SWAN Newsletter #47

June 8, 2010
(6:10 – 8:30 PM)

Attended by Eric Epstein, Mark Levin, Tara Mead, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Absent: Bill Hawk

It was generally agreed that the Parks and Recreation Board should move ahead with the planning process for the Wolfersberger Tract at the west end of the Township. This will involve gathering data for recreational needs and input from Township residents.

The Supervisors were in general agreement with the proposed noise ordinance submitted by Public Safety Director Dave Johnson. Some minor changes were proposed by the attendees. These will be considered and an Ordinance will be forwarded to the Supervisors in the future for their approval. The attendees thanked Mr. Johnson for his diligence and timeliness in developing this Ordinance.

Mr. Luetchford presented the 2009 Annual Report for the Parks and Recreation Department including the Friendship Center. Mr. Johnson presented the 2009 Annual Report for the Police Department and Fire Services. Both were commended for an outstanding job in difficult financial times.

Mr. Rick Szeles, representing the Spring Hill development located on the southwest side of the Township’s closed landfill, presented concerns regarding the proposed solar farm for the closed landfill site. His prime concern was that the solar farm would adversely effect the sale of homes at Spring Hill. Mr. Szeles hired Jeff Staub to do a 3D topographical study of the area to determine what, if any, type of buffering may be feasible.

A few changes to the proposed subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO) were reviewed. The process to have this approved includes Dauphin County. The estimated date of a Township Public Hearing is the first of August. Mr. Stine indicated a copy of the proposed SALDO would be available as soon as it is advertised; possibly as early as the week of June 13th.

The Supervisors were in general agreement to allow K&W Engineers to go ahead with bid and construction services for the Page Road/Spring Creek Improvement Project at a cost of $12,800.00.
Under “Otta Know”, the consensus was that PA House Bill 2431, consolidating local governments in PA, will not pass.

June 9, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Old Business

Pleasant Meadows Independent Living Development – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #10-03 This project involves the construction of a not-for-profit age restricted independent living community on 36 acres on the north side of Locust Lane across the road from the Dauphin County Vocational Technical School. The property is zoned R-C Residential Cluster. It will be built by the Parmer Family Foundation Inc. and will consist of 90 detached one story cottages and a three story apartment type building containing 60 living units.

It was submitted at the May Planning Commission meeting at which time there were a number of waivers that were requested that the commissioners had serious concerns about. The major items were the narrow street widths, the lack of sidewalks, and the minimum size of the cul-de-sac. They tabled the project to allow further consideration of the waivers.

The resubmitted design was little changed from the previous submission. After a lengthy discussion of the requested waivers the commissioners agreed to approve the plan with a numbers of recommended conditions. The waiver to reduce the size of the cul-de-sac was denied and it was required that it be enlarged to accommodate emergency vehicles as requested by the fire company. The waiver to reduce the width of the cartways to 28 feet was denied and they were required to be 30 or 32 feet to accommodate pedestrians since there will be no sidewalks. The waiver to use slant curbs was denied because of the difficulty involved with repaving. These recommendations will be forwarded to the supervisors for final approval.

Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance – Ordinance #09-16 The SALDO has been in the process of being revised for some time and is now ready for final approval. The commissioners voted to submit the final draft to the supervisors for final action.

New Business

6690 Linglestown Road – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #10-05 This 8 acre parcel, zoned AR Agricultural Residential, is located on the north side of Linglestown Road 3/8ths of a mile east of Parkway East. The plan is to subdivide the parcel into three lots, the one fronting on Linglestown Road, currently housing Walters Tractor Service, would be approximately 2 acres and the rear portion of the parcel would be divided into two residential lots. The commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

June 15, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Resolutions #10-18 and #10-19 These resolutions authorize sanitary sewer easement condemnations at the Smigel and Harteis properties on Crestview Road. These easements on the two properties will allow access to the sanitary sewer for required repair work. The authority approved these resolutions.

15 June 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Public Comment

Two residents of the Hodges Heights neighborhood made inquires about the proposed solar energy farm being considered for part of the township’s 14 acre landfill and compost facility south of Conway Road. They were told that the project is in the exploratory phase to determine if it would be financially feasible and if it were to be constructed it would not affect the Hodges Heights Park and would have a minimum impact on the neighborhood. They said they had concerns about the project and would meet with their neighbors to discuss them. The supervisors asked them to then prepare a letter to the township expressing their specific concerns and these would be addressed in due course.

Old Business

Resolution #10-16 This resolution would authorize the township to destroy specific municipal records. This action is allowed by law and the resolution was approved.

K&W Engineers State funding has been provided to make improvements to Page and Spring Creek Roads at the entrance to the new Bishop McDevitt High School. The township needs to engage an engineering firm to design and supervise this work. It requested a proposal from K&W Engineers, the firm that is doing the engineering work for the new school. The township determined the proposal to be satisfactory and the board approved it.

New Business

Change Orders As part of the George Park construction project Handwerk Site Contractors built a park entrance drive from Nyes Road and widened Nyes Road at the entrance. Two change orders to the contract were required by PennDOT to complete the project. Change Order #14 in the amount of $5,362.71 involved some milling and reconstruction of the paving to eliminate ponding and Change Order #15 in the amount of $5,188.30 involved the removal and replacement of a culvert at M Street. The required change orders were approved.

Subdivision and Land Development Several extensions of improvement guarantees were approved.

June 17, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Project Update The design engineer gave the committee a report on the status of the Linglestown Road construction project including the following items:

North Mountain Road is now open in both directions from the square south.

Penndot message boards have been changed throughout the area to advise the public that the village businesses are open.

The storm sewer work under the south lane of Linglestown Road is being wrapped up. Then the final grading will be done, the stone base and the curbs will be put in, and the lane will be paved. For a short time during that period the existing access ramps to the businesses will be removed eliminating vehicular access to them from Linglestown Road. The businesses will be notified in advance when that will happen.

The south lane work should be completed by the end of July. At that time everything will be reversed, the south lane will be opened and the north lane will be closed and, weather permitting, the reconstruction of the north lane will be completed before winter. This would be well ahead of the previously established schedule.

Merchants Association The association members are preparing double sided yard type signs that will indicate to motorists how to get to the various businesses from Linglestown Road and North Mountain Road.

The township advised the merchants about the separate project involving paving and repair work that they are doing and will be doing on Raspberry Lane and Blackberry Lane. This work affects access to businesses and residences on both sides of Linglestown Road.

It was generally acknowledged that the corner has been turned on the project and that, after a lot of planning and some difficult times, it should be smoother sailing from now on to completion.

June 24, 2010
(7:15 – 7:20 PM)

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

Docket 1281: This variance request for relief from the Townships’ sign requirement was a continuation from the May meeting. Since the appellants from Gilligan’s were not present, the variance request was continued to the July meeting.

July 6, 2010
(7:30 – 8:25 PM)

Attended by Tara Meade, Darwin Aurand, Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Absent: Gary Crissman

Public Comment

Tara Meade made a very effective, factual presentation for the adoption of the Township’s proposed Noise Ordinance.

John Trish asked the Supervisors if the Township could do a better job of getting rid of road kill, skunks in particular, in a timelier manner.

New Business

Change Order #9 for the Paxton Creek 4B/6C sewer improvement contract with Michael F. Ronca and Sons was approved 4-0. This covers the storm water system for Raspberry Alley in connection with the Linglestown project.

Resolutions 10-17 and 10-18, authorizing the submission of a grant application to PA DCNR for funds for Phase 2 of the Friendship Center energy conservation project and Wolfersberger/Koons Park planning respectively, were passed unanimously.

Final Subdivision Plan 07-03 for Chelsea Falls, Phase II, off Goose Valley Road was approved by a vote of 4 – 0.

July 7, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford took the committee on a van tour to look at a number of locations of interest relating to existing and potential walking trails.

At Brightbill Park they looked at a short existing path near the location of the proposed Heros’ Grove amphitheater. The path could be extended around the park to create a complete trail. At the Dauphin County Technical School they saw the existing trail along the western edge of the school property. At the intersection of Nyes Road and Union Deposit Road and from there south to the township line they looked at the location of a possible trail along the 4.6 acre parcel owned by the township on the east side of the Nyes Run stream bed. They then stopped at Hodges Heights Park on Conway Road to see the deteriorated condition of the park facilities. They finished the tour by driving through the large parcel of land along Fairmont and Cider Press Roads which is the location of the proposed Shadebrook Traditional Neighborhood Development which if built will include provisions for walking and cycling.

7 July 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Public Comment The chief of the Paxtonia Fire Company requested the board’s support for the company’s plan to sponsor a fireworks display at George Park over this year’s Labor Day weekend. The company wants to create this event as a community project for the Paxtonia area. The board agreed to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the company’s plan with the understanding that it carefully investigate the safety record of the company they chose to provide the display to avoid any problem such as occurred on the 4th of July in Palmyra.

Victor Banks representing the Hodges Heights neighborhood expressed concerns about the condition of their township park and playground equipment and the plans for the adjacent land fill area including the possible township solar panel farm. He was told that the solar project was still in the feasibility stage and that no decision on the road or the playground would likely be made until that is resolved. The board acknowledged that the park ground has continued to settle since it is on fill and the courts and the pavilion are in poor condition. They stated that there needs to be park facilities in the area but the demographics have changed and in the long run trying to repair the existing park may not be the best thing to do.

Paintball Operations at Wolfersberger Park The township agreed that a license agreement between the township and the operator of the Linglestown Paintball facility for the continued lease of park property for his operation would be acceptable. The remaining question is how much rent is appropriate. It was agreed that the P&R director would make contacts with the existing property owner to try to determine how much rent he had been receiving and with the operator to see how much rent he would be willing to pay before a decision is made.

Heroes Grove Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford reported that the initial work on the outdoor amphitheater in Brightbill Park will begin soon. This project is being started without the approval of the P&R Department and Board, both of which have serious concerns about it. The initial work involves the placing of fill being donated by the Ronca Company. The available fill is being generated from their large sewer repair project that is underway in the township.

July 13, 2010
(6:00 – 9:25 PM)

Attended by Ted Robertson, Tara Meade, Eric Epstein, Mark Levine, Darwin Aurand and Watson Fisher. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Representatives of Parente Beard presented a review of the proposed solar farm at the closed municipal landfill. The key of their presentation was the fact that since there was no electric service to the site, net billing or virtual net billing would not be permitted. This would leave the Township with some alternatives, all of which would put the Township at the mercy of Federal and State regulators. There is also the risk of the viability of the renewable energy credits. The Township will forward to ESI the comments of Parente Beard for a response.
The Supervisors appeared to favor the opening of Raspberry Alley East of Mountain Road as a public street. The concern for speeding was addressed and Mr. Wolfe indicated that traffic calming devices would be included in the plan.
A discussion of requested waivers for the Parmer development of Pleasant Meadows north of Locust Lane opposite Dauphin County Vo-Tech was held. The objections voiced by the Supervisors included the following:
1.The 28 foot cartway was too narrow.
2.The lack of sidewalks posed a safety problem.
3. No restrictions with on-street parking.
4. Public safety equipment accessibility, particularly the intersection turning radii and the cul-de-sac diameter. This development will consist of 90 single family dwelling and 60 apartment-style dwellings in one three story building. This is the first attempt to provide low-cost independent living housing for residents in the Township.

The request to extend the conditional final subdivision approval for Sunnyhill Farms South was made moot by a State bill just passed extending existing plans to 2013.
Mr. Robbins’ plan to pave the streets in the Huntfield development with narrower, longer lasting cartways was generally favored by the residents and the Supervisors.
Mr. Robbins reviewed the 2009 Annual Report for the Works Department. Expenditures for the Works Department came in at $180,000.00, under the $3,217,000.00 budget. The Supervisors asked for a prioritized list for road repairs for the 2011 fiscal year.
Mr. Robbins presented the Interim Bridge Safety Report for the Red Top and Jonestown Road bridges. This was to alert the Supervisors of future expenditures.
A discussion of the proposed Noise Ordinance was held. SWAN members participated, and were generally in agreement with the changes proposed by Mr. Wolfe. Ease of enforcement by police was one of the key issues discussed. The Noise Ordinance will move forward to advertise for a Public Hearing.

July 14, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

John Delegram – Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan #10-06 This plan is a simple subdivision to divide one lot into two. The 2.6 acre property is located on the south side of Lyters Lane and will be divided into two lots, one 0.9 acres and the other 1.7 acres. There is a single family residence on the one lot and one may be built on the other lot in the future. This subdivision plan includes no improvements. The commissioners recommended approval of the plan.

Business Improvement District The upcoming workshop meeting has been postponed until the formal required Preliminary Plan is completed. If the proposed improvement district project moves ahead the township has offered to provide office space in the township building for the small staff.

Wind Energy Subcommittee The subcommittee will meet soon to resume work on the proposed regulations for the installation of wind mills and turbines.

July 15, 2010

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Project Update Jeff Case, the design engineer, gave a report on the Linglestown Road construction project. Along the southern lane through town most of the curbs have been installed and the curbs, the sidewalks and the street paving should be completed in the next three weeks. In the middle of August the southern lane will be opened for traffic and work will begin on the northern lane.

The original plan was to rebuild the north lane next year and at that time to reverse the traffic on the one lane through town from east to west to west to east. Since it appears that the rebuilding of the north lane will be done this year it was decided to not reverse the traffic flow when the work changes to the north lane. This would avoid the changing of all the detour signs and having the motorists readjust to a new traffic pattern midway through the project. This proposed change will need to be approved by PennDOT. Road work for the year will need to be wrapped up by about mid October. The contractor is currently working ten hour shifts four days a week and there is no additional money in the contract for any overtime pay.

The committee will make choices on the style and color of the benches and trash cans for the project. The township’s Shade Tree Committee has made recommendations on the three species of trees to be planted at various locations in the project which are different from those Penn DOT chose when the project was bid. The contractor is waiting for pricing on the new choices to see if it falls within the allowance in the original contract.