SWAN Newsletter #45
March 2, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(7:30 – 7:45 PM)

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

Under New Business: The Authority approved Resolutions 10-08 and 10-09 unanimously. These resolutions authorized the Subsidy Agreement and Guaranty Agreement with Lower Paxton Township for the PENNVEST financing in the amount of $16,630,000.00.

March 2, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:45 – 8:30 PM)

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

Under Public Comment: Mark Levine had two comments as a private citizen. The first was a request for additional signage on the West side of Crum’s Mill Road at the crest of a hill just south of the intersection with McIntosh Road to indicate the right turn on Crum’s Mill Road. Mark’s second request was for the present owners of the former Kessler property along Colonial Road to honor Mr. Kessler’s pledge to upgrade the sewage pumping station on the East side of Colonial Road North of the intersection with Devonshire Road. George Wolfe stated that to his recollection there was no final plan approval for this property. This satisfied Mark.

Under Old Business: After a public hearing, Ordinance 10-01 was approved unanimously. This authorized the issuance of general obligation bonds, Series 2010, in the amount of $16,630,000.00 to PENNVEST.

Resolution 10-09 was amended and reaffirmed by a vote of 5 – 0. This Resolution accepts a Solar Energy Program grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority in the amount of $3,000,000.00. The total cost of the project was amended from $14,000,000.00 to $16,000,000.00.

Under New Business: Resolution 10-10 was passed unanimously. This authorizes the destruction of certain municipal records in accordance with the PA Municipal Records Manual.

Resolution 10-11 was passed unanimously for the appointment of Supervisor William B. Hawk to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

Under Subdivision and Land Development: The final subdivision plan for Chelsey Falls, Phase II (07-03) was pulled.

March 3, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Report to the Parks & Recreation Board At last month’s P&R board meeting the Greenway Committee made a report on their activities and proposed projects. It was acknowledged that grant applications for any of these projects had little chance of being awarded anytime this year. The committee was reminded that the procedure is that any formal action they wished to take had to go through the P&R board which would then present it to the supervisors.

Trail Blaze Template It had been decided that trails in the township will be marked by a footprint shaped blaze and a template of the footprint that will be used to paint it was presented. The blaze markings will be white.

Adding Committee Members The proposed increase of committee members from the current five members to seven had been approved by the supervisors. It was decided that the P&R board would interview interested applicants and the P&R department will begin the process by contacting people who had previously expressed an interest in serving.

Brochure The committee has created a draft of a brochure that will identify trails, paths and other locations for walking in the township. Additional information that will be added to the brochure will include the distances of the trails and GPS coordinates. Of the twelve trails currently listed six are on township property, five are on school district property, and the other one is indoors at the Colonial Park Mall. Other trails that had been identified that are on private property are not included. The school district and the mall will be contacted and their permission to list the trails that are on their properties will be gotten before the brochure is published. Hard copies of the brochure, when it is finalized, will be distributed but it will also appear on the township’s web site and in the quarterly newsletter.

SALDO The committee’s comments on the draft revisions to the township’s Subdivision and Land Development Plan have been submitted and will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at their March meeting.

Sidewalks The committee will be continuing to use the Greenway Plan maps to identify locations where relatively short extensions of existing sidewalks could provide completions of pedestrian loops. They will evaluate these during their tour of the parks later in the spring.

March 3, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Centennial Acres The owner of a house adjacent to the township’s Centennial Acres Park requested that he be allowed to erect an 8 foot high by 90 foot long visual screen between his property and the park’s basketball court to afford him privacy from the park activities. After discussion the board acted to advise him that township regulations would allow him to build a maximum 6 foot high fence. It was noted that the park activities should have been no surprise to him since the park had been there long before he bought the lot and built the house.

Koons Park Softball Batting Cage At the January meeting Sam Hartley representing the Linglestown Softball Association had requested permission to install a batting cage between Field #2 and the adjacent residential property and to run an underground electrical line to the cage for a pitching machine, all at the expense of the association. He was asked to return with more details, which he did, and some board members had visited the field to evaluate the proposed location. It was agreed that the proposed project was acceptable and that the department would make a courtesy contact with the owner of the adjacent private property to ensure that he had no objections to the plan.

Animals on Park Property At the January meeting it was agreed that signs would be posted at the parks advising the public that the leash law controlling domesticated animals on park property would be enforced. The police and the district justice have agreed that on a first offense a warning letter would be issued and after that a fine would be imposed. The signs were approved and made and will be posted.

Park Tour The board has scheduled their spring tour of the parks for Saturday, April 10, 2010.

March 9, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:20 – 8:30 PM)

Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Gary Crissman

George Wolfe presented a punch list of what staff has learned from the snow emergencies that occurred between February 6th and February 15th. This list will be reviewed at a status meeting on May 27th. A final plan for the improved handling of emergencies in the Township should be ready for the Supervisors approval this fall.

Apparently Lower Paxton Township was used as an example in a presentation to the Harrisburg Home Builders Association at Colonial Country Club. The subject was “Removing Barriers to Housing.” The little information which was revealed at this meeting indicated a definite bias toward unfettered development of residential areas. (Surprise !!!).

There was a somewhat heated discussion concerning the petition from Linglestown residents and business owners to open Raspberry Alley as a public street during the Linglestown Project construction. The Supervisors suggested as a first step to have a preliminary engineering study done to determine what can be done both legally and financially.

March 10, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

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

Reorganization Meeting The commissioners voted to retain Fred Lighty as Chairman, Ernst Gingrich as Vice Chairman, and Dennis Guise as Secretary for 2010. Commission meetings will continue to be held at 7:00 pm on the second Wednesday of each month. Workshop meetings will be held at 5:30 pm on the third Monday when scheduled.

Old Business

SALDO Review The township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance has been in the process of being updated for some years and the commission at this meeting conducted a final review of the proposed changes prior to its adoption. Some last minute revisions were proposed by the township’s Greenway Committee, primarily in order to incorporate certain items from the recently adopted Greenway Plan into the ordinance. SWAN’s Mark Levine presented a series of proposed changes or clarifications to the list of definitions in the ordinance, some of which were added to the list of changes.

All of these and various other proposed changes were discussed with HRG’s engineer Steve Flemming who made recommendations on them to the commissioners. The commissioners voted to recommend approval of the ordinance including the comments agreed to at the meeting.

New Business

Bretz – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #10-01 This request is to relocate a lot line between two vacant lots, 418 and 420 Trudy Road, zoned R-1 Low Density Residential. The change is needed to bring both lots in compliance with township requirements for lot size. Sidewalks will be installed when the houses are built. The commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

Schoffstall – Application for Rezoning This request is to rezone a 7.2 acre parcel on the south side of Devonshire Road and north of Wilshire Road across the street from Costcos from R-1 Low Density Residential to R-2 Medium Density Residential. The property is owned by the Schoffstall Childrens Trust. Two years ago their request to rezone the property to IN Institutional, which would have allowed them to build a Residential Retirement Development, was denied. This request for R-2 zoning would allow an Age Restricted Residential Development on the property.

The Dauphin County Planning Commission recommended approval of this request. The applicant noted that the parcel is shown on the township’s Comprehensive Plan map as low/medium density which would suggest that R-2 zoning would be acceptable. Also, he pointed out that with Commercial/General for the shopping center across the street this change should not be considered to be spot zoning. If the rezoning is approved the applicant is proposing a condominium development of 34 two story residential units in a combination of duplex homes and townhouses.

The commissioners voted to recommend approval of the rezoning with the restriction that the development be limited to 34 residential units.

Wind Energy Subcommittee The discussion by this subcommittee will be scheduled at a future meeting.

March 15, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION WORKSHOP MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

The previous workshop sessions have been devoted to the development of a Business Improvement District (BID) along the Route 22 business corridor in the township. The BID is an organization that can be created under an act of the state legislature for a group of business owners in a defined area to make improvements for the benefit of the businesses, these improvements being funded by assessing all of the business property owners.

The commissioners previously identified the area of the proposed district and agreed on the types of improvements they felt would be beneficial to the businesses in that area. They then held two meetings with owners of business properties and received their general concurrence. They then received approval from the supervisors to begin the formal process of creating the BID.

The next step now is to prepare a preliminary plan meeting all the detailed requirements of the Neighborhood Improvement District Act under which the BID falls. To begin this effort the commissioners met to review the required items and initiate the process. The individual commissioners each agreed to pursue one or more of the various items required for the preliminary plan submission. They already have the required detailed map and a listing of all the business properties that are in the specific area chosen that then would be assessed. They agreed that for this initial submission the name of the proposed district would be the “Colonial Corridor Improvement District.”

Previous discussions had identified the initial proposed improvements as falling into three general categories. These are beautification, marketing, and traffic management. They discussed that beautification would initially involve the hanging of seasonal flags along the length of Route 22 in the district and possibly hanging flower baskets as well. Under marketing would be the creation of a web site, brochures, advertisements and the placement of entrance signs at each end of the corridor. Traffic management would initially involve getting a traffic study to assess what non construction improvements could be made within the limited budget available. The budgeted preliminary costs for these improvements will be generated and in some cases will be based on information contained in the preliminary plans of other similar districts.

It was recognized that about of a third of the proposed budget would be for costs of administration which would include probably one full time and one part time employee of the non profit corporation. It was hoped that the township would provide a small office area in the township building for this function. At next month’s meeting the commissioners will begin to pull the various pieces of the preliminary plan together.

March 16, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(7:30 – 7:35 PM)

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

Absent: Bill Hornung and Gary Crissman.

Resolution 10-10 for the condemnation of land owned by Faith Presbyterian Church for a sanitary sewer easement was approved by a vote of 3-0.

March 16, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:35 – 8:05 PM)

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

Under New Business the Supervisors approved an agreement with the Humane Society of Harrisburg for animal collection services for 2010 by a vote of 3 – 0.

The Supervisors approved Resolution 10-12 which authorizes the Township Manager and Finance Director to forgive real estate tax penalty and interest in specific and limited situations up to a maximum of $250.00. The vote was 3 – 0.

The first Township meeting aired on Verizon cable was somewhat less than award winning. There was no sound on Verizon cable and no picture on Comcast.

March 25, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING
(7:00 – 9:05 PM)

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

DOCKET 1276 was a request for a variance on behalf of the BAPS Temple at 5405 Locust Street for relief from having to submit a land development plan for the addition of a 3200 square foot building as accessory to the main Temple. It became clear during the discussion that the definition of an accessory building is inadequate in the existing SALDO. The request for relief was granted by a vote of 5 – 0.

DOCKET 1272 was a continuance of a request by Szeles Real Estate Development Co., for a variance from maximum sign area, set back and sight triangle restrictions for a sign off Lyters Lane at Spring Hill Road and Spring Creek Hollows. The Zoning Hearing Board had previously requested comments from the Township Engineer concerning this request. The Township Engineer read his comments using PennDOT clear sight requirements to back up his reasons for denying the variance request. There was no representation from Szeles at this meeting. The variance request was denied by a vote of 5 – 0.

DOCKET 1277 was a request for a variance from the minimum rear yard set back requirement at 1401 Karen Drive for the addition of a rear deck. The deck is being provided free of charge by a national company which ran a contest for present day veterans. The property owner making the request for the variance won the contest. Note: This gentleman served one tour of duty in Kosovo and two tours of duty in Iraq. Neighbors attended the meeting and provided letters supporting the request for the variance. The request for the variance was granted by a vote of 5 – 0.

DOCKET 1278 was a request for a variance from minimum lot area in connection with the proposed subdivision of the property at 203 Sunset Drive. The original plan approved in 1922 had six (6) lots 25’ X 124’. The proposed plan would have two (2) lots 75’ X 124’. Since the proposed plan is in keeping with the Paxtonia neighborhood, the variance was granted by a vote of 5 – 0.

April 6, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 – 9:00 PM)

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

Public Safety Director David Johnson presented awards for outstanding service for the year 2009 to Lower Paxton residents, police, fire, and ambulance personnel. The actions on the part of those receiving the awards were impressive to say the least.

Under Old Business: The Supervisors voted unanimously to accept two (2) Dauphin County Local Share Grant agreements. The first grant was for improvements to Blackberry and Raspberry Alleys in the amount of $250,000.00. The second was for improvements to Page and Spring Creek Roads also in the amount of $250,000.00.

Under New Business: The preliminary/final subdivision plan for Bretz (10-01) was approved by a vote of 5-0. This was a minor lot line adjustment.

The preliminary/final subdivision plan for the Best Western Hotel and Suites (09-20) was deferred to allow time for a parking and access lease agreement review.

The final subdivision plan for Chelsey Falls, Phase II (07-03) was withdrawn.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Declarations of Consolidation of previously subdivided lots for Dan Snow (10-02).

April 7, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Greenway Committee Members Committee Chairman Chris Johnson has resigned due to his moving out of the area. This leaves only four active members for the committee which previously had five members but which was recently approved to be enlarged to seven. The Vice Chairman will temporarily serve as Acting Chairman. The Parks & Recreation Board will interview applicants in a few weeks for the three vacant positions and when those are filled new officers will be elected.

Trail Markers and Signs Existing walking trails in the township have been identified and will be marked by a footprint shaped blaze along the trails. In addition the trail heads will have a post with a township logo and signage identifying the trail. It might be possible for the signage to be created and made by Vo-tech students and put in place as a scout project.

Brochure The design of the Walking Opportunities Brochure is nearing completion. A suitable map is being prepared and detailed information regarding the location, length and description of each of the 13 numbered individual trails has been developed to be included in the brochure. Five of the trails are on school properties and it is expected that the public’s use of those trails will not be allowed during school hours. Design work on the brochure should be finished in June.

SALDO The committee’s suggested changes to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance were approved by the Planning Commission at their March meeting and have been forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for final action.

Sidewalks The committee continues to address their desire to have small sections of sidewalks installed in the future at particular locations in the township where gaps exist along logical pedestrian corridors. Members will review the areas of the township where they live to establish priorities for the supervisors to consider in the future when funds might be available. Priority locations would be near schools and parks and between adjacent developments.

April 7, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Koons Swim Club Representatives from the club presented a status report on the preparations for the 2010 season. The pools are in good condition, the baby pool was painted and minor repairs to the building roof were made. The membership drive has been underway, staff hiring has been started, fund raising is ongoing, and learn to swim and day care programs have been signed up. The operating board is in place and except for the bank loan and the line of credit all bills from last year have been paid.

Interviews The P&R Board will be interviewing applicants for the Greenway Committee. The committee has recently been authorized to increase their members from 5 to 7 and the chairman just resigned so they need to appoint 3 new members. Interviews will be held in a few weeks in an effort to fill the 3 seats promptly.

Centennial Acres At last month’s meeting a homeowner adjacent to the basketball court at the township’s Centennial Acres Park requested to be allowed to erect a visual screen at the rear of his property for privacy. The board agreed that the request should be denied. At this meeting the board confirmed that decision.

Koons Park Softball Batting Cage The Linglestown Softball Association at last month’s meeting requested permission to build a batting cage adjacent to the field and near the back yards of the nearby residential properties. The board was agreeable to the cage and its location but requested that courtesy calls be made to the residential owners advising them of the plan. That has been done and the neighbors were agreeable. The board approved the construction of the cage.

Animals on Park Property Rules for allowing pets on park properties have been approved and signs have been put up at all parks. An agreement has been reached with the police and district justices concerning enforcement of the rules.

Greenway Committee Report At their recent meeting they continued their work to develop a brochure on walking opportunities on existing trails in the township and on providing signage and blazes for the trails. The brochure will be ready for the printer soon and is scheduled for distribution in June.

Annual Report P&R Director Brian Luetchford presented the 2009 Annual Report to the board. It covers in detail all the various activities and programs of the department including the Friendship Center and the many parks. Noteworthy is the fact that the department serves so many people and managed to finish the year with income exceeding expenses.

Miscellaneous Chris Johnson, Chairman of the Greenway Committee and member of the P&R Board, is moving out of the area. The department was directed to address a letter of appreciation to him for his many years of service to the township. The P&R Board’s tour of the township’s parks will be on May 22nd. This board meeting was attended by 30 boy scouts from the troop from Charlton United Methodist Church, their leaders and parents. Before the formal meeting they were given the opportunity to ask the board questions about the activities of the department.

April 13, 2010
LOWER PAXTONTOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP MEETING
(7:05 – 9:00 PM)

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

Mr. Anthony Julian asked the Supervisors to support PA HB 1254 which limits the tethering of dogs for prolonged periods of time. The bill should be out of committee and into the House of Representatives next week (4/18/10). The Supervisors indicated approval.

Fire Chief, Payne of the Linglestown Fire Company requested the approval of the Supervisors to file a Local Grant Share application before the Dauphin County Commissioners. The Supervisors concurred with Chief Payne’s position.

Eileen Hoover presented a report on the Koons Memorial Park Swim Club for the 2009 operating season and plans for the 2010 season. It appears the Swim Club is headed in the right direction financially and operationally.

CET and ESI updated the Supervisors concerning the solar farm on the Townships closed landfill. The latest cost figures, which include a revised layout of the solar panels using only fixed panels and a final cost from PPL, will be $15.6 million dollars. The 2.95 megawatt generator should produce an 8 ½ year payback and a $300,000.00 positive cash flow for the Township the first year. This was a “worst case” scenario.

Mr. Sam Robbins presented some alternatives to the Supervisors for the repair of streets in the Huntfield development. The residents of Huntfield will be contacted before a final plan is adopted.

Mr. Robbins presented a plan for the proposed BC-1 (Beaver Creek) storm sewer improvements in the northwest corner of Linglestown. This should correct some marsh-like conditions in the area.

A representative of the Schiavoni Subdivision Plan, which includes the lawn tractor sales/service property north of Rt. 39, east of Linglestown, presented a sanitary sewer plan for the subdivision. This would involve a low pressure system to tie into the existing sewer line at Rt. 39. The Supervisors were inclined to agree with this proposal.

Mr. Wolfe presented a review of the Key Indicator Report for year-end 2009. Without going into all the detail, the Township survived a bad year in relatively good shape. There are some positive indications of increased income for the year 2010.

April 15, 2010
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Raspberry Alley Township Sewer Department Director, William Weaver, reported that the township plans to replace the sanitary sewer line in the alley both east and west of Mountain Road later this year. They would plan to then pave the alley if they get approval from the property owners. Sometime later the private sewer lines from the alley to each property would be replaced. This would be done at no cost to the property owners under an agreement with PENNDOT. A public meeting to review this project with the property owners is scheduled for May 20, at the fire hall.

Road Project Update The superintendent for Leon Wintermyer, the contractor, reported that the east bound lane on Linglestown Road will be closed starting the week of May 1 for replacement but that the alleys south from the road will be accessible during construction. The westbound lane will remain open. Concern was expressed for necessary movement of fire equipment and ambulances. Township manager George Wolfe reported that coordination efforts with all affected organizations including the school district have been completed.

Trees The Shade Tree Commission and the township have reviewed the construction plans and have concerns about the species of trees shown, their locations and their relationship to the street lights. Changes to the species and locations have been recommended and the committee formally requested that these changes be made. The design engineer, Arora and Associates, will work to coordinate this with PENNDOT.

Merchants Association Representatives from the group reported that they planned as a good will gesture to meet with the one property owner who, at the recent supervisors’ workshop meeting, objected to the paving of Raspberry Alley. They also reported that they are preparing a brochure to show the public how to access the businesses on Linglestown Road during the construction phases. This will also be posted on their website. It was suggested that they also indicate where customer parking will be available during construction.