SWAN Newsletter #23

February 12, 2008

LOWER PAXTON BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION

Attended and reported by Mark Levine.

The Board of Supervisors met in Executive Session prior to the workshop. The workshop session was scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., however a presentation by Steve Sutnaic, Director of Dauphin County Juvenile Probation on gang activity and violence took precedence, both were originally scheduled at the same time. Therefore, the workshop began on or about 7:30 p.m. Due to the inclement weather, several items were removed and the agenda was rearranged.

Review of amendments to Residential Retirement Developments proposed to the zoning ordinance by UD Properties. Union Deposit Properties requested clarification on where the 60’ building height should be measured. There was also discussion pointing out conflicts in description and interpretation of buffer widths with section 307.B.2. They also requested to advertise their intent for the property.

There was a discussion with Robert Brightbill on the proposed rezoning of the Lakeside Marine property north of Jonestown Road at Carolyn Street. The property as discussed is abutting lots making up Lakeside Marine. They had been zoned for Commercial use (C-1) prior to the rezoning. After the rezoning, the lots on one side of Fenway Drive were changed to R-1 (Residential) and the other side containing the business, remained as commercial use. Mr. Brightbill requested that all the lots be zoned for commercial use as they were originally. The County suggested possibly an R-2 zoning for the lots designated as R-1. The Board, after long discussion with Mr. Brightbill, agreed that the lots should all have the same zoning as that upon which the business sits. There will be further discussion on this at the first Tuesday in May meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

Just before adjournment, Mark Levine asked for Public Comment, the Board agreed and since it was getting late and with the weather as bad as it was, Mark presented the Board Members with a written request to further modify two of their adopted changes of the SALDO from their Nov, 2007 meeting. He also asked to be placed on the agenda of the next workshop meeting so those items can be discussed at that time. George Wolfe assured Mark that he would be on the agenda for that meeting.

February 28, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

(7:00 – 7:40 PM)

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

The application of Olympic Realty Development and Limited Partnership of Harrisburg for the subdivision of Property at 5101 Jonestown Road, Home Depot and Wendy’s, was granted 4-0. The variances requested included minimum lot width, impervious coverage, off street parking, parking setback, and landscaping. These ordinances were not in effect when originally purchased. No new construction is proposed. The reason for requesting the subdivision was to more easily identify the properties for tax purposes.

March 4, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

(7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Attended by Shelly Kunkel, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

During the Police Department Awards Ceremony, two Lower Paxton residents were given the civilian support award. Nine officers and one platoon were also given awards.

George Wolfe announced that the Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, March 15 at Brightbill Park at 1:00 PM.

Under Old Business, a settlement agreement between the Township, Chesapeake Design Build, LLC, and Triple Crown Corporation regarding an appeal contesting the Township’s approval of the Stray Winds Farm subdivision plan was approved 4-0.

The acceptance of the representation by Hawke, McKeon & Sniscak, LLP of the Township in any challenge to DEP Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy was approved 4-0.

A public hearing was held on Resolution 08-12, adopting the Greenway Plan as an amendment to the Lower Paxton Township Comprehensive Plan. This was approved 5-0. Shelly Kunkel presented the family’s concerns with respect to the Greenway Plan’s intrusion on private property and sewer line right-of-way. The Supervisors assured Shelly Kunkel that the Greenway Plan would be done in segments over a long period of time, probably starting in the Southern portion of the Township. The Supervisors also stated that there would be no intent to use eminent domain to acquire property. It was also stated that a procedure will be followed involving a preliminary plan, estimated costs, and the contacting of property owners for the particular segment before that segment will be approved. Mr. Stine noted that the sewer right-of-way was for that purpose only, and special action by the Supervisors would be required for any other use. Resolution 08-12 was passed 5-0.

Under New Business Resolution 08-14, authorizing the closeout of the Community Conservation Partnership Grant Project, which produced the Greenway Plan, was approved 5-0.

Supplement C to the engineering agreement between the Township and Aurora and Associates, PC, for work performed in conjunction with the Village of Linglestown Project was approved 5-0.

Change order 1 to the contract with M.F. Ronca & Sons for the Valley Road/Winfield Street sanitary sewer project was approved 5 – 0. This was for time extension only.

Change orders 3 & 4 to the contract with Premier Construction group for improvements at George Park were approved 5-0.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the preliminary/final subdivision plan for the Brown Farm (08-02) was pulled; no reason given.

The preliminary/final subdivision and land development plan for Allen & Annette Grossman, Harrisburg Foot and Ankle was approved 5-0. This property is on the southeast corner of Linglestown Road & Crums Mill Road.

Extensions were granted for the preliminary plan approvals for Huntleigh (03-34) and Autumn Ridge (93-47) by a vote of 5-0.

Note: The reason for the different vote totals was that Bill Hornung arrived late.

March 5, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Reorganization – Present Chairman Tom George announced that he would not continue in that position and recommended that Robert MacIntyre succeed him as Chairman. Mr. George thanked the members of the board for their service and especially recognized Parks and Recreation Director Brian Luetchford for his exemplary dedication to the township over many years.

The board elected Robert MacIntyre as Chairman, Ken Beard as Vice Chairman, and Mary Jane Horning as Secretary. Mr. MacIntyre thanked Mr. George for his over fifty years of service to the township in many capacities and warned him to be prepared for a “ticker tape parade” and ribbon cutting ceremony when the Thomas George Park is finished and officially dedicated in the not to distant future.

Linglestown Football Association – Bill Seeds, Jr. representing the association reported on the continuing efforts to repair the surface of the football field at Koons Park. As he had pointed out at a recent meeting, the field gets very heavy use, is worn down along the middle and has some low spots. Based on bids and estimates the association has received it would cost about $4800 to bring in and place topsoil to crown the field, fill in the low spots and repair the field, and about $4300 to seed, fertilize, water and provide follow up maintenance. The association will continue to solicit proposals and seek contributions for the project with the hope that the township would be able to assist financially.

Brian Luetchford reminded the group that township projects costing under $10,000 can be done after receiving three comparable quotations but projects costing more than that need to go through the entire formal bidding process requiring time and expense. He also said that the township has a limited annual budget for repair of fields and that it may be necessary to plan for this work to be scheduled for next year. He will inspect the field to evaluate the urgency of the need and review the budget in order to estimate how much the township might be able to allocate for this project. He stated that it had been 12 years since the field had been crowned and totally refurbished.

In a related item, it was noted that if the provisions of the proposed SALDO regulations are approved fee-in-lieu-of payments received from developers will only be able to be used for the purchase of land for recreation and can not go toward maintenance or development of parks and fields.

Scheduling – The process of scheduling the use of the township’s fields this year by teams and sports organizations for games and practices is ongoing. Typically more requests are made than can be accommodated. It was stated that some of the sports programs and organizations include people from neighboring municipalities and some of these programs involve more than 50% non-township residents. It was stated that in the future it might be necessary to somehow restrict use or request financial support from these organizations.

Wolfersberger Park – Discussions are ongoing between the township and the Capital Area Soccer Association regarding their possible purchase of a portion of the 93-acre tract for a soccer complex. Representatives from CASA will meet with the supervisors at the March 11 workshop session to further discuss this matter.

George Park – Work that remains to be done at the park includes the completion of the pavilion and the inline skate park, the parking lot paving, the entrance at Nyes Road including road widening and signs, the final water line hook ups, and the baseball field fences and backstops. Some of these items that are not already in the construction contract with Liberty Contractors will be put out to bid, or if possible negotiated as extras with Liberty.

Greenway Plan – The Supervisors at their meeting the previous evening approved the Greenway Plan for formal inclusion with the Comprehensive Plan. Final comments and suggestions by the Supervisors and the Parks and Recreation Board will be included in the final plan. The P & R board passed a resolution recommending that the Supervisors reconstitute the Greenway Committee. The board recommended that the committee consist of five members including one member each from the Planning Commission, the Sewer Authority, the Shade Tree Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Board, and one member at large. A letter will be sent to the Supervisors with this recommendation.

Kohl Memorial Park – The group that spearheaded the construction of Possibility Place at George Park expressed an interest in trying to do a similar project at Kohl Park by rebuilding the existing playground. Brian Luetchford said he was not sure that the township needed another Possibility Place type playground but he felt that the existing playground was in a poor location since it is somewhat secluded and that it could possibly be moved and upgraded. He acknowledged that the Supervisors were always looking for citizens groups to spearhead efforts and raise funds for park projects.

Koons Park Pool – Chuck Barto who is leading the effort to keep the pool in operation will be attending the Supervisors workshop meeting on March 11 to present the case for help from the township. At the present time there are not funds budgeted by the township to open or close the pool this year. Mr. Barto is working to organize a board to operate the pool. The P & R Board is concerned about the possibility that the pool will not be able to open this year after all the years that it has continued to serve the community. It was noted that Congressman Holden has been successful in the past in obtaining funds for the repair of municipal pools in his district.

March 11, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP MEETING

(6:00 PM – 10:00 PM)

Attended by Mark Levine, Eric Epstein, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

The Freedom Group presented a status report on its efforts to develop a skateboard court in George Park. The group is well into a fund raising procedure to raise the public share of $250,000.00 for this venture.

Mr. Barto gave a status report on Koons Pool. This pool will open and operate this summer barring any unforeseen major problems. Mr. Barto was asking the Supervisors to reinstate the funds donated to the pool last year (approximately $7,000.00).

Two plans for the Patton Road improvement were submitted; one by HRG (Township Engineer) and another by the developer’s engineer. The Supervisors appeared split over the two plans.

Mr. Luetchford presented a draft recreation dedication component of the proposed SALDO. A copy of this proposal is on file.

Mark Levine presented suggested zoning changes to the Supervisors on behalf of SWAN. Valid points were made. A second proposal will be presented at the April 8 workshop. A copy of THE SALDO PROPOSED CHANGES is ATTACHED.

Mark DiSanto and officers of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) presented a proposal for the re-zoning of approximately 60 acres of property at the Northeast corner of Parkway East and Linglestown Road. The BPOE has owned this property for 80 years. They are asking for a R-2 designation. The property is presently AR. Surrounding properties are R-1. Those involved were asked to look at alternatives before invoking any expenses.

A revised plan was presented by the Schoffstall Children’s Trust for the property located on the South side of Devonshire Road, (opposite Costco). The prior plan has been approved. The revised plan requests a zoning change to Residential Retirement (R-R). Surrounding properties are zoned R-1. This too would involve spot zoning.

Mr. Wolfe presented a review of draft bid specifications for the collection of solid waste and recyclables. The specifications contained some interesting alternatives for recyclables, which could increase total recyclables collected. Stay tuned.

Mr. Stine gave a brief presentation of the PA Right-To-Know Law. It appeared the Township does not have to make significant changes to comply.

March 12, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Old Business

Sportsman’s Golf Course – Ordinance 07-14 Rezoning Application – This same rezoning request was through the township approval process before but because it was not acted on within the required time it is now being resubmitted with no changes. It involves a large tract north of Linglestown Road including the Sportsman’s Golf Course. The Sportsman’s parcel is zoned (IN) Institutional, the next area to the north is zoned (AR) Agricultural Residential, and the northern most part is zoned (CO) Conservation.

As before, the request is to eliminate the AR zoning altogether by extending the IN district to the north and the CO district to the south, each of these two zones would be increased by approximately one half of the area of the existing AR zone. The developer intends to build a senior housing community on all or part of the IN district following the (RRD) Residential-Retirement Development requirements in the zoning ordinance. The project will include the extension of Continental Drive from the Forest Hills development west to the Susquehanna Township line. The Dauphin County Planning Commission representative recommended approval of the rezoning as he had when it was previously submitted.

Several residents of the adjacent Forest Hills development expressed the repeated concerns about potential ground water problems and increased traffic in the area resulting from the large development. As they had before, the Commissioners recommended approval of the rezoning request.

New Business

Text Amendments – Ordinance 08-03 Articles 307, 319, 803 Regarding the Institutional District

The ordinance contains four text amendments applicable to projects in the Institutional District only. The first is that under Article 307.B.2. the maximum building height would be reduced from 70 feet to 60 feet. The second is that in connection with that change the setback requirements would increase 5 feet for every foot of building height over 40 feet. The third is that under Article 319.G.17 regarding Residential Retirement Development (“RRD”) the maximum overall density would be reduced from12 to10 dwelling units per acre. The fourth is that under Article 803.D.1. the required minimum buffer yard with plant screening where the Institutional District abuts a Residential District would be increased from 30 feet to 60 feet.

The developer of the proposed project on the Sportsman’s Golf Course property offered these amendments. Dauphin County supported the first and third text amendments but not the second and fourth. The Planning Commission discussed them and felt they all had merit. They recommended approval of the four text amendments.

Holbrook/Fritchey Street – Ordinance 07-14 Rezoning Application The rezoning request involves two adjacent properties on the south side of Fritchey Street, 4611 Fritchey Street and 100 Holbrook Street. They are presently zoned (R-1) Residential Low Density and the request is to rezone them to CG Commercial-General. They were previously zoned commercial and the zoning was changed to residential during the recent rezoning project. They have commercial uses and the Commissioners recommended that the rezoning request be approved.

Shadebrook – Conditional Use 08-01 and Preliminary Subdivision Plan 07-14: These two items were on the agenda but were tabled when the applicant stated the submissions were not yet ready for review. This large unique project is a (TND) Traditional Neighborhood Development on an 86.8-acre parcel on the north side of Union Deposit Road adjacent to the Dauphin County Vo-Tech School. It is the first TND project in the township and will involve a complicated review and approval process. The Commissioners briefly discussed the need for the township to be prepared for this, which might involve some alteration to the current building permit procedure.

Estates of Autumn Oaks – Discussion regarding SWAN Comments: SWAN wrote a letter to the Supervisors and the Planning Commission dated February 4, 2008 containing an evaluation and recommendations relating to the plans for the Estates of Autumn Oaks project to be built at the north end of Patton Drive.

The items addressed in the letter were traffic on Colonial Road, retention ponds abutting existing residential properties, street lighting, sidewalks, steep slopes, streams, curbs, and natural areas. The Commissioners were told that a letter of response dated February 27, 2008, addressing the items had been prepared and sent to SWAN. Briefly, the response noted the following:

Traffic – PennDOT will not review the project since no state roads are involved. A Traffic Impact Study was prepared. By code no stop signs on Parkway West are warranted.

Retention Ponds – Grading, swales and detention basins should reduce runoff at the rear of existing properties. The township engineer will review the plans.

Street Lighting – Lights are proposed for safety and are not prohibited. PPL will install the lights.

Sidewalks – They will be on one side of the streets. They are not required to be built on both sides. Pervious concrete will not be used.

Steep Slopes – There will be steep slopes resulting from cut and fill required to site houses. The effect on Paxton Creek will depend on the detention basins built and other measures taken to control runoff.

Streams – There is no agreement if the streams on the site are intermittent or not. The township engineer is not required to evaluate the streams and their recharge capabilities.

Curbs – Vertical curbing is preferred on Colonial Road.

Natural Areas – The Township cannot control the amount of clearing of trees from house sites. The developer can be encouraged to retain as many trees as possible.

March 13, 2008
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
(7:00 – 7:20 PM)

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

The status of the new Paxtonia Fire Department equipment was questioned. It was noted that some very minor changes needed to be made for Co-Stars (State program) to be approved. This approval is expected imminently.

A question was raised concerning the Susquehanna Municipal Trust Program, which provides funds for municipal public safety entities. Each fire company can apply for a maximum of $1000 for training or physical fitness programs. A maximum of $5,000 is allowed for each municipality. Linglestown Fire Company expressed an interest in the physical fitness program. Requests must be submitted by mid April.

The Public Safety Committee’s appreciation picnic is tentatively scheduled for June 12 at Koons Park from 5:00 to 7:30 PM.

The next Committee meetings are scheduled for the Colonial Park Fire Station April 10 at 7:00 PM and the Linglestown Fire Station May 8 at 8:00 PM.

March 18, 2008
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 – 8:20 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Ken Parmer and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Supervisor Bill Hornung was absent.

Under Public Comment, Alvin Taylor introduced himself as a Democratic senatorial candidate for the 15th Senatorial District. Paul Shader asked whether the Bishop McDevitt school plan was a done deal. George Wolfe assured him that no formal action had taken place with the Township regarding the school plan. Any action with respect to this issue would be properly advertised.

Ken Parmer asked some questions concerning the re-zoning of the Sportsman’s Golf Course property adjacent to Susquehanna Township. The language of the advertisement concerning this property was in “legalese” and not easily understood by laymen according to Mr. Parmer. Mr. Wolfe stated that the Township was following regulations when posting such advertisements.

Under the Manager’s Report, Mr. Wolfe explained the increase in Waste Management’s billing for this coming quarter. Increased tipping fees at the Harrisburg Incinerator were responsible for this increase.

Under New Business, no bids were received for the sale of the Friendship Center’s used fitness equipment. The Supervisors opted to take $100.00 per item by a vote of 4 – 0.

Under Subdivision and Land Development the Supervisors approved the revised preliminary/final subdivision land development plan for North Mountain Road Office Court by a 4 – 0 vote. This property is located on the West side of Mountain Road abutting the school property.

The preliminary/final subdivision plan for the Brown Farm at 6370 Lyters Lane was approved 4 – 0.

Resolution 08 -15 adding streets acquired by the Township in 2006 and 2007 to the official Township docket through the Court of Common Pleas was approved 4 – 0.

March 27, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

(7:00 – 8:20 PM)

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

Dockets 1243 and 1244 involved the Sheetz property at Route 22 and Blue Ribbon Avenue. Under docket 1243 the Sheetz representatives argued that since the conditional use of the property was approved prior to the enactment of the new zoning ordinance, the ordinances concerning signing should also be applied under the old ordinance. The Township Zoning Officer disagreed. The case law presented by Sheetz in defense of their position was weak. Docket 1243 was denied by a vote of 4 – 1.

Docket 1244 involved a variance concerning the number and size of signs to be used on the Sheetz property. Since the number of signs to be used was actually less than the number permitted, and the size of the signs was similar to the signs used at the other Sheetz store in the Township, the variance was approved by a 5 – 0 vote.

THE SALDO PROPOSED CHANGES:

AMENDING ORDINANCE 06-05

LOWER PAXTON ZONING ORDINACE

ADOPTED NOVEMBER 20TH, 2007

Part 3. Districts

Adopted:

Section 301.D.1 is amended by replacing the first sentence of the purposes of the CO, Conservation District, with the following: To conserve important natural features, such as wetlands, creeks, flood-prone lands, springs and steeply sloped areas.

Suggested modification:

To add the following sentence: To ensure the preservation and conservation of the important natural features, the acreage/square footage of all such deemed natural features, shall not be included as part of the total acreage available in the calculation of the total number of permitted units.

Adopted:

Section 308.B. regarding wetlands is amended by adding: The Township may require that the qualifications and any certifications of the person conducting the wetland delineation be provided in writing to the Township. The Township may require that a statement be provided on the plan that is signed by the wetlands delineator stating that the wetlands are accurately shown according to a standard government wetlands manual or that wetlands are not present.

Suggested modification:

To modify the adoption by: Replacing the word ’may’ with the word ’shall’ in both sentences.