SWAN Newsletter #56

March 8, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)

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

Joel McNaughton presented a proposed change to the Phase 1 Plan of Autumn Oaks. Since twelve (12) of the sixteen (16) single family units under construction are under contract, they want to change 23 high end condos in this phase to 12 single family units. The total units in the project will remain the same. The change may infringe on open space in a later phase. The Supervisors appeared to be in favor of the plan change.

Jeff Staub made another request to rezone the property in the Shoffstall Children’s Trust from R-1 to R-2. This property is approximately seven (7) acres West of Devonshire Road and South of Costcos. After much discussion, Mr. Shoffstall withdrew the request and left the meeting. The Supervisors continued the discussion and agreed to look at the entire area to come up with a viable zoning to make economic development feasible and maintain quality of life for the neighbors. It was generally agreed that R-1 zoning was no longer suitable for this area.

George Wolfe requested the Supervisors to approve a letter of commitment to Penndot in the amount of $150,000.00. This would be the Townships share of the $1.5 million dollar cost to replace the bridge over Beaver Creek (Old Route 22) at the Lower Paxton Township-West Hanover Township line. This is necessary to get the project on the priority list of the Penndot Transportation Improvement Plan. The Supervisors approved the letter.

George Wolfe presented the Model Flood Plain Ordinance, as prepared, to comply with the National Flood Insurance Program and the Flood Plain Management Act (Act 166-1978). This will be a stand alone Ordinance. A public hearing will be held in the near future.

March 9, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Koons Park Softball Field Improvements: Sam Hartley representing the Softball Association of Linglestown made a presentation regarding a proposed project to improve Field #1 which is one of the three softball fields in the park. The project, which would be totally funded by the association, would include concrete block dugouts and a field box and new fencing. The estimated cost is between $7,000.00 and $9,000.00, which the association will raise from their tournaments and food sales and if necessary from their reserves. They propose to begin the work in August after the season and complete it before winter. Mr. Hartley will present drawings of the project to the board at their April meeting and the board members will tour the site to review the proposed project in May.

On a related subject, Mr. Hartley made the board aware of the ongoing lack of cooperation between his organization and the Linglestown Baseball Association regarding the use and maintenance of Field #4. Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford said that to date his department has scheduled the use of the fields but has not felt they should get involved in policing if the schedules are followed on all the fields in all the parks. The board requested in this case that he convene a meeting with representatives of the two organizations before spring practices start to address the ongoing problem.

Heroes Grove Construction Mr. Luetchford reported that the committee for the proposed amphitheater project at Brightbill Park has been meeting regularly and has gotten some approvals needed to allow earth moving to begin. The Edward Black Company has done the site design and the sewer contractor working for the township will donate the fill needed and will do the rough grading for the project. This work is scheduled to begin in May or June. The committee has reportedly raised $30,000.00 to start the work on the project estimated to cost something over $2,000,000. The county is expected to help with the financing. The committee is currently looking for volunteer help from a site engineer to oversee the initial phase of the project. It was again noted that the P & R Board has not been asked to approve the project which is on park property and nothing has been formally presented to the Board of Supervisors.

Board Goals and Objectives Mr. Luetchford asked the board to review the many projects that are in need to being done at the parks. There are not funds available now for anything other than normal yearly maintenance items but it would be helpful to have a prioritized list of projects ready for the supervisors in a year or so when it is hoped the budget picture has improved. He recited an extensive list he had which included urgent repair of the well that supplies water for most of the facilities at Koons Park, needed structural repairs to the pavilion at Brightbill Park and cracking at courts in many of the parks. This will be addressed as part of the board’s spring park tour which was scheduled for April 30.

March 9, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
(7:00 PM – 8:30 PM)

Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Under New Business: The Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan (11-01) for the Pennsylvania Food Bank was approved unanimously. This is simply a consolidation of two lots into one.

Special Exception 11-01 was approved unanimously. This was a request to allow a major home occupation, the giving of guitar lessons at 4565 Berkley Street.

Mark DiSanto summarized the request for a Text Amendment for Stray Wind Farms. Some McIntosh/Woodcrest area residents tried to disparage the work of SWAN and SWAN’s recent vote in favor of the Text Amendment. Eric Epstein summarized the reasons for SWAN’s approval of the Text Amendment. This issue was tabled until the next Planning Commission meeting on April 13, 2011.

The Preliminary Plan for the Business Improvement District in the Township, Route 22 East of Colonial Road was approved with minor changes. A final draft will be forwarded to the Supervisors in the future.

Eric Epstein testified that the micro wind turbine business is not the issue it once was for the Wind Energy Committee.

March 10, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
(7:00 PM)

Reported by Ted Robertson.

Please note: There was no SWAN representation at this meeting. The following is a summary of the agenda;
•The truss marking ordinance was discussed.
•An update was given on the Village of Linglestown Construction Project.
•An update was given on the sale of the 1982 Pierce Arrow Fire Engine.
•An update was given on the status of the PA Gaming Grants by Chiefs Payne and Swand.

March 10, 2011
VILLAGE OF LINGLESTOWN COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

This was the first meeting since construction on the Linglestown Road replacement project was stopped for the winter last November. Representatives from the contractor, Leon Wintermyer, from the design engineers, Arora and Associates, and from Penndot were present to provide an update on the final stages of the project which had been begun early last year.

They reported that construction is scheduled to restart on March 28th and the traffic restrictions will initially be the same as last year with one way westbound traffic on Linglestown Road. They presented in detail their work schedule for completing the project. They plan to first complete the work on the north side of the road and build the north half of the roundabouts which should be done by mid May, after which they will switch and do the same with the south half of the road and complete the roundabouts. During that period they will do the construction work on Mountain Road, which will include sewer work in that area. When that is finished they will put down the final wearing course on all the roads which should be toward the end of June. They will also install the benches, plant the trees and finish the grass areas.

Many of the merchants who had serious problems with access to their businesses last year attended the meeting and expressed great concern that they would be faced with the same situation again this year. Many individual access problems were discussed in detail with the hope that improvements could be made. The merchants requested that the contractor make every effort to compress his schedule possibly with a second shift to minimize the time that their customers will have difficulty getting through the village and to their locations. They also requested that the Merchants Association receive timely updates on work schedules, road closings, etc., so they can make necessary adjustments with their customers.

It was noted that the contractor had accelerated his work schedule last year which shortened the overall project duration. There was acknowledgement that he had done a good job considering all of the details he needed to deal with and all of the people involved.

March 15, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
(7:30 PM – 8:15 PM)

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

Under Old Business: The Supervisors unanimously approved the bid of John W. Gleem in the amount of $654,693.00 for improvements to Page and Spring Creek Roads in conjunction with the building of the new Bishop McDevitt High School.

Under New Business: The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 11-05 charging the elected Tax Collector to collect the interim taxes for the year 2010.

The Supervisors unanimously agreed to the Stipulation and Joint Motion for the agreed upon order in the real estate tax assessment appeal for tax parcel No. 35-075-037.

Under Sub-division and Land Development: The request to amend the final subdivision and land development plan for the Colonial Park Animal Clinic (10-14) was deferred to the April Workshop meeting.

March 22, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
(7:20 M – 9:30 PM)

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

The heads of the various operating departments in the Township presented the 2010 Annual Report to the supervisors. This is a municipal code requirement. The operating deficit for 2010 was $1,684,611.00. Approximately $1,000,000.00 of this amount was a transfer to the Capital Improvement Program. The remainder was a result of lower than estimated income from the Earned Income Tax (EIT).

The Personnel Administrator presented a report of programs instituted to save the Township significant expense. These programs were primarily aimed at consolidating inventories of materials used and standardizing forms.
March 24, 2011
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Wayne & Kay Pyle – Docket #1295 This application was a request for a variance from the side yard setback requirements in connection with the construction of an attached garage at their home at 2010 Blue Mountain Parkway. This property is in the Agricultural Residential District where the side yard setback requirement is 20 feet and the request was to be allowed to build the garage to within 8 feet of the property line.

The board felt that the proposed 12 foot encroachment into the side yard setback requirement was greater than that needed to construct the planned garage. The board members suggested that if the applicant was agreeable they would consider a 5 foot encroachment as being reasonable to provide enough length to construct an adequate garage to meet the applicant’s stated needs. Mr. Pyle agreed, the wording of the request was changed accordingly, and the board approved the revised request.

Wayne William Clark – Docket #SE 11-01 This special exception request was to be allowed to conduct a major home occupation in the R-2 medium density Residential District. Mr. Clark planned to offer individual guitar lessons at his home at 4565 Berkley Street initially from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and possibly for longer hours if his business effort is successful. The Planning Commission had reviewed the proposal and had recorded no objection to forwarding it to the Zoning Hearing Board.

The board had concerns for the increased traffic in the residential district and for the possible noise especially during the evening hours. A number of possible conditions to the request were considered to avoid potential objections from neighbors in the future but eventually none were considered as being acceptable. The board finally voted to deny the special exception.

Giant Food Stores РDocket #1296 This variance request involves proposed new signage on the exterior of the expanded Giant store in the Point Shopping Center on Union Deposit Road. The proposed signage plan for this building would have 1 larger sign and 5 small signs on the front facade facing the parking lot and 1 larger sign and 1 small sign on the rear fa̤ade facing Interstate 83. The zoning ordinance allows only one sign for each tenant in the shopping center but in the case of this large building the total area of signage could be almost 2000 square feet. The 8 proposed exterior signs would total only 350 square feet or over 1600 square feet less than allowed. The board voted to approve the variance with the condition that the total square footage of the 8 signs not exceed the 350 square feet shown on the application.

Richard Pleasants – Docket #1297 This request for a variance from the minimum lot width requirement for the lot at 2340 Forest Hills Drive needed to subdivide the property into 2 lots was withdrawn by the applicant.