LANCASTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
1240 Maple Avenue
Lancaster PA 17603
MEETING MINUTES – November 15, 2011
CALL TO ORDER
Melissa Kelly, Chair, called to order the regular meeting of the Lancaster Township Planning Commission at 7:00 p.m. on November 15, 2011 in the Lancaster Township Municipal Building. The following members were present: Bob Desmarais, Glenn Ebersole, Richard Hendricks, Gordon Reed and Angela Sowers. Melanie LeFevre was excused. Also present: Tom Daniels, Zoning Officer, Rebecca French, Zoning Assistant, Ben Webber, Rettew Engineer, Gwen Newell, Lancaster County Planning Commission, and Kathy Wasong, Township Board of Supervisors. Bill Swiernik of DMA, Rich Ozimek, Blackford Development, and Mike Leichliter, Superintendent of Penn Manor School District were also present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September 20, 2011
The September 20, 2011 meeting minutes were approved with revisions in the first paragraph.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION/COMMENTS: None
Update: Revised Zoning Ordinance and Revised Zoning Map
Tom Daniels and Bill Laudien completed the revisions per the Planning Commission’s initial feedback and review of the Zoning Ordinance revisions, and Rettew provided new binders. Mr. Daniels asked the LTPC to please review the changes and bring the binders and their comments and feedback to the next LTPC meeting on December 20, 2011.
Comet Field Development:
Keith Heigel of LHA Inc presented an informal overview of revisions to the proposed commercial triangle development area located in the southwest corner of Lancaster Township between Wabank Rd, Millersville Rd and Barbara St.
• Municipal boundaries – A portion to the north is in Lancaster Twp and the portion to the south is in Millersville Borough
• The net development is planned for 5.9 acres
• The tract is currently zoned Campus/Open Space
• Depending on the outcome of the revisions to the Zoning Ordinance, they are requesting that the Twp consider rezoning 1.6 acres of land south on the tract to Local Commercial
• What is the compelling reason for requesting the rezoning?
o Uses not allowed in the current zoning O/P
Comments from the LTPC
• There is a safety issue with the number of student pedestrians going to and coming from Comet Field and Martin Elementary School
• The cut off road heading south on Millersville Rd into the gas station could be problematic;
o There needs to be a four way controlled intersection in this area without a cut around
• The potential of the school district to possibly sell lots south of the new right-of-way
o While not proposing to rezone that area, Lancaster Township constrains itself with its own zoning
• The Township does not get anything out of the proposed development except maintenance costs.
o Why should the Township absorb costs with a limited tax base and a high tax base in our school district and not receive any benefits?
• Consider rezoning a larger section of some other lots
o It would benefit the Twp now instead of going through a rezoning later
o It would also promote a faster sale of those lots
o The Twp could amass the benefit of revenue sooner
Comments from the Public:
Jerry and Barbara Keen of Wabank Rd, Millersville PA, both expressed concerns about the extension of Wabank Road;
The Keen’s foresee that this will cause more vehicular traffic, cars exceeding the speed limit, and more trash accumulating along the roadside. The Keen’s conveyed that they found it difficult to determine what part of Wabank Rd is in Lancaster Township and what part of Wabank Rd is in Millersville Borough. They also have concerns about student pedestrians walking along Wabank Rd and Barbara St.
Mr. Webber stated that the traffic impact study is not complete. He stated that a meeting with Penn Dot is scheduled for November 23rd with the developers, traffic engineer, and representatives from the Township. This meeting is being held to identify all the different intersections, roads, basic counts and projection of traffic that is expected to be generated by the proposed use and the overall growth in the area. The final analysis, which will be based on the input submitted to Penn Dot at this meeting, has not been completed
There were no further comments and Ms. Kelly thanked the attendees for their time.
Southern Village: Modification Request to Side Yard Setbacks
Bill Swiernik, of DMA, reviewed the lot configurations along the extension of Waypoint Drive. The layouts of the single family (SF) units are basically the same as the townhomes across the street; both SF units and the townhome units are essentially 1726 square feet. Southern Village is zoned Open Space development which provides for more flexibility and innovative design opportunities.
The applicant is requesting a modification of the requirement under 1804.4.C.1 to separate all principal structures by a minimum distance of 20’, reducing that distance to only 12’. This request is being made for all the twenty-two (22) lots (210-227, 229-237, 239-241) in Phase IIIA on which single family dwellings are proposed.
The justification for this request would; a.) Provide greater variety of design for the single family dwellings; b.) The builder would have the ability to situate the master bedroom on the first floor of these dwelling units; c.) Units will be more consistent with the unit type requested by prospective buyers.
The builder would like to increase the interior width within the SF units from thirty-two feet (32’) wide to a forty feet (40’) wide unit. This increase of interior width would not only add to the amount of living space, but it would provide some flexibility to each units design variation. This would also change the property setback line to six feet (6’) between each SF dwelling on each side of the dwelling; with that being twelve feet (12’) between dwellings.
The following discussion ensued:
• Will the SF units be too close to each other?
• What about sound and noise levels?
• What other alternatives are there for the builder?
• Offset windows for privacy issues?
• Would like to see a unique variety of character to each unit
• Encourage diversity
• How many different design plans for the SF units does the builder offer?
When the discussion concluded, Ms. Kelly asked if there was a motion to recommend approval of the modification request. Bob Desmarais moved to recommend approval of modification 1804.4.C.1 for Southern Village, Phase IIIA of the Final Subdivision Plan, which reduces the minimum distance between all principal single family structures from twenty feet (20’) to twelve feet (12’) with the following stipulations:
Conditions of Approval
1. Require at least four different designed unit types
2. All four of the unit types must be present on any given block where possible in the three sections
3. This requirement includes a variety of color, textures, roof lines, styles, etc. The intent of conditions 1, 2, and 3 is to promote diversity of streetscape.
4. Developer must consider offsetting buildings on the lots; moving the buildings to one side of the lot to gain a larger side yard where possible.
Gordon Reed seconded the motion. The LTPC recommended agreement of the modification subject to the conditions of approval that were set forth.
Melissa Kelly requested that Tom Daniels discuss a tree planting program for Lancaster Township with the Township Manager, Bill Laudien. She stated that she would like to have a response to this request at the next LTPC meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. The next scheduled LTPC meeting will be on December 20, 2011 at 7 p.m.