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8-20-19 Minutes

Planning Commission
8-20-19 Minutes


PLANNING COMMISSION:                                             LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

 REGULAR MEETING:                                                      AUGUST 20, 2019


The following were in ATTENDANCE:


Brett McCreary, Chairman

Geir Magnusson, Vice-Chairman

Samuel Bashore

Jay Blackwell

Brian Wickenheiser

David Clovsky

Michael Washburn

Daniel Flint, P.E., Township Engineer

Steve Hoffman, Cumberland County Planning Dept

Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary


Chairman McCreary called the August 20, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission to order at 7:00 pm.



Mr. MAGNUSSON moved to approve the minutes from the July 16, 2019 regular meeting. Mr. WICKENHEISER seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.




SLD Docket No. 2019-05:  Land Development Plan for Verizon Wireless, 3628 Lisburn Road

Proposed construction of a 150-foot tall telecommunications monopole

Applicant Presentation

Mr. Flint pointed out the property on the overhead where the proposed tower is to be built. He explained that the plan would also have to be signed and approved by Upper Allen Township as part of the land is in their Township. Andy Miller with Rettew Associates explained that the cell tower has been on hold several years as other towers with higher priority have been upgraded or built by Verizon. He explained that the tower will be a 150 foot monopole with a diesel generator for emergency power. The site will contain equipment cabinets to house the electronics. The area that has been leased from the landowners is 100 feet by 100 feet, but the fenced in section will be 50 feet by 50 feet with landscaped screening. There will be two parking spaces, one inside the fence and one outside which will also serve as a turnaround space. There will be an access road through the property onto Lisburn Road. Mr. Miller stated that the NPDES approval has been received which satisfies the Stormwater Management comments. A Highway Occupancy Permit for the driveway access is still needed from PennDOT. Some embankment work must be done first to improve sight distance. 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint spoke about the applicant’s modification request regarding the slope of the driveway. As stated in the Code in 192-57.B(3)(c)[1], a driveway from an arterial street is not to exceed 4% grade in the first 20 feet, and not to exceed 7% grade in the next 80 feet. It should allow for 6% grade, a 50 feet long vertical curve, and 12% grade within the first 100 feet. This is to allow for access by emergency vehicles. Mr. Flint would like the access road to be field-verified prior to completion of the construction permit.

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman said that his comments had been resolved by speaking with Mr. Flint before the meeting.

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Wickenheiser asked Mr. Flint if he had any concerns with the integrity of the road. Mr. Flint stated that he did not and that adjustments could be made once it is constructed if necessary. He also stated that he felt the turnaround area would be adequate. Mr. Miller stated that the access road would be made first and that the crane used to erect the tower is heavier than a firetruck will be using the road.  Mr. Magnusson asked when the tower would be operational. Mr. Miller does not know the exact time frame but stated that Verizon usually does not build towers in the winter. He also stated that two additional carriers may also use the tower. Mr. Clovsky asked if the tower is protected from vandalism and Mr. Miller said the fence is 8 feet high with a foot of barbed wire on the top. The technicians are aware immediately if the equipment is compromised in any way and will dispatch someone to check on it.

Public Comment

Michele Tarquino asked who would be maintaining the access road and how it will be posted. Mr. Miller stated that Verizon has an agreement with the property owner to maintain the access road. He stated there is a locked gate on the proposed driveway with signage. The gate allows room for a vehicle to pull off the road while the gate is unlocked.


Mr. WICKENHEISER moved to approve the modification requested by the applicant from the requirement in Code 192-57.B(3)(c)[1], which states that a driveway from an arterial street is not to exceed 4% grade in the first 20 feet, and not to exceed 7% grade in the next 80 feet. It should allow for 6% grade, a 50 feet long vertical curve, and 12% grade within the first 100 feet. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion and the motion carried 7-0.

Mr. WICKENHEISER moved to approve the Land Development Plan for the Verizon Wireless telecommunications monopole contingent upon obtaining the HOP from PennDOT and satisfaction of comments by the Township and County. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion and the motion carried 7-0.



SLD Docket No. 2019-10:  Land Development Plan for 1120 St. Johns Road, Interstate Towing

Proposed construction of a 5,600 square foot one-story maintenance/storage building.

Applicant Presentation

Mr. Flint used the overhead to point out the location of the project and current location of Interstate Towing. Eric Diffenbaugh with Diffenbaugh Wadel explained the proposed construction. He stated that along with construction of a new maintenance building, there would be partial demolition of the existing building which is an old gas station. He stated that the applicant did receive a variance for the setback lines. It will come as close as one foot from the setback but the applicant also owns the property to the south. The back of the property is a detention basin owned by PennDOT.

Township Comments

Mr. Flint stated that the required parking spaces need to be shown on the plan with lines.

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman asked about the requirements for landscaping and if they apply here. Mr. Flint stated that typically there are not landscaping requirements for an existing building. The business does have some landscaping not shown on the plan as well as a fence. The parking lot is not changing.


Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Wickenheiser asked if impervious coverage is increasing with this plan. Mr. Diffenbaugh stated that it is actually slightly decreasing from 96% to 95%. Mr. Flint said this would not work for new construction but it is an existing property.

Public Comment



Mr. WASHBURN moved to approve the waiver from the requirement to provide curb and sidewalk if none is proposed and Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

Mr. WASHBURN moved to approve the Land Development Plan with satisfaction of comments from the Township and the County. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and the motion carried 7-0.


Pedestrian/Bicycle Committee Study

Mr. Flint spoke about the report provided to Commission members from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee. This committee was formed in response to the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Washburn represented the Planning Commission at the meetings. He stated that the committee invested a lot of time in data collection and did take a bicycle tour and walked through the Township. Existing trails were mapped out along with proposed trails and analysis of sidewalks was completed. Priority was given to areas that are especially of interest to the community. STRAVA maps were made using data from apps where people record their bike rides or walks.

Mr. Flint said the total cost of the projects considered came in around $20 million but it contains a wide variety of things that can be done one at a time. One of the large items that had a lot of interest is a trail through stated owned property that could connect to the Community Park. Bike lanes on Gettysburg Road is another project that could be done. The report listed some potential sources of funding and gave some fundraising ideas. They also recommend an education portion as well as coordination with nearby municipalities.

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Wickenheiser asked about the top priority from the study and Mr. Washburn said that it is student safety as they cross the highway from New Cumberland to Cedar Cliff to go to school. The intersection by Allen Middle School is also a challenging one. Mr. Washburn also stated that one popular suggestion was to create a bike/pedestrian bridge running into Camp Hill Borough over the railroad. A tunnel by the municipal building where the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge is could provide a way for the public to safely pass through this area. Getting started on the trail leading toward the Community Park was a popular idea as well.  He stated there is a lot of interest outside the Township for connectivity. Mr. Clovsky asked about putting in a flashing pedestrian crossing sign on Wesley Drive for Wass Park like the one on Carlisle Road near Cedar Cliff High School. Mr. Flint stated that this particular intersection is a high priority. Mr. Bashore asked how competitive the grants are to get for projects and Mr. Flint stated that what is available changes and it is always competitive.

Mr. Flint said that any additional comments from the Commission could be sent to him in the next week or so. The Pedestrian/Bicycle Committee meets tomorrow to discuss the findings of the study. The study will be presented to the Board of Commissioners later this month.


Public Comment

Michele Tarquino spoke about being on the Ped/Bike Committee and that she feels the priorities of the findings of the study should be changed. She stated that it does not address the proposed construction of the Sheetz at the corner of Carlisle Road. She stated this area should be re-zoned and made a higher priority. She also stated that sidewalk gaps in that area were not identified. She offered to provide a copy of her comments in writing that she provided to the Committee if asked to do so.

Kathy Page, a resident of Cedar Cliff Manor, was in attendance and spoke about the new raised crosswalk on Cedar Cliff Drive. She stated that it is not marked well and is not safe. She stated that the flashing pedestrian lights like the ones on Carlisle Road would be helpful in this area.

Mr. Flint and Mr. Washburn stated that the report is not a mandate but rather to assist with long term planning. The Township currently does not have the funds to complete the major projects.


Mr. CLOVSKY moved to adjourn the regular meeting of the Planning Commission at 8:00 pm.