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Home»Board of Commissioner Minutes»Board of Commissioners
2-24-2020 Minutes

Board of Commissioners
2-24-2020 Minutes

MINUTES

 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS                                         LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING                                                         FEBRUARY 24, 2020

 

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS                                     TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL

Dean W. Villone, President                                                  Thomas G. Vernau, Jr., Township Manager

Edward Black, Vice President                                Erin G. Trone, Assistant Township Manager

Richard F. Schin                                                                    Richard Grove, Finance Director

Carolyn Holtzman                                                                 David Holl, Public Safety Director

Thomas H. Kutz                                                                    Dan Flint, Public Works Coordinator

                                                                                               John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator 

                                                                                               Leon Crone, Police Captain

                                                                                               Vicky Ann Trimmer, Asst. Solicitor

                                                                                               Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary

 

President Villone called the February 24, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:00 pm followed by a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review.  

 

MEETING MINUTES

Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the minutes from the February 10, 2020 Regular Meeting. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

PRESENTATIONRevised Disc Golf Layout at LACP

Josh LeValley and Ben Hammen were again in attendance to discuss revisions and sponsorship details for their proposed disc golf course at Lower Allen Community Park. Mr. Greg Mahon, Chairman of the Recreation and Parks Board was also in the audience. They provided a handout to the Board with proposed costs and a sample of the tee pad material to pass around. Mr. LeValley said they plan to ask about 18 potential sponsors, and they will provide a list to the Board for approval.  He stated that the tee pads can be installed flush with the ground and are covered by a 25 year warranty if installed with a wooden frame around them. In addition, he said the original location of the first hole has been changed to avoid a pavilion and horseshoe pit. Mr. LeValley spoke about the sponsorships they are hoping to attain. The cost would be $500 which would cover the basket and tee pad for each hole. The baskets would be installed first and could be moved if necessary. Tee pads would be added later. The sponsor’s name would be at each hole on a plaque about the size of a piece of paper.

 

The Board then requested to hear from Mr. Greg Mahon on the feelings of the Recreation and Parks Board. Mr. Mahon spoke about walking the proposed course with Mr. LeValley and Mr. Hammen and adjusting a couple of the holes. He said that the Rec and Parks Board fully supports the disc golf course at LACP. The course is not invasive to the park and should not interfere with other activities taking place at the park. President Villone asked if families would be able to play the disc golf course and Mr. Mahon it could be designed that way. The holes could be less challenging to play by starting closer to the baskets.

 

Mr. LeValley said the quote they received from Prodigy was $8,195.00 for everything. If they can find a sponsor for each hole at $500.00, they would bring in $9,000.00. He and Mr. Hammen would find help constructing the course so that there would be no labor costs incurred.

 

Commissioner Kutz asked for an updated course layout that the Board could look at and thanked Mr. LeValley and Mr. Hammen for coming to the meeting. Commissioner Schin asked if they would be waiting to start the project until they have all the funding and Mr. LeValley said that they would do signs and baskets to start and add the tee pads later if money is limited. Vice President Black asked if the baskets are permanent or if they could possibly be stolen and Mr. LeValley said they have a spot where they can be padlocked. He also asked if the wood framing of the tee pads is made with treated lumber and Mr. LeValley replied that in order to keep the warranty they must be. Commissioner Schin expressed concern about the maintenance of the baskets in the long term and Mr. LeValley said that the sponsorships would change yearly and the income from them would cover maintenance. Regular playing of the course also helps to keep the baskets from rusting. Commissioner Kutz asked about liability of the Township for someone being injured while using the disc golf course and Asst. Solicitor Trimmer said that it would be the same as someone getting injured anywhere on Township property.

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION:  Any item on the agenda.

The following audience members stated that they would like to speak on agenda item 8, the Sheetz Land Development Plan:  Jennifer Kocher, Melissa McNeal, Gordon Kauffman, George LaPore, and Betsy Metz.

 

PRESIDENT VILLONE

Check Register

Vice President BLACK moved to approve the check register of February 14, 2020 in the amount of $932,886.91. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve the Department Reports for the month of January for Community Development, Fleet Maintenance, Township Engineer, Public Works, and Public Safety.

Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP: 

There was none.

 

TOWNSHIP ENGINEER

SLD Docket No. 2019-11, Land Development Plan for Sheetz, 1508 Cedar Cliff Drive

Mr. Flint pointed out the properties at 1500 and 1510 Cedar Cliff Drive on the overhead projector and spoke about the two lots being combined into one for this Plan. He spoke about a small triangular section being in New Cumberland Borough and that they would need to approve the Land Development Plan as well or waive their right to. Mr. Flint said that there are two bioretention areas planned for stormwater management. Mr. Flint pointed out the entrances and exits from the business on the Plan as well as the location of the Drive-thru. He spoke about the detailed traffic impact study which was completed by the applicant. He listed the following proposed improvements:

  • New sidewalk along the front of the building and continental crosswalks across the driveways and all directions in the signalized intersection.
  • Upgraded traffic signals and crosswalks as well as across the ramps to Interstate 83. Traffic signals will be coordinated. (PennDOT must approve the traffic signal changes.)
  • Continental crosswalks at the entrance to Allendale replacing the current ones.
  • Upgrades to signs.
  • Blackout No Right Turn on Red signal activated by pedestrians pushing the button. This is in response to concerns about right turn traffic coming up Cedar Cliff Drive creating a pedestrian issue.

Mr. Flint spoke about the three waivers requested by the applicant.

  1. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-24.C to submit a preliminary plan.
  2. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-57.B(3)(i)[2] that prohibits driveways from crossing the street right-of-way line within five feet of a drainage inlet. Mr. Flint said that the driveway locations optimize traffic operation, not drainage.
  3. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-58.E(10) that planting islands and beds be designed to collect stormwater runoff from adjacent paved parking areas. Mr. Flint said that runoff will be collected in the bioretention areas.

 

These waivers are not contrary to the public interest and they maintain the purpose and intent of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

 

Mr. Flint then introduced the members of the Sheetz team present at the meeting. Charlie Courtney of McNees, Wallace, and Nurick, LLC, spoke about the open house held for the public by Sheetz which led to a list of conditions that Sheetz Zoning Hearing Board agreed to. These included the 4,000 square foot use limitation and the decreased number of fueling positions. He spoke about some of the conditions of a smaller store, less fuel pumps, updated pedestrian analysis and counts, lower impact exterior lighting and speakers, shrubs and screening landscape, limits on times of deliveries, $10,000 contribution for pedestrian sidewalks, no logo signs along the highway, and a lower profile canopy. Mr. Courtney said that Sheetz plans to include the $10,000 in the security agreement to the Township for whatever pedestrian improvements may become necessary in the future.

 

Commissioner Comments

President Villone invited the Board of Commissioners to ask any questions they had about the Sheetz Land Development Plan. Commissioner Holtzman asked if the current employees of the gas station that is being demolished will be offered jobs at Sheetz. Mr. Bob Franks, from Sheetz, responded that they would be able to apply for positions at Sheetz, but they could not guarantee jobs. Commissioner Kutz mentioned the number of handicapped spaces being reduced in the plans. Mr. Courtney replied that the number of spaces is correct based on store size and ADA regulations. Commissioner Kutz asked if the handicapped spaces would be van accessible. Adam Davis, an engineer with BL Companies, said some will be with the 8 foot striped aisle, but not all of them. Commissioner Kutz asked if there would be a conflict with having two-way traffic behind the building as well as the drive thru. Mr. Franks said that there is adequate room. Signs could be used to alert drivers leaving the drive thru, but they are not usually necessary. Commissioner Schin asked if all Sheetz stores have drive-thrus. He was told that the newer ones have them.

 

Commissioner Kutz asked if there is a plan to provide markings to guide pedestrians from the sidewalk to the store safely. Eric Mountz with Traffic Planning and Design, Inc., replied that after pedestrian patterns are established, they will work with the Township to provide crosswalks and striping. As far as raised crosswalks or flashing beacons in the area, Mr. Mountz said that they looked at national standards based on speed and volume, and the proposed crosswalk style is adequate. He said that it is mainly used by the walking train; since the crossing guard already controls the traffic light, a flashing beacon would be redundant. The crosswalk will be located where cars are not turning, and most high schoolers will be using Carlisle Road at the signalized intersection where major pedestrian upgrades are planned.

 

Vice President Black asked if the pedestrian signals at Cedar Cliff Drive and Carlisle Road remain silent until someone pushes the button. Mr. Mountz said that the new signals will have hand/man with countdowns and there will also be an audible chirp when it is safe to cross. The blackout No Turn On Red sign is also going to be in place. Someone will have to push the button to activate them. Commissioner Kutz asked if the Township can put up additional crosswalk signs and Mr. Mountz said that the signs are provided as well as additional speed limit signs. He also said that if it is decided to paint the 25 mph on the road, the $10,000 could be used for that.

 

President Villone asked if the Sheetz store would be selling beer. Dave Smith, from Sheetz, said that there is an internal process required to do this where they must apply for a license to sell beer. It will not be in the store right away. He also asked if Sheetz has spoken with Public Safety to share information. Mr. Smith said that they would be happy to do that as plans progress. There will be 24/7 security cameras running.

 

Commissioner Kutz asked if the Community Service Officers crossing students could use their vehicle lights as flashing beacons. Director Holl said that this is done currently on Carlisle Road, but this wouldn’t work for the walking train unless there was a second CSO, as the car’s flashing lights are operated manually.

 

Vice President Black said that the parking spaces have a required 10 foot setback from the building which reduces the width of the drive aisle and he asked if this was a hazard. Mr. Mountz replied that the drive aisle is big enough for emergency vehicles and deliveries. Vice President Black asked what planting will be in the pond. He was told that it is a seed mixture that does well in a wet climate. It will not be tall grass.

 

Audience Comments

Gordon Kauffman, 308 Blacklatch Lane, expressed his concern about pedestrian safety where traffic is making the right on red onto Carlisle Road. He likes the idea of the No Turn on Red activation and thinks it would be good to have in both directions.

 

Betsy Metz, 313 Allendale Way, expressed frustration that the report from the Planning Commission was not publicly available before the Board of Commissioners meeting. The Planning Commission had approved Sheetz’s Development Plan with a condition which was not covered at the Board of Commissioners meeting. President Villone said that a draft report was provided to the Commissioners but the minutes have not been approved as the Planning Commission did not meet last month. He said that the Commissioners did not feel anything in the draft minutes would be contrary to whatever may be approved at tonight’s meeting. Ms. Metz feels that the right-to-know process that the Township follows needs some changes. Mr. Vernau spoke about having a staff liaison and commissioner liaison sitting in on the Planning Commission to provide a first person account of what happens at the meeting. Since the Commission did not meet in February, the January meeting minutes will be approved the next time they meet. Commissioner Schin said that the Board values the decisions made by the Planning Commission. Commissioner Kutz said that the Township should do better with transparency and that he feels the committees should meet just to approve the minutes if necessary.

 

Melissa McNeal, 401 Blacklatch Lane, asked if there will be a left turn arrow off of Cedar Cliff Drive onto Carlisle road and she was told that there will be. She also spoke about the speed limit on Cedar Cliff Drive currently being a 25 mph speed zone and asked why a speed hump was put in right outside the Cliffs if speeding is not a problem. She said that the speed data from the speed devices shows vehicles traveling at twice the speed limit.

 

Jennifer Kocher, 156 Blacksmith Road, thanked the Commissioners for speaking with the residents and with Sheetz. She spoke about the abundant signs in that area leading to sign blindness of the traffic signs where people may not notice them. She feels that painting the speed on the roadway would be much more effective. Mrs. Kocher asked if there could be an exemption to the decision that flashing beacons are not required on Cedar Cliff Drive due to traffic and speed studies. Mr. Mountz said the Township can apply to PennDOT because the beacon is considered a traffic signal. She would like to see the money from Sheetz used to improve pedestrian safety.

 

Mr. LaPore withdrew his request to speak.

 

Commissioner Kutz asked Mr. Flint to explain what an application to PennDOT for the flashing beacons would entail. Mr. Flint said that the application is 13 pages long. He spoke about applying to PennDOT in the past on behalf of safety concerns of the school district for additional signs and signals to be installed on Carlisle Road. PennDOT denied the application at that time. After a fatality occurred along that section of roadway, the Township was issued the permit. Commissioner Kutz asked if PennDOT looks at the speed of the traffic and Mr. Flint said that PennDOT looks at a number of factors. The permit costs several thousand dollars and the beacons cost $15,000.00 per crosswalk. Commissioner Kutz asked if this issue could be re-visited after a decision is made on the school walking train.

 

Mrs. McNeal spoke about going to the school district with safety concerns for the walking train and being told it is the Township’s prerogative. The Township says it is the school district’s responsibility. In response to the question about the raised crosswalk put in at the Cliffs, Mr. Flint said that it was done in response to resident concerns about safety of the existing crosswalk. He said that was what was available to use; a mid-block crosswalk is different than one on a corner.

 

President Villone said that further discussion could be held in the future regarding the crosswalks and safety concerns. He asked what the next course of action would be if the Sheetz Land Development Plan is not approved tonight. Mr. Flint said that the applicant would have to offer a time extension.

 

Commissioner SCHIN moved to approve SLD Docket. No. 2019-11, Land Development Plan for Sheetz, 1508 Cedar Cliff Drive, contingent upon the following waivers:

  1. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-24.C to submit a preliminary plan.
  2. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-57.B(3)(i)[2] that prohibits driveways from crossing the street right-of-way line within five feet of a drainage inlet. Mr. Flint said that the driveway locations optimize traffic operation, not drainage.
  3. Approve a waiver of the requirement contained in Section 192-58.E(10) that planting islands and beds be designed to collect stormwater runoff from adjacent paved parking areas. Mr. Flint said that runoff will be collected in the bioretention areas.

 

Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0. President Villone added that these waivers are not contrary to the public interest and they maintain the purpose and intent of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

SLD Docket No. 2019-11, Final Land Development Plan for Sheetz, 1508 Cedar Cliff Drive

Vice President BLACK moved to approve SLD Docket No. 2019-11 contingent upon the following: 

  1. New Cumberland Borough approval.
  2. PennDOT concurrence with proposed traffic signal modifications.
  3. Providing an executed SWM Facilities Maintenance Agreement.
  4. Providing an executed Developers Agreement and Financial Security.

Vice President Black added a fifth condition that the Township and the School District meet to work out the safety concerns on Cedar Cliff Drive. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion.  Motion carried 5-0. Vice President Black thanked the Sheetz team for working with the residents as well as Township staff. The rest of the Board of Commissioners echoed this. President Villone encouraged Sheetz to continue to work with the public and Township as much as possible.

 

Resolution 2020-R-09

Commissioner SCHIN moved to adopt Resolution 2020-R-09, authorizing the Township Engineer to submit the Application for Traffic Signal Approval to PennDOT for the Carlisle Road / Cedar Cliff Drive / I-83 Ramp Intersection. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolution 2020-R-10

Commissioner KUTZ moved to adopt Resolution 2020-R-10, authorizing the Township Manager to sign the application for Highway Occupancy Permit for drainage facilities related to SLD Docket No. 2017-04, 145 South Locust Street, contingent upon receiving an executed Indemnity Agreement from the Applicant. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

Payment No. 6 to Penn State Construction

Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve payment No. 6 to Penn State Construction in the amount of $102,510.00 for general construction on the Public Works Building Addition project. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolution 2020-R-11

Vice President BLACK moved to adopt Resolution 2020-R-11, proclaiming the month of April 2020 as Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month and Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

 

FINANCE

Resolution 2020-R-07

Mr. Grove continued a discussion from the previous Board meeting on Resolution 2020-R-07, which would establish a Fiscal Policy and spending limits for the General and Fire Services Funds. This topic was held over from the previous meeting due to not having a full Board present. The goal of the Resolution is to control future spending growth while maintaining a strong financial position and bond rating. Mr. Grove said that this would stay in effect until the Board decides differently. Vice President Black asked if capital expenses are part of the spending cap and Mr. Grove said they are not. The Board has the power to change the amounts but is designed to be a guide to staff. Commissioner Kutz said that he would like a plan that would push a future tax increase further down the road and they should be a last resort. Mr. Vernau said that the plan is the most reasonable way to meet needs and control taxes if necessary, without cutting services.  The Board still decides the budget each year. Commissioner Schin said that he feels Director Grove’s guide is helpful for staff and should simplify the budgeting process.

 

Vice President BLACK moved to approve Resolution 2020-R-07 and Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Waiver of Land Development Plan Fee for Lower Allen Commons

Mrs. Trone spoke about the Land Development Plan for the former Bon Ton, now called the Lower Allen Commons, going before the Planning Commission next month. Typically, there is a fee charged for Plan submission, which would be $495.00. On behalf of the Development Authority, she is requesting this fee be waived as well as the Improvement Security.

 

Commissioner KUTZ moved to waive the subdivision and land development plan submission fee for Lower Allen Commons. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

Waiver of Improvement Security for Lower Allen Commons

Commissioner KUTZ moved to waive the Improvement Security for Lower Allen Commons. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

Vice President Black said that he is a member of the Development Authority and he voted for these items because they are good for the Township.

 

Indemnity Agreement for Highway Occupancy Permit for Subsurface Stormwater Facilities

Mrs. Trone spoke about the development of Lower Allen Commons altering the way the stormwater travels into a basin belonging to PennDOT. In order to make these changes, the Township must get PennDOT’s approval. For this agreement, Lower Allen Township must be the applicant and the Development Authority responsible for the maintenance and costs. This results in a need for an indemnity agreement between the Development Authority and the Township; this was approved by the Development Authority at their last meeting. President Villone asked for the solicitor’s opinion on this agreement. Ms. Trimmer spoke about reviewing the agreement with Mr. Miner and finding no issues.

 

Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the Indemnity Agreement. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

Resolution 2020-R-12

Commissioner KUTZ moved to adopt Resolution 2020-R-12, authorizing the Township Manager to sign a Drainage Facilities Maintenance Agreement with the Pennsylvania DOT.  Commissioner HOLTZMAN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

 

Drainage Facilities Maintenance Agreement

Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the Drainage Facilities Maintenance Agreement between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through PennDOT and Lower Allen Township. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion and the motion carried 5-0.

 

President Villone asked how the project is coming and Mrs. Trone said they have been delayed in digging out the foundation due to finding oversize casings which will take longer to remove.

 

MANAGER

Ordinance 2019-02, Section 209-29

Mr. Vernau continued a discussion on the Ordinance limiting recreational vehicle length to less than 30 feet on residential property. He said some residents feel it is unfair to have a size limitation, while other residents do not like to see large RVs parked on residential property. Currently RVs 30 feet or less can be on private property on an approved pad. Larger vehicles can only be parked on residential streets for 72 hours or less to load and unload. Discussion ensued amongst the Board members. Commissioner Kutz said he is in favor of a public hearing and Commissioner Schin commented that the Solicitor had said a public hearing is not necessary, but he also thinks it would be a good idea. Vice President Black said that having a large RV on private property beside a house is like having two residences on one lot.

 

Vice President BLACK moved to re-enforce the Ordinance as it is and Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Commissioner Kutz said he would like to keep it open for public discussion and Commissioner SCHIN withdrew his second. Commissioner HOLTZMAN then seconded the motion and, after the question was called, the motion carried 3-2, with Commissioners Schin and Kutz opposing.  A discussion ensued on whether a motion to table the issue after the question had been called would have been appropriate.  The Assistant Solicitor indicated that, once the question has been called, the vote must proceed.

 

Letter of Support for Sheepford Road Bridge

Mr. Vernau spoke about a letter that has been drafted based on requests by residents to write a letter of support to York County asking them to consider rehabilitation of the Sheepford Bridge. President Villone said that if funding can be found to preserve and maintain the bridge without it falling to taxpayers, the Township is in favor. He spoke about seeing an article in the West Shore Historical Society’s Newsletter about saving the bridge as well. Commissioner Schin said he liked the letter and Mr. Vernau thanked Mr. Erik Arneson for his work in drafting the letter.

 

Commissioner KUTZ moved to approve the letter and Commissioner SCHIN seconded it. Solicitor Trimmer suggested that the York County Planner be added to the list of those receiving the letter. Motion carried 5-0.

 

HB 1400 Regulation of Wireless Facilities in Public ROW

Mr. Vernau spoke about discussing House Bill 1400 with Attorney Dan Cohen and learning that the Bill may be coming up for a vote in March. He said that municipalities continue to oppose this bill as it threatens the sovereignty of the Township rights-of-way. The shot clock would be reduced from 90 to 60 days and fees would be set. Mr. Vernau said that there is a need for broadband service and the Township agrees but the Bill would give Township rights to the broadband companies and their contractors. Commissioner Schin said he has e-mailed Representative Delozier about this issue. Mr. Vernau provided a power point to the Board that he received from Mr. Cohen and he would like to know if he should write a new letter to Representative Delozier prior to the March vote. President Villone would like the Township to have oversight over the process. Mr. Vernau said it could lead to losing other rights besides the right of way. The Board expressed that they would like a letter to be sent regarding HB 1400.

 

COMMISSIONERS REPORTS

Mr. Vernau reminded everyone that Wednesday at 2pm is the Township all-employee meeting. He invited the Commissioners to attend and speak if they wish to do so.

 

Commissioner Kutz thanked Mrs. Davis for her work in securing stormwater grants as well as Congressman Scott Perry. Commissioner Kutz also commended the EMS department and spoke about them helping a resident recently through providing free blood pressure screenings at the Capital City Mall. The resident thanked the EMTs for catching an undiagnosed heart issue. Commissioner Kutz also spoke about his concerns for the safety of EMS, corrections officers, and first responders who are called into SCIC Camp Hill.

 

Commissioner Schin thanked President Villone for his leadership in the Board meeting.

 

Vice President Black spoke about attending Cumberland County Public Safety meeting for elected officials. He felt it was very well done. They said they need the local municipalities because they only have a 911 center.

 

Commissioner Holtzman apologized to Commissioner Kutz for comments made earlier.

 

President Villone spoke about Mrs. Davis helping out at his church with their stormwater credit. He did the inspection for their BMP and it was approved by Mrs. Davis. He also thanked everyone for a productive meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:50 pm.