SWAN Newsletter #24

April 1, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY BOARD MEETING

(7:30 – 7:45 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher, Ken Parmer and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Resolution 08-06 was approved 5 – 0 to authorize and approve a subsidy agreement with Lower Paxton Township To retire a portion of the 2003 bond obligation which can be done any time after April 1. A stipulation of a 2.5% net savings was added to the resolution.

It should be noted that the Township has an “aa3” bond rating. The Supervisors and Staff should be commended for keeping the financial status of the Township in good standing.

April 1, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

(7:45 – 10:00 PM)

Under public comment, Ken Parmer noted that the Supervisors had a long standing commitment to the conservation district along Blue Mountain in back of Centennial Acres and Forest Hills Developments. He stated that the commitment appeared to get lost with the 2006 Zoning Ordinance.

Under old business, Ordinance 08-05 was passed 5 – 0, authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds once the stipulation outlined above was met in the bond market.

A public hearing was held on Ordinance 08-03 pertaining to chances in building heights, setbacks, buffer zones and density in the Institutionally zoned areas. (Details on these changes may be found in SWAN Newsletter #23, under the Lower Paxton Township Planning Commission Meeting on March 12, 2008 under Text Amendments.) This was passed 5 – 0.

A public hearing was held on Ordinance 07-14 to amend the zoning designation of property commonly known as Sportsman’s Golf Course from the existing Conservation, Agricultural/Residential, Institutional to Institutional and Conservation districts. Of the 50+/- acres originally zoned A/R, the Institutional District picked up 37+/- acres and the Conservation District picked up 13+/- acres. Several Forest Hills residents whose properties border on the newly designated Institutional District objected to this zoning change. It should be noted that some of those objecting had not attended any Township meetings prior to this one. Much of the discussion centered on the definition of buffer zones and set back regulations and “fairness’ to existing property owners. After much discussion, often repeated, the Supervisors opted to table any action on Ordinance 07-14 until the April 15 Supervisors Meeting. Mr. Zwally, his client, and the Supervisors should be commended for “going the extra mile” to satisfy the concerns or people who had over a year to come forward with valid concerns.

Under new business, the Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to pursue any and all available enforcement options against Stephen F. Kessler for violation of a Consent Agreement governing Conditional Use 02-01.

The Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to transfer a liquor license (R-16009) into the Township for Da Pa Internations, Inc. for Mount Hill Tavern at 2120 Colonial Road.

Under Subdivision and Land Development, the Supervisors voted 5 – 0 to approve Resolution 06- 16, the Planning Module for Mount Hill Tavern.

April 2, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Arts Council – Mr. Stan Smith gave the board a report on last year’s activities and an update of the council’s strategic plan for this year. The township arts council has now been in operation for four years. In 2007 their activities included the formation of a band, summer camp programs at the Friendship Center, displays of township artists at the Chocolate Café, and numerous other projects. This year among other activities they intend to have more programs to showcase township artists, develop a data base of local musicians and visual artists, and have a calendar of their programs and activities on the township’s web site.

Linglestown Football Association – At the last meeting representatives of the association requested help from the board and the township to crown and repair the center of the heavily used football field at Koons Park. They estimated that the repair project they envisioned would cost around $10,000.

Parks and Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford reported that he had examined the condition of the field and while it is worn down the middle from hard use it still has a crown. He plans to solicit quotes from landscaping contractors to repair and reseed the area between the hash marks using topsoil that is already stored on the site and a recommended blend of perennial rye grass and either Kentucky blue grass or tall fescue. He estimates the cost would be around $5000.

The board requested that a letter be sent to the association asking them if they could contribute to the repair cost and/or provide manpower assistance.

CASA – The Capital Area Soccer Association asked the Board of Supervisors for permission to sod the soccer field at George Park. Mr. Luetchford said he is waiting for a letter from the supervisors but expects they will approve the request with the understanding that the field will not be reserved for CASA’s exclusive use. He also expects CASA will not agree to sod the field with that condition.

George Park – The inline hockey rink opening ceremony will be held Saturday morning April 19. Work is being completed on the rink and the pavilion. The water line connection for irrigation and the toilets will be completed. Additional work required to complete Phase 2 of the park project may be done by Liberty Excavators, one of the present contractors, as a series of change orders in lieu of going through another round of open bidding.

Greenway Plan and Committee – The supervisors previously approved the Greenway Plan for incorporation into the township’s Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Luetchford said he is gathering the final comments generated during the review process which will be incorporated by the consultants into the final plan. The P&R board will send a memo to the supervisors asking them to reactivate the Greenway Committee before next year to guide the implementation of the plan.

2007 Annual Report – Mr. Luetchford presented the department’s annual report. He highlighted the fact that the department has the largest number of employees of any township department. He noted that they conducted over 700 recreational programs for over 16,000 people at the township’s 34 ballfields and the Friendship Center including accommodating 30 youth and adult sports organizations. The Greenway Plan was completed and they are finalizing the relative sections of the SALDO document including the formula for the fee-in-lieu payments from residential developers.

Draft Priorities – Mr. Luetchford distributed copies of his extensive list of items the P&R Board needs to address in 2008. These include finishing George Park, finishing the SALDO document, establishing updated criteria for private use of the parks, initiating the next phase of the Greenway Plan, resolving improvements to Koons Park and pool, and finalizing the Wolfersberger Park plan.

April 8, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP

(6:00 – 10:15 PM)

Attended by Eric Epstein, Ken Parmer, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under Public Comment, Ken Parmer noted that the rezoning of the Sportsman’s Golf Course area from Agricultural Residential (AR) to Institutional (IN) was not in keeping with the Supervisors commitment in the late 1990’s to keep that area “green”. Ken also questioned the method and wording of the advertising of such zoning changes.

Under ongoing business, Lori Wissler questioned two items concerning the Shadebrook Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). The first was insufficient widths of bicycle cart ways on streets within the development. The second was insufficient lot widths for passive open space. In both these cases the representatives of Shadebrook stated that the Zoning Ordinance was not clear. This is true in the case of the bicycle cart way widths where no specific dimension is given. However, in the opinion of the writer, the minimum dimensions of passive open space are clearly defined in 314.F-1-a-8 as 50’ x 100’. Their argument with respect to the bicycle cart ways was that traffic (auto) would be moving slowly enough that bicycles and autos could share the same driving lane. In view of the fact that a through road, Fairmont Drive, bisects the TND, this argument is very weak. Neither of these items seemed close to resolution after well over an hour of discussion.

The next item on the agenda was a review of proposals from Recycle America, a subsidiary of Waste Management, and Penn Waste. This involves a new concept of re-selling the recyclables and returning a rebate to the Township, and to the individual customers. Since these were proposals, the normal procedure for seeking bids for services did not have to be followed. This resulted in a long discussion concerning whether or not to make public the monetary values of the proposals, and whether or not to give both submitters another 48 hours to resubmit proposals. The long, sometimes bitter discussion aside, the Supervisors finally decided to commit to the proposal of Penn Waste, and have Mr. Stine draw up a contract for approval at a future meeting.

At the request of the Parks & Recreation Board, the Supervisors will establish a Greenway Committee at a future business meeting.

Additional changes were added to the agreement with South Central EMS, primarily to clear up fiscal reporting.

Mr. Wolfe proposed some ideas to encourage the revitalization of the Paxtonia area.

Mr. Wolfe presented a second review of draft bid specifications for the collection of solid waste and recyclables.

With respect to SWAN’s presentation of suggested changes to the Zoning Ordinance, all Supervisors indicated they had copies of the proposed changes, and Mr. Wolfe provided the Township’s response. Of interest are the HUD regulations that provide for some enforcement procedures for the age 55-or-older housing. I doubt that these are being followed by the Township or developers.

Here is the SWAN proposed Zoning Changes (and then following, is Mr.Wolfe’s response):

AMENDING ORDINANCE 06-05

LOWER PAXTON ZONING ORDINACE

ADOPTED NOVEMBER 20TH, 2007

Adopted:

Section 319.G.5. Is amended by adding the following: however, if the RRD is within the IN District, then the maximum building height may be increased to 60 feet, provided the building is not closer to a lot line or street right of way than the building is tall, unless the abutting lot is in common ownership.

Suggested modifications:

Change ’street right of way ’ to ’ultimate street right of way’.

In the event the abutting lot IS NOT developed:

Either:

A. Eliminate ‘unless the abutting lot is in common ownership‘. Common ownership does not guarantee that the abutting lot will be developed as part of the same plan seeking approval.

Or:

B. Add ‘and the abutting lot will be developed as part of the same plan seeking approval.’

In the event the abutting lot IS developed or a separate plan is seeking approval:

A. Eliminate ‘unless the abutting lot is in common ownership‘. Common ownership does not guarantee that the abutting lot will be developed as part of the same plan seeking approval.

Section 319.G.2. Including a restriction on occupancy by at least one person age 55 or older. In such case, the maximum average density of the two developments, when calculated together, shall not exceed 6 dwelling units per acre.

General questions of concern:

1. How is the 60/40 or 70/30 age restriction going to be enforced?

2.Who is going to enforce it?

3. In the event that the 55 years of age and over residents fall below the required percentage, who decides:

A. which residents under the age of 55 must sell their homes

B. and when must put their homes on the market

C. and when (within how many days) must they sell their homes

D. and for what price?

E. If the dwelling is sold at a loss, is the Township liable?

Can the Township require that the occupant age 55 or older be an owner named on the Deed?

Or preferably, can the Deed require that an occupant age 55 or older be an owner named on the Deed.

GOOD GOVERNMENT FOR A GREAT COMMUNITY

Memo

To: Board of Supervisors

From: George Wolfe

CC: Community Development Department

Date: April 8, 2008

Re: SWAN’s Proposals for 4/8/08 Workshop

SWAN has requested to be placed on the agenda of the 4/8/08 workshop meeting to discuss proposed changes to the Township’s new zoning ordinance. In response to SWAN’s proposals, I offer the following:

Section 319.G.5 as it pertains to Street Right-of-Way vs. Ultimate Street Right-of­-way:

It is impractical to change “right-of-way” to “ultimate or future right-of-way.” At this time, the Township has not designated any future rights-of-way. To do so, the Township would need to prepare and adopt an Official Map in accordance with the MPC. An Official Map empowers municipalities to establish “existing and proposed public streets, watercourses and public grounds, including widenings, narrowings, extensions, diminuations, openings, or closing of same.” Attached is a reference from the MPC as it relates to the Official Map. Please refer to Municipal Planning Code Book: page 17; Article IV-Official Map; Section 401. Grant of Power; (1).

Also proposed to be changed within Section 319.G.5 are regulations affecting setbacks from “common ownership” parcels. As this section pertains to the common ownership issue I offer the following:

Lots and lot owners that are not in common ownership with that of a development are, by current provisions, provided additional protection from adjacent development. Lots in “common ownership” are not provided the same protection. “Common ownership” provisions are designed to protect the existing from the proposed. Once the proposed becomes existing, those who may succeed in ownership need no such protection, since they are aware of conditions as they exist. “Common ownership” provisions are not designed to ensure development continuity, but to protect that which is existing from that which is proposed.

Finally, SWAN raised several questions in regard to the operation of age restricted housing developments, as provided for in the zoning ordinance – in short, what are the mechanisms used to ensure that age restricted housing is and remains in use as it was originally proposed an approved.

There are two mechanisms that I am aware of to ensure that age restricted housing is used in accordance with its original intent. First, the zoning ordinance contains general provisions detailing an age restricted use. Violation of these provisions is enforceable in the same manner as any violation of the zoning ordinance. Second, age restricted developments are required to have private covenants, in compliance with federal regulations, that are enforceable by residents, landlords, and homeowners associations. Attached are two narratives describing federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations and the regulatory process as it relates to age restricted housing developments. Please refer to these two web sites:

http://www.manufacturedhousing.ort/publications/default.asp?id+10&article+120

http://brudnyandrabin.com/hud_rules.htm

April 9, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Old Business

Shadebrook – Conditional Use #08-01 This project is a TND Traditional Neighborhood Development on a large parcel of land 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. It consists of 318 residential lots and 2 commercial lots. This is the first project in the township to be developed in an area designated as a TND zone and complying with the newly created ordinance requirements for that zone. The township staff and boards will need to become accustomed to all the provisions and regulations of this new zone as they evaluate this first project.

The TND concept is to create an integrated walkable compact residential community with a commercial core consisting of small stores and shops surrounded by residential areas, parks and some open space. This Conditional Use request is to be able to increase the Maximum Overall Density of the project by a density bonus of 0.5 dwelling units per acre, as provided in the ordinance, if “the applicant proves that the architectural standards required by Section 314.D.13 will result in excellence in traditional architecture beyond the minimum requirements of this Ordinance….” The minimum requirements contained in that section are defined by the statement that “The intent is to have unified and consistent architectural styles while avoiding monotony.”

The developer gave a review of the previously approved master plan and made a detailed presentation supporting this request. The proposed housing types include townhouses, duplexes, single-family homes, and a few apartments. He showed pictures of the four architectural styles of the units, which are Colonial, Georgian, Victorian, and Craftsman. These styles will be appropriately mixed throughout the development. He also showed what the proposed 2 story commercial buildings along the main street would look like. They will be compatible in appearance with the styles of the residential units. There will be a developer’s agreement covering these legal requirements and the present and any future developers will be bound by these architectural restrictions.

The commissioners felt that the planning as shown met the ordinance requirement for “excellence in traditional architecture beyond the minimum requirements of the ordinance” and recommended that the conditional use request be approved.

Shadebrook – Preliminary Subdivision Plan #07-14 The review of the subdivision plan for this same project generated a wide range of concerns including its impact on traffic in the area. A traffic engineer who prepared an impact study indicated that the primary concern was the already dangerous and congested intersection of Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive just to the north of the project. He stated that the developer agreed to contribute to the signalization and construction of turning lanes at that intersection. Nothing was mentioned about any improvements to the intersections at Locust Lane and Nyes Road and at Union Deposit Road and Fairmont Drive. Locust Lane, Nyes Road and Union Deposit Road are state roads and Fairmont Drive and Cider Press Road are township roads. It was stated that even though some of the intersections in the proposed development look tight on the plan for school buses and emergency vehicles to navigate all were found to be wide enough to handle all such vehicles.

The other major item of discussion was the construction schedule. The plan is to build the residential areas in 4 phases over a period of 6 to 8 years but depending on the housing market that could change. The main question was when would the commercial core be built. It was agreed with the developer that when the first 25% of the building permits for the residential units were issued 25% of the commercial square footage would be built, and this parallel construction schedule would continue until when 90% of the residential building permits were issued 100% of the commercial square footage will have been built. It was agreed that this condition would be included in a developer’s agreement and that the pond, which is to be the focal point of the project, would be constructed in the first phase.

The commissioners recommended approval of the plan including the many requested waivers and conditional on the developer’s agreement containing the agreed to construction schedule and on the developers agreeing to the traffic improvements at the Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive intersection.

New Business

Giant Foods Stores LLC – Conditional Use #08-02 The request is to be allowed to build a 2 island gas station and a 2 bay carwash at the Point Mall on Union Deposit Road on the site of the old Wendy’s restaurant. The carwash is a Permitted Use in the CG Commercial General zone but the gas station is a Conditional Use requiring this submission of this request. There were questions raised about the planned traffic pattern around the car vacuum machine and the turning radius required for the large fuel trucks coming onto the site. The applicant will address these items. The commissioners recommended approval of this request.

Advantage Medical Transport, Inc. d/b/a Advantage Ambulance – Special Exception #08-01 This request is to be permitted to use an old fire house off Union Deposit Road as a station for an ambulance service. The ambulance company provides scheduled non-emergency ambulance service and will use the building to house the ambulances and for an office. The Zoning Hearing Board will make a final decision on this request and the commissioners voted to recommend that they approve the request.

Olympic Realty – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #08-05 This plan is a simple subdivision to divide the property on the south side of Jonestown Road which contains the Home Depot and Wendy’s into two parcels, one for each operation. There is no construction involved and the commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

Hoffman Ford Sales – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #08-06 This project consists of a 7000 square foot addition on the rear of the Hoffman Ford dealership garage on the north side of Jonestown Road and east of Colonial Commons. The land is zoned CG Commercial General. The addition will contain service bays and auto body shop bays. The applicant requested a waiver from the requirement to construct sidewalks along Jonestown Road and Jaycee Avenue but the commissioners decided that the sidewalk along Jonestown Road should be build. The commission recommended approval of the plan.

Wenrich Heights – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #08–07 The property being subdivided is approximately 4 acres in size to the south of Linglestown Road on the west side of Wenrich Street and next to Whisper Wood Lane. The tract is zoned R-2 and will be subdivided into 18 single-family building lots. The commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

April 10, 2008

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING (held at the Colonial Park Fire Station)

(7:00 – 7:45 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

There were no new items requiring action at this meeting.

The writer again asked a question about the Shadebrook Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), primarily concerning traffic safety and access to the development. The Fire Chiefs had forwarded their concerns to the Supervisors several months ago. There has been no response to this submission.

The group appreciated the tour of the station including the museum.

April 15, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Old Business

Sportsman’s Golf Course – Ordinance #07-14 Rezoning Application This rezoning request involving the large tract north of Linglestown Road including the Sportsman’s Golf Course was tabled at the March 1st supervisors meeting to allow more time for the residents in the adjacent developments to further discuss with the developer particular issues regarding the proposed development. The large portion of the 150 plus acre tract is zoned IN Institutional and the rezoning request involves 37 acres in the north portion that would be rezoned from Agricultural Residential (AR) to Institutional (IN) and 13 acres that would be rezoned from AR to Conservation (CO).

The developer pointed out that both the Dauphin County and the Lower Paxton Township Planning Commissions recommended approval of the request. Also, the developer stated that he has met with the residents several times and has made numerous concessions to them regarding setbacks, buffers, density, and building heights.

Public comment from a large group of neighbors included concerns that the neighbors were not aware of the rezoning request, the notices that were sent out were not clear enough for them to understand what was being proposed, the concession on setbacks was not agreed to and was not large enough, there was no plan from the developer showing what exactly was proposed, the request deviated from the Comprehensive Plan, there was no suitable transition area between their developments and the adjacent institutional use area, and there were questions about potential water and sewer problems. In response it was pointed out that there is no legal requirement for a formal notice and that some of the concerns expressed should normally be addressed at the Land Development stage of a development and not as part of a rezoning request.

The neighbors requested that the board yet again delay action until they have more time to discuss their concerns with the developer. The board decided to withdraw the rezoning request from this meeting’s agenda. They have until their next business meeting on May 6th to formally act on the request and if they take no action at that time the request will die. Should that happen and the developer wants to continue to pursue this rezoning request the procedure would need to start over again.

Penn Waste Penn Waste has prepared an agreement between their company and the township for Penn Waste to purchase recycled materials collected by the township. The board approved this contract.

New Business

Holbrook/Fritchey Street – Ordinance #08-04 Rezoning Request 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 had been zoned commercial and the zoning was changed to residential during the 2006-rezoning project. Both currently have commercial uses and the Planning Commission at their March meeting recommended that the township generated zoning request be approved. The board approved the request.

Arbor Day – Proclamation #08-01 Arbor Day this year is designated as April 21st and a ceremony is set for 1:00 PM at George Park. The proclamation was approved.

Greenway Committee – Resolution #08-17 After the Greenway Committee that directed the preparation of the Greenway Plan finished its work and was disbanded the plan was formally approved and became part of the Comprehensive Plan. The Parks and Recreation Board recommended that the committee now be recreated to guide the future implementation of the plan. They also recommended the committee consist of representatives from the Board of Supervisors, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the public. The supervisors approved the creation of the committee as recommended by the P&R Board.

Highway Occupancy Permit – Resolution #08-18 This resolution is to authorize the township manager to execute a Highway Occupancy Permit with PennDot for the driveway from Nyes Road into the Thomas B. George Jr. Park. The board approved this resolution.

Valley Road/Winfield Street Sewer Replacement Contract This approval request is for Change Orders #2 through #6 to the construction contract for this project to increase the size of sewer line on Valley Road and Winfield Street near the Colonial Road intersection as part of the intersection realignment project. Most of the change orders relate to costs for unforeseen paving extras. The change orders were approved..

Dauphin County Technical School – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #06-40 This project includes additions and renovations to the school at 6100 Locust Lane. It was previously approved in March of 2007 and is now being resubmitted with minor changes including the realignment of a sidewalk in front of the school and the addition of a paved area for storage at the side of the building. The revised plan was approved.

April 21, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION WORKSHOP MEETING

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

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of creating Business Improvement Districts in the township. These districts can be created by the township under state law where a “district or districts may be designated as all or part of any community which is zoned commercial or which is used for general commercial purposes.” The purpose of the district is to provide improvements to the area including beautification, sidewalks, parking, street furniture, lighting, advertising, traffic control, pedestrian access, etc., with the goal of improving the business climate for existing retail and other operations in the area and to attract new commercial development.

If a particular area in the township is proposed as a Business Improvement District it could not be designated as such if more than 40% of the businesses in that area actively object to the designation. If it becomes designated as such all the businesses in the district would be assessed a proportional amount to fund the improvements and the township would appoint a board to manage the improvements.

The commission questioned how best to proceed; realizing that neighboring municipalities are continuing to develop retail areas and our township needs to keep pace. The first step was to consider what areas in the township should be considering as potential districts. The three that were discussed were Linglestown, Paxtonia, and the Route 22 Corridor. It was hoped that whatever area might be designated first would be done successfully to get off to a good start. This would suggest looking first at the small areas of Linglestown or Paxtonia. However, the realization is that these small business areas would probably not be able to generate enough in assessments to fund any substantial improvement projects.

It was decided that the first area that should be considered is the major business area of the Route 22 Corridor, probably extending from Colonial Road east to Mountain Road. In order for the township to be able to generate enough support for the designation of this area to be an improvement district there would need to be some kind of preliminary plan in place to show the land owners of the malls and the other businesses along route 22 the kind of improvements they would expect to get for their participation. The township would need to cover whatever up front expenses are needed to have a preliminary plan in place.

How to proceed with contacting the land and business owners was discussed. Because of the size of the proposed district and the fact that it is a long and narrow area it was suggested that it be divided into some number of segments and people would be contacted by segment instead of trying to deal the entire area at once. The principle parties involved are the land owners of the large shopping malls along route 22 who will be speaking for all of their tenants.

It was decided that at the commission’s next meeting on this matter they will outline on a township map the exact area of the proposed business improvement district and will designate the suggested segments. The township’s land use map and aerial photos will be used . SWAN’s Ted Robertson suggested that they also review the Walnut Street Corridor Study which addressed some of the same improvement issues that will come up in the decision making process for this effort. That meeting will be held on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 5:30 PM in the township building.

April 24, 2008

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

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

Advantage Medical Transport, Inc d/b/a Advantage Ambulance – Special Exception #08-01 This request is to be permitted to use an old fire house as a station for an ambulance service. The building is located at 733 Firehouse Lane, which is north of Union Deposit Road and just east of the Central Dauphin East Junior High School and is in the IN Institutional district. If the request is approved they will be purchasing the building.

The ambulance company provides scheduled non emergency ambulance and wheelchair van service for hospitals and nursing homes in the Harrisburg area and would use the building to house their vehicles and for an office. The company has 20 full time employees and is presently working out of a rented building at 5450 Derry Street. The Planning Commission reviewed this request at their April meeting and recommended that it be approved.

The proposed use of this building comes under the category of “Emergency Services Station” which is allowed in an Institutional district only if approved as a Special Exception. The definition of an emergency services station includes emergency medical use and related activities and this ambulance service was considered as a related activity.

Representatives from the South Central Emergency Service organization raised objections to the approval of this request on the grounds that the Advantage company compared to their operation was not as big, had not been in the business in the area as long, and was not as well qualified. It was pointed out that the request being heard involved only compliance with the zoning requirements and that whether or not the business was successful was not germane to this legal matter.

The board approved this request for a special exception with the condition that no one resides in the building except when on duty and that at all times an officer of the company retains accreditation as an emergency medical technician thereby qualifying the operation as an Emergency Services Station under the terms of the ordinance.

Cantone’s Southern Italian Restaurant – Variance Request Docket No. 1245 This request relating to the addition of a deck was continued at the request of the applicant.