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Home»Planning Commission Minutes»Planning Commission
9-15-15 Minutes

Planning Commission
9-15-15 Minutes

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                                       LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING:                                                                                      SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

PLANNING COMMISSION                                      TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Brett McCreary, Chairman                                      Dan Flint, Community Development
Geir Magnusson, Vice-Chairman                           John Eby, Building and Zoning Officer
Samuel T. Bashore                                                Peddrick M. Young Sr., Commissioner
Michael Washburn                                                Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
ABSENT
Dr. Jean Dyszel, Secretary
Brian Wickenheiser                                               CUMBERLAND COUNTY
Patricia Hall                                                          Steve Hoffman

Mr. McCreary called the September 15, 2015 Regular Meeting of the Planning Commission to order at 7:00 pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes
Mr. MAGNUSSON made a motion to approve the minutes from the August 18, 2015 meeting. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.

NEW BUSINESS
SLD Docket No. 2015-12: Minor Subdivision Plan for Richard C. and Rebecca H. Michaelian, 1533 High Meadow Lane:
Subdivision of an existing vacant 0.792 acre parcel into two parcels, each to be attached to and made part of the adjacent parcel. Result is a net loss of one building lot.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Richard Hilboky, Gibson-Thomas Engineering, stated the purpose of this plan is to split the land between the neighbors. He stated it would be a lot addition to each of the two neighbors.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint stated there were no comments from the Township.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated the County’s comments were minor in nature.

Commission Member Question and Answer
There were no comments from the Commissions.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WASHBURN made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2015-12: Minor Subdivision Plan for Richard C. and Rebecca H. Michaelian, 1533 High Meadow Lane: Subdivision of an existing vacant 0.792 acre parcel into two parcels, each to be attached to and made part of the adjacent parcel. Result is a net loss of one building lot subject to Township and County comments. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.

OTHER BUSINESS
Conditional Use No. CU 2015-01: Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless:
Application for construction of a 150 foot tall monopole with associated antennas and equipment, located on a vacant parcel in the 3700 block of Lisburn Road.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. James Strong, McNees & Wallace, stated Verizon Wireless would like to build a personal wireless facility on Lisburn Road. He stated the land is currently a R2 single family but the proposed use can be permitted with conditional use. There is a Public Hearing scheduled on October 26th. He showed the Board the location of the proposed tower and the property lines. He stated they would be leasing the land which would be a 100×100 square foot piece of land. He stated it would be a 50 x 50 foot fenced compound with the required screening. He discussed the 12 foot gravel access road that would be improved during this construction. He stated the first 50 feet of the access road would be paved according to the Township requirements. He stated there would be underground utilities for electric and phone. The facility will be visited one to two times a month by maintenance.

He stated the reason for the placement would allow further coverage for Verizon Wireless. The new pole will provide service to the Lower Allen Park. He stated they have spoken to Chief Williamson who had discussed issue officers have in this area with the cell phones. He stated Cumberland County was looking for a tower in the Township to help with communication and it could be a platform for their antenna.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Eby stated they have met with Staff and worked through the criteria for the requirements for conditional use.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman asked about the PPL line that could have been used for the tower. Mr. Strong discussed why it wouldn’t work including the height of the pole and it is too far to provide coverage to the proposed areas.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. McCreary asked where the entrance of the structure would be and Mr. Strong showed him on the map. Discussion ensued. He stated this pole will provide in-building wireless coverage for the area.

Commissioner Young asked if the tower will require a beacon light for the FAA and how many can attach to the tower. Mr. Strong stated they don’t need a beacon light per the FAA requirements. He stated the proposed tower can host 12 for Verizon and 2 additional carriers at 12 each.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. BASHORE made a motion to approve a recommendation for the Conditional Use No. CU 2015-01: Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless: Application for construction of a 150 foot tall monopole with associated antennas and equipment, located on a vacant parcel in the 3700 block of Lisburn Road subject to Community and Township comments. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.

Zoning Ordinance Amendment No. ZOA 2015-02, Ordinance No. 2015-04:
Proposed revisions to sections of the Zoning Ordinance regarding Wireless Communications Facilities
Applicant Presentation/Township Comments
Mr. Eby stated this was initiated by Staff. He stated Mr. Vernau and he went to training by the County and realized the ordinances should be changed to reflect changes. He spoke about the new technology coming out being implemented in neighborhoods. He spoke about a project that Capital Region COG did with the Cohen group which researched the ordinances and made recommendations. There is a public hearing for October 12th. He stated he received the County comments today and needs time to review them. He stated if this Board approves this action to move forward it would need to include a clause stating that any substantial comments or changes would be allowed after the Township has had time to incorporate the County’s comments into the document.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated some of these small towers are being placed in the right of way. He stated the current ordinance doesn’t address structures in the right of way. These structures are popping up everywhere. He stated the County created a model ordinance for these towers as did Cohen for the COG members. He stated some of the comments are opinion, minor, or adding definitions.

He stated opinions 8 and 9 stated that they are requiring insurance for the applicant which is not normally part of the zoning ordinances. He asked why a $1 million policy required for a small tower and a large tower. He stated normally indemnification is not required in zoning ordinances. He spoke about the appearance of the structures “architecturally” matching the building which could be challenged.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. Bashore spoke about concerns about poles being put on structures that exceed the capacity and the tower falls and causes damage. He stated the insurance would help pay for that damage. Mr. Hoffman stated this could happen with any utility structure so he believes it should be in the general ordinances. Mr. Eby stated there needs to be some review of legal and insurance for structures put in the right of way in the Township. Mr. McCreary thinks there should be some insurance. Discussion ensued.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WASHBURN made a motion to approve moving forward Zoning Ordinance Amendment No. ZOA 2015-02, Ordinance No. 2015-04: Proposed revisions to sections of the Zoning Ordinance regarding Wireless Communications Facilities, with County and Township working toward identifying any substantial issues that would need public review. Mr. MAGNUSSON seconded the motion. Motion carried 4-0.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting is scheduled for October 20, 2015 at 7:00pm.

ADJOURN
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.