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Home»Planning Commission Minutes»Planning Commission
12-15-15 Minutes

Planning Commission
12-15-15 Minutes

MINUTES

PLANNING COMMISSION:                                                                LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP

REGULAR MEETING:                                                                              DECEMBER 15, 2015

The following were in ATTENDANCE:

PLANNING COMMISSION                            TOWNSHIP PERSONNEL
Geir Magnusson, Vice-Chairman                  Dan Flint, Community Development
Brian Wickenheiser                                      Thomas G. Vernau, Township Manager
Samuel T. Bashore                                       Pedderick Young, Commissioner
Michael Washburn                                       Julie Echterling, Recording Secretary
Patricia Hall
ABSENT                                                       COUNTY
Brett McCreary, Chairman                            Steve Hoffman
Dr. Jean Dyszel, Secretary

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Approval of Minutes
Mr. BASHORE made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 17, 2015 meeting. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0. Mr. Magnusson commented on the positive quality of notes produced for the Planning Commission this year.

OLD BUSINESS
SLD Docket No. 2015-08: Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Highpoint, Phase 1.5: This plan proposes to change the configuration of this Phase, which contains 51 single family attached units (townhouses), and proposes a lot with recreational facilities.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Anthony Faranda-Diedrich, Charter Homes stated this final plan is the same plan that the Board has seen. He stated they cleaned up the comments and their waivers have been approved. He showed the Board the location of Phase 1.5 which contains 51 townhomes and a two-acre public park. He spoke about the connectivity of the trail system for the development.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint stated the plan is the same as the previous submitted one. He stated the Terra Park will be dedicated to the Township. He stated there are procedural comments.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated they have addressed all the County’s comments.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. Magnusson asked Mr. Flint about if there was anything in writing from Charter Homes about the equipment that would be in the park. Mr. Flint stated they have seen pictures but nothing in writing. He stated the Parks and Recreation Board will look at their final plan.

Mr. Bashore asked about the final decision on the railroad crossing. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated they have a location for the crossing reserved on the plan. He stated they are working with the Township to look for funding resources for the construction of a bridge. He stated Charter will pay for the design of the bridge. He stated if no resource can be found for the construction of the bridge they will work with the Township on putting up a fence.

Mr. Wickenheiser asked about sound walls for the residents near the railroad. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated they would consider sound walls if the bridge is not constructed. Discussion ensued.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WASHBURN made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2015-08: Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Highpoint, Phase 1.5 subject to Township and County comments. Mr. WICKENHEISER seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

SLD Docket No. 2015-10: Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Arcona, Phases 2.1 and 2.2: 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 2.1 and Phase 2.2 propose 282 apartments in eleven buildings, a clubhouse and pool, on 10.71 acres.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Faranda-Diedrich showed the Board the location and trail system for Phases 2.1 and 2.2 on the map. He stated this plan is unchanged. He stated Strong Road would be constructed. The waivers were approved at the last meeting. He stated the remaining comments are administrative and they accept them and will work with them.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint spoke about the traffic study and HOP needed for this plan. He stated there is no recreation planned for this phase. He stated they will be dedicating 4 of the 5 parks to the Township. He stated their master plan includes a combination of dedication and fee in lieu of land for recreation.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated he hadn’t received the final plan and doesn’t have comments. Mr. Flint will send the final plan to him by early next week.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. Washburn asked about the public funding and timing of the proposed bridge. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich spoke about the conversations Charter Homes has had with bridge contractors. He stated the cost estimate is over a $1 million. He spoke about their approach to the bridge costs and possible funding. He stated they spoke with the Board of Commissioners who agree with this approach. He stated the timing would be based on available grants and would require a lot of planning.

Mr. Magnusson asked what financial resources are available. Mr. Flint stated, at times, there are federal funds through the state and Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds. Mr. Magnusson asked the overall cost of the Arcona TND. Mr. Faranda-Diedrich stated it could be around $50-$60 million.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. BASHORE made a motion to approve SLD Docket No. 2015-10: Final Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Arcona, Phases 2.1 and Phase 2.2 pending final review from County and subject to Township and County comments. Mr. WASHBURN seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

NEW BUSINESS:
SLD Docket No. 2015-13: Land Development Plan for St. Johns Towns:
Proposed construction of 88 single-family attached (townhomes) units, a clubhouse and pool, on 7.821 acres at the northeast corner of St. Johns Road and Lisburn Road.
Applicant Presentation
Mr. Ben Heisey, RJ Fisher & Associates, presented the St. Johns Towns plan. He stated the plan proposes construction of 88 single-family attached (townhomes) units, a clubhouse and pool, on 7.821 acres at the northeast corner of St. Johns Road and Lisburn Road. He stated along with this development they will have various stormwater facilities and basin. He stated this plan has one phase so they are asking for preliminary and final approval.

Township Staff Comments
Mr. Flint stated there are many comments. He stated the clubhouse is included in the parking total calculations and not shown in the plan. Mr. Heisey stated the end units of the buildings have garages attached to them. He showed the community center location on the map. Mr. Flint stated curb and sidewalks are required along street frontages. Mr. Heisey stated they would be asking for waivers. Mr. Flint stated he wouldn’t support those waiver requests.

Mr. Flint stated the stormwater management approvals will need approval from the Lower Allen Township Development Authority, which is downstream from the proposed development. Mr. Flint spoke about the traffic comments and what would be done with the intersections. Mr. Heisey stated the traffic engineer is in the process of addressing the comments.

County Planning Commission Comments
Mr. Hoffman stated they provided their comments and believe they are self-explanatory.

Commission Member Question and Answer
Mr. Washburn agrees with having sidewalks and curbs. Mr. Heisey stated there are no sidewalks on St. Johns and Lisburn Road. He showed the Board the map of the area. Mr. Flint stated the curb is more critical which deals with drainage and safety. He spoke about the sidewalk ordinance which requires either the installation of sidewalks or requesting a fee in lieu of which hasn’t been requested by the applicant.

Mr. Bashore asked about the wavier of fee in lieu of for recreation. Mr. Flint stated the ordinance requires dedication of land or fee in lieu of recreation land. He stated the ordinance requires the fee in lieu of recreation be paid at the time of recording. The applicant is requesting a waiver from paying it at the time of recording and asking that the fee be paid at the time of each building permit issuance.

Mrs. Hall asked if this would be a 55 and older community and Mr. Heisey said no. She asked where would the kids go and play. He stated they would have the pool and Mr. Flint spoke about the parks near the proposed development. Mr. Magnusson asked where the children would play. Mr. Heisey said wherever their parents want to take them. He spoke about the size of the lot.

Mr. Magnusson stated there are a lot of unanswered questions about this plan and asked if there was a deadline for this plan. Mr. Heisey said no and stated they are in the process of addressing the Township and County comments.

Mr. Bob Fisher, RJ Fisher Associates, stated they have worked for several months on this plan. He stated this wasn’t rushed. He spoke about the Township park that is down the road. The plan includes a pool and clubhouse for the development. He spoke about the room needed for stormwater.

Mr. Bashore asked about wavier two. Mr. Flint stated the applicant addressed this and spoke about the testing they have completed.

Mr. Magnusson asked about the name of the development. Mr. Flint stated the original name was too similar to another development in the Township. He told them, for safety and emergency response issues, the name needed to be changed. Mr. Magnusson asked about the name being name St. John’s. Mr. Flint spoke about the issue with apostrophes in names of streets. Discussion ensued. Mr. Fisher will speak with the client about the naming.

Commissioner Young asked why they went to final versus preliminary plan. Mr. Heisey stated they went to final plan because it isn’t a phased plan. Commissioner Young is concerned about some of the issues in the plan. Mr. Heisey stated they are working on the issues.

Mr. Magnusson stated the plan has good ideas but the details are missing. He suggested they bring the plan in January. Mr. Heisey agreed and stated they weren’t necessarily seeking approval tonight.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Action: Recommendations on the proposed plan
Mr. WICKENHEISER made a motion to table SLD Docket No. 2015-13: Land Development Plan for St. Johns Towns. Mr. BASHORE seconded the motion. Motion carried 5-0.

OTHER BUSINESS
None was discussed.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting is scheduled for January 19, 2016 at 7:00pm.

ADJOURN
Meeting adjourned at 7:51 pm.