LANCASTER TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION
1240 Maple Avenue
Lancaster PA 17603
MEETING MINUTES – January 16, 2013
CALL TO ORDER
Melissa Kelly, Chair, called to order the regular meeting of the Lancaster Township Planning Commission at 7:00 pm on January 16, 2013 in the Lancaster Township Municipal Building. The following members were present: Glenn Ebersole, Richard Hendricks, Gary Jones, Gordon Reed, Angela Sowers and Tom Waters. Also present from Lancaster Township: Tom Daniels, Zoning Officer, Rebecca French, Planning & Zoning Assistant, and Ben Webber of Rettew.
New Member Introduction
Tom Waters was welcomed and sworn in as the newest member of the Lancaster Township Planning Commission.
Election of Officers
The LTPC nominated new officers and all motions were approved. The newly elected LTPC officers are:
Melissa Kelly, Chair
Glenn Ebersole, Vice Chair
Angela Sowers, Secretary
Approval of Minutes – November 20, 2012
The November 20, 2012 LTPC meeting minutes were approved as submitted.
There was no public participation or comments.
Subdivision/Land Development Plans: None
Millersville Commons and Surrounding Projects
Ben Webber stated that with the mega mix of new construction projects going on around the same area of Millersville Road and Wabank Road, a lot of land fill has been dug up from all of the different sites. (Martin Middle School, Millersville Commons, Comet Field, and Crossway Church) Mr. Webber stated that he and Tom Daniels were made aware of a large quantity of land fill that was moved onto Comet Field, where it has dramatically changed the contour of the field area. He stated that Comet Field should have brought this issue to the LTPC prior to moving the land fill, with either a revised plan or a new plan. He stated that when Penn Manor School District plans to install a new playing field on the Comet Field site, they will need to submit a revised Land Development plan.
Mr. Daniels stated that the Board of Supervisors approved the original Subdivision and Land Development Plan for Millersville Commons. He stated that Blackford Development had previously submitted a revised version of the stormwater system basin site for that project, which was reviewed by the LTPC at the November 2012 meeting, and was determined to be a substantial change from the original plan. Blackford Development has decided to revert to the underground stormwater facility previously depicted on the originally approved plans.
Mr. Daniels recapped the twelve projects that the LTPC reviewed during 2012, which included new Subdivision and Land Development Plans, final plans, preliminary plans, revised plans, sketch plans and modifications. He also thanked the members for finalizing and approving the Township Zoning Ordinance, which he stated, after years of work, was a monumental event.
Mr. Daniels stated that he has subscribed to the PlannersWeb.com newsletter for all the LTPC members. He needs to know which email address the LTPC member’s would like to use to receive this online subscription.
He stated that there are some new state laws that will assist with neighborhood blight issues by instituting land banks in the municipalities and boroughs. Once a municipality has gone through the process and a land bank has been established, the bank can take over the blighted properties in that municipality. Mr. Daniels stated that there is money in this year’s Township budget to get this started, and they are looking at getting this accomplished before the year is over.
Mr. Webber stated that this year the LTPC will look at the Subdivision Land Development Plan (SALDO) and Storm Water Management (SWM) Ordinance of 2000 in order to make changes and bring it up to date. He stated that it would be in the best interest of the municipality to separate the Township’s SALDO from the SWM ordinance. He stated that there are several reasons for this split in the two ordinances.
• Procedurally this would help the Township administer different types of plans and activities that occur.
• There are new regulations in storm water management that the EPA is pushing down to the state level through the DEP; which in turn are handing down the new mandates to all of the municipalities and townships.
Mr. Webber stated that once the DEP approves Act 167 Storm Water Ordinance of Lancaster County, they would need to bring the Township’s SWM Ordinance up to those regulations. When the DEP approves Act 167, the Township will have six months to prepare the SWM for the EPA to approve.
The SWM Ordinance needs to be updated; organize definitions, policy Issues, and terms that need to be defined in the SALDO and the SWM. He stated that there are also issues to move from Zoning Ordinance to the SALDO.
Mr. Webber handed out a document that he put together for Ephrata Township, stating that Ephrata Township has been reviewing many Plans and updating their SWM issues over the past year and have had to go through many process waivers and modification requests. He compiled a list of the most common waiver requests that were seen over and over again in the multiple projects to see what can be done to change the Ordinance so that they don’t have to continually repeat the same modification requests. He named a few; plan scale, preliminary plan processing, existing features, traffic studies, clear site triangle, etc.
He asked the LTPC if they would like to review past letters and identify the past waivers and modification requests that required taking repeated action for on most of the projects – in order to tweak the procedural steps outlined in SALDO.
He stated that there are some procedural steps outlined in SALDO such as briefing items that they may want to consider. Mr. Webber stated that when an applicant submits a land development plan to the Township, there are certain steps that must be taken.
• The Twp has X number of days to approve or deny the plan.
• The plan must go before the Township Planning Commission and be recommended for approval or denial – prior to going to the Board of Supervisors.
• The plan must also go through the County Planning Commission prior to review and recommendations before the BOS can act on it.
Mr. Webber stated that some of the procedures, such as briefing items, can slow down the process, but can also give the planning commission time to learn and understand the project.
• Ms. Kelly stated that she liked the briefing item process for the larger subdivision plans for that very reason.
Mr. Webber asked to LTPC to consider these issues when reviewing the SALDO; is the planning Commission getting enough information about a plan to make the decisions? Or is the planning commission getting too much information? He would like the LTPC to suggest changes in the SALDO procedure and if they agree that they want to move the process along at a faster pace, consider how they would go about changing the process?
Mr. Daniels stated that at this time no new plans have been submitted for review at the February LTPC meeting.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 PM. The next scheduled LTPC meeting is February 19, 2013 at 7 PM.