January 15, 2008


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Heroes Grove – A status report was given regarding the development of the “Dauphin County Heroes Grove” project to be located in LP Township’s Brightbill Park. A representative from the engineering firm designing the proposed outdoor amphitheater reported that the first phase of the project, the bringing in of fill needed to create the spiral shaped amphitheater, will soon be getting underway after more than 2 years of planning. They are finalizing agreements with firms that will have fill available and with someone to move the fill from the construction sites to the park.

There were quite a few questions raised. This is a county project to be built on township land with much of it being done by volunteers and with donations. No timetable has been established. The township will ultimately be responsible and liable for any problems. Final responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the area has yet to be established. Truck access to the area of the park involved during construction will be through the parking area on the west side of Colonial Commons. This lot was not designed for heavy truck traffic and the township will need to repair it after construction is completed.

The township stated that if the project should fail to go beyond this first phase for lack of funding the placement of fill would still be an improvement to the park. Final agreements for the construction access and for the delivery and placement of fill are not yet worked out and when they are, a further update will be given to the supervisors.

Union Deposit Corporation Rezoning – The rezoning request for part of the large tract off Linglestown Road including Sportsmen’s Golf Course was again discussed. The time period for concluding the request has expired and the approval process will need to begin again. Union Deposit Corporation’s attorney reviewed the request again and stated they would like to have some sense of the board’s consensus on the matter before restarting the process.

He reported that there had been a meeting with neighbors from the adjacent residential developments to the east and they seemed to have an understanding regarding the proposed buffering between the new development and the existing ones and the proposed location of multifamily units within the new development. He further explained that their rezoning request would involve the approval of some minor text amendments to the zoning ordinance, which he offered to prepare and provide immediately.

The board agreed to review the proposals as soon as they are received and begin their consideration of the matter again. Their three major concerns were the eventual total density of the development, the buffering, and the final building height requirement. The attorney stated that the building height requirement would not be an issue with them.
Autumn Oaks – McNaughton Homes agreed to realign a portion of Patton Road just to the south of the proposed development as an off site improvement. The township’s solicitor, Steven Stine, prepared a draft of a Roadway Improvement Agreement for that work which the township will send to McNaughton for execution. The board reviewed the agreement and suggested that it should require completion of the work before a certain number of units are occupied instead of having it be based on the completion of a particular phase of the project, which the developer could possibly manipulate. The design of the realignment presented by McNaughton differed slightly from the earlier design by Jeff Staub, which had been previously reviewed by Jim Snyder from HRG. Since Jim is no longer with HRG it was requested that Bob Grubic be asked to review the new plan.

Real Estate Taxes – Dauphin County asked the township and other municipalities if they want to participate in a program that would allow for a 30-day interest free grace period for unpaid 2007 real estate taxes. The county apparently feels this program could help delinquent taxpayers but the board generally disagreed and added that it might encourage delaying payment by others. After a discussion that having different tax collection rules for different municipalities would further complicate the process the board agreed to go along with the county and try it for a year.

Village of Linglestown Project – There was a continued discussion regarding the inclusion of a waterline along Linglestown Road as part of the Village of Linglestown project. This matter and the completion of property acquisitions by PennDOT are the last two remaining items that need to be completed prior to starting the project.

At this point the properties along Linglestown Road are not served by municipal water. If the decision is made in the future to provide them with water the road and sidewalks to be built now will need to be torn up. To include a waterline with this project will cost the township approximately $200,000, which the supervisors feel, is not fiscally prudent. The option is to get commitments from enough of the property owners along the street at this time to pay their share of the cost of the line and the hook up to make it worth while to install the water line when the road work is being done. If enough would commit the township would provide a $3000 credit against the cost to each property owner. It was mentioned that most of the buildings along the road are older structures for which the presence of fire hydrants would be beneficial. It was noted that some properties, which have fairly shallow wells, have experienced water problems.

The supervisors suggested that the Village of Linglestown Committee conduct a door-to-door campaign to explain the situation and to solicit commitments from property owners to participate.

CTCB – The Capital Tax Collection Bureau notified the township that it is making an “Equity Distribution” totaling $1,000,000 to the participating municipalities. There did not seem to be any accounting as to the exact amount the township would receive or how this related to CTCB’s responsibility for normal accurate distribution of tax revenues.
January 22, 2008


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Appointments – Neal Johnson and Robert MacIntyre were reappointed to fill the two vacancies on the township’s Parks and Recreation Board for 2008.

Old Business

Township Depository – On January 15, 2008 the newly formed Audit Committee recommended that a change should be made and that the M&T Bank be designated as the township depository for 2008. The motion to approve the designation was made with the understanding that the account would be administrated on a no fee basis. The motion was approved.

Employee Policy Manual – Resolution 06-22 accepting revised job descriptions for non-uniformed employees as part of the Non-Uniformed Employee Personnel Policy Manual was approved.

COG Challenge – The Capital Region Council of Governments is mounting a legal challenge of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s strategy to decrease the amount of chemical pollution from our state in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. It was stated that DEP”s effort is centered on putting added expensive controls on the operation of the waste water treatment plants without seeming to recognize that the largest amount of pollutants come from agriculture.

Lower Paxton Township has been asked to participate with financial support for the COG’s legal challenge against DEP on this matter. The board stated it recognized the importance of the problem in the bay but agreed that concentrating primarily on improving the treatment plants was not a proper or balanced approach. The board approved making a $2000 contribution to the COG in support of their challenge.

Humane Society – The board took action on an agreement with the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Inc. for the collection and housing of stray animals in the township for 2008. This year’s cost of almost $33,000 was a significant increase from the $12,000 in previous years. The township questioned the increase and is looking for a possible alternate solution in the future but at the present time there seems to be no other way to handle strays in the township. The board reluctantly approved the agreement.

New Business

Liquor License – Resolution 08-02 was a request for the approval of the transfer of a liquor license (R-1185) from an establishment in Swatara Township into Lower Paxton Township for the soon to be built Charlie B’s, LLC at 4332 Linglestown Road. It was presented by representatives of the owner. They stated that the upscale restaurant to be located on the north side of Linglestown Road east of the Weis Market will cost $6,000,000, seat 900 people, and have 200 employees. The request was approved.

Rezoning – Ordinance 07-16 would amend the zoning designation of a portion of the Chateau Woods subdivision, now under new ownership called Kings Point, from BC Business Campus to R-2 Medium Density Residential. It is located on the south side of Linglestown Road and east of Crums Mill Road. It consists of an existing townhouse development and two vacant lots. The rezoning request was approved.

Change Order – Change Order #2 to the contract with Collinson, Inc. for guide rail replacement along a portion of Jonestown Road consists of three small items with a net increase to the contract of $26. The Change Order was approved.
January 23, 2008


Attended by Eric Epstein, Darwin Aurand, Ken Parmer and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.

The first portion of the special meeting was for the board to review the status of the planning for recreation facilities for the first part of the Autumn Oaks residential development. This part will consist of 203 housing units to be built by McNaughton Homes on the 133 acre tract zoned R-C Residential Cluster located at the north end of Patton Road.

The initial plan that was presented to meet the requirements of the Mandatory Recreation Dedication Ordinance consisted of land at the far southern end of the development which contained wetlands and steep slopes and was considered by the board to be unsuitable. Since then at several township meetings the developer has been unwilling to offer any alternate plan that would provide better land for the building of a satisfactory neighborhood park. In addition, there remains a difference of opinion between the township’s solicitor and the developer’s legal council as to the ordinance’s acreage requirement for this development. The supervisors at a recent meeting had requested the Parks and Rec Board to make an effort to come to some agreement with the developer.

The second portion of the meeting was to allow McNaughton Homes, represented by Frances and Joel McNaughton and engineer Tim Mellot, to further discuss the matter with the board and to present any new proposal they may have developed since the previous meeting. They restated their previous arguments including the fact that the nature of the land made it very difficult to accommodate even the minimum acreage for an ideal park facility. There seemed to be agreement that a bikeway along Patton Drive and walkways and nature trails through the development would be provided but that no agreement could be reached on land for a park.

The inevitable option is for the developer to make the fee-in-lieu-of-land payment as allowed in the ordinance which would be collected as each of the six phases of this first part of the project is completed. It was previously stated that because of the topography of the land in the second part of the project, which is zoned R-1 Low Density Residential, the fee-in-lieu-of-land payment would be made for that part of the development.

After the representatives from McNaughton left the meeting the board directed Brian Luetchford, Parks and Rec Director, to prepare a letter to the supervisors informing them that the meeting produced no satisfactory agreement on the matter and that the resolution will probably need to be that the developer will construct the bike path and walkways and will make the fee-in-lieu-of-land payments with a deduction for the cost of the path and walkway improvements. The board commented on the necessity to find an accurate way to determine the actual cost of the improvement in order to end up with a fair fee payment.

The last portion of the meeting involved a discussion of a portion of the draft of the Mandatory Recreation Dedication document prepared by Brian Luetchford. There is a need to complete the recreation requirements so they can be incorporated into the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance which is in the process of being finalized. The board was asked to be prepared to consider this item at their next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 6.

January 31, 2008


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Harold E. Rudy, Jr. – Docket No. 1242. This variance request involves two small adjacent lots on the east side of Nittany Lane south of Locust Lane and west of the township’s highway department complex. The two lots and the adjacent residential development are zoned R-1 Low Density Residential.

The intent is to combine the two adjacent lots, which are each 50 feet wide and 150 feet deep, to create a 100 foot by 150 foot lot on which to build a house. The new 15,000 square foot lot will be 5000 square feet smaller than the 20,000 square feet minimum code requirement. The variance request is for relief from the minimum lot size requirement. The justifications for this request are that this lot will be as large or larger than the other lots in the development, the lots were purchased before the present zoning requirement was in place, the lots are not buildable without some relief, and that approval of this request will not be detrimental to the neighborhood.

The request was approved. The applicant will now need to submit a subdivision plan for approval to legally create one building lot out of two.

February 5, 2008


Attended by Mark Levine and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher

Earl Drive Interceptor – Bids have been received for the project to replace the Earl Drive Interceptor which is part of the Paxton Creek watershed system. The township engineer HRG and the townshipstaff recommended award of the contract to Greenland Construction Inc. A lower bid than Greenland’s had been received but it was allowed to be withdrawn when it was found to contain an obvious error. Greenland’s bid was the next lowest and HRG stated that they were familiar with that company’s work.

Greenland’s low bid for the work was $1,444,000 and their alternate bid which included a warranty of the work for one year after project completion was $1,460,000. The performance bond guarantees the work during construction but ends when the project is finished and is turned over to the township. After discussion it was decided that the additional year’s warranty on this project was worth the added cost.

The board by a 4-0 vote approved the award in the amount of $1,460,000 contingent on the receipt of all the necessary permits prior to the beginning of construction.

Walnut Street Corridor Study – Resolution #08-09 involved the township’s approval of the final draft of the Walnut Street Corridor Study. It had been prepared as a planning guideline for future development along Walnut Street and Route 22 east through Harrisburg, Penbrook, Susquehanna Township, and Lower Paxton Township, extending to the West Hanover Township line. This study has been quite some time in the making with input from all the municipalities involved.

The board discussion included a concern by Mr. Seeds that acceptance of the contents of the study might oblige Lower Paxton to enact certain zoning changes in the future to comply with the direction of the study which might not be in the best interest of the township at that time. It was pointed out that refusal to accept the study could detract from the implementation of many of its beneficial suggestions that the township helped to develop and that its acceptance would not mandate adherence to every provision in the study. It was determined that approval of the study was in the best interest of the township and as a result it was approved by a 3-1 vote.

New Devonshire Subdivision, Martin L. Schoffstall Children’s Trust, et al – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #07-01. This 7 acre tract located south of Devonshire Road, north of Wilshire Road, and across Devonshire Road from Costco zoned R-1 is to be subdivided into 10 lots for single family homes. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the subdivision at its December meeting. All HRG, county and staff comments have been addressed. A minor plan change was made relocating the storm water basin so that it is located on one lot instead of two. This will place the maintenance responsibility for the basin onto a single property owner and that responsibility will be included on the deed for that lot. A fence around the basin will not be required. The plan was approved by a 4-0 vote.

Spring Creek Hollows/Kendale Oaks, Phase 1-B – Preliminary/Final Resubdivision Plan #07-28. The revised plan for this phase of the residential development shows the minor realignment of property lines effecting lots 126 through 135 and lot 147. The small changes create more buildable area on certain lots by slightly shrinking other lots. The Planning Commission approved the revised plan at their December meeting. The board approved the plan by a 3-0 vote with one abstention.

New Devonshire Subdivision Planning Module – Resolution #08-10. The board approved this planning module by a 3-0 vote with one abstention.

February 6, 2008


Attended and reported by Watson Fisher

Scoreboards – The board approved the plan to install an electronic scoreboard at the Paxtonia baseball field with the understanding that the association would coordinate the installation with the school district which owns the field. The board also approved the replacement of the existing scoreboard in the right field of the midget field at Koons Park.

Linglestown Football Association – A report will be given to the board at their March meeting regarding the proposed repair of the football field at Koons Park.

Autumn Oaks – The supervisors received a memo from McNaughton Homes stating that they intend to pay a fee in lieu of dedicating any land for recreation for the Autumn Oaks development. The fee would amount to $2300 per housing unit times 203 units for a total of $466,900 minus the cost of the bikeway along Patton Road and the multipurpose walkway planned in open space areas in the development.

Park and Recreation Plan – Parks and Recreation director Brian Luetchford presented his final draft of the proposed new requirements in residential developments for dedication of land for recreation versus fee in lieu. As a result of his research of the National Recreation and Park Association recommendations and of the similar requirements in neighboring municipalities he is recommending the amount of land be based on providing 18 acres for every 1000 persons. This translates into 18 acres for approximately every 425 homes based on about 2.35 persons per home.

His discussion with solicitor Steve Stine resulted in an opinion that, based on the Municipal Planning Code, the township can require the developer to dedicate a certain amount of suitable land without giving him the option to pay a fee in lieu but it cannot require him to build any recreation facilities such as playgrounds or pavilions.

The new requirements will state that, except for developments of 50 lots/units or less, the developer will be required to dedicate land and not be given the option to pay a fee in lieu unless suitable parkland with proper slopes and soil conditions is simply not available anywhere on the parcel. When fee in lieu is paid it will be paid by phase of the development, the per unit amount being set yearly by the supervisors based on the average cost per lot sold during the previous year. Parks will typically be maintained by the homeowners’ associations and open to the public at large. If the use of a particular park is restricted to the residents of that development one half of the value of that park’s land will be charged as a fee in lieu.

These requirements and others in the draft if approved by the Parks and Rec Board will be forwarded to the supervisors and, if approved by them, will become part of the SALDO regulations currently being developed. The board should act on this at their March meeting.

George Park – An update was given on the status of the work at the park. The water line from Nyes Road is going in, the pavilion in almost finished, bids will be received soon for the road work at the park entrance on Nyes Road, and work on the two baseball fields including backstops and the completion of the infields will extend through the summer.

Greenway Plan – The plan will be considered for approval by the Planning Commission on February 13 and the supervisors on March 4. The Parks and Rec Board will need to then consider at their March 5 meeting how best to implement the plan, possibly by forming a new committee or reactivating the old one. The entire plan is now available for viewing on the township’s web site.

Playfields – There are more sports teams and organizations in the township that need fields for practice and for games than there are available fields. Scheduling is now underway in earnest for all the fields for the upcoming season.

Wolfersberger Tract – The Capital Area Soccer Association has been in discussion for some time with the township about purchasing from the township part of this 93 acre tract east of Linglestown on Wenrich Street in order to develop a soccer complex. The township had originally purchased the tract for $800,000. The supervisors had previously received a proposal from CASA for a 3 year option to purchase approximately 50 acres of the tract for $1,200,000, the current appraised value. Recently CASA requested that the supervisors consider a reduction in the offered purchase price since as part of the arrangement they would be losing use of the fields at Kohl Memorial Park, Lingle Park and George Park.

Mr. Luetchford reported that at their executive session the evening before the supervisors had discussed the request from CASA and in an effort to respond quickly they asked the Parks and Rec Board for a formal recommendation by February 8, two days later. The board quickly analyzed the pros and cons of the possible sale and outlined a hurried response.

The pros included 1) the township would realize a profit of $400,000 on the land, 2) CASA agreed to paid half of the estimated cost of $300,000 to make the necessary roadway improvements to Wenrich Street with the township paying the other half, 3) fields at other parks being used for soccer would be available for other sports and 4) there would be a new developed recreation area which the township would not have to pay for. The cons included 1) there would be limited use of the fields by the general public, 2) the fields would be used only for soccer so they would not be available for any other sports, 3) none of the other sports organizations in the township would benefit from this project, 4) the tract was purchased for the specific purpose to provide multiple recreation facilities for the residents, which would be compromised, and 5) the township would need to pay an estimated $150,000 for their share of the improvements to Wenrich Street.

The board discussed that the tract was purchased because there was becoming less open space available in the township and it was felt that the entire tract could be used as a regional park. They also stated that when George Park was planned input from of all the sports organizations in the township was solicited and considered. Here, if the sale should go through, that procedure will not have been followed and only one sport will be accommodated on over half of the available land.

On the other hand, they felt that after the cost for all the improvements at George Park the supervisors were not in a position to consider an extensive outlay for development of this tract anytime soon. It was also noted, however, that should the sale go through the township would be left with only about 40 acres for a future park which, after setting aside areas of wetlands and steep slopes, a required access drive across the tract, and a parking area, their would remain only about 25 acres available for active recreation.

The memo to the supervisors is to include the pros and cons mentioned above and the concerns noted. The board made it clear that they felt the supervisors were the only ones who should decide whether or not to sell the land and, if sold, what was an appropriate price. They felt that the proceeds from any sale that should occur should go to acquiring additional land in the township for recreation.

February 13, 2008


Attended by Eric Epstein, Shelly Kunkel, Eric Bucher, Dr. George Kunkel, and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.

Rezoning Application, Laurel Ridge – This rezoning request involves a 51.38 acre tract located on the south side of Linglestown Road across from Forest Hills Drive, east of the Quail Hollow development, and west of the Bumble Bee Hollow golf complex. The tract is zoned R-2 Medium Density Residential and the request is to change the zoning to R-3 Medium High Density Residential.

The tract contains an apartment and townhouse development that was built around 1975 consisting of 187 units which was the first part of a two-phase project. The entire tract is now under new ownership, the name has been changed to Laurel Ridge, and the intent is to now build the second part of the project including both apartments and townhouses. The problem is that in 2006 the zoning provisions were changed so that apartments are now not allowed in the R-2 zone. Without a change for this tract to R-3 the second phase cannot contain any apartments.

The new owner’s representative stated that other apartment complexes in the township had been rezoned to R-3 and that failure to do so for this tract had been an oversight and they wished to continue with a combination of apartments and townhouses as had been the original plan. They anticipated adding between 75 and 110 units in this second phase and he stated that being able to build some apartments would take less land and result in more available open space.

The commissioners stated that the failure to rezone this property had not been an oversight and that the intent was to control the density of new development on this site. The county representative reported that the county recommended denying the request primarily because access to site was limited to a single street. During the time set aside for public comment SWAN’s Eric Epstein expressed concern that the continual addition of housing units in developments along Linglestown Road added to the existing traffic problem and that any measure to control that was desirable.

The commission denied the request to rezone primarily because of the concern for increased density and traffic in this area. The owner intends to proceed with the project without including apartments in the plan.

Brown Farm – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #08-02 This plan involves the subdivision of a 47.08 acre parcel at 6370 Lyters Lane into two lots, one a small lot containing a house and out buildings and the other consisting of the remainder of the parcel. This plan had been previously approved but the necessary paperwork had not been executed within the required time limit resulting in the need for a resubmission. It is a simple subdivision request with no new development planned. The commission recommended approval of this plan.

Harrisburg Foot and Ankle – Preliminary/Final Subdivision & Land Development Plan #07-15 This project involves the construction of a new one story professional office building on a tract at the southeast corner of Linglestown Road and Crums Mill road and the plan for a future second building. This plan was previously approved and was resubmitted with some minor modifications after DEP ruled that there was a small area of wetlands at the location were a parking lot and access drive were planned. The commission recommended approval of this revised plan.

Greenway Plan Parks and Recreation director Brian Luetchford presented a short review of the Greenway Plan that has been in development for several years, has now been completed and distributed to the various township boards and, when approved by the supervisors, will become an addendum to the township’s Comprehensive Plan.

In response to the question as to how the plan will be implemented Mr. Luetchford stated that as development projects come up for consideration the plan will be a guide to identify opportunities to create trails and bikeways of the types and at the locations recommended. Present examples are the Autumn Oaks and Autumn Oaks Estates projects, the area near Hocker Park and along the Darrlington Trail, and the PennDOT project along Nyes Road. The development of trails in the township will of necessity be a long-term piecemeal effort as opportunities present themselves and as grant money and other funds become available. He stated that the Greenway Committee should be reactivated to direct the effort and it was suggested that a member of the Planning Commission be appointed to serve on that committee.

During the public comment period Eric Epstein reviewed for the commissioners what had happened at Stray Winds Farm concerning SWAN’s negotiations with Triple Crown Corporation. At the request of the neighboring residents the effort was successful in avoiding having a trail right-of-way along Paxton Creek that would have extended through private property. It also realized the gain of a lighted east to west walkway through the development, a north-south trail, and a recreation area.

The commissioners recognize the benefits of working with developers early. They pointed out that the Greenway Plan, as part of the Comprehensive Plan will be a plan only and not an ordinance. The township cannot mandate that any trail shown on the plan be built and there was never a hope to develop all the trails shown on the final plan. The plan is a guide only and no private land can be taken by eminent domain for the purpose of creating a trail.

SWAN’s Shelly Kunkel raised a question relating to her family’s property where there is an existing sewer right-of-way. She was concerned that this might be used as a location for a trail without the owner’s consent since it is shown as a trail on the plan. She was told that a utility right-of-way on private property could not become a trail location without the owner’s agreement. She also raised the general concern for the safety of citizens using the trails, especially those along wooded waterways, and for how trails that are built would be adequately policed.

The commissioners stated that the Greenway Committee would need to address all aspects relating to the implementation of the plan and the possible future need to make any changes in the ordinances relating to trails. The commissioners recommended that the Greenway Plan be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan with the provision that there can be no taking of private property for public use without the consent of the landowner. It was understood that the township would be free to negotiate with developers for the inclusion of trails in future developments.

February 14, 2008


(7:00 – 8:00 PM)

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

Four persons were interviewed to fill the open resident seat on this Committee. A recommendation by the Committee will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for their action.

The Committee will recommend that the fire equipment be insured at replacement value.

Preliminary plans were discussed for the Public Safety Committee’s appreciation picnic this summer.

February 19, 2008

Lower Paxton Township Board of Supervisors Meeting

(7:30 – 8:25 PM)

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

Under public comment, a Lower Paxton citizen had a complaint about sub-contractors blocking mail boxes on his street. He has spoken to the contractor involved in the project and the Post Office to no avail. He was hoping the Supervisors could be of some assistance.

George Wolfe announced that the Citizens Police Academy would begin March 20 and continue on Thursday nights for 10 weeks. Enrollment is limited to 20 persons.

Under old business, the Supervisors approved the appointments of Doug Vene to the Public Safety Committee and Doug Grove to the Lower Paxton Planning Commission.

Under new business, three bids for the purchase of road salt were rejected. The Supervisors opted to buy the road salt through the local C.O.G. (Council of Governments).

The Supervisors authorized the submission of a request for reimbursement of police officer training expenses to MPOETC.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the Supervisors approved the preliminary/final land development plan for the Commerce Bank office building located on the south side of Commerce Drive at Crums Mill Road.