SWAN Newsletter #68

April 26, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

 Beth BudeshiemSpecial Exception #12-01   This application is for a Special Exception to allow the applicant to operate a licensed counselor practice at the home at 1161 Fairmont Drive which is in the R-1 Low Density Residential Zoning District. A counselor practice is considered a Major Home Occupation and is allowed in this district only by a Special Exception. Earlier in the month this request was reviewed by the Planning Commission and they advised this board that they found it unobjectionable if adequate off street parking and vehicle turn around were provided.

 A large group of neighbors expressed objections to having people needing counseling coming into their residential neighborhood on a daily basis where their children play outside. Also they were concerned that there are school bus stops nearby and a fair amount of traffic on Fairmont Drive. After a lengthy discussion the board voted to deny the request.

 Joseph A. & Elaine M. PlewaDocket #1310  This variance request involves a proposed addition to the rear of their house at 5571 Banbridge Drive in the R-1 Low Density Residential Zoning District. The existing house does not comply with the side yard setback requirements since both side yards are 10 feet wide and the ordinance requires that the total of the two has to be a minimum of 25 feet. The proposed addition would match the existing 10 foot setback on both sides. Since the addition would not be any closer to the property lines than the existing house and since the next door neighbors on both sides have no objections to the proposed addition the board voted to approve the variance.

 David & Marilyn DowlingDocket #1311  The applicants requested a variance to be allowed to erect a 7’6” high fence along the rear of their property at 2132 Sycamore Drive in the R-1 Low Density Residential District. Their residential property backs up to the rear of commercial properties along Linglestown Road and they wish to provide a visual screen along the property line. The ordinance limits the height of a fence in the rear yard to 6’6” but because of the topography this height would not provide adequate screening. It was agreed that the extra foot in fence height would not be noticeable and would not impact negatively on any of the adjoining properties. The board voted to approve the variance.

May 1, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
- (7:30 PM – 8:20 PM)
Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
                                                      

UNDER NEW BUSINESS:  Chairman Hawk proclaimed Thursday May 1, 2012 as Arbor Day in Lower Paxton Township.

The Supervisors unanimously approved an agreement to take part in the Dauphin County Victim/Witness Program.

 The Supervisors unanimously approved the low bid of Pennsy Supply in the amount of $1,588,700.00 for the 2012 paving program. Two bids were received.

 The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-17 establishing an average lot price to be used to compute the recreation fee-in-lieu of land dedication payment.  This will result in approximately a 1% increase in the fee to $2,320.00.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-18, authorizing the destruction of documents in accordance with the Township’s records retention program and State regulations.

The Supervisors unanimously approved a three (3) year lease agreement in the amount of $20,600.00 for the purchase of Exercycles and dumbbells for the Friendship Center.

May 2, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP GREENWAY COMMITTEE MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

New Member Angela Sedun was approved to fill the vacancy that existed on the committee.

Election of Officers  Rogette Harris was reelected Chairman and James Seidler was elected Vice-Chairman.

Autumn Oaks Joel McNaughton representing The McNaughton Company gave the committee an update on the walking trail they are constructing along the northern side of Phase 2 of the Autumn Oaks development at the north end of Patton Road. This is part of their recreation requirement to the township. Part of the trail was built when construction started but it is already in disrepair and Mr. McNaughton reported that it will now be rebuilt and the trail completed as houses continue to be built. Because of the topography,  the committee was concerned that without proper drainage future erosion along the trail may occur.

The committee is trying to develop a uniform signage policy for township trails and they will advise Mr. McNaughton when this is accomplished so signs can be added. They intend to look at ideas for the design of trail signs and at the possibility of having the VoTech School make the signs. Another possibility would be to have sponsors contribute the signs.

PennDot Several representatives from the state met with the committee previously to review the township’s Greenway Plan and to initiate dialogue regarding possible state grants for the development of trails. It was agreed that P&R Department director Brian Luetchford will follow up with state on grants and will explore the development of a municipal agreement regarding where the plan indicates possible construction of township trails on state roads and land.

Darlington Trail Previously some committee members hiked a portion of the Darling Trail along the top of Blue Mountain from Hockers Park west toward the river and found it to be in relatively good condition. Recently they explored the area to the east and found it to be blocked by downed trees and hardly passable. They intend to identify the property owners in an effort to make the old trail usable again.

Grant The committee will pursue a state grant involved with improving opportunities for school students to be able to walk safely to school. They had identified five schools in the township where improvements would be beneficial. The grant application can be prepared by the township but it would need to be submitted by the school district. The committee will contact each school to gauge the district’s interest in improving pedestrian safety on the streets and sidewalks near the schools and to obtain information on the numbers of students currently walking to school.

May 2, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PARKS & RECREATION BOARD MEETING

Attended and reported by Watson Fisher.

Updates At Brightbill Park the new double batting cage constructed by the baseball association is completed and in use. The reconstruction of the stream banks at the northwestern corner of the park is almost finished. Planting in the area will be finished this month. The damaged culvert under Curvin Drive will be replaced.

At George Park two soccer fields which had been originally over compacted are being completely redone by the Capital Area Soccer Association and they may be enclosed with permanent fences.  

Before construction is completed at the new Bishop McDevitt High School, an inquiry will be made regarding the possibility of having walking trails added around the school and along Spring Creek. 

Friendship Center Parks & Recreation Department Director Brian Luetchford reviewed with the board the current policy regarding discounts for charges for the many programs at the Friendship Center and in the parks. The fee schedule is fairly complicated with residents, non-residents, members, non-members, senior citizens, and combinations of the above. A 10% discount off the program fee is given for adding an additional child to a family membership and the same for seniors. It was questioned whether these two particular discounts were really needed or whether they could be eliminated to generate additional needed revenue and slightly simplify bookkeeping. After discussion the board voted to eliminate those discounts.

Recreation Planning The department is looking into the possible creation of a Parks & Recreation non-profit foundation and they plan to contact the township solicitor or someone else to investigate the possibility of doing so. The board plans to have their June meeting at Brightbill Park, their July meeting at Lingle Park and their August meeting at George Park.

Wolfersberger Park To clear up any questions a review of the sales agreement to buy the Wolfersberger tract indicated that the purchase is contingent on using the land for a township park. The township had received approval for a matching state grant which would provide $40,000.00 toward the comprehensive planning for the development of the park as well as Koons Park. This would require the township to provide a matching $40,000.00 and this has not been budgeted. The grant expires in a year and the board will meet with the supervisors to review the matter. If necessary an effort to begin the planning could be done in house. 

It had been suggested that excess fill generated from the sewer authority’s extensive sewer work this year might be used to begin to re-grade and level low areas at the Wolfersbger tract. Savings to the construction company for a convenient dump site could be put toward making the final payment on the land purchase. This could not be allowed to alter the current wetlands and the township engineer would have to carefully delineate the wetland locations. It was felt that DEP and the Corp. of Engineers would accept this delineation.

May 7, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
- (2:30 PM – 3:45 PM)
Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.

UNDER OLD BUSINESS:  Fire Call Box assignments were discussed.  After making some changes, a final list of Fire Call Box assignments will be submitted to the Supervisors for approval.  NOTE:  Dauphin County Emergency Control is looking at a response system based on geographics and response time.  This will not be ready for sometime, and will likely change the above agreed to assignments when it is instituted.

UNDER NEW BUSINESS:  Chairman Johnson reviewed Resolution 12-16 which was approved by the Supervisors.  This allows Lower Paxton Township emergency responders to leave the county for emergency responses and training purposes with the approval of the Public Safety Director.

May 8, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WORKSHOP
- (6:00 PM – 8:45 PM)
Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.
Absent: Bill Hawk

Representatives of the Parks and Recreation Board had several issues to discuss with the Supervisors.  The key issue was the Dauphin County grant of $40,000.00 with matching funds from the Township for a planning module for the Wolfersberger Tract (93 acres) and Koons Park (36 acres).  This grant expires in July of 2013.  Since no money had been budgeted by the Township for this project, the P & R Board members wanted to know which direction to take.  After much discussion, the Supervisors felt that other sources of funds could be used to make up the $40,000.00 matching funds required of the Township.  It appears this P & R project will move forward.

Representatives of HRG presented several proposals for improvements to the Devonshire Heights and Nyes Roads intersection.  It appears that all concerned, including PADOT, favor a round-a-bout concept similar to the ones in Linglestown.  This project will have to move through the HATS committee and TIP program before approval.  From a safety standpoint and a storm water management improvement standpoint, this is a much needed project.

Mr. Wolfe presented a proposal to revise the building permit application fee for non-residential buildings.  This proposal would result in a more uniform fee and also reflect true Township costs in the fee.

Mr. Wolf presented the fourth quarter Key Indicator Report. This report showed an operation balance of $4.8 million dollars which exceeds the 25% of the operating budget mandated by the Supervisors. This is a one-time occurrence since the State changed the accrual date of tax monies collected by the Township.

Under “Otta Know”, Mr. Stine reviewed a Commonwealth Court decision that affects the Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board.  This decision could result in the Township having to establish such a board.

May 15, 2012
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING
- (7:30 PM – 8:30 PM)                 
Attended by Watson Fisher and Ted Robertson. Reported by Ted Robertson.                                                                                         

The Township Manager reported that the American Legion Memorial Day Parade will take place on May 28h in Linglestown.

 The Manager also reported that the Paxtonia Fire Department will host the Dauphin County Fireman’s Convention on June 8th and 9th.

UNDER NEW BUSINESS:  The Supervisors decided to table the three bids for the sale of the Township’s lease of land on which American Tower Corporation has cited a cellular telephone tower for further review.

The Supervisors decided to reject the two bids for maintenance & repair of Township bridges. This item will be rebid.

The Supervisors approved the bid of Stoner Tree Service in the amount of $29,200.00 for tree cutting & stump removal in the Spring Creek IE&1G sanitary sewer mini basin.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Change Orders 1, 2, 3, and 4 to the storm water contract with Wexon, Inc.  This was a net increase of $140,000.00.  The increase was a result of having portions of this contract, originally scheduled to be done by Township personnel, to be added to the contractor’s work.

The Supervisors unanimously approved the acceptance of a Dauphin County Local Grant Share Agreement (12-20) for replacement of the bridge on Jonestown Road over Beaver Creek, in the amount of $80,000.00.  Total cost of this project is estimated to be 1.8 million dollars. This grant will essentially negate Lower Paxton Township’s & West Hanover Township’s share of the cost of this project.

The Supervisors unanimously approved a Dauphin County Local Grant Share Agreement (12-28) in the amount of $180,000.00 for debt reduction for capital improvements to the Linglestown Fire Company fire station.

UNDER SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT: The Supervisors unanimously approved the preliminary/final subdivision & land development plan for Sheetz (12-05) for property located at Union Deposit & Briarsdale Roads.  NOTE: The Supervisors approved the Conditional Use of this property as a convenience store & fuel station at their March 20th, 2012 meeting.

The Supervisors unanimously approved Resolution 12-10, a Planning Module for 2521 Patton Road. This is the five lot plan, approved at an earlier meeting, owned by Triple Crown.

The Supervisors unanimously approved three agreements with the developers of Laurel Ridge involving easements, maintenance, & storm water management.