Board of Commissioners
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING JUNE 22, 2020
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS||TOWNSHIP STAFF|
|Dean W. Villone, President||Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager|
|H. Edward Black, Vice President||David Holl, Director of Public Safety|
|Richard F. Schin||Daniel Flint, Public Works Coordinator|
|Thomas H. Kutz||Richard Grove, Finance Director
Leon Crone, Police Captain
|Tony Deaven, EMS Captain|
|John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator|
|Steven P. Miner, Solicitor|
|Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary|
President Villone called the June 22, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners to order at 7:00 pm. He followed with a prayer and the Pledge of the Allegiance. He announced that Proof of Publication was available for review. President Villone noted that Commissioner Holtzman was ill and unable to attend.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 8, 2020 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 2020-R-20-Barry Zook – 35 Years of Service
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-R-20, a Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Lower Allen Township recognizing Barry E. Zook for 35 years of service to the citizens of Lower Allen Township. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 2020-R-21-Bryan Harshbarger – 25 Years of Service
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-R-21, a Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of Lower Allen Township recognizing Bryan R. Harshbarger for 25 years of service to the citizens of Lower Allen Township. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
President Villone presented Mr. Zook and Mr. Harshbarger their certificates and the Board thanked them for their years of service. President Villone also recognized the following employees for their years of service: Tina Harbold for 5 years in Finance, Ryan Turpin for 5 years in Public Works, Officers Kenneth Stirling and Bryan Rennie for 5 years in the Police Department and Scot Emerson for 25 years in the Maintenance Department.
Mr. John Murphy and Mr. Albert Arustamyan stated they were here to speak on agenda items 11b and 11c, respectively.
President Villone advised that any Commissioner, staff member, or anyone in attendance could request any item on the Consent Agenda be removed for further discussion and asked if there was such request. There was no response.
Vice President BLACK moved to approve the following Consent Agenda items:
- Department Reports for the month of May: Engineer, Facilities Maintenance, Public Safety, Community and Economic Development, and Public Works.
- Tax Collector’s Report for May 2020.
Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve the Check Register of June 19, 2020 in the amount of $241,750.67. Commissioner KUTZ seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner KUTZ made a motion to approve the release of Police Officer Nicole Boldosser from probationary status effective July 2, 2020. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner KUTZ made a motion to approve the release of Police Officer Johnathan Newcomer from probationary status effective July 2, 2020. Commissioner SCHIN seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
ANY BUSINESS PERTINENT TO THE TOWNSHIP
There was no response.
Land Partnership Grant Application
Mr. Flint discussed the Land Partnership Grant Program available for the Township’s Pedestrian and Bike Safety Improvements. He stated the locations of the improvements are 18th Street and Hummel Ave and Wesley Drive and the Royal Drive (Wass Park Entrance). He spoke about the proposed pedestrian crossing based on the high priority items from the Pedestrian and Bike Committee. He noted that these grants would pay the 20% match required by the HATS grants for these projects. He stated no action was necessary tonight.
SLD Docket No. 2020-08: Plan for IMT, LLC – Revised Plan, at 1025 Audubon Road
Mr. Flint showed the Board on the map the location for the proposed 2,785 square foot storage building. He noted the plan was approved and recorded. They are proposing changing the orientation of the building by 90 degrees with nothing else changing from the original plan. Commissioner Kutz noted he was at the Planning Commission meeting about this plan and concurs with their decision.
Commissioner KUTZ made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2020-08: Land Development Plan for IMT, LLC – Revised Plan, at 1025 Audubon Road. Proposed construction of a 2,785 square foot storage building. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
SLD Docket No. 2020-09: Lot Line Adjustment, between 3 Neponsit Lane and 28 Scarsdale Drive
Mr. Flint showed the Board the location of the two properties requesting a lot line adjustment. He noted there was no construction proposed. The Planning Commission approved their request.
Commissioner KUTZ made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2020-09: Minor Subdivision Plan for Lot Line Adjustment between 3 Neponsit Lane and 28 Scarsdale Drive. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Gettysburg Road Relocation Project- Approve payment of Invoice No. 2 to JVI Group-$194,467.22
Commissioner SCHIN made a motion to approve payment of Invoice No. 2 to JVI Group, Inc. in the amount of $194,467.22 for the Gettysburg Road Relocation Project. Vice President BLACK seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Possible Amendments to Chapter 220-Signs
Mr. Eby provided a memo to the Board discussing possible changes to signs placed on private property. He discussed the changes to the tables within the ordinance making it easier to understand and providing consistency in the ordinance. He provided the background of the discussions on this subject which started in October 2019. He discussed the decisions and consensus of the Board with signs in the Right of Way (ROW) and other issues. Below are the points the Board discussed:
Limiting number of signs and how many?
President Villone spoke about the Supreme Court decision and being careful with the expectations of the residents. Solicitor Miner noted the Supreme Court ruled a minimum of one sign per candidate/ opinion. He noted that is the minimum and the Township can allow for more. Commissioner Kutz spoke about the freedom of speech and his desire to not limit the number. He noted that not all residential area are created equally. Vice President Black believes there should be a total of 4 signs allowed. He spoke about the integrity of the neighborhoods, maintaining property values and ascetics and cluttering of yards with too many signs. He spoke about the safety that was addressed with the right of ways. Mr. Eby suggested they could use street frontage as a guide with one sign per number of linear feet. The Board discussed the options and agreed to two signs per candidate/opinion/issue for the public hearing.
Current 3.5’ height limit for signs placed within 10’ of the ROW – any height limits? If placed 10’or more from a ROW, signs may be up to 6’ high in residential areas and 10-20’ high in nonresidential areas – any height limits?
The Board agreed with the current limits.
Current area limits for election campaign and opinion signs on private property are 6 sq. ft. in residential districts and 40 sq. ft in nonresidential areas. Should there be changes to these limits?
President Villone’s recommendation was 15 sq. ft. Commissioner Kutz suggested at least 16. The Board discussed time limits for 30 days before and 7 days after an election and the prior issues the Board has faced in the past. They also discussed rural versus residential zoning and options for differences based on zoning. The Board agreed on 16 sq. ft. for the hearing.
Commissioner Kutz stated enforcement could be handled two ways with responding to complaint calls and safety issues. The Board discussed enforcement. President Villone noted they want to revise the original ordinance to be clearer for residents. The consensus of the Board was to move forward with staff preparing a document based on the changes discussed tonight prior to a public hearing being scheduled.
Support of Lower Allen Township Police
Mr. Vernau provided a draft resolution from one done in 2015 to the Board as guidance which can be amended. Director Holl stated there have been reforms discussed which are already being done here. President Villone asked they work on this for the next couple of weeks and Mr. Vernau will get it back to the Board for the next meeting.
Captain Crone noted they are running light these days with officers. He noted call volumes are rising as we move from the yellow phase to green. He noted traffic, domestics and thefts are also up.
Mr. Eby stated there would be a cleanup for the Yellow Breeches on Sunday August 16th with more information to follow.
Director Holl spoke about the new ambulance and its features which should be ready to view at the next Board meeting in July. He spoke about the County being in the green phase and that the virus is still out there and to be careful.
Captain Deaven spoke about the new litters and the process for them being installed in the ambulances.
Solicitor Miner thanked the Board for the great discussion on the sign ordinance.
Mr. Flint stated the resurfacing project for Hartzdale Dr. and Wilson Ln. has been completed.
Mr. Vernau invited the Board to see the new Public Works Building at 6pm on July 13th. He spoke about the memo he provided to the Board regarding contacting campaigns with signs in the ROW.
Commissioner Kutz is kicking off a “Summer of Small Business Tour” to support local business. He will be visiting local businesses and asking them how they are doing with the pandemic, the economic impact, and how we can help them. He spoke about the impact small businesses have in the Township with attracting other businesses and residents.
Commissioner Schin has received complaints about drones and asked about enforcement. Mr. Vernau stated they aren’t allowed to hover around windows or private properties. Commissioner Schin stated he would like to spearhead bringing back the 4th of July celebration at LACP. He believes it is a great way to meet and greet residents. He will get together with Mr. Vernau who explained why it was stopped.
Vice President Black asked about the uptick in COVID-19 cases in Cumberland County. Director Holl spoke about exposure versus contact and how testing has increased. Captain Deaven spoke about Bethany Village being required, by the state, to test all their residents. He stated EMS is doing well and staying safe. Vice President Black was part of a PSATC panel for coming back after the pandemic. He shared the Township’s policies, which were well received and may be published.
President Villone asked everyone to keep Commissioner Holtzman in your thoughts and prayers as she is ill. He thanked Captains Crone and Deaven and their staffs for being on the front line. He thanked the Police for their service and is confident they will maintain their composure and professionalism.
Mr. Vernau spoke about creating a Committee to discuss future service levels in the Township. This Committee will include residents and business owners. These discussions, along with the Public Safety Study and Parks and Recreation Study will help with Strategic Planning for Spring 2021.
ADJOURNMENT TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners adjourned at 9:02 pm to discuss the following:
- Personnel matter – HIPAA confidentiality