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Home»Planning Commission Minutes»Planning Commission
4-21-2020 Minutes

Planning Commission
4-21-2020 Minutes

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                             LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING:                                                      APRIL 21, 2020

 

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

 

PLANNING COMMISSION: TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL:
Brian Wickenheiser, Vice Chairman

Jay Blackwell

David Clovsky

Jeff Logan

Samuel Bashore

Michael Washburn

Daniel Flint, P.E., Township Engineer

John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator

Steve Hoffman, Cumberland County Planning Dept

Thomas Kutz, Commissioner

Tina Thomas, Recording Secretary

 

   

Mr. Dan Flint started the April 21st online meeting of the Planning Commission by explaining how the online “Zoom” meeting would work and the way members of the public could make comments or ask questions. Brian Wickenheiser, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. He announced that Proof of Publication was available.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Mr. BASHORE moved to approve the minutes from the January 21, 2020 regular meeting. Mr. CLOVSKY seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.

 

OLD BUSINESS   

None.
NEW BUSINESS

SLD Docket No. 2020-02:  Minor Subdivision Plan for Richard and Linda Hammon

Proposed subdivision of one lot into two lots for residential use at 1229 Rossmoyne Road, a total of 9.93 acres.

 

Applicant Presentation

Mr. Flint spoke about the location of the property located at 1229 Rossmoyne Road using an online view of the property, which is adjacent to the Rossmoyne Elementary School. Mr. Richard Bittner, engineer for the plan, was online as well and explained the intention of the project. The owners, Richard and Linda Hammon would like to subdivide their property so that they could build another structure on the second lot. A flag lot will be created. Mr. Bittner explained that a flag lot is a lot with a smaller access like a stem. The new lot will be accessed by sharing the existing access for the original lot. He said that the new lot will be 1.8 acre in size. He does not anticipate any other flag lots being developed.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said that the new lot will tie into the public water and sewer on Manor Drive. The existing dwelling is not currently joined up with the public sewer system. He said the applicant will need to provide a copy of the driveway joint use agreement before the plan is recorded. There is also a Fee in Lieu of Recreation Land due at that time. Two waivers are being requested by the applicant.

 

County Comments

Mr. Steve Hoffman said that the Cumberland County Planning Department did not have any additional comments at this time.

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Clovsky asked if there is anticipated drainage from the property onto either school district property or the land behind the property. Mr. Bittner said that the stormwater drains to a ditch running behind the property. There is no drainage from the lot onto school property, but rather some drainage from school property onto the lot. Mr. Clovsky asked if there would be any drainage issues on Manor Drive but he was told that it would not be impacted.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

Mr. WASHBURN moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that a flag lot be created only in a Conservation Subdivision. Mr. CLOVSKY seconded it. Motion carried 6-0.

 

Mr. WASHBURN moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that no more than 10% of lots within a subdivision be flag lots. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

Mr. WASHBURN moved to approve the Plan as submitted subject to County and Township comments. Mr. LOGAN seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

SLD Docket No. 2020-03:  Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Lower Allen Commons

Proposed lease area delineations and infrastructure improvements for a 13.78 acre parcel in the 3500 block of Gettysburg Road (former Bon Ton site).

 

Applicant Presentation

Mr. Flint introduced Mr. Adam Davis, with BL Companies, who was online at the meeting. Mr. Davis provided an introduction to the property being discussed using a map of the property. He said that the proposed plan would provide a main access drive through the site to allow for future redevelopment. It would start at the existing access near the Burger King and continue east through the site to the parking lot, which will be reconfigured, in front of the Bonefish Grill. Sidewalk is proposed along the existing access by Burger King and along both sides of the proposed access drive to the parking lot. He stated that there is a sewer extension proposed and stormwater would be collected through a storm sewer network located along Route 15. The applicant is requesting 5 waivers. Mr. Davis explained that the property is considered to be divided into two units, with the Springhill Suites occupying unit one and the remainder being unit two.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said the waivers will need to be addressed, and the applicant will need to provide documentation on the status of the PennDOT approval for the sanitary sewer easement across the PennDOT right-of-way. He said that it is in progress but must be finalized before work can proceed.

 

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman commented that documentation needs to be provided on the use of the stormwater basin on the PennDOT right-of-way, stormwater easements around stormwater management facilities and BMP’s must be shown, and approval must be obtained from the Cumberland County Conservation District for the Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control Plan.

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Bashore requested that Mr. Davis go over the waivers and explain why they are needed. Mr. Davis said this plan will go straight to final, and a preliminary stage will not be needed. As for the need to provide financial security, Mr. Davis stated that Lower Allen Township Development Authority is the applicant. He said that they are requesting a waiver from putting in sidewalks along Gettysburg Road due to the fact that section is very steep and would require a retaining wall. There is pedestrian access provided through the site. Mr. Davis said that additional parking lot islands will not be effective in collecting stormwater since there are already some located by the Bonefish Grill. Finally, the parking spaces next to the islands are required to be an extra two feet in width. The applicant is seeking a waiver for two spots.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement to submit a preliminary plan. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement to provide financial security for improvements. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to allow a modification to the requirement to provide sidewalk along street frontages, to allow for pedestrian access facilities as shown on the plan. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that parking islands be designed to collect stormwater. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that an additional two feet in width be provided for parking spaces adjacent to islands. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to approve the Subdivison and Land Development Plan for Lower Allen Commons as presented and with any Township and County comments addressed. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

SLD Docket No. 2020-04:  Land Development Plan for Springhill Suites, 3535 Gettysburg Road

Proposed construction of a 124-room hotel on a 2.12 acre lease area within Lower Allen Commons.

 

Applicant Presentation

Mr. Adam Davis referred to parcel one on the map of the property. He said there is one proposed access for the hotel coming off the main access road and continuing to the right to a drop-off canopy. Mr. Davis stated that there is parking proposed on all four sides of the site, along with sidewalk, and a dumpster pad located behind the property. The sidewalk will connect to allow pedestrians to walk from the hotel and throughout the site. There is no stormwater management on the lot as stormwater and utilities will be tying into existing systems. Mr. Davis added that there are several waivers being requested.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said that there is a traffic impact study planned which could possibly lead to other recommendations. Documentation of easements providing access to the property are required.

 

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman said that he did not receive a lighting plan with the submission. Mr. Davis said that one should have been submitted to the Township but if it is missing, he can resend it. He said that there is a lighting plan for this development. Lower Allen Township Authority approval is also required.

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Clovsky asked if there would be the possibility of light bleeding from the site onto Gettysburg Road or Route 15 which could create a visual hazard for drivers. Mr. Davis said that the lighting plan will conform to Township lighting requirements to minimize spillover outside of the proposed lot. Mr. Flint said that if there is any question, they go out and measure it.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

Mr. BASHORE moved to grant the waiver from the requirement to submit a preliminary plan. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BASHORE moved to grant the waiver from the requirement to provide financial security for improvements. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BASHORE moved to allow a modification to the requirement to provide sidewalk along street frontages, to allow for pedestrian access facilities as shown on the plan. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BASHORE moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that parking islands be designed to collect stormwater. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BASHORE moved to grant the waiver from the requirement that an additional two feet in width be provided for parking spaces adjacent to islands. Mr. BLACKWELL seconded the motion and it carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BASHORE moved to approve the Land Development Plan for Springhill Suites as presented based on meeting any Township and County recommendations as stated on the plan review. Mr. CLOVSKY seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

SLD Docket No. 2020-06:  Land Development Plan for 2450 Gettysburg Road Warehouse

Proposed construction of a 40,000 square foot warehouse.

 

Applicant Presentation

Ms. Terri Delo from Integrated Development Partners spoke about a proposed warehouse to be built at 2450 Gettysburg Road. She said the site is approximately 8.4 acres and it is located on the north side of Gettysburg Road. The section to be developed is approximately 5 acres toward the back near the railroad tracks. The existing access from Gettysburg Road would be continued to the back section where the warehouse would be located. There is proposed office space available on each end of the warehouse and 13 loading docks are proposed. There is not currently a tenant. There are also areas for employee parking. Two infiltration basins are proposed to the east and west of the access road to handle stormwater runoff. Existing utilities and sewer main will be tied into for the warehouse. Ms. Delo said the sewer authority and fire department provided comments which will be addressed to meet requests; a permit from the Conversation District will also be obtained. She mentioned two waivers that are being requested including the requirement for sidewalk and the requirement for a preliminary plan. She said there are no issues with any of the comments provided by the Township and County.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said that the Township comments are mostly minor. He said that sight distance pulling out of the driveway will be important as it involves trucks coming and going. Mr. Flint said that the Township is requesting the applicant consider a secondary emergency access from Morningside Drive. He said that the utility connection will have to pass through that area and that screening requirements for the adjacent neighborhood should be included in the plan. Other township comments were related to approval from zoning and building codes.

 

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman asked Ms. Delo what the proposed height of the building would be as there is a two foot setback required for anything above 50 feet. Ms. Delo said that they are not sure how high it will be since they are not sure who will occupy it. It is anticipated to be 40 feet high. There is additional setback area available if needed.

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Clovsky asked if the development would impact the adjacent neighborhood. Mr. Flint said that there is no buffering requirement or a direct connection that would impact traffic. Ms. Delo said that the emergency access from Morningside Drive is being considered but must be worked around existing steep grades. The wooded area would also be affected, and the stormwater basin is in that area. Mr. Wickenheiser pointed out that since a tenant has not been decided, it is unknown what the truck traffic will be like in that area. Ms. Delo said that they have done a trip generation summary for a typical warehouse of 40,000 square feet. The number of trips per day did not require a traffic study be performed. She said that there is no room for the warehouse to get any bigger.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement of providing sidewalks along all street frontage. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to grant the waiver from the requirement to submit a preliminary plan. Mr. LOGAN seconded the motion. 

 

Mr. BLACKWELL moved to approve SLD Docket No. 2020-06:  Land Development Plan for 2450 Gettysburg Road Warehouse as presented taking into account any comments made by the Township and County. Mr. CLOVSKY seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

SLD Docket No. 2020-01:  Arcona Overall Master Plan – Revised 2020

Overall Master Plan (OMP) for the Arcona Traditional Neighborhood Development, proposing revisions to future phases.

 

Applicant Presentation

Anthony Faranda-Diedrich from Charter Homes was in attendance in the online meeting along with Dave Kegerize and Charlie Courtney. He also introduced Todd Trautz who is an engineer with Michael Baker Engineering and is specifically working on the at-grade railroad crossing. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated that he would cover the changes to the master plan since it would have been presented in 2016. He said that all Township comments are being addressed. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that there have not been many changes on the east side of the railroad. Neighborhoods and roundabouts have been built. Strong Road is in use and a third traffic circle is planned if needed for traffic. The next phase is 8.1 or residential neighborhood 5 on the west side of the railroad. He said that area will consist of single-family homes and townhomes. There are two points of access for this area off of Rossmoyne Road as well as anticipated traffic improvements and green spaces. The master plan shows three parks. Additional greenspace on the plan is for stormwater management. A nature trail is proposed in the direction of the Turnpike. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that the biggest change in the master plan on the west side of the railroad is the Village of Arcona 9. This section between the Turnpike and Rossmoyne Road is separated from other areas and is proposed to be office space instead of a small residential neighborhood of 120 apartments. The increase in office and retail space is going from 225,000 to 300,000 square feet.

 

Mr. Faranda-Diedrich spoke about the trail plan on the Master Plan. Collector walking trails connect different sections of Arcona to each other. He also talked about having a “Core Neighborhood” on both sides of the railroad tracks for non-residential use. The office use for Village of Arcona 9 is outside of the core line currently and the line would need to be altered. The at-grade railroad crossing will make it possible to cross from one side of Arcona to the other safely by pedestrians and bikes. Mr. Trautz said that the crossing is a barrier to the ultimate goal of connectivity. He spoke about working with Norfolk Southern as a time-consuming process. Currently there is an agreement in place between Charter Homes and Lower Allen Township so that the Township can be the applicant to Norfolk Southern. Mr. Trautz said that the proposed crossing would be on the southern side and a ten-foot-wide path through the railroad right-of-way that would tie into the trail network. There would be a single control push button and a walk / don’t walk sign. The railroad would have preemption with visual and audio warnings that a train was coming. Mr. Wickenheiser asked if there would be more than one pedestrian crossing of the railroad. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that Norfolk Southern is not in favor of more than one crossing. Mr. Wickenheiser asked what would stop people from crossing the tracks at other locations. He was told that Norfolk Southern will be making the final decision. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that they must also discuss the extension of utilities with Norfolk Southern and installation of a water line below the railroad. The west side of Arcona will have gravity sewer.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said the most significant comment from the Township is the percentage of Recreation/Open space in the Core Neighborhood. He would like the Parks and Recreation Board to review this. He mentioned comments that Mr. John Eby the Building and Zoning Coordinator had. Mr. Eby said that he feels that it is important to duplicate the public gathering spaces on the west side of Arcona to the east side of Arcona.

 

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman said that he had not previously seen the updated plan. He did notice that there are several road intersections with 90 degree turns. He asked Mr. Faranda-Diedrich if some of these could be aligned with less turns to make it safer for pedestrians. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that they will be addressing this on the Phase 8 Land Development Plan.

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Jeff Logan asked Mr. Faranda-Diedrich about the change in Village of Arcona 8. He said previously the farmhouse was preserved in open space but now appears to be part of the office/retail space. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich did not believe that the change was intentional. He anticipates this area serving a civic purpose and not being developed for commercial use, but the plan is evolving. Mr. Logan asked if the farmhouse could be designated specifically and Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that it could. Mr. Logan also pointed out the reduction in open space from 86 to 81 acres in the new plan, and a reduction to a minimum of 22 ½% for open space. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that is not the intent but rather just a note made of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Logan asked if the plan includes walking trails on both sides of Rossmoyne Road toward the Turnpike. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that it is the plan where terrain allows but the trail will have to be pulled away from the road in some areas.

 

Mr. Clovsky spoke about the previous issue with one way in and out of the area east of the roundabout. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that the subdivision plan that was submitted included 3 one-acre commercial pads. The plan is to come back with a new subdivision plan including a secondary access when the use is decided.

 

Mr. Wickenheiser asked about the increase in commercial square footage and where the demand for it is anticipated. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that large scale retail development is down but the demand for office space remains strong.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

Mr. LOGAN moved to approve the Arcona Overall Master Plan be approved with the exception that Village of Arcona 8 not include the farmhouse and that the farmhouse remain as part of the natural area as originally envisioned. Mr. CLOVSKY seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

SLD Docket No. 2020-05:  Arcona Phase 8.1

Applicant Presentation

Anthony Faranda-Diedrich said that this is the first section of residential neighborhood 5 or Arcona Phase 8.1. This section includes the Lesher farmhouse which is about 6 acres and the grades get very steep on the left toward the Turnpike. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that two entrances off of Rossmoyne are proposed depending on sight distance: one full access, and one right in, right out. The access would also have to be compatible with the business area in Arcona 9. The phase is proposed to include 125 homes, include single family and townhouses, similar to Highpoint. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that they have received comments on emergency access and will adjust the plan to accommodate the turning radius of emergency vehicles. There will be walking trails to get to the railroad crossing with more trails added once the Lesher property is acquired. The open space and amenities are still being determined. He said that some additional home sites will exist to the south of the green space. As far as stormwater management, a large basin is proposed to serve all of the western section of Arcona. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that easements must be obtained from the pipeline. He stated that the Lower Allen Township Authority has agreed to the design of the plan. He said that he is not asking for action on the Arcona Phase 8.1 plan tonight. They will be addressing comments and presenting the plan again.

 

Township Comments

Mr. Flint said that the Township comments regarding the proposed streets could significantly change what the plan looks like. It is also dependent on PennDOT. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that the request for a waiver which is not recommended by Mr. Flint is being removed.

 

County Comments

Mr. Hoffman said that some of the proposed alleys could be better as streets. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that after comments are addressed, there will be more streets than alleys. Mr. Hoffman asked how trash will be handled in the residential area. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said it is being determined but will most likely be individual pickup combined with some group pick-up areas. Mr. Hoffman believes the area is too dense for garbage trucks. Mr. Flint agreed that it is not accessible for emergency vehicles. He also said residents need to have street frontage. Alleys are supplemental access but cannot be the only access.

 

 

Commission Member Questions and Comments

Mr. Jeff Logan asked Mr. Faranda-Diedrich about GIS mapping and coordination issues with 911. In the past there have been issues with the ambulance not having addresses and layout of alleys. Mr. Logan is hoping there will be better coordination as this residential area is occupied. He also asked about the alley construction and street construction and whether it is the same process. Mr. Flint said that there are standards and a private street must meet the requirements of a public street. Patrick McKinney is the contact for the County GIS department. Mr. Flint said that the County is notified when plans are recorded. Mr. Logan pointed out to Mr. Faranda-Diedrich that the older alleys are degrading due to not having a wearing coat. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich said that he would address this. Mr. Clovsky stated that he understands the concept of design, but he can’t understand why the streets are not designed to allow emergency vehicles.

 

Public Comment

No comments from the public were noted on screen.

 

Action

The Planning Commission decided to vote to table the plan as it was a full plan submission. Mr. CLOVSKY moved to table the plan until it is updated to reflect County and Township comments. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion and the motion carried 6-0.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Flint spoke about the requirement of the Planning Commission to submit a written report to the Board of Commissioners. When there is no meeting, the minutes are not always approved in time for the packets. A draft form of the minutes would also be acceptable.

 

A new plan has been submitted for the Weis Market on Simpson Ferry Road to put in a gas station. Arcona could possibly come back as well.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Mr. WASHBURN moved to adjourn the regular meeting of the Planning Commission at 9:10 pm.