional and Conservation Districts. Mr. Charles Zwally, representing the land owners presented arguments in favor of this change. A member of Forest Hills residents presented factual concerns opposing this change. Traffic within the Forest Hills area, and to and from Route 39 was a major concern. Present problems with public water was another. An increase in density of 8.5 times by the elimination of the Agricultural-Residential zoning was another concern. A vote to table this ordinance was 4-0, with David Blain abstaining.

Resolution 07-48, amending the scope of work for expenditure of funds under the Township’s General Obligation Bonds of 2002, was approved 5-0.

Change order #6 with Liberty Excavators, Inc. for work performed at George Park was approved 5-0. Highway Occupancy Permit requirements made this extra work necessary.

A right-of way agreement between the Township and PP&L to provide electric service to the cellular tower to be constructed at the Public Works Facility at 5975 Locust Lane was approved 5-0.

The proposal from Brown, Schultz, Sheridan and Fritz to audit the accounts of the Township for the 2007 fiscal year and the authorization of the advertisement of a resolution appointing this firm as the official auditor of the Township for said fiscal year was approved 5-0.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the renewal of the preliminary subdivision plan for the Locust Grove Development, Section L (98-34) was denied 5-0.

Thanks to the diligent work of Watson Fisher, Resolution 07-49 accepting the dedication of streets in Quail Hollow, Phase III was passed 5-0.

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November 29, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING (7:00 – 8:15 PM)

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

Docket No. SE 07-08, an application MCR Properties, Inc. of 436 South Landsdowne Avenue, Yeadon, PA 19050, for a special exception to use the property known as 5005 Devonshire Road (former Sir Speedy property), as a construction company or trades person’s headquarters was approved 5-0. MCR proposes to operate a fire, smoke and water damage repair company at this site. MCR also proposes to add a 22 foot by 72 foot structure to the existing structure. This addition meets all requirements of the Office Neighborhood Zoning District.

Our distinguished neighbor, and SWAN member, Mr. John McNally represented MCR Properties, Inc. at this meeting.

Docket No. 1328 was continued to a later meeting date of this board.

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December 4, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING (7:30 – 8:15 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Public Comment, Chuck Barto of the Koon’s Park Pool Association, wanted to assure the Supervisors that steps were taken to insure that the pool would be operated and managed in a safe, reliable manner in 2008. This included a significant change in the Association Board which should help in the operation of the pool. This was done to quell rumors that the pool was going to be closed and the land used for other purposes.

George Wolfe reported that the tree lighting ceremony would take place at the Friendship Center, Friday, December 7, 2007 at 7:00 PM.

Under new business, the Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt ordinance 07-52, the Council of Governments’ proposal to oppose the unfunded mandates imposed by PA-DEP in its Chesapeake Bay Initiative. This mandate would force the affected municipalities to pay 50% of the cost of the initiative. This cost would be in addition to the costs already anticipated for sanitary sewer repair and replacement in the Township.

Ordinance 07-17 amending the Emergency and Municipal Services Tax by establishing a Local Services Tax, was reluctantly passed by a vote of 5-0. This change was made necessary by state law, and will cost the Township an additional $300,000.00 to institute the change.

Under subdivision and land development, the preliminary/final land development plan for Deluxe Hotel Suites (07-19) was passed unanimously. This property is North of Ridgeview Road and West of Mountain Road.

Resolution 07-51 accepting the dedication of streets in Kings Crossing, Phase III, was passed unanimously.

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December 11, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP (8:00 – 9:15 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Mark Levine, Darwin Aurand & Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

The discussion concerning the rezoning of Sportsman’s Golf Course was continued. As stated in previous reports, the property owners want to eliminate the AR section of this property making the property institutional and conservation zoning. This would increase the allowable density of this property significantly. At this meeting, Mr. Zwally, representing the owners, stated that he would meet with the residents of Forest Hills to address their many concerns. Mr. Zwally also stated that the owners would be agreeable to a lesser density than that specified by the institutional zoning ordinance, but did not provide a specific number. The results of both of the above proposals will be discussed at a future Supervisors’ meeting.

Discussions were continued with the McNaughton Company concerning the Autumn Oaks development regarding the Patton Road improvements and the recreation facilities. Joel McNaughton stated that they will proceed with the Patton Road design with ultimate Township approval and permitting. This will eliminate the Township’s design costs. The McNaughton’s also proposed a fee in lieu of recreational areas in addition to the recreational areas originally proposed. These conditions will be addressed at a future Supervisors Meeting.

Mr. Wolfe stated that DEP has reviewed and accepted the Township’s EEOC compliance plan.

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December 12, 2007

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended by Darwin Aurand and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher

Old Business

Martin L. Schoffstall Children’s Trust, et al – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #07-01

The 7 acre tract to be subdivided is located south of Devonshire Road, north of Wilshire Road, and across Devonshire Road from Costco. It is zoned R-1 and is proposed to be divided into 10 lots for single family homes. All county, HRG, and staff comments have been addressed. The commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

Autumn Oaks – Preliminary Subdivison Plan #07-21 This submission involves the first part of this large residential project located at the north end of Patton Road, specifically the 133 acre portion zoned RC Residential Cluster east of Patton Road planned for 203 units including 92 single family homes, 40 duplex units, 47 villa units, and 24 townhomes. It had been tabled at the commission’s November meeting to allow time to pursue the unresolved questions regarding required recreational facilities and the possible realignment of Patton Road.

The developer, McNaughton Homes, stated that they will design and construct the off site improvement realigning Patton Road. The township will prepare a developer’s agreement covering this work and will assist in the necessary permitting. This work will be completed by the time the third phase of the project is underway.

The resolution of the recreational issue remains. There is a difference of opinion between the township’s solicitor and the developer as to the SALDO ordinance requirement for the number of usable acres that needs to be dedicated for active recreation. In any case, because of the wetlands, streams, and steep slopes, it has been difficult to find a suitable location to provide enough contiguous acres to develop a proper regional park. The location originally proposed was not considered satisfactory by the Parks and Recreation Board at their recent meeting since it was almost inaccessible and on the perimeter of the development. The alternate location suggested by the board was not considered by the developer to be available. A commissioner commented that it appeared that the plan was developed without consideration being given to meeting the ordinance requirement for recreation space instead of making that requirement part of the initial planning.

The developer stated that considering the site constraints he feels that the best solution would probably be to provide a small area for a neighborhood park, build a bike path and nature trails as proposed, and make a fee-in-lieu-of payment to the township for the calculated difference between the cost of complying with the ordinance and of providing the land and facilities that they are able to. It was agreed that it will be necessary for the developer and the Parks and Recreation Board to meet again and come to a satisfactory agreement before the plan is sent on to the Board of Supervisors for their approval.
The commissioners recommended conditional approval of the submission subject to the satisfactory resolution with the Parks and Rec Board of the recreation issue and with the understanding that if that results in any changes to the road layout or the number of units the plan will need to be resubmitted to the Planning Commission.

New Business

Commerce Drive Dauphin, LP, 2800 Commerce Drive – Final Land Development Plan #07-26

This project involves a four story addition to an office building in the Commerce Park office complex. A portion of the lot is in Lower Paxton Township but the existing building and the addition are in Susquehanna Township. All comments have been received and addressed. The commissioners recommended approval of the submission.

The Estates of Autumn Oaks – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #07-27 This submission involves the 177 acre portion of the Autumn Oaks development that is located to the north of Centennial Acres and is zoned R-1. It will contain 95 single family homes on lots averaging 1.7 acres and one lot located near Parkway West for a large low profile water tank.

Colonial Road will be extended to the northeast through the development and will connect to Parkway West. This long stretch of road will be steep and will require a variety of traffic calming features for safety. There will also be a connection to Kensington Way to the west. Because of the topography of this portion of the development there is no way to provide as open area for recreation so a fee-in-lieu-of acreage payment will be made.

Darwin Aurand spoke to express his concern that there will be adequate buffering between the new development and the existing homes in Centennial Acres. He also stated that when the adjacent Forest Hills development was built many of the old trees that were intended to be saved subsequently died as a result of inadequate protection during construction. He expressed a general concern that conservation measures be taken for plants and wildlife on the mountain areas and the designated open spaces.

The commissioners recommended approval of this subdivision plan.

Spring Creek Hollows, Phase 1B – Final Re-Subdivision Plan #07-28 This subdivision plan previously approved was resubmitted with minor adjustments to the lot lines. The commissioners recommended approval of this revised plan.