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8-18-15 Minutes

Planning Commission
8-18-15 Minutes


PLANNING COMMISSION                                                        : LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING:                                                                                         AUGUST 18, 2015

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

PLANNING COMMISSION                                       TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Brett McCreary, Chairman                                       Dan Flint, Community Development
Geir Magnusson, Vice-Chairman                            Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
Brian Wickenheiser
Michael Washburn                                                  CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Patricia Hall                                                            Steve Hoffman
Dr. Jean Dyszel, Secretary
Samuel T. Bashore

Mr. McCreary called the August 18, 2015 Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission to order at 7:00 pm.

Approval of Minutes
Mrs. HALL made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 21, 2015 meeting. Mr. MAGNUSSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

SLD Docket No. No. 2015-05: Revised Overall Master Plan (OMP) for Arcona: Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) on 247.6 acres in the vicinity of Lisburn, Rossmoyne, and Arcona Roads.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Anthony Faranda-Diedrich, Charter Homes, showed the Board the open space plan. He discussed the following changes since the last meeting:
         • Additional component on the western side of the railroad. Village of Arcona #7 will include a business village for the residents on that side of the tracks.
         • Proposing a pedestrian crossing at the railroad with active crossing lights.
         • Updated recreation at the site. He spoke about the pictures given to the Board in their proposal which included fitness stations with the trails and some natural playgrounds.

He stated they have received Mr. Eby’s comments. He stated comment six was a technical issue and was not a problem. He stated comment five dealing with the railroad crossing would be addressed with a crossing active warning for a safe pedestrian crossing. He stated additional crossings between Rossmoyne and the southern side of the property is being evaluated and will be addressed in Phase two. He stated two acres would be used for a terra park as outlined in the paper copies presented to the Board. He stated specific recreation improvements will be identified at the next meeting. He asked the Board to approve the master plan with the three comments.

Charlie Courtney, McNees Wallace & Nurick, spoke about the ordinance, a TND and how recreation and open space are handled. He stated that some of the recreation is being met through improvements to the open space. The other obligation would be met with a fee in lieu of land with no dedication of land.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint stated the master plan should show more details for recreation versus discussion of recreation. He stated he disagrees with the comment that the vision for the land doesn’t include Township parks as the Township has always envisioned. He stated the Township has these type parks throughout the entire Township. He stated open space and recreation are two separate items and need to be dealt with separately. He stated the Township agreed with Charter about not putting a large park with ball fields because of close proximity of other ball fields in the area in an Upper Allen Township park.. He stated that one of the reasons why Highpoint Phase One was approved without recreation land in it was because the plan showed a bridge over the railroad providing access to the parks. He does not recommend removing the bridge from the master plan. He stated that Highpoint Phase One, considering the bridge on the master plan, is approved and built and can’t be undone.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated the County doesn’t have any comments on the master plan.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. McCreary asked why the pedestrian bridge was removed. Mr. Courtney stated as the development progresses they have learned more about the limitations and costs. He stated they have received a cost quote today of a non-handicap 30 foot bridge of $1 million and $1.5 million for a handicap accessible bridge. He spoke about restraints with the PPL easement with the center of the site which haven’t been discussed with PPL at this point. Mr. McCreary stated he has worked in the construction business and believes the estimated costs are not accurate and are way above what he believes it can be built for. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated they have spoken with Norfolk Southern and the bridge needs to be covered. He stated they will continue to look at options and at ways to discourage residents from crossing at other locations. Mr. Courtney stated the bridge should be taken off the master plan. Mr. McCreary stated once you take it off it will never get back on and believes the bridge needs to stay on the plan. Mr. Magnusson asked how much a jury would award for an injury or death versus the cost of the bridge. Mr. Courtney stated they are looking at other options and won’t have an answer in a month. Mr. Washburn stated no matter what, if kids see a trail on the other side of the tracks, they will cross and the only thing to stop them is a fence. Mr. Wickenheiser stated the fence should be acoustic to help with the noise of the trains. Discussion ensued.

Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated they are aware that each phase needs to have open space and recreation. Mr. McCreary asked if the parks will be open to the public and Mr. Courtney stated the trails and parks would be open to the public. Mr. McCreary stated that he is very concerned about the bridge and believes it needs to stay on the master plan unless the Board of Commissioners and Township Solicitor can come up with language for resolving the crossing. The Board agreed with Mr. McCreary.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WICKENHEISER made a motion to approve the master plan including a pedestrian bridge for the railroad crossing unless/contingent upon the Board of Commissioners and Township Solicitor action/wording to deal with the bridge. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-1.

SLD Docket No. No. 2015-06: Revised No. 2 Final Land Development: Highpoint, Phase 1.4: This plan proposes to: increase the number of Mixed-Use Residential units from 17 to 26, and increase the amount of commercial space from 16,252 sf to 18,503 sf.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated he spoke about the changes last month and is here to answer any questions. He stated the turns off Lisburn Road and Arcona Road have been closed off. He stated they have received the Township’s comments and don’t have a problem with them. He spoke about the additional waiver being requested. He stated the reasoning for the waiver was that future development would take care of the connectivity with the trail and/or roundabout. He stated the contractor who paved Rocky Road will take it out and replace it subject to the Township’s specifications.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint stated since they have stated they are willing to respond to the comments there is nothing further to discuss.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman confirmed they received the County’s comments. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated they will respond to their comments.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. McCreary asked what the trail along Lisburn Road would be made out of. Mr. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated it would be asphalt.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WICKENHEISER made a motion to approve the waiver request from the requirement to provide sidewalk along certain sections of the Lisburn Road frontage; Approximately 40 feet, from Rocky Way to the eastern project line and approximately 120 feet in the vicinity of the Lisburn Road/Arcona Road intersection. Mr. MAGNUSSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

Mr. WICKENHEISER made a motion to approve SLD Docket 2015-08 for Highpoint Phase 1.4 subject to the Township and County comments. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

None was discussed.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2015 at 7:00pm.

Meeting adjourned at 8:12pm