Recreation and Parks Board
RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD: LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING JULY 22, 2015
The following were in ATTENDANCE:
BOARD MEMBERS TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Greg Mahon, Chairman Donna Paul, Township Representative
Susan Parry, Vice Chairman Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
Richard Grove, Secretary Thomas G. Vernau Jr., Township Manager
Bob Pelles John Eby, Building and Zoning Coordinator
Mr. Mahon called the July 22, 2015 Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board to order at 7:02 pm. Ms. Parry arrived at 7:05pm and Mr. Pelles arrived at 7:15pm.
APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Mr. DUNCANSON made a motion to approve the minutes from the April 22, 2015 meeting. Mr. KAISER seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.
CHARTER HOMES & NEIGHBORHOODS PRESENTATION: SLD Docket No. 2015-05 & 2015-09: Revised Overall Master Plan for Arcona. Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) on 247.6 acres in the vicinity of Lisburn, Rossmoyne and Arcona Roads. SLD Docket No. 2015-09: Preliminary Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Arcona, Phase 2: Second phase of the Arcona Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) on a total of 247.6 acres in the vicinity of Lisburn, Rossmoyne and Arcona Roads. Phase 2 proposes: 52 single family attached units (townhouses); 32 mixed use residential units; 282 apartments; and 53,728 sf of commercial space, on 44.36 acres.
Mr. Joshua Smith, Charter Homes, stated he was in April and spoke about traffic. He stated the proposed Cona Road has been changed to Lesher Road. He stated they have revised the master plan and are in the process of addressing the Township’s comments. He showed the Board the location of the Phases. He spoke about the suggestion of dedicated public land and discussed the slopes, wood lands, and pipe lines. He spoke about the trail system. He asked the Board for their feedback and will present a detailed plan next month.
Mr. Mahon asked about the recreation for Highpoint. Mr. Smith stated there were trails, open space and fire pit areas proposed. He stated the Board is unified and dismayed that this neighborhood is being built without a park. He stated he doesn’t see fire pits are recreational. Mr. Smith may present an idea of a dog park just for the residents only. Ms. Parry stated the Board is here to establish recreation for the community open to the public and is concerned. Mr. Smith spoke about open spaces where kids could play Frisbee and soccer. Mr. Eby stated the requirement is to dedicate an amount of land based on the number of units being built. He spoke about the difference between an open space and recreation land which are both required. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich discussed the trails. He stated they are working on revised plans to provide open space for the residents of Highpoint and Arcona Phase II but will be owned by homeowner’s association.
Mr. Mahon stated traditional neighborhoods have traditional parks and more than open spaces and trails are needed. Ms. Parry is concerned about the impact on the other community parks with the influx of new residents. Mr. Smith stated the fee in lieu of should help elevate her concern. Mr. Grove asked if there would be tot lots, basketball and tennis courts. Mr. Smith said no. Mr. Faranda-Dietrich stated they are working on a traditional park that wouldn’t be dedicate to the public.
Mr. Duncanson asked how many acres are in the plan and how much is open space. Mr. Smith stated there is 247 acres and 92.4 acres of open space. Mr. Duncanson spoke about neighborhood parks in the Township being placed on about a half of an acre. He can’t comprehend how something this large can’t find a half acre. Mr. Smith stated there is a lot of constraints, easements, and dedication issues.
Mr. Eby stated there is a lot of flexibility available to the Board of Commissioners. The first step is for the developer to offer the land. The more prime location of the land offered, the less land is required. He stated so far no land has been offered and they have paid a fee in lieu for Highpoint. He stated the Board can ask for prime land. He doesn’t believe the Board will accept 100% fee in lieu of for land. He spoke about the Planning Commission and the concern about the railroad connectivity and how to safely cross the tracks. Mr. Smith discussed the safe crossing for the railroad. A pedestrian bridge is not financially feasible and they are looking into alternatives. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Smith spoke about the paved trails, sidewalk connectivity and the possibility of having fitness center along the trails. Mrs. Kohr is concerned if there are no playgrounds the kids will misuse the fitness centers. She has seen fitness centers in other parks and they aren’t being used.
Mrs. Echterling asked how the proposed parks would keep non-Arcona residents out. Mr. Smith stated if there were issues the association could take steps to take care of the issue. He isn’t sure how it would be handled.
Ms. Parry has an issue with a fee in lieu of for 100% recreation. Mr. Grove asked about a community town hall, church, and/or fire hall. Mr. Vernau stated there were earlier discussions of having a substation for ambulances and fire trucks. He stated that the Board wouldn’t consider 100% fee in lieu of recreation. He stated this is being built as a traditional neighborhood design concept which means there are recreation and open space requirements. He believes the TND is to have buildings and green spaces together. He stated the Board wants to see playgrounds, swings and climbing structures.
The Board thanked them for his presentation. Mr. Mahon asked Mr. Eby about a letter to the Board and the timing. Mr. Eby stated the plan is going back to the Planning Commission and Recreation Board next month. They will go to the Board of Commissioners in September. Mr. Vernau stated they should prepare a letter of what they agree and disagree with on the proposed plan.
There were no public comments. Mrs. Paul stated general maintenance is being performed at the park.
Janice Lynx, 2036 Sheepford Road, read a statement about Yellow Beeches Park. She spoke about how the park, in the past, was for small families and for boating. She spoke about the change to the park and the parties being held there especially over the weekends. She stated some parties can be well over 50 people with loud music, gas grills, drinking, littering and polluting the area. She provided pictures of the Board. She stated her property is on the other side of the bridge and they have been forced to post private property signs. She suggested these large parties be required to apply for a permit to use the park. She spoke about the unsanitary issues with so many people and the trash left by them. She is concerned that these large parties, drinking and small children could result in a tragedy someday. Mr. Vernau stated they are trying a few things including adding more trash cans, limiting parking, putting signs in Spanish, and increasing patrols. He stated the outtake area can be improved to help deter these groups. Mr. Eby stated groups of 25 people needs a permit. Mr. Dino Sorbella, 2036 Sheepford Road, spoke about the party guests parking in their lot and is glad to hear they are working on things. Discussion ensued. The Board thanked the residents for their input.
LIAISON REPORT – COMMISSIONER H. EDWARD BLACK
Commissioner Black was not present at the meeting and there was no liaison report.
RECREATION AND PARKS STAFF REPORT/ACTIVITIES REPORT
Mrs. Paul discussed the following activities from her monthly memo:
• Motion approved awarding a contract to BMW Fences and Decks for the Wass Park backstop and fence project.
• Motion approved awarding a contract to Paramount Fence LLC for the Highland Park Playground pavilion roof project.
• Motion approved awarding a contract to Raul Godinez-Navarro Roofing for the Highland Park Playground pavilion roof project.
• New park rules signage was added to Yellow Breeches Park. The sign is now in English and Spanish.
Mrs. Paul stated her report outlined the tasked completed by the Parks Operational Staff for April, May and June.
Mr. Mahon asked everyone to review the park tour and have their comments ready for August meeting. Any changes should be emailed to Donna. At the August meeting, a list of recommendations can be completed and presented to the Board of Commissioners in September.
Mr. Duncanson asked if there would be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Cedar Spring Run Park. Mr. Vernau said nothing is in the works. He stated it is near completion but a lot had to be cut out of the design and they are hoping to add items to the park in the spring.
The Regular Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Board adjourned at 8:15 pm.
Next meeting is Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm.