SWAN NEWSLETTER #99
September 2, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Police Department There are 1,100 police departments in Pennsylvania and this year only 96 of them have met the high standards required to receive official law enforcement accreditation from the state. This year the township’s department was ranked 18th of the 96 and at this meeting it officially received reaccreditation which is a high honor. It had previously received this award in 2005 and 2011. The board officially thanked the department for their continued exemplary service to the township.
Change Order The contract with M. F. Ronca and Sons, Inc. for sanitary sewer work in the PC-1G/1H mini-basin in the Forest Hills development includes a required completion date. The contractor requested a change order for a 120 day time extension due to an unforeseen delay. There was no additional cost involved. The change order was approved.
Sewer Project Bids Nine bids were received for the BC-3A/3B sanitary sewer mini-basin project. The low bid was from R3 Construction Inc. in the amount of $5,390,000.00 The township has had no previous experience with this contractor but it has satisfactory references and was approved by the township engineer. The contract was awarded to the firm.
East Park Inns, Best Western Premiere Hotel Action was taken on a Stipulation and Joint Motion for Agreed Upon Order regarding the real estate assessment of this property. The township, Dauphin County and the Central Dauphin School District are involved in the effort to agree on its value. The appraised value of the property had been higher but values have gone down and the parties are trying to agree on the proposed settlement figure of $6,700,000.00 to avoid going to the Assessments Hearing Board. The board voted to approve the proposed figure.
September 3, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Reported by Bill Bostic
Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan for Meadowview Village, Lot 1B Jeff Staub of Dauphin Engineering and developer Eric Kessler presented a plan for four buildings with a total of 12 one-story condo units in Meadowview Village, a senior housing development located south of Union Deposit Road near the Rutherford Road intersection. The units would be located on the property’s northern boundary along Union Deposit Road.
The plan was tabled for two reasons:
– The Meadowview Village development plan was approved in 1999. Because the township’s zoning regulations have changed, the plan for Lot 1B does not meet the current open-space requirement for active or passive recreation. To remedy the situation, township officials have to decide whether to require Kessler to seek a variance, or to amend zoning regulations with a text amendment to address grandfathered plans.
– The commission asked Kessler to try to take steps to address what was described as a poorly planned intersection of roads and driveways in the development proposed for Lot 1B.
Preliminary/Final Resubdivision Plan for Lots 43, 44 & 45 of Outerbridge Crossing This plan would reconfigure three approved lots into two, in a luxury townhome community located north of Route 39 in the Colonial Road corridor.
The plan was recommended for approval.
Preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan for James E. Spangler & Mary Jane Spangler and the Bethany Church of the Nazarene
The commission in June tabled the plan because the applicants weren’t prepared to discuss waivers and the plan map needed to be revised.
The applicants want to break off two 10-acre lots from the church property located in the Linglestown area on Parkway West next to Stouffers of Kissel Hill. The lots were sized to keep the two 10-acre parcels eligible for Clean and Green. No new construction is proposed.
The only waiver request discussed was for relief from installing sidewalk and curbing. The commission decided the waiver was appropriate because a new plan would need to be submitted if homes were proposed on the new lots in the future.
The plan was recommended for approval.
September 9, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP SESSION – Reported by Watson Fisher
Hurley Fields There are two Babe Ruth League sized baseball fields on the property which is on the south side of Locust Lane and is shared with the township’s Public Works building. That building is scheduled to be enlarged in the near future probably causing one of the ball fields to be moved or eliminated. Representatives from the several baseball organizations that use the fields appealed to the board to take into consideration the need to retain both fields since they are the only intermediate sized fields available. The board agreed that in the planning of the needed building expansion they would make every effort to avoid having to eliminate one of the two fields.
Linglestown Paintball The planned movement of clean fill from sewer projects to the south half of the Wolfersberger Park site to begin rough grading for the planned playfields will start soon. This will not affect access to the north half of the property where the paintball business leases land for their existing operation. In about a year, however, their access will be compromised as work on the park development continues. The owners of the business asked the board for guidance regarding their future use of the property.
The board said that depending on the park’s future development of the north half of the property they may or may not be able to accommodate paintball in the final plan. They said they will try to do so. They also stated that they will explore the possibility of providing needed additional access drives onto the park property through adjacent private land. This could possibly provide direct access to the paintball operation if indeed it can be accommodated in the overall park plan in the future.
Devonshire Memorial United Brethren in Christ Church Representatives from the church requested that the board consider a text amendment to the zoning ordinance that would increase the allowed impervious coverage of the site from 40% to 60% for an institutional use in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. The church wishes to build an addition which would increase the impervious coverage to slightly over the 40% limit. The building is screened by landscaping and the neighbors have no objections to the project. The board indicated that they would consider a smaller increase, maybe to 50%, and requested feedback from the neighbors regarding this specific project before they make a final decision.
Patton Road The first phase of the McNaughton Homes residential project, the Estates at Autumn Oaks, which is located at the north end of Patton Road, is well underway. The agreement with the township was that as part of the project the developer would straighten a sharp s-curve section of Patton Road at the south end of the development. The developer is now suggesting that because of ongoing storm water problems along this road the better use for the money would be to enlarge culverts and piping to alleviate flooding in the area. The township engineers concurred. The board asked McNaughton to submit a written detailed formal proposal in this regard for their consideration.
Townes at Galway At one of last month’s supervisors’ business meetings this proposed townhouse development was discussed but not acted on. It would consist of 17 town homes on a 2.3 acre tract located on Summerwood Drive in the R-3 Medium High Density zoning district. The Planning Commission had approved the project but there were questions raised by the Fire Chief and the Fire Marshall concerning access by fire trucks at this tight site. At this meeting the design engineer presented a slightly revised plan showing reinforced paving where a fire truck might need to mount the slant curb and restricted on-street parking where trucks would need to turn and maneuver. The streets are planned to be 24 feet wide. There were also concerns for the wetlands in the area but the plan does include a detention basin and an underground storm water storage facility. The supervisors gave final approval to the plan.
Earl Drive Culvert At previous meetings the supervisors discussed with their engineers options they could consider in dealing with repeated storm water flooding upstream from the culvert under Earl Drive. At this meeting the township engineer presented six options with estimated costs. Option #1 was to create a detention basin upstream and Option #2 was to regrade the stream channel. These two options were not recommended. Option #3 was to replace the culvert with a bigger one and remove one house, Option #4 was to remove three houses, and Option #5 was to replace the culvert with a larger one, replace the Creek Drive culvert and remove 4 houses. This last one was the most expensive with an estimated cost of $1,640,000.00. The engineer stated that none of these would eliminate the flooding problem altogether. The board will now consider how to proceed and decide on what cost figure to include in the 2015 budget for this project.
Stormwater Management Ordinance A question was raised on the definition in the ordinances of the term “impervious coverage.” It applies to the percentage of a lot covered by a building and solid paving that rain water cannot penetrate and will run off, potentially leading to possible backups in storm sewers. Different municipalities have different definitions, mainly regarding pavers and stone or gravel driveways. It was suggested that the township consider changing its ordinance to allow these types of paving to be considered pervious as has been done elsewhere. However, the township’s engineer explained the difficulty in ensuring that these paved areas remain pervious. Also, in the future more developments will continue to add impervious areas in the township. The board accepted this evaluation and voted to keep the regulations as they are currently defined.
September 16, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP AUTHORITY MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Engineers’ Agreement CET Engineers, now GHD, has an agreement with PennDOT for design services starting back to 2009 for a sanitary sewer project in the township. The project was funded by a Pennvest loan and the township and is now completed and is being closed out. The final documents show that the township’s portion of the additional observation costs by the engineers over the years is approximately $900,000.00. The authority members voted to approve this payment.
September 16, 2014
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING – Reported by Watson Fisher
Property Maintenance Code The supervisors have been working on altering the code regarding the requirements to mow portions of large properties in the R-1 Low Density Residential Zone. At this public meeting they considered Ordinance #14-05 which would adopt Amendment #302-4 to the code. This would require the mowing of a certain portion of the property including a 10 foot wide swath on its perimeter.
Several citizens spoke in objection to the amendment saying it would be a difficult requirement for large undeveloped properties that happen to be in the R-1 zone. The supervisors agreed to withhold action on the amendment until their October 7th business meeting. They did hold the legally required public meeting on this amendment but they will need to re-advertise the new supervisors’ meeting date. They will view some of the properties in question on their road tour which will be before their next business meeting.
Communications Equipment The township has been successful in acquiring an agreement to lease space on light standards on certain streets for the mounting of small satellite cellular equipment. There will be 7 to 10 locations, the rental fee would be $3,600.00 per year per location and the 5 year contract could extend up to 25 years. The board approved this lease.
Police Agreement A proposed agreement between the township and its police officers required a minor change and was not acted on at this meeting.
Insurance Policies A representative from the Brown & Brown Insurance Agency that provides the Township and the Authority with property and liability insurance presented his proposal for coverage for the next year. He had received quotes from 8 carriers and recommended Allied Insurance. The cost was slightly higher than last year due mainly to the higher value of the township’s vehicles and to the HVAC improvements at the Friendship Center. The cost to the township will be $138,000.00 and to the Authority $34,000.00. The board approved the purchase of the policies.
Pension Plans – Resolution #14-30 This proposal will approve the township’s deposit to the yearly obligations to the police and the non-uniformed employees’ pension plans in the amounts of $1,063,000.00 and $789,000.00 respectively. State aid will offset a portion of that in the amount of $740,000.00. The board approved the resolution.
Municipal Records – Resolution #14-28 The board voted to approve the destruction of certain municipal records as allowed by law.
The Townes at Galway – Resolution #14-08 At several previous meetings the board reviewed this proposed new town house project and resolved some planning issues. The project will consist of 17 town homes on a 2.3 acre lot on Summerwood Drive in the R-3 Medium High Density zoning district. The issues, which were mainly with the fire equipment’s access within the property and the wetlands, were resolved. The only additional concern was that the required street markings for the fire lanes and no parking areas be painted on the base course during the construction period when some houses are occupied and again on the final wearing course when the paving is completed. The board approved the project.
Howard and Randall Hirsch Partnership The property owned by this partnership at 5710 Union Deposit Road was previously approved to be subdivided into 7 building lots. The owners now wish to reconsolidate the 7 lots into the original single parcel. The board approved this action.