SWAN Newsletter #9

December 19, 2006
Lower Paxton Township Board of Supervisors Meeting (7:30 – 8:30 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.

Most of the meeting involved mandatory yearly resolutions of relatively little concern to SWAN.

Ms. Cooper of Graystone Bank presented a check for $500.00 to the Township Supervisors for use at the Friendship Center.

Under Old Business the Supervisors adopted the 2007 Fiscal year budget which amounted to approximately $24,000,000. The real estate tax remains at 0.7 mils. It was noted that the last real estate tax increase was in 1990.

The administrative employee compensation program was approved for 2007 with a general increase of 2.7%.

Support of Dauphin County’s proposed Comprehensive Plan was approved unanimously.

Under New Business, Diane Bair was appointed Tax Collector to fill that vacancy.

The agreement with Conway Associates concerns the relocation of Conway Road to the south of Hodges Heights. This will require the approval of phase 4 of the new development.

Resolutions 06-55 and 56 concern the sanitary sewer modules for the Rosewood subdivision and the Candlewood Suites land development plan.

Comment: I am in the process of getting a copy of the Township’s 2007 Fiscal year budget. May be of interest to SWAN. Suggest that SWAN commend the Supervisors and staff for holding the line on real estate taxes in light of what is happening all around us.

December 20, 2006
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Parmer Family Foundation The application is for the construction of three six story apartment buildings on a 35 acre tract on the north side of Locust Lane and west of Fairmont Drive across Locust Lane from the Dauphin County Vo-Tech School. Each building would have 120 apartments for older independent adults. The non-profit project by the Parmer Family Foundation would include the apartments, a cafeteria, and adequate parking. It is felt that the goal of the project to provide affordable housing for seniors successfully meets many of the goals for residential housing outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. The commission seemed to agree with that assessment.

The tract is currently zoned R-C Residential Cluster which limits the building height to 40 feet. The project as envisioned can be more economically accomplished by grouping the apartment units into three buildings of six stories each which would require a building height of up to 75 feet. A variance request to allow the added height was submitted to the Zoning Hearing Board in June and was denied. It was suggested then that the applicant go back to the Planning Commission to explore other options.

At this special meeting the applicant discussed the possibility of requesting a zoning change to RRD Residential Retirement District or to IN Institutional District. The better option appeared to be a change to the IN District which permits the uses contained in the RRD District but also allows a 70 foot maximum height. In the matter of the building height, it was stated that the proposed project was discussed with the Public Safety Committee and they said that if their equipment had 360 degree access to the buildings and the buildings had sprinkler and standpipe systems they would have no problem with the height.

The complex would have a single access point from Locust Lane and it was stated that the project would include a widening of Locust Lane at the entrance and the installation of sidewalks. It was pointed out that the proposed Shadebrook TND development across Locust Lane will have a commercial center which will be within walking distance of this apartment complex. Ideally, adequate sidewalks between the developments will be provided.

The commission recommended rezoning of the tract from R-C to IN Institutional with a text change allowing for a building height of 75 feet.

5999 Avis Lane This lot is in Linglestown near the square. There was no explanation as to the background of this request. The commission recommended rezoning of this lot from R-1 Low Density Residential District to V Village District.

Linglestown Road Corridor east of Wenrich Street This area was rezoned AR Agricultural Residential District in 2006 and the existing commercial uses were grandfathered in. It was stated that the Eshenaur property on the south side of Linglestown Road is not agricultural or residential and the request was made that it should be zoned Commercial to allow the existing commercial use, that will continue, to grow as the years go by. When this was presented to the Board of Supervisors they recommended that the matter go back to the Planning Commission.

An item of discussion was that a change from AR to a Commercial zone or to the Business Campus zone would result in land uses that would generate more traffic than the existing zoning will along an already busy corridor. It was noted that areas along Linglestown Road west of Linglestown are now zoned Business Campus but it was the intent not to extend that zone to the east of Linglestown. The possibility of creating a new zone for the area under discussion which would allow some commercial uses but be less intense than even Neighborhood Commercial was mentioned as a possibility but was not supported by the commission. It was reported that to date there has not been any serious movement toward commercial development in this area.

After further discussion it was felt that the best course of action at this time was to leave the zoning as it is and consider changes if needed in the future. The commission recommended that its previous recommendation to support rezoning in the area from AR to Business Campus be withdrawn.

Roads In an unrelated item, one of the commissioners reported that he had had a meeting with a staff planner from Susquehanna Township at which time they discussed the need to coordinate road planning between the townships, specifically the location of the future connection of Continental Drive and North Progress Avenue. He asked township staff to make the appropriate contact with Susquehanna Township.

January 2, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Attended by Mark Levine and Watson Fisher. Reported by Watson Fisher.

Prior to its regular business meeting the board conducted the required annual reoganization meeting for 2007 during which they elected the board officers, appointed the township manager, treasurer, solicitor, and engineer, and announced other routine appointments, actions, and schedules necessary for the township to do business this year.

Following that they conducted the regular business meeting during which they swore in two new police officers, appointed an auditor for the 2006 township accounts, renewed the township junk yard license, approved two improvement guarantees, and authorized the payment of bills. There were no noteworthy matters discussed.

January 3, 2007
Lower Paxton Greenway Committee Meeting
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

This was a committee meeting attended by only the six or eight committee members. Before the meeting I was told it would be a short session with only the committee members to review which committee members were going to contact which agencies or non-profit organizations for possible funding for the project. I decided not to stay, but will attend the next scheduled public meeting for this committee on February 6, 2007.

January 9, 2007
Lower Paxton Township Supervisors Workshop (7:30 – 10:00 PM)

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

Mark Levine requested that the Supervisors institute a time for public comment on issues prior to taking a vote on those issues. The request was positively accepted. Mark also gave the Supervisors an article concerning G.I.S. (mapping) which was available in another municipality. George Wolfe indicated that such a system is available to the public in Lower Paxton Township. A similar system is also available on “Google”, with more frequent updates.

Plan #5 for the Bllue Mountain Parkway bypass was presented to the Supervisors. This plan meets PennDot and FHWR requirements and requires the least right-of-way taking. This plan will be presented to the Village of Linglestown Group on January 18, 2007. It should be noted that PennDOT will not allow bids for this project to be requested before all right-of-ways is secured. The Supervisors indicated they will schedule a special meeting upon approval of plan #5 by the Village of Linglestown Committee, in order to shorten the right-of-way process.

Members of the Public Safety Committee including Police Chief Bair discussed the recent revocation of the fire suppression ordinance in favor of the Uniform Construction Code fire suppression regulations. It was agreed that an ad hoc committee of the local fire chiefs would review the individual categories of each of the above and present their findings to the Supervisors for discussion and/or approval.

Apparently there is a problem with the collection/distribution of the Earned Income Tax (E.I.T.) by the Capital Tax Collection Bureau. A meeting has been set up on February 5, 2007, including the Central Dauphin School District, the municipalities within the district, and the head of the Capital Tax Collection Bureau. Apparently the distribution of tax dollars to the above group is lagging the projected income from the E.I.T. by a significant amount.

A telephone company has requested a cell phone tower site on Township property. The income from such a site for the Township would be $12,000 per year approximately.

January 10, 2007
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

REORGANIZATION MEETING The commission reelected the 2006 officers to serve in the same offices for 2007.

REGULAR MEETING

DAUPHIN COUNTY TECHNICAL SCHOOL – Preliminary/Final Land development Plan #06-40. This plan is for additions and alterations to the existing school on the 47 acre site at 6001 Locust Lane zoned Institutional. The project will include 5 separate small additions, interior alterations, and increased parking areas. Staff, HRG, and county comments have been received and were discussed. Some waivers were requested and the only one that was recommended to be denied was to omit sidewalks and curbs along the portion of Locust Lane where sidewalks do not currently exist and along Fairmont Drive on the east side of the school property. The commissioners felt that sidewalks were needed at both locations due in part to the proposed large residential and commercial Shadebrook development south on Fairmont Drive and the proposed Parmer Family Foundation retired housing development on the north side of Locust Lane. With the expected pedestrian movement between these two areas sidewalks would be needed for safety and if they were not built as part of the school project they could not be required later.

Concern was also raised for traffic at the already dangerous intersection at Locust Lane and Fairmont Drive. With all the existing school bus traffic through that angular intersection and the increased traffic from the large Shadebrook development the need for a traffic study and possibly traffic signals was discussed.

The commission tabled this plan to allow for further consideration of the traffic situation.

ROSEWOOD – Rezoning Request for Lot 35. The Rosewood residential development of Micki Molinari and Barbara Greenberg near the southeast corner of Colonial Road and Earl Drive was recently rezoned from R-O to R-1. Lot 35 is adjacent to the dental office on the corner of Colonial Road and Earl Drive and is the only lot that fronts on Colonial Road. The request is to rezone that lot, which is not suitable for residential use, from R-O to ON Office Neighborhood so that a small office building facing Colonial Road can be built on the lot.. The request is to also rezone the adjacent dental office to ON so that it is no longer a non-conforming use.

It was recognized that ingress and egress to the lot from Colonial Road will be difficult and will probably end up being right in and right out. It was suggested by the commission that an effort could be made to access the lot from Earl Drive through the dental office property. The developers felt that this would be ideal if some agreement could be worked out with the dental office property owner and they said that they would make a concerted effort to pursue that option.

The commission recommended approval to rezone both lots.

STRAY WINDS FARM – Preliminary Subdivision & Land Development Plan #06-42. The Lower Paxton Township portion of this development had been rezoned from R-1 to R-C Residential Cluster. The plan as previously developed was presented including the request for 10 waivers. Engineer Bob Fisher responded to questions about the waivers, primarily the one asking to be relieved of the requirement to widen the existing roads. The staff does not support this waiver. Mr. Fisher stated the project would include improving the Crums Mill McIntosh Road intersection, reducing the height of some of the high spots along Crums Mill Road, and making improvements to the intersections outside the limits of the development as previously promised, but the intent was that the remainder of Crums Mill and McIntosh Roads would not be widened in order to retain the “rural” character of the area. He clarified that the landscaping of the islands in the cul-de-sacs and at the entrance drives would be the responsibility of the homeowners’ association.

He said that Susquehanna Township had approved the rezoning of the portion of the project that is in their township and that the preliminary plan would be submitted to them shortly. He will also be submitting a request to them for the subdivision of the property that is in their township that will be sold to the church.

There were many comments from the staff, HRG, and the county that will need to be addressed and resolved. Regarding phasing of the work, he stated that they would begin work in areas containing each of the building types in order to be able to begin marketing the entire range of building types, but this would also depend on the schedule for the installation of utilities. The commissioners stated that they would need to see a phasing schedule to be sure work on such a large project was coordinated to allow access of emergency vehicles, school buses, etc., while acknowledging that the real estate market over the extended period of construction would to some degree dictate how construction progresses. Mr. Fisher agreed that they would need to have a formal development agreement including a phasing schedule.

The county comments related mainly to the layouts and parking in the townhouse areas, the need for neighborhood facilities in the age restricted housing areas, and the possible desirability of having the interconnecting of new internal roads to existing roads in the neighboring developments. Mr. Fisher stated that a community clubhouse and pool are planned in the age restricted area but because of the standing agreement worked out with SWAN there were no interconnecting roads planned.

A representative from the Baltimore Tar Company which owns the small tract north of McIntosh Road near the big house attended the meeting and stated that they would cooperate with Triple Crown regarding drainage issues, buffering, etc. He also stated that the presence of his company in the center of a residential development would probably be phased out in a reasonably short period of time.

Mr. Fisher stated that in Susquehanna Township at the western edge of the development there will be an easement along the church’s western property line in order to get emergency vehicles to the rear of the church’s property and there would probably be a future connection to Sturbridge Drive to the north.

The commission tabled this plan to allow for ongoing resolution of the many outstanding comments.

STRAY WINDS FARM, LOTS 1 & 2 – Final Subdivision Plan #06-43. This plan is for the subdivision of the portion of the property in Lower Paxton Township north of Paxton Church Road and west of Crums Mill Road that is being sold to the church.

The commission recommended approval of this plan.

MONTRAIL, PHASE 1 – Final Subdivision Plan #06-44. This plan subdivides a 13 acre parcel north of Union Deposit Road and east of the Central Dauphin East School complex into 26 residential lots. All comments have been received and resolved. Construction of Phase 1 of this project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007.

The commission recommended approval of this plan.

WILSHIRE ESTATES, PHASE 1 – Final Subdivision Plan #06-46. This plan consists of the construction of 41 single family homes and 22 townhouses on a 42 acre tract south of Windsor Road and Wilshire Road and west of Hampton Court Road. All comments have been received and resolved. The only concern expressed was for a possible additional point of ingress and egress.

The commission recommended approval of this plan.

Two other projects on the agenda were not reviewed since no revised plans had been received and two additional plans were tabled at the request of the applicants.

There was a brief discussion about the language in some of the new zoning requirements for townhouses, particularly regarding parking, that were confusing and were causing difficulty for the board and the staff. The board requested that they be reviewed by the staff and possible recommendations be developed.

January 11, 2007
Lower Paxton Township Public Safety Committee Meeting (7:00 – 7:50 PM)
Attended and reported by Ted Robertson.
Jack Orlacher was named to fill the vacancy on the committee.

The results of the discussion of the rescinded fire suppression code at the January 9 Board of Supervisors meeting were discussed. This subject was covered in the report on that meeting.

The placement of defibrillators in various public places in the township is not going as well as projected. Liability is a problem, particularly where employee turnover is high as in large restaurants and retail stores.

It was mentioned that the fire tax millage rate has remained the same for the last 25 years. It was not clear whether the monies received from this tax have increased with the township’s growth. Some light may be shed on this subject as a result of the discussion reported on the January 9 Board of Supervisors Workshop with respect to an apparent problem with the Capital Area Tax Collection Bureau.

January 16, 2007
Lower Paxton Township Board of Supervisors Meeting (7:30 – 9:15 PM)
Attended by Eric Epstein, Mark Levine, Watson Fisher & Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

Under public comment, Eric Epstein updated the Supervisors concerning his and Mr. Kessler’s “differences”, expressed in an earlier Supervisors Meeting, concerning Mr. Kessler’s development along Colonial Road. This was done to let the Supervisors know that Mr. Kessler has not responded to SWAN’s concerns regarding this development.

Under old business the Supervisors approved 5-0 a resolution concerning improvements at Colonial Road and McIntosh with regard to TCC’s development of Stray Wind Farms. This involves acquisition of right-of-way, relocation of utilities and acceptance of the PennDOT occupancy permit, all at TCC expense.

Under new business, the master plan for the first TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development) in the township was submitted. Shadebrook will be located on Fairmont Drive, between Union Deposit Road and Locust Lane, West of Nyes Road. By ordinance, the master plan lacks much detail, but the presentation was well done, and appeared to meet the criteria covered by the TND specifications. There was some concern, on the part of the attendees, for the effect of the fully developed TND on traffic on Fairmont Drive, Union Deposit Road, Nyes Road and Locust Lane. Hopefully this will be addressed in detail at the preliminary/final subdivision presentation. The Supervisors approved the master plan 5-0.

The Supervisors approved 5-0 the preliminary/final subdivision plan for an office building on the rear of the lot at 4800 Linglestown Road. The developer agreed to the 12 points submitted by Mr. Snyder, 3 staff comments and 6 general conditions.

The Supervisors approved 5-0 the preliminary/final plan for the Sheetz Convenience Store on Route 22 (presently Geo’s Restaurant). The developer agreed to numerous conditions presented by staff and HRG.

Extensions of the Huntleigh and Autumn Ridge preliminary subdivision plans were tabled until accurate permit costs could be obtained.

The Supervisors approved 5-0 a traffic improvement contribution in the amount of $11,000 on the part of MLG enterprises. This involves the development of Candlewood Suites at the intersection of North Mountain Road and Lockwillow Road.

The last two items concerning Amesbury and Autumn Ridge III were of a minor nature and were approved 5-0.

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January 16, 2007
Lower Paxton Township Board of Supervisors Meeting
Reported by Mark Levine.

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Bill Hawk, Followed by the pledge of allegiance and approval of the minutes of the meetings 12/12/06, 12/19/06 and 01/02/07.

Public comments were made by Eric Epstein on behalf of SWAN Re: an update to the Board of communications and lack thereof, between Eric and Eric Kessler as regarding Mr. Kessler’s development.
Chairman & Board Member’s Comments followed.

Managers Report was presented by Mr. George Wolf – Manager, with emphasis on the seventh birthday party of the Friendship Community Center to be held on Sunday, January 21, 2007 at the Friendship Club. There will be free cake and ice cream.

Old Business: Resolution 07-03: Indicating the Township position regarding improvements to Colonial Road by Triple Crown Corporation.
Re: The improvements to the intersection of Macintosh Road and Colonial Road.
The Township will: Request the utility improvements for the utility poles to be relocated; Use eminent domain for necessary easements; Procure and apply Bituminous paving; Relocate Sanitary Sewer lines; Accept PENNDOT occupancy permit in it’s name. Approved.
Note: It was suggested to the supervisors, in a prior meeting, a supervisors workshop, that the Township request re-imbursement for the paving from PENDOT since Colonial Road is a State road. This possibly should be brought before the Board again.

New Business:
Master Plan for Shadebrook TND (06-41): Borders Union Deposit Road to the South. Fairmont Drive bisects the plot with Locust Lane aprox. 500 feet north of the northern-most property line. This is a Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). It is planned for 354 residential lots and 5 commercial lots on 86.9 acres. 26.4 acres are open space representing 30.3 % (percent) as green space. Representing the project was: John Snyder, Mr. P. Heffner, Doug Parkins, Barry Mahaffy, Yingst and Stoltsfuz. The commercial lots are in the center of the development, proposed two or three story buildings with shops on the first floor and possible residences above. The architectural theme will be Colonial throughout the development. Surrounding the commercial area are townhouses with single homes in the perimeter. The planner indicated that the normal townhouse grouping will be 3 to 4 units, however, some will have 5. The maximum units per townhouse grouping they build is 6. All streets will be per the zoning with curbing and sidewalks on both sides of the street. Some houses will front on green-space with entrances from the rear, yet sidewalks in front between houses. Most townhouses and single houses will have garages in the rear of the property, accessible from alleys. Some garages may have apartments above them for parents or possibly even for rental.
Note: Personally, the plan looked quite nice.

Preliminary/Final land development plan for 4800 Linglestown Road, Kusic Capital Group (06-28): Represented by Ron Horton. 3 waivers. Approved.

Preliminary/Final Subdivision and land development plan for Sheetz Convenience Store (06-38): Represented by Mitch Kemp. To subdivide the lot into two parcels. One parcel for the Sheetz store and the other to be retained by the owner of the property. (Sheetz is leasing the property they will build their store on). The property not to be developed at this time consists of 2.14 acres and 3 waivers for improvements (i.e. sidewalks and curbing) were asked for. Approved.

Extension of the preliminary subdivision and land development plan approval for Huntleith (03-34) and
Extension of the preliminary subdivision and land development plan approval for Autumn Ridge (93-47):
Both requests were tabled due to discussion as to developer contributions to the township for sewer hookup based upon dates of approval of the plans by the Township, therefore they are locked in, and do not reflect the increases over the years in those charges. It was felt that the extension request of one year, taking completion of the Huntleith project to 2019 from 2018 was requested based upon the economic slowdown in the housing market rather than the unavailability of sewer permits.

Traffic improvement contribution agreement proposed by MLG Enterprises, Inc. in accordance with Candlewood Suites land development plan (06-32): $11,000.00 contribution. Approved.

Amendment of the preliminary/final land development plan for Amesbury (05-29): This Development is Residential/Retirement on Commons Drive. Requesting an additional waiver for the 200 ft vertical light sight distance due the slope of the land. The existing plan, does however, meet the PENDOT requirement for a posted 20 M.P.H. speed limit. Approved.

Acceptance of streets offered for dedication in Autumn Ridge, Phase 111. Accepted.

Improvement Guarantees, Development Agreements, Plan Reaffirmations, etc.: Approved.

Payment of bills: Lower Paxton Township & Lower Paxton Township Authority: Approved.