Recreation and Parks Board
|RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD:||LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP|
|REGULAR MEETING||JULY 27, 2022|
|The following were in ATTENDANCE:|
|BOARD MEMBERS||TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL|
|Greg Mahon, Chairman||Rebecca Davis, Public Works Director|
|Scott Duncanson, Vice ChairmanRobert Pelles
|Renee’ Greenawalt, Recording SecretaryCommissioner Joshua Nagy|
Chairman Mahon called the July 27, 2022 Regular Meeting of the Lower Allen Township Recreation and Parks Board to order at 7:00 pm.
APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Ms. Parry motioned to approve the minutes from the April 27, 2022 Regular Meeting. Mr. Pelles seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Ms. Parry motioned to approve the minutes from the May 25, 2022 Park Tours Meeting with corrections. Mr. Pelles seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Ms. Parry motioned to approve the minutes from the June 8, 2022 Park Tours Meeting with corrections. Mr. Pelles seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
Ms. Pelles motioned to approve the minutes from the June 22, 2022 Park Tours Meeting. Mr. Duncanson seconded. The motion carried 4-0.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Sheepford Crossing Park
There were no public comments.
Ms. Davis reported that maintenance at the park was underway, and that staff had been incorporating all the park tour notes into their work.
Arcona Recreation and open space plan
Mr. Anthony Faranda-Dietrich of Charter Homes presented the recreation and open space plan for the Arcona development. During his presentation, he referred to a map outlining the overall development, and highlighted areas that are already developed or under development for recreation and open space. The plan contains nearly 250 acres. He presented a holistic view of the development thus far. The Highpoint section of the development has a trail network and some pocket parks, but the highlight of that area is the Crossroads space. Nearby is the terra park, a natural playground area with a slide, climbing wall, and sandbox. There is a gathering and open recreation area across from the winery, where community events are held throughout the year. The area surrounding the apartments contains a clubhouse and a pool for residents. The paved, 3.5mile loop trail includes plans for fitness stations. A natural preserved area found within the far reaches of the Arcona plan has natural hiking paths approximately one mile long. It winds up through the highest elevations.
Mr. Duncanson referred to prior conversations regarding private park space. It was noted that parks would be owned privately by Charter Homes and then the HOA but would be open to the public. Ms. Parry asked whether the areas open to the public were marked and advertised as such. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich noted that adding signs was something that could easily be accomplished.
There was a brief discussion regarding the possibility of space dedicated for including a fire station in Arcona. That possibility is part of the ongoing discussion between Charter Homes and the township.
Mr. Mahon asked if there was any parking access to the trail. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich explained that part of the land is not yet acquired by Charter Homes. An easement has been obtained to allow Arcona residents to use the trail.
Ms. Parry inquired about the existence of a forested area management plan, expressing concern regarding the spotted lantern flies and old growth Atlantis trees. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich replied there is no plan in place yet.
Mr. Faranda-Dietrich next reviewed the west side of the railroad, highlighting the railroad crossing currently under construction, which includes, among other features, flashing lights and zig zag gates for bikes and pedestrians.
Mr. Mahon inquired about any consideration given to the c Faranda-Dietrich construction of a pedestrian bridge over the tracks. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich said the plan has been designed to accommodate such a bridge at some point in the future, but there has not yet been much progress on that due to the prohibitive cost. Funding would need to be provided through outside grant funding.
Mr. Mahon emphasized the importance of connectivity and walkability is a priority for the group, but that he recognized the limitation of funding. Ms. Davis noted that the goal to obtain such funding remains.
Mr. Faranda-Dietrich noted that the trail network will extend to the Winding Hill Park in Upper Allen Township. Charter Homes has engaged Upper Allen Township to seek an easement to connect the trail to the public park, which will happen with the development of phase 8.2. A pool, pavilion and community center will be built as part of phase 8.2. He added that Charter Homes is about half-way through the project and that there will be opportunities for additional facilities.
Mr. Mahon asked if future parks would include ore active recreation facilities. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich noted a park with some type of court is anticipated. Both Mr. Mahon and Ms. Parry expressed strong support for pickle ball.
Responding to a question from Commissioner Nagy regarding the minimum open space requirement, Mr. Faranda-Dietrich noted that the planned open space area will far exceed the minimum, adding that nothing on the plan had changed significantly from what was originally planned.
Regarding maintenance, the HOA is contracted with a professional management company to perform maintenance services.
Mr. Faranda-Dietrich thanked members of the group for their feedback. Ms. Davis encouraged members to provide written comments for the Board of Commissioners prior to their meeting on August 22, 2022.
Park Tours Notes
Mr. Mahon referred to the packet including notes for each of the parks, to guide discussion. The notes and recommendations for each of the parks was discussed. Ms. Davis noted that many of the items listed in the packet are associated with maintenance and are in the plan to be addressed by staff. Issues other than maintenance needs were discussed in more detail.
The only item not addressed by maintenance are swing replacements. Some of the scout projects require follow-up maintenance. Commissioner Nagy affirmed that most items are unrelated to capital purchases and budget. Mr. Duncanson noted general takeaways for future consideration are the need to replace or refurbish picnic tables and play structures.
Beacon Hill Park and Beacon Hill Heights “Radar Site”
Ms. Davis noted that a plan has been proposed to develop passive recreation at the site. Commissioner Nagy noted a common theme throughout the parks to update signs. He asked whether the township had an “Adopt-a-Park” program. Ms. Davis confirmed that such a program was included in the township ordinances.
Highland Estates Park
It was noted that a new play structure would be installed in the fall. There is a park bench that may need to be relocated away from bushes.
There is some potential for the addition of a pickle ball court. Members also discussed the need to remove the giving pantry from the property as it was installed without permission and is not being maintained properly.
Cedar Spring Run Park
Restrooms remain closed due to a water leak. It is scheduled for mitigation. A new play structure is being installed in the fall. The steps along the nature trail were an eagle scout project and are rotted and falling.
There is a water fountain to be installed in the park. Additionally, the steps from Rosemont Avenue are rotting and in need of replacement.
The pickle ball courts are experiencing high levels of use and there is a request for additional courts. The long-term plan includes replacement of the play structures. There was some discussion regarding the sand volleyball court which needs to be resurfaced and a new net.
Sheepford Crossing Park
A scout project planting bed needs removal.
Yellow Breeches Park
There was a suggestion to add bat boxes by the gardens to address a problematic mosquito issue.
Lower Allen Community Park
Ms. Davis said that staff continues to work on the long list of maintenance related issues.
Mr. Mahon noted that the packet of park notes would be attached and provided to the Board of Commissioners, along with their letter of comments regarding the Arcona development.
Ms. Davis said there had been staff meetings with the Charter Homes representatives to discuss the recreation plan and that some of the ideas and feedback had been implemented into their plan.
Ms. Parry noted again the spotted lantern fly issue, which is a concern for the entire township. It was recommended that tree girdling be considered as a way of mitigating.
TOWNSHIP STAFF REPORT
Ms. Davis gave the report.
Maintenance at Sheepford Park had begun July 18, 2022. Maintenance was performed at Allendale Park the week of July 4 and 11, 2022. Work is being done broken out by quadrants at Lower Allen Community Park. The trail from Allendale to Beacon Hill has been cut back to maintain a clear walkway.
Ms. Davis said that barn and pavilion rentals continue to be submitted daily. The Yappy Hour is scheduled for September 14, 2022 and that applications had been mailed out to vendors. Three responses were received so far affirming participants, although no food vendors have been confirmed yet. The event has been advertised to the public.
COMMISSIONER LIAISON REPORT
Commissioner Nagy confirmed that Ms. Dougherty had officially resigned, and the Board of Commissioners would be narrowing the list of candidates and will be interviewing the finalists.
The Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board Adjourned at 8:36 PM. The next meeting will be held on August 24, 2022 at 7 PM.