SWAN Newsletter #52

November 23, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING
(6:00 – 7:30 PM)

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

New Business: It appears that sewer lining is a viable option for the PC2C mini basin at Catherine and Fox Streets. A number of residents attended and were satisfied with that option. The question of lining durability remains to be seen.

The Authority approved the 2011 Draft Budget in the amount of $12,624,255.00 as presented by Mr. Weaver.

The Authority approved Resolution 10-23 increasing the quarterly sewer rates by $4.00.

Township Reports: Concerning the DEP Consent Decree, projects under construction or in design are proceeding on time and at or under cost estimates. The only exception is the Asylum Run Project (ARA) under Rte I-83. The pipe-bursting option selected for this project had to be abandoned because of conditions encountered which were not shown on the drawings made when I-83 was constructed. Other alternatives will be explored.

November 23, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(7:30 – 9:10 PM)

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

This meeting was devoted entirely to a 2011 fiscal year budget discussion. As reported previously the Township Operating Budget for 2011 is showing a $100,000.00 surplus. However, when capital projects are included, the total overall budget is $530,000.00 under the 25% of the operating budget mandated by the Supervisors for an “emergency fund,” which amounts to a 90 day cash supply. Long discussions ensued involving a tax increase and prioritizing capital projects. Mr. Wolfe will present a priority list to the Supervisors at a Workshop Session tentatively scheduled for 6:00 PM immediately prior to the regular Business meeting on December 7th, 2010.

December 1, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Brochure The final draft of the Walking Opportunities Brochure that the committee has been working on for some time was presented and reviewed. It provides information on existing trails and other walking opportunities in the township. The committee approved the brochure for distribution. It will be printed for the time being in house and in small quantities and will appear on the township’s web site.

Nyes Run Greenway The committee recently toured the strip of land along Nyes Run and Nyes Road from Union Deposit Road south to Beaver Creek that is being considered as the location for a trail. It was thought that in part because of the wetlands along the stream it might be best to plan the trail along the existing sewer easement where possible. It was decided that the committee should contact someone from the Department of Environmental Protection to advise them about building a trail in wetland areas. The committee will also contact a representative from the adjacent Kendale Oaks Development which previously promised to provide easements where the trail would cross the rear of homeowners’ properties.

Montrail Development A possible trail location has been considered along the north side of the CD East High School and Middle School along the property of this development. This would be part of a loop trail from the schools to the Vo-Tech school to the east. Previously the developer was not receptive to having a trail at the edge of the proposed development but it now appears that the mood has changed. The committee will contact the developer’s representative to reassess the situation.

South Houcks Road and Prince Street Street repaving of these areas had been seen as a possible opportunity to install sidewalks or bike lanes a part of the project. This will be reviewed with current photos of the area at the next committee meeting. The difficulty of trying to find a way to do this, points up the problems of making changes in densely populated older areas.

Developments with Sidewalks The committee will be making an effort to identify and prioritize locations where short strips of new sidewalks could connect adjacent developments with sidewalks to increase walking opportunities. This can dovetail with the supervisors’ effort to prioritize road repair projects which has been established as one of their major efforts in the upcoming year.

Pleasant Meadows Development This not for profit senior housing project will be located on the north side of Locust Lane across the street from the Vo-Tech school. At the north end of the property there is a stream along which a trail could be cut probably following the existing sewer easement. The developer has agreed to provide the township with an easement along his property when the trail is accurately located.

December 1, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Wolfersberger/Koons Park Planning A Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant for the planning of the new Wolfersberger Park and for the upgrading of the existing Koons Park has been approved. This matching grant provides $40,000.00 to be matched by the township for a consultant to prepare a detailed Master Site Development Plan for the two parks. The township’s share is in their 2011 preliminary budget but the supervisors will need to approve it for the professional planning to go ahead.

Parks & Recreation Department director Brian Luetchford has created a detailed Request for Proposal that would be sent to a number of consulting firms specifying in detail the comprehensive requirements of the plan. The intent at this time would be to receive proposals in February 2011, review the proposals and narrow them down to the best 3 or 4, interview those firms, make a final decision in March and submit the findings to the supervisors for their approval.

The intent is to have a Study Committee which would meet with the planning consultant on a regular basis, probably once a month, during the planning phase to help guide the process. The board felt that they should constitute the Study Committee instead of appointing others and they agreed to commit their time over many months to assist in the planning process.

Some board members felt that the initial schedule might not provide enough time for the consultants to prepare their proposals and after that to provide enough time for the board to satisfactorily assess the proposals. The final schedule will need to be resolved.

Greenway Committee Jim Seidler who is a member of the board and also sits on the Greenway Committee gave the board an update on the committee’s recent activities and projects. The committee is a creation of the Parks & Recreation Board and reports to it.

December 2, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

This meeting was not reported by SWAN. On the agenda were the following applications:
1. Docket #1288. Continuation of hearing on application of Calvin Clements, DVM of 4905 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109 for variance from landscape buffer requirements and off street parking setback requirements in connection with the development of a parking lot for the property located at 4903-4905 Jonestown Road, Lower Paxton Township in a CG Commercial General Zoning District. In addition, the applicant seeks relief from minimum lot area and/or lot dimension regulations in connection with the consolidation of two pre-existing substandard lots.
2.Docket #1292. Application of Highmark, Inc., of 5th Avenue Place, 120 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222 for variance from maximum sign area for a wall sign in a single-tenant building at Colonial Commons, 5116 Jonestown Road, Lower Paxton Township in a CG Commercial General Zoning District. The application may also involve variance from overall sign number or area in a shopping center.
3.Docket #1293. Application of John R. and Patricia A. Shaver of 5008 Colorado Avenue, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109 for variance from side yard minimum setback requirements in connection with a proposed garage on the east side of the property at 5008 Colorado Avenue, Lower Paxton Township.

December 7, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:10 PM – 7:20 PM)

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

This meeting was devoted entirely to fine tuning the 2011 fiscal year budgets. As reported previously, there is a shortfall of approximately $800,000.00 primarily in the Capital funding portion in the budget. The operating budget is showing a slight surplus. This overall deficit is in the 25% of operating budget mandated by the Supervisors for the “emergency funds”.

After reviewing many alternatives including a tax increase, George Wolfe will present what is hoped to be a final draft of the budget at the Workshop on December 14, 2010.

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

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

UNDER NEW BUSINESS: The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 10-32 authorizing the Township Manager to execute the PENNDOT Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP) for State Route 3017 (Page Road).

The Supervisors unanimously approved the Preliminary/Final subdivision plan for Sunny Hills Farm South (06-07). This is primarily for phasing purposes as reported previously.

December 8, 2010
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING

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

Lower Paxton Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Inc. – Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan #10-11 This project involves the construction of a 1275 square foot addition and a second story to the building on Poplar Street in Paxtonia occupied by the South Central Emergency Services ambulance organization. The building is on a small totally impervious lot. The Zoning Hearing Board approved variance requests regarding setbacks, buffering and the expansion of a non-conforming use.

The commissioners had concerns about three waiver requests involving the requirement for storm water control, the requirement for curbing and sidewalks, and the requirement for locating existing conditions including the street right-of-way, utilities and other features. The commissioners voted to table the plan for a month to allow the engineer to work with township staff to resolve these concerns.

Autumn Oaks, Phase II – Final Subdivision Plan #10-16 The total Autumn Oaks development will consist of 203 dwelling units on 313 acres at the north end of Patton Road. Construction of Phase I has already begun. This second phase of the project will consist of 24 single family dwellings and 24 duplex units. The plan with waivers previously received preliminary township approval and construction is now ready to begin. The commissioners voted to recommend that the supervisors grant final approval of the plan.

Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance The revised Ordinance was approved recently. SWAN had prepared a series of proposed modifications for the township’s consideration and these were presented by SWAN member Mark Levine at a recent meeting of the supervisors. The supervisors requested that the presentation also be made to the Planning Commission and this was done by Mr. Levine at this meeting.

The ten suggested modifications were technical and the specific items related to subdivisions, roadways, plan approvals, street signs, utility easements, street lighting, sewer lines, sewer plants in flood plains, dry water lines, and hookup to public water. The commissioners will evaluate the proposed modifications and will make a recommendation regarding them to the supervisors.